Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Michael's Haul

I would like to start this post off by saying that this blog is about a real person and her real life: not that other blogs are fake, just that I want this blog to be about what I'm thinking about and living at the moment. I want this blog to be extremely personalized and mostly focusing around the real life of a young woman in University who cooks, scrapbooks and writes. 

This week was a busy one - but sadly I took approximately 0 photos. This week was both Valentines day and our One Year Anniversary. And we still took 0 photos. What was with me this week? 

I did however fall further into my love of scrapabooking this week and I decided to do an annual Project Life album. So this weekend I went to Michael's in search of supplies. Armed with an app full of coupons and nothing but time I browsed for over an hour and left the shop with a bag of goodies:


Michael's having a Door Buster sale on albums and paper pads for $5 each! I let myself get a cute, mermaid themed paper pad that I can use to scrapbook vacations and beach trips. I might not currently have a use for this product, but the summer is coming! And TJ and I have plenty of tropical ideas for the future. 


I bought my very first set of Thickers today (which, when I first heard someone mention, I thought they were just saying "stickers" with a lisp). They are mixed between upper and lower case letters which annoys me a little but they were the best I found. I also got a regular set of black alpha stickers, a clearance set of colorful bow tie stickers and a clearance set of vacation/travel stickers. 


I picked up my first every set of acrylic stamps by JilliBean Soup (I still need to get an acrylic block), a black ink pad and a set of project life cards. Not shown are the two 12x12 clear paper containers I picked up because all craft storage was 60% off! 

I am so close to getting my craft room! I currently have all of my supplies in a hallway closet that was meant for linens and it's a chore to transport them all to my desk in the kitchen every time I want to scrap. TJ and I are both very excited for our upcoming craft space upgrade as he currently uses the coffee table for his crafts. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

1 year Anniversary

Today, February 16th 2017 TJ and I celebrate our official one year anniversary! We've had so many good times together this year and I am so lucky and happy to have this amazing man in my life. Here's to a lifetime of years with him! 


Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Weekend Crafts

If we're being honest - I've been fighting writers block all week. I meant to get 4 blog posts scheduled over the weekend to get ahead... I'm writing this at 7:30 PM on Sunday night and it's the first time I've even tried to write a post all weekend. Or write at all. I wrote a few pages in my personal journal but just rants about personal things, nothing of real content. 

The only real productive things I did do this weekend were go shopping for costumes and purchase the last few items for my show and work on scrapbook pages. Since I can't show you pictures of my costumes yet - I figured I'd just display my scrapbook pages instead:


The first layout I made was this cute, colorful layout of me and TJ on the Santa Monica Pier in the beginning of January when we were visiting his family. Even though this happened over a month ago, I just got the photos printed on the 1st of February because I get all my photos printed that I took in the previous month on the first of the month. I use Amazon Printing Service and I love it! I love this layout because of the contrast in colors. TJ and I are both wearing dark colors and the orange accent in the background contrasts nicely. It was also a fun day and thus deserving of a fun background. 


I also made this cute little layout of Bill our Betta fist - aka Billy The Betta. I know it's silly to scrapbook about a fish - but this is the first real pet I've had. My dogs were my parents, not mine. And while I have had fish before, honestly none have lasted as long as Bill has because I wasn't good at taking care of them when I was younger. I kind of regret adding the Finding Dory stickers but what's done is done. 



Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentines Gifts

Valentines day is for more than just couples or those of us in love. Valentines day is a time to show all kinds of love. My and Tj's anniversary is on the 16th of February so we don't put a lot of importance on Valentines day. Instead this year, I chose to spend time making valentines for friends and family.

The big thing I made was what I call a Best Friend Journal. I made this for my long distance best friend as a way to showcase our best memories together and all the photos of the two of us that we had taken thus far in our friendship.

I made this book with a 4x6 photo album from Michael's. I customized the cover and all of the pages. I basically made it as a mini scrapbook with all of our memories (mostly from our high school years). I did leave about half of the book blank to include new memories. I slipped all the extra supplies I got for the project into the last page along with a note in an envelope explaining the project and how she is supposed to finish it. 


