Friday, October 31, 2014

Week in the Life - Day 4

For whatever reason, I didn't get any photos until the evening.  Not a clue why.  I did think of it once when I was dropping off the boys - I had a full car and thought of the photo after dropping off one. 

I had planned to shop for some things on Wednesday night, but just didn't seem to make it out after dinner.  So I went Thursday to pick up some school pants (they were uniforms and shorts are out starting Monday), and some black sweats for a costume.  My trip required a stop for one more prop for the Nerd's costume.

The 15 y.o. will turn 16 in a week.  He'll be eligible for the final phase of his driver's training and approval for his license.  That's two teen drivers. . .much as this 6 y.o. is ready to drive, too.  He can wait a while longer.  Momma needs him to slow down.

With an, "I'm going to college!" uttered with excitement and some surprise.  My 17 y.o. got her first acceptance letter.

I post some of my photos from the day to Instagram; follow me. If you're playing along with Week in the Life, I'd love to see you. :)

Go. Capture life.

Halloween and Food

Happy Halloween!

I sent off a Shark Week victim and a Nerd this morning.  I've got an Enderman and a Cowboy, but we're supposed to call him Cullen Bohannan, up for tonight.  Two are off to parties/gatherings with friends.  One is undecided and one seems to have a full-scale invasion planned for the neighborhood.

Tomorrow we're doing Take Two of the fence painting.  Two fences, donuts to start everyone and burgers and dogs to wind things up.  The weather is supposed to be cooperative tomorrow. . .Sunday not so much, so here's to hoping we can whip it out in the morning.

I had a menu this week, that got shuffled a bit.  Tonight because of the festivities and the getting of people to and from these festivities, we've called off dinner with the in-laws.  I'll move tonight's dinner to Monday and whip up something that works for all the comings and goings of tonight.  

These Beef and Bean Burritos are really good.  They're easy to pull together and freeze great.  They'll keep in the 'fridge tonight to zap quickly as everyone moves around.  You can put several in a casserole dish and smother in your favorite sauce for a simple weeknight dinner.  Fry them and you've got chimichangas.  They make great after-school snacks.  I'm making quick Bite-Sized Apple Pies for dessert.  My sister-in-law sent us a ton of apples from their orchard that need using (I'll be making some apple sauce this weekend, too) and the dessert will be good for the dash-and-go night.

We had a chilly start to the week and so I made Chicken & Dumplings; the perfect comfort food, it's creamy and warm, filled with the great flavor of fresh herbs.  My kids love this meal, which means it shows up frequently.  It's fairly easy to pull together (it uses a rotisserie chicken) and if you've got time tonight, it's a good thing to leave warming on the stove. 

If you're looking to fill stomachs before the sugar-fest, this Southwest Beef & Rice Skillet is the ticket.  Beef and Ranch Beans, a few spices a little simmering and you're good to go.  I made this on Wednesday and the only things I changed were I topped mine with a colby jack cheese. . .I'm not a fan of pepper jack, and I didn't use instant rice, I used regular long grain rice.

We have a busy afternoon after school - some people think they'll get their pumpkins carved. . .I'm suggesting painting them.  Either way, things will come together and it'll be a fun evening.

Happy Friday.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Week in the Life - Day 3

I'm still operating on a very distracted level, and feel like I'm taking less photos than in the past, but I'm trying to be okay with that.  Life is the way it is and I'm just grateful to be seeing these moments in the day.

It's just me and the Boo.  The 14 y.o. was picked up by a classmate at 7:00 am to make a Math Counts meeting and the 15 y.o. headed out with his sister, also at 7:00.

The list of things to do rolling around in my head was getting to be too much, so I wrote them down.  On the list, picking up my 17 y.o.'s Senior Pictures.  The box was almost too pretty to open - but the gorgeous prints inside were calling to me.  On a side note:  Best of luck to the photographer (Beth Fries - that's my girl on her homepage) who is due with her fourth in just a few days.  She was a trooper hoofin' it around Old Towne with her cute little belly taking the photos.

