Friday, November 18, 2016

Monday, November 14, 2016

Quoted November 2016 | Days 1 - 10

Before Teddy, I used to do all sorts of crafty type stuff. When I got pregnant, my desire to do a lot of that stuff went away almost entirely. I finished up my 2014 Project Life album and my 2015 Tis The Seasons minibook, and I am almost done with my sister's From Ms. to Mrs. album. I have toyed with the idea of making a big, events based Project Life style album for 2015 through 2017, but I haven't decided yet. In the meantime, I have been itching to do something creative. So when my awesome crafty friend Lea posted Onica Hanby's Quoted challenge for November, I decided to jump right in.
I think most people do these type of lists and challenges in their Traveler's Notebooks. These notebooks are so cool, but I haven't really gotten into that memory keeping trend and I didnt want to buy new things to start this. One thing I do have is journaling cards. 
After 7 years of minibooks, and 3 years of Project Life specific albums, I have tons and tons of paper stuff varying in sizes from 2x2 up to 4x6, especially 3x4 cards. That is what I decided to use for this project. It was so easy to pull out my stash, a couple pens and jot my quote down each day. Also, because I don't know what the end product will be for all these quotes, I like being able to keep on these smaller papers in an envelope until I figure it out. 
Nov 01: Autumn - "Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower" -Albert Camus. This is one of my absolute favorite quotes. The card is from the Seafoam Edition Project Life Core Kit. The quote was written with EK Success Metallic Pens.
Nov 02: Leaves - I still get wildly enthusiastic about little things. I play with leaves. I skip down the street and run against the wind" -Leo Buscaglia. This card is from a SN@P Smash Pad from years ago. The quote is written with a Zig Dual Tipped Pen. I think I may go back and cover the "Jotty, Jot, Jot" title on the top but I havent decided yet. 
Nov 03: Warmth - "Friends are like quilts, they never lose their warmth." This is Smash Pad card with a fine tipped light blue Sharpie. I also used a Martha Stewart Avery label to cover most the of the irrelevant title. 
Nov 04: Season - "To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven" -Ecclesiastes 3:1. Another Smash Pad card, another Sharpie but in orange, and another label. 
Nov 05: Colorful - "Without any black, no color has any depth" -Amy Grant. This is another card from the Seafom kit. I wrote on the diagonals with a pink Zig pen and one of the smallest Micron pens in black. 
Nov 06: Time - "We must use time wisely and forever realize that the time is always ripe to do right" -Nelson Mandela. I cheated a little with this one. This is a printed journal card from an Elise Joy download that was available on her blog years ago. 
Nov 07: Migrate - "Success is going from failure to failure without using your enthusiasm" -Winston Churchill. I am not sure where this card came from. It was part of an unmarked pad of 3x4 cards of different colors and grids and lines. I wrote the quote with a Zig Dual Tipped Pen in Ocean. 
Nov 08: Elect - "There will never be complete equality until women themselves help to make laws and elect lawmakers" -Susan B. Anthony. This is a card from the Be Bright Minikit from Becky Higgins Project Life with a green Bic fine point pen. 
Nov 09: Change - "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination" -Jimmy Dean. This is just a black ball point pen on a card from a Smash Pad. 
Nov 10: Harvest - "The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny" -James Allen. Orange fine tipped sharpie on a Seafoam Core Kit card. 

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Around the Farm August to October

Whew! The dust is finally settling after all that travel. We are slowly getting back into our home routine. While we are settling back in, I wanted to share a few photos from our trip.
Doing chores with Papa
Tomato Bandit
Sunset at the Lake
Hey Ma! Look! I climbed up on this Vroom Vroom all by myself!
First birthday with my family in 11 years and they all disappear.
Watching dirtbike videos with Uncle
Feeding farm animals
Riggins Baby Gender Reveal
Celebrating my Great Grandfather's 95th and his sister's 96th birthdays.
Five generations in one photo but we are missing at least 10 other people! 
Like I mentioned in a previous post, this trip was originally supposed to be 10 days so that we could go camping. Instead we were there a total of 50 days! While some days it was rough being away from home and Berkeley, I am really glad we were able to have this time with my family. There were so many special moments and events I got to experience and be part of while we were there. I am so thankful!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five: Toddler Travel Essentials

One question I get quite often is "How do you get through a 15 hour car ride with a baby/toddler?" First and foremost, I am extremely blessed with a fairly easy going kiddo. He has always loved being in the car going somewhere. Often he points to the garage and exclaims "GO! GO! GO!"

Also, instead of worrying about how he will do, I just went for it! I loaded him up when he was 2.5 months old and headed out. Those were the easy days because he slept a lot and only needed breast milk and diaper changes every few hours along the way.

