Our garden produce has slowed down now that we’re hitting the peak heat of the summer here in Houston. Peppers and jalapenos are all we have right now, but I hope to get a good fall/winter crop going soon.

Today is all about using our yellow peppers. Yum!

Garden Recipe using Yellow Pepper

Recipe No 5. : Enchilada Porcupine Meatball Stuffed Peppers (adapted from SouthernFood.About.com)

Our modifications:

- Leave out the onion and Worcestershire sauce.
- Replace the tomato sauce with Enchilada sauce and double it.
- Cut a pepper in half, lay in baking dish inside up, and place two of the meatballs inside.
- Add 1 cup of rice to the sauce mixture and pour over meatballs before baking.

Beau sort of invented this recipe about a year ago and it’s become a favorite in our house. We serve with sour cream and shredded cheese and drink with lots of milk since we like to use enchilada sauce on the spicier side.

The peppers I used are technically yellow peppers, but we’ve only had one fully ripen so far, so I used an unripe one and it tasted just fine.

Verdict: This is my favorite dinner and I love the combination of having it in the peppers. Beau and Alwyn love it too, but without the peppers. Ephram is a little more apprehensive because he isn’t a big fan of rice, but he ate everything on his plate this time with the reward of a popsicle afterwards.

As an attempt to get my family eating healthier and from our garden, I’m on a mission to make 20 different recipes using ingredients from our backyard veggie, fruit, & herb gardens.  You can see the rest of my recipes here.  

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It’s been over six months since we moved into this house and I have yet to finish up the boys’ rooms. Oh well. They’ll likely never be “done” and always a work in progress until the day they won’t let me decorate them anymore. I dread that day, so I better get a move on!


This wall gallery is one of the many spots I’ve been finishing up over the past few months. I made the wood stars a couple of months ago and knew right away they’d go in Alwyn’s room. All of the frames are actually straight from Alwyn’s room in the last house. Completely unchanged.

I’ve had everything up for about two months now, except for the photostrip. That spot has been waiting patiently for the right set of photos.  Since Alwyn knows how to point to all the features on his face, I figured it would be easy and cute to get a few photos of him covering his eyes, ears, and mouth and play off the ‘See no evil, Hear no evil, Speak no evil’ quote.  But as it turns out, 20-22 months is sort of an uncooperative age… so I ended up taking the photos of Ephram.  He’s pretty cute too, so it’s all good.


While I was putting this gallery together, I couldn’t get it out of my head how similar it was to putting together a spread for Project Life.  And then nodded my head through this entire podcast last week too, talking about similarities between scrapbooking style and clothing style.  I created a grid in my head as I laid out the picture frames and wooden stars.  Afterwards I added a couple of small “embellishments” to fill in the smaller blank spots, give it a little variety and pull it all together.  Totally similar to my method for a Project Life spread.  If you’re having a hard time seeing my imaginary grid, this should help.


I love how it turned out and I’m already planning a similar wall for Ephram’s room and the upstairs hallway.  What steps do you take when putting together a wall gallery?


Quail card // Paul Frank Alphabet Flash Cards

Wood-burned Stars // Tutorial Here 

A is for Alwyn // Free Printable from the Little Umbrella

Choose to Shine print // Free printable by Sada Lewis

Book ledge // Ribba Ledge by Ikea

*my favorite way to hang photos is using Command Picture-Hanging Velcro Strip


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As you can tell from the title, I veered away from my weekly format for the two spreads I’m sharing today. It all started with a few photos of the boys. I liked the whole series so much and I knew I couldn’t pick just one or two to include in a weekly spread. So I decided to dedicate a whole spread to just those photos and I knew I wanted to go big with one. I had the spread pretty well planned out, and then the new Heidi Swapp line of Project Life was announced…

I sheepishly will admit to visiting Michaels 5 times in 4 days, eager to get my hands on this amazing line. I don’t usually have to run out immediately and buy something but I already had the photos printed, ready to go, and I was super excited to “scrap” them!


I knew I’d pick up a couple of the value packs, but I wasn’t sure what to think about the core kits until I saw them in person.  Both are beautiful, but I ended up only purchasing the Favorite Things Core kit since the colors are bolder than the Dreamy Edition.  And while there is plenty of pink (a color I don’t tend to use a lot of), there’s a ton of blue, green, & black – my favorites for Project Life!


Originally, my plan was to experiment with a 12×12 layout using the large 8×12 photo of the boys I had printed. But with a new Project Life kit in hand, I decided to stick to pocket pages. I could have cut up the photo and stuck them into several pockets, but I absolutely wasn’t going to settle on cutting through Ephram’s face. So instead I made my own custom design with the help of the sewing machine.

Of course, whenever I change it up from using the Design A pocket page, I know there will be a challenge awaiting me with the following spread. So before finalizing the first spread, I started working on the next page to make sure I could find another 8×12 photo to print big. Luckily that July self portrait worked perfectly.


Sewing tip: Starting with a 12×12 page protector, I first sewed from the bottom up to create the bottom 3 pockets.  Then I filled these pockets with cards for both sides before sewing across the top of them, to create the large top 8×12 pocket.


On this second spread, I continued with the Heidi Swapp line, but also used a card from Rachel of Big City Quiet‘s new shop.  Some great, minimalistic designs over there worth checking out, but the coffee/tea set is my very favorite.


What kits are you loving right now?  Did you snag any of the new Heidi Swapp stuff or are you holding out?  Do you notice yourself using certain colors more than others?

Follow my 2014 album progress here and see the cover page for this album here. Linked up at the Mom Creative.

Supplies Used: Project Life Heidi Swapp Favorite Things , Studio Calico monthly kit embellishments, Big City Quiet Wake Set, Project Life Journaling Pens, Design A Pocket Pages, 12×12 Pocket Pages, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.

