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.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

A love letter to Two Peas in a Bucket

Last week, scrapbookers received some very sad news. Two Peas in a Bucket, an online scrapbooking store, will be closing their doors. To me, the news was unexpected and made me so sad. I know it may sound a bit silly being so down about a shop closing but Two Peas is so much more than just a scrapbooking store.

I started scrapbooking in high school many, many years ago. My cousin was a Creative Memories consultant and I learned to scrapbook from her. Over the years, my scrapbooking style remained the same. I didn't know any other way of scrapping other than the Creative Memories way. Which wasn't a bad thing at all. I love those scrapbooks. But it was a very specific way to scrapbook. After graduating from college, I poked around the internet for scrapping inspiration but nothing really caught my eye so I went back into my bubble and kept on scrapping the only way I knew how. I didn't see the internet as a good source of scrapping inspiration because I just couldn't find anything that really called out to me

One day, in 2012-ish, I stumbled upon Two Peas in a Bucket. I don't remember how I found it but the moment I entered the site, I knew it was the place for me. I had found my scrappy home. So many pretty products! Endless videos! The Garden Girls! The Garden Girls completely changed how I scrapbook. I was learning about techniques, patterned papers, paint and mist, design principles... so much to learn!! The Garden Girls all have different styles but they all called out to me. Two Peas had a great eye and brought the very best talent out there together in their Garden Girls team. And all that top notch inspiration was free and open to all. It boggled my mind. I wasn't very active in the gallery because I'm pretty shy about my scrapping but I did post a few things here and there and the support and feedback I received from fellow peas made my heart swell. I don't have any friends who scrapbook and I've never socialized in scrappy ways (never even been to a scrap) so to have that kind of interaction was so meaningful to me. I participated in the NSD and CHA celebrations which was so much fun I couldn't believe I had been missing out for so many years. Until Two Peas, scrapbooking had been a very solitary and private hobby. Two Peas really opened up the world of scrapbooking to me.

I loved shopping there not only because they had such a wonderfully curated shop but because I loved knowing that I was supporting this amazing company. For two years, I purchased nearly all my scrapbooking supplies from Two Peas because it was a way for me to support them and thank them for all the free videos, workshops, forums, everything. On top of all that, their customer service was so great I often wished I could hug someone through a support ticket. Really, this company makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

I can't imagine how difficult this must be for the owners and staff of Two Peas and the Garden Girls. I doubt they'll ever read this but I just wanted to say thank you. I love to scrapbook and Two Peas has had such a huge influence on me. It breathed new life into my scrapbooks and introduced me to some amazing scrappers. It really opened my eyes and has completely changed scrapbooking for me. The day of the announcement, I filled my bucket with a few things I didn't really need and made my last purchase just for the sake of making one last purchase at Two Peas.
Thank you Two Peas... I'll miss you!