Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Spotlight * My Favorite Things

1. H&M sweater - I have this in beige and it's so comfy and flattering with skinny jeans.
2. Clinique Moisture Surge Intense - Winter is coming and usually by now, my skin is dry and irritated. But since I've started using Clinique Moisture Surge, my skin has been very happy indeed!
3. Angie's Kettle Corn - I turn into a monster when this finds its way into my greedy hands. It's popcorn crack I tell you. Doesn't help that I get the jumbo bag from CostCo.
4. Fitbit Zip - I was hesitant to get a Fitbit. Do I really want to know how alarmingly inactive I am? I find myself taking the stairs more often when I wear it and I feel darn proud when I hit my daily goal.
5. Coach Court Bag - I got mine used on ebay and it's my baby. The perfect size, timeless design.
6. H&M rings - H&M has a ton of stylish rings that are sold in sets at prices that make me do a happy dance. And I love that they make them in S/M sizes so that they actually fit me!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Scrappy * Project Life - July Part 3/August Part 1

Finishing up July and heading into August. Nothing too special here... more food and bunnies. ^_^

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Notes * Finally Did It

30 some years later, I finally cut my hair short. And I love it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Scrappy * Persistence

Still diligently working on finishing up my 2011 album. It's not my favorite and I'm trying to finish it just so that I can get it off my desk for good and shove it into a closet. I know, I know. Life is short and I shouldn't be scrapping things that I don't really want to scrap but I'm just too darn stubborn and anal to let it sit around unfinished. Since I'm not all that wild about it, it's been a good place to experiment. Some experiments turn out good, others make me want to bang my head on my desk. This layout falls in the later category.

I really loved this layout by Ashli Oliver for Shimelle.com. So different from what I normally do and a good opportunity to really put my stamps to use. Ashli makes it looks so easy! Look at those pretty soft watercolors! This layout will come together in no time, right? Wrong.

First attempt. Ehhh... too dark. I was using black ink and it's just too jarring and bold against the white background.


Second attempt. Tried it with grey ink. Much better but still not really loving it. Stamping twice before re-inking gave it a much softer look but it still was too much. Too many different designs jumbled together.


Third attempt. Oh now this is just ridiculous. I didn't realize that I still had the safety pin stamp stuck to the same side of the block as the heart. Starting over!


Fourth attempt!! I reduced the number of designs and liked it much better. Enough to add the watercolor and then my photo and proceeded to write the story. And then mess it up royally. Now, I have such rubbish handwriting that almost all my pages have at least one or two words scratched out. But this was too much. GAHHHH! Definitely hating myself by this time. Why oh why did I ever try this??


FIFTH ATTEMPT! Complete! I de-cluttered even more by using only five stamp designs. The simple circles got it to that easygoing place I was looking for.  And I liked that it looked like bubbles (I may have been a bit delirious by this time). I didn't have a simple circle stamp so I had to take a stamp that had a circle with a word in it and put a tiny bit of tape over the word. Ink it up, remove the tape and stamp a neat empty circle. Now repeat that 12 times.

While I don't love the fact that it took me so many tries to get this right, I do realize that I learned something with each attempt. Every page showed me something that I could change to improve the design. But goodness, there must be an easier way. 

Thank you Ashli and Shimelle for the inspiration!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Scrappy * Project Life - July Part 2

Woo it's been a busy couple of months. Weddings galore but now they're done and I can catch up on life before the holidays come charging in. Speaking of life, here's part 2 of my July Project Life.


Bunnies and food... yup.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Eats * Posto

Posto is a warm, welcoming pizzeria in Somerville. I had heard good things about this place so my Mr. and I called up our Cambridge buddies C + A for a Friday night dinner. It getting chillier here in Boston but Friday was a perfect day so we sat outside to take advantage of the late summer night. Scroll through the photos to watch the sun set on our meal!

First off, burrata with wood roasted peaches, prosciutto and rosemary honey. I thought peaches and burrata would be an unusual combination but it's so good! So many textures and flavors! The sweet, juicy peaches were delicious with the cool, creamy burrata which was sprinkled with a tiny bit of sea salt.

Arancini with spinach, mushrooms and spicy sweet and sour tomato sauce. I will always say yes to arancini. Served piping hot and wonderfully crisp, there was one for each of us which was excellent because I don't think any of us were up for sharing.

Our first pizza! Wait, what? We didn't order this but it came to us by mistake. Our super friendly server cheerfully apologized and told us to go ahead and enjoy it while they whipped up our order. This was the fiorentina, a white pizza with shiitake, white trumpet, crimini, fontina and spinach. Don't mind if we do!

Here we go. The soppressata with spicy pork salumi, mozzarella, Tuscan pepper, oregano, arugula, and parmesan.

And the margherita with mozzarella, olive oil, basil, and sea salt. So simple but oh so good. All the pizzas were really delicious. I'm a huge fan of their dough. So fluffy and full of flavor. A fitting base for all the yummy toppings. I loved it so much that I stole my Mr's crusts. A good pizza dough can make such a huge difference. My only wish was that the margherita had just a few more basil leaves on it. We divided each pizza into fours and one piece just had a corner of basil on it.

