Monday, July 21, 2014

Time for my yearly check in ... :)

Life always seems to be changing.

I could give you a run down of everything that happened since I last updated this part of the web last June, but thankfully Darby has taken over those reigns really well.

Of the last year I can say this: I'm ready to move on, ready to move forward.  It's been a difficult time meshed with a lot of promise.  I don't have balance yet, but I'm trying to get there.

We have so many things to be thankful for and I hope that the trend of things continues to go as it is.  There's a lot to be blessed by - there's a lot of toil and a lot of pain in there too.

Focus forward, support one another and think positive.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Apps for Project Life

I started doing Project Life this year. I have been using my phone as my main source of photos, but also helping me organize memories to use for Project Life. I use several apps on my iPhone.  I will do links to all the apps at the end of the post.

The one I use the most is Momento to do journal entries. It allows me to add photos so that I can pair my thoughts with the photos and use as a reference for when doing PL layouts. I like that it will grab my Facebook status' and Instagram photos also so I can refer back to those if needed. 

Photo editing PL photos I mostly use PicTapGo and Snapseed. Although I have a ton of photo editing apps - for PL I usually don't want artsy photos. At times I will add some of my photos I edit that look old or distressed, but mostly I like bright clear photos for memory keeping. I have only added words to photos a few times digitally with apps. Otherwise I hand write or use stickers and embellishments after to add words to photos. But if adding words digitally I use Over and a beautiful mess apps.

Picstich I use quite a lot before ordering photos. I like because I can create photo collages. I use mostly 2 3x4's on a 4x6 collage. But sometimes use it to make 4 images on a 4x6. So that I can trim the down and use on journaling cards in PL. 

Store apps is Michael's for their ad and coupons.  I haven't shopped at JoAnn's yet for PL, but will download there app of needed. 

I have been using Shutterfly for ordering photos.  Only when they have their deals - usually 100 photos for the cost of shipping. Otherwise I go into Sam's with a jump drive to print photos. But quite a few people talk about Walgreens app and prices so might check that out when printing July pictures. 

Many PL'ers use the Collect app and I do too. But I haven't used it how most PL'ers do. They use it because you can journal right there and it prints out like the look of a Polaroid, but with journaling on the wide white band at the bottom.  I might try it after I try out Notica that had the same look, but with a handwriting font. I like Collect for the monthly view of photos. I like seeing if I am taking photos everyday. I also am going to start printing out the monthly calendar to use in my album. I am thinking of printing them on a 8x10 as Sam's doesn't do 12x12. 

I use my phone for most of my computer needs these days and I think it helped me take the plunge into Project Life as the apps have made it easy to edit and organize my family memories. 

Monday, June 09, 2014

Friday, June 06, 2014

Rough Week

It has been a rough week. A week ago one of our cats was not acting his usual self and we had an emergency visit to the  vet. They can't figure out what was wrong with him and he does seem to be better. But still scary.

I contacted an old friend I hadn't talked to in a long while and found out she had surgery to remove cancer cells. So I have been worried about her. 

I have had the stomach flu. I am not sure I have ever been this sick before as an adult. Nothing is staying down. I went to the doctor and they ran some tests and everything is pointing to a virus. He explained to me that the stomach flu will last 24 hours, 3 days, 7 days or 10 days. I am coming up on 7 days. 

Then today I found out a friend from Ohio died. I am sitting here typing this and still in shock. My friend was suffering and fighting a very hard battle with cancer. But she died from an unrelated issue. I can't believe this vibrant, beautiful soul isn't here with us. I sent her a card just a few weeks had a red party dress on the front and inside I wrote that she would be dolled up, high heels on and dancing again soon. I hope she is now. 

Just feeling incredibly sad and grateful at the same time for knowing her and being able to share so many good memories with her in them. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. a fun evening of shopping and dinner with Wendy
2. movie night with friends
3. A fun Saturday touring the wineries
4. good news about one of my art pieces
5. all the wisdom Maya Angelou gave this world

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday, May 25, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 21

This weekend was awesome and I feel extremely blessed to have such a good life. This photo is from Friday night, before meeting friends for dinner, we walked along Main Street and took the photos of all the flowers.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Gratitude Friday

I am thankful for...
1. seeing beautiful flowers along Main Street
2. having fun with Michael and Wendy walking along Main Street
3. meeting friends for dinner
4. Renee and Lala here for the weekend
5. acting silly with friends!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


Most people who cook have a dish that they took time to learn and make their own. We put ourselves into it and really make it a masterpiece. It becomes that dish that we love to serve people. Strata is that dish for me. It has taken me a few years to get it perfect, but now I can pretty much make it without thinking about it and serve it with such a variety of ingredients that it doesn't take much for me to whip up.

