On My Bookshelf: Spring 2014

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I am so excited about this stack of books!  My husband and I each took a bit out of our income tax return to spend on whatever we wanted.  He chose to renew his MLB.com subscription so he can watch live streaming of baseball games and I, of course, spent my money on books!

I wrote HERE about my goals for 2014, which included reading a book each week.  I also mentioned that I want to read 4 books on marriage as part of my marriage goals for the year.  This Momentary Marriage and The Husband Project are the first 2 books on that list.  Although I have a fantastic relationship with my spouse, I am looking forward to focusing on being intentional about fostering that relationship.

As you may have noticed, I have several books that have a common theme: balance & living simply.  I have been walking through an extremely restless season for the past few months, and unfortunately, the next six months will be even more crazy. We are moving to Boston at the end of the summer and recently found out that we have to move out of our home 10 weeks before that move.  It’s like having a serving of hectic with a side of chaos!  Because of this, I have chosen several books to help keep me centered & focused.  Balancing it All, You’re Going to Be Okay, and Notes From a Blue Bike are all books I am really looking forward to reading during this season.

I also picked up Jennie Allen’s new book, Restless.  I absolutely adore Jennie’s heart for women to grow in their relationships with God.  I share that same desire, so it is no surprise that I feel so at home in her writing.  I read Anything last year and it was fantastically life-changing!  Chasing God by Angie Smith also promises to be equally amazing!

I hope to share more of my thoughts about these books here on my blog once I’ve read them.  If you’d like to see what I’ve read so far this year and you have a Goodreads account, you can follow me.  My account name is: Julie Coryell.

What are you reading these days?  I’d love to hear!

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life 2014: Week 3

Hi friends!  Happy to be sharing week 3 of my Project Life pages with you today.  I am a couple weeks behind in printing as I ran out of ink and then had a household of sickies for a week.  Anyhow, here are my week 3 pages.

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I continued with my simple approach (which I am totally loving) and using journaling cards from multiple kits.

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This week I used cards from the Seafoam Kit, Girl Themed PL Cards (Hobby Lobby), Teen Themed PL Cards (Hobby Lobby), and cards from an older Studio Calico PL Kit.  I love how they all went together nicely!

And there you have it…totally simple!  The entire layout took me less than an hour, including the time it took me to choose & print my photos.  You don’t have to spend hours to document your week!

Thanks for stopping by. I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

If you’d like to see how I organize my Project Life supplies, these are the posts:

Craft Room Organization:  Creating a Functional Project Life Station

Project Life 2013:  Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Project Life:  Week 4 and Organization

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Project Life 2014: Week 2

Hi friends!  Happy to be sharing week 2 of Project Life with you today.  I am so enjoying the simplicity this year.  Let’s just jump right to the pages shall we?

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On the left-side of the page, I used journaling cards from the Jade, Seafoam, and Clementine editions.

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On the right-hand side I used cards from the Seafoam kit & Holidays mini-kit, as well as the grid cards.

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There wasn’t anything really huge that happened during this week.  It was our transition week back to school and after-school activities.  It was simple, but these pictures are a beautiful reminder of our everyday life.  I hope my girls will love looking back on our everyday lives years from now & be thankful that I documented life this way.  My favorite picture from this week is the picture of Hailey looking through our 2012 Project Life album.  I woke up Saturday morning to find her flipping through the album.  I heard her say “Oh!  I totally forgot that we did that!”. So thankful that I documented everyday life & that she is able to remember the simple things that brought her joy!

I hope to be sharing weeks 3 & 4 with you next week.

Thanks for stopping by. I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

If you’d like to see how I organize my Project Life supplies, these are the posts:

Craft Room Organization:  Creating a Functional Project Life Station

Project Life 2013:  Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Project Life:  Week 4 and Organization

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Hailey’s Fun Lunches With PlanetBox

When Hailey went back to school last fall after a year of being homeschooled, the thing I was least looking forward to was packing a daily lunch.  Hailey goes to a small, private school and they do not serve hot lunches as they do not have a contract with the school district.  I knew that I needed to find a way to make packing her lunch easy and fun, so I did some research and discovered the PlanetBox.  My initial thought was “Wow!  Those are expensive!”, but I decided to go ahead and take the plunge.

