Saturday, February 8, 2014

DIY valentines: you make my heart pop! + free printable

With Valentine's Day around the corner (less than a week!), I'm sharing a super simple & easy DIY. There are so many lovely DIY valentines, floating around Pinterest - this one is one of my favs by the lovely & uber creative Sarah. But I saw these bubbles at Target & knew I wanted to do something with them for Aiden's school friends.

grab these:
  • package of bubbles from target (comes in a pack of 24 for $3)
  • paper trimmer, or scissors
  • baker's twine, or yarn
  • hole punch
  • glue gun (optional)
  • pencil, pencil crayon, crayon
  • free "you make my heart pop printable" 

do this:
  1. print your cards preferably on a heavy weight card stock, (for projects like this, I get mine from Staples). I've set them up to print 6 cards per page.
  2. trim your cards - there are guides for your ease (& sanity).
  3. grab an autograph from your little one. always best to have them do this prior to tying the bubbles.
  4. punch holes where the guides are on the card
  5. put a dot of hot glue in between the punched holes, and carefully stick the bubbles on the card. this is completely optional, but i figured by the way Aiden handles the things in his backpack from school, the glue may help keep everything in tact ;)
  6. cut some twine about, 3 inches long. thread a piece of twine through the card from the back, tie a knot or a bow at the front. 


Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Hello 2014!

Yes, I realize I'm 7 days late, but heck - this little old blog of mine has definitely been collecting it's fair share of dust bunnies, yikes!

I'm hoping in the next few weeks that this personal blog will mesh in with my Pixel Paper Hearts venture and I can have everything all in one place. I'll more than likely be writing about the same things & really hoping to keep it consistent (ugh, I always say this). But new year means fresh starts, right? I think so!

The holidays were just insane for us. But all in a good, fun and fabulous way! Love celebrating with family, friends and mountains of delicious food. Mountains. We were lucky enough for Ryan to have days off in between Christmas and New Years & is actually still off until Friday! The kiddies are loving having him around, and heck - so am I!

What a year 2013 was. Raised of babies, faced from fears, started some things, made some friends, took big leaps - laughed a whole lot, learned a whole lot, it was very good to us.

I've set a few "intentions" for this year. I've kept them simple & realistic, because we know how lost these intentions can get, ha! I do have one word that I'm keeping close to my heart for the year ...

... in all aspects of life.

// Keep up with Project Life - I just love this idea and this way of documenting so much! But I do have an unfinished 2013 album, whomp. So I'm hoping to keep things simple, and not be so damn hard on my creative self so I'll be able to keep up & just hammer this down this year.

// Date my husband - I'm ready to be selfish. To have some down time, time away from our roles as (awesome) parents and just be us again. The craziness of life always "gets in the way", but I want to make us a priority and not use our kiddies or being tired as an excuse. So bring on the dinner dates (sans les babies), I've missed you!

// Write shit down - because my mind is pure mush, this is a must! Also there's something about pencil / pen & paper, something our smart phone won't even be able to replace, ever.

// More play time - I could watch my kiddies play for hours, but I want to be the one playing with them too & with no strings attached - meaning leaving my phone in another room & catching up on my social media feeds at another time. I want them to know I'm engaged & present ... and that I know how to play too ;)

// Do away with impulse purchases - I always hear myself telling myself that it's "only a dollar", but it's not a need! & we can do without it. & just because it's on sale, doesn't mean we need it either. I'm in the process of purging and toss things away that have been laying around our home. I want to love the things that we do have & make sure that they have purpose.

// Hang some damn things up - our home is naked. Very naked & we've been here for 3.5 years now. It's like I'm interior design challenged & just can't seem to execute my dreams and inspirations. But I will do this, one room at a time. I hope, lol.

Here's to another year. Filled with simple things, but big dreams! & to doing the things we "intent" to :)
Happy New Year Friends!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Pixel Paper Hearts & The Crafter's Bash

I obviously love all things crafty. So it was a no brainer but to say YES!, when Thuy (of My Paper Pinwheel) asked Pixel Paper Hearts to be a sponsor for The Crafter's Bash!

PPH x The Crafter's Bash

It was so fun putting these goodies together for the event. Totally wish I could be there in person! Road trip to OK anyone?! Thanks again for having us Thuy!

& the pretty pencils are available in the shop! Swoon!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Let's Eat Chicken Taco Bowls

My crock pot and I are total BFFs. Though I must admit I don't use her as much as I would like. The main reason is simply because most crock pot recipes feed a family of a lot! And in our home, 90% of the time there's about 2.5 people consuming the dish - that's a whole lot of leftovers. Not that it's a bad thing, but c'mon - variety is the spice of life right??! But I am always intrigued with what I can actually make by dumping ingredients in a pot and letting it do all the work - especially while I go out and ... shop - which is exactly what happened today, lol.

