May 22, 2015

Gossamer Blue ~ May



It's hard to believe but this week is the kids' last week of school. We made it and  I'm not sure who is more excited about the impending last day of school but it may just be this mommy! I imagine without the constant stack of homework and projects every night to help with, I will have more time to create and photograph - something that I miss doing throughout the year! 



 and the end of the school year means Graduations to celebrate and lots of teacher appreciation gifts to hand out - which leads to lots of creative gift wrapping since I'm a huge fan of gift cards. It takes a little imagination to make a gift card feel like a well thought out gift and it's achievable if you spend a little more time with the gift wrap process - it's all about the layers! So this month with the help of some Gossamer Blue kits I wanted to focus on some creative ways to wrap up those tiny presents!  



  
There is still one my project to share with Gossamer this month, a fun little travel journal that you can quickly create for your summer road trips! These were made with the May main kit! I plan on making a few extra of these, I think they'll come in handy to take along with us on our traveling adventures this summer. 

    
Have a wonderful weekend friends! The family has plans to visit a ranch this weekend (and I'm super excited to be bringing along my camera, I've been wanting to break in a new camera lens - just needed the right setting!) The rest of the weekend will be spent preparing my Etsy shop again - so looking forward to summer and all the of the possibilities! 

xo ~ tara

May 15, 2015

Gossamer Blue Blog Hop - May


If I had to choose between all of the kits over at Gossamer Blue I would pick the Bits & Pieces kit - every time! I always find that I look forward to sorting through that kit the most each month and the May kit Bits & Pieces kit is one of my all time favs! 

Welcome to the GB May Blog Hop friends! I knew I wanted to save this kit to use for a project after Mother's Day. We took the kids down to Schnepf Farms for their annual Peach Festival on Mother's Day and spent the afternoon picking peaches, riding carnival rides and eating a bit too much kettle corn. It was a wonderful sunny afternoon here in the desert - which is where I decided to draw the creative inspiration for this tiny mini album named appropriately: Desert Peach!


The first page in this album is simply a little stack of vintage papers all stacked and stapled to a cardstock page. It's like having a notebook to fill out, a narrative about a day well spent. 


Since this book is so incredibly tiny, each page is only 3x3 inches, I knew I needed to keep the individual pages simple and as flat as possible. My love of embellishing would have to take a back seat to the simple approach this time around. 

I cheated a little and used a few older photos of my Mom's garden. California peaches are slightly prettier than the desert grown ones - in my opinion of course. Even Chase was convinced that we were picking mango's instead of peaches. :)  


Even though it was warm May Sunday it never really seemed to phase the kids much. It was like an Easter Egg hunt looking for peaches that were ripe enough to pick and we came home with a bag full of sweet smelling fruit! 



Thanks so much for stopping by today! Hope you enjoyed my mini album post and don't forget to check out these girls' blogs for more super cute Gossamer Blue projects! 

Tara Anderson - that's me! 


Apr 18, 2015

Going Green - Lime Green juice recipe


This past summer was really a turning point for me as I implemented a whole new healthy goal complete with a diet overhaul and a rigorous daily workout plan. Tired of feeling tired and ran down, I sat outside in the front yard one evening with some other neighborhood moms, chatting while our kids played together. I was playing with the idea of purchasing a juicer but still not convinced about the price or if I would even like blending my fruits and veggies together, so I was interested in others opinions. It seems as though everyone owns a juicer these days - but it also seems that not everyone likes to use it. I had to wonder why. I made a mental note, a promise really to use mine (once I picked one out) more than just once before I banished it to the appliance graveyard - that cabinet in everyone's kitchen full of once loved barely used appliances that were purchased with good intentions or while watching a tv infomercial. 

Yep, I could do this! I could be the person that drinks their salad rather than eating it! 

I finished the summer almost 30 pounds lighter, (it took me about 3 months) and in the best shape I'd ever been in. I'll compare it to being 15 again and running track everyday. I felt great and had lots of extra energy - something being a mom doesn't always allow for and I did it all the old fashioned way - just a green diet (I ate 3 meals, snacks and juice everyday, I didn't do just a juice diet) and exercise and to think it started with one simple green juice recipe! As time has gone on, I've created a note book full of scribbled down recipes and notes for different juice recipes. Sometimes they work out and some are just undrinkable. Trial and error! It's interesting when you find something that works, everyone wants to know how you're doing it and I must have sent out at least 50 emails full of recipes and my workout schedule. But I like the idea of adding the recipes to my blog and then I'll pinned them all to a board on Pinterest, that way I'll just direct people to one spot. Easy-peasy! (Plus I like to see a photo of each one, I judge recipes by the photo :)  

Lime Green Juice  

1/2 a peeled cucumber
2-3 cups spinach leaves
1 apple
1 sprig mint 
juice from half a lime 
1 guava
1 cup pineapple
1 inch peeled piece of ginger
1 cup broccoli*

Add all ingredients to a juicer and enjoy! This amount of fruit and veggies will make 1 serving of juice, or 1 full mason jar. If you dilute it with some green tea you could make 2 servings! 

