Monday, August 31, 2015

august recap

Every month at the end of the month, I recap my monthly activities and goals and link to various personal blog posts. See this year's monthly recaps here. See 2014's monthly recaps here.
august goals
That's it. Today is the last day of August. My girls went back to school this month. I am both sad and relieved. The routine has been nice, but I miss their (typically) happy faces. (Happy if we were doing amusing things. Not so happy if it was time for chores. lol).

We did some fun things this month. We went to Salt Creek Beach in Dana Point. See more pictures of it here.
august recap
We celebrated my brother Joshua's birthday with a superhero, "little kids birthday" party at the end of July, but I shared it on the blog this month. See more pictures of it here.
august recap
The girls and I were invited to a "cute" ;) tea party this month. See more pictures of it here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
The sky this month:
august recap
(*Insert heart eyes emoji*)

I documented the last couple of weeks of our summer break in my summer book.
summer break diary 2015: week # 8
See week #8 here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
See week #9 here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
...and the last week, week #10, here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
Last week, I shared the entirety of my book in two parts for easy viewing. See part 1 here and part 2 here.

Speaking of documenting, I asked my sister Jasmine to share her pocket scrapbook / project life book with us. She started sharing this month and will continue to share her book next month. I am really enjoying this series. :)
august recap
See Jasmine's book this month: January here, February here, March here, and April here.

In other news, I added 3 Greek yogurt recipes to my "Greek yogurt 52 ways" project this month.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 22 cinnamon peaches with cookies
See #22 cinnamon peaches with cookies here.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 23 ina garten's orange banana smoothie
See #23 orange banana smoothie here.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash
See #24 yellow summer squash bread here.

All of these recipes were winners. I am r.e.a.l.l.y. enjoying this project!

Finally... I'm ready to share how I did with my August goals. :)
five on friday
  • Do Project "465" (inspired by Jessica O'Brien)
    • I didn't complete this project. I got through 15 days. I plan to continue with this project next month.
  • Do at least 1 fun activity with my girls every day for the rest of their summer break
    • My girls and I got sick towards the beginning of the month, so we missed a couple of days. I consider this goal a success overall though. 
  • Complete our summer memory book
    • Completed!
  • Work through our summer bucket list
  • Reestablish my regular morning routine when my girls start school again 
    • I did well with this. Love my morning routine.
  • Help them reestablish theirs, as well
    • Hm. They have been sticking to my morning routine for them. Whether they realize it or not is a separate matter. ;)
I'll be back tomorrow with my goals for September. See you then! :)

Friday, August 28, 2015

five on friday

Happy Friday!
book exchange party
My sister Jasmine and I planned a "book exchange birthday" party for our sister Jennifer a couple of years ago. That was a fun party! See it in more detail here. I've been looking through my "Pretty Parties" posts to gather ideas for Juli's and Lani's birthdays next month. Juli is turning 2. Lani is turning 12.

I have 5 links I'd like to share with you!

1. I came across 2 adorable, yet down-to-earth, parties this week, which are inspiring our parties for next month. First: Nikki Mans' celebration for her 11 year old daughter Pazely. An outdoor celebration by the lake?! How fun! Nikki has the best ideas!

2. Second: Natalie Noack's Vintage-Inspired Backyard Birthday Barbeque. She had me at s'mores.

3. Sarah von Bargen discussed 39 Ways To Wring The Last Drops Of Awesome From Your Summer. How many of these ideas can I incorporate into our little celebrations next month??

4. I'll have to document these parties, right?! I'm taking notes from Ann-Marie Espinoza's post: Briar's First Birthday Party Album. That binder from Target's $1 spot is "eeeek!" cute. (That's really cute).

5. Finally and though it's off topic, I couldn't walk away without gushing about morning routines now- could I? How To Create A Morning Routine You'll Love by Mattie James via Sarah's Web Time Wasters. Mattie's post if full of good information and links to other resources. It's a must-read.

Hope you have a good one!

