Monday, July 31, 2017

Meal Plan Monday - July 31

It's the end of July! Summer is almost over with! School starts out here at the beginning of September, but for some of you, the school year is right around the corner. (When I was a kid, I went to elementary school year-round, so I was always in school in July and August, but then I'd have the whole month of September off. Ah, those were the days.)

Anyway, here is what we're eating to end July and kick off August. We are going to try several new recipes from The Pediatrician's Guide to Feeding Babies and Toddlers book, which really excites me because our daughter is such a good eater now, but I want to make sure we're getting fruits and veggies in. She does like bananas. (Not her mother's daughter.)

Sunday: pizza

Monday: Pulled Apricot Raisin Chicken with asparagus

Tuesday: tacos

Wednesday: out

Thursday: leftover tacos

Friday: Noodles with Flaked Salmon and Crispy Bok Choy Slaw

Saturday: Chicken Vegetable Meatballs in Sweet and Sour Sauce

Friday, July 28, 2017

Stop and Smell the Flowers Scrapbook Page

Remember how I said that I wasn't spending a lot of time finishing up our Paris vacation pictures from 2014? Welllllll.... then I went and made this page.

This was made using my Lea France stencil. How fitting, right? Pictures of a garden in France using a French scrapbook technique! I actually had six pictures from this garden that I wanted to use, but I ended up getting rid of one to fit this five-picture layout.

The letters for the title are all old Basic Grey. I believe the small ones are from the Mon Ami collection. I couldn't tell you where the other letters are from! I've had those Basic Grey letters since 2007! The patterned paper is also old Basic Grey.

And I used up some random embellishments from my stash. Very pleased with how this came out, even if it did take longer than expected. It was worth it!

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Beautiful Bodies - Book Review

I saw so much of myself in the author of this book. Beautiful Bodies is Kimberly Rae Miller's memoir of her weight. From trying to lose weight as a young girl to gaining weight as an adult and yo-yo-ing everywhere in between. I'm sure that most of us have been there, right?

When Miller wrote about getting into modeling as a young girl, it reminded me of the time my friends and I went to an open model call at a hotel and two of my friends were picked but not me. It made me wonder what might have happened if my mom had said "yes" to my dance teachers' request to enter me in beauty pageants as a 5-year-old. Would someone have told me that I needed to go on a diet at that young of an age?

Reading about Miller's dieting struggles as a little girl reminded me of "working out" with my mom to her Jane Fonda exercise videos. (And then I remembered my mom telling me that exercise did not make Jane Fonda look the way she looked. Liposuction did.)

It reminded me of when I was 9 years old and I decided that I needed to go on a diet. I remember cutting out cookies and then weighing myself and seeing that I had lost five pounds. (That diet didn't last long, of course.)

And then again in high school eating half a salami sandwich at lunch instead of a whole one and using mustard instead of mayo in order to cut calories. My mom told me it was what her friend on Weight Watchers was doing.

And then I read the book French Women Don't Get Fat and become obsessed with drinking water all day. I don't know if it was the water or the fact that I was home from college for the summer with not much to do, but I did lose some weight.

I never gained the Freshman 15. Instead, I actually lost weight in college thanks to using my gym pass to take modern dance lessons and walk the track, and taking walks through the neighborhood.

This book reminded me of the time I threw out old jeans because I had gone down a size and thought I wouldn't be needing them again. (I should have listened to my mom who told me to hold onto them. Just in case. She was right.)

Not to mention the fact that the author and I are the same age, were both pregnant around the same time, AND we both had thyroid issues. There was a definite connection for me.

So, even though this doesn't sound like a review of the book, it really is. This is a book that you can relate to. This is a book that makes you take a hard look at yourself and your history with your body. This is a book that every woman should read.

Beautiful Bodies is published by Little A and is on bookstore shelves now. I received an advance review copy from Amazon with no obligation to review.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Meal Plan Monday - July 24

This week is all about trying to eat healthier (and eat leftovers). I've got two FIT4MOM recipes on the meal plan and one recipe from a stroke education pamphlet that is all about promoting a Mediterranean diet to stave off the risk of stroke. (Strokes run in my family.) So we'll give it a try! (Also, happy birthday to my dad!)