I make it for brunch or dinner just switching up ingredients. I will have variations on the end of this recipe. 

Strata - roasted chicken, red & green bell peppers, mushrooms

1 loaf of French or Italian Bread cubed, crusts on - 6 to 8 cups
9 eggs
2 cups milk or half and half
2 cups cooked meat
2 to 3 cups of vegetables
2 cups cheese

In an extra large bowl, place bread, cheese, meat, and vegetables. Using an electric mixer, blend eggs and milk. Pour over bread mixture. Fold until pieces of bread are coated with egg mixture. Coat a 9 x 13 baking dish with butter or cooking spray. Pour mixture into baking pan and either cover and refrigerate until up to 8 hours before cooking or cook right away.

Ingredient Variations
I like to season the vegetables and then mix into bread cubes. 

Mix 2 cups grated Swiss cheese into the cubed bread. Mix in 1 cup blanched asparagus pieces, 2 cup cubed cooked ham, and 1/2 cup sauteed onions fold into the egg and bread mixture.

Sprinkle 2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese over the bread cubes. Distribute 1 cup cooked chicken or ground browned breakfast sausage,1 cup sauteed bell peppers, 1 cup sautéed sliced mushrooms, and 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes fold into the egg and bread mixture.

Sprinkle 2 cups grated Monterey Jack cheese over the bread cubes. Distribute 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, 1 cup tomatoes, 1 cup spinach, one 4.5-ounce cans (drained) chopped green chiles, and 1 cup shredded cooked chicken fold into the egg and bread mixture.

breakfast sausage, red peppers, mushrooms
ham and cheese

Monday, May 19, 2014

Sunday, May 18, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 20

Table set for dinner for friends coming over for dinner.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014

Sunday, May 11, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 19

Up - in Denver. Looking up from a parking lot into the blue sky.

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The Good and The Bad

The Good: Today we ran to see if my phone could either be repaired or replaced.  We decided on the replacement of it with an upgraded phone. So I now have my camera back. I too this photo before bed.  It is Caesar wrapped up next to me.

The Bad: We came home from replacing my phone and there was water in the laundry room.  We thought the cat's water dish that is around the corner in the kitchen tipped. But when we looked at where the water was actually in the laundry room - we realized that wasn't the cause. Michael went into our bedroom and as soon as he stepped near our walk in closet his feet were wet. Our water heater sprung a leak. Luckily the people that installed it 17 years ago were the ones that were available to come out right away.  Tomorrow we have to go out of town for work and now after needing to pay for a new water heater we will need to go so Wendy is amazing and offered to come be there while the new one would be installed. The bedroom looks like it has been hit by a cyclone because I had to empty the walk in closet, but at least we will have water back tomorrow by the time we get home.

Wednesday, May 07, 2014


This is from the Hay House Meditation Facebook page.  I really love it and try keep it forefront in my mind and life.

Monday, May 05, 2014

Sunday, May 04, 2014

52 Week Photo Project: Week 18

My life has been full of ups and downs. I have tumbled so many times. I made the wrong move and tried to find my way back, but never got there. The mountains in my path made it seem too hard.  I finally had to accept myself as I was and move forward from where I was at that time.  It was hard. I almost gave up again.  Unfortunately the things I needed then - I didn't have. I didn't understand them in myself and I didn't understand what I even needed or who I was really.  My climb felt impossible and I felt like I was doing it alone even though looking back - I don't believe I was as we all make the climb together. We all struggle. We all stumble. We all are trying to find the way.

I have been working on the piece for a while now. It is triangles cut out of paper to represent mountains. The little graphic connected triangles are clouds about to fall on the mountains making the climb worse. There is all quote a love by Ram Dass, “We're all just walking each other home.”  Patience and trust are needed to make that walk. 

Code Names

Getting the evaporated cooler up and running for spring/summer is much more fun while being silly and using code names over walkie talkies.  I love these kind of moments where we are silly doing mundane tasks as it just makes things calmer and without so much stress.  Today's code name for me was mermaid. Michael told me I should have given multiple choice: Princess Leia, Snow White, mermaid and Ralph. 

Monday, April 28, 2014