The High School was doing a Trick-or-Treat Street.  I had planned to have one of his high school siblings take him up there, but his friend from school, who also has a sibling there, took him instead.  We consider this a full-dress rehearsal, though given the forecast on Friday, he'll be in a long-sleeved flannel (layered on some under-gear) and some sort of jacket that we'll have to refer to as a "duster."  The 6 y.o. was bummed he couldn't see his spurs in this shot.  I told him, we'll get them on Halloween for sure.  Oh, and don't call him a "cowboy."  He's Cullen Bohannon (from Hell on Wheels.)

The school's Trick-or-Treat Street theme was Disney, and when he came across "Violet" I'm sure he loved it.  He was greeted by name, often, by the candy wranglers.  I believe he's been a mascot of sorts at the various sporting events he's attended since his sister was a Freshman.  He's kinda like Norm from Cheers, minus the beer.

Buddies ready for the hunting down of candy.  When he came home, he'd filled his bucket and his hat.  We promptly helped him reduce the load he was carrying.

This nightly routine, routinely never takes place near a sink.  Love the hair though.

I post some of my photos from the day to Instagram; follow me.  If you're playing along with Week in the Life, I'd love to see you. :)

Go. Capture life.

October's Sketch

End of the month means you should have at least opened your October kit.  If not, it's time to dig in and, at least, use the sketch from Becky Fleck over at PageMaps.  I talked about how to use it HERE.  Now let's see it in the hands of the Sous Chefs.

Jennifer (who balked a bit when she saw the sketch's number of photos, LOL) managed to use all but two photos.  Her layout follows very closely to the sketch.  On the far right strip, she has two long photos, for three photos instead of five.  Jennifer is a very linear designer, so I'm sure tilting the photo strips on the left was enough for her, and so she kept her photos on the right straight.  She used her Pennant Journaling Card (found with the Fancy Pants True Friend line from the Smaller kit) to hold her journaling and title.

Nancy Longo, also using the Smaller kit, though this is the Lawn Fawn Sweater Weather line, has changed it up quite a bit from the original sketch.  She's not only dropped a strip on the left altogether, but she's filled a couple photo spaces with patterned paper and word blocks.  She used no photos on the right and opted to use the spots for her journaling.  I love the map of New York she's put on the right . . . tells you exactly where she went without a single word written.

Frankie & Friends by Simple Stories was in the Bigger kit, which Maria Swiatkowski used for her layout which captures the spirit of the sketch.  She's opted to drop two of the left-side strips, one being completely substituted with journaling cards.  She also showcases only eight photos in her strips.  Her right side of the layout is more in line with the sketch, though she's just got her title, in the form of a journaling block, since she's moved the journaling itself to the left side.  I love the white borders on the photos which help them pop of the darker background of the layout.

Kristin Perez also uses the Bigger kit, though she's got the Carta Bella A Perfect Autumn line pulling her interpretation of the sketch together.  She has only a faint nod to the strips on the left, roughly aligning photos in vertical "strips," which are also much larger and far fewer.  The right side she's done away with the journaling, opting for another photo in its space instead.

I think this monthly the ladies have certainly shown how to use a sketch as a jumping off place. . .whether you follow it (almost) to the letter, or simply use it to inspire your layout.

Never fear the sketch.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week in the Life - Days 1 and 2

Sometimes focusing on the small things in life is just what's needed.  I have come to look forward to Week in the Life, from Ali Edwards.  Even if I capture similar events during these weeks I love seeing the small changes:  kids are different, schools change, activities evolve.  It's a good perspective.

Cotton Candy Pink clouds to start the day (and week) off.

Remembering, last minute, that the 6 y.o. is up for afternoon snack.  Mind you I recalled this two days ago, and the day before, but did not act and thus, necessitated the early morning stop and dash on the way to school.

Finally, FINALLY, deciding to deal with the stacks and stacks of recipes from Pinterest.  I have a plan and I made the smallest of dents in the stack.  It was something.

A prompt from Big Picture Classes Instagramer suggesting taking a photo of what we're reading.  I even got a like from the Midwest Living people. :)

The 6 y.o. harvested ripe tomatoes over the weekend and it was time to roast them, along with oregano from the garden, and get them into the freezer.

