Monday, July 27, 2015

blue sky planners for target

If you're following along, I will be sharing summer break 2015 week #7 tomorrow. :)

day designer planners & calendars for target
I started goal-setting when I was in 7th grade (though I wouldn't have called it that then. My unspoken goal was to get good grades). All students at my middle school were given planners called "Binder Reminders." (These "binder reminders" were given to me throughout my schooling- even in college). We were to use our binder reminder for writing down homework assignments, class projects, tests/quizzes coming up, etc. They were a good way for students and parents to know what was expected. They were also a good way to learn how to juggle various academic assignments from multiple classes, which can be confusing and easily forgotten. The point of the "binder reminder" was to help students succeed in school. Looking back now, I realize as a parent how brilliant and effective this tool was for students and how helpful it must have been for parents.

I'm not given a yearly "Binder Reminder" anymore, but I still try to practice the skills I learned at an early age- to be more organized, mindful, goal-oriented, and successful in my everyday life. That often starts with finding a good planner. As I said, I am no longer given a planner anymore; I am now free to choose the planner which works best for me. I was recently sent 3 planners for students or those who prefer the July 2015 to June 2016 format- 2 from the Day Designer and Blue Sky collaboration and 1 from the Senn & Sons and Blue Sky collaboration. The planners launched in Target stores a little over a week ago. I am currently using a planner from the Sugar Paper and Blue Sky collaboration. I use it every day. It's beautiful. (See a picture of it here). I am passionate about planners as you can see. ;) The planners from Blue Sky are well made and pretty! See for yourself:
day designer planners & calendars for target
The rest of the planners from Blue Sky (including other colors and designs) can be seen here.

This is one of the Day Designer 8.5x11" weekly/monthly planners:
day designer planners & calendars for target
(Other 8.5x11" planners from Blue Sky can be found here).

Though I really like the floral pattern (isn't it lovely?!) I especially like that it has a clear pocket in the front for personalizing. (My high school self would have put a collage of magazine cutouts on the cover for sure).
day designer planners & calendars for target
This is one of the Day Designer 5x8" weekly/monthly planners:
day designer planners & calendars for target
(Other 5x8" planners from Blue Sky can be seen here).

You know how I feel about hot pink. (It's one of my favorites if you don't know. ;)
day designer planners & calendars for target
day designer planners & calendars for target
The Day Designer planners and calendars are nicely designed.

See all of the Day Designer and Blue Sky products here.

I also asked to see the Senn&Sons 5x8" Kraft "Triangles" planner:
day designer planners & calendars for target
day designer planners & calendars for target
It is also a very nice planner! See the rest of Senn&Sons line with Blue Sky here.

Decisions. Decisions. Check out the lines at Target to see which one works best for you (or your student!).

Related: goal-setting (in 4 parts)
day designer planners & calendars for target

Friday, July 24, 2015

five on friday

five on friday
(On Fridays my sister Jasmine has the day off. She comes over and Project Lifes- yeah, I'm using it as a verb. I love her pretty "mess.")

Anywhooo, happy Friday! I have 5+ links to share with you. :)

1. I'm back to talking about morning routines. (See my original post about this topic here). This week, I read "6 Morning Rituals Healthy And Successful People Do Every Day" by Osha Key. I'm all for tip #5: "Plan your day before starting work or running errands." I  find that I do get sidetracked, but my morning plan refocuses me.

2. You already know I'm a fan of A Beautiful Mess. This week Elsie Larson discussed "Home Decor 101: Decorating With Your Other Half." Jesse and I usually align in our home decor tastes, but sometimes he gives me sideway glances. ;) This is good advice, in general: "Learn to be a master of compromise and always keep an open mind!"

3. I like all of that which is home decor and home organization related popping up in my feed lately. This week Sasha Brodeur from Lemonade Makin Mama shared "Organized Summer, Vol. 1- 'Ten Minute Drawer Fix.'" Jen Jones from IHeart Organizing shared "Making the Most of Your Home Decor." Have you seen their homes?? They're stunning! See Sasha's here and Jen's here.

4. I'm all about home decor/organization and photography lately. This is another post from Elsie Larson this week: "How I Resize Photos For My Scrapbooks." She shared a helpful video. My sister Jasmine guest posted for me this week, and she shared how she digitally crops and resizes her photos. Great minds! See that post here.

