Project Life

Becky Higgins came out with the new Project Life core kits and I fell in love. LOVE! I knew that I was going to have to have it when it came out in May. The problem with this is that I am woefully behind on my Project Life and I can’t justify buying another one when I don’t have a single week totally done.

Here’s what I had done at the start of the month. I was missing 3 months of journaling and I had the hipstamatic pictures printed for April, May, June, July, and half of August. (Remember, my book runs April to April.)


I’m happy to say that I am now totally caught up with the journaling. 🙂 I also went through and cut out all of the pictures, taped them down, and identified the blank spots where I needed a DSLR picture. I’ve sorted through my DSLR pics from April- July and picked the ones to be printed, generally 1 a week. I decided to go ahead and edit all of the pictures as I was going and pick the ones to print for Kate’s scrapbook at the same time so as you can imagine its been quite the process. I can’t wait to get a huge stack of pictures to play with!


RaptorDad has a staph infection and was in the hospital last week.  It looks like everything is going to be fine and he’ll make a full recovery, but he’s going to be on antibiotics via a PICC line for several weeks.  All this to say that the blog has taken a back seat to life for the moment.  lol.

I’m going to try to keep updating 3 times a week, but I made no promises.  🙂

Can’t put up a post without a cute pic so here you go.  🙂  This one’s from last May.  I’m finally editing some pictures.  Let me just say that LightRoom is awesome!

Bento Box

Kate’s lunch today.

From the top: string cheese, crackers, tomatoes, blueberries, ham, more tomatoes and some broccoli.  I love packing bentos for her.  🙂

Conversation Hearts Centerpiece

I loved the peppermint ones so much that I decided to make some with conversation hearts!

I decided to make these smaller for 2 reasons.  1.  The conversation hearts are smaller and I wanted the scale to make sense.  2.  I wanted to reuse the red stripped juice glasses that I bought for Christmas as the base.

I thought that the print quality was a little sub par, but I guess that’s part of the charm?

I followed the same kind of pattern that I did with the peppermints (thought I did briefly consider trying some kind of soccer ball pattern involved the addition of red hots) and then coated the whole thing with hair spray.  Incidentally, when I was at Hobby Lobby last week I saw that Mod Podge makes a *spray* sealer.  I think that a great big can of that just might be in my future.  🙂

I think that they turned out super cute!  I cant wait for Valentine’s Day!

Crockpot Chicken Tacos

I’ve decided that it’s kind of pathetic that I’m a grown-up and I can’t cook.  Time to rectify that!  One of my goals for January is to cook at least one meal a week.  First up was KA Chicken Tacos.  The recipe is from one of the moms in my online moms group and they all rave about it.

The last time I got a wild hair up my butt and decided to learn to cook, I made use of the crock pot.  Long time readers will remember that it was a disaster of epic proportions.  Luckily I have a somewhat selective memory when it comes to kitchen disasters.

So this recipe is super easy.You need 3 chicken breasts, HEB pico, *chicken* taco seasoning, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 1/4 cup of water.

Sprinkle the seasoning packet in the bottom of the crockpot.  By the way, seasoning packets are not kept by the spices in HEB.  I may or may not have spent 20 minutes examining every single spice in HEB looking for it before asking for help.

Set the chicken on top of that.  The recipe called for frozen, but mine was fresh and it worked just fine.

Dump the container of pico on top of that.  Apparently you can use rotel if you like, but we avoid canned food as much as possible.

Add the olive oil and water and cook on low for 4-6 hours.  I think I actually cooked it for 7 and it was still fine.  I love how forgiving the crockpot is.

I didn’t think that there was nearly enough liquid, but it was perfect.  When you think it’s done, shred the chicken and let it cook for 30 more minutes.

That’s it!  How easy was that.

I served it with guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and cheese.

I threw together some fruit, sautéed up some zucchini and dinner was served!

Kate declined to try the chicken opting for a strawberry taco instead.  #3yearoldsaregross  Michael gave it 2 thumbs up though.  In fact, he even ate it as leftovers the next day!  I’m calling this one a success.


Laminated Heart Letter Match

Kate has a magnetic chalk board now and I’m so excited to start using it!  First project, a little something to get us in the Valentine’s Day mood while working on letter recognition.


I started by cutting out hearts and arrows on my cricut.  I used the SCAL software and created my own svg files using the included stamps.

Then I laminated them.  Excuse me while I totally geek out over here.  I <3 this machine.

After they were laminated, I cut them out and wrote the alphabet on them.  Uppercase letters on the arrows and lowercase letters on the hearts.  I figured that most of the uppercase letters can only go in one direction, but the lowercase ones can be turned (p, d, b, q for example) so I wanted them on the heart which can only go one way.

I thought about stamping them or using rubbons, but I didn’t for 3 reasons.  1.  I don’t have matching upper and lowercase stamps.  2.  The lowercase case alphas I have are the ones with the old school g and a (like the font I’m typing in now) and not the bubblier ones that Kate is used to.  3.  I wanted to make it more versatile so that in future years I can remove the sharpie with fingernail polish removed and put different things on them (sight words, math, sentences, etc.)

The last thing I did was to cut small stripes of magnet tape and stick it to the back.

Overall, I’m pleased with how it turned out!