Now that he is older and is awake for most of the trip, it takes a little bit more to keep him happy. Today, I am sharing five things outside of standard stuff (food, diapers, wipes, clothes) that make our trips not only doable but enjoyable for both of us.
Friday Five: Toddler Travel

Friday Five: Toddler Travel by ashleyamak 

Carter's Swaddle Blankets // Munchkin Snack Catcher // 360 Cup // Music // Books and Toys

Cuddly Blankets // My little one loves to snuggle blankets. He has always had two options in the car for long car rides. First is the blanket I made him while I was pregnant. Second is a super soft Carter's brand swaddle blanket. They usually come in two-packs and are a great quality and he loves them. 
Snack Catchers // These things are awesome! These little snack cups have a perforated silicone lid that allows for little hands to get in and grab snacks but prevents them from spilling them (mostly). I allow him to have a handful of small, easy to eat snacks. It tides him over between meal stops and keeps him occupied. 
360 Cup // These cups have a unique screw on lid and silicone lip, where kids can drink off any edge of the cup. My little loves drinking water throughout the day, so these cups are great because he can have them back in the car seat with him but I don't have to worry about him popping the lid off. 
Music // My little one LOVES music. In fact, most days start with him asking to dance. Having music specifically for him can be a huge help. Most of the time, I can find decent stations, but our usual trip has a couple long stretches of desert with few radio stations. We don't have a fancy car with a fancy stereo so for us I always pack my iPod with a couple different playlists for him. 
Favorite Toys and Books // Lastly, I make sure to have a couple of his favorite toys and board books in a basket or tote that is easy for him to reach. Right now, the toy collection includes a soft cuddly bunny, Kiki the elephant, a Manhattan Toys skwish, and a rattle ball. What comes along changes every few months based on what his preferences at the time. 

So there it is. My list of things that help us make it through our many. many, 10+ hour car rides. These are just things that work for us, and I hope this list can give you an idea on what may help you get through your own long trip. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Day in the Life

If you are interested, today I am participating in Ali Edwards' Day in the Life. My initial documentation will be over on Instagram @ashleyamak

Friday, October 21, 2016

Our Summer Vacation

Also: How to make a 10 day trip last 8 weeks!

Back in August, I thought Teddy and I would make a quick, spur of the moment trip to visit family in California while Berkeley was on a fire assignment. I know we had just had a trip and there was another trip for in October, plus the holidays. However, I figured why not go for a the week around the holiday weekend. The plan was to join my family for their annual Labor Day camping trip that we've been doing since I was Teddy's age.

We packed up the car and were trucking along smoothly. That was until about 40 miles from arriving at my parents home, when my car stopped working. My awesome younger brother came to look at it, and tried to read the computer codes. Nothing was making sense. We got it towed, and it sat for 3 weeks while a few different mechanics we know tried to figure out all the weird and inaccurate codes the computer was giving out. The car didn't even know what was wrong with itself! Finally, towards the end of September, they finally discovered that it was the fuel pump. The guys got the pump ordered and spent a Saturday afternoon getting it installed.

At this point most people head home after being away for a month. We didnt! In the middle of sorting out my car, my mom was expecting it would need to go to a proper repair shop so she planned a Disneyland trip for us. We got tickets for Mickey's Halloween Party (more info to come) and spent 4 of the hottest days of the month in the parks.

Now, I could have chosen to head back home from Disneyland. Initially, I was going to do just that with an overnight stay in Tucson to see Berke's parents. That didn't happen either. Between the additional fee for parking a second vehicle at the hotel and the fact that we needed to be back in California less than two weeks after getting home, we decided I would just stay and Berkeley would fly out for the things we had planned for our October trip.

We finally got back to our little house in the mountains a few days ago. We are slowly settling back in and getting back to a routine. In a few days, I plan on sharing a little look into what all Teddy and I did during our trip.

Also, I have a whole list of posts to finish and share that were meant to go up in the past 50+ days. I know I had starting posted process videos and blog posts about my sister's album. I still have all those posts ready, I just didn't have my laptop while we were gone. It was another hiccup in my spur of the moment trip planning! So stay tuned for that!

Monday, August 22, 2016

From Ms to Mrs | Disney Day One

Another update on my sister's mini album. If you missed my first post about this album and the supplies I'll be using, this is a 6x8 pocket style scrapbook documenting all the events that happened between my sister's engagement and her wedding day. Today I am sharing a look at our first day at the Disneyland Parks.

