Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer List 2014 {Update}

Every year, I write a summer list of fun things I want to do. Some years it works out great, and others it doesn't. But for the first time, I thought I'd check in about halfway through the summer and see how it is all going!

read three new books | so far I've only read two books that were entirely new to me - Outliers and Paris
go to the beach | Harbor Island, South Carolina...and I'm in New York right now. Although its raining, so we haven't gone to the beach yet, just the vineyards, the pool, and the outlets!
shop at the farmer's market | we finally checked out the one in Baton Rouge - and got about a zillion jalepenos for just $1!
make pesto | I did, with this recipe, but I forgot to take a picture :(
have a picnic | does our indoors one count?
take a picture every day | thanks to #100happydays on instagram, I've actually kept up with this one!
go to a concert | Bayou Country Superfest!
take a road trip | we drove all the way to South Carolina and back, hitting Atlanta and Savannah along the way!

And still left to do before Labor Day...
go for a bike ride | make coronoa cupcakes | finish wedding photo book | 
make s'mores | grill a pizza | do a summer puzzle

I can do this...right?

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Mac and Cheese {Scrapbook Layout}

Happy Tuesday!

Sorry I kind of disappeared last week - things just got very crazy around here, and many things {including blogging} had to take a back seat!

But I will have that summer update post ready for tomorrow now! I'm really excited about it too - because I've actually done a whole ton of things on my summer list!

But before that, I have a scrapbook layout that I wanted to share!

A few weeks ago, I decided to switch from D ring albums back to post bound. But when I did, I ended up with a few blank pages in my albums. Since I scrap chronologically, I decided to make a layout that could really fit in anywhere to fill up the blank spot in my 2013 album.

And that's where a layout about a recipe came in.

But not just any recipe, my all time favorite comfort food - mac and cheese. It is seriously the easy recipe ever...and it was a really easy layout too. I just added a few pictures of different stages in the cooking process, and the journal is just the recipe itself!

Macaroni and Cheese
Adapted From: Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh

8 oz pasta
2 1/2 Tablespoons butter + 1/2 Tablespoon butter
3 Tablespoons flour
3/4 cup milk
3/4 cup water
1 bullion cube
8 oz fat free sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4-1/3 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 Tablespoon Parmesan cheese

  • Cook pasta according to the directions on the box.
  • While the pasta is cooking, melt 2 1/2 Tbsp butter in a large skillet. After the butter is melted, whisk in the flour. Whisk until the flour has cooked and is a light brown color (about 2 minutes)
  • Add the milk, water and bullion cube. Continue whisking until the flour is incorporated into the liquid. Raise the heat slightly to allow the mixture to simmer and thicken up. Stirring as needed.
  • Add the cheese, stirring until it is totally melted. Remove from heat. 
  • Pre heat the broiler.
  • Melt the remaining 1/2 Tablespoon butter (I usually do this in the microwave) and stir in the breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese.
  • When the pasta is done, add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir to combine. Place the coated pasta in a casserole dish and top with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil for 2-5 minutes, until the breadcrumbs are toasted.

Oh I'm really hungry...and its way way too early in the morning to be eating macaroni and cheese. Right? That's probably not a great breakfast idea? Or maybe it is...

Well, excuse me while I go convince myself that pasta and cheese is the breakfast of champions ;)

Do you scrap chronologically? Do you ever need "filler" layouts? What do you use?

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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Struffoli {Scrapbook Layout}

Happy Tuesday everyone!

I am seriously shocked about how quickly summer is flying by! School starts one month from yesterday...well, for the students. School for teachers starts even earlier!

I've still got a lot to do on my summer list, but I do have an update for you tomorrow about how its going so far :)

During that marathon scrapping week earlier this summer, I made this layout too.

Last Christmas, AJ and I went to my Nonni's house to make struffoli. Struffoli are honey covered fried dough pieces, covered in sprinkles. We only make them at Christmas, and I look forward to them all year long. After we left, AJ showed me that he snapped some pictures of us while we were cooking, and I knew that I'd have to turn those pictures into a scrapbook layout!

I was so glad that he was able to get these pictures when I wasn't looking!

Well, I'm off to go scrap some more. My "to scrap" list is still way too long for school being so very close to starting! What are you up to today?

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Project Life 2014 {Week 22}

Happy 4th of July!

Just a quick post today to share a Project Life layout - because it is Friday! Isn't it great when a holiday falls on a Friday and you get a three day weekend?!

Week 22 | May 26 - June 1, 2014
This was the second to last week of school. Grades were due though, so we didn't have too much to do after Tuesday! Instead, my students taught me to play a new card game, Split, at recess. That was fun - its definitely a game I'd like to play again, but you need more than two people, so it will have to wait until AJ and I are home in New York.