*I know what your're probably thinking the ingredients were doable until you read broccoli. Here's the thing though, I add broccoli to almost every green juice I make because it's super healthy for you - high in vitamins A, K and D. Vitamin D is especially important for me as I tend to tow the line of a deficit. There is a trick though for drinking broccoli: make sure you have the freshest broccoli possible, it should be firm and not have a strong smell. I find that the firmer/fresher it is I won't be able to taste or smell it. Also, the fruit you choose for your juice will cover the taste, usually pineapple or apples will do the trick to cover the taste of broccoli. Still not convinced? Add one small piece at a time and then try your juice to see if it's something you will like. There's nothing worse than making a whole glass of juice only to taste it and not want to drink it. 

Now that it's almost summer time again and school is starting to wrap up, I'm preparing to submerse myself back into a daily gym routine and I'll admit I'm actually kind of excited about it! Living in the desert during the summer when temps can reach 120 limits the possibility of doing anything outdoors during the day. There's  really nothing to do but spend the afternoons in the gym - at least it's air-conditioned! Plus it just feels good to work so hard and be able to see results - it's vain but true. 
  
Do you have a favorite green juice recipe? I plan to hopefully add a new one maybe each week to the blog and I'd love to try yours or at least hear what you think is a winning combination of fruit and vegetables!  

Have a wonderful Saturday!! 
xo~ Tara



Apr 8, 2015

2 Tiny Photo books


Since Mother's Day is almost upon us, I wanted to get started making a few quick gifts for the Grandma's this year. I decided on the idea of making small mini album of the kids' photos from this past year. I love small albums!!! - they fit in your hand and they are super convenient to take along with you (in case Grandma wants to show off photos of the grandkids :) and you can make them in a matter of hours! 

I used this Gossamer Blue kit from March to complete Alaina's tiny book. I loved the pretty combination of colors and graphics - perfect for a little girl!   





 I made one for Chase too using lots of Basic Grey products. I tried to photograph his book but I didn't like the photos even after editing them. Using the same simple page construction as Alaina's book, Chase's book has a total of 12 pages with every other page as a photo page. I think his book took a little longer to make, I had arrange and then rearrange lots of little embellishments until they were just right!
  

Hope you  have a fantastic afternoon! We have plans to visit an outdoor museum today. I've managed to keep it a secret from the kids as I know they've been wanting to go and visit this Rock Garden. Adventure #2 this week - here we come! 

xo ~ Tara

Apr 7, 2015

Sears-Kay Ruins in AZ

I think one of the best parts of Arizona is it's history and I'm not one to pass up the chance to share it with the kids. On Easter, instead of having a big family event, we decided to fill some backpacks with water and snacks and head out to explore. Turns out just up the road is the site of a 900 year old Hohokom Indian ruin - 5 buildings of 40 rooms plus the courtyards. Unfortunately I left my smaller lens behind in favor of the larger one that I own so I wasn't able to capture the full lengths and dimensions of the rooms. (I'll be returning to photograph again later this week!) It's definitely worth taking another trip back to explore the surrounding desert again! 

Sears-Kay Ruin, Cave Creek AZ 






 These are pieces of red clay pottery left behind.  I explained to the kids again why it's important to respect the history of the land and to leave it alone so that others are able to see the same things we do. Luckily, they seem to both understand and are careful to not disrupt the area around them and luckily the people who explored this area before us must have felt the same way.  
Notice the person to the left of this huge rock! I've read some varying theories about this rock, all of which I plan to investigate a little closer when I go back.  







 Most of this trail is rock or gravel which makes for an easy but slippery hike in some places. At this time of year the trail is over grown with wild flowers and flowering cacti which makes for some beautiful landscape photography. I was really impressed with this site and the kids give it a lot of thumbs up! 

Hope you enjoyed the photos of our afternoon hike!