2015 Project Life Week 50

Still loving these kits!  In fact, I just knocked out my 4th layout and I think the number of cards was pretty spot on.  🙂  But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Here’s the second layout from the kit, week 50.

RaptorMama PL Week 50

Since I had so many cute cards and embellishments that I wanted to use, I printed 6 photos as 2×2 squares.  It also lets me save on printer paper since I can get all 6 to print as 1 4×6 photo!  🙂

RaptorMama PL Week 50-2

Plus, I loved getting to include bunches of instagram pics.  🙂  Now the question…  Go back and fill in the gaps for 2015 or play with the January kit…  Or both!

2015 Project Life Week 49

Oh my gosh, y’all.  I am loving these Studio Calico kits so much!  I knocked out 2 spreads this weekend and I have my photos printed for a 3rd.  Fingers crossed for some good naps!  RaptorMama Wk 49 PL

Sorry about the glare.  I need to find a better way to photograph these I think.  Any thoughts?

RaptorMama Wk 49 PL-2

Back on the Project Life Band Wagon!

My first Studio Calico box arrived today and I am in love!  I got the babies down for their naps and dug in.  ::drool::  If every month is as awesome as the 2 I just got, I think keeping up with Project Life just got a lot more likely.  🙂

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Of course, right as I got my pictures printed out Xander woke up.  lol.  That’s ok.  I have all weekend to play!  Kate and I are also finishing up our Take Action Project this afternoon.  I ended up fast tracking the last half of our Girl Scout journey so that we could have our culminating garden party this weekend when her cousins are in town.  So looking forward to this!  And I finished my December Daily yesterday!  So much fun stuff to blog about as soon as I find some time to take pictures.  🙂

Welcome to the Daisy Garden Session 2

We are having so much fun with this Girl Scout journey!  🙂  Kate has even been coming up with extra crafts for us to do.  I love that she’s taking some ownership over this.  For our second session, we had a guest speaker.  Mi madre!  My mom has a spectacular garden so while we were over there this weekend she gave Kate a tour and talked to her about the garden in general and garden helpers (bees) specifically.  Session 2 has a helpful bee so it seemed appropriate.  Then we made a bee craft!


We made SWAPs (something with a pin) which apparently is a Girl Scout thing now.  I’d never heard of them, I guess they’re all the rage.  At any rate, I’ve seen loads of cute SWAPs holders on Pinterest.  lol.  I got the idea for these from this blog and they were super easy.  I hot glued 3 yellow pom poms together, then we used a black pipe cleaner to attach it to the safety pin.  We tied on some tule and we were done!  Originally it was supposed to have googly eyes, but I couldn’t find any so I told Kate to just imagine that they had eyes.  lol.

Welcome to the Daisy Garden Session 1

So…  Kate started Girl Scouts this year and she and I are loving it!  Her troop is an awesome mix of kindergartners and first graders and all but one are new to Girl Scouts this year.  The girls have been busily earning their petals (those are like badges for Daisies) with a lot of fun patches along the way.  We love patches.  🙂

The other day, Kate asked me what her apron would look like when she had earned everything and was ready to bridge to Brownies.  I pulled up a picture, but pointed out that we were not going to earn the journeys with the troop since we would only be daisies for one year.  (If you’re not familiar with the new program, most of the badges have been replaced with journeys.  Journeys are generally meant to be earned over the course of about 6 meetings, though there are programs to earn them in a day.  There are 3 journeys at each level and, if you earn all 3, you get the summit award.)

I asked Kate if she wanted to try to earn a journey on her own (one of her friends has done a journey) and she was super enthusiastic about it.  In fact, I have a sneaking suspicion that she wants to earn all 3.  Well, fine by me, we’re having so much fun with this one that I’m down for 2 more.  🙂  I talked to her troop leader about it and she was very encouraging.  In fact, one of her daughters is in first grade as well so we might work on the other 2 journeys together.


We’re adjusting a few things from the leader book, mainly taking out the group games and substituting crafts, and I think it’s going really well.  Since part of the point of doing this is to have some quality one on one time with Kate, I’m being very intentional about our “meetings.”  She wears her apron (omg, she’s so cute in it) and we start by saying the Promise and the Law.  Then we read the chapter in the journey book, do any of the written activities in the book, and do a related craft.  For our first meeting, I bought some flower pots, potting soil, and seeds at the Dollar Store.  I painted white around the rim of the pots to prepare them.  Then Kate and I talked about the Law and she decided on her favorite line, “Be a sister to every Girl Scout.”  We talked a little bit about some ways that she could enact that in her daily life and then she wrote it on one of the flower pots.  Since we had 3 more, I asked her if she would rather choose 3 more lines from the Law (there are 10 total) or if she wanted to me write the 3 lines of the promise.  She decided to go with the promise.  Then she colored 3 of the pots with sharpies and I colored 1.  Once she was satisfied with the crafty portion, we planted some seeds.  Tending to this little garden seems to be the point of the 1st 3rd of the journey, so fingers crossed that our dollar store seeds sprout for us.  🙂  We end our meetings by making a Daisy Circle and singing the Make New Friends song.

