Saturday, August 16, 2014

jbs mercantile: august gallery updates

i decided i must get back on the wagon with project life and perhaps the best place to start is at the beginning.  that would be january for me.  oops!  the problem with this choice was that i had already decided i must work with my august jbs mercantile kits which are decidedly beachy in theme.  i'm always up for a good challenge though and i'm rather delighted with the way this spread turned out.  i used papers from the book (yes, you get an entire book!) in the antiquarian to back all the pockets down the middle.  i've never done anything so consistent in project life and i really like the look.  i also used several of the vellum overlays from the historian kit to house my journaling.  the doilies worked nicely for snowflakes, of course i had to use a fletched arrow when my seminoles won the national championship, and what do you know my kid even ate an ice cream cone the same week that we got snow.  you can use a beach kit in january and it's not even that hard.  ;)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

texas: gone fishing part one

well, i was going to put all the texas fishing photos in one post, but i was too tired to do it last night and i ran out of time to get all the pictures edited this morning.  i know you wouldn't want me to be late for school, so here are just the few i took the day we took g fishing at a state park.  while the grasshoppers are definitely bigger and better in texas, i'm not sure the state parks are.  this one wasn't nearly as awesome as our local tennessee ones.  it was kinda hot and empty.  and no good for fishing.

we did see a heron fishing though.  that was kinda fun.  and my brother-in-law had given me a zoom lens to play with.  that was kinda fun.  and i took a serious nap on a picnic table.  that was kinda fun.

he finally caught one.  wheee!  we can go home.

Monday, August 4, 2014

menu plan: garden eats

summer started with this huge basket of lettuce from homer's farm and a burning desire to work more veggies into our dining rotation.  sadly, most of the lettuce wilted as i didn't know how to store it properly.  i have since researched better refrigeration options.

we did manage to salvage enough large leaves to try our hand at lettuce wraps.  we put way too much bounty in them and they overflowed.  turns out lettuce does not hold quite as much as a tortilla of similar size.  we're not cultured enough to know exactly what goes in lettuce wraps either, so we improvised.  mine had yellow rice, ground beef, and tiny bits of raw carrots.  they were really so fresh and tasty.  g, of course, needs to put cheese on most everything, but really i wouldn't suggest that unless you are a child.

i remember my big sister making fried green tomatoes when i was a little girl.  i have had these several times this summer.  they are oh so good.  we had this corn tortilla mix flour in the pantry and it is fried green tomato frying perfection.  it's really more of a corn meal, but a fine grained cornmeal.

they are absolutely delicious with bacon and eggs.  i can't get enough of them.  and don't worry.  i've already earmarked "food photography" as a personal goal for 2015.

 these beauties were all from homer's farm and went into a beef stew idea that a friend told me about.

the before picture is much better than the after.  the cabbage chunk is having an awkward moment.  i tried to photograph it again the next day, but the rice came out looking like maggots and that didn't seem too appetizing for you.  the stew was okay, but not that great either.  i asked the same friend the next week for spice suggestions and she said she uses ginger and garlic, neither of which do i like.  i will have to put more thought into it next time.  i still think the dish has potential.

stir fry, i have discovered, is an excellent use for all those bell peppers.  i seem to be very good at growing peppers.  we actually loved this mix.  it was bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and baby carrots with chicken and jasmine rice.

i tried to slip in some tomatoes on a sandwich i made for g.  i knew better.  i do not like raw tomatoes, so of course my son would not.  the rest of it was awesome.  leftover taco meat with a layer of cheese and fried egg.  and on a side note, banana peppers fry up so well in taco meat.  they are much milder than even bell peppers, but add a bit of textures and veggie goodness.

even slightly cooking tomatoes makes them completely tolerable.  here they are on tortilla crust pizza.  g will even eat them this way.  i took the idea for tortilla pizza from the bbb living blog.  two thumbs up from me and g.  three actually as his little friend liked it too.

tomatoes and bell peppers making another appearance, this time as fish fillet garnishes.  plus a little stir fry on the side.

tacos with lettuce from the garden.  how fun to just step out the door to pick just enough for dinner.

and a few sweet johnny jump ups to garnish my niece's birthday cupcakes.  i love my garden.

now that school has started back, i'm needing to get back into a menu planning routine.  i took the first step in that direction this evening by going to the grown up grocery for the first time in a month.  we spent $175 and that was after taking off the $60 for my excellent couponing and sales watching discounts.  painful.  i'm not quite ready to make a real plan yet, but at least we have solid options.  next week i'll play martha.  until then, many happy dinners to you and yours.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

quality literature: the fault in our stars

this was good.  i enjoyed it.  it didn't blow me out of the water, but it was solidly good and enjoyable and did make me cry a time or two.  recommended. 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

jbs mercantile: project project life

the papercrafting kits are sold out already, so i thought I should dip into the historian since it is still in stock.  the historian is designed to work well with project life and since i need to get a move on with project life, it is pretty much a perfect match for my scrappy needs at the moment.  not to mention that it's also very beachy this month and i do have beach pictures.

i had a hard time choosing the photos to use.  i love so many from this day.  i finally decided to use the ones that went best with all the little stories that i wanted to tell.  i think i will get some of my favorite pretty ones printed larger to hang on the wall.

