Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Project Life: Week 17

This week has caused me the most stress to put together of any Project Life week thus far. Which isn't to say that it wasn't fun - it was just quite the challenge. As I shared last week, my mother-in-law was visiting. She arrived the Thursday of Week 16 and stayed through the Thursday of Week 17. In the Sunday - Wednesday of W17, we did a lot. And I mean A Lot. NYC touristing to the utmost. It was fun, but it left a lot of photos to sort through between my camera, The Scot's camera, and our 2 phones. Paring it down was tricky, as I wanted to include the sights as well as the people (us!). So each little visit or spot mostly has 2-4 photos. While I do plan on putting some of these events in my regular scrapbook, I chose specific photos for Project Life that I really think help with the narrative of our week.

Warning: many insert pages ahead!

Seeing the Statue of Liberty via the Staten Island Ferry (as Liberty Island is currently closed) + Central Park

September 11th Memorial + bagels // Newsies on Broadway!

NBC/Rockefeller Center stuff

More NBC/Rockefeller stuff // Grand Central, amazing Wednesday dinner, and the rest of the week


I really took the opportunity to play a bit with the page protectors this week. I've got a Design A, 2 trimmed down & sewn up Design As, a halved Design G, and a Design F (which I think will be great for little pics on the reverse side as my parents will be here in 2 days!).

While I kept things pretty simple, so as not to make the large number of pages seem too busy or overwhelming, I had fun with a few cuts made on my Silhouette (1 of my own design, used twice, and 1 Ali Edwards circle). Once again I used both the Seafoam and Jade Project Life kits along with 1 Studio Calico PL card (prettied up with some letter stickers), lots of Martha labels, and a bit of assorted washi tape. Even though there are a lot of pages, they don't take up much space in the album as I did my best to keep things flush and flat. As a side note, I also had mostly all the photos printed at a shop rather than doing it on my own this week. While I like my home printer, these came out nicely and are on a really smooth paper. If I get organized on another week (or find myself out of ink, as I did also this week), I may do it here and there.

This week will be a little calm yet, with a bang of an ending as I do more sightseeing when my parents arrive. I'm sure it'll be a little of the same, but also some different things as my parents are definitely museum sorts of people. The beauty of being <10 minutes from Manhattan is that there's really no shortage of things to do if you've got the time, the inclination, and the spare pennies! Before I wrap this post up, I want to announce the winners of last week's SEE THE WORLD card set giveaway are Ashley A.K. and Kori A. Both winners have been contacted and when they get back to me, I'll be getting their card sets out to them soon. Congrats! (And if you didn't win and are still interested, you can find SEE THE WORLD along with my new releases in my scrapbooking shop.

Please don't forget to stop by on (inter)National Scrapbooking Day, this Saturday, for a little treat! Though if you're so inclined, I'd love for you to subscribe via Bloglovin' (or your preferred blogreader) and keep up with all the happenings here!. :)

It's Tuesday, which means I'll be linking up at The Mom Creative's Project Life Tuesday.

Monday, April 29, 2013

It's time for a Pep Talk

Back around Christmastime, I was introduced (in the way that one is introduced to things on the interwebs) to an awesome young man. A young man called Robby who goes by the title of Kid President. Along with his big brother-in-law, Kid President creates great short videos with positive messages for kids and grown-ups too. A few months ago, Kid President created a particularly epic video entitled "A Pep Talk from Kid President to You" and it made quite the stir. On the slim chance you haven't yet seen it (it's got 20 million+ views), do please watch:

As I so enjoy the videos and Twitter feed of Kid President, I thought that the positive and lighthearted messages in those short films would make for great Project Life cards. So, as a special thanks to my fabulous supporters on Facebook, I've created this new card set.

Find the download in the tabs on the top of my FB page

You may notice that it coordinates with the SUMMERTIME card set that I told wrote about in yesterday's post. While it does blend in well with those cards, it works well on its own too. Let's spread some fun and make the world more awesome!

"It's like that dude Journey said: 'Don't stop believing... unless your dream is stupid. Then you should get a better dream.' I think that's how it goes..."


Eat Something Sunday: Creamy & Crunchy Stuffed Chicken

This installment of Eat Something Sunday comes late in the day, but it's still here (and yes, I know my blog's clock is set to London time. But it's still 9:30pm here in NJ!).

With the crunchy coating reminiscent of fried chicken and a rich filling not unlike a Kiev, this take on a the humble chicken breast is a favorite at our house. It's quite easy to whip up and doesn't take long at all to cook. I hope you'll give it a try.

