Friday, August 1, 2014

#100HappyDays - Day 31

Day 31/100 - a HIGH, in July (the end no less) of 62 degrees, plus rain (a lot of rain) is a call for much rejoicing in my book.  (This is also a photo for the Phone Photography Project 2's lesson on Landscape.)

Be Happy.

Classes and Menus

Life was pretty good this week.  It rained. . .a lot.  It was (and still is) nice and cool - I had to pull on a lightweight hoodie and I even wore my slippers to keep my feet warm one day!  I wasn't so productive creatively speaking, though I did pick-up my embroidery a couple times, but I did finally remember to freeze some buttermilk before it turned.

I've been clicking away on Lessons in the Phone Photography Project 2 class which has been fun; the one above is from the Action lesson an is probably one of my favorites.  I like looking for the current lesson as I go through my day.  There has only been one lesson I just haven't submitted anything for yet and that was Silhouettes.  Maybe because it was too hot to capture an into-the-light-photo, and now it's too grey to get a silhouette.  I'll get one yet though.  Below are two more - one for Vantage Point and the other for Lines.

Yesterday Super Stash Busters started.  After the first class, I heard there were plans in the work for another and was waiting with credit card in hand.  Instead, I ended up winning a seat!  I've got my first Challenge printed out and hope to work on it over the weekend.

I did all my menu planning from Pinterest again this week.  Now, if I could only do the same with some of my other boards, like I Can Do That or Scrappin Ideas.  At the very least I should go through and do a clean-out.  If you're looking for some-been-there-cooked-that recipes that are also good to get you back to crafting this weekend, check these out:

Coconut Limeade Slushy - Start your night or bring it with you while you craft.  I made this Slushy and was in love.  It's light and cool with a nice lime flavor.  After my first sip, I decided I'd make it again and substitute in Cherry Vodka for the Coconut Rum.  Yum.

BLT Macaroni Salad - I made this as a side for a Flank Steak I grilled up on Monday.  I used shell pasta because that's what I had on hand, but shells never hold up well for me - they like to nest and tear.  This would be great as main dish with the left over flank steak (if we'd had any) or with rotisserie chicken.

No-Cook Coconut Pie - A super simple, no heat required dessert that was really, really good.  I used French Vanilla (had it on hand) pudding instead of plain vanilla.  I made my crust instead of using a store bought.  The only thing I will do different next time is a bit more coconut extract.  I'm not sure if it was the french vanilla I used that maybe was more heavy on the vanilla, or just a lighter taste of coconut to begin with.  I had no complaints though.

Chorizo Sweet Potato Skillet - Because of the cooler weather that was forecast for this week I was able to pick recipes I would not normally do during the summer - skillet meals.  I love skillet meals because they're all in one - a side salad or bread could be added.  This one intrigued me with the sweet potatoes (we love sweet potatoes.)  It was great!  Just the right amount of heat.  We used the leftovers the next day to make quesadillas.  The recipe calls for either green or red salsa - I had red, but I'll give green a try next time.

Mango Black Bean Chicken Quinoa Bowls - This was delicious.  I offered it two ways - in a burrito or just in a bowl; I was the only bowl-taker.  It would also be great as the filling for a lettuce wrap.  It was light and fresh and the lime and olive oil was just enough to keep it from being dry.  To keep the heat out of the kitchen use rotisserie chicken and toss it with chili powder and cumin.

Crock-Pot Hawaiian Sandwiches - I love my slow cooker, I just need to use it more in the summer - even though it does produce a bit of heat in the kitchen, at least I'm not standing over it.  These were a good, no effort meal.  Next time I'll cook it a little less - my slow cooker seems to run to the hot side and I'm constantly adjusting my cook times, so the flavor of ham had cooked out.  Besides adjusting the time, I might get the ham sliced a bit thicker.  It would be a good way to use up holiday ham, too.  I used fresh pineapple and just sliced it thin.  I've started making my own hamburger buns, thanks to the recipe I found in The Homemade Pantry and next time I might butter and toast them.

Skillet Cheesy Chili Mac - Yep, another skillet meal.  A cheesy goodness all-in-one skillet meal; love those.  I had kids who don't usually take seconds, taking seconds.  It fed the six of us, plus seconds and I still have leftovers - probably for one person, but it made plenty.  Crusty bread on the side would complete it.