There are so many cute ideas online that I’m not even sure where all to link back to.  Mostly I think I’m using this site which is a council’s website that has amazing lesson plans for all of the journeys and a bunch of badges, and this site which is a blog where a mom is walking you through what she did with her troop.


Oh letterboxing.  We went once when Kate was 3 or 4 and had a blast, but when I looked in to doing it again there weren’t a ton of boxes in our area so I kind of gave up on the idea.  Well apparently it’s now super popular in our area!  There were 2 letterboxes in the park where we released the tadpoles so we planned on finding them after to soften the blow of making Kate release “her favorite pets!”

What is letterboxing you ask?  It’s like a little scavenger hunt.  You get clues off of a website (here‘s the one we used) and then follow the clues to find a little box.  Inside the box is a log book and a stamp.  You also have a personal log book and stamp.  You put your stamp in their log book and put their stamp in your log book.  Et voila!


We only ended up finding one because it was a bit cold for the babies, but I totally want to start doing this!  It gave us a great reason for a family walk/ hike which is something we’ve been wanting to do anyway.  Plus it’s just fun to collect stamps!


Kate enjoyed looking through the box’s log book to see who had visited in the past.

It turns out that there’s a Brownie badge for letterboxing!  (Which I think explains the increase in boxes.  The girls have to “plant” a box to get the badge.)  Kate’s troop leader saw our letterboxing pics online and asked if I would consider leading the letterboxing badge next year.  Yes please! I had the pinterest board going within 30 seconds.  lol.

Tadpole Release

Waaaaaaaay back in October I got suckered into taking some frog eggs.  Raptor’s Girl Scout troop (which is the best troop evah!)  decided to earn one of their petals by rescuing some frog eggs, raising them into frogs, and then releasing them.  For some reason I assumed this would take about 2 weeks.  hahahahahaha.  More like 3 months.  It was pretty cool watching them transform but, no lie, I was ready for them to go.  Despite RaptorDad changing their water on the regular, they stunk.  So when the first of the 4 surviving tadpoles turned in to a froglet, I started planning their release back into the wild.  On Friday, his tail was gone and he tried to hop out of his home.  They were getting the boot.  lol.


What about the other 3 poor tadpoles?  Two had back legs and the buds of front legs.  One was some kind a mutant tiny tadpole that never really developed at all.  We made the executive decision to let them all go at the same time.


Kate was not 100% on board with this plan.  She had gotten a bit attached and wanted to keep them, but one geriatric dog is already bordering on more pet than I can handle so I convinced her that they would be happier in their new home.


Bye bye froggie!  (Don’t worry, the jar was just for transport.  They had a much bigger tub at home.)  We went to a creek that has a shallow bit that I knew Kate would be able to walk out into for the release.  I also figured that shallow water meant less predators?  They didn’t get eaten in front of us so I’m counting that as a win.


Mia was soooooooo over the whole tadpole thing.  She is loving the whole baby wearing thing though.  😉


December Daily 2015

So…  I have always, always, always wanted to join a scrapbook kit club.  I never have though because they’re pricey and because I’m pretty picky about what I like.  But now that all of our local stores have closed I’ve been kind of blah.  I was having a really hard time picking a collection for my December Daily this year, but then I got an email that would change my life.  (And yes, I’m being waaaaaay overly dramatic.  lol.)  Ali Edwards was putting her past December Daily kits on clearance!!!  Needless to say I ordered both immediately.  I was so excited when I got them that I cranked out December Daily 2014 in less that a week.  Side note:  I was going to post pics of it, but it got packed away with the Christmas decorations.  Whoops.  Never fear, I’ve been making some progress on this year’s December Daily too so I can post some pics of it.  And I’ve already found some Christmas crap that missed the boxes so if there’s interest I can get it out when I put that stuff away.  🙂


I used an October Daily album that I painted white.  I then added the ribbon tape, letters, and rubber charm from the kit.


The October Afternoon page protectors are a bit big (which is irritating) but I’m making it work.  Last year (2013), I backed each page with paper from 12×12 sheets which looked great but took forever and used a ton of product.  This year, I started off stitching the pages in place and embracing the transparent elements.  I’m loving it so far.  Everything on this page, aside from the thread and the small red number stickers, is from the kit.


And on to day 1!  Top left is a pocket that I stitched closed filled with sequins from my stash (love these doodlebug sequins!) and some acetate shapes from the kit.  Top left has a card that I stamped on with the stamps from the kit and a wooden number 1 from the kit.  I’m planning to use these wooden numbers throughout the entire album to add some consistency.  And the bottom on has a pic from our Christmas card photo shoot that I stitched in place.  Then I added some trim (I glued 2 pieces back to back so it looked nice on the others side) and then stapled it in place with my tiny attacher.


Day 2 is on the back of Day 1.  The top right pocket is a cute 3×4 card from the kit.  I talked about our elf, Christopher.  Kate loves him so much that she made and furnished a house for him.  Today she left him a him a bingo game (that she also made) before she went to school.  <3  Obviously that pic made it in the bottom pocket.  I always do the front and back (so days 1 and 2) at the same time since I’m leaving a transparent element on each page.  Plus I’m stitching stuff in place.