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My iPhone is kept within reach 95% of the time these days. Mostly for the spontaneous photo of Ephram or Alwyn or a pretty plant, but also because I usually keep the volume so low that I wouldn’t hear an actual call unless it was within 5 feet of my fingers.

Pro-tip: If you’re thinking about buying an iPhone soon, do yourself a favor and wait another month until the new ones are released. You’ll either be able to buy the new iPhone 6, OR purchase an older model for cheaper than it is today. So patience will be rewarded!

These are the most used apps (other than Camera, Gmail, & social media apps) I have on my phone:

Favorite iPhone Apps Timehop

Timehop – This app shows you what you photographed, tweeted, instagrammed, or facebooked previous years on this date.  I love checking this app while I eat breakfast every day.

Feedly – I currently have 130 blog subscriptions in my Feedly account and only about 10-15 update frequently.  For the other one hundred or so that don’t have something new to look at daily, Feedly lets me know when they have updated, so I don’t have to visit each site just to check.  If you’re a blog reader, Feedly (or BlogLovin, another great blog reader) is your best friend.  You can check Feedly and BlogLovin on your computer as well, but this is the second thing I check on my phone while eating breakfast in the morning.

Favorite iPhone Apps Feedly

Meetup – We moved to Texas 32 months ago, and since then we’ve relocated (within the Houston area) two more times.  Moving to a state with zero family is tough stuff!  Thankfully I stumbled upon Meetup.com right when we moved down to Texas and it is responsible for numerous friendships I’ve made in the past 32 months.  If you have recently moved to a new state or city, I highly recommend searching Meetup for a group you connect with, whether it’s a group of moms looking for playdates or a random interest you have, like crafting or gardening.  The variety of groups found on Meetup is amazing.  Anyways, having the Meetup app on my phone has been super helpful for remembering the location and times of playdates I RSVP’d to, or even responding quickly to comments on an event.

PicTapGo – This is my favorite photo editing app on my phone and I’ve mentioned it several times before (check here and here).  I do have a few others on my phone, including VSCO & Camera+ but I rarely use them.  They are great apps, but I find PicTapGo to be the easiest and most efficient app for quick editing.

Favorite iPhone Apps Photo Editing

Project Life – Speaking of photos!  Ah!  This app is coming soon!  I’m currently a beta tester for the new Project Life app and can tell you it is amazing.  While I still have a ridiculous love for physical albums, this will be a life changer for anyone who does Project Life digitally.  Especially if Photoshop overwhelms you.  I can definitely see myself using it to add text to journaling cards and printing them straight from the app in the future.   Such a time saver!

Favorite iPhone Apps Project Life

Dropbox – I primarily use Dropbox for sharing photo files with family and friends, but you can also use it for backing up your iPhone photos or transferring photos to your phone.  If you’re interested in using the Project Life app when it’s released, I highly suggest opening up a Dropbox account and getting the app on your phone.  I was super excited when I saw the ability to grab photos from Dropbox in the Project Life app.  Imagine dropping some photos into Dropbox on your computer and then later creating a Project Life page while waiting for an oil change.  Pretty cool, huh?  So ya, open a Dropbox account!

Remote – For good measure, here’s one that isn’t necessarily my favorite, but I use it often.  We (aka, Ephram or Alwyn) misplaced the AppleTV remote several weeks ago and we cannot find it anywhere.  Good thing Apple created an iPhone app to use in it’s place because otherwise we’d be looking for a replacement ASAP!  We may use the AppleTV more than our DVR and cable put together.

Favorite iPhone Apps Weather Radar

RadarScope - I may consider myself a “retired” meteorologist these days, but that doesn’t mean I’m not checking radar every time I see a rain cloud heading toward me.  In my opinion, this is the best radar app you can have on your phone, and they recently added a lightning subscription as well!

What apps are your favorite? Which do you find yourself using daily?

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Woo-hoo, week 29! I’m still amazed I’m keeping pace so well this year.

I thought I’d start out with a peek at my digital spread. This is where I start with my Project Life spreads, though this week I veered away from my usual Design A and went with Design T on the right side. I do this extra step of digital planning because I don’t want to end up deciding later that I want a photo sized or edited differently. This takes the guess work out of placing all my photos in the sleeves once I have the physical copies.

The other thing I wanted to show you this week was what the spread would look like if I left all the photos color. I get a lot of comments about my black and white photos in my spreads and I really feel it helps keep the spread easier on the eyes and less in your face!

For this spread, the yellow banana and purple light glare on the left were two definite colors I wanted to take out.  And on the right, the colors all actually coordinated just fine, but to keep it cleaner and balanced, I made two photos black and white as well.


And below is what I ended up with, after switching four of the photos to black and white and moving around two. Since the photos were quite colorful already, 5 out of 6 of the cards I added were black and white as well.


I struggled with finding enough room to journal in this spread since I had so many photos I wanted to include this week. To remedy the situation, I added a 3×4 grid card behind a photo and attached a tab sticker to it so I’d know later there is journaling behind it.

donyaluana-2014-wk29-04 donyaluana-2014-wk29-05

Super glad I forced myself to play around with Design T. I’d be totally happy sticking with Design A, but sometimes it’s fun to try something new. Love how it turned out. Have you been trying out anything new in your spreads lately?


Follow my 2014 album progress here and see the cover page for this album here. Linked up at the Mom Creative.

Supplies Used: Project Life Kiwi Core Kit, Project Life 3×4 grid cards, Studio Calico monthly kit embellishments, Project Life Journaling Pens, Design A Pocket Pages, Design T Pocket Pages, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.

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