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.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

July | Currently

settling in to our new small town life here in the woods
working on emptying the last of our boxes
hoping we finally get to plant more permanent roots
becoming part of our little community
chasing after our walking toddler
adoring his curiosity and his budding desire to learn
visiting the library weekly
watching in awe as he develops new skills daily
hosting visitors throughout the coming months
enjoying having down time at home
finishing a mini scrapbook album for my sister
starting a second one for the other sister
planning out new products for the winter "shop" opening
marking the calendar with upcoming craft fairs and markets
making progress on turning our yard space into something other than weeds and dirt
using the "hot method" to get our compost started 
looking forward to getting plants and seeds in the ground 
having a great summer
wishing you all a great summer as well

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tiny Krueger's First Birthday Cake {Sugar Free Banana Oat Cake}

Starting back when I first got pregnant (side note: I can't believe it has almost been two since we found out) we've been trying to limit the amount of refined sugar we consume. Naturally, when it came time to think about cake options for Teddy's first birthday (because what is a birthday without cake?) I wanted something healthier and without a ton of sugar. I also knew that he probably would not eat most of it so I didn't want to spend too much money on a cake or the ingredients and chose to experiment with what we had on hand like bananas, and homemade puree.

The result is this banana oat cake sweetened with apple and pear puree (No sugar added applesauce could easily be used instead of puree). To finish it off, I slathered the cake with a cream cheese frosting. TinyKrueger loved it! He ate more of it than I ever would have expected. I will say that the frosting is a little tart from the cream cheese but our little guy is also a big fan of tart and sour flavors like pickles, lemon, sauerkraut, onions, etc. He liked it so much that I made it twice. Once for his actual birthday as a small layer cake, (top photo) and once for his party as a single layered cake (second photo). 

Banana Oat Cake
  • 3 ripe bananas 
  • 1/4 cup apple or pear puree 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 1/2 cup oat flour (grind rolled oats in blender, then measure)
  • 1/4 whole oats 
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
for the frosting
  • 4 oz cream cheese 
  • 1/4 cup pear puree 
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • cinnamon (optional)
  1. Mash the bananas in a medium bowl. Add in the applesauce, oil, and vanilla to the bananas. 
  2. In a separate large bowl, mix the flours, baking soda, and cinnamon together. 
  3. Add the banana mixture to the flour mixture slowly. Mix just until incorporated. 
  4. Coat a 9" cake pan with oil. Spread the batter into the bottom of the pan. 
  5. Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes. Check with a toothpick for doneness. 
  6. Cool the cakes. Use a small bowl or a biscuit cutter to make 3 small rounds. 
  7. Soften the cream cheese then whisk with the puree and vanilla extract (and optional cinnamon) until smooth. 
  8. Stack the smaller cake rounds with a layer of frosting in between and then frost the entire outside of the cake. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fiesta Birthday Invitations

The last two months have been ridiculously crazy! I am finally getting around to posting things I meant to share in April and May. I plan on sharing more about his big party later on but today it is all about my favorite paper project thus far. If you have been here any amount of time, you know I love designing and creating invitations and paper products for various events (our wedding invitation suite and Save the Date,  and this past year's Christmas invites).

I love these so much! Fiestas are my favorite party theme. The food is great, and the colors are bright, and it provides the opportunity to have such a great but relaxed atmosphere. I wanted that reflected in our invitations. I think that I achieved that.

I had originally wanted a flat 5x7 invitation but when I couldn't find the right envelope, I decided to repurpose some leftover Thank You cards I've had for a long time. Not only am I busting through my stash but it was easier and more cost effective to do this than the 5x7's. I also had a lot more fun!

For all the information needed on these invites, I created images and then printed them at home on plain white card stock.

To add the fringe, I took an approach similar to those Pyramid Piñatas I made a few years back. I purchased a few rolls of colored crepe paper (party streamer rolls) to make the fringe. I also used these streamers for garlands for decorating as well. I used about 3 rows for each color layer so I made a 15 inch length of fringe in every color for each invitation.

To make the fringe take about 15 inch length of the crepe paper, add a thin line of glue or adhesive down the middle and fold in half top to bottom so the dimension is 15in by 1 inch (see image above). Then fold in half end to end a few times. This will make it easier and take less time to cut the fringed edge. For me, I ended up with piece roughly 2.5 inches by 1 inch. On the unfolded, unglued edge, cut upwards to make the fringe about 1/4 to 1/2 inch. Then unfold to the original length of 15 inches.

Next comes the layering on the invite itself. I measured out 5 inches and used permanent adhesive and attached it to the paper so that the fringe was a smidge from the bottom of the invite. Cut another 5 inches and add so the fringe ends right above the fringe of the bottom layer. Add your third layer. Then repeat with the remaining colors. For these, I started with three layers of yellow, then three layers of red and finished with 3 layers of green. The front was finished by adhering the card stock piece.

For the inside, I covered the bottom piece with white crepe paper and then layered it with card stock that has the party information on it. Once it was all dried, I stuffed them in the envelopes and sent them on their way!

This was a really quick and inexpensive way to get birthday party invite out! Also, it is versatile for any type of fiesta. If you decide to try this kind of invite, let me know! I would love to see.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Friday Five: Page Books

In honor of TinyKrueger's first birthday, I wanted to share some of our favorite kiddo products this past year. There are tons of mommy blogs out there with these kinds of lists but they all seem to be touting all the same books and all the same toys and products. Those toys/books/products don't always work for everyone (like us) so I wanted to offer a different list of items.

