I was hoping to share our renovated bathroom this week but I’m waiting on prints to arrive to fill the frames. Meanwhile, I finally got around to creating some wood pieces for both the bathroom and Ephram’s room, using the same wood I used for the wood burned stars.

Home Decor Inspiration: Add wood accents to walls

It was actually about 3 months ago that I first doodled a mountain on a post-it, but I wanted Beau to show me how to use the jigsaw (this is the one we have). I was a little nervous to try it without his direction since I’d never even touched it before, but it ended up being pretty easy, just like he told me. A little strenuous on my arms after holding the wood steady though.

Home Decor Inspiration: Adding wood accents to walls

I love the way the mountain works in his room since I’m going for an adventure/map/vehicles sort of theme. We Beau ripped out the carpet in Ephram’s room within a week of moving in and replaced it with beautiful laminate wood flooring, and this wood piece does a fantastic job of drawing your eye upward when you walk in and goes really well with those beautiful floors.

When we finished up the bathroom two weekends ago, I knew I wanted to do the same thing there. We have hardwood floors in half the bathroom, with tile in the second half near the tub. I wanted to tie the two “areas” together more by bringing a wood accent into the tiled part. I love this arrow so much I may even add a couple more.


The arrow was a harder to cut than the mountain since it’s rather small and I had a hard time knowing where to hold onto the wood without putting my fingers in the way, but it worked out. The whole cutting process probably took me about 15 minutes, followed by a few minutes of sanding and staining both pieces. Overall a pretty easy project and I love the outcome, so I’ll likely try it again in the future.

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As I look back on August, I’m mostly in disbelief it is passing by so fast!  At the beginning of Summer I prepared myself for Houston’s season of extreme heat by looking forward to Fall and Ephram’s return to preschool.  But as the month comes to a close, I’m actually finding myself just a little sad that Summer is ending.

I finally found myself embracing Summer in Houston this month. It’s about time since this is our third summer here. Usually around this time of the year I’m feeling trapped inside, itching for cooler weather so we can play outside without ending up drenched in sweat. And while I’m still looking forward to Fall, I’ve done my best to enjoy Summer.

A huge contributor to enjoying Summer? The pool. We spent quite a bit of time at the neighborhood pool this year, something we lacked at our previous house.  What better way to endure the heat than playing in a cold water? Without fail, every time we’d pack up the stroller to walk over to the pool this summer, memories of my grandparents bringing my cousins, sister, and me to the city pool came flooding back.  Afterwards we’d have snacks on my grandparents’ porch, and I’m confident my childhood memories are what led to me introduce popsicles to Ephram and Alwyn this year. Another way to enjoy the heat? Sit in the shade and eat flavored ice.

Summer, we’ve loved you, we’ve done our best to enjoy you, & we’re looking forward to seeing you again next year. Right after a long Fall, Winter, and Spring.

August 2014 Monthly Self Portrait Series :: Donya Luana

September goals:

  • A book I want to read: Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg

  • A craft I want to do: Two wooden craft ideas I have in my head… (still trying to find the time for them)

  • A “skill” I want to work on: Closing unused tabs on my internet browser. Why is this so hard?!

  • An activity I want to do more often: Outside walks (if it starts to cool off soon…)

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Today I’ve got another week split into two spreads.  It’s normal for me to have a lot of photos to choose from each week, but the biggest reason my recent weeks are spilling over into additional spreads is due to my new journaling habit.

Project Life Idea: Keep a journal to remind you of stories without corresponding photos.

I’ve journaled off and on for years, but never very consistently.  Since starting Project Life, I have relied heavily on photos to remind me of stories as I put weeks together, but the stories without corresponding photos have been going untold for a very long time.  To rectify that I’ve started journaling just small bits about our days.  I keep a notebook near my computer so that I can jot notes down daily.  Most days I wake up early, before my kids are up, so I can have some time to myself and drink a cup of coffee.  This has been the perfect time to take 5 minutes and remember what happened the day before.  Super helpful when it comes to adding journaling to my spreads.