AJ and I also did a few other fun things at home, like shopping at Williams-Sonoma, watching "Saving Mr. Banks" with our favorite movie snacks, enjoying the Mets game outside (and the won! Yeah!) I also had to wear a heart monitor for 10 days starting this week. That wasn't too fun, but I got the leads mostly hidden so it wasn't too obvious when I was out and about.

Well, I'm off to go make our special 4th of July breakfast :) What are you up to today?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

4th of July {Decor + Recipe}

Can you believe that it is already July?!

One of my favorite things about July (aside from it being summer break!) is 4th of July. We usually barbecue, go to the beach or the pool or run around in the sprinkler, decorate the house and turn all the food I can red + white + blue.

Last year, we started with these flag toasts for breakfast. This year, we are starting with something a little bit sweeter...or maybe ending with it, because it is definitely dessert! But on holidays, you can have dessert for breakfast, right? ;)

Some of my favorite summer treats involve fruit, pound cake and cool whip. But I wanted to make it a little more special with cookie cutters + food coloring. Because I will use any excuse to use cookie cutters + food coloring!

For this year, I decided to try out two different breakfasts desserts. My original idea was to make kabobs with the stars and strawberries, and cover them in Cool Whip. But then I thought star sandwiches would be so much more fun (and easier to eat!)

In the end, I'm glad I tried it both ways, because I loved the little sandwiches best, but AJ liked the kabobs better! So on Friday, I'll just make both. They were definitely easy enough for that!

And the food isn't the only thing I decorate...just after we got home from vacation in June, I decked the house out in patriotic colors. And the best part was that everything came from my stash or from our "waiting to be recycled" pile.

the stars and stripes papers were all in a summer pack that I've had for years, the polka dot papers were from a paper pack I bought last year | the stars were cut from an old moving box and painted or covered in paper | the firecrackers are empty breadcrumb containers | the flag "canvas" is an old cheerios box that's been painted + covered with scrapbook paper

Oh man, I really can't wait to celebrate on Friday - we are just hanging out at home, cooking, eating and playing in the sprinkler! What are your plans?

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Mardi Gras 2014 {Scrapbook Layout}

Happy Tuesday!

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty fun on Friday and Saturday - we took an overnight trip to New Orleans! Then on Sunday it was a little scary - we found black widow spiders got into our garage near the door! I don't like spiders normally, so poisonous spiders are definitely not my thing.

But that's enough talking about spiders, because I'm getting the creeps!

Let's talk about not scary scrapbook layouts instead :)

This layout is about our first Mardi Gras parade in Louisiana. We decided to go to the Spanish Town parade in Baton Rouge - it was so much fun! We went with two of AJ's coworkers and met up with mine and her family.

I couldn't see a thing, so I stood on top of a column {that picture is in this layout} I think that was my favorite part of the parade - actually being able to see what was going on. I think its the first parade I've ever been too that I could see about the heads of everyone else! I guess that's the life of being short.

One of my favorite things about this layout is the letters. They are actually white and I just used a sharpie to color them in to fit my page - I love doing this, I am definitely going to be sad when I run out of those white letter stickers!

What supply are you going to miss when you run out?

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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Make Your Own Vase Fillers with ThermoMorph {Review}

I was provided with this product free of charge for review purposes. All opinions posted here are my own.

Happy Weekend Eve!

While AJ and I were on vacation in South Carolina, Rizzi at ThermoMorph reached out to me and asked if I would review their product.

To be honest, I'd never heard of it before, but when I went on the website, the crafter + the chemistry teacher in me were totally intrigued by these polymorph molable plastic granules.

Basically, they are little white pellets, and when you put them in boiling water, they melt into moldable plastic, then they harden back into hard plastic. And you can buy them on Amazon in a giant tub (500g).

It was really easy to use. You boil some water and let it cool to around 150*F, drop the pellets into the water and wait two minutes for it to get clear. Then you can stretch, mold and play with the plastic.

When I started out, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it.

I am not great with free hand molding of things, and I found that the material was hard to cut or trim into shapes with the scissors I have. So I tried a few different things, including making a "bowl" with my giant cupcake pan.

Fortunately, the plastic can be melted again and again, even after you've molded and hardened it. I loved that I could just "melt" my mistakes away! And trust me, I made a lot of mistakes creative attempts that didn't work out how I imagined.

When I'd had enough for that, I pulled out my molds. I tried out two different ones. The first one I tried was this red one. It is a soft silicone mold. It worked okay, but I found when I tried to squish the plastic into the mold, the mold squished with it, and so my pumpkin was a bit misshapen.

The second one I tried was this orange mold. I think its silicone too, but it is hard so it held up to my squishing!

These little plastic guys came out great! And a coat of orange + green paint made them look like real little pumpkins.

I ended up making this little piece of framed art with some of the pumpkins. {inspired by this pin} I can't wait to add this to my fall a few months!

Have you ever tried a product like this before? What would you use ThermoMorph for?

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