project life: can you really go back? a tale of falling behind...

I have been getting numerous comments from people wondering how I keep up and how great it must feel to be on top of Project Life. And it does. Last year and this year. What people do not realize is the dirty little secret that has been sitting in a crop bag under my bed for the last 16 months.

2011 is only half complete.

And when I say half, I'm not talking about a missing photo or journaling card here or there. Nope. From July through December? Pretty much empty pages. It's been bothering me for weeks as I diligently keep up with this year. I'm okay with not having touched 2010, George's first year, because I will be using the baby kit to do a first year album. But, having the following year just sit empty was something I couldn't let go. So, I'm doing something about it.
I'm printing photos in batches, slipping them in the pockets, jotting down a few notes on the journaling cards from the notebook I kept and that's it. Photos + pen + core kit. Just getting it done. Like this...
 and this...
and this...
 and this...
So why not just let it go? Leave the album half done, call it good and continue moving forward? Simple. There are so many family memories in the last several months of that year that deserve to be off the hard drive and in a place where this magic can happen...
As I was photographing the pages above, G sat down and started flipping through the album. I heard, "That is baby George!" and "Look, Mommy, we are at the park!" When he got to the blank pages, he said, "Oh no! The pictures are gone!"

Not for long...

The best thing about Project Life? Going back is do-able. Fast. And for anyone who wants to do it. Print photos, slip them in the pockets. Write a note or even just the date (guesstimates count!) and it's still beautiful. The extras I add to my current album? Completely optional. Don't have photos from every week? That's fine too!

***Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post. I am simply a loyal user of the Project Life products and system. I received no compensation for this post.


recipe: tangy slow cooker pork chops

Some weeks I have a meal plan all set. Others, I have a vague idea and then kind of wing it day by day with the proteins and staples we have on hand. This week I'm winging it.

After feeding the boys breakfast this morning, I opened the fridge and the cupboards to brainstorm for dinner. I had a package of boneless center cut pork chops in the fridge but, no ideas. Asking my moms Facebook group for suggestions resulted in several delicious recipes but, I didn't have all of the ingredients for a single one.

{insert improvisation}

One of the shared links was for a pork roast, cooked in the crock pot with sweet potatoes, onion and apple. No sweet potatoes here and only the chops but, I did have apples and onion. Rummaging through the veggie drawer I discovered a bag of carrots. This could work. Back to the cupboard, I looked through my seasoning packets. The ingredients listed on a McCormick envelope of Pot Roast seasoning sounded promising. Since the packet contained brown sugar, I decided to play that up, always a great pairing with apples and pork. The result? Fantastic. The pork chops were fork tender, yet held their shape. The vegetable and fruit mixture was tangy with just a hint of sweetness, a perfect complement to the chops. Easy prep and heavenly scents wafting through the house all day were bonuses. Mr. Boom and I both loved this dish, served with a side of stuffing.

Step 1: Chop up the carrots, onions and apples. Toss in the bottom of the crock.
Step 2: Whisk together the seasoning packet, brown sugar and liquids.
Step 3: Place chops on top of the chopped veggies and apples. Pour sauce mixture on top. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.
 The delicious end result...
Tangy Slow Cooker Pork Chops

6-8 carrots, chopped
2 medium sweet onions, roughly chopped
2 green apples, cut in wedges

1 packet McCormick Savory Pot Roast Seasoning
3 heaping tsp brown sugar
1 dash worcestershire sauce
1 cup water

2-3 pounds boneless center cut pork chops (I used 2.6 pounds = seven 3/4" thick chops)

Add first three ingredients (vegetables through apple) to bottom of the crock. Arrange pork chops on top of veggies and apples. Whisk together seasonings in a small bowl, pour over chops. Cook on LOW 6-8 hours.


scrapbooking: loving nemo...

You are not seeing things, I have actually scrapped a full page layout. Something not done since before Jack was born. I loved these two photos of the boys from our last blizzard and knew they needed a page of their own, in additional to being included in Project Life. My March Citrus Twist PL kit was the perfect fit:
And some detail shots of the title and top corner accents...
You can see my full description and list of supplies HERE on the Citrus Twist blog today :)


project life: week 9...

On Wednesday, I had the chance to finish up my photo printing for Week 9 (and most of week 10!). After starting to get acquainted with my new Cameo earlier this week, I was ready to sit and get to work using my new cuts as well as more of my March Citrus Twist PL kit.  Taking cues from my photos and the supplies I had gathered, I used mostly orange, aqua, teal and a bit of red this week. I'm sharing my overall pages, as well as a few closeups.

{February 25 - March 3}
LEFT: Our week started off with a three day trip for me and the boys upstate to visit family (there is an insert with only photos from this trip, not shown), a couple of new favorite photos of the boys together and G got a haircut (he's still not a fan)
RIGHT: Jack's 1st haircut (another insert for that, not shown), finding a wooly caterpillar, G's joy at finally getting out to the park and our fourth wedding anniversary!
 I am absolutely LOVING playing with my Cameo. LOVING. I had prepped myself during the week before it arrived, playing with the software, watching getting started videos and reading blog tutorials and tips. When it was finally here, I was ready to cut. I started out with plain white cardstock and some designs I had downloaded into the software. The "Hello March" cut is from a free set by the lovely and talented Leena Loh and can be found on her blog.
 Then, I tried out some more cuts on heavyweight vellum. Cut like butter and I may have swooned just a little. The "love this" was perfect for this photo...
 And, an iPhone photo Mr. Boom and I snapped right before heading into the restaurant for our anniversary dinner deserved a little love cut...
And, another week completed. I am still loving this project. Every. Single. Week.


project life: love week...