So onto Week 32′s stories and photos.

Project Life Idea: Keep a journal to remind you of stories without corresponding photos.

This week we had a friend visiting and the boys loooove him.  I had quite a few stories to tell about that, plus the every day cute stuff that just happens with little boys.

If you’re anything like me, switching between pocket page designs is tough.  I stuck primarily to Design A for the first half of the year, but I have so many designs on hand and am forcing myself to get creative with them.  For this spread I added a Design C pocket page to the right hand side, full of 4×6 slots.  I balanced it with a few extra vertical 3x4s in the Design A pocket page on the left side.  To keep them from moving around in their 4×6 pockets, I used the Tiny Attacher vs. adhering them to the photo behind them, and it seems to be working out just fine.

Project Life Idea: Use a stapler (or tiny attacher) to prevent two 3x4 cards from slipping around in a 4x6 pocket.

On the right side I played around with two 4×6 cards and added 3×4 journaling cards to create story space.

Loving the grid feel of using Design U and C pocket pages together.

For the second spread I embraced the grid and alternated journaling cards and photos throughout.  Using Design C and U exclusively throughout an album would be really fun I think.

Loving the grid feel of using Design U and C pocket pages together.

In order to add more color to the left side, I used a circle punch on two 3×4 cards and placed them on 4×6 cards.  The “You are Here” stamp is from an old Studio Calico kit and I love that it’s about the same size as the circle punches.  I look for any excuse to use that awesome stamp.

Loving the grid feel of using Design U and C pocket pages together.

I found myself loving all of the simple black and white journaling cards I had on hand this week and wishing I had duplicates.  This one is from Ali’s Summer Journaling Card set and I might just have to pick up a second set.  Love the simplicity of them.

Loving the grid feel of using Design U and C pocket pages together.

Follow my 2014 album progress here and see the cover page for this album here.

Supplies Used: Project Life Heidi Swapp Favorite ThingsStudio Calico monthly kit embellishments and stamps, Ali Edwards Summer Journaling Card set, Fiskars Circle Punch, Project Life Journaling PensDesign A Pocket Pages, Design C Pocket Page, Design U Pocket Page, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.

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The ever-inspiring Kelsey tagged me last week to participate in an Inspiration Blog Hop. So honored, I immediately said yes and started thinking through the passed along questions about creativity.  So here we go.

What are you working on?

Project Life – This is always an ‘in progress’ project. My album rarely leaves my desk and, to be honest, most days I am reaching over it to type emails. But having it out all the time keeps it fresh in my brain and at the top of my to-do list when I have the chance to work on “fun” stuff.

Our Home – Another ‘in progress’ project since we almost always have something in the works.  We just finished up the boys’ bathroom over the weekend, a renovation we started back in June. Glad to have it done and while we’ll likely take a break for awhile now, we have a giant list of things to tackle in the future and we’re always planning out what will be next.

Misc – I have a couple of small wood projects on my to-do list, but I haven’t found the time for it yet. Hoping to very soon though!


How does your work differ from others?

Hmmm…I like to keep most of my projects (whether memory keeping related or home decor related) photo-focused, simple, & clean.  I like to start with a neutral backdrop and add burst of color here and there.


Why do you create what you do?

When I’m able to create, whether it’s taking photographs, scrapbooking, decorating & renovating our home, I feel happier. I smile more. I feel whole. I feel productive.   I like to fill my life with beauty or find the beauty in life.


How does your creating process work?

It usually starts with a notebook.  If I don’t write it down, it gets lost in my mind forever.

I keep several small notebooks on my desk, along with my planner.  I make lists, I write out ideas, I plan when and how I’ll get them done.  When I have the time, I pick one and go for it.


This is the part I’m supposed to nominate other creative bloggers I am inspired by.  But so many of the creative bloggers I follow have already been nominated and tagged!  I love discovering new blogs when people leave comments here, so if you’re interested, I would love to hear about you and what you do creatively!  Leave a comment, answer these questions on your blog next Monday, and I’ll be sure to stop by.

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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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