Saturday, August 8, 2015

What I Cooked | July 2015

Cooking sort of took a backseat in July.  Both because I got sick of picking out new recipes, and also because it was hot and I didn’t feel like cooking as much.  Plus the summer daylight meant we spent more time after work going out.  But I did manage to try out three new recipes.  You can follow my “Stuff I Cooked” Pinterest board for all the new dishes that I cooked this year so far.

America’s Test Kitchen | Singapore Noodles

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I made this on 7/12/2015. I always thought Singapore Noodles would be hard to make, but it was fairly simple. Simple and delicious. Next time I would use less lime juice, it was slightly too sour.  The recipe is behind a firewall, so you’d have to register for free in order to see it.

Cooking Light | Summer Corn and Shrimp Succotash

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I made this on 7/14/2015 – I used a frozen green bean, corn, carrot, and fava bean mix. Halved the recipe so I used 3/4 lb shrimp. Turned out tasty!  The broth is made by stir frying the shrimp shells and then adding the chicken broth to it.  After you make the broth you discard the shrimp shells.  This made the broth super-flavorful!

Skinnytaste | White Bean Caprese Salad

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I made this on 7/27/2015 - I cut up some mozzarella cheese but they didn't turn out as pretty as the ones in her photo.  I also added roasted chicken to make it a meal. It was quite filling and delicious. For a no-cook meal, this was awesome.  Very easy for the summer!

So that’s what I cooked in July.  Lazy and easy, ha ha!

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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Thoughts on Sharing

At the end of 2014 I quietly stopped sharing most of my personal life on this blog.  It was definitely a conscious decision on my part.  Sharing my life so publicly on my blog and on other social media has become a squeamish and undesirable thing for me.  There were several reasons I felt this way. 

I am now a middle-aged woman.  I like living my life joyfully but mostly anonymously.  I started to feel like sharing on my blog and on social media actually took away from some personal experiences that I want to savor for myself.  I like enjoying the experiences with family and friends with just those people and not plaster them on the internet for strangers to look upon.  I felt like people commenting on my experiences took away from them, rather than added to them.  This is a very personal thing that has changed for me.  I did not feel this way when I first started blogging 10 years ago.  But in the last year I’ve definitely felt this way, so I wanted to test the waters of NOT sharing for myself to see how it feels.  So far I like it.

What a lot of people don’t understand about online sharing and blogging is:  You are only seeing a SNIPPET of someone’s life, not their full life at all.  People think that just because I shared a lot about eating out that I eat out all the time, when that couldn’t be further from the truth.  We cook at least five dinners every week at home.  I don’t scrapbook every dinner I make at home, because it’s just not that interesting.  It’s mundane most of the time.  But I used to blog about eating out a lot, because those were special occasions to me.  People drew the wrong conclusions.  That was just one example.

One downside of sharing so much less of my life on this blog in 2015 is I sort of miss the connection with people.  For some reason people do connect with me when I share about my personal life, even if they don’t see the rest of my life and sometimes draw the wrong conclusions.  I’ve made some good online and even real life friends through this blog.  I’m somewhat wistful that this is less likely to happen now.  But really, many of my favorite bloggers have stopped blogging.  I can see that blogging is becoming less and less of a thing now, and I am a part of it too, without planning to be. 

You are probably wondering, hmm, what about the memory-keeping aspect of your blog?  You used to say that most of your memories are kept on the blog, and only a few of them get scrapped, and that’s ok with you.  The answer is, I have been blogging my personal posts on a private blog this year, where only Todd and I can post and see the blog posts.  My life is still documented and I very much enjoy looking at my personal posts about the fun things I’ve done this year.  There’s actually been around 70 posts on my private blog that I started at the beginning of 2015.  When I scrapbook I still reference those posts and sometimes copy and paste the journaling.  I still love blogging as a form of memory-keeping.  Just not publicly.

It is the beginning of August now.  I don’t know how I’ll feel about blogging personal life blog posts here at going forward.  I sort of enjoy my setup for now.  However, while blogging some personal posts at my private blog this weekend, I came upon some fun experiences that I may share on this blog selectively, from time to time.  We shall see.

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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Paper Issues | Project Life Summer Fun Album


Hey everyone!  I hope your summer is going well.  I’m on the Paper Issues blog today, showing you a few pages from my Summer Fun album!  Every year Todd and I make a “Summer Fun List” of all the things we want to enjoy during summer.  The longer days allow us to do fun things after work, even on week nights!  I started this album to capture all the fun things we are doing this summer.

I’m using a Project Life 6x8 album.  There are a ton of other 6x8 albums available in the market, including some Simple Stories ones in the Paper Issues store.  My title page was created using a page from the Simple Stories Summer Vibes collection.  I used the chipboard frames, chipboard stickers, and diecuts. 

On the back of the front page, I printed our summer fun list that I had in Google docs, shared with Todd.  I simply copied and pasted into a 6x8 document and printed it out, before embellishing the other side of the page.


The first page was created using the 3x4 and 4x6 Project Life Photo Pocket Pages 6x8 Design 3.  I used Elle’s Studio’s Let’s Eat collection, including the cute wood veneer and label, and This + That paper.



I love documenting the food we eat, so this Elle’s Studio Let’s Eat collection was right up my alley! 


This page was about our first time eating a lobster roll at Lobster West.  I used Let’s Eat Bits & Pieces, and wood veneers again. 


I typed up my journaling, printed it out on regular printer paper, and adhered it to my background.


We went to a new-to-us coffee house and it was awesome.  The best lattes are the ones where no sugar is needed!  So smooth!  I used Elle’s Studio Let’s Eat Best Ever and Yum papers, and journaling tags.