FIRST, thank you SO much for all of the lovely comments and congratulations during the Blog Hop last week! I'm so very grateful...

Since the full kit reveal is now live on the Citrus Twist Kits website, I can finally share my first full Project Life pages using the March kit!I am loving working with this kit and all of the fun pieces. Admittedly, I went a little heart, arrow and ampersand crazy ;-)

This is the incredible March CTK PL kit in all it's glory...
  {February 11 - 17}
LEFT: A funny snap of the two boys just before bedtime (check out Jack's hair!), the birth of my lovely new niece, Jack's one year well visit and some IG favorites from the week.
RIGHT: Fun with the play tunnel, G enjoying a sugar cookie he helped bake (our Valentine's Day dessert), an audience of dinos and some favorite black and whites.
 Here are a few closeups of my favorite pieces this week...the heart doily
(from the Feb kit)
just needed to be used and when I got a little promotional card from Starbucks with the "Celebrate Everylove" heart I knew it would be perfect to layer. The "seven" stamp was part of the set included in the February CTK PL kit and the red wood grain card, yellow arrow, gold alphabet and teal chevron arrow were parts of the March CTK PL and Embellishment kits. By the way, seven years is how long Mr. Boom and I have know each other...
 This quote card from the March PL kit was the perfect base for one of G's funny quips this week and the car die cut that came in the March Embellishment kit was spot on!
 Journaling about our Valentine's day with more of those awesome heart, arrow and ampersand stickers and more gold foil letters...
 And, finally, a little washi and sticker love on my hybrid IG collage.
I'll be posting more layouts later this week and, once I get in the swing of the kit club schedule, will be posting more often again. Thanks for sticking around through this transition! :)


Citrus Twist Kits Spring Blog Hop!!

So, remember a month or so ago I mentioned there were exciting things happening for me related to Project Life? Here it is...
I am thrilled to announce that I am now a member of the Citrus Twist Kits Project Life Design Team! It has been a blast using the CTK PL kit since my subscription started in January, and now I have the honor of designing for the kits I love so much. Thank you for bearing with me and my lack of PL posting this past month. Let's get started up again with this Blog Hop!
Welcome to Citrus Twist Kits Spring Blog Hop!! We have some fun inspiration, great organizational ideas & awesome prizes, plus a peek into the scrapbooking space for each of our designers! First, I want to remind you the kit will be revealed on March 12th!

Now for the Prizes: Two lucky commenters who hop to ALL 10 design team blogs will be entered to win a $10 GC to the Citrus Twist Store.

You just need to leave a comment on EVERY designer's blog to be entered to win. The comment can be a guess at what you see or just leaving some love. Come back to the main Blog Hop blog post and comment that you hopped to each blog and we will pick a winner from those that commented. Comments end Tuesday March 12th. Winners will be announced on the main Citrus Twist kits blog by Friday March 15th.

Let's get started:
Kasia Tomaszewska

Here is my “extra” Sneak Peek for you to guess what products you see. If you want to see more sneaks head on over to the blog because we are sharing sneaks all week long.
Here is a picture of my scrap space! My current "space" is our dining table and my organizational boxes live in our Expedit cube storage. The three boxes I use for my supplies can be found at Target in the Rubbermaid Bento line. Two medium, one small. I love that they have straight sides (a must, no wasted space due to tapering) and little pull out corner boxes that you can use, or not, to make the boxes even more organized. Hint: the little 3x4" PL cards are a perfect fit in the pull out corners.
1) Holds some 6x6 paper pads, the current CTK PL kit, a box of 3x4 grid cards, my favorite pens and scissors, a few stamps and ink pads, mists and my tiny attacher. 
2) Assorted journaling cards and tags, glassine envelopes, labels and small packages of heart, star, arrow and letter stickers.
3) Boxes of 3x4 cards  (perfectly nested in one of those pull out corners), labels, stickers, unmounted stamp sets, roller stamps and a few of my favorite rolls of washi tape
And all together the three boxes make for an organized, portable scrap "space" with the essentials. When not in use, they are all stored in one canvas bin in our Ikea Expedit cube storage.

Happy CTK blog hopping!


signs of spring, things to come and a brand new toy...

{First} please stop back here tomorrow for a HUGE Project Life related announcement. I am beyond excited to share exactly why I haven't posted any pages lately. Wheee!!!!

In the past week we have been to the park twice! That, my friends, is a definite precursor to spring, regardless of the bit of snow we had today. The boys are thrilled to be back outside...and so am I!  Ahh, outdoor grins are the very best kind!!!
Alas, today it has been flurrying all day and is bitter cold. So we are inside. A good thing really, for the UPS man delivered an enormous brown box to our door today containing this (cutest little product spokesman not included)...
Mr. Boom went WAY overboard and spoiled me beyond belief for our fourth wedding anniversary last week. A beautiful new bag and this lovely Cameo.
Expect to see the results of this ad nauseum coming soon!!!


jack's first haircut

It was time. His bangs were falling in his eyes and well, frankly, there was a mullet situation. We put it off for weeks longer than we probably should have, afraid a cut would make him look less of a baby, more boy. Today was the day. 

He sat like such a little man in the chair and was all smiles as the cut began.
He played with a few little toys as distraction. And, per usual, he flirted.

There was a brief bubble break when he started to notice something was amiss.

But, a new toy saved him.

Until it didn't. And we had crying not even the magic "Music, Music, Music" Elmo episode played on Baba's phone could quell. 
 And, then, it was over. Success.

And he is still our happy little baby. Minus the mullet. Ha!

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