Creamy & Crunchy Stuffed Chicken
serves 2

Preheat oven to 350°F

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
approx. 4 cups cornflakes
4-6 oz. of cream cheese (or Neufchatel)
1/2 Tbsp dried chives
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 cup butter, melted
toothpicks or short skewers (not pictured)

1 - Pour 4 cups (or thereabouts) of cornflakes into a bowl and crush them with your hands (or, if you prefer, use a food processor - but be careful not to turn the cereal into dust!). Add in the paprika and garlic salt and mix. Set aside.

2 - In a small bowl blend together the cream cheese and chives. Set aside

3 - Filet each chicken breast portion into 2 pieces. Place a lump of cheese at the center, roll the chicken up and secure with toothpicks.

4 - Coat each chicken piece with the cornflake mixture. I like to place it in the bowl and get it good and covered using my hands. Put the pieces into a baking pan, pour over the melted butter, and add any extra corn flakes for a nice crunch.

Bake at 350°F for 20-30 minutes or until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F (cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the meat).

Be sure to remove the toothpicks before serving! (Yes, you may see one above - it was well stuck in and I didn't want to smoosh the food before the photo!) It's super yummy with a salad.

Getting ready for Summer with new card sets!

The days are getting warmer and warmer here on the East Coast. The sun is definitely showing her face a bit more often and The Scot and I have been really enjoying walks in the sunshine (even if right now we still need a light coat). With summer on my mind, I've created 2 new pocket-style card sets for my scrapbooking shop.

SUMMERTIME is a set aimed at those bright colors and deep sunsets of the summer season. Beach towels, picnics, giant umbrellas, sand between your toes, flip-flops, and plenty of sunscreen were some of the thoughts in my head as I created these 12 cards.

MODERN MISTS isn't necessarily a set just for summer, but it blends nicely in with SUMMERTIME as well as a few of the popular Project Life editions. This set brings the fun look of misted cards to the scrapper who likes things digital or the scrapper who doesn't want to have to buy a million little spray bottles. Each color has its own unique "spray" effect. Write on them, print on them, use them as a photo mat, or even cut or punch a design from them - they're incredibly versatile. All the fun and none of the mess - that's MODERN MISTS.

Both these new sets can be found in my scrapbooking shop and I hope you'll take a look!

If you like these, don't forget that you still have just over 4 hours left to enter to win one of 2 SEE THE WORLD sets on Tuesday's post (entries close at Midnight Eastern time tonight).

Saturday, April 27, 2013


My mother-in-law headed back to Scotland yesterday. I was glad for her to visit, but also glad to have some calm and normalcy back last night. Our apartment is largely one big space, so having a guest for 7 1/2 days takes it out of a girl! The calm will be short-lived, however, as my parents are arriving this coming Thursday!

The week of NYC touristing and such in Instagram snaps:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Project Life: Week 16 + a giveaway

Week 16 was a busy one. Lots of things happening earlier in the week, and then my mother-in-law flew in from Scotland on Thursday and we've been touristing it up since then (many adventures of which will be documented as part of Week 17).

This week I again had some fun with my Silhouette. Since we're hosting my mother-in-law I didn't have a lot of time to put my pages together, but even though it was rather quickly done (I sorted and printed photos on Sunday night and put everything together, did Cameo cuts & journaling on Monday afternoon), I like the look of the week.

This week is similar in product content to the last few: BH Seafoam & BH Jade, Martha labels, and then some cut out text/frames using my Silhouette. I didn't do any writing on photos or anything particularly innovative, but it's nice and cohesive and hits the highlights of the week.


Recently, my Facebook page hit 100 likes. In celebration of this, I'm doing a giveaway! I've had the See The World sets (which are available in my shop) printed up and 2 winners will win 1 set each (1 winner of Bolds, 1 winner of Brights). You can read a bit more about See The World here. Winners will be announced here next Tuesday!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Since it's Tuesday, which means I'll be linking up at The Mom Creative.

Monday, April 22, 2013

On Selling a Tragedy

Fair warning: this post is very different to what I usually write here. It is very much about how I am feeling in response to what I have recently been seeing and experiencing and isn't particularly upbeat. But I hope you'll read it anyway

My mother-in-law is in town. This means, of course, that we're doing all sorts of NYC touristing. As part of that, and out of interest, she wanted to visit the September 11th Memorial. We were there earlier today. This post is a reflection on that visit, but also on a visit we had yesterday to St. Paul's Chapel.

Let me start out by stating this: the events of September 11, 2001 were tragic. They were horrific. I was a sophomore in college in the middle of Missouri and I can still tell you what I was doing when I learned things were happening. I can recall how I spent the majority of that day. It was a huge and horrible event. I am sorry for the lives that were lost.

