new school year, newly organized: parent school binder

Last year was our first with two children in school. Our oldest son went off to Kindergarten, while our middle child started his first preschool year. Thankfully, their school calendars matched up as far as holidays and no school days. Still, there was a lot to manage with different teachers, lunches, school programs, homework, incoming papers and well, you get the idea!

I knew I needed some sort of system for important papers. I added a handful of page protectors to a letter size binder, slipped in the district calendar and pertinent papers and called it done. Did it work? Not really.  It just wasn't organized in a way that made sense but, I didn't put much thought into it beyond that.

Last month, I came across this video by AtHomeWithNikki where she shared a complete binder system, sectioned off for each child. It all made so much sense! I hit my own stash for some of the supplies and Staples for the rest. The genius in this system is that it is a one shot project. All that needs to be changed out yearly is the school and monthly calendar section. Everything else is reused year after year. I love that!

While I have yet to assemble my own (we still have three weeks of summer break to go), I thought I would share the video here along with a photo/written supply list to help other families who are searching for a better system. I spent far too long in the office supply store pulling together bits and pieces as, the only thing missing from the video was a comprehensive list. This should eliminate that hiccup for you!

Parent School Binder Supply List:

8.5x11" binder (video uses a Martha Stewart for Staples, aqua striped design)
Clear binder pockets (Staples): 4 per child + 2 extra
Tabbed dividers
Zip-It binder pockets (Studio C at Staples): 1 per child + 1 extra
Snap tab 2 pocket folder (Studio C at Staples): 1 per child
Monthly Calendar (I printed my freebies HERE)

3 hole punched sprial notebook (my addition for note taking)
Label maker

I have enough supplies on hand to create sections for all three of our children, even though our youngest will not start preschool until 2017. During the coming year, I'll use her portion for the Mommy & Me schedule and any activities, such as swim classes.

I'm looking forward to using this system and will share photos (or, maybe a video?) once the project is complete. I hope that this has been helpful!

Cheers to a new school year!


all my love :: new issue monday

Today I am sharing a page with a brand new paper line and playing along with a brand new Issue at Paper Issues. "Let's Go For the Gold" creative Issue is live right now HERE

Here are some suggestions for playing along with us:
travel, cruises, day trips; use a world globe, stop sign or stop light as an embellishment; Olympics; use gold, silver or bronze; achievements, medals, accomplishments

I chose to use the gold suggestion. I had just received the new Fancy Pants Designs Millie and June line with all of the shiny gold accents and embellishments so, it was a perfect fit. This photos was a selfie I took with all three of my littles this past Mother's Day. Somehow, the stars aligned and everyone looked AND smiled at once!


bring on summer! new issue monday...

Happy June! Today, I'm participating in Paper Issues New Issue Monday "Let's Get Knot-ical." Every month we challenge friends and fans to join in the fun and post an interpretation of the theme for a chance to win a gift card to the Paper Issues shop!

Here are some ideas for this month: anything you can do on the water (water skiing, boating, tubing, cruises, whale watch, etc.); use a compass, ship’s wheel, sailboat or ocean creatures as embellishments; add knots to your project, whether you use ribbon, twine or other fibers; beach vacations; Father’s Day.

I documented some photos from last June of my husband and oldest son having a water soaker battle in our backyard. While I had plenty of nautical paper lines on hand, I decided to veer off and use Cocoa Vanilla's Totally Rad collection

Need some supplies to jump start you take on this challenge? Use code JENBOOM to take 20% off any order from the Paper Issues shop.


project, life: may 2016

I'm still chugging along this year with Project Life and am so much happier (i.e. less stressed) using a monthly format! My method is to simply print twelve 3x4" photos to fill a two page spread. If they happen to all be from a single week, great. If not, no worries at all. With this set-up, a month can have only two pages (it's okay, really!) or many, many more.

These are all photos from the last week in May. The beauty here is that, it was a full week and I have far more than 12 photos I want to use. Instead of my old method of either a) weeding out or, b) creating an insert page, now I will simply use the carry over pics on the next spread.

I'm looking to use more ephemera again. The strict weekly format has me leaving a lot of things like tags, receipts and screen shots behind. There simply was not enough space! Now, space is all relative. So, here I have a screen shot of a television show my husband and I have been binge watching on Netflix, as well as a piece cut from a kiwi package.

Need some supplies for your own documenting? Use code JENBOOM in the Paper Issues shop for 20% off any order!


into the woods :: new issue!