Sunday: turkey breast, mashed potatoes, green beans with sliced almonds

Monday: chicken salad sandwiches, potato chips

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Slow Cooker No Tortilla Soup

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: Pepper Jack Cheesy Mac (the one non-healthy recipe this week)

Saturday: leftovers

Friday, July 21, 2017

Paris Scrapbook Pages

So, in 2014 we went to London and Paris. And for the past three years, my scrapbook album from that trip has been unfinished. There were always just other pictures to scrap and other things (a baby) to prepare for. London got done, but I hadn't even printed out the Paris pictures!

I made the decision the other week to just GET. IT. DONE. I printed off the pictures I needed and got to work.

Here are two of the pages I've been working on. I am not spending a lot of time on them, partly because I just need to get the pictures on pages and partly because Paris was not our favorite.

On the above layout, which I realized doesn't really have a title, you'll see pictures of me and the Louvre. We didn't go inside on this trip. I had done it before, and my husband didn't really have an interest in going inside, so we just walked by. The exterior is more interesting anyway.

This page I had put together in advance using Basic Grey Mon Ami scraps back when I was actively working on this vacation album, so all I had to do was put the pictures on the page.

And then "Paradise Found" was literally put together in about five minutes. The floral paper is Crate Paper, and the rest of the papers are scraps from the same Crate Paper collection. Some of the embellishments are Basic Grey Mon Ami, and the title sticker comes from a travel collection someone gave me a long time ago.

Ah, the gardens of Paris. The only part I liked.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Merry Christmas, Baby! Scrapbook Page

I decided to make Christmas scrapbook pages for my own scrapbook album and for the baby's. (Once I get past her 1-year pictures, I am going to consolidate and go back to just one family scrapbook album.) This is a two-pager that I made for myself.

I had the patterned papers in my stash, and I scraplifted a layout from my Scrapbook/Cards Pinterest board. There's even ribbon on this layout! But I had to go out and buy letters and embellishments. I found some sparkly American Crafts Thickers at Michael's and a cute holiday-themed sticker pack from Me & My Big Ideas.

Instead of journaling on this layout (because I'm sure I will remember what these pictures were), I just used the embellishments to tell the story.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Meal Plan Monday - July 17

Now that my toddler is eating table foods, I'm trying to think of dinners that all three of us can enjoy! With the exception of Sunday night's Blue Apron meal (a little too spicy for a beginner eater, maybe) and Monday night's salmon (it was on sale!), everything else this week should satisfy my new eater. I mean, homemade spaghetti and meatballs has to be better than Chef Boyardee, and she ate almost a whole can of that stuff!

Sunday: Spicy Beef and Lamb with Noodles

Monday: ginger salmon with smashed potatoes

Tuesday: out

Wednesday: spaghetti and meatballs

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: chicken quesadillas

Saturday: on our own

Friday, July 14, 2017

Play Scrapbook Page

What is it about babies and laundry baskets? I found this old picture of me sitting in my parents' laundry basket back in 1984 and decided to do a side-by-side scrapbook page with a picture of Daphne sitting in our laundry basket last year.

The big "play" title has been something in my stash for a long time. I'm so glad I finally got to use it on something! And the rest of this layout is ALL stash! I got some ribbon and washi tape out for this one, along with using up some patterned papers from an old 8x8 paper pad.

It's so much fun to look down memory lane, both from when I was a kid and from just a few months ago with the baby!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Deery Me Scrapbook Page

How about some Christmas in July? I have so many Christmas pictures to scrap, and some of them are on layouts but I need to get some Christmas embellishments for the finishing touches!

This is a page about our family tradition of wearing holiday hats. Daphne got to be part of it last Christmas! For this page, I used up some Christmas papers from a big paper pad in my stash. And I also used up stickers and embellishments that were not specifically Christmas-themed from my stash.

Even though my mom is no longer with us, I am still going to continue this tradition because I think it's silly and she would really want us to.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Meal Plan Monday - July 10

Things have been a little off-schedule the past month, but we are finally settling back into a groove and getting on with things. This week's meal plan will primarily be brought to you by Blue Apron. A co-worker gave me a free box, so I decided to check it out and see what the fuss was all about. I think that at least one of the three meals will NOT be gluten-free, so we will have to substitute our own gluten-free noodles, but as long as everything comes packaged individually, I think that will be okay. Wish us luck!

Sunday: roast chicken, mashed potatoes, and corn

Monday: salmon patties and potatoes

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: spicy lamb and beef noodles

Thursday: leftovers

Friday: seared chicken with tomatillo salsa

Saturday: chile butter steaks