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Thursday, August 28, 2014

This Week In My Kitchen ~ 8.28.14

:: Capturing my love of food, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the heart of our home. ::

Joining Heather for:
[click photo to join blog hop]


9/4/14 UPDATED UPDATE :: [grin]
Linking up on 9/4/14 ~ Better late than never, I always say!
Welcome to all September 4th participants.

8/28/14 UPDATE ::
WHOOPS!  Just got the message that Heather will NOT be holding the blog hop today.
Well, you can have a look at my pictures -- 
ENJOY!


Different tastes: hot tea, and... not so hot tea


During the day, table = desk


Caught the sunlight shining through the olive oil


 My daughter decided to whip up some
sugar-free chocolate pudding tarts for dessert one night


 A couple weeks ago, when I showed you my clean kitchen, some of you commented that it doesn't stay that way for long.  That's for sure!

What messes have you been making in the kitchen lately?


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Project Life Update ~ 8.26.14

Well, it's finally happened.  I knew it would eventually -- but I had no idea the mix of emotions that this would cause...

I am up to date with my photos!  Well, to be specific -- I have a few current photos to put in the books... but, I am caught up on my fall-2010 through July 2014 photos!  !

I am:
  • relieved beyond belief to have this off of my plate (and if I am honest, to this I will add guilt-free.  Yes, I confess, I was experiencing a bit of guilt for letting these memories sit so long)
  • excited that scrappin' no longer feels like a burden, but has become totally manageable
  • a little bit sad that the big push to catch up is over
  • happy that I have found a workable answer in moving forward

Hmmmm, who knew?  And with that -- here are today's catch-up pages:

As I've mentioned before, every event is not a two-page spread for me.  Case in point: the photo below.  The left-hand page has a few different summer-time events, and the right-hand page starts a photo-heavy section for our son's graduation party.


WooHoo!  What a party!

I love these photos of the next day, too -- a gathering of six cousins.  I loved photographing this girl-time.  Love these sweet faces!  This is another photo-heavy spread, but I did manage to cut a title card in half to use in the smaller pockets for a little journaling.


More adventures around town.  We happened to see the blimp out one day, and followed it to the hangar, where it landed, and took off, and landed.  Lots of cars pulled into the parking lot to watch.  The blimp was pretty awesome -- and HUGE up close and personal!  Additional photos are from a trip to Amish Country.  I love the cards on this page.  They are from the "Hi Sunshine" Value Kit.


Most summer Saturdays, we get in the car and drive somewhere.  Sometimes we know where we're headed, and sometimes we don't.  {I think my hubby "knows" most of the time, but doesn't let on that he has a plan.}  Here's a perfect example... we headed to a car show that I [yes, it was me this time] read about on-line, but ended up driving some country roads, and getting some other fun pictures.  Cards on this page are from the "Road Trip" themed kit.  Perfect!


Off to Hershey-country, where bottles of Hershey's chocolate syrup are as big as... well, BIG!  These pages use only title cards from the "Road Trip" kit and  the "Hi Sunshine" kit.


These pages wrap up the previous ones, and move on to all-things-fall: football and apple orchards!  Cards are from the "Family" and "Fall" themed kits -- and the football cards are homemade with bits and scraps that I already had.  I shared those with you on previous pages.


You can see that I have a couple of tendencies:
  1. I have photo-heavy pages.  As much as I love the Project Life cards -- THEY do not tell my stories... my photos do.  I use the cards to fill in the visual blanks, and to help tell my stories with journaling.  In most cases, I do not use them to stretch a few photos to an entire one or two pages.  I said most cases.  I have a weakness for beautiful fall pictures, and I love our fall adventures.  Upon occasion, I do a more traditional two-page spread.  Spreading the photos out over two pages, I use the cards more decoratively, or in a pattern to fill in the blanks.  You can see some examples of that style of page in this older post.
  2. Additionally, I am committed to NOT letting this type of scrapbooking stress me out in any way.  It is such a fun process for me, and I want to keep it that way.  That said, I may scrap my photos one way one week, and totally different the next week.  Sometimes I edit my pictures down to fit in a certain area.  Other times, I let extra photos spill over onto the next page.  This is my family's story, and we understand the flow of these pictures -- and that's all that really matters.  Below, you'll see a perfect example of this.  My fall photos spilled over from the previous pages, but didn't fill the space -- and I only had a few pictures of homecoming.  The homecoming shots just fit in the last quarter-section of the two-page spread.
  3. Overall, I think I lean more towards an old-fashioned "scrap-as-it-happens" technique rather than prim and proper layouts.  Of course, just when I say that, I find myself breaking that "rule."  ha! FLEXIBILITY IS THE KEY!!

