//What I'm About / Vol. 5


The book, which this show is based off of, has been on my TBR list pretty much since it came out. It's sitting on my shelf, mocking me. But I keep bumping it for others...don't worry, my dear, I'll get to you eventually. Back to the topic at hand, the show is entertaining and will have you wondering why you didn't think to do what she did--seriously! I'm kicking myself. The hubs and I binged almost the entire season, but still have a few left to go. Oh, and RuPaul is in it, soooo...all the thumbs up emojis.

Bullet Journaling

I am a notorious list-maker and far-too-organized person. I literally have four planners/calendars going at once...who needs to be that organized?! Me, apparently. So bullet journaling is something that I would naturally get sucked into. I attempted to start it a couple years ago but this time, I'm diving in full force. For those who don't know, bullet journaling is a method of keeping a combination planner and commonplace book, using a systematic approach to scheduling and notating your entries. It can be completely customized to the way you operate and be as artistic or as minimal as you like. The only things you need to start are literally a notebook and a pen. The rest is fluff. I can do an entire post on that (and just might!), but let me leave you with some reference links.

Ruth Riechl is, among other things, a food writer, and boy does it show in this book! The way she writes about food is so poetic that you can nearly taste the very dishes she describes. This book goes through her life as she blossomed into a foodie and it's so compelling, I can read pages upon pages before I even think to set it down.

Back at it with another magazine recommendation! Mollie Makes is a lifestyle and crating magazine that is packed with fun project and a ton of artistic inspiration. It is another imported magazine which makes it a little on the pricier side, but it's so worth it. The physical copies come with a mini-craft--supplies and all!--so that's the route I prefer to go. If you visit their website, they are offering 3 issues for $9.95, which I think it fantastically reasonable.

If you enjoy cooking at home but feel overwhelmed by meal planning and prepping, definitely check out Prep Dish. It's not one of those services that sends ingredients to your home or anything. Instead, you get meal plans, complete with organized grocery lists (BLESS!) and step-by-step prep instructions. The meals are also paleo or gluten-free and dairy is always optional. The entire concept is that you have a shopping day, a prep day, and then you get to enjoy meals for the week. I plan on doing an entire post dedicated to Prep Dish because my husband and I love it SO much, so I won't go into too much further detail. I will say, though, that we've been doing this for three weeks now and we have yet to eat a meal that we didn't like. Winner!

//What I'm About / Vol. 4

If you're a paper/stationary nerd like me, you'll dig this magazine. It's full of all things beautiful and paper-related. It's an imported magazine, so it's on the pricier side. But it's so totally worth it.

Imagine being Beyoncé's sister. Just imagine. Queen Bey's younger sister who is ALSO trying to make it in the music business. Damn. I would probably just spend my days eating cookie dough straight from the tube and call it. But not Solange. I first heard her sing when she performed on Saturday Night Live and while I thought her performance style was a little out there for my taste, I couldn't help but be drawn to her voice and the beat of the music. I have been playing "Cranes in the Sky" on repeat in my car--and my daughter even stopped crying when this song came on. Winner.

I enjoy wearing mascara but I loathe taking it off at the end of the night, especially if I'm wearing contacts. Usually, the only products tough enough to remove mascara well are also the products that you least want in your eyes when you're wearing contacts. And for some reason, those two seem to always be simultaneous--until this (I have the blue one). I use this on a cotton pad (not cotton ball) until I see little to no traces of black. I then follow it up with my ride-or-die cleanser, which is probably more of a byproduct of my obsession with the Korean skincare routine than anything else.

Vintage compact for my translucent loose powder

I have been on the lookout for just the right vintage compact for several years and I finally found it! It's larger, mirror intact, great condition, and it came with a sifter. After I cleaned and sterilized everything, I took my go-to setting powder (which basically comes in a spice container) and poured a small layer into the compact. I popped the sifter on top and now, all I have to do it pounce my powder brush on top of the sifter and BAM!