Yay for Disney! Okay, I know most people do not love Disney as much as I do so as a head's up, Monday's will now be the day that I am posting about this album. So if that isn't your thing, I totally understand if you want to skip to other posts. For most of these posts, I am just going to do an overview because I have been recording process videos for this album.
For this first layout of day one at the Disneyland Parks, I have a pocket page with 3x3 pockets and 2x2 pockets on the lefthand side and 4x6 pockets on the right hand side. I also used a Simple Stories 4x6 photo flip to add two more photos on the right hand side.
On the lefthand side, the top 4x6 pocket is holding a 3x4 photo layered onto a 4x4 square from the Sat Cheese II elements paper cut apart. I added two small photos and a word strip from the Say Cheese II sticker pack. The bottom photo has a banner and star from the same sticker set. On the right side, the page is two 4x4 pockets, and four 2x2 pockets. I paired photos from Tarzan's Treehouse with  a paper from the Seafoam paper pack and a printable from Sahlin Studio's Project Mouse.
The lefthand side is more Tarzan's Treehouse photos and related fillers. The right hand side is pretty simple with two 3x4's and a 4x6 from Pirates of the Caribbean.
On the lefthand side, I used the bottom pocket to hold two 3x4's instead of a 4x6. The journaling card was made by cutting down a Project Life card and layering it on some paper with a word strip from the Say Cheese II stickers. In the middle, I added another Adventure printable from Project Mouse and backed it with a photo of the Critter Country photo. The right hand side is photos from the Pooh ride and a filler card. The magic label is from the Say Cheese II bits and pieces pack.
To the lefthand page with the four 3x4 pockets, I added another 4x6 photo flip with more Pooh photos. The top journaling card was made the same as the other with a trimmed down Project Life card, patterned paper, and a word strip. The pocket in the lower right pocket has two QR codes for videos. I made these using Unitag.com. There are lots of QR code generators out there, but I like Unitag because they let you alter the look of the QR code. For these ones, I chose a gradient style with purples and grays and altered the same of the three corner "squares". Once I had the look I liked, I printed them on plain printer paper. The banner and hearts are from the Say Cheese II sticker pack.

The right hand page is a full 6x8 photo adhered to one of the "Office Basics" pages that came with the album. Right on the photo, I added a label sticker, a circle sticker and word strip from the SCII sticker pack, and some letter stickers from my stash.
To the back of the office basics page I used added two 4x6 photos and a 4x6 photo flip that holds two 3x4 photos and two 3x4 filler cards. The quote card is a printable from Project Mouse. The other has a little bit of journaling and another QR code. On the top 4x6, I added two tags layered and tied together with a bit of string.

That is it for our first day in Disneyland. Next week, I will be showing a closer look at a few spreads from our first day in California adventure. If you would like to see process videos of these pages. Be sure to check out my YouTube Channel! Below, you will find a list of supplies used.

Products Used
Simple Stories: SN@P -  6x8 Teal Burlap albumMix and Match Pack Page ProtectorsInst-Pocket Pages Variety PackPhoto Flips
Say Cheese II - Cardstock StickersBits and Pieces Ephemera Pack, 3x4 and 4x6 Elements Paper4x4 Elements Paper

Sahlin Studio: Project Mouse - Main StreetAdventure,  No. 2 AlphasFlairsAt NightCarsLeading Up to the Magic

Becky Higgins: Project Life - Seafoam Edition Main Kit and Papers



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

From Ms to Mrs Album | Album Organization

Back today with another update on my "From Ms. to Mrs." scrapbook album for my sister. If you missed my first post about this album and the supplies I'll be using, this is a 6x8 pocket style scrapbook documenting all the events that happened between my sister's engagement and her wedding day. Today's post is all about how I organized this album.
My organization process is quite similar for a lot of my scrap projects. It usually starts with me going through the pictures I have and planning out how they are going into the album. I am not sure when I became such a visual person, but having an outline really helps me with these types of projects.

Not only did I draw an outline for this project, I also made a "mock-up" of each spread similar to my approach to organizing my Project Life album. To some, these extra steps may seem like extra work. My own husband laughs a little each time I do it. However, for me it is so helpful. For this project in particular I wanted to stick the supplies I had on hand which meant using a limited supply of 10 different styles of pocket pages.
On top of that, the photos I have are not just photos I took but photos from at least 5 other people! When I had all the photos airdropped and emailed to me, I loaded them to iPhoto and made them a separate folder. Then I pulled them all up in the photo editor I use to make the layout template. Again, seeing how each photo will look in each pocket before printing it all out helps tremendously! Once all of the layouts are done, I printed out all those images as a "contact sheet" for quick reference for printing the various sizes of photos. For this particular project (and most of my larger projects) I sent my photos out to a photo processor.