here is the spread with the page i shared yesterday.  while i really don't care if my pages match, i went ahead and made these two obviously go together with the gold puffy stickers since they are from the same day.  i like it.  the day and the spread.  :)

jbs mercantile: august reveal

well, i surely meant to finish up all my loose ends last week, so i could start august with a clean slate.  yesterday was the first day of school and prepping for it (as well as getting ready for a new month at jbs mercantile) totally kicked my butt.  i took g to cracker barrel for a celebratory dinner after school, then we ran by target for school supplies on tax free weekend.  by the time we got home at 7:00, i was completely exhausted.  i laid down on the couch with chichi and promptly fell into a coma.  poor g had to put the cold stuff in the fridge for me.  i managed to get up at 8:30 just long enough to get ready for bed by 9:00, lol.  whew!

the first day was great though!  i have a couple new boys from egypt and the promise of a new russian student on monday.  i have an amazing crop of freshmen and i'll be teaching elementary school again for the first time in i think eight years.  i feel like it's going to be a fun year!

and here is a page celebrating july.  sunny days and lazy days and beach days.  but even school days and hard work days and exhausted days are worth celebrating.  i don't take any of them for granted.

Monday, July 28, 2014

happy new (school) year!

i went back to work today.  summer vacation was awesome, but i really don't mind (too much) that it's over.  relaxation and laziness are good for me, yes, but so are schedule and routine.  i rather enjoy this time of year.  it's like a second new year and new beginnings are so good for getting me back on track.  like getting back on the track literally.  i have quite fallen off the exercise wagon.  i feel myself getting squishy.  oops!  yep, time to reassess my projects and goals and rediscover my motivation and drive to succeed.

on a side note, do you hate feet pictures?  maybe let's make that a rhetorical question.  i ask because i carpooled with a coworker today who mentioned really not liking feet.  i do like feet.  they are ever so useful and even at my maximum density i still liked the way my feet looked.  at least i do when i have my toenails nicely groomed and polished.  this summer i did not have time for such things and my sister was extremely appalled when she saw them.  I made sure to tidy them up for the first day of school.  (also, note the new flips.  cute, yes?  i got them in hot pink with black too.  oooh.  sparkly sequins.).

so, back to my goals.  several of them center around my "one little word" for 2014, "holiday."  to keep the word fresh in my mind, i decided to make a mini-album centered around it.  i went gangbusters on this through march and then nada.  i finally pulled it back out last week and forced the issue.  that first page on the left there came out totally fugly.  so bad that i had to redo it.  i'm not overly impressed with this second version, but it will have to do.  the next two pages are okay and may was hit or miss, but i finally found my groove once more with june.  sometimes, "get'er done" is what it takes.

then tying in with that i thought it would be nice to get a jump start on christmas crafting.  you know, finish all the old december daily type projects, make some christmas cards, make some crafties for gift-giving during the "holiday" season.  yea.  not so much.  the christmas papercrafting box stayed under the table in the shadows till last week when i knocked this page out after getting caught up on the aforementioned holiday mini-album.  what can i say?  i am a lazy bird, but when the ocd kicks in, it can be a glorious thing.

i did make some initial progress with the gift type projects.   i got that set of dish towels done and the cute easter baskets, but then started in on a couple baby afghans and got totally bogged down in them.  i have finally gotten those figured out and am cranking out rows at a steady pace now.  so, why not add some more projects to the mix then?  i'm loving jenni's new "crafted kits" and have plans to make this one for the nurses in the family.  i am a glutton for crafty punishment.

then there was the brilliant 52 week project that i decided to attempt.  it lasted through march too.  and since i'm still working on those baby afghans, it's still on hiatus. 

of course, i am doing project life again.  in my mind.  in actuality, i've gotten my photos printed through april, my photos sketched out through june, and my photos scrapbooked here and there and hardly at all.  but this is a project that i don't so much mind being behind on.  i know i'll just as much enjoy scrapbooking these photos when g goes off to college.  maybe even more so.

say "crappie sparkle nibbles" three times fast

this fish bait made me laugh. (six word memoir.  so easy.  so awesome.).

then over at get it scrapped! i set up a nice little list of monthly photo and/or word challenges for myself and whoever would like to play along.  goodness!  i was such a busy bee that last week in december coming up with all these ideas!  i managed to keep this one going through april till it fell by the wayside.  time to resurrect it.  august is "six word memoirs."  i think i can handle that.  brevity is a good thing.
and then on to the goals that I never mentioned publicly.  like, "oh it would be nice to read a book a week (52) books this year."  I've gotten 21 under my belt so far.  hey!  this one could actually happen.

incidentally, has anyone out there read this one?  not a rhetorical question, by the way.  i was only 40% through when the library called it home and so far i don't really much care for it.  is it worth putting it on hold again to finish it?

and then there's the "wouldn't it be fun to blog every day (365 times) this year?  yea, i'm laughing too.  but i might hit 31 posts this month.  july has been good for me.  (love this magazine, btw).

and the new year's resolution type things that you know you need to do:

organize the house - shockingly, i'm close to done with this one without hardly trying

tackle the landscaping - i found out i could do so many things this summer and i'm so looking forward to next spring when i can plant my little heart out instead of ripping out holly, pulling up rampant weeds, and chopping a felled bradford pear into garden poles.

paint our walls white - the landscaping accomplishments have made me brave.  i think i might actually attempt this one this fall once the cold winds drive me inside.

plan a trip to washington d.c. - i was hoping to take my boy to the smithsonian this summer (don't you think he would love that?), but we ended up going to florida, north carolina, and texas instead.  next summer for sure though.

it has truly been a joy to reflect on a summer well spent on this blog of mine.  and now I will enjoy the steady rhythm that is back to school (and schedule a few more adventures for the dog days of summer).  thanks so much for tagging along.  :)