My evening consisted of pouring over all the we want your money Graduation information brought home the 17 y.o.  Her cap and gown are now ordered, along with announcements.  Cap and gown??  

Unfortunately, being lost in the multitude of choices, options and pricing the night before, morning came far too early after remembering at 9:00 pm that I neglected to make some bread-thing for my 14 y.o.'s Spanish class - bed found me at 1:30 am.  Pretty sunrise though.

Next up on the "my daughter is graduating" list - Senior Yearbook Ad.  She was born at the end of the film era.  I love film, until I have a project like this.  Digital is much easier when compiling photos for graduation posters, about me pages and Yearbook Ads.  I'd have loved a baby picture, but the scanner was down.  Figures.  But it's submitted.

I post some of my photos from the day to Instagram; follow me.  If you're playing along with Week in the Life, I'd love to see your life. :)

Go. Capture life.

A Little Bit of Everything

I had planned to post yesterday, but plans are bunk these days.

Where to start. . .First, it's Ali Edwards' bi-yearly Week in the Life, which I, am once again, snapping along with (posts dedicated to that will be separate and later in the day.)  Seems to have come along just when I needed to start seeing life from a different perspective.  And through a lens is a great way to do that.

Let's see, last I posted I had plans for the weekend.  As I said, plans are useless to me these days.  Fence painting?  Laughable.  A very long appointment/consult at National Jewish Hospital to discuss what's going on with hubby ended with a five hour stint in the ER when some blood work came back showing he might have a blood clot in his lung.  Scans showed no clot, thank God.  So, fun as that was, there would be no fence painting the next day.  I did take pictures, if you follow Instagram, you saw them.  The only upside to the doctor's appointment on Friday is that she took him off the ultra-restrictive diet and is allowing him to eat as usual.

Saturday we were all in unspoken agreement that it would be a "down" day.  I fixed breakfast and while enjoying that, asked if hubby felt up to a trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  He was game and so we took off.  It was a gorgeous day to be outside.

This would be the last time I saw the 15 y.o. until we met back at the car.  He's always been one to go on the hunt alone.

A few steps into this particular field and we discovered it would be slim pickings at the patch.  After wandering aimlessly amid the carnage, we moved to another field.

It was so bad, that when we came across a pumpkin that didn't look like it was up for a zombie part, we kept it.  The 6 y.o. was in heaven when he found one intact that he could carry - usually his only requirement; that he can carry it.

The 14 y.o. generally has an idea in his head of what he wants to carve and goes about finding the pumpkin to fit that image.  Round, tall, solid orange - not so much his criteria.  If it's an odd shape or color, so much the better.

The 17 y.o. was feeding her photography bug.  Capturing the hunt.  The colors.  The fields.  Her brothers.  If it was there to photograph, she did.

The pumpkin round-up gave us plenty to choose from before heading home, dusty, a little pink-cheeked and feeling a bit more refreshed after the previous days events.

I did ask my daughter if she took photos at the football game last week.  She didn't have any, even she couldn't find a photo-worthy moment.  I did forget to ask my son if he took any at the roller-rink.

Needless to say, I did no crafting over the weekend.  If I had managed to form a coherent thought, I could have probably used the escape.  

We're in prep mode for Halloween on Friday.  Blocking out the calendar with all the upcoming medical tests for hubby.  Filling out endless graduation forms, composing yearbook ads, proofing papers, following up on various school projects. . .I've got plenty to keep me busy.  I think I'll abstain from any formal planning for a while.

Happy Wednesday,

Friday, October 24, 2014

Note to Self

This weekend is all about fence painting, and luckily the weather will be most cooperative.  High's are supposed to be in the 80's.  80's!  Note to self - take a photo or two.

High school football was last night with another win - 55 - 14.  Ouch.  There was a soccer game just before, same complex, and that, too, was a win for the home team - 3 - 0.  Go Mustangs!  Note to self - ask daughter to send some photos.

The 6 y.o. is telling me, almost daily, that we need to get our pumpkins.  He thinks it'd be a good idea to "hit the patch."  If the fences are painted, we might be able to do that.  Note to self - take photos.

The 15 y.o. is heading of to roller skate (that's a blast from my past) tonight. Note to self - convince him to take and send me one photo.