Grilled ribeye with rosemary gold potatoes and Tuscan kale. I'm not a steak eater but even I thought this was a beautiful piece of steak. Juicy and cooked perfectly medium rare.

Cavatelli with ricotta, baby heirloom tomatoes, arugula, garlic and evoo. I was surprised at how hearty and filling this pasta was. The cavatelli had a gnocchi-like texture that went well with the lightness of the rest of the dish.

I would definitely come back. The service is great and we felt so comfortable and happy. I'm so glad that we went with friends so that we could try more dishes. Without the extra, unplanned pizza, we had ordered the perfect amount of food for our group. We saw a good number of larger parties in the dining room. Big tables, warm wood interior and low, cozy lighting. It just feels so homey.

187 Elm St (Davis Square)
Somerville, MA 02144

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Notes * 3 Years Ago Today...

I married my best friend, the love of my life, my artiechokie.

Photo by Gina & Tony Photographers, the sweetest, most genuine, happiest photographers on earth.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scrappy * One Design, Two Layouts

Still working through my 2011 photos. I'm a lazy scrapper so I reuse designs a lot. Once in awhile, I'll work in batches, making a couple of layouts using the same design but with different supplies. I don't mind having repeats in my album and it speeds up the process! Keep it simple folks, keep it simple.

Studio Calico Atlantic papers and stickers, Heidi Swapp polaroid frame, American Crafts gold embossing powder (Ooo I love this stuff).

Dear Lizzy Lucky Charm papers, Lily Bee Design letter stickers

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Scrappy * An Unintentional Two Page Spread

So close to finishing up my 2011 albums! These photos are from our trip to SF. The photos are darker and have an urban feel to them so I paired them with some Crate Paper Storyteller paper from the 6x6 pad. I also pulled in some My Minds Eye enamel dots, Crate Paper The Pier stickers, and a couple of journaling tags from Basic Grey Hello. This wasn't meant to be a two page spread but using different papers from the same collection definitely created a coordinated feel and a shared personality. Love when that happens!

I love the giant black ink splatters. I used black acrylic paint thinned with a tiny bit of water which made the black really nice and opaque. It looks as if it had dripped out of an inkwell which is exactly what I wanted.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Makes * Bridal Kit

My best friend got married in June and had the prettiest wedding I've ever seen. I felt like I was standing in a Style Me Pretty post. I'm one of those "be prepared for everything" kind of person so I made her a little day-of kit. I found a floral make up bag at Forever 21 and crammed in as much as I could. It ended up holding a lot! Here's what I included:

Cotton swabs
Hand wipes
Make remover wipes
Nail file
Fashion tape
Stain remover pen
Dental floss
Oil blotting sheets
Super glue
First-aid kit
Sewing kit
Hair pins

Making the first-aid kit saved a lot of space in the bag and allowed me to decide what to include. Allergy medicine is a must for outdoor farm weddings. And of course Band-Aids for strappy shoe abused feet.

I also made the sewing kit. I had originally purchased one but realized that I could make one that didn't include tons of unnecessary stuff. Plus, I learned the hard way that the thread in those little pre-made sewing kits are awful. I cut a little card, made notches along the side and then wound good quality thread around the card. The needles slipped into the little slits in the card and the buttons (Don't we all have a million of these rolling around our house?) are held in place with a little double sided tape. Don't forget a handful of safety pins in a variety of sizes! These are all things I had on hand in my sewing supplies. Easy! And it all fit nicely into this tiny envelope.

Other suggestions that didn't make it into this kit were scissors, nail clippers, eye drops, hairspray and a small mirror. Take a stroll through the travel aisle at the drugstore or visit the make up section at Forever 21 for ideas. Is there anything else that you'd include in a day-of kit?

Monday, September 1, 2014

Scrappy * Project Life - July Part 1

Closing out a long weekend spent with family in New Jersey. I love quality family time. I hope you had a relaxing and long weekend too :) And now, a July Project Life spread.

A lot of the memories that I want to record don't have photos (I actually don't take many photos these days) so I've been adding in doodles. I don't do anything fancy with my photos and I'm sticking with the Dear Lizzy core kit. I'm all about going as fast as possible so no time for embellishment! I like that the pretty designs of the cards keep things from looking too plain.

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Scrappy * Waukegan's Hideout

Our bunny loves her hideouts. We had several around the living room and often we wouldn't know where she was until we heard a rustling from one of her boxes. This one was under one of the end tables. I used to keep a box of my stuff under there but gave up when she claimed the spot as her own. The lighting in the photo is terrible... it's so orange. I wanted to balance it out with cool colors so I pulled out all my aqua and blue papers from my scrap basket. Super fast and easy layout. I love working with a limited number of colors because my pages get done in no time and I use up my scraps!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Eats * Area Four

I need garlic knots. I found out about the garlic knots at Area Four and I couldn't think of anything else for a week. Somehow, I ended up skipping lunch this day (that never happens... I would keel over) so really, I was hallucinating garlic knots by the end of the work day. My Mr. and I raced over at 5:00PM and ordered garlic knots as fast as possible. I think we ordered pizza too. Gorgeous day for some al fresco garlic knots!

