It's Memorial Day Weekend, which generally means a much-anticipated 3-day weekend for some of us! Why not plan to take 30 minutes to preserve a favorite memory while you're kicking back? This weekend's featured layout is from TSR Designer, Rochelle Spears. She used the Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine layout kit from our May Doubleshot Kit to create a quick and easy layout that showcases a beloved photo. The chalkboard "You Make Me Happy" paper provides the perfect starting point, and the patterned papers and embellishments included in this layout kit bring everything together in less than 30 minutes!
"YOU MAKE ME HAPPY" LAYOUT RECIPE:
"You Make Me Happy" Chalkboard paper (layout base)
Photo: 4"x 6" (double-matted)
Yellow Chevron Paper: 8"x 5"
Pattern #1: 6"x 3.5" (bottom layer)
Pattern #2: 10.5"x 3"(notch both ends)
Pattern #3: 8"x 2" (notch both ends
Add chipboard and puffy sticker accents around photo, as desired.
It's May 22nd, and in our family, that means we are fast-approaching the final meets of our track seasons. All of my boys are distance runners on their respective school teams, so we live, breathe and EAT to prepare for the 1600m run, the 800m run, and the 4x800m relay between January and May. This week brings us to the culmination of all of the training and preparation - the Illinois State Track Meet for my 8th grade son and the Sectional Meet for my high school boys. It's make-or-break time; the final meets of the season, where everyone is hoping to run a new PR (personal record) or break a school record or finish the season in a blaze of glory!
As mom of the athletes, I have two jobs. First, I am their most enthusiastic cheerleader. I attend their races, I know their best race times, I keep track of their lap splits, and I celebrate their victories and lament their defeats right alongside them. All of that is my easy job. I love it. My second job is more challenging - feeding them when they're in training and competing. This is more hit-and-miss, although I have learned a few things over the years. First of all, I almost always feed them pasta the night before a big race (mostly because they all have it in their head that they NEED to eat pasta to perform at their best). I decided years ago that it was just easier to feed them pasta than it was to see the look of disappointment on their face if we have anything other than pasta before a big meet. Second, I pack them a big bag of extra snacks to take to their meets. I "try" to focus on healthier things to eat, like nuts and fruits and healthier grains, but I have to balance that out with things that they will actually eat and things that will travel well and keep without having to be refrigerated. Track meets are long events and don't always move along quickly, so it is better to have a variety of carbs and protein choices so that they can plan what they want to eat and when they want to eat it based on what race they are running and how quickly the meet is moving along. Staving off hunger is key, but they can't eat too much or the wrong thing too close to a race, or they will get sick. Tricky business...
I found a homemade granola recipe several years ago that I like to make this time of year to send in their track bags. It is sweetened with honey instead of sugar and has dried fruit and/or nuts in it. I usually add a few chocolate chips in there as well because chocolate chips just make people HAPPY! The boys can munch on the granola between races, and we all LOVE to eat it in a bowl with milk in the morning. It's healthier and more filling than a cookie, and if you add some good nuts, like almonds, you'll have the addition of protein as well. Everyone in our family (including spectators) will be enjoying this delicious snack at our track meets this weekend. Oh, and it is WAY CHEAPER and tastes WAY MORE DELICIOUS than store-bought granola, so it's a win-win all the way around!
2 cups whole wheat flour
6 cups rolled oats (I generally use quick or old-fashioned oats)
1 cup coconut
1cup wheat germ or ground flaxseed
1/2 cup water
1 cup oil
2 t. Vanilla
2 t. Salt
1 cup dried fruit (raisins, craisins, dried cherries, or whatever you prefer)
1/2 cup - 1 cup nuts
1 cup chocolate chips
Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Combine remaining ingredients in another bowl, except dried fruit, which will be added after cooking. Combine the contents of both bowls and mix thoroughly. Spread mixture evenly on two spray-treated or greased large, rimmed cookie sheets. Bake at 250 degrees for 1 hour, stirring twice during baking. Stir in dried fruit. Cool. Store in airtight containers.
Today, I wanted to share with you my Five Favorite Apps for Project Life. I use all five of these apps on a regular basis, and they really help make managing dates, journaling, and printing photos a whole lot easier. After typing that list, I'm thinking these apps would be useful for any type of memory keeping, not just Project Life. 1. Day One
DayOne is an iPhone/iPad based journaling app that reminds you to make an entry and syncs with all your devices through iCloud. You can add photos to your entries and make multiple entries a day. Combined with a calendar view, this app is great for keeping track of daily life, whether you’re doing Project Life or not. Bonus, you can tag your entries with keywords (such as ProjectLife) for easy search ability later.