I also sent personalized heart-shaped Valentines Day cards that I also purchased at Michael's to my family. I like to add washi tape and stickers to my notes to make them cute and unique. There is nothing I love more than sending and getting mail.




Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Why I Scrapbook

Surprisingly, I get this question a lot. Mostly, people have this idea of scrapbookers in their head that doesn't fit with their image of me. They think that scrapbookers are older, probably already mothers and have little to do with their free time. Honestly, scrapbooking is a hobby like any other. Anyone of any age can partake in the hobby and enjoy doing it.

Nearly everyone takes pictures. No matter if it's on your phone or with a nice camera. What do you do with all the photos you've taken if you don't scrapbook? How many people actually get them printed? And if you do get them printed - do you just throw them in a box? Do you have albums? Scrapbooking is a wonderful way to organize your photos and let your creative side out. 

I've done several posts before about the importance of printing your photos and supplies to buy if you're a new scrapbooker. I've also shared posts showing some of my layouts and all of those posts go over fairly well on my little blog. This one is a little different. I want to explain why I put so much importance on scrapbooking, especially at my age, and why I think others my age should consider it also. 



I started scrapbooking in December of 2015. 

Why: I knew this was going to be a very important couple of years in my life and I wanted them documented. I had been keeping a journal for a while, but I wanted a place to put pictures and memorabilia to showcase and look back on. I knew over these next few years I'd be meeting the man I wanted to marry, graduating University and moving my way up in the world. Sure enough, I had already met my perfect man and 2 months later we began dating. I have our entire first year together scrapbooked - everything from our very first picture together, to our first date to meeting each others families and finally our one year anniversary. 

I hear people talk about how they wished they had taken pictures in the early stages of their relationship, or say that they lost them all when their computer died. My family members would discuss not remembering some of their college or high school friends because they didn't ever document their lives during those times. I am a very sentimental person. I don't want to forget anything. Memory is fleeting and never reliable. Journaling and scrapbooking my life is providing me a way to accurately recall my experiences no matter how far away in time we get from them. 

I recommend that everyone make a scrapbook. And this is partly me pushing my hobby on my friends and partly me wanting for them to have the same way to keep memories that I do. I encourage everyone to write down your memories. Take a picture of your college apartment and put it in your journal or scrapbook. Write about all your classes and your friends and your job and what you do for fun. Imagine your family (children, husband, siblings, whoever) looking back on these memories in years and years and being glad that they have them and have this opportunity to get to know the person that you used to be and the life that you used to lead...

That is why I started scrapbooking and why I continue to do so and why I can say with certainty that I will continue to do so throughout my life. It's part of my legacy


Friday, February 3, 2017

Tuna Noodle Casserole

One of TJ's favorite dishes is Tuna Noodle Casserole. He's made it for me a number of times and I'm not the biggest fan: which kills me because it's his favorite. I do like aspects of the dish and I'll eat it if it's made, but it's not my favorite. 

For Hanukkah, my aunt got me a Barnes and Noble gift card which turned into this amazing cookbook by my favorite cooking show host: The Pioneer Woman/Ree Drummond. 



While flipping through the book I found a recipe for Tuna Noodle Casserole that was basically the same recipe but without the aspects of TJ's recipe that I don't love. We were both very excited to try it and today we embarked on the journey. 

Tuna Noodle Casserole
Serves 8-10
*we make the whole recipe and keep leftovers*
Ingredients: 
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 ounces white button mushrooms finely chopped (we left these out since I hate mushrooms) 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 dry sherry (or more to taste)
  • kosher salt and pepper to taste
  • two 6.4-ounce packages white albacore tuna in water, drained
  • 1/4th cup finely chopped red pepper 
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 12 ounces egg noodles, cooked to al-dente and drained (we used regular pasta)
  • 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs 
  • *optional* we added a layer of cheese on top before we baked it because we love cheese
Steps:
  1. Preheat oven to 400*F
  2. Melt 4 tbs of the butter in a large skillet over med heat. Add onion and cook until it starts to soften   (3-4) minutes
  3. Sdd mushrooms if you're using them
  4. Sprinkle flour evenly over the mixture
  5. Stir so that the flour coats the onions and mushrooms thoroughly. Keep stirring for another minute. 
  6. Add milk
  7. Add sherry
  8. Whisk to combine. Cook until the sauce if nice and thick. Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste and adjust seasonings as necessary (we added a bit of garlic salt for fun)
  9. Add tuna and stir it into the sauce
  10. Stir in the bell pepper and 1 tbs parsley
  11. Stir in noodled until they're coated
  12. Transfer the mixture into a baking dish
  13. Melt the remaining 4 tbs of butter in a bowl in the microwave. Stir it around with the breadcrumbs and the remaining 1 tbs parsley
  14. Top the casserole with breadcrumbs (and cheese)
  15. Bake until golden: about 15 minutes.
  16. Serve hot (or cold if you're weird like me and like cold food)

