Friday, April 17, 2015

Spring Cleaning

I spent some time decluttering this week and am happy with the results. My latest efforts were inspired by this book (borrowed from the library).

One of "Konmari's" central ideas is to only keep the items that spark joy. I said this in a tongue-and-cheek way to John when I started reading the book. It sparked his curiosity, so he also read the book. She recommends that you start by decluttering your closet, and John donated many extra clothing items.

While Alex was a day camp during his spring break, I found the time to tackle my clothes. I have been decluttering my closet as we've moved, but this was my easiest session. The ideas in the book really helped me let go of items that no longer fit, items that are worn out, and items that just did not spark joy. My side of the closet is pictured below (for now my swimsuit is hanging.) I also have 3 drawers in our dresser. I currently like all of the clothes in my closet, which was not the case in the past. My shoes are on a hanging divider and my bags are nested in the bottom of the closet.

A lesson from The Minimalists also helped me purge my closet. They write about how many items that we own can be replaced for under $20 and in less that 20 minutes. I confirmed this with a pair of jeans. I donated a pair of jeans last fall before we moved because they were too small. After changing my eating habits this winter, I bet they would finally fit again. I was able to find a similar pair of Levi's jeans in a lighter color at Goodwill for $8. Now I don't regret giving away my smaller jeans, and I donated my jeans that are too big. There are also online sources for used, name-brand clothes such as thredUp and Twice. My first order is on it's way from thredUp with a shirt for me and shorts for Alex.

I am going slightly out of order from Marie's recommendation in the book, but I wanted to declutter my craft supplies this week. I was able to sell some stamp sets online, recycle some scraps, and start my donation pile. Here are items ready to ship out to new homes. My pattern paper and card stock stash are finally contained.

It has been both a productive and relaxing week. How is your spring going?

Thursday, April 2, 2015

New Card: Tic Tac Toe & Birthday Challenges

At the beginning of this week, I received my order from Simon Says Stamp and found this challenge from The Paper Players.

I chose the three items across the middle and really wanted to use the Lawn Fawn Year Five stamp and matching die. I have done more coloring in the past month inspired by Kathy's 30 Day Coloring Challenge.

Here is how my card came together:

I am also entering this card in the Simon Says Happy Birthday Challenge. Thank you for visiting my blog!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Pho

I have been fighting off some form of allergies or a cold for the past two weeks, and in my dad's words, "I am sick enough to be cured." Once it turned into a suns infection, it was time to get some antibiotics. It was also helpful to get some soup, so last night John took us to his favorite Pho restaurant. Alex and I had not tried this Vietnamese dish yet even though there are lots of Pho restaurants in our area. I ordered the Vegetarian Pho (with tofu) and loved it. I am finding lots of tasty vegetarian and vegan options at local restaurants. Alex and I are both getting better with chopsticks.

Happy Meatless Monday!

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Easter Blog Hop

Welcome to the Fun 'n Crafty Stampers Easter blog hop! I do not usually buy Easter stamps, so the Crazy About You Bundle and the Oval Framelits Dies were handy for making an Easter card. (Upon writing this post, I realized that the oval frailest are not currently available from Stampin' Up!. Due to strikes on the West Coast ports, a few items are not available.)

I adhered the Gold Soiree Designer Series Paper before die cutting my oval. I continue to use the Decorative Dots Textured Embossing Folder and the In-Color Sequin Assortment on many cards. The Stampin' Write Markers are also a versatile supply to have. I colored directly on my rubber stamp with the brush tip of the Strawberry Slush marker. After stamping Easter, I traced over the letters with the fine tip to help them stand out on the card.

I am loving the Crazy About You Bundle from the Occasions catalog. It is fun, versatile, and easy to use. For the thin dies, place wax paper between the die and the paper to keep it from sticking. I adhere my script words with a little Tombow liquid glue, and the 2 Way Glue Pen also works well.

Through March 31, you can earn a free Sale-A-Bration item for every $50 of merchandise you order from Stampin' Up!. Purchasing the wood or clear-mount Crazy About You Bundle will automatically earn a free item! I have the clear-mount version of the stamps and really like them.

Thank you for visiting my blog, and make sure that you hop along to all of the other fabulous posts!

Tobe B. of The Craft Sea

Sara G. of 1200 Some Miles

Jennifer B. of Northwest Stamper

Pam W. of Stinky Tofu

Monday, March 23, 2015

Meatless Monday: For the times that I do not want to cook!

I have been cooking more dinners since I left full-time work and especially since adopting a plant-based diet. (I wrote a post last summer when I left my job, but I am overdue on for an update, including my observations from "kindergarten lunch duty.")

But some days I do not want to cook dinner. Here are a few meatless options that we've enjoyed:

We really like the Trader Jose's soup. The Creamy Tomato Soup is vegetarian and the Butternut Squash appears to be plant-based. (I need to find a vegan recipe similar to the Trader Joe's Tomato Soup. It needs to be creamy and a bit sweet and not seasoned with basil. This is my new challenge for another post.) While homemade soups can be healthier than packaged ones, I do appreciate the convenience of just quickly heating up some soup. The Trader Joe's website has a list of all the products that are completely vegan.

I was recently stumped for an easy dinner option and walked by Amy's Roasted Vegetable Pizza. I really enjoyed this find and it was on sale at Target! I have surprised myself by not really missing cheese on my pizza. The Amy's brand products are all vegetarian and some are vegan.I have liked everything I've tried from this brand and can often find their Indian wraps on sale at Safeway.

While I strive to eat less processed food, I appreciate seeing plant-based and vegan products in the grocery stores for when I need a fast and easy option. What is your favorite quick meal?

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

2 Posts in 1 Day

I made two cards last night, so you get two posts in one day. I also played along with the Fab Friday Color Challenge. I like all three of these colors, but I had not thought about combining them until I saw this challenge.

I love the versatility of the Hello You Thinlits Dies paired with the Crazy for You Stamp Set, and decided to make a birthday card this time. I added the Calypso Coral ink to the Lullaby Designer Series Paper with a sponge dauber and used some candy dots for a little more color and texture.

Thank you for visiting my blog!

Green & Rainbows

We enjoyed St. Patrick's Day around here. I made a rainbow fruit salad for Alex's lunch and for our dinner. We still need more rain in California, so it would be nice to see some real rainbows this spring.

Here is a silly leprechaun after school on Tuesday. He enjoyed decorating a rainbow cookie at school and getting some Lucky Charms cereal.

I don't have any green clothing, but I still have the necklace that my brother gave me from Ireland.

I ended my day be making a green card for Jennifer's color challenge. I don't use green as much in my cards, so this was a fun way to use my various shades of green inks and card stock.

Supplies Used:
Whisper White, Mossy Meadow, & Old Olive Card Stock
Mossy Meadow & Pear Pizzaz Inks
Crazy for You Stamp Set
Big Shot
Retired Embossing Folder (You can use a variety of embossing folders instead.)
Hello You Thinlits Dies

I am planning to blog about card making and Stampin' Up! on Wednesdays, so I hope you will check back regularly for updates. Here is a link to the current Weekly Deals.