Friday, August 29, 2014

five on friday

1. I eat bananas every day. Here are 5 reasons to love bananas (from Rachel Swalin for Health).

2.  I'm going to challenge myself in September to do Jillian's Shred-it with Weights workout a few times a week. I am reinspired after reading that dumbbell swings "burn fat and sculpt your lower body" (from Giselle Castro for Women's Health Magazine). I remember from Jillian's workout that dumbbell swings (Jillian uses a kettlebell) felt like a simple move, but my legs were always sore the next day. I also came across this article from Women's Health Magazine by Alison Goldman: 8 Kettlebell Exercises That'll Sculpt Your Entire Body. Most of the exercises featured there are in Jillian's DVD.

3. I think these back-to-school bell pepper faces Nikki made are so clever and cute.

4. Jesse says Julianne (my 11 month old if you're new) looks like Rizzo from the movie Grease because of her curly, short hair. Ha!

5. I'm trying not to spend money on unnecessary things, but this cactus stamp set designed by Tina from Life.Love.Paper. for Studio Calico might be a necessity.

:D Hope your have a good one!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

52 sandwiches #43: french bread pizza

Though I would never say a burrito is a sandwich (what, Panera??), this French bread pizza is kind of an open-faced sandwich. Just go with it, k?
I saw the recipe for this French bread pizza on Joy the Baker's blog. I really liked the 2 sandwiches I made using her recipes. I made her pepper jack grilled cheese (see here) and her lasagna grilled cheese (see here).
I knew her French bread pizza was going to be a winner when Joy tied this sandwich to her grade school's "grease-bomb of a French bread sausage pizza." I totally had that pizza and totally felt like Joy did about it- like "it was the best that had ever happened to me." I slightly modified her recipe to please my picky children.
sandwich no. 43: french bread pizza
First I sliced the French bread in half, then I brushed olive oil on the bread, and put it in the broiler for a few minutes. When it was nicely toasted, I spread pizza sauce on each side (I use regular spaghetti sauce. Is it just me or does pizza sauce taste too sweet?) I topped the sauce with shredded, mozzarella cheese, and cooked turkey sausage. Then I stuck it back in the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melted. 
sandwich no. 43: french bread pizza
I found Joy's recipe a few weeks ago, and we have been making it weekly. "Grease-bomb," you say? Yay-uh.

** I am attempting to make 52 sandwiches. Read more about how this project got started here. See all the sandwiches I've made so far here.**

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

workspace wednesday

workspace wednesday 
Over the years when people have seen my scrapbooks or handmade items, they ask, "Where do you find the time?" I often laugh in response, but sometimes I think, "I make time!" I think, "Others make time to watch TV, go shopping, take afternoon naps, get coffee with friends, clean their house, read, go to the beach, go back to school, etc. I make time for this." We all have our order of priorities. Lately though, I find myself asking, "How does she have time??" I find that my true priorities (tending to my family's everyday needs and playing taskmaster with my daughters- "it's time for breakfast," "it's time to go to school," "stop playing/it's time for homework," "brush your teeth," etc.) are consuming my time so much that I hardly have as much leisure time as I used to. Then I have to reevaluate and truly look over how I spend my time and, more importantly, how I prioritize what's worth my time. For example, I have gotten into the bad habit of feeling like my house needs to be spotless. (It never is, by the way). Every room seems cluttered, and some truly are, but some are just evidence of a family that lives here. We live here! So there are toys everywhere (EVERYWHERE)- who cares? It's not that my house needs to be spotless, it's that I need to shift my perspective. Life is too short to stay on top of washing dishes. The dishes can pile up a little more. I have a summer Project Life book to complete! ;)

There are dust bunnies collecting in a corner, but I am sorting through my summer break pictures to have them printed soon and arranging my layouts. My priorities are finally in order. ;)

Happy mess-making!

P.S. See how I'm organizing my summer 2014 book here. See some spreads from 2013's book here.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

summer break 2014 recap

summer break recap
This year, like last year (see 2013's summer break activities here), we did one, fun activity together every day for my daughters' summer break. The point was to keep busy and avoid a "bummer summer" as Junie B. Jones would say (Evelyn, who's 8, is currently reading the Junie B. Jones series). I documented our various projects/fun outings together and shared them here on Saturdays and sometimes more detailed projects within the week. See all of our 2014 summer break activities here. Read more about how this project got started here.

We had an awesome summer break. Sure, there were times they got bored. Sure, there were times they got into arguments. Sure, there were days with too much tv. Sure, some days all I wanted to do was nap all afternoon (do teenagers do that still? I want in on those kind of naps). The days that shine through though are the ones filled with laughter, the ones with ice cream melting too quickly and getting all over tiny faces, the ones with big smiles at our latest painting project, the ones with eyes gleaming at a growing garden, the ones with sisters forming friendships. Summer break is over, but we are taking our memories and favorite moments (and repeating our favorites next summer). 

If you weren't able to follow along, this is a list of highlights by week:

Every Tuesday we went to the library and every Friday we went to get a frozen treat.
Week 1's highlights included making a summer calendar, making a summer manifesto, and planting vegetable (and watermelon seeds) for a late summer harvest). Click 
here for additional pictures and links.

Week 2's highlights included ribbon weavings, paper rockets, and a sofa fort. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 3's highlights included making silly faces using potato stamps and Spanish lessons. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 4's highlights included making terrarium planters and bug patterned tote bags. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 5's highlights included working in our garden, baking pies, and celebrating the 4th of July. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 6's highlights included our growing garden and bug patterned tote bags. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 7's highlights included attending VBS at church and banana splits at a local diner. Click here for additional pictures and links.
Week 8's highlights included a trip to the park to ride scooters and a discussion of our perfect outfits. Click here for more pictures and links.
Week 9's highlights included celebrating a couple birthdays, playing a new, thrifted game, and stargazing. Click here for more pictures and links.
Week 10's highlights included a stay at The Saguaro Palm Springs and back to school shopping. Click here for more pictures and links.
Week 11's highlights include making a picnic blanket together and a back to school dinner. Click here for more pictures and links.

Summer break is over, but summer isn't. We're determined to get to the beach at least once this summer! ;)

Monday, August 25, 2014

30 day green smoothie challenge

green smoothies
I set monthly goals at the beginning of every month. One of my goals for August is to do a 30 day green smoothie challenge. My purpose for this goal is to increase my daily vegetable servings. (I mentioned that I wasn't feeling vegetables lately). My go to green smoothie is a big handful of spinach, 1 banana, and 1 cup of soy milk. Sometimes I add Greek yogurt, but I prefer without. I did try a kale smoothie, but I didn't like it. I was also in a rush and didn't blend as well as I should have. One word: chunky. *gag* I'm trying to expand my options, but I'm nervous to put in any other vegetable. Do you have any tried and true green smoothie recipes you'd like to share? 

I'm going to complete this challenge even if it's not for 30 consecutive days. (I've done 15 so far). When I complete the challenge, I plan to list some of the benefits I've noticed. I'll tell you one right now- I've lost 2 pounds. I can't say it's directly correlated to the smoothies (look at me putting my Methods and Statistics class from college to use), but maybe it is! ;)

Seriously. Maybe it is! Share some green smoothie recipes if you have 'em.