31 December 2012

Project 365

First photo of the year.

15 October 2012

Sensory Time in tub

The girls had a great morning playing in the bath with the Aqua Beads. I bought this really cool lil blue kiddy pool before we left the states however we are having to live in an apt. Which was not something that I had planed on so I am having to revamp some of my plans. However I have found that the bath tub is making a great place for sensory time. Both girls loves it and actually played long enough for me to drink a cup of tea and check my email. Which I had none from my hubby so I was a lil sad. Oh well such goes the life of a military wife right.
Big sis played for much longer than lil sis but I would say they both had a good time.
As you can see they were very into it. I didn't change their clothes or strip down which was nice I just told them to hop in.
Until our next adventure.
God Bless

13 October 2012

First Field Trip

This was our first field trip of the year with our home school friends.
It was so much fun we went to the Ueno Museum in Tokyo Japan. We got to see lots of bones, Dinosaurs, Fish, Snakes, even a human skeleton. It was great. There was so much to see we didn't get to see it all. Lil sis did not have a nap that day because we were there so it ended up being a rough evening by the time we left. We will most defiantly go back, there is a Zoo and lots of other things to explore there. So stay posted.
Here is a pic of the girls looking at the Dinosaur bones.
Sorry for the low light picture but I didn't want to flash everyone, ha, ha.

This was a really cool feature that they had. It was a replica of what a dig would look like, and it was right underneath you. The lil ones were most amazed by this.
Not being able to read Japanese made things a lil difficult for me however the girls who cant read large words anyway were the quickest at figuring out how things worked. Go figure right. 
The girls had so much fun, we cant wait till dad comes home and can go with us.
Till next time,
God Bless

05 July 2012

Tea, Oh the love of it.

I have been a tea drinker since about 8th grade. When most kids reached for soda I went to the tea kettle and got my caffeine kick.
My mother drank coffee by the pot. I always loved the smell of it brewing but never liked the taste, well until I had 2 children under the age of 4 in the house. I am afraid to say that there are some days that I may start out with my cup of Earl Grey followed by a cup of Star Bucks.
But I love tea, hot, cold bitter or sweet. There is something relaxing about putting the kids to bed and curling up with a hot cup of tea and reading a book before bed.
I have learned a few things along the way. Like temperature matters when steeping. Also the length of time that you steep will make the best tea bitter.
In my learning I often looked to the country that we often think of as tea drinkers, China. With our move to Japan as well I have learned their methods are easy and are tried and true.
So here is my break down:

Traditional Chinese Method: The Chinese traditionally distinguish five stages of how water can come to boil for tea. James Norwood Pratt in his ‘The New Tea Lover’s Treasury”says: “The Chinese distinguish five stages of tea water as the boiling point is approached: “shrimp eyes,” the first tiny bubbles that start to appear on the surface of the kettle water, “crab eyes,” the secondary, larger bubbles, then “fish eyes,” followed by “rope of pearls,” and finally “raging torrent.” If you have a glass tea kettle you can watch the bubbles through the glass and if a standard kettle, take a peek by opening the lid. The kind of bubbles correspond with the following types of teas and their appropriate brewing temperature:
Shrimp Eyes: Tiny bubbles the size of a pin head that resemble shrimp eyes begin to rise to the surface and pop. A slow and gentle vapor of steam will show. At 155°-174°F this temperature is ideal for delicate green teas.
Crab Eyes: Water that gets hotter will then produce larger growing bubbles about the size of crab eyes. Vertical streams of steam rise up during this stage. At around 175°F this temperature is perfect for brewing white, delicate green and greener oolong teas.
Fish Eyes: Bubbles resembling fish eyes (about the size of an average pearl) rise to the top of the kettle as the water heats up. More steam is present moving in thick columns than in the Crab Eyes stage and the kettle will make louder noises. At 175°-180°F this temperature is ideal for green tea or white teas. However, remember that if your green tea tastes bitter, the water is too hot.
Rope of Pearls: At 195°-205°F, a steady stream of large pearl size bubbles stream to the water’s surface. This temperature is ideal for black, some oolong and pu-erh teas.
Raging Torrent: Water that sounds like a raging torrent with swirling and rolling bubbles is called ‘ruined water’. At 212°F this is considered to be de-oxgyenated and flat or what is traditionally called ‘old man water’. Please note though that 212°F or a full boil is recommended for herbal tisanes to bring out the herb’s full flavor. Exceptions to do exist though.

