Project Life-Weeks Fourteen, Fifteen & Sixteen

I’m back with another Project Life update. I’ve been having a hard time catching up with everything else I’ve been working on lately. Not to mention that I ran out of printer ink again while finishing up my December Daily from this past Christmas. Yes, you read that correctly. I’ve been finishing up a Christmas project for the past few weeks. I really wanted to get it finished so I could pack it away and be able to pull it with all our Christmas stuff this Winter. It’s been haunting me…but it’s finally done.

Anyway, I digress. On to my Project Life album. There’s not really anything special about these three weeks of layouts. Simple, but awesome as always.

Week Fourteen

I love this photo of Harper, so I decided to make it bigger. That’s a great trick to take up space if you didn’t take very many photos during the week. DSC_0237DSC_0238DSC_0240

Week Fifteen

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Here I added my concert stub from the Bon Jovi concert into the small pocket. And I love adding the see, hear, taste, touch, smell cards. I sewed this one onto a 4×6 piece of cardstock.DSC_0247 

I also love to write directly onto the photos whenever possible. Love this look with the text following the shape of the bowl.DSC_0246DSC_0244

Another little tip if you have more photos and not enough room for all your journaling, is to do the journaling for two photos on one card and include arrows to show which goes with what. Simple.DSC_0248

Week Sixteen

This week I included the news story about the Boston bombing because it was pretty much all that was on TV and the radio throughout the week. Sometimes I like to include news stories and sometimes I don’t. I guess it sort of depends on what else I have to add to the album, but since I watched a ton of the coverage, I decided to add it.DSC_0250DSC_0251

On the True Story card, I added a quote from Hudson. I’ve been doing this a lot in this album. He is constantly saying things to crack us up and I want to be able to go back and read them when he gets older. Plus, it’s so hard to remember everything. It’s amazing how fast you forget that stuff when you’re a parent because your brain is always on overload!DSC_0252

I ordered a bunch of photos from Persnickety Prints to help me get truly caught up, so once I get those I’ll be able to work, work, work. I love sitting down for a couple of hours at a time and working away. It’s awesome when my creative juices really get flowing!

My goal is to get completely up to date so that I can post my layouts in real-time.

If you have any questions about Project Life or anything I used in my layouts feel free to leave a comments.

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Sandwich of the Summer

I love me a good sandwich and this one has been our favorite this summer season. It’s simple and so, so delicious. I mean, there’s basically only three ingredients; bread, bacon and avocados. You can’t go wrong.

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This is how you make it.

Cook the bacon. We make ours in the oven, and cook it until it’s nice and crispy. While the bacon is cooking, drizzle a little olive oil on the bread of your choice. We used a french baguette sliced in half. Once the bacon is done, just pop the bread into the oven under the broiler for a couple of minutes. Slice the avocado last so it doesn’t brown. When the bread is toasted to your liking, top one slice with the bacon and avocado slices and sprinkle a little kosher or sea salt on the avocado. That’s it! Enjoy!

This would be a fantastic picnic sandwich. You could also add tomatoes or maybe some type of cheese, but we like it simple.

I would eat these at least once a week, but I don’t think I need that much bacon in my diet!

I’m always on the lookout for simple sandwiches. Especially in the summer when I don’t want to turn the oven on.

Kitchen Counter Makeover

Last week I mentioned how I had a ton of projects to tackle and I was planning on taking some time this past weekend to get some of them done? Well, I crossed a big one off of our to-do list. I painted our kitchen counters!

I took some better photos with my big camera of the before, but finished too late to take any good after photos, so I thought I would just share with you a little Before & After comparison taken with my iPhone.

Before

I took this photo without the kitchen light on, so in the next shot the cabinets look a lot more yellow than they do here.

The counters were original from the 1960’s. This photo doesn’t do them justice as far as how ugly they were and how bad of shape they were in. Trust me. UGLY.

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After

It’s definitely a vast improvement, but the gray of the cabinets doesn’t look as fantastic with the gray of the counters like I hoped. We ended up picking the darkest gray that they had, but it didn’t turn out as dark as I hoped either.  It was really hard to match colors because we couldn’t get a sample of the counter paint before hand. However, anything was an improvement over what we had.