Hailey has the Rover Complete, which includes the Rover lunchbox, the Big and Little Dipper for messier foods, a set of magnets for the outside of the box, and the Rover Carry Bag.  I did not get the cold pack as I already had something that would work.  Hailey was pretty stoked when it came in and I have to say, packing lunch for her is simple and fun.  I was concerned the first day of school whether or not this would be enough food or too much food, but when she came home she said that it was the perfect amount of food. Score!

Here is a look at some of her favorite lunches:

Build Your Own Lunchable, Fresh Peaches, Blueberry fruit bar from World Market, and a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

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Caesar Salad with chicken (dressing is in the little container), grapes, peanut butter & homemade peach jam sandwich, Santa Fe Stix from NatureBox, & a sprinkle of chocolate chips.

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Heart-shaped peanut butter & peach jam sandwich, strawberry slices, grapes, pretzel crisps, & chocolate chips.

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By now you can see that grapes & strawberries are Hailey’s favorite fruit.  She also loves to have her sandwiches cut into cute shapes.

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I have a selection of fun, sandwich cutters.  Most of them I got from Wal-Mart.  They hang on a little strip in the bread isle.  The four-shaped pink cutter came from this etsy shop and the Wonder cutter/sealer came from Amazon.

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We recently tried a pesto chicken wrap at Costco and Hailey loved it, so she asks for that a couple of times a week.  The tortilla fits perfectly in the large section when cut in half.

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Hailey’s favorite day of lunch is the once-a-week treat of chicken nuggets. I use the Tyson’s chicken nuggets with no preservatives or fillers.  The little container holds ketchup.  I just put the nuggets in frozen and she has access to a microwave to heat them up.

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Obviously, Hailey’s lunches could be healthier, but I don’t claim to eat 100% whole foods.  I use natural peanut butter and homemade jam for her sandwiches, lots of fruit, and healthier snacks through NatureBox.  However, she does get regular bread, chicken nuggets, and occasional treats.  Her lunches have vastly improved from even two years ago when she either bought lunch several times a week or I sent a sandwich, chips, cookies, and a juice pouch.  All this to say that we are improving day by day.  I do enjoy reading several sites that send only healthy, all-natural, whole foods with their kids.  That’s fantastic if you can do it, but I’m not going to shame myself or anyone if you can’t do that every day.  I do the best that I can and I’m teaching both of my girls that it is okay to have most things in moderation.  It’s all about balance!

So there you have it!  Our fun and easy way to pack lunch for Hailey.  I love PlanetBox!  We will definitely continue to use the same Rover Box next year.  It is durable, can be washed in the dishwasher, & holds the perfect amount of food for Hailey.  I also am not using and throwing away multiple plastic bags each day, so it is much better for the environment.

Do you have a PlanetBox?  I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Make it great!

JuJu

*This is not a sponsored post.  I was neither asked nor paid by PlanetBox to write this post.  I just love to share products that our family loves and that make life easier for us.

Things I Love: Pampered Chef Pineapple Wedger

I know that this might seem like a weird post, but whenever someone askes me what my favorite items are from Pampered Chef, the pineapple wedger is always in the top 10.  If you aren’t a fan of pineapple, then obviously this isn’t going to be a tool that you need in your kitchen arsenal.  

Today, while my husband was home for lunch, he asked what we might have that would satisfy his sweet tooth.  I told him that we had a pineapple & that I could slice it up quickly.  He laughed at me because he knows that I love any excuse to use my pineapple wedger. I had him snap a few pictures as I’ve had several people mention that they have this tool, but aren’t sure how to use it.  

I always use a grooved cutting board just in case my pineapple is super juicy, that way all the juice will run into the wells of the cutting board, not onto my counter.

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Slice off the top.

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Flip it over and slice off the bottom.

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Center the wedger on the top of the pineapple.  The center hole will line up with the core.

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Press down and then gently rock the wedger from side to side as it slides down the pineapple.

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Pull the outside eges off.  If you have a huge pineapple, there could be useable pineapple still attached to the peel.  If so, you can slice it right off the peel.  

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I slide the wedger back up the pineapple and then remove the core.