Most of this was taken from a wonderful website Mighty Leaf. Their are many wonderful resources out there to gain information from this was just the one that made sense to me.

Let me know are you a coffee or tea drinker, and if you drink tea how do you brew it?

God Bless,

15 May 2012

Coupon Book

So with our move coming soon I am tring to save as much as possible. Because suprise the Navy only covers so much. Anyway I also needed to get as many of those back burner projects, you know the ones you started or gathered everything together to do but never finished.
I am going to be trying to post them, as I pack, take care of the girls and handle all the other fun things that you have to do when you move.
In my quest to save and organize I had seen alot of coupon books, folders and well I am not quite sure what they were. So I made my own. I took just a 3 ring binder and some baseball card slevees. Then because its me I added some decorations. 
I tried to take some pics as I went along although with 2 lil ones under foot I didnt get everything I wanted to and they are not the best. But oh well you will get the idea.
So I started like I said with a 3ring binder, baseball card sleeves and tabed dividers. Then cutting down some scrapbook paper I used it to cover just the front side of the tabed dividers. Dont ask why I didnt do both sides, maybe I will but for right now it looks great and works.
I used both a runner and stick glue because I wanted it to hold well but also I wanted to seal the edges as well as I could to make them last thru the wear and tear that it would get over the next few years.

Using my pazzles I cut out decrotive covers for the tabs.
You can see how its coming together.
Since I have not decorated the outside I think this is the best view of what the folder looks like. I choose to write out the diffrent sections on the tabs. I should have typed or stenciled them on but oh well next time. I had to get dinner going and the lil one needed a diaper change.
Besides it felt good to cross one thing off my list of things to do before we move. Wheeeww!!

Till next time,
God Bless

14 February 2012

Menu Plan

I have been experimenting with my own printable for daily, weekly and menu planning. I have already post my weekly planner. You can find it here. Now from the urging of a friend I will include my weekly menu and shopping printable.
I designed this so that you can plan the whole week out for meals then use that to make your grocery shopping list. I leave it right on the front of the fridge so that everyone can see what we are having for dinner and I can quickly add something to the list if we run out of a staple. And I also have it there in the hope that my husband would add something to the list as he used the last of it. But that may be dreaming a lil.
I started this because we have been trying to cut back on our spending overall. I was spending almost 300-400 a month for food and there was only 3 of us at the time. Now I am happy to say unless I have a week where a lot of my pantry staples run out I am only spending 125-150 a month on groceries and there is 4 of us now. Woot woot!!Go mom.
So here is my meal planer that I use, its nothing fancy but it works. Some day when I get them all done I will make them all pretty and post them for you.
Click on image to download
PS. To help save more money I take about 10 mins before I leave the house to go shopping, and I match up coupons for items from my list to items on my shopping list. Then I put a star by those items, and place the coupons in a envelope to put in the front of my coupon binder. That way I am less tempted to buy something just because I have a coupon for it, I also am all ready at check out I just have to hand them my stack from my envelope and lastly because I usually have the girls with me and they don't last long in the store. If I do see something say a pantry staple or a really good sale on something I can quickly check my coupons for only that item and then keep going. It saves a ton of time a lot of tears and heartache for me.
I hope this all makes sense, its late and I am tired.
Hope you all had a Happy Valentines, we did. Good night.

God Bless,

12 February 2012

Project 365

Ok so its been a while, not that I have not been taking pictures. I just have not had time to upload them. These lil monsters of mine are very demanding.
But here are a few of my favs from the last few weeks.
My newest lil cook. You have to love the smile.
I came across this dress while I was cleaning out my closet. It is the same dress that I wore when I was 4. I couldn't wait to get this on Savannah and take pictures. Of course our other lil angel had to be in there as well.
And I couldn't do a photo shoot of one girl and not take pictures of the other one as well. Yet there again Angel somehow got in the pic. You have to love that dog.

God Bless,

11 February 2012

Growing hands family style.

I had seen variations of this in different craft books and web sites. In fact on our fridge is a hand print my eldest did in preschool that they cut out and attached a magnet to with a lil poem. I love it.
So for Christmas this year along with a new family photo, that I had to beg my husband to do. Anyone else have that problem? I wanted to send them something that could mark the size of the girls so I decided to do one with all of us together as a family. That way if I can remember to do this at least every few years it will make nice markers in time for our family. Especially those that we dont get to see very often.