5. Still photo related: Azzari Jarrett has a series called "Photo Life" on her blog. I'm a fan. This week she discussed "Finding Your Creative Voice." I'm inspired by this: "Don't stop because your work does not look like theirs, your work brings your unique perspective to the table." One more post about photos because I can't help myself... Stephanie Bryan's "10 Ideas for Summer Photos" is useful! Beach photos coming to a blog near you. ;)

Hope you have a good one!
five on friday

Thursday, July 23, 2015

5 "greek yogurt 52 ways" recipes for summer

I'm sharing 5 of my favorite, summertime, Greek yogurt, dessert recipes for after dinner, for your next get together, or for whenever you feel like having a light treat. :)

greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 17 shortbread strawberry crumble
Click here for the recipe.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 17 shortbread strawberry crumble
Roasted strawberries topped with crumbled shortbread cookies? Yeah! This recipe is a winner. Strawberries are in season, so this is a perfect recipe for summer.

greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 15 cool lime pretzel squares
Click here for the recipe.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 15 cool lime pretzel squares
Ooooh- I have a love/hate relationship with that crust. It's kinda too salty (Jesse really likes it and didn't think it was a good idea when I tried to modify it). I love it, then I hate it- which sounds like the makings of a passionate relationship. That creamy, lime custard though? There can be no question about my love for that. The lime flavor makes it a refreshing dessert for summer.

greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 14 peach cobbler
Click here for the recipe.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 14 peach cobbler
This one is a treat and perfect for summer time as peaches are in season... and super easy to put together!

greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 10 upside down lemon cream pie
Click here for the recipe.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 10 upside down lemon cream pie
As I mentioned, limes are refreshing in the summer, and so are lemons! This one is good to go.

greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 8 creamy, nutella dip
Click here for the recipe.
greek yogurt 52 ways: no. 8 creamy, nutella dip
My sister Jennifer invited us over for a barbecue the other day, and she had a spread of fruit and pretzels with chocolate dip. She used chocolate without additions, which YUM. But if you want to lighten your chocolate dip, consider using Greek yogurt as the base. It's just as yummy AND it's figure friendly. You'll delight your guests at your next barbecue.

Which one will you try?
5 "greek yogurt 52 ways" light, recipes for summer
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.**

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

how to digitally crop and resize your photos // guest post!

This is another special, guest post by my friend (and sister ;) Jasmine. I invited her to share how she digitally crops and resizes her photos. (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; and her fourth: Active Living).

There are a number of reasons why I have opted for an 8.5x11" sized album. See here. Not listed among those reasons is the resizing of my pictures. It’s not my favorite task, but it adds to the collage feel of my album and learning how to print in non-traditional sizes can be a useful tool to add flare to any album, no matter the size. I’d like to walk you through some of the tips and tricks I've learned when it comes to resizing your photos. First, pick a program that works for you.  I love PowerPoint. I think it’s easy to use, readily accessible, and there are so many features (if you know where to find them).
Computer 2
Second. Eat a donut. Third. Plan your layout and learn the sizes associated with each page protector. Now you may not want to print 4x6" photos; however, unless you send your photos to a specialty print shop or you have your own photo printer, your photos need to be formatted for traditional 4x6" printing. Let me walk you through how I get my photos ready.
1. I set up my slides so that each slide represents one page in my pocket scrapbook. Once all of the pictures are (somewhat) organized, I resize them to fit the chosen layout. I will demonstrate this as if I were formatting a baseball card page protector layout as those are the ones I use most often.
First, I double click the photo I will be editing, I type in the desired height/width (in this case I want the height to be 3.6") and get ready to crop. Now if you prefer to crop your photos manually, you can skip ahead to Step 2. I prefer to crop them digitally so that I don't have to measure once they're printed. Different strokes for different folks. If you would like to learn how to crop precisely on PowerPoint, here’s how:
- Expand the cropping tab by clicking here.
- Choose your desired cropping position. In this case 2.5", position the cropping selection by dragging your photo to the desired location, select "crop" and viola- a perfectly cropped 2.5x3.6" photo.
- You can also crop to a preset ratio in the Crop Dropdown menu.
- Repeat desired crop for all photos.