Momento is also a journaling app, but it syncs across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and forms nice little entries day by day with all your feeds. Plus, you can also journal right in the app (with pictures). Unfortunately, it doesn't have a reminder function like Day One, but for 99 cents, you can't complain.
InstaWeather is a photo app that allows you to place an overlay onto your photos and then share on Instagram or save to your cameral roll. The app automatically adds the location and the forecast, which is a great way to add journaling to Project Life.
PicFrame helps you combine multiple photos into amazing looking frames that you can save to your computer or share to Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr. With 73 adjustable frames, support for up to 9 photos in a single frame, rounded corners and plenty of border patterns, you will always have a unique look. Another great function is that you can change the frame's ratio to be square or rectangle, which is perfect for the different sized pockets in the Project Life page protectors.
The Walgreens app makes printing pictures from your phone super easy! You can edit the photos and then send them to the Walgreens of your choice for one hour printing. Not only can you print from your camera roll, but you can also print from Instagram.
Well, that's my top five apps. Do you have a favorite app that helps you with your memory keeping? If so, please leave me a comment because I'm always on the lookout for ways to make scrapbooking faster and easier.
This Thursday's post is a little later than I shoot for, so if you are a blog follower, maybe you can pick this one up on your evening blog check-in instead of the typical morning check-in. My post today is a Public Service Announcement for everyone out there who suffers from a serious reaction to poison ivy/poison oak/poison sumac. I wanted to bring to your attention to something that I learned the hard way this week.
(BACK-STORY BEGINS HERE...)
Over the years, I have become seriously allergic to poison ivy/oak/sumac. I am ever-diligent when in areas where I might come into contact with it because if I get it, I can't seem to get rid of it. In an effort to avoid possible exposure, I stay on trails, I wear long pants when hiking, and I won't handle my kids' clothes if they have been in a place where they could have come into contact with it. My kids and hubby all seem to be immune to the stuff, but not me.
(THIS WEEK'S STORY BEGINS HERE...)
My story starts with the fact that fresh mangoes were on sale at the grocery store this week. I don't eat a lot of fresh mangoes, but I recently received a couple of packages of delicious dried mangoes from a lovely TSR member in the Philippines a few weeks ago, and I thought I would try some fresh ones again because the dried version was so tasty. So, I picked up two fresh mangoes last Wednesday and ate one. The skin of a mango is hard, like that of an avocado, and as I cut through the mango, a lot of the fruit was left sticking to the inside of the skin-shell, so I did what any reasonable person on a quest for tasty fruit would do... I just tipped that shell up to my mouth and ate the fruit that was stuck to it right out of the inside of the mango skin-shell, and it was tasty. (Who knew that I should have done a web-search for "how to cut up a mango...")
(not me, but you get the idea about my mango-eating technique)
Fast-forward to Thursday evening when I noticed that my upper lip and the corners of my mouth felt extremely chapped all of a sudden - weird. I put lip balm on them and it didn't help - also weird. By Sunday morning, I noticed that the left side of my face was starting to look red and that I had what I thought was a large cluster of acne popping up next to my nose - getting weirder. By the time I got home from church that afternoon, the whole left side of my face was tight and red and puffing up with bumps. From past experience with reactions to poison ivy, I felt with certainty that this was the same kind of reaction that I was having on my face, but I had no idea how I could have gotten poison ivy on my face. I haven't been working in the yard; I haven't been on any hikes; I haven't been in any places where I could have been exposed, especially on my face. I was perplexed, and my face was getting puffier by the minute. My husband suggested that perhaps my "chapped lips/mouth" might be part of the same reaction, so I did a google search for, "Can you get poison ivy on your lips?"