Yesterday we popped into St. Paul's chapel en route to a ride on the Staten Island Ferry (since Liberty Island is closed, it makes no sense to pay the park entry fee to merely ride a boat near the island. The ferry is free). I walk by this church often, but it's usually in the evening when things are closed. It was open. I love old churches. So we went in. I was quite surprised. This is the oldest public building in NYC. But in the past 10 years the pews have been removed. There is little mention of the history of the church other than 2 small plaques near the surviving 2 pew boxes. The rest of the church (an active church, I should note) is a museum of sorts to September 11th. Signs, displays, hangings, videos, posters, etc. etc. etc. This church did indeed play a large part in helping the community during that tragic event, but it is so much more than "the 9/11 chapel." What it has seen! What it has survived! The church has a storied past and yet it seems to currently only exist as a touristy remembrance spot and publicly accessible restroom.

Down the street, Trinity Church (head of the parish which St. Paul's is a part) has a lovely museum in the back. It speaks of the history of Trinity and also a bit of St. Paul's. A section of the museum is dedicated to September 11th. It seemed so much more appropriate.

So. Today. We had our tickets and headed to the Memorial. The place itself is tranquil and calm and the reflecting pools did bring tears to my eyes. The thought of what happened there and what lies beneath are very moving. And yet people were laughing and running around and seemed to miss the point. The museum on the grounds is not yet open, but as you exit there is a "visitor center" which is mostly a gift shop. This is where I (and my husband) became a bit disgusted. Bookmarks, keychains, iPhone covers, t-shirts, ski hats - anything any everything brandishing the logo "9/11 Memorial" as if it is something to be sold so easily. The thing that creeped me out the most was the officially branded search & rescue stuffed dog toy. For children. You know, so they (who were not alive at the time of these events) can play at searching for bodies and rescuing those who, with hope, survived?!?! What!? How is that appropriate? How is that in any way a tribute to those who lost their lives? How is that ok?! Signs throughout the gift shop remind you that profits go to sustaining the museum. To me, giving some money in one of the many donation boxes is a far better thing than a mug or a hoodie from a memorial to the lost.

The more this got to me, the more I took note as we walked through the streets of the financial district of just how many people in both official and unofficial capacities make a buck off the memory of the events of 2001. This weekend there was a memorial run. The information area had a cover band playing, donation information booths & staffers, and a police recruitment area. It all seemed very crass. It all seemed very much like clever marketing, in the same way I see logos for corporations slapped on the side of a tshirt for this or that event. I don't like people's experiences and memories being manipulated that way.

Growing up, I learned about Pearl Harbor. Each December 7, I do my best to pause and remember those who died (nearly 2,500) and especially think of those poor souls who went down in their submarines and met a slow and horrific end. Although nearly as many people perished in that event as on September 11, 2001 it seems like our country is dwelling on modern events in a way that has never before been seen in our history. Should we forget? Absolutely not. Should we heal? Yes. The things I see, and the way many in NYC seem to sell this tragedy keep it an open wound. Open for those who lived it, for those who felt it, and even for those who weren't even born yet. To me, that's a concern. I don't think it's good for us as a population. As a human race. Our feelings and memories are not for sale and I don't think we should allow them to be so easily manipulated for profit.

That's what I have to say about that.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Eat Something Sunday: Magic Popcorn

Popcorn is one of life's most perfect foods. Delicious, healthy, low fat, low calorie, etc. etc. Of course, it tastes best when slathered in butter and such, rendering it rather less good for you, but more good to your tastebuds.

Magic Popcorn is an evolution of my grandma's popcorn balls & many "marshmallow popcorn" recipes I saw on Pinterest. Through trial and error I came up with this particular combination of sweet, gooey, and a little bit of spice. It has brought about more than one "ZOMG" and "wow" when shared with friends and family. Last night when I made this for a living room movie night, my mother-in-law declared "this is magic!" I hope you'll like it too. Fair warning: it's one of those recipes that is best enjoyed only occasionally as the butter and sugar content are pretty epic.

Magic Popcorn

10-12 cups popcorn (fresh popped is best, but if you must use microwave, it's about 2 bags)
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
5-7 cups mini marshmallows (depending on your gooiness preference - I'm a fan of the goo)
1 tsp. cinnamon

1 - Pop your popcorn. Fresh popcorn = yummy!
If you have 2 bowls available, separate the popcorn into 2 parts. If not, 1 will work fine, too.

2 - In a non-stick pan, melt the butter, sugar, and marshmallows together. Once they've become a lovely gooey substance, stir in the cinnamon.

3 - Pour the melted mixture over the popcorn. (Using a rubber scraper may help).
If you have it in 2 bowls, pour over half, then add the rest of the popcorn to the first bowl and pour over the rest.
Mix, mix, mix, mix, mix!

Magic popcorn! Best enjoyed warm. It will start to set up as it cools, but it's good fun to pry a chunk off when it's cooled into a sweet glob of awesome.