I mean, just look at these beautiful things! Giant, fluffy balls of sourdough bread topped with all kinds of dreaminess. I totally filled up on these and didn't regret it. I managed to eat a slice of their margherita pizza which was also super delicious. GARLIC KNOTS!

Area Four
500 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Scrappy * Project Life - June

For my birthday, my sister got me the Dear Lizzy 5th and Frolic Project Life kit. It is such a pretty kit! I love how the new kits have so many more designs than the original kits. It takes me about five minutes to choose a card! I love all the soft, sweet colors and designs. Lots of florals, birds, hearts, home, and library icons.

For this year, I decided to change from a weekly format to monthly. The weekly thing just wasn't working for me. I would stress out over having enough to fill a two page spread and frequently had to go down to a one page spread but then would have to leave out some things because really what I needed was a one and half page spread. This also meant that I didn't start documenting a week until it was over because I never knew how much stuff I would have for that week. I was losing the "now" in my Project Life. A monthly format makes so much more sense for me. I don't feel confined to one or two page spreads. And I now have the freedom to doodle and write up cards as I feel the urge to so and I don't have to worry about where they'll go.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Reads * Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I'm loving this unique and thankfully non-sappy story about angels and chimera. Reading as fast as I can!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Scrappy * She's Here!

I love this layout for so many reasons. These photos are from the day my niece was born. It was a long, and at times, difficult road getting her here so it was a really important day for our family. My sister texted me when she went into labor and we kept texting up until the moment my little niece was born. As soon as I got the text "She's here!!!!" I flopped on to my bed and started to sob. My Mr. thought it was hilarious and snapped a photo to send to my sister. I couldn't be there for her birth so the texts that my sister and I sent each other mean a lot to me and I wanted a way to preserve such a huge sister moment.

I took several screenshots and arranged them in rows in a Word document. I made sure to leave a tiny space between each screenshot so that there was room for a fold. Then I printed the document onto white cardstock and cut the rows into strips. I taped the strips together so that they formed one long strip then folded it like an accordion. Depending on how many screen shots you have, you may need to fold it differently. I had a lot and didn't want a two inch stack on my page so I created a fold after every other screenshot. I also had an odd number so since I was folding in twos, I had the backside of one of the screenshots on display. But that actually worked out well and it became the perfect spot for embellishment. I hope that makes sense.

I hope I get to share this page with my niece some day and that it will show her how much we've loved her since before she was even born.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Eats * Catalyst

My Mr. and I usually hang out in Boston so we admittedly we don't know much about the food scene on the other side of the river. But my Mr. recently started a new job in Kendall Square and we're learning that Cambridge has some really great food. Feeling adventurous, we hopped on our bikes and had a dinner date at Catalyst.

We were really impressed. Love the modern but comfortable style of the dining room. There's also a beautiful bar and a fireplace which would be nice and cozy for cold New England winters. The food was delicious, inventive but not in a frightening way (you know what I mean right?). And the staff was so friendly and welcoming. It was way warmer than we thought it would be so when we entered, we were kind of gross, sweaty and out of breath. They still greeted us with a smile and patiently waited for us to settle in and take off our helmets.

Fried green tomatoes with pickled jalepenos, arugula and buttermilk-dill dressing.
I was all set to order potato puffs but then our waitress said that the fried green tomatoes were her favorite and well... I'm easily swayed. The breading was perfectly crisp and the jalapenos nice and hot. But the best part... the buttermilk-dill dressing. The cool dressing went really nicely with the tartness of the tomatoes.

Grilled polenta with baby artichokes, king oyster mushrooms, roasted red pepper Sicillian pesto.
My Mr. took this photo and he wanted his drink into the photo. He usually a pretty solid meat eater but this dish grew on him. He loved the mushrooms. The pesto was really flavorful and the grilled polenta was a good base for it.

Corn ravioli with swiss chard, roasted peppers, basil, ricotta salata.
This is one of those dishes that changes your life a little. I've never had anything like it. I'm a midwest girl. I love my corn. I know good corn. This is good corn. The ravioli filling has a creamy filling with crisp, fresh off the cob, sweet corn kernels. The roasted peppers, swiss chard and seasonings bring in the savory and keep the overall dish from being too sweet. So much flavor! They were little bundles of tasty joy.

Catalyst's menu changes based on the seasons so everything tastes very fresh and real. I'll be back a few more times before summer ends to get my hands on some more corn ravioli but I can't wait to see what they have planned for fall and winter.

Kendall Square
300 Technology Square
Cambridge, MA 02139

Monday, July 7, 2014

Scrappy * Nail Art

This is an older page and it's up in my Two Peas gallery but since that will be going away soon, I thought I'd share it here. I followed Shimelle's 4x6 photo love sketch for July. It's such a fun subject, I wanted to use really bright, whimsical colors and patterns. And yes, those are tiny robot and tiny tuxedos on our nails. If you want to read more about our girly nail art day with local nail art celebrity, Nina Nailed It, you can view this older post.