(again, not me, but you get the idea about how the rash started around the mouth)
(MY SHOCKING DISCOVERY...) My web-search led me to a page where I discovered, much to my surprise, that mangoes are in the same plant family with poison ivy, and that the SAP/skin from this tasty fruit has the same substance in it that is in poison ivy - urushiol. The skin/sap of the mango contains enough urushiol that, if you are already sensitized to it, will cause contact dermatitis (that nasty "poison-ivy" reaction) from exposure. I have eaten mangoes before, so I knew I wasn't allergic to the fruit, but I had never eaten a mango like one eats a quartered orange, so I was certain that the reaction making its way across my face was from the skin/sap of this freshly-cut mango. (I had a second mango in the fridge, and I carefully looked it over and discovered that there was indeed sap on the outside of the skin, which I would never have noticed had I not been looking for it.) Anyway, I went to the doctor on Monday morning and got a prescription for Prednisone to stop the reaction, and now, almost four days later, my face is getting back to normal, and the itching and burning has subsided.
(new mango cutting technique to employ next time, promptly followed by handwashing in cold water)
(PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT PART OF THIS POST... THE POINT!):
The doctor confirmed that she had another patient who had the same reaction to the sap of the mango, so I wanted to get the word out to all of you who are already susceptible to poison ivy/oak/sumac... BEWARE THE FRESH MANGO! If you are one of the lucky ones who has had a bad reaction to poison ivy/oak/sumac, then you also might be susceptible to that same reaction if you get the sap from a fresh mango on your skin. I'm pretty sure that if you wash the mango off in cold water prior to cutting it up and if you wash your hands/face immediately with cold water after contact, then you could probably wash that urushiol off of your skin before it reacts (just like you would do if you were exposed to poison ivy/oak/sumac and were lucky enough to know about it before your skin started erupting). Furthermore, I'm not suggesting that you should never eat a mango again - but you should probably add Mangos to your list of things to HANDLE CAREFULLY to avoid a possible reaction that might require prescription drugs to quell.
I have included the link to the short article that I found that enlightened me. I found the comments section to be especially helpful as I found my exact symptoms mirrored again and again from other urushiol-reactors-to-mango-sap-sufferers. I hope that my experience might help to keep some of you healthier and more comfortable with the Mango-eating-season coming into full swing!
It's Mother's Day this Sunday, so your challenge for this weekend is to pull out your supplies and create a layout that highlights your MOM! Record a favorite memory or make a list of some of the things that you remember her doing for your family when you were growing up. Pair this warm and fuzzy journaling with a photo of her (or better yet, you and your mom together) and preserve it altogether on a scrapbook page.
The act of capturing some of your love and appreciation on a tribute page will make you feel good, and if you share it with your mom on Facebook, it will make her feel good too! And then on Sunday, take some time to enjoy your own kiddos!
Good Morning, friends! It's Thursday, so we're going "Off-Topic" today, and I'm going to bring you another one of my personal favorite recipes again this week. (I sense a theme going here, but I am assuming that cooking is something that we all have in common - whether it is a chore, a hobby or a passion, we all have to do it, right? So, I just want to share a few of my own personal tried-and-trusted favorites to give you a few more things to try in your own cooking arsenals.)
First, let me preface this by telling you that I do not consider myself super-creative in the kitchen (or anywhere else, for that matter). I like to have a plan, and I like to follow that said plan, but I am not extremely rigid either - more of a "loose-plan" kind of a girl. I'll take a recipe or a scrapbooking sketch or an itinerary and tweak it as I go along to fit my tastes and needs. I seem to do this in all areas of my life. When it comes to cooking, which I love to do, by the way, I generally always start with a recipe, and I seem to find recipes all over the place.
Take this Gourmet Spinach Soup, for example. It is my new favorite soup, and I found the recipe in a mystery novel that I read last year, Dying For Chocolate by Diane Mott Davidson. This book is book #2 in a series about a small-town caterer turned part-time sleuth. These books are great for light bedtime reading, and the recipes that I've tried have been really good - so double my fun!
This soup uses common easy-to-find ingredients and is super easy to whip together for a weeknight meal. Eating this soup means that my boys eat fresh spinach, so it's a win-win for everyone. I did, of course, tweak this recipe for my tastes. I added sausage, and I use baby spinach instead of that full-grown-bitter-tasting-nastiness known as regular spinach. Bacon bits or ham would be really good in this soup too, as the flavors would blend beautifully with the swiss cheese, but I almost always have sausage on hand, so that is what I usually use. In fact, it's on my menu for tomorrow night, and I can hardly wait!
