Wednesday, April 16, 2014

April | Currently...


cooking more adventurous dishes.
honing neglected cooking skills.
appreciating the warmer weather.
spending more evenings on our back patio.
dreaming of little ways to improve the space we have.
planning for some backyard bbqs.
counting down the last few days until Fire Season officially starts for us.
wishing for more nights just enjoying each others company.
remembering how unpredictable Fire Season can be and that planning can be futile during April-Nov.
missing family.
working through the mountain of complex emotions. 
trying to be graceful throughout it all.
figuring out that it doesn't always work out that way.
praying things get a little bit easier.
making it through, or at least trying to.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

CREATE Art Festival

Friday we attended a pretty awesome art show and concert called CREATE. While the idea of art and music reflecting a Christian Worldview may not be for all, there was some really great pieces on display and very talented performers on stage. For me, it was really uplifting and inspiring. We were able to experience new artists and musicians as well as socialize with the people of our community.

The event was held at The Hive at Higher Grounds Coffee in Downtown Flagstaff. It was really a cool place. The cafe is not for profit and offered a wide variety of drinks and food from local establishments. Berkeley ordered us some two teas from their list; an iced green and an iced papaya ginger. Both were delicious and made to order. The Hive is room to the back of the cafe and was filled with all sorts of art other than what was on display for the show. I am looking forward to going back.

After the last few weeks, this event was just the thing I needed to get me back to myself. It was fun to zone out listening to music, looking at art, and thinking my own thoughts.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Project Life 2013 | Weeks 3-4

While I am waiting to order my photos for the last few months, I have been putting finishing touches on my 2012 and 2013 albums. A few times this month, I will be sharing a look at those finished pages here. Today, it is weeks 3 and 4 from 2013. I shared glimpses of these two spreads back in June when I talked about how I capture different life events

Week 3: January 14 - 20
This was the page leading up to my documentation of the 2013 BrewHaHa. We didn't have a lot going on in the first part of that week, but there were three stories that I wanted to remember. They fit perfect into this Design B page and all the photos carried a lot of the same colors and I found this yellow, orange, pink combo for journaling cards was the perfect fit. I used two paislee press printables and two cards from the Seafoam core kit.
One of the cards from the core kit, I simply attached the business card from one of our favorite restaurants. The other I journaled about a birthday playdate using a hot pink Zig dual tip pen. The layered circle printable from paislee press, was just printed in written on as well.
The last filler card for this page is from the paislee press Is It Friday Yet journaling card set. I added the text of an obituary over the top before printing it. Little did I know that it wouldn't be the only obituary added to this years albums. 

Week 4: January 21 - 27
Unlike the previous week, this week was really intense and supremely busy. We had a lot packed into 7 days. Besides the insert for Color Run, there were two other things added as well. 

 As a side note, before talking about this spread, I want to share some background and a story. Normally, I would not document someone's passing so in depth but there was something really special about this particular person. Ms. Betty was a woman from our church. At the time of her death she was 85 years old. She was an extremely active and independent lady. In her last few months she had driven from one side of the country to the other and back again. She had taken several plane flights and attended numerous social events. She was always serving and always bowling. In fact, she told our pastor that she only knew something was wrong because she only scored 180 at her bowling tournament. As it turns out, she was bowling on a fracture leg and her heart was not so healthy. When she found this all out, we still had a heck of a time keeping her down.

It was only a few days later that she suffered some medical stuff and they informed her that they didn't think she would live much longer. Ms. Betty held on for 6 more weeks. Almost every day she woke up in hospice she was disappointed that she hadn't "gone to Jesus". She told us that she couldn't wait to get to fly home. It was such an eye opening and beautiful concept. She knew her work here was done and she knew where she was going. It was so incredibly beautiful. Based on what she taught me in her last days, I felt it was important to document as much as I did.
For the inserts here one is clear thick plastic for card making with letter stickers and the program from her services on it. I trimmed it so that it would be close to the same width as the photo insert. The photos are in a Design C page cut in half. This was the side without ring holes so I added thick washi tape. 
This is how it all ended up looking together. I knew the second half of the week was going to be color heavy with all my Color Run stuff, so I picked some calmer colors for the first half of the week. Lots of light blues, grays, and white. This is one of my favorite weeks in my 2013 by far. 