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I then like to put the two halves together and slice them.

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I then slice them the opposite way into smaller pieces.

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I store our pineapple in a glass dish with a snap-top lid that I got in a set at Costco.

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And there you have it!  It literally took me longer to type in this post than it did to core and wedge this pineapple.  I love this tool!  I bought it over 4 years ago and probably use it at least 2 or 3 times a week.  

Yes, you can just use a knife to slice your pineapple, but I found that before I had this neat tool, my pineapples were going bad because I hated to cut them up.  The wedger is $19 from Pampered Chef and I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth out of it. Hooray for no wasted food & money!

Hope you all have a super day & have fun in the kitchen!

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life 2014: Week 1

Welcome to Project Life Tuesday!  I’m happy to be sharing my first page from 2014.  If you are here from The Mom Creative link-up, welcome!  My goal for Project Life this year is to keep it simple, focusing on the pictures and journaling. I’m sure that some weeks I’ll add a bit more flair, but overall it will be simple.  Last year  I only got 9 weeks documented and they were not consecutive weeks.  I think I got weeks 1, 2, 25, 26, 27, 40, 41…you get the picture. Instead of beating myself up over it, I’m embracing the 9 weeks that I did get done.  I’m sure most people would be happy to have around 10 layouts a year done.  So let me encourage you to just do what you can! If you miss a week, don’t quit, just keep moving forward!  I might go back and document some weeks from 2013, I might not, but I am moving forward with 2014!

So without further ado, here are my pages:

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One thing I am definitely continuing is including a picture of the movies we saw!

Here are a couple of close-ups:

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Supplies Used:

Core Kits:  Seafoam, 5th & Frolic, Honey;  “Hello Life” badge & “heart the story” journaling card by Finding Nana;  “imagine” stamp by 7gypsies; bracket stickers are old-school Heidi Swapp that I’ve had in my stash forever.

If you are doing Project Life or you are documenting your everyday life in another way I’d love to see it!  Please leave a link to your pages in the comments and I’ll be sure to pop over and say hi!

That’s it for this week!

Thanks for stopping by. I am also linking up with The Mom Creative.  Check out all the other great Project Life pages shared.

You can see my previous project life posts here.

If you’d like to see how I organize my Project Life supplies, these are the posts:

Craft Room Organization:  Creating a Functional Project Life Station

Project Life 2013:  Weeks 24 & 26 and Updated Organization

Project Life:  Week 4 and Organization

Make it great!

JuJu

Project Life was created by Becky Higgins as a simple solution to documenting your memories.  You can learn more about project life here.

Our Week In Pictures (1/6/14-1/12/14)

This past week Hailey went back to school and Skylar and I eased back into school here at home.

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I finally finished up a gift for Chris’ mom.  

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We had our weekly visits with the chiropractor.  We LOVE this office!  They are like family!

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I started sorting through my craft room to decide which supplies I am ready to send to new homes.

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We spent lots of time at the library, one of my favorite places!

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I had rehearsal for worship team.

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We attended the missions dinner at our church.

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Awoke on Saturday to find Hailey looking through my Project Life album from 2012.

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Sunday was a beautiful day of serving, rest, & family time!

Ready & raring to go for another week of school, therapy, doctor’s appointments, exercise, and family time!

So thankful for my sweet family!

Make it great!

JuJu

Gracie Goes to Disneyland: The Adventures of Our Elf on the Shelf!

A few weeks before our family left for Disneyland, I asked Chris “How funny would it be if Gracie made the trip to Disneyland with us?” to which he replied “Let’s do it!”.  I’m so thankful for a husband who is game for my silly antics!

Gracie was packed & ready to go the morning we left!

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She sat up front with us.  The funny thing is, Chris and I drove by ourselves as the girls rode with my parents.

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Finally to the state line!

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They didn’t look too scary so I picked these two up!  What do you think the chances were that a bus-load of prisoners would pass us as we were taking this picture? Yep….totally happened!  

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Raring & ready to go the first morning!

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Checking out the crowd while hanging out on Aunt Jenny’s shoulder.

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Happy to be safe & sound with Chris!

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The obligatory photo op by the tree!

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Gracie had no idea that Space Mountain would be as fast as it was!