GOURMET SPINACH SOUP
5 T. butter
1/4 lb. mushrooms, cleaned and diced
1 scallion, chopped
5 T. flour
2 c. chicken broth
2 c. milk (I use more at the end if I want to thin the soup a bit)
1/2 t. salt
black pepper, to taste
1/4 lb. cream cheese, softened and cubed
1 c. grated swiss cheese
3/4 lb. fresh baby spinach (washed and chopped)
1 lb. ground sausage (cooked and drained)
Melt butter in a large saucepan. Saute onions and mushrooms until tender. Add flour and stir just until flour is cooked (2 minutes). Whisk in first chicken broth and then milk, stirring until thickened. Add salt, pepper, cream cheese, swiss cheese and a big of ground nutmeg (optional); stir until melted. Stir in spinach. Heat and stir very gently. Add cooked sausage. Season to taste; serve hot. (I add another cup of milk to thin the soup a bit.)
Today, we're taking a closer look at our (2) additional stand-alone May Kits - our Project Life Kit and our Doubleshot Kit. Our monthly Project Life Kit features products designed for pocket scrapbooking - 4x6 and 3x4 cards and smaller and flatter embellishments and journaling and labeling pieces. Each month, we give you (4) different lines that include enough products to complete at least a 2-page spread with each line (generally more). When possible, we try to coordinate the Project Life Kit lines with the lines in the Flavors of the Month Kit and/or the Doubleshot Kit to give our customers maximum flexibility!
May Project Life Kit:
My Mind's Eye Mildred
Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine
Simple Stories Homespun
Our monthly Doubleshot Kit is set up like our main monthly Flavors of the Month Kit, only our Doubleshot Kit are, what we like to call, a little "plumpier." Featuring (2) completely different product lines that what you're getting in the Flavors of the Month Kit and additional cardstock and embellishments, the Doubleshot Kit gives you more of what you're looking for in layout kits.
May Doubleshot Kit:
Pink Paislee Hello Sunshine
My Mind's Eye Chalk Studio 2
Check out the full contents list HERE and HERE and see some pages and projects created with these kits in our Idea Gallery HERE.
We have just discovered that due to a unknown glitch in our email backup system, not all e-mails to firstname.lastname@example.org have been delivered to our inbox this week. While we have continued to receive many e-mails each day, we do know that we have not received ALL e-mails that were sent from April 27th through May 1st, and we cannot determine exactly how many e-mails were sent that were not delivered to our inbox. This glitch has been fixed, so all emails are being delivered and backed up properly again.
ALL NSD Sale orders placed through our online shopping cart are NOT affected. If you placed an order online through our shopping cart, you order is in the queue and we are working on getting everything invoiced and shipped out! You do NOT need to contact us about an order placed through our online shopping cart.
HOWEVER, if you are a TSR Member and you sent your NSD Sale order via e-mail, please resend that e-mail again just to be safe. We have received several e-mail orders that are currently in our queue, and we are working our way through the queue - but we wanted to encourage everyone to just e-mail us AGAIN with your order (or question) so that we can make sure that we got it. (I'd rather delete a duplicate e-mail than to miss an order or question.)
ALSO, if you are a TSR Member and you sent me an e-mail regarding your May Kits (add-ons, skips, etc.), please just resend that e-mail to me so that I can make sure that I get that information before we process your credit card on the 4th.
So sorry about this techno-glitch. Again, because I don't know what e-mails I might have missed getting, I'd rather have you resend an e-mail than for me to miss one from you. Thanks so much!
We interrupt our regularly scheduled programming to make the following announcement regarding our NSD Sale that is currently in progress:
We have received a great response to our 50% Discount Sale, going on through May 3rd. (Of course we are receiving a great response; it's a FABULOUS SALE - and we don't run sales very often, so people are anxious to take advantage of thee rare discounts on a huge variety of kits and items while they can.) I know that many of you have emailed asking questions and/or looking for order confirmations and totals. We are in the process of answering all of your emails in the order that we have received them, but it is going to take some time to get through all of the emails and to get all of the new orders set up and processed. So, be patient with me as I work my way through all of the emails and orders over the course of the next couple of days.
If you have NOT received a response to your question or an order confirmation by the evening of the 3rd, please email me again just to be sure, as I hope to be caught up on all correspondence by he morning of the 3rd (at the latest).
Remember, everything in our store over $5.00 is half price (excluding the May 2014 Club Kits). All quantities are limited to the stock that we have on hand, so items will be sold on a first-come, first-served basis. If you want to read all of the details, please click HERE!