Project Life supplies:
Binders, plastics, and 3x4 gridded journaling cards via the Becky Higgins Amazon StorefrontSeafoam Project Life KitStazOn Black InkVersamark White Ink. Elise Joy Quote Cards. Zig Dual Tipped Pen Black Pink and OceanUni-Ball White Ink Gel Pen. Paislee Press printables. Scotch Expressions Chevron Tape. Staples Date Stamp. Martha Stewart and Avery Labels.

Disclaimer: Project Life® is a memory keeping system created by Becky Higgins. To see all my posts deatiling how I use her system to document our life story click here.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Weekly Links | 4/2

A small list of things that have been somewhat keeping my spirits high amid some pretty heavy shit going on.

One of my favorite bloggers, Elise, just launched a podcast Elise Gets Crafty! Love her insights and personality.

I love these vintage cake servers so much that I would buy all six if I could.

21 smells '90s girls will never forget. Yep! I'd say that is pretty accurate.

Still a little chilly out so these mittens have been awesome.

Why you shouldn't get a tattoo but it's okay to have babies.

Thinking of tackling this DIY to add some colors to our wall and get our gallery wall started.

A new approach on life and commitments.

My beauty product love list: This eyeliner. This polish. This BB cream. When I have had to leave the house the last few days these have made me look not so puffy, red or pathetic.

Lastly, I would really appreciate it if you could check out this Fundrazr campaign.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup

I know spring has sprung over most of the country but our mild winter seems to drag on. In fact, it snowed just the other night at the ski resort and was below freezing here in town. As a result, we are still craving warm, filling meals. Whether it be lunch or dinner, this soup is great for warming up on a cold winter day. This is another one of those "throw it together" recipes.  For this soup, I use the vegetables and noodles I have on hand. Essentially, anything you prefer will do!

Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup
ingredients
  • 1 lbs sweet italian sausage
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 cups broth
  • 12 oz frozen vegetable mix (mine had peas, lima beans, carrots, corn, okra, and potato)
  • 14 oz can great northern beans, drained
  • 1 cup dry pasta
directions
  1. In a stockpot or Dutch Oven, brown sausage with minced garlic over medium heat. Stir in broth and vegetables. Reduce heat, and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 15 minutes. 
  2. Stir in beans and noodles. Cover and simmer for another 15 minutes or until noodles are tender.
  3. Season with salt and pepper to your liking and serve. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Little Things | 3.20.14


The last few weeks have been quite a whirlwind for me. Between my job at the ski resort, my job on the events ministry, being a webmaster, and various social commitments i have barely had a day to breathe. In fact, I think I have worked, in some capacity, every day since the 7th.

When things get so overwhelmingly busy the only thing that keeps me sane is focusing on the little things. 
It is the midday snowfall and quiet walks.
It's the special breakfast treats and sharing coffee on our days off. 
It is the feel and smell on new leather boots. 
It is the way I feel in my favorite pair of blue jeans. 
It is after work drinks, dinner, and card games with new and old friends. 
It is the culmination of all of life's little moments that make up for the rough days.
It is those little things that I am so very thankful for. 

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

March | Currently...


loving the view of the changing seasons during our car rides to work.
aching from my adventure into learning to ski.
enjoying that I am going outside of my comfort zone.
working our last few weeks of the ski season.
saying hello to fire season.
celebrating a new promotion for Berke.
embracing the changes it brings.
saying goodbye to friends that are leaving town.
praying for their safety. 
remembering how short life can be.
figuring out some travel plans in the coming weeks.
looking forward to seeing our people in the southern part of the state. 
shopping for boots.
filling our calendars. 
planning events.
growing, or at least trying to.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Project Life 2014 | January

This is going up a few days later than I had planned but here are my Project Life pages for the month of January. As I mentioned at the beginning of the year, my plan for 2014 is more of a monthly approach than a weekly approach. I am hoping for at least one spread a month if not more and inserts as needed. You can see my title page here and all Project Life posts here.
The January section has a spread over two Design A style 12x12 pages, a Design G style page, and an insert I made myself. You can see them layered above.
 The first page features a January Calendar card, and a journaling card with an overview of our month. There are also some journaling cards about being sick and a brunch date with someone we consider a "sister from another mister".