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We used Rustoleum countertop paint and it wasn’t the greatest to work with. For starters, it smells really, really bad. I mean I had to wear a mask and it was still overwhelming. We had every door and window open. Thank goodness it was such a beautiful day. Oh, and don’t worry, the kids were playing outside or down in the basement all day. No way, I would let them inhale those fumes!

I cleaned the counters just like they suggest and used a foam rollers as recommended, but you can still see rollers lines and there are a significant amount of tiny air bubbles. You can’t see either unless the sun is shining directly on the counters, so that’s good, but I wish the application was a little better.

It only took a couple of hours to apply and then Rustoleum suggests waiting 72 hours before using the counters. So that means our kitchen table is a huge mess for the next couple days. And I’m a neat freak so it’s killing me.

The cost for the paint was only $20, so even if we decide we want something else down the road, it’s not a big loss, and I think it was totally worth trying.

So, that’s just one project checked off my giant, never-ending to-do list. Now I’m off to edit photos from a weekend session.

See you tomorrow!

Summer Photo Shoot

While we were up in Sioux Falls this past weekend I wanted to get a few photos of the kids at a place called the Japanese Gardens. It’s a beautiful little park designed with lots of Japanese influence. Plus it’s right along the river, so the backdrop is awesome.

This shoot was to document Hudson turning four and Harper turning two. They weren’t in the best of moods and we had a little diaper mishap and had to leave in a hurry, so I didn’t get as many shots as I would’ve liked, but I managed to get a few I love.

If you like my photography, please check out and “like” my Facebook page. You can find me under Tashia Doyle Photography.

Harper was not in a good mood and definitely not interested in looking at the camera.DSC_0142-001 copy

Hudson is at the age where unless you catch him smiling, he ends up giving you a cheesy smile, so getting a natural look from him was difficult. Silly boy!DSC_0122 copy

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I couldn’t love these two cuties more! But I may have to snap a few more photos somewhere here in Omaha this weekend. The temps are supposed to be gorgeous! I can’t wait to get out and about with the kids.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend wherever you are!

Happening Now

Reading Belong To Me by Marisa de los Santos and having a very hard time getting into it.

Finishing up a bunch of photo projects i.e. Project Life, our family yearbook and even December Daily from this past Christmas.

Taking time to relax as often as possible.

Spending lots of time with family.

Crossing activities off of our Summer Family Fun List.

Focusing on getting my photography business up and running. Work, work, work.

Trying to decide what show to watch now that we’ve finished The Killing. Suggestions?!

Going back and redoing my One Little Word class because my word wasn’t really working for me, and another seemed to keep showing up.

Looking forward to a calm, relaxing weekend at home doing all my favorite summer activities.

Feeling ready for Fall…I can’t believe I just said that. I love summer. What’s wrong with me?!

Planning a trip to Nashville over Labor Day for a friend’s wedding. Can’t wait!

Listening to The Avett Brothers. Yes.

Loving our weather lately. It’s been in the 80’s with cooler temps at night. That never happens in July!

Working on tackling small unfinished projects around the house before Fall arrives. The list is never-ending.

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This has been a crazy week with the kids. Sorry I missed a couple of days here on the blog! My days just don’t feel complete unless I post.

 

Busy, Busy, Busy

We had a very busy weekend that included a trip to Sioux Falls to visit my parents and meet up with some friends. It was lots of fun, but I’m tired after three busy weekends in a row and I have a ton to catch up on around here including getting back on my regular running schedule. So, instead of a regular post today, I thought I would just share my favorite photo from last week and then get started on my long to-do list of projects and chores.

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I love it when I catch them just sitting together. It’s so sweet and so rare.

Happy Monday!

The Garden’s Growth

It’s going to be really, really hot today. Temps are supposed to be in the upper 90’s, but feeling like it’s over 100! And the humidity is awful and practically suffocating. I spent the morning outside with the kids doing a little yard work while they played in the water table, but this afternoon, I plan on staying indoors and doing some sort of project with them.

I love summer, but I’m not all that fond of the humidity. Blah.