Results: It was great! We loved it! It took about 45 minutes total to make and wasn't stressful at all... except for me nearly overcooking the pasta... whoops. 



Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Month By Month | January

This is a new series I'm calling Month By Month. It's basically just an over view of my month. The goal is to do one for each month of 2017. I'm doing this with the intention of it bringing more of my personal life onto my blog to give it more personality and let my readers get to know me and my life a little better. 

My plan is to have this be an over view, not just of big events that happened, but also my monthly favorites and reviews of products, books, movies, music and people if I so desire. 

This is where YOU come in. Since this is the first month this is happening, I'd love to know how you like it. Would you rather see favorites and reviews in another post or do they work fine here? Please let me know!


We started out the month (and the year) in Los Angeles after having visited TJ's family. I got to visit the Santa Monica Pier and we stopped and got milkshakes at In & Out Burger. We were just sort of being tourists.

We flew back to Eugene on the 4th of the month and came back to SNOW! It was so hard to get home because all of the taxi's were busy. We were lucky enough to have grabbed one directly from the airport and split it with a friend to get home.

On the 10th of January (yes, a Tuesday) we started Winter term. I'm taking 3 classes this term: Patterning, Oceanography and a Major Seminar.

On the 11th of January we got our FISH! Bill joined our family and was adopted from PetCo and is a very happy little camper. He's so energetic and has so much personality and loves interacting with us. You can read more about our little guy here.

On the 16th of January I broke my foot. Yes, that is correct. I broke it. We knew a chair of ours was breaking and TJ had made a note to fix it. I sat in it knowing it hadn't been fixed but I had been sitting in it all day and it hadn't broken and hadn't shown any signs of breaking. So I got up to get a drink and sat back down and the front rod broke off of the chair, the legs all spread apart and I was folded in on the chair. I landed with my foot crossed under my body and fractured a bone. I'll be in a boot for a while. It's super fun, guys.

TJ and I like to go out on a proper date night at least every other week. We feel it's important to spend time outside of the house. Mostly this is just going for sushi or seeing a movie or something little. But this week when we decided to go to dinner AND a movie (I know, such a luxury) because my parents gave us two sets of free movie passes for the Holidays. We *finally* saw Rogue One and had a pretty fantastic time! I'm a little behind on the Star Wars movies as I still haven't seen The Force Awakens, but I'll catch up.

New Years Resolutions update:
Since I actually broke my foot we haven't been exercising, but there's a good excuse there. We both need the motivation from the other person and want to do it together so we talked and decided to put it on hold until I'm healed and then kick it into high gear. We were just going to exercise at home with yoga and sit ups every night, but we've decided to go to the gym and make up for missing the first 2-3 months of the year.

I have been successful in writing everyday so far.

Bill (the betta fish) is alive and well. #BillyTheBetta

What I'm looking forward to in February:
My and TJ's anniversary.

Currently...
Reading: 
  • The Putt-Putt by Shane Ramey
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K Rowling
Watching:
  •  The Office
  • *rewatching* The Carrie Diaries
Drinking:
  • Peach Wine
  • Water
Eating:
  • A lot of salad with Olive Garden Italian Dressing
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Raspberries
Buying:
  • Cloths from ThredUp.com
  • Bath And Body Works products
  • new pillows
Planning:
  • Spring Break
Crafting: 
  • December scrapbook pages
  • A few secret projects for people who I know read the blog