project life 2014: week 6

Confession: My 2013 album? Not finished. I still have the last week in October through the end of the year missing. I have a plan to get it done in a monthly format at some point. Rather than fall more behind, I picked up with week 6 of 2014. It was the first week after Amalia's birth that I felt up to creating and so I went with that. It was easier to focus on the most recent memories and just move forward. And that's okay!

Week 6 was our first week at home with three children. Three. It was wonderful, heartbreaking, exhausting. My husband was off from work to bond and, yes, it snowed. Again.

The eternal winter meant lots of game playing, homemade pizza and cuddles.

And, Jack turned TWO that Saturday. We had a cupcake celebration with just the five of us. I made an insert just for Jack. Wasn't he just born? The journaling card was made in PSE and contains a list of facts about our little guy right now.
The back of the insert had photos of Mr. Boom and the kids playing in the snow that, somehow, didn't get photographed. Oops! Much, much more to come soon...


project life 2014: getting started, in my own time...

I had all wonderful intentions of starting my 2014 album in January. Because, of course I would have enough time to do that in addition to packing up our old home, moving to our new home and having a new baby. Ha! Right. Best laid plans in Utopia. Fact: that just didn't happen.

After Amalia was born, and I was feeling a bit better, the itch to create and document started up again. That happened to nicely coincide with the arrival of my March Citrus Twist Kits Design Team box (I had taken off the month of February). As luck would have it, the colors and patterns in the kit were absolutely perfect to document everything happening at that point with our family and home. Today I am sharing my week 7 using the March CTK PL and PL Embellishment kits. For this layout, I pulled from the softer colors of the Day Dreamer 6x6 pad and the CTK exclusive cards to work with the photos of winter and Valentine's week.

When baby girl photos are involved pink is always just right! The CTK flair in the PL kit this month was spot on perfect. When documenting a hilarious quote from George, I used a snippet from one of the cut apart sheets in the 6x6 pad (remember) to turn the "She said" OA card to the gender appropriate "he said."

This week my mom and my uncle were both visiting from out of town and I made sure to include photos of them with the kids and to document some of what we did. I wanted to add Valentine's day but, not overwhelm the week's happenings so, I used a photo of the three kids on the holiday along with the heart shaped donuts that have become a yearly traditional treat. In the left corner? Documenting real life as we experienced an ice dam which caused major damage to our kitchen. The raindrop pattern in the 6x6 pad was very appropriate, as was the "overflowing" stamp from the PL set.


I kept my weekly card in the same soft tones. the ampersand and In Review pieces are from the OA pack (Thickers were from a previous months' kit).

For the carousel photo of Jack with my mom, I used just the Magic piece from one of the cut apart cards. And, to highlight Mr. Boom shoveling even more snow, the darling Elle's Studio alphabet and one of the DL stickers.


I actually began this year's album with week 6 and will be posting that soon :)


review: annie's homegrown mac and cheese

Earlier this month, Influenster sent me a coupon to try one of Annie's Homegrown's new frozen entrees. We have been long time fans of Annie's in our house from the fruit bunnies to snack mix to their boxed mac and cheese. I liked the idea of a natural entree that was easy to prepare and could pick up at our local Target. We're talking microwave here!

In keeping with their product line, the Classic Macaroni and Cheese delivered. It was very cheesy, rich and delicious. I took this photo after I served Jack a generous portion because he saw it cooling and could not wait any longer. Never attempt to make a toddler wait for mac and cheese! He was a huge fan but, we all enjoyed the entree and will happily purchase it again on our own.

Disclaimer: I received the above product for FREE from Annie's Homegrown and Influenster.com. All opinions are my own. I only choose to review products that are in keeping with my own values.


mrs. boom decorates: mantel decor series...

In the process of making this house a home, there is a lot of decorating to be done. We started with paint colors for walls and kitchen cabinets, added french doors to our office and had carpeting replaced. All big changes that have taken time and much effort. The paint, in fact, is an ongoing process that we will finish up as the warmer weather finally approaches (please?!).

One small area that we see nearly all day, everyday that I set out to decorate right away was our family room fireplace mantel. In fact, I put up the first seasonal decor before we had even moved in. I've always dreamed of having a fireplace of my own and have a Pinterest board full of inspiration for mantel decor. Our mantel has already seen Christmas, winter and St. Paddy's Day adornments. I have used mainly things that I already had on hand and added a bit recently to start a collection to have on hand.

Today, as I completed the Easter theme, I thought it would be fun to start a blog series here with my seasonal decor.

A closer look at the left side with jar fillers, mercury glass, seasonal picks, framed art and, of course, a B monogram.

The right side with more mercury glass, an owl, my favorite canvas and more Easter eggs.

A close up of the Peep bunting. My Instagram friend and fellow PL'er Barbara created this .studio cut file last year (click on the link to her blog to download it for yourself!). I simply added the holes in the ears and used my Silhouette to cut out several colors. They measure approximately 2x4" and are strung on pink twine. Simple.
Wreath, owl, green wicker jar fillers: Target
Glass vase: Ikea
Crystal Vase: Tiffany & Co.
White Birds, spring floral and egg picks: Michaels Craft Stores
Home print: free printable from eighteen25
Monogram: Hobby Lobby
Mercury glass vases and jar: Pottery Barn
Egg jar fillers: Walmart
Peep Banner: Silhouette cut file by Barbara at The Picinic Basket

You can also follow along on Instagram. I post under @jenboom and am using the hash tag #mrsboomdecorates to document my decorating progress.


it's monday, i'm in luck...

happy st. paddy's day!

On this lucky day, this part-Irish blogger and mom has decided to make a return to posting. The adjustment from two to three children has been heart wrenching and wonderful. Adding a newborn to the family at the same time as we settled in to our new home and have been working on selling our condo? Well, it's been an adventure we won't forget. Ever. I have so much to say and to share from photos to project life to recipes (yes, I've been cooking too!). Today is for a photo share and what we are having for dinner on this Irish eve.

These three cuties indulged me in a few photos this morning, sporting their green and orange. The Irish in their blood may be quite diluted but, they sure wear the colors well!

As for dinner, I thought briefly about making corned beef and cabbage. While it's okay once a year, it's just not my favorite meal. Considering that it would only be Mr. Boom and I eating the meal (the boys? Ha!), I decided the effort was better spent on something else. It happens to be frigid outside - in the 20's - so, a hearty soup seemed in order. Enter a new favorite recipe: Zuppa Tuscana. I know, I know. Italian soup? But, it totally counts...see?

Make this. You'll be so glad you did!

Zuppa Tuscana
Credit: SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 lb ground hot Italian sausage
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups (32 oz) chicken stock
  • 3 cups russet potatoes, cubed
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups kale, in bite size pieces
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • parmesan cheese, grated
In a large pot, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain the grease. Add the sausage, breaking it apart as it cooks. Once sausage is browned and crumbled, drain off grease leaving a tbsp to saute the onion.

Push the sausage and bacon to the edge of the pot and add the onion to the center; saute until translucent; add garlic; saute until fragrant.

Stir in the stock and potatoes, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Add kale (I used a baby kale and spinach mix) and whipping cream. Bring to a simmer. Top with parmesan cheese, when serving.

- Instead of hot italian sausage, I used mild and added some crushed red pepper
- After the first time I made this recipe, my husnad asked if it could be creamier/thicker instead of brothy. This time (as pictured above), just before adding the kale and cream, I removed about 1 cup of the potatoes and some broth and blended them in my Magic Bullet then added back to the soup pot. Instant creamy texture without cooking the soup down. Perfect! I'll do this each time.
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