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It’s a Small World was definitely more her speed!  She was thrilled to see the North Pole! She rode the whole ride on Grandpa’s shoulder…he’s such a good sport!

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The Jingle Cruise was another favorite!

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Ready for our character breakfast on Christmas morning!

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She loved the attention from Rafiki!

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And thought Alice was definitely beautiful!

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Her favorite ride of all was definitely California Screamin’! She was happy to be sitting next to Skylar! (Sorry for the picture of a picture!)

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All in all it was an amazing vacation for Gracie!  She is hoping for a family Christmas cruise next year!  We sent her back to the North Pole with the message to Santa to help make that happen!

I hope you enjoyed Gracie’s adventure to Disneyland!

Make it a great week!

JuJu

*We clearly do not follow the “don’t touch the elf or she’ll lose her power” rule!  We were more than happy to include everyone in on the fun with Gracie!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oh, the Magic of Disney!

One of my favorite parts of taking Skylar to Disneyland is her absolute joy when she sees the characters!  She usually spots the characters and says “It’s (insert whatever character we happen to run into)! I need to ask him something!” or “I need to tell them a story!”.  She gets so excited and just can’t wait to ask whatever question is running through her head.  It is an absolute joy to watch!

This trip was no different!  After Peter Pan literally ran into Hailey by the teacups, he stopped to visit with our family.  Skylar was so excited.  She launched into a story about how he fought Captain Hook and how exciting it was.  She was so animated!  The best part was watching the two of them interact.  I was able to capture a bit of their interaction in photos.

It started out with “Um…Hi!  I’m Skylar.  I’m your biggest fan!” and just went from there.

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As we walked away Skylar said “That was AWESOME!  I love him!”

So thankful for the magic of Disney and the absolute joy that it brings my sweet girl!

And thank you Peter Pan!  You are doing it right!

Make it great my friends!

JuJu

If you missed the re-cap in pictures of our Christmas trip to Disneyland, you can see them HERE!

My Favorite Books of 2013

I love to see what other people are reading and I always look forward to the list that Anne of The Modern Mrs. Darcy puts out each year of her favorites.  I read quite a bit this year and today I want to share with you my favorites.  These books were not necessarily published in 2013, I just finally read them.

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1)  LOVE DOES by Bob Goff

My sister recommended this book to me and I started reading it while waiting for Hailey in the school pick-up line.  I was hooked within the first chapter and I had finished it by lunch the following day.  If I had not had to stop and feed my family, help with homework, or sleep, I would not have put it down.  I found myself laughing hysterically, saying “Yes!” so many times I lost count, and learned new ways to show my love to others. I can’t recommend this book enough!

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2)  BREAD AND WINE:  A LOVE LETTER TO LIFE AROUND THE TABLE WITH RECIPES by Shauna Niequist

I actually listened to the audio-version of this, which was read by Shauna herself, while I was walking on the treadmill.  I’m pretty sure the people around me wondered why I was smiling and laughing.  Shauna is a gifted writer and after reading this I am determined to start a monthly cooking club.  I told my husband that I was pretty sure that Shauna and I would be best friends if we lived in the same town.

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3)  ANYTHING by Jennie Allen

This is one of those books where I swear that the author was writing down my exact thoughts!  Anything is a book about being open to anything that God has for our lives. Truly saying “Yes, Lord!  Now what is the question?”.  It is a powerful prayer and one that my husband and I prayed together shortly before finding this book.

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4)  KISSES FROM KATIE by Katie Davis

I finally got around to reading this book and I can’t believe that I waited so long. This is an amazing story of love, adoption, and complete to surrender to God!  Katie is amazing!

All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus! -Katie Davis

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5)  NOT A FAN by Kyle Idleman

I listened to the audio-version of this book as well.  Kyle encourages Christians to be fully devoted followers of Jesus, not just fans.  I read a couple of reviews that other people wrote saying that they thought it encouraged legalism, but I think it really encourages believers to follow Christ with a greater devotion.

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Make sure you check out the lists that others are sharing over on The Modern Mrs. Darcy blog!

What are your favorite books?  I’d love for you to share them with me!

Make it great, my friends!

JuJu