 Next is the insert I made using piece of card making plastic. I got this in pad form from Michaels about 4 years ago. I am not sure if they still carry it but it is thick and sturdy. This insert features most of the photos from Fat Mum Slim's Photo A Day for January. I printed the photos at home as 2x2 inch squares and adhered half of them on one side and the rest on the other side. Added some patterned paper as the edge to be added into the album itself. Everything is on using regular adhesive. I may go back and add some stitching along the edge were the plastic and paper meet. For now, it is good to me. It was simple, it is not perfect but it is done and that is all that matters.
The front of the Design G insert has some photos from our annual trip to BrewHaha. Again, I just got some photos, added them in and put in some embellishments to help tell the story. For the tickets, I used my X acto to cut out the preprinted label, slid the tickets under and added adhesive. Getting it done! I may go back and swap some of the photos out but for now it is finished.
 The back of the Design G insert and the other Design A style 12x12 has photos and journaling about the Gatsby party we attended, some details about a track meet, and our excitement about the precipitation we got.
 The photos from this night were all taken inside a dark pub with iPhones. The quality was not so great so we put filters on them before printing them. I loved the way it turned out.
 A lot of times the informational flyer or invite to events are not ideal sizes for adding to pockets and sometimes adding them as their own insert seems silly. In this case the flyer was 5x4 and trimming it would have taken away from the look and having it float would not add to the story, so I scanned it and resized it to 4x3 to fit the pocket. The journaling card here was trimmed and then layered on top of a scrap piece of gold paper and then I used a gold gel pen to write on the white space.
My favorite part of this spread is this quote. The card itself is the back of an ad that came with a Studio Calico kit. My printer doesn't do 3x4 size, so I washi taped the card to a 4x6 and ran it through the printer. I overlapped it a little too much so the tape skewed the edges of the text, but I love the look. Also visible is our tickets from the Track and Field meet. I layered them stuck a label over it and journaled around the edge. And done!

Simple is the name of the game these days. At the beginning of the year I struggled with whether or not I wanted to keep doing this. My 2012 and 2013 are not complete and I didn't want another album sitting at 90%. Approaching this project differently has really helped me stay on track. February is almost complete. Now, I just need to work on finding a good room and time of day to get it photographed.

Project Life supplies:
Binder and plastics via the Becky Higgins Amazon StorefrontSeafoam Project Life Kit. Seafoam Designer PaperElise Joy magic stamp. EK Success Metallic Writer Silver. StazOn Black Ink. Martha Stewart and Avery Labels. Studio Calico Antiquary Kit. Staples Date Stamp. WRMK Simply Happy Journaling Cards. Gelly Roll Gold Gel Pen. Zig Light Blue Dual Tip Marker.

Disclaimer: Project Life® is a memory keeping system creating by Becky Higgins. To see all my posts deatiling how I use her system to document our life story click here.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Egg Chorizo Breakfast Skillet

In a time where everyone is all about Paleo this, Whole Foods that, and any number of other diets, we are still all about home cooking like our grandmas'. Simply put we will probably never be on those diets. Berkeley enjoys sugar, meat, gluten, fats, and diary just too much to have anything other than those things. This breakfast/brunch is a definite indicator of that! 
It is a fairy simple meal and can be made for one or for many depending on the size of your skillet. Just cook your meat, add your hash browns, and then add and cook the eggs. The result is a fluffy gooey egg surrounded by crispy potatoes and spicy chorizo.  The soft yolk mixes with a oils from the chorizo to make a great sauce to bring it all together. You could even go a step further and smother the skillet in cheese before serving!

Egg Chorizo Breakfast Skillet

makes 3-4 servings
ingredients

  • 1/2 lb beef chorizo, casting removed
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cups of shredded hash browns
  • salt and pepper
  • butter/oil (optional)
  • shredded cheese (optional)
directions

  1. In a medium to large skillet, cook chorizo over medium heat until firmed up and browned. 
  2. Stir hash browns and diced onion into the chorizo and drippings. Oil or butter may be needed if your chorizo is lean. Cook the hash brown mixture uncovered for approximately 10 minutes until the bottom is golden brown and crispy. Turn potato mixture. 
  3. Make 3 or 4 evenly spaced wells and break an egg in each. Sprinkle each egg with salt and pepper. 
  4. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook for 10 minutes or until the egg is set. Optionally, sprinkle with cheese and let sit until cheese is melted. 

Friday, February 28, 2014

Around Here

February was a crazy month of us. We had the kids over numerous times, my work schedule was all over the place, and we even had a puppy visitor. The days are getting longer and fire season is right around the corner which has us running at the NAU Skydome a few times a week while we wait for Mother Nature to get her act together. I am hoping to regain some balance soon but with Spring Breaks coming up, and events to plan and attend, I have a feeling March will be just as hectic.

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