That’s as far as I got until after Christmas.  What can I say, this month has been crazy.  But then I got this fuse tool for Christmas and my mojo returned.  It’s amazing!  In fact, I considered redoing the earlier pages with the fuse instead of stitching, but I’m not crazy.  😉  For day 3, I “fused” some sequins and a photo in the top left pocket.  Basically I turned it in to 3 pockets and sealed the top.  For the top right, I stuck the photo on a card then added some journaling and a wooden 3.  For the bottom pocket, I added some die cuts and stickers from my stash and just accepted that the photo was a bit small.  You can see some more blue trim peaking out from a future page.

The fuse has a bit of a learning curve, but I’m just embracing imperfection and going with it.  Oh, and speaking of kits and the fuse tool…  Why yes.  I will be starting a new Project Life even though my current Project Life is only half done.  In an effort to stay inspired (and just because I’ve wanted to for about 10 years) I’m actually subscribing to the Studio Calico Project Life kit club for 6 months.  It’s a big investment for me (I’m going to use my Christmas money) and I doubt I’ll be able to continue it once my subscription is up, but I’m hoping it jump starts my creativity and encourages me to finish 2015 while staying current with 2016.  Fingers crossed!

January Goals!

Oh my.  I can’t believe that I didn’t write a single blog post in November or December.  Actually, I can.  😉  The babies haven’t been sleeping great (understatement lol) so we’ve just been on survival mode.  But those of you who have been readers for a while know that I can’t resist a good goals post, especially on New Year’s!  You guys also might remember that I don’t generally do year long goals.  I just find them too ambitious and easy to quit.  Now a month long goal?  Who can’t commit to doing something for 31 days?  (Spoiler alert: me.  lol.  But I’m going to try to do better this year.)  With that in mind, here are my goals for January.  With some cute pics from a little photoshoot I did for our Christmas cards sprinkled in.  Don’t worry, Xander didn’t manage to crawl off the bridge.

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1.  Write Thank You notes.  I’ll actually try to tackle this one this weekend because I hate to have them hanging over my head.  The big question this year is if I can include the babies thank yous in the same note as mine…  (Kate does her own.)
2.  Blog!!!  Oh my.  I realize that this is a goal pretty much every month.  The reason being twofold.  One, I actually enjoy the writing aspect of keeping a blog.  Plus I hope that one day I might have an actual following.  Two, keeping up with the blog forces me to actually do something creative so that I have something to put on the blog!  And my mental health is soooooooo much better when I’m taking regular time to be creative.
3.  Meal Plan/ Grocery Shop.  This should be interesting.  I got a fancy shopping cart cover for Christmas and I was so excited to try it out that I took all 3 kids to the grocery store.  Well, we made it out alive, with groceries even, and Xander only broke one giant glass jar of preserved peppers so I guess I’m counting it as a win.  Still, I think I need to think of some new strategies for next week.  (Ones that don’t involve instacart as tempting as that may be.  lol.)  Suggestions?

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4.  Dinner Prep.  I’d like to start making dinner at least 3 times a week.  The ultimate goal will be to find recipes that I can prep in the morning or during naptime.  So heavy focus on crock pot and things that can be assembled and then baked later.  I got some awesome new baking dishes for Christmas so I feel like this is feasible now.  Trying to cook (or having RaptorDad cook) at 5:00 when RaptorDad gets home is a disaster.  The babies are just d.o.n.e.  I feel like if we can eliminate the need to deal with dinner we can have some quality family time.
5.  Which brings me to goal number 5.  I would like to make a daily walk part of my routine with the babies.  I’m thinking in the morning?  But a family walk might be nice too if I can get the dinner thing situated.  Maybe both!  At a minimum, I want to take the babies for a walk every “work day.”  We went yesterday and today and it was lovely.
6.  On to the crafty goals!   First up is that I want to complete 2015 December Daily.  If you follow me on instagram (did I post this?) you might know that I splurged and ordered 2 back kits from Ali Edwards when they went on super sale.  OMG.  I’ve never had a kit before and I had no idea how much fun they could be!  It actually inspired me to go back and do a December Daily for 2014.  I think I’ll blog it this month.  Also, I’m considering buying a Project Life kit or 2 with some of my Christmas money.  I’m currently trying to decide between the Studio Calico one and the Hip Kit one…

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7. Speaking of Project Life, I want to do 6 layouts.  3 from January 2016 and 3 as a catch up for 2015.  What about 2014 you ask?  Blah.  It’s digital and I’m over it.  I have the notes and I’m sure I’ll go back and do it eventually, but Photoshop and I are not currently on speaking terms after a bit of a failed Christmas present.
8. Scrapbook December 2014.  If I can knock this out, I’ll be done with another album!  I love finishing up a whole album.  🙂
9. Scrapbook current layouts.  I like to at least try to do some layouts in the moment before I forget the details!  So I’d like to knock out a few from this fall even as I work on bridging the gap to the babies’ births.
10. Take (and edit!) pics of the babies at least once a week with my “real” camera.