See more Five on Friday posts here.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

greek yogurt 52 ways: #24 yellow summer squash bread

greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash
Our garden hasn't been great this year what with the the drought situation in California. We do have an abundance of yellow squash (and a couple zucchini) though! Lani suggested we make zucchini bread the other day... that got my wheels turning. Surely, there's a recipe for yellow squash bread. I came across this recipe and thought we'd give it a try. I substituted Greek yogurt for vegetable oil, which lessened the calories, but retained the moisture.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow squash bread
For this bread, preheat your oven to 350°. Then combine:
1 1⁄2 cups of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon of baking soda
1⁄4 teaspoon of salt
2 teaspoons of ground cinnamon
3⁄4 cup of sugar

In a separate bowl, combine
2 eggs and
1⁄2 cup of Greek yogurt.
Mix in:
1 1⁄2 cups of shredded yellow squash.
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash
Finally, add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients until combined. Pour into a greased (I used nonstick spray) loaf pan. Bake for 35-40 min. or until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Cool. Then...
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash
Eat! I made this bread Tuesday night thinking we could have it for breakfast the next day. Nope. We finished it all that night. I made more last night after my girls were in bed. I told Jesse, "I need to make this for a blog post tomorrow... so it's not for eating, yet." He said, "Ah. That's mean." Ha. So we ate some last night and my girls had some for breakfast. I made more this morning... for this post... and for eating! ;)
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash
Have any Greek yogurt, dessert recipes you'd like to share? Leave your recipes or links in the comments. :)

If you try a recipe I share, be sure to let me know! Use the hashtag: #greekyogurt52ways.

**This year I'm making Greek yogurt 52 ways. Read about why I'm doing this project right here and read about the health benefits of Greek yogurt right here. See all of the ways I've incorporated Greek yogurt into my dessert or breakfast so far here. I recently completed a 52 sandwiches project. Read more about that project here.**
greek yogurt 52 ways: # 24 yellow summer squash

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life: april 2015

This is another special, guest post by my friend (and sister ;) Jasmine. I invited her to share her 2015 pocket scrapbook with us. (See her first guest post: 12 Dates // Valentine's Day or Anniversary Gift Idea; her second: 8 1/2 x 11" Pocket Scrapbook Idea; her third: Making Time to Craft; her fourth: Active Living; and her fifth: How to Digitally Crop and Resize Your Photos).
jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015
I love springtime. I love the colors, I love the weather, I love the holidays. I’m a fan of spring. The month of April also happens to be one of my favorites because it is my anniversary month! I’m excited to share the layouts from one of my favorite times of the year!
jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015
For this first layout, I used a 9-pocket page protector and an 8-pocket page protector. For this layout I used journaling cards from KraftMidnight, and Seafoam core kits. I also pulled a card from the Me & My Big Ideas Here and Now Edition. I used one of my favorite techniques, which is to print directly on my journaling cards. I start by printing whatever it is I want on a standard sheet of printer paper. I,  then, superimpose the journaling card directly on the printed sheet and tape the edges of the journaling card to the same sheet of paper. Lastly, I feed the paper (with the journaling card) through the printer, and print again. Voila. Custom journaling card!
jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015
For my second layout, I used journaling cards from Midnight and Me & My Big Ideas- You are Awesome (Yes, you are!) Edition. I kept it simple with a wooden embellishment from, you guessed it, Freckled Fawn.
jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015
For my next layout I used two 9-pocket page protectors and journaling cards from Seafoam, Me & My Big Ideas, and Midnight. I embellished this layout with a flair badge from A Flair for Buttons. If you want a more detailed explanation on how I created the full-page spread on the right-hand side, visit here.
jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015
Here is my fourth and final spread for the month of April. I included journaling cards from We R Memory Keepers- Chalkboard Collection and their Dreamy Collection . I handwrote “Poolside Bliss” on a faded picture of the pool. I like to fade pictures and journal on them; it’s a nice way to include a photo without necessarily making it a focal point. Lastly, I used stickers from Me & My Big Ideas to spell out “Calico," a wooden embellishment from Freckled Fawn, and used my handy dandy technique to print “2 Years and Counting.”