Lastly, with my general outline figured out and waiting for my photos to arrive, I went through and put all my pages into the album in the same order as the outline. I also added in placeholders for the various inserts as well. Then when I get my photos, I just put them where they need to go. To see a flip through of how my album looks at this stage, watch the video below or head over to my YouTube channel.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Avocado Cauliflower Rice

One of the meals we really like is at home Chipotle style burritos. It is quick, fairly simple meal but I started to notice that the flour tortilla paired with a sizable helping of rice started leaving me a little bloated. Back in October 2014, I made the switch to an Anti-Inflammatory Diet (you can read more here), in which I try to avoid eating foods that cause an inflammatory response in my body and bloating is a sign of inflammation.

Since moving away to our rural mountain town, staying on track has been a little harder. When one of our favorite meals starts triggering the things we are trying to avoid, I immediately went on the hunt for an alternative to keep this quick meal option in the regular rotation. This is when I started entertaining the idea of cauliflower rice!
Today I wanted to share the recipe for the rice we use in our Chipotle style burritos. I love using cauliflower rice with avocado and lime, especially on nights we choose to go vegetarian with our burritos. Not only does it add more veggies as a whole, it adds avocado which is a huge plus for this former California girl. The avocado in turn add texture and another layer of flavor! It takes our burritos to a whole new level!

Not only is the avocado lime rice great mixed in, it is also delicious by itself and Tiny Krueger thoroughly approved. The first time I made this recipe, Berkeley was on a work trip and I had a serving leftover. The next day I piled the rice onto some corn tortilla chips and it was amazing! Just as a side note, depending on the color of your avocado, the color of the rice can vary from really green like the rice in my burrito above to more yellowish like the photo below.

Avocado Lime Cauliflower Rice
ingredients
  • 2 - 3 cups cauliflower rice 
  • 1 medium onion, diced 
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 medium ripe avocados 
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice 
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin (or more) 
  • 1 small clove garlic, minced 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

directions
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When the oil slightly smokes, add the onions, and stir to coat. Continue to cook onion until they are golden brown at the edges and have softened, about 8 minutes. 
  2. Add the cauliflower and stir. Add salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the cauliflower has softened about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Mash avocados in a large mixing bowl (I leave mine a little chunkier). Stir in lime juice, cumin and garlic, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in warm cooked rice and serve.

Monday, July 25, 2016

From Ms to Mrs Album | Intro and Supplies

It has been quite a bit since I have shared a scrapbooking related project here. I took a little bit of a break when I lost my creative drive in 2014. For some weird reason being pregnant zapped that out of me. I finished my 2014 Project Life album but I didn't really do anything in 2015 outside of a December Daily minibook and a few random layouts here and there.

The album I am currently working on is a 6x8 wedding related album for my sister. It will mostly documenting her bachelorette trip to Disneyland and her bridal shower back in April. I'll be sharing bits and pieces over the next few weeks and hopefully will be posting a final flip through as well once she has the album in hand. Today I wanted to share supplies I will be using for this project.

The Album
For this project, I chose to try out the Simple Stories Snap system. They seem to offer the largest range of options for the 6x8 album size with lots of different albums and pocket page designs. Specifically, I got the 6x8 Teal and Burlap album which came with 10 pocket pages in 5 different designs, 8 "Office Basics" pages, and a kraft envelope page. Additionally, I ordered a second variety set of the pages that come in the album as well as the Insta-Pocket Pages Variety Pack as well.

Additional Products
We are a big Disney loving family and I used this project as an excuse to purchase a few things from Simple Stories' Say Cheese II collection and to print of some of my favorite things from Sahlin Studio and Britt-ish Designs Project Mouse. While a bulk of this album will be the trip to Disneyland, I didn't want it to be entirely a Disney themed album since it will hold their engagement story, her bridal shower, and some of the set up of the wedding venue. None of those things were Disney themed so I wanted to be a cohesive album.

To fill in the gaps and tie the album together, I put together a kit of sorts from my stash. Originally I had pulled a bunch of stuff including Project Life supplies from various kits, old Hambly overlays, patterned papers, older stamps, and random embellishments. At the beginning of the month, there was a challenge posted in the Victoria Maria Facebook Group to work from your own kit made using a "recipe" that was shared. From that challenge I narrowed down my own kit to five patterned papers, four embellishment packs, three wood mounted stamps, two title alphas, a small alpha, and an additional item of our choosing. My additional item was the Becky Higgins Project Life Be Bright themed card set.

To get a more in-depth look at what all I have set aside to work with I recorded two videos. In the first video, I flip through the album and pages, and show off the Say Cheese II products I have. In the second, I go through the kit I made for the challenge. You can watch those videos below or on my YouTube channel.


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