December Daily Days 7-10

Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…  j/k.  I’m having a harder time with this project this year for 2 reasons.  1.  I just did October Daily which was a blast but still quite the task.  2.  I never did find 1 Christmas line that I *loved* so I’m pulling from a few different things to try to make it work.  That said, Kate was so excited about looking at our previous December Dailies that I knew I had to push through or I would regret it.  Here’s the next installment.

Day 7.  Are those peppermint Thickers not too die for?  I wish I had bought 4 or 5 packages instead of 1. Paper is Authentique:)

I added an insert since it was a busy day.  First we went on a tour of the post office with one of our playgroups, then we met up with another playgroup at the park after “nap.”  Tree paper is last year’s My Mind’s Eye.

Day 8.  We went to a peppermint themed birthday party for Emily.  So adorable!  I *think* this paper is Basic Grey, but I’m too lazy to go look.  If anyone is dying to know, leave a comment and I’ll see if I can find it.

Day 9.  More awesome Thickers.  And Authentique paper.  And Mimi cuddles.  🙂

I added a strip of this year’s My Mind’s Eye to the back.

Day 10.  The girls and I made ornaments!  It was super fun.  My Mind’s Eye with some October Afternoon stickers.

I added a page with a macro shot of some peppermints I was working on and put journaling on the back.  You can see Kate’s page poking through.  She was *so* excited to help.  More on that in the next installment.

Also, just a bit of a goals update to try to keep myself accountable.  (I’m writing this on the 10th.)  I’m way behind in Kate’s scrapbook and Project Life.  My goals this month are to finish her March and April layouts (pictures have already been printed); finish December Daily; sort and order pics for May and June; sort and order Project Life pics for April, May, and June; and do the Project Life journaling for November.  Oh and start cooking.  I’m making dinner once a week now.  Wow.  Seeing it all typed out like that is kind of freaking me out.  I have 21 more days…  Can I do it?  We shall see.


Another Awesome iPad App

Guest Post from Raptor Dad.  🙂

Bellamon makes some of Raptor Dad’s favorite kid’s apps for the iPad. Fortunately, they also make some of Raptor’s favorites! Shape-O was the first app we purchased from them, and it is a near perfect kid’s app. Simple to use, generous with the stray touches that kids are likely to do at the edge of the screen, bright and cheery, and just a lovely experience for your little ones. It didn’t hurt that it included dozens of puzzles for our very picky little girl to sort through.

Next came Counting Catepillar, which was still good but a little more mind numbing to the full grown brain. It’s just counting, so it can get old and repetitive quickly, but that’s the sort of reinforcement kids need. Again, the software is well designed when it comes to children, interfacing easily without much instruction at all. Many kid’s apps fail in this way, including advertising or unneccessary screens plugging other apps by the company that just get in the way of your kid doing what they want to do (play games!)

Most recently we purchased the Math Tree, which is again a lovely app with all the design benefits of the others, but targeting a little bit more advanced skill: Addition and Subtraction (note, there may be more advanced math like Multiplication and Division, but Raptor hasn’t gotten there yet and I haven’t sought it out). Hopefully no one gets judgy that we are drilling our little girl on Math skills, this is something Raptor has come to on her own. She started doing simple adding and subtraction without any guidance, which blew our minds a little so we’ve tried to gently encourage it and make sure there are tools available for her to explore at her own pace.

Anyway, on to The Math Tree. The app is beautiful as ever and Raptor loves it. On screen ‘manipulatives’ allow her to see and discover the answer to each math problem and then answer from 1 of 4 multiple choice options. When she gets one wrong it gently suggests that she try another option. Because the options are just there for her to see, I have noticed that she will grow impatient at times and just mash buttons until she gets the right one, but she is just three – I suppose a little impatience is expected.

All in all it’s a great app and I’d encourage anyone with an iPad and little ones to pick up anything Bellamon makes.

Valentine’s Day Lacing Card

As promised, here’s my first project made with the laminator!

First I cut out out a heart with my Cricut and laminated with with my awesome laminating machine.  🙂  The paper is last year’s Valentine’s line from Echo Park.

I flipped it over and marked where I wanted the holes with a sharpie.

I punched the holes with my crop-a-dile.  This was probably my favorite tool until the awesomeness that is my laminating machine entered my life.  🙂

It’s hard to see the holes in this pic, but they’re there.  🙂  I dug up a red shoe lace from one of Kate’s lacing cards and got it started for her.

She was thrilled!

I’m also considering setting her up with a yard needle and some pink yarn so she can try her hand at sewing.

December Daily Days 4-6

Day 4: Hanging up the Christmas lights with the girls.  Crate Paper base with some October Afternoon stickers and some washi tape.

Day 5: Gymnastics!  I used a transparency (Hambly maybe?) as the base and some cool glittery Thickers.  I matched 2 photos front to back to hide the adhesive.  I also put a strip of cardstock behind the letters and used it for journaling on the other side.

I added a little half sheet with a picture of Kate writing a story with Michael.  Michael even did some journaling on the back for me.  🙂

Day 6!  More Crate Paper with a My Mind’s Eye sticker.

Another additional sheet, Echo Park this time, with an October Afternoon sticker and some washi tape.

I left the back of the page blank just because.  🙂  Stay tuned for days 7-9!