One thing I am learning through this process: stick with horizontal pictures!!  {Or, at least until I change my mind about using different style pocket pages.}

Stay tuned!  More's comin'!  *wink


Monday, August 25, 2014

Hibiscus Update, and a New School Year!

We interrupt the usual Project Life Monday blog post pattern to bring you this Hibiscus update.  Also... I was lazy this weekend, and didn't get to take any new photos for a Project Life Update.  Stay tuned... hopefully tomorrow.

You might remember that I told you about our first Hibiscus blossom HERE,  and I marked the date for future reference.  I was pretty excited when that first bloom popped open, and I promised to show you more... when they opened.  It's been chilly around here this summer -- and I think they were waiting for a warmer day -- which we've had a few of lately, so... without further adieu...



I love these crinkly crepe-paper like petals!


This one was not taken to give me any bragging rights.  It's only so that I have a measure, year to year of how big these blooms get.



The intricate centers are amazing!



Well, it's back to school today.  This year our daughter is attending the local Career Center during the first half of the day, and then, will catch a bus back to the high school for her core classes in the afternoon. This particular week, that means half days until Wednesday, when she will participate as a mentor in freshman activities during the afternoon hours.  On Thursday her real full-day schedule begins.  

Around here, the anxiety has been building.

We are anxious to get "firsts" behind us.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

This Week In My Kitchen ~ 8.21.14

:: Capturing my love of food, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the heart of our home. ::

Joining Heather for:
[click photo to join blog hop]


New spice cupboard "steps"


Snackin' and Surfin'


Peeling carrots for hubby's lunch


Waffles and strawberries


 Saturday morning tea


 On a whim... cinnamon rolls in the waffle iron


 Icing is not optional


Making coffee

What's happening in your kitchen?


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Parents, Take Heart!

As parents, many of us walk through uncharted territory.  It's scary stuff.  Our family was not immune to some trials.  We have struggled through periods of time with our kids when communication was hard.  The very things that we were trying to teach them to do well, were oh-so-hard for us sometimes.  But parents, take heart! If you hang in there, you will see the tide change.  I'm not saying you can do it alone.  We leaned heavily on the Lord, make no mistake!

The other evening, I sort of felt like I had a full-circle moment with our son.

He came home from work after a 7-4 shift at one job, and a 4:30-9 shift at another), and I got to enjoy about 45 minutes of conversation with him.  I was at the kitchen table, and he came to sit down, and we talked.  About work.  About life.  He was tired.  He was scheduled for the same shifts the next day, and should've been off to bed.  But he took the time to talk.

I have long been a proponent of a "things were so much easier when the kids were toddlers" philosophy -- and I've really felt that to my bones.  When the kids were little, there was so much more that was under my control -- or at least I labored under that illusion.  As they've grown up, there is so much that I need to let go of and give to God.  I know you cannot go back, but those early years were easy for me -- at least, comparatively speaking.  So, to have grown-up evening chats at the kitchen table with my 20-year-old son is kind of amazing to me.

When he said goodnight, I said, "Thanks for chatting," and on his way up to bed, he responded, "Thanks for listening."

I was still in the kitchen... smiling.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Project Life Update ~ 8.18.14

Continuing on from last week... remember, these photos are "out of season" so to speak... still working on catching up.


I love this page because it reminds me that I am taking a relaxed approach with Project Life.  These photos are of my daughter and my niece, who share a birthday.  Needless to say, their birthday pictures are always together in the scrapbooks.  But I didn't take that many pictures this particular year, and I had a bunch of open slots.  I didn't necessarily just want to fill the empty spots with cards for the sake of filling them.  This is where my kazillion photos of flowers came in handy!  I used some pretty shots of grocery store flowers to fill in an empty corner on this two-page spread.

quote: "99% of life is mundane SO IT'S IMPORTANT to enjoy the everyday."
my words: "like clearance flowers!"

The cards used here are from the birthday-themed collection, and the quote is from an old pad of card-stock quotes I had on hand.  I just cut it to fit.


This first page is about some special gifts my son and I received.  The second page is about Dad's birthday and Mother's Day.  The colors sort of coordinate with each giving you that idea before you even start reading.  All cards are from the Sunshine Core Kit, with the exception of the bottom left chevron, and the quote {both from the same quote pad as above.}


Again -- several events: our family at a baseball game, our daughter at an academic awards ceremony, and my sister [and family] at her birthday party.  Cards are from the Sunshine Core Kit, the Americana themed kit, and the Celebrations kit.  There's another quote card in there too.  I love cards with words!!!  The core kits and themed kits have some of those as well!