I have to apologize up front I didn't take pics as we were doing this. I was to busy trying to protect clothes, tables, dog and myself from getting a stray hand print. I do however have a few pointers that I would like to share.
First use water base paint. I hope thats a given but you never know. Second do one family members hand print at a time and wait in between for them to dry. Otherwise the paints mingle and in the middle you get a not very attractive brownish mess.
We started with dad then myself followed by the girls. Everyone got to pick out their favorite color to use, but you could really do it any way you would like. Mom and dads hands in grey with kids in color would be very cool.
So have fun get creative and I would love to see what you made.

God Bless,

15 January 2012

Christmas Cards, what now?

So what do you do with all those Christmas cards that you receive over the holidays?
Some I might break down and use in my Christmas scrapbook layouts. Yes I cut them up. But the rest I don't want to just throw away. Someone spent the time and money choosing these cards and caring enough to send them, because lets face it. It has become a digital world. Christmas, Birthday and just plain old I am thinking about you cards have gone away to an email. So I want to preserve these the best I can so that my girls can see what was sent to us and by who.
So I make one page and "file" them all in there.

OK so here is how I did it. This is the second year that I have done this and this years I am not embellishing a lot just because the paper that I used is so busy. You could however add what ever you wanted.
So first I gathered my cards and separated them. I like the photo cards on one side and the regular cards on the other side. I do this because I can then make 2 pockets one larger then the other to support the square cards that I have received and so that they are not all falling around rubbing on each other. Which might over time ruin some of the photos. 
Next I select two 12x12 papers, cutting one down to 6" or in this case four then adding a 2" border to the top of a diffrent print. You could always add more pockets this way as well if you wanted.
Then you need to attach them. Now here is where I have seen different things. Some glue along the side and middle but I like to bring in my sewing machine when possible. Yes I like to sew paper. Plus then you can get a exact line on the edge and not have to worry that something might not be dry all the way when you put your cards inside. Which could result in a glued together mess. So I lay the cards on top mark where I need to sew and head to my sewing machine.

Now with sewing I am making holes in paper which could lead to perforation so I go back and on the sides I put a tiny drop of glue just to act as a support for those first few stitches. I don't know if this is necessary but it makes me feel better about my work.

At this point you are done. I wanted to make the year as a page title. So I cut out 2011 on my pazzles (which I love by the way) and glued it to the bottom right corner and called it a night.

It took just a few mins. It might be in fact the quickest page in the whole scrapbook album. lol.
If you make a page like this one email it to me I would love to see it. Also I would love to know what you do with your Christmas cards after the holidays?

Till next time,
God Bless you and yours,

Project 365

My princess in her new hat knit for the new Valentine collection in my shop. She is so cute.

13 January 2012

Project 365

This is  a self made portrait of me and my dog Sadie. This is the last picture of Sadie before she was laid to rest. I has been a hard week here at our house. A lot of tears and missing our big friend.
She will always be missed.

04 January 2012

Project 365

This is the best thing ever for a mom. When ever my day gets crazy or out of control. I grab my planner and head to my Keurig for a little pick me up.

03 January 2012

Project 365

So here we are to start a new year and that means a new set of yearly pictures. This year I hope to stick with posting them on a regular basis. Maybe not everyday, if I had that kind of time I would be getting more sleep. Hee hee. So hopefully every few days I will post the pics that I have captured. Now that being said to me project 365 is not about always documenting the amazing pictures I take. Of which there are so many, right. (Just smile and nod.) But its more about documenting the pictures that show our lives the best with meaning. Even if that means posting a pic that was taken from my iphone, gasp!!. Yes sometimes that is all that is avalable at the time and I am not one to miss the moment.

So here are the first 3 from this year so far.
While trying to clean out my office, if you can call it that. Kitty showed me exactly what she thought about my new household book that I made for the new year. By the way this has become the second most used item in my house. It is my go to for my day. In my humble opinion every mom needs one of these books.

This was cought by my husband at some early early hour with our very sick lil one. But it is moments like these that I want to remember. Not the fact that she was sick but the bond that was made stronger by this moment.

In the mornings I like to do some sort of craft with the girls together. Then when sara goes down for her nap Savannah and I can do school work then more crafts. Today I let them finger paint. Which evendently it was more fun to squish the paint in your hands than paint. Oh well they had fun.