I’ve been taking weekly photos of my little container garden in hopes of keeping a simple journal to reference in the future and maybe even to look back on one day and smile about my simple beginnings because by then I’ll have a large garden.

I was looking back at the first photos I took and can’t believe how much it has grown! I’m proud that I’ve managed to keep it alive and thriving. I’m still wishing I had planted one more basil plant. I don’t know what I was thinking only planting two.

Here are the first photos I took.

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I had my basil in the house for a bit before potting it and it managed to grow a bit.

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My basil was so tiny! And actually so was the tomato plant! I guess that’s why I thought that pot would be sufficient enough, but I definitely think I needed a bigger one.

Here is my garden as of last weekend.

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**I must really like those sweatpants! I have the same ones on in both photos!**

The tomato plant has almost grown to the top of the cage, but no signs of a tomato. I’ve heard that some people swear by MiracleGro on their tomato plants. I think I may try that this weekend. I might also try switching the pot. I bet they’re all on sale now.

I’ve already harvested a small amount of basil so that the new leaves would keep growing, but it’s time for another harvest. It’s actually even bigger now than when I took this photo. It’s looking really good and I’ve been making sure to pick the flowers.

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The little lady was helping me water. She loves watering the plants.

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I’m really happy with the growth of both, but am still hoping for at least a couple of tomatoes. If you have any tips, I’m all ears!

Tomorrow is Friday! Yay!

A Lavender Farm

This summer we replaced strawberry picking on our Summer Family Fun List with visiting a lavender farm and picking lavender. I read about a local lavender farm, Loess Hills Lavender Farm, in Midwest Living magazine. I had no idea there even was such a thing. It turned out to be pretty interesting. Oh, and I think we’ll be making a trip back to the farm in August to see all the butterflies. The owner said that thousands of butterflies come through in August and our kids love butterflies. Who doesn’t?

They had this adorable little fairy house right by the gift shop. The kids loved it! It really inspired me to make a little one in our backyard. I even have a few ideas pinned on Pinterest.

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It smelled so good!

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You had to cut the lavender with shears, so it wasn’t really something little kids could do themselves, but they still liked just being there.

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We picked two different varieties of lavender; the kind that smells really good and is used to make essential oils and the kind that you can use in cooking and baking.

The farm wasn’t huge, but they were planning to add 10,000 more lavender plants at the end of the season. So, by next season it will be quite a bit bigger. We’ll definitely be going back to check it out.

In case you’re in the area and would like to visit the farm or you’re just interested in finding out a little more about lavender farms, here is the link to their website:

Loess Hills Lavender Farm

You can also read more about lavender farms in the July/August edition of Midwest Living magazine.

Have a great afternoon and keep cool. I hear it’s supposed to be pretty hot everywhere today!

Five Things

Is it Monday already? We had a very busy weekend that included a visit from my parents, some major tree trimming and a trip to a lavender farm. It was a good weekend, but it went by much too quickly.

I thought I’d start the week by sharing five things I’m loving right now.

1. Hanging out in the backyard with the kids. They swim and play in the pool while I read and relax.

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2. These vintage v-neck tees from Old Navy. They’re light weight and I love the deep v-neck.

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3. My new hat. I’ve wanted one of these since last summer, but had a hard time finding one I really liked. I finally found this one at Old Navy. Yay for cute hats in the summer!

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4. Stove top popped popcorn. I don’t like microwave popcorn. I never really have. It tastes very chemically to me; just my opinion. So, instead of microwave popcorn, I take a few extra minutes and make it on the stove with a little vegetable oil and then salt when it’s done. I can’t seem to get enough of it lately. It’s so light and fluffy! Perfect for a summer snack attack.

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5. The Killing. I had heard over and over about how good this show was and then it got cancelled before I could check it out. Well, the fans were so upset that AMC brought it back this Spring with a new season. I was so excited to start catching up on Netflix, so as soon as we finished Arrested Development we started watching it. It’s SO good. And what’s not to love about Netflix and being able to watch as many episodes in a row as you want?! Somebody stop me. Seriously.

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(image source)

So there you have it. Just a few of the things I’m loving right now.

Do yourself a favor and start watching The Killing. Like right now.

See you tomorrow!