Now for something totally out of left field! I am a big fan of the History Channel series, Forged in Fire. Thanks a lot, little brother, for starting a binge-watching marathon. Apparently, a former contestant started a new web series where the make awesome fictional or fantasy weapons that are fully functional and totally awesome. Naturally, I was immediately addicted and can't get enough of the skill and talent used in blacksmithing. Oh, and my paternal grandfather was a blacksmith, so that's cool!

//Weekend Mornings (Scrapbook Layout)

So it has been a LONG LONG LONG time since I made a traditional layout. I think the last time I made one, I was still pregnant with Hazel. Even then, I wasn't that happy with the finished product. I just wasn't "feeling it" and struggled through the process, glumly stashing the end result so I don't have to look at it. Then I took these adorable photos of Hazel one weekend and decided that I HAD to document them in a layout.

I can't tell you how happy I am with it. Admittedly, in the beginning I was thinking I was going to hate it. But I plugged away and kept playing with it and eventually I made something I am quite proud of.

I used mostly elements from a past Gossamer Blue kit, which I believe the background patterned paper was from. I was drawn to the pink and teal combination (a popular color scheme in scrapbooking as of late) and so I decided to play around with that, adding in white and kraft elements, as well as touches of gold. You know me, I can't resist that gold shiz. Sidenote: I think my appreciation for gold came with age because I was adamantly against it for the longest time. I guess it's true what they say about acquiring wisdom with age. Anyway, you'll notice that the photos I used contain NEITHER pink nor teal. And I don't care. Seriously. I was never big on matching colors used in my layout to those found in my photo(s). I don't like things to be SUPER matchy-matchy and besides, this gives me way more freedom.

I love to layer elements, so after deciding to angle the photographs atop the kraft paper, I started tucking in bits and pieces until I came to something I liked. I tried to bring a lot of pink onto the teal side to make everything blend together nicely.

I really enjoy texture in layouts, so I combined a variety of papers and embellishments to achieve that look. I even used a notebook paper punch on the edges of the white-and-pink striped paper and then roughed up the edge so it stands up a little. I was all but finished with the layout when I thought it looked a little off-balance, so I used a coral ink from Studio Calico and a date stamp in the upper-right corner to tie it all together.

That's it! If you have any questions about why or how I did something in particular, please feel free to ask!

//The 100 Day Project + Metal Stamping Made Easy!

Today I decided to begin the 100 Day Project after seeing a bunch of posts about this in my Instagram feed. I don't know all of the history behind the project, but the premise itself is simple--it is intended to broaden you creatively by having you engage in a creative task for 100 days. This website is the first thing that popped up when I Googled this project, but I cannot attest as to whether it is "the" project I was seeing references to. Either way, I decided this would be a fun way to do SOMETHING artistic once a day.

I was debating about what my project should be. At first, I thought it would be an amazing feat if I chose embroidery or scrapbook layouts. But then I realized that if I was being serious, I needed to be realistic in my goals. Embroidery would require too much fiddling around with supplies and if I wanted to use more than a single color, rethreading my needle multiple times would get annoying. Fast. And with scrapbooking, well, that was just impossible. I could take hours working on a single layout and I certainly don't have that kind of time with an-almost 6-month old. I decided to go with watercolor.

I went to the store and got a pack of 3" x 5" index cards, unruled, so that I could paint on those. I began playing around with what to watercolor and in the end, I chose basic pattern and mark-making. Most importantly, I give myself only 5 minutes to work on this (not including drying time). That's right. FIVE MINUTES. Honestly, even as a mom of an infant, if I don't have five minutes to myself each day, I really need to change some things because I am not about that life.

On the back of the painted card, I used my Mega Date Stamp from Studio Calico (currently out of stock, but they do have the time stamp in stock) to stamp today's date. I plan on making a mini-album of these when the 100 days are up, but for now there will be a small pile on my desk.