*Day Dreams* I'd really like to celebrate my anniversary all over again.

Until next year, April. :)

Thank you Jasmine! I love these spreads!

Keep up with Jasmine on Instagram. :)jasmine's pocket scrapbook // project life :: april 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

our summer 2015 pocket scrapbook (part 2)

our summer 2015 pocket scrapbook (part 2)
As I mentioned yesterday in part 1, I set out to document our summer break this year as I've done in the past. (See 2014's book here and the little I shared of 2013's here). See how I organized my book for this year right here. Though I shared my layouts week by week, I thought it would be nice to have my layouts in one place for easy viewing and a short recap for those who weren't able to follow along.
our summer 2015 pocket scrapbook (part 1)
Again, as I mentioned yesterday, every week my girls went to the library to get their weekly prize for reading throughout the week and to watch the library's summer reading program. My mom also took them to her house every week for embroidering, crocheting, Spanish lessons, cooking classes, and dinner.

Week #6's highlights include colorful manicures/pedicures, bike-riding (Evie learned to ride a two-wheeled bike!), and going to the drive-in with friends and family. See week #6 in more detail here.
summer break diary 2015 week #6
summer break diary 2015 week #6
summer break diary 2015 week #6
summer break diary 2015 week #6
Week #7's highlights include dinner at my sister-in-law's, dinner for my brother Joshua's birthday, putting pocket letters together for pen pals, and friends coming over. See week #7 in more detail here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 7
summer break diary 2015: week# 7
summer break diary 2015: week# 7
summer break diary 2015: week# 7
Week #8's highlights include my brother's superhero party, going to the beach, and watching Napoleon Dynamite. See week #8 in more detail here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 8
summer break diary 2015: week # 8














summer break diary 2015: week # 8
summer break diary 2015: week # 8
Week #9's highlights include having dinner for my brother Jonathan's birthday (lots of celebrating this month), playing Toss Up, back to school shopping, and visiting with friends. See week #9 in more detail here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
summer break diary 2015: week # 8
summer break diary 2015: week # 9
And finally, week #10's highlights include more back to school shopping and a final "back-to-school" dinner with ice cream for dessert. School started this week. See week #10 in more detail here.
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
summer break diary 2015: week # 10
And that's that. I was so happy to see Evie's summary of our summer vacation on a worksheet at school- without editing this is what she wrote: "watched Home, went to my friend's house, beach, a friend visited, went to the deep end, read a scary book, my little sister juggled, saw a table float, watched a magic show, learned to ride a 2 wheeled bike, went to the library, Subway, 2 scoops of ice cream, watched Inside Out, saw a juggling show, I held a snake, saw an animal show, got magnet dolls, went to Las Vegas, went in a pool, got new clothes."

I mentioned last week that I made copies of the worksheet and had Lani and Addy write what they remembered, too, to include in our pocket book. Again without editing, Lani wrote: "firework show, scooter, beach, g-ma's house, Tangled, paper bag album, backpack, 2 scoops of ice cream, McDonald's ice cream, father's day breakfast, school shopping, Batman party, Inside Out, Vegas, Home, library, pen pal, Subway, Abby's house, McDonald's ice cream [that's not a typo- she mentioned that twice]." Addy said, "went school shopping, got magnet dolls, went to the lake and fed ducks, went to the beach, had carrot cake at Jon's birthday, got new backpacks and mine came with gloves, Lani went school shopping- got Evie a new dress and got me an Inside Out shirt, we got a watch for Evie, grandma got us new pencils, went to the library, with my grandma- saw a show, a guy thought I had a cast, I juggled, went to my grandma's house."

It was so sweet. I hope they always remember their summers as happy ones. :)

Thanks for following along!