I'm not having to cook dinner today, so after a brief tidy of the house, my plan is to scrapbook.  If you've got plans, crafty ones (maybe you're taking the Super Stash Busters class) or not, this weekend, any of those meals would free you up to get back to whatever you're doing.  Don't forget the cocktail.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, July 31, 2014

#100HappyDays - Day 30

Day 30/100 - Happiness in a box.

Be Happy.

Adventures in Purging - Part 4

You can find Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

We're all guilty of it.  Buying something for a project we saw and just have to do.  Seeing an item and thinking, "I can totally make that for cheaper," and then you go prove it to yourself by purchasing all the necessary items.  The paper you bought because of the photos you wanted to take.  For the "I'm gonna decorate for (fill in the appropriate holiday or event)."  Because it was too good a deal not to buy it (I may have some stamps I bought when Archivers was going out of business that fit this scenario.)

Look around your supplies and ask  yourself, "Do I have a clear project in mind? Do I know immediately what I’m going to use the item for?" 

In the case of the Maya Road tins (mentioned HERE ), I had plans to slide notecards or tiny treats in them for teacher or holiday gifts.  That never happened.  Like ever.  The tins and I have said "sayonara."  That whole Archivers buying trip. . .I picked up a pad of paper (and I don't like paper pads) with Classic Winnie the Pooh on it.  My plan then, and still is, to use it for my, now, 5 y.o.'s baby book.  I decorated his room in Classic Pooh and I did my best with his siblings' books to use paper that reflected their nurseries.  So, while it still sits, I have a plan. 

This goes for the big(ger) stuff too. . .did you buy a border punch because you were making a mini book and wanted a static design, but the book hasn't quite yet come to be?  Did you pick up a Binder because you were making calendars, and we're mid-2014 and there are no calendars and the Binder is propping up your books?  

Big or small, it can be hard to let go of a plan and the products you bought to achieve that plan.  In the case of papers and such, do they still speak to you?  Maybe not for the project you had in mind, but are they good for your everyday crafting?  In the case of bigger ticket items, it's tricky because they aren't consumables, so they aren't necessarily an "every project" type of thing.  We won't mention the whole "money spent" guilt.

In the case of the punch, it can be used on any number of other projects.  Set it out with your everyday scrapbooking/cardmaking and make a point to use it on your next card or layout.  For things like the Binder, you're going to need to weigh the reality of using it and you're going to need to be honest with yourself.  Are you ever, really, going to use it?  If you don't know how it works, make time, and soon, to learn it and then make a concerted effort to actually use it.  If you can't even bring yourself to learn how to use it, it might be time to find a friend to sell/give it to, list it to CraigsList or eBay, or find a swap or local scrapbook store's garage sale.

We seem to heap a lot of guilt on ourselves for purchases made with good intentions, yet the plans never quite make it to fruition.  Let go of the guilt.  Crap happens.  And, if you can't re-purpose the products, it's totally okay let go of the reminders.

Find three items that were project-bound that never quite made it to completion and let them go.

Go. Purge.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

#100HappyDays - Day 29

Day 29/100 - Temps so cool you don't mind being napped on.

Be Happy.

We Are

  • We are capturing the rainbows, which means there was rain, which means it cooled down! This one was super bright and ended up a double.
  • We are in a stare down.  I never new wild life could pull off the "double-take," but this rabbit sure did when he caught sight of our dog.
  • We are enjoying a cool evening in the park after dinner.
  • We are using the dreaded "s" word . . . school.
Happy Wednesday,

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

#100HappyDays - Days 25 - 28

Day 25/100 - The smell of freshly baked bread, or in this case rolls for dinner.

Day 26/100 - One if the only good things about summer is that the heat keeps your stash of salt water taffy nice and soft. (This was also a submission in The Phone Photography Project for the assignment on Lines)

Day 27/100 - Pulling homemade jam from last season out of the freezer.

Day 28/100 - Iced coffee when it's NOT so hot that that's all that sounds good. Ahhh, to cool mornings. 

Be Happy.