Chicken Taco Bowl
This was 9am this morning - literally 10 mins of prep. Easy peasy.

Chicken Taco
And this was about 430pm ... ready to chow down! I freaking love Pinterest! Recipe slightly modified from Budget Bites.

Chicken Taco Bowls (via crockpot!)
6 bones skinless chicken thighs
1 cup frozen corn
430 ml of your fav salsa
1 can black beans, rinsed & drained
1 tbsp paprika
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
pinch of chilli flakes
grated cheddar
cubed avocado
lime for garnishing
your fav rice

-Add all ingredients except for the rice, cheese and avocado into the crock pot with 1/4 cup of water. Stir it all up & make sure the chicken is covered with the mixture
-Close with lid & cook on low for 8 hours
-When the chicken taco bowl mixture is almost done, cook some of you favourite rice as per the package directions (or as per your rice cooker, hehe)
 -After 8 hours of cooking, shred the chicken with two forks, this should be super easy.
-Then build your bowls! Rice, chicken taco mix, shredded cheese, some avocado & a squeeze of lime juice! & of course, there's a lot leftover, quesadillas anyone?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Let's Eat Pesto, Kale Style

Yes, my husband is a Sous Chef.
No, he definitely does not cook gourmet meals for us 7 days a week.

He works ... a lot. Even more now that we decided I would be home with the littles. So my gourmet tasting menus are far and few between. Oh but when they come, I am in a state of pure bliss. I have absolutely no problem admitting that he's a better cook than I am :)

But for the most part, I wear the cook hat in home & I try to bust out yummy, semi-healthy, balanced dishes of what we like to eat. I try to cook enough so we have leftovers so I'm not cooking all - the - time. I like cooking, sometimes. But knowing that I must absolutely do it for our kiddies to enjoy a home cooked meal, I do it ... gladly. Thankfully, both of them are not super picky - we give them what we give them and that's that. We do not run a restaurant, we are not short order cooks - this is what is on the menu for today & this is what we are having. Small modifications fine (lol) & you must at least try it, once - that's always been the rule ... if you don't like it, that's okay - we all have our favourites & preferences, right?

Some friends on Instagram have asked me to share recipes of the food I post, so this "let's eat" series will be dedicated to what I feed our little family! I definitely suck at taking photos along the way though - whoops. But I'll try to keep at it! I've never really documented my cooking or followed recipes to a tee (but I do for baking, I know what happens when you try and wing it ... a whole lot of sadness in the trash). I see things I like (usually via Pinterest), mix and match different recipes & sometimes consult Ryan for his expert opinion (lol). & then after "studying" ... I just go for it. I taste along the way & really hope for the best. The dishes that work out, I make again ... those that turn out questionable, I bust out the mac & cheese. I try not to get discouraged with the failures & feel really good when Aiden and Sadie gobble it up! Aiden asked me to make this one twice in a row this week, so that definitely boosted my confidence, LOL.

Let's Eat - Kale Pesto

I was inspired to make kale pesto after seeing a friend post her dinner on IG. You can definitely make this dish with any pasta and any protein you have on hand. When combining pesto with pasta, I tend to use pasta that have little homes (rottini, bowties, penne, shells) so the pesto can "live" within the homes. I find the saltiness of the sausage pairs well with the bitterness of the kale. (I used PC Original Smokies - not the blue menu ones, just the original ones). But I'm sure a chopped chicken breast or sauteed shrimp would be lovely too! Cook your pasta and your protein to your liking. I was taught to toss the cooked pasta into the pan you cooked the protein in. This lets the pasta soak up all of those rendered flavours! Add in the kale pesto (a tbsp at a time, you'll have leftovers I'm sure) and roasted chick peas and toss away! I served this warm, but I think it could work as a pasta salad too! 

Kale Pesto
1/4 cup raw almonds
1 clove of garlic
1/3 cup of parm cheese
1 bunch of kale, maybe 3 cups worth
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp pepper
1/2 cup of extra virgin olive oil

-Combine almonds and garlic in a food processor. Pulse under well combined
-Add in parm cheese, kale, salt and pepper, pulse until combined
-With the food processor running low, slowly add in olive oil until you reach your desired consistency
-Adjust seasoning to your taste
-Left overs will keep for 3-4 days refrigerated

Roasted Chick Peas
1 can of chick peas, rinsed & drained
kosher salt
red chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees
-Rinse and drain chick peas. Gently remove the "skins" of each chick pea
-Lay out on some paper towels to help soak up the moisture. Try to get them as dry as possible
-Toss chick peas with salt, pepper, red chilli flakes and olive oil
-Lay evenly on a lined baking sheet and bake until crisp, about 30-40 mins