Another fun creative thing I did today was try my hand at metal stamping! I was at Target (otherwise known as "my second home") and I perused the craft aisle. Y'all, Target got some new goodies in! Some of these lovelies include DIY project kits by Brit + Co. The best part? Each kit is under $30!! Oh, man. I used to LOVE project kits when I was a kid because you had everything you needed to make something cool--and sometimes practical! I had a hard time deciding which one to get but I ultimately chose this "Metal Stamp a Necklace Kit."

I instantly knew I wanted to do my daughter's name as my necklace. I used the practice bar to get familiar with the process and once I felt comfortable with that, I used the included vinyl tape to secure my metal blank. Stamping this took only minutes and then about another three minutes to attach the chain to the metal bar.

You have enough supplies to make TWO necklaces (think about how fun it would be to make matching necklaces for you and your BFF!!!) but considering that the only supplies you'd have to buy more of are the metal blanks, you can really get a lot of use out of this kit. I couldn't be happier with my new jewelry ;)

//What I'm About / Vol. 3

I have been super duper absent lately thanks to a bout of disease that ran rampant through my family, so that was fun. At least my baby girl didn't get too sick. The hubs and I bore the brunt of that haha. Anywho, I thought a good way to ease back into the blog was with a good ol' "What I'm About" post. Let's proceed!

PINK MARTINI!! They are so fun and have a very multi-cultural, cosmopolitan swing/jazz sound. I currently am obsessed with their most recent release, Je Dis Oui! It means "I say yes" and it's the chorus of the first track, "Jolie Garçon." My daughter, for the record, enjoys this song ;) Their music has been on heavy rotation during my commute. I really feel like I should be drinking cocktails in a smokey bar in Paris when I listen to their music, though I don't know why.

The Puppini Sisters are another great group. They are considered a "vocal harmony swing group," according to their website, and they do a lot of covers that span genres and it all has a very retro twist to it. The group is UK-based and no, they aren't literally sisters. I've been listening to their Christmas album a lot because it's great and I love Christmas. If you think people shouldn't listen to Christmas music out of season, then fight me. Just fight me.

So, real talk. I love coffee. LOVE it. I kind of wish I could be one of those folks who gives up caffeine and is constantly drinking water and staying hydrated and being all-around fabulous. But this is not meant to be for me. When I was pregnant, that was literally the toughest thing for me, giving up my usual insane amount of daily coffee. When I tell people how many espresso shots I liked in my latte, they looked at me like I should be committed. To each their own. I am also a slut for Starbucks and whenever they come out with a new menu item, I'm immediately intrigued. I gave the Cascara Latte a go and I love it! It's just subtly sweet and as long as you don't get additional espresso shots, the balance is perfect between the sweetness and bitterness. 10/10 would recommend. PS. I guess it's pronounced "cass-care-ah" because when I say it as "cass-car-ah," the barista promptly--and irritatedly--corrects me. Meh.

This movie was really good. Like, way better than I thought it would be. It was funny (Hailee Steinfeld and Woody Harrelson are so freaking good) and considering that I was once a teenage girl back in the day, man, did I relate to some of this stuff. The teenage angst and the meanies at school and the making a damn idiot of yourself in front of a boy you like---yep, been there with all that shiz. Rent this tonight with a pint of Halo Top ice cream (Peanut Butter Cup is the best flavor, IMHO) and watch it in your jammies (preferably with a friend or two).

I am almost afraid to admit this because I feel like there is going to be a barrage of criticism. But when you're a mom, that's par for the course, right?! ;) My 4-month old LOVES this show. It's the colorful and expressive blocks on the screen, I think, but the music is also really fun. I think this is a Canadian show but we watch it through YouTube or Hulu and it's the only thing that was able to calm my baby down after her last round of shots (poor thing). While I don't believe in using a TV as a babysitter for the fact that time is so fleeting and I would hate to miss out on a bunch of time with Hazel in that way, I am ALL FOR this show as a way to spend time together. The songs are very catchy and fun and educational, but in interesting ways. A+ to Big Block Singsong.