I am back with another round up of five baby items that we loved during our little one's first year. This list was originally planned to go up a month ago, but we got overwhelmed with birthday stuff, and wedding stuff. Now that all of those things are finished, I can get back to what I had planned on posting these last few months!

Today, I am sharing page books as opposed to the board books I shared back in April. These are books that are paper pages and are longer. Again, I am sharing titles that aren't necessarily as popular but keep our son engaged or he grabs on his own. You can find our board books list here and our toys list here.
Friday Five: Page Books

Friday, April 29, 2016

Friday Five: Toys for the First Year

In honor of TinyKrueger's first birthday, I wanted to share some of our favorite kiddo products this past year. There are tons of mommy blogs out there with these kinds of lists but they all seem to be touting all the same books and all the same toys and products. Those toys/books/products don't always work for everyone (like us) so I wanted to offer a different list of items.

Last week, I shared our favorite board books, and this week it is toys. In a world of light and sound toys, I really appreciate basic toys that require more interaction and imagination. That being said, I did list two toys that are battery operated lights and music toys but these things that our little one was drawn to before the power was switched on.

Friday Five: Favorite Toys

Kiki Elephant Teether // This soft rubber "teether toy" was one of the first toys we received before Teddy was even born. It quickly become a favorite and is still something he plays with and "talks" to daily. He particularly likes to keep her with him during our long car rides.
Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Puppy // The first of the two battery operated toys on this list had our little guy's attention from the moment we pulled it out of the box it was gifted to us in, before the lights and music started playing. Not only does Teddy like it, but with 3 different settings, I appreciate that it is a toy that can grow with him throughout various stages.
Bright Starts Lots of Links // I love links! Teddy loves links! We all love links!! Whether we use them in a long chain, or solo as something to chew on, these Links are so great. 
Skwish Classic Toy // This awesome shaped toy is advertised as a mix of a rattle and teether. The little guy loves squishing it, shaking it, and flinging it about.
Sit-to-Stand Walker // Second of the two battery operated toys listed. This walker was another instant hit! The gears and shapes on the front keep him busy while the music and barnyard sounds and music keep him entertained. He also is a fan of actually pushing it full speed down the tile hallway.

So that's it for toys we like! Check back next week for our list of longer, paged books that we like. Do you have any kiddo toys that you feel your little one was especially drawn to? 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Friday Five: Board Books

In honor of TinyKrueger's first birthday, I wanted to share some of our favorite kiddo products this past year. There are tons of mommy blogs out there with these kinds of lists but they all seem to be touting all the same books and all the same toys and products. Those toys/books/products don't always work for everyone (like us) so I wanted to offer a different list of items.

Today I am sharing a collection of board books. These are the ones that always seem to catch his attention and keep him engaged or are the ones he grabs from the pile and flips through on his own. Coming up next I'll be sharing paged books and our top five favorite toys this past year.
Friday Five: Board Books

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Around Here

We have been visiting with lots of friends and family lately. It is so awesome watching Teddy making the connections and remembering the faces and names of the people that are so dear to us. We have been really blessed with such a smart kid and such a loving group of people in our life!

We are gearing up for TinyKrueger's first birthday! Lots of DIY-ing and party planning to celebrate the big day. How has it been 11 months already?!

We are already deep in the start of Fire Season! I am always interested to see how each season plays out in our life. Navigating this season will be different with a little one that is starting to understand dad being gone for work versus gone for a few days. So far it has been manageable with the distraction of my sister's wedding, hopefully it stays that way.

Speaking of my youngest sister's wedding, we are getting so close! The last few weeks have been spent celebrating her and I can hardly believe there are only 6 weeks left. I am currently working on a few posts detailing the different invites and other things I have made for all the different celebrations. I am hoping you'll enjoy or be inspired by this projects!

Lastly, I am in the process of working on more content and getting back to consistently posting. As I build my calendar, I would love to hear what you want to see in the space! So please, leave a comment with your opinion!!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

April | Currently

gearing up for a really busy couple of months
making my way to various parts of Arizona and California
spending the next few days in the Happiest Place on Earth
looking forward to spending the next few weeks celebrating my youngest sister
disbelieving that this time next month we will be celebrating TinyKrueger's first birthday
working on getting the invitations out the door
chasing my super mobile toddler around
loving every second of it
reading this aloud to the little one and this at night before bed
listening podcasts and audiobooks while on the road
finishing bachelorette, bridal shower, and first birthday decorations
enjoying the hustle and busyness of coordinating all these events 
welcoming spring and the warm weather
starting to get little backyard projects started
scheduling new garden posts now that my natural light is better
geeking out that my BBQ Bacon Dog Totcho recipe was featured on the Ore-Ida Facebook page
using it as the kick in the pants to rework untouched areas of my blog and to repost some of my original recipe posts
getting really excited for all that is happening

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

February | Currently

typing this in real time after a 4:30am wake up call from the kid
sipping a rather large cup of coffee
unpacking all the things slowly
purging when possible
wearing the little one all the time
chasing after him as he stands and reaches for EVERYTHING
adoring 9 months 
watching in awe as his personality develops 
working on some fun things for the blog
making plans for documenting our 2016
taking walks in evenings with my guys
enjoying the reconnection with Berkeley
starting on our little backyard "refresh"
dreaming of homegrown vegetables and fresh chicken eggs
getting ready to participate in 30 Day Pilates Body Challenge in March
encouraging you to join in
hoping to stick with it throughout our upcoming travels
starting to thrive
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