2. Now that you've resized all of your photos, it’s time to get them print ready. I don't know if you've ever sent a photo that wasn't meant to be a 4x6" photo to be printed as though it were, but I have to tell you what you end up with is a distorted mess. To avoid this, you have to make sure your proportions are correct. What I like to do is take a 4x6" white background (any white image from the internet will do) and format it so that it is 4 x6".
3. I send that white background to the back and position my photos where I want them. You have the ability to create a white border on your photos by shrinking them down since you will already be printing them on a white background. It just depends on the aesthetic of your pocket scrapbook.
4. Once I have positioned the photos where I want them, I group them together by hitting “Ctrl” (Command for Macs) and selecting the photos I want to group together. Make sure to select the white background!
5. Lastly, I save as a photo. It will give you the option to save as a JPEG or a PNG. I always choose JPEG.
Once you get familiar with this process, there are some fun photo collages you can do like extending across pockets or even doing a full photo spread without having to order an 8x10".
Here is the layout in its final stages:
I hope you find the time to try something new this week!

Thank you, Jasmine! 

If you have any questions for Jasmine, feel free to ask in the comments!

Keep up with Jasmine on Instagram. :)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

summer break diary 2015: week #6

summer break diary 2015 week #6
**My daughters are currently on summer break. Like last year and the year before, we are planning to do one, fun activity with them every day of their summer break. 

(See 2015's summer break activities so far hereSee 2014's summer break activities here and 2013's summer break activities here).

I will be documenting our various projects together and sharing them here on Mondays (typically) and possibly more detailed projects within the week. Read more about how this project got started here.**
2015-07-14 07.46.47 2
2015-07-17 03.47.18 1

2015-07-15 11.08.42 1

On Sunday (day 37) I woke up early and decided we needed to start redecorating our bedroom and begin the process of switching Lani and Evie to a bigger bedroom (what will be Juli's former baby room) and Juli and Addy into what will be Lani's and Evie's old room. Sorry if I am confusing you. ;) Anyway, to do that, we needed to pick up some furniture my brother was giving away- a bunkbed and a tall set of drawers, which will go in Lani's and Evie's room. He was also giving away a bigger dresser, which my grandma had given to him. I am going to repaint that dresser for our bedroom. So what was fun about day 37? Getting a new bedroom! Woop! (Well starting the process anyway).

On Monday (day 38) I took my girls to the library to return books and check out more books as we do every week.

On Tuesday (day 39) my mom took my girls to the library (again!) for the summer reading program. Then they went back to her house, spent the afternoon and evening with grandma. They helped her cook dinner. They made taquitos, which I had often as a kid. Jesse, my brother-in-law Oscar, my sister Jasmine, and I went to Pieology for dinner.

On Wednesday (day 40) I  gave the girls manicures and pedicures. (Well, I just painted their nails). I painted them 10 different summer colors: shades of pink (including hot pink- my favorite), bright green, purple, blue...

On Thursday (day 41) Jesse took the girls bike riding. I went on a bike ride with my sister. (I still have that foot injury, so I need to stay off of my feet. We rode for 7 miles!) Jesse taught Evie to ride a bike. She picked it up quickly. :)

On Friday (day 42) my mom asked if she could take my girls to her house again this week for embroidery and cooking classes. Hooray for grandma's house.

On Saturday (day 43) we went to the drive in with friends. We watched Minions and Inside Out (I cried AGAIN. All the feelings with this one).

These are my layouts for this week:
summer break diary 2015 week #6
summer break diary 2015 week #6
summer break diary 2015 week #6
Some of my pictures were blurry. I took pictures from snapchat, which I often use to share pictures and videos of my girls with family and friends. Oh well. Documenting the moment is what matters, right?

Supplies and embellishments:
binder from Targetthese 4-pocket page protectorsProject Life grid cards; Heidi Grace "Cheerful Bee" rub ons; Family Ties- Pets acrylic stamp set and black ink from Close To My HeartMe & My Big Ideas stickers; Dear Lizzy roller date stampSn@p! sticker iconsPilot razor point black pen; file tab labels from The Dollar Tree

To note: some of my supplies and embellishments are old and likely retired and/or I don't remember where I got them from, but if I missed something, ask in the comments and I will do my best with figuring out the source. I respond to most comments and questions within the comments section.

Related: my summer 2015 book's set upmy 2014 summer bookweek #6 in 2014; week #6 in 2013.
summer break diary 2015 week #6