Wow, on to our son's graduation last spring!  I love these pages -- and there are a bunch of them.  This particular set shows a Design A pocket page and a 6x12 page.  I had a few of these left from another project, and they really do come in handy for the random thing here and there -- like for saving special greeting cards.  In this case, I have slipped our son's graduation announcement in it.  After unfolding the entire announcement, I sliced it down the center seam, and inverted the one side (otherwise the back side would've been upside-down) before putting it in the sleeve.  The front had a blank center section, so I attached a nice photo of his graduation tassel there.  You can see the back side of the page below.


To the right in the photo above, you can see a Design H pocket page.  By using this page and the one below, I was able to fit in all of our graduation photos without spilling over onto one more left-hand page.


All of the graduation pages use the Graduation themed cards -- which I LOVE, because most of them were in our school colors!  Hurray.  While I'm thinking of it {and before the retire that pack of cards}, I think I will pick up another one for our daughter's graduation in two years!  How's that for planning ahead?


Whew!  After graduation, we celebrated!  Fun family time!!  Most of these cards are from the "Hi Sunshine" Value Kit.


Time for more birthdays!  Mine, my sweet hubby's, and our niece's.  In between, I couldn't resist sharing the photos of the hibiscus we bought for our garden.  What beautiful blooms.  Cards are from the Celebrations themed kit and the "Hi Sunshine" kit.

Well, that wraps it up for this week!  I haven't lost "the fire!"  I'm still rolling along on this -- and loving every minute of it!  It is HUGE for me to have this off my mind -- and we are enjoying the books tremendously!  So many great memories have been recalled!

That's what it's all about.
{Kind of like the Hokey-Pokey! *wink}


Friday, August 15, 2014

First Bloom ~ Hibiscus

Yesterday was the day.  I sat at the kitchen table eating my breakfast, and I saw it -- the Hibiscus' first bloom!  Looks like there are plenty more where this came from, and I'll try and catch pictures of those too, but couldn't resist showing you this shot!


Have a great weekend!  ~Sally



Thursday, August 14, 2014

This Week In My Kitchen ~8.14.14

:: Capturing my love of food, combined with the activity of a bustling kitchen.
A weekly collection of photos from the heart of our home. ::

Joining Heather for:
[click photo to join blog hop]


A clean kitchen!




Early morning.  Hard-boiling eggs.

And one for me...

Getting ready for a pan full of Stuffed Peppers
-- a great dish for doubling up and planned leftovers for lunches!

I can't even tell you how extraordinarily happy it makes me to eat these.  Leftovers might be great for packing in hubby and son's lunches -- but I'm all too glad to eat my share at home!

Can't wait to see what's been happening in other kitchens...


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Hibiscus, a Bunny, a Skunk -- and This Summer!

...and not necessarily in that order

Hmmm... Hibiscus is ever a surprise.  When we purchased this plant last year, it was already blooming, and we enjoyed it's beautiful pink blooms.  Then came the harsh winter, and when spring came... NOTHING.  We thought it was a goner.  But, sure enough and better late than never -- it came back.  It grew tall fast as if we were living in the tropics, though there's been nothing tropical about this summer in NEOhio.  Finally, in July, I took a picture of this somewhat complex thing that I thought was the beginning of a blossom.

photo taken 7/16/14

In fact, it seems as if that was the beginning of many blossoms!  That centralized burst of green has turned into lots and lots of these:

photos taken 8/8/14

At least, I think that's what has happened.  All I know is... I'm pretty excited about this bud (below).  I'm actually seeing a little pink there!  Could be any day now, I suppose.  Although, if it's anything like our tomatoes that don't want to turn red...  I hear they like a little heat.  Hmmmm - at this point, all bets are off for more heat THIS summer.  And that's not a complaint.  It's been a lovely fallish-summer.  I just might have to wait to see my Hibiscus bloom and to eat ripe home-grown tomatoes until next year.


Ironically, as I do my blog-reading, other bloggers are saying that it's been a hot, hot summer.  I suppose they are knee-deep in Hibiscus blooms and homegrown tomatoes too.

Around here, we turn the air off at night [that is, if it's been on at all] and fling the windows wide open.  Lately though, there has been a cry of "skunk" during the night, and all of the windows get slammed shut.  It seems that those of us who are innocently wrapped in blankets in the house -- and far out of the skunk's way -- shouldn't have to deal with his stench smack in the middle of our dreams.

Thank goodness I've never met the skunk at the door when taking the trash out at night!  I don't even want to think about that!!  Though we have much evidence of creature comings and goings around here, this guy [below] is usually the one that jumps out to surprise us... or just lays flat-out on it's belly under tall-growing flowers.  Either way, I'll take Mr. Cottontail ANYtime.

How's that for a lot of random thoughts?  Yep.  All rolled up into one post.

P.S.  Don't worry.  I'll let you know if and when the Hibiscus blooms!  *wink



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