Hubby was supposed to be gone this week, but the trip was cancelled.  I had a menu planned, but two things happened - he was supposed to be eating gluten-free (the menu was not so much, though I could have made it so) and then he was to only eat from five ingredients (chicken or fish, apples, sweet potatoes and rice; though they added carrots, lettuce, squash and pears to the list) as we continue to figure out what's going on.  Note to self - take a few photos of my creativity in the use of the same flippin' five ingredients plus salt.  Though I'm not sure I want to remember this.
I cooked on Monday, though it was crazy-butt rushed because I got home from a trip to the doctor to see if the Strep in the house was spreading - it wasn't - and had to throw this meal together in 30 minutes.  The Taco Pork Chops were good, but had cooked to long in the braise, so they weren't as tender as I'd prefer.  I made, or rather my daughter did, this Southwest Rice.  The only change I'd make is to mix in the extra stuff after I cook the rice.  I don't use Minute Rice, so some of the flavors were not as bold because of the longer cooking time for traditional rice.

I cooked on Tuesday and made this Lonestar Chicken Enchilada dish.  It uses straight up cream to dip the tortillas in and to pour over the top.  It was creamy and green chili-y.  It was good.  It was also the last meal I cooked this week.  We tried to clear out the 'fridge of an over abundance of left-overs, which was just as well since any creativity for meals was spent on how to make this five-ingredient meal different from the last five-ingredient meal.

Note to self - do something creative that involves paper, photos, yarn or thread!!

Happy Friday,

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Escapism and Layouts

I found myself, again, ensconced on my couch after dinner last night with the book.  I can't put the sucker down.  I left the house this morning without it and I feel bereft.  I missed the enormous weight of it in my purse - the sucker is almost 900 pages; I don't think any of the books in the series are less than 800.  My kids are a little amazed that I'm three-fourths of the way through it.  I want to tell them if it wasn't for them, I'd be well into book three by now.  But that just seems mean.

I haven't decided if it's the book, or life at the moment and the need to escape it, that has caused a shutdown of sorts in my accomplishing anything these days.  We've got a lot going on right now, i.e. we've gone from gluten-free for hubby to a menu that consists of five ingredients.  FIVE!  I feel like I'm on an episode of the Food Network's Chopped, and the only pantry item I get is sea salt.

I think it's time to try to re-incorporate the creative back into my days; at the very least, the week.  Something more creative than, "How can I make this unseasoned chicken and rice seem different than yesterday's unseasoned chicken and rice, given that I only have salt."  I haven't touched paper, thread or yarn in weeks.  And since I have nothing of my own to share today, I thought I'd toss out projects from people who are creating . . . namely the Sous Chefs.

Jennifer Halleck created this layout using the Bella Blvd line from the Smaller than a Breadbox kit.  I love the little flags on the side of the single photo.

The Carta Bella line from the Bigger than a Breadbox kit is what Maria Swiatkowski used for her fall layout.  It must be something with the tags, because I love the ones she used to mix in with her journaling card.

Kristin Perez also used the Carta Bella line here.  I love, love all the circles.

Nancy Longo chose to work with the Fancy Pants line found in the (now Sold Out) Smaller kit.  I love how she lined photos, minimally cropped photos at that, up along the seam; a great way start a layout.

Finally, we have just one of the seven cards and a tag that Wendi Robinson created with the All Year Cheer kit.

Looking at these, breaking them down to their parts, I could totally crank out any one of them.  Now to just do it.  It's got to be infinitely more fun than practicing post-apocalyptic cooking methods.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

We Are

I seem to be in a photo slump - well, it's an all around slump that affects my capturing life, among other things, at the moment.

All but the last two photos are courtesy of my daughter.

  • We are finding Fall moments while working outside
  • We are "Pink-ed out" for the Think Pink game
  • We are 8-0 on the season and League Champs in football.
  • We are plowing through Book Two - Dragonfly in Amber.  My sister gave me a #PocketJamie which I use as a bookmark, but who apparently has quite a life on Instagram.  Here he's with us as we visit the doctor's office.
  • We are savoring every shade of Autumn color to be found.
Happy Wednesday,