Of course, summer fun includes hanging out with friends and watching the NBA Finals, especially if you’re a Cleveland Cavaliers fan like Todd is!



You can use my code LISTGIRL for 20% off any purchase in the Paper Issues store, including Simple Stories Summer Vibes and Elle’s Studio Let’s Eat!


This is my last project for Paper Issues, my design team term ends at the end of July.  Make sure you use my discount code before then, because I don’t think it would be valid after I’m no longer part of the team.  Thanks for your support for the past 11 months, for Paper Issues and for using my discount code, and also for stopping by to look at my projects!  I really appreciate it!  :)

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Monday, July 20, 2015

Paper Issues | The Beach Is Calling


Hi everyone!  There’s a new issue at Paper Issues today called “Chip Off The Old Block”!  Play along and link up to the issue post for a chance to win $20 gift certificate from the Paper Issues store!   You can use any of these things in your project to be eligible:  chipboard, activities to stave off boredom, what you do to keep busy, schedule, daily routine, menu planning, board games, on board ship (cruise vacation), surf board, family traits, use July, August or Chip Off the Old Block printables.

Here’s my layout for the issue:


I used the August Paper Issues printable, plus awesome papers and embellishments from the Simple Stories Summer Vibes collection!  I love this collection for scrapbooking not only summer, but also our Hawaii vacation this past March!

I layered some diecuts and chipboard around my photo to anchor it.


I also used some of the chipboard frames with 2x2 little graphics cut out behind it.



I used my Sakura Gelly Roll white pen to journal directly onto the dark background paper.  I love how that turned out!


If you want a chance to win a $20 GC to the Paper Issues store, then make sure you link up your project to the issue post in the next two weeks! 

You can use my code LISTGIRL for 20% off your entire purchase at Paper Issues!


Thanks for stopping by!

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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Happy Birthday, Noodle!


Yesterday was our kitty Noodle’s birthday.  He turned five!  He’s been with us for about 4.5 years.  You can read his adoption story here

Noodle has been a joy to us, and he’s such a good cat. 


We helped him celebrate his birthday yesterday with some homemade whipped cream.


A little bit of tuna.


And he got to lick a Cheeto.


We were not there at his birth, but when we adopted him from the county shelter, his papers said he was born on 7/14/2010.  His size suggested he was about six months old, so it seemed like the date was correct. 

Over the last few years he’s brought so much joy and fun to our lives.  He’s a good one.

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

What I Cooked | June 2015

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I continued to cook new dishes every week in June.  I cooked four new recipes and they all turned out pretty well.  You can follow my “Stuff I Cooked” Pinterest board for all the dishes that I cooked this year so far.

Damn Delicious | PF Chang’s Chicken Lettuce Wraps


Made this on 6/4/2015 - it was pretty good. I think I put in too much minced ginger (1 tbsp is too much). Also, I didn't pat the chicken breasts dry before putting it through the food processor. So when I was cooking it too much water came out and I couldn't get it to brown. All those things are operator-error. And I used too much onion. Next time I'll adjust. I think in order for it to really taste like PF Chang's, you'd have to add more oil and sodium.  (Isn’t that what makes everything tasty?  LOL.)

The Woks of Life | 15 Minute Coconut Curry Noodle Soup

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Made this on 6/9/2015 - I used shredded rotisserie chicken instead of raw chicken. My dish didn't turn out this red, but it was yummy. My soup wasn't hot enough when I poured it over the dry noodles, so the noodles were not soft enough. Next time I would soak the noodles in hot boiled water for 10 min and then add it to the soup. Also, the recipe says 15 minutes but it always takes me longer to chop things. This took me 29 min.  (Yes, I used a timer.)

Damn Delicious | Teriyaki Salmon and Broccoli Bowl

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Made this on 6/17/2015 - I substituted spiralized zoodles for the rice, because otherwise this dish is 500 calories. I thought it was rather good. My first time making salmon on my own and baking it was quite easy. The homemade teriyaki sauce was tasty.

Damn Delicious | Swedish Meatballs

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Made on 6/29/2015 - Followed recipe as is, except that I forgot to add salt & pepper to the meat mix before making them into meatballs.

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My sauce wasn't as thick as it looks in her photos, but it did thicken enough. I had a LOT of sauce. My first time making meatballs and it was a success!  Todd loved this one.

So that’s what I cooked in June.  So far I’ve made 24 new dishes in 2015 and they are all on my Pinterest board.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Evalicious | Meet Me In The Sunshine


Hello everyone!  I’m on the Evalicious blog today with a layout that I created about Peppermint’s visit back in May.  I wanted to fit a lot of journaling about what we did while she was here, so I decided to layer circular punched out shapes on top of patterned papers and journal cards to write my journaling.

For each day, I used a date stamp and also the Days of The Week stamp set and stamped on top of a punched out file tab.


I layered some Amy Tangerine diecuts underneath the journaling circle.  I also used round stickers from This Way and Life’s Sweet as embellishments. 


I love adding wood veneer to a page to give it some different texture and dimension.


I used some stamps on the circle journal spots such as Good Eats stamps and Best Day Ever stamps


The geotag stamp from Destination stamp set is still one of my favorites!  I love using it to indicate where we were in our fun outings and travels.


Embellishments such as the camera love shape clips and the This Way Puffy Stickers V3 put the finishing touch onto the page.


Hope you enjoyed having a look at how I fit lots of days and journaling onto a one-page layout!  Thanks for stopping by!

Evalicious Products Used:

life's sweet large tags

this way wood veneer v1

life's sweet snipsnip labels

life's sweet round stickers

this way wood veneer v2

this way round stickers

life's sweet badges

this way puffy stickers v3

camera love shape clips

destination stamps

good eats stamp set

best day ever stamps

days of the week stamps
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