Today, I'm sharing a pocket page for Paper Issues monthly Issue Challenge: Into the Woods. You'll find our monthly issue in our {Friends & Fans} Facebook group. April's challenge album is right here. Please post your Issue related projects in the Current Issue album. The deadline for adding your projects to the challenge album is May 1st for a chance to win a gift certificate to the Paper Issues store.

So what is Into the Woods all about? Here are a few ideas to get you started (use one or use them all). Feel free to use any product you'd like.
  • Use wood veneer embellishments, wood grain papers or wood grain stamps.
  • Share paper projects about camping, glamping and enjoying the outdoors.
  • Use woodland animal embellishments or photos.

While there are many ways to interpret this theme, I chose to use photo from last month of our children in the woods! We have a tow path running directly behind our neighborhood which makes for some fun nature exploration. I loved the snaps I grabbed during two of our walks and wanted to highlight them in  a full page in my Project Life album.

My supplies include cards from the Project Life Everyday core kit, We R Memory Keepers Crush 6x6 paper pad, a teepee PI Paper POP, a Maggie Holmes puffy deer sticker, and some goodies from swag bags.


so happy :: new issue monday!

Happy Monday! This month bring a brand new Issue challenge over at Paper Issues. This month's theme is Em-brace World Peeps. There are so many ways to play! Simply create a project - layout, pocket page, card, altered art, etc - and share with us in the Paper Issues {Friends & Fans} Facebook group. Upload your project photo(s) to the group challenge album by April 6th to be in the running for this month's gift certificate prize!

Here are your suggested themes: Easter, travel, loved ones, hugs, braces, friendship, spring, use the PI March free printable, use the free globe cut file

I decided to work with the hug suggestion. I've been holding on to this sweet photo of our two youngest children, embracing in our back yard, and the timing was right to get it documented! I used the Fancy Pants Happy Place line - the patterned papers, ephemera pack and enamel shapes to create this page.

You can still find some of the Happy Place products and so many other supplies in the Paper Issues shop. And, take 20% off your full order with code: JENBOOM


recipe: baked teriyaki pork chops

It's been nearly forever since I have shared a new recipe here. I'm cooking plenty, nearly every single night, in fact! I meal plan, grocery shop, rotate dishes and try new recipes several times a month.

Pork chops have always been a favorite here. Sometime last year, while trying to cook using pantry ingredients, I found a recipe for Saucy Salsa Baked Chops. It became an instant hit. I tweaked it a bit over time and now omit the marmalade and use Trader Joe's Smoky Peach Salsa. The combination is such a winner!

The recipe itself is fairly basic and when I came across an unopened bottle of Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki in the pantry, I decided to play around with a different spin. Now having prepared the meal twice, I felt compelled to share what is a new favorite - Baked Teriyaki Pork Chops!

The prep is very easy, even with three kids twirling around my ankles and pulling at my cardigan. If I can make this on a week night, so can you!

Chop up half a yellow onion and one red bell pepper and toss them in a 9x9" ceramic baking dish. Don't have one? Spray a metal pan and toss them in that. I love ceramic for the ease of clean up. Salt and pepper each side of your boneless pork chops. Heat a bit of olive oil in a frying pan, getting it good and hot, and sear the chops, about 3-4 minutes on each side. Add those to the baking dish over the chopped veggies. Add half a can of chunk pineapple (drained) on the chops. Pour a cup of Teriyaki sauce over the top and put them in a hot oven for 40 minutes. They are so, so good that you may want to double the recipe for leftovers!

Baked Teriyaki Pork Chops
Yield 4 servings

4 boneless pork chops, about 3/4" thick
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 cup chunk pineapple in juice, drained
1 cup Soy Vay Veri Veri Teriyaki sauce
salt and ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Add diced onion and pepper to bottom of a 9x9" ceramic baking dish or, a prepared metal pan.
3. Add oil to a fry pan over med-high heat until hot. Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Sear chops in the fry pan, 3-4 minutes per side until slightly golden brown.
4. Remove chops from pan and add to baking dish, over onion and pepper.
5. Top chops with chunk pineapple, followed by teriyaki sauce.
6. Bake uncovered for 40 minutes. Serve hot over cooked rice.



project life 2016 :: the beginning

Happy New Year! I am thrilled to be tarting another year of Project Life. Last year, I dabbled. Last year was a return to single pages loyouts for me. I had SO much fun exploring full 12x12 pages again. It stretched my creativity and felt good to get back to my scrapbooking "roots."

But, something was missing. I missed documenting the everyday moments. The little quirks of our three children, those phases that are so fluid at their young ages. Toys of the moment, little facial expressions. The fleeting day to day stuff. The good stuff. It's all there in photos. On Instagram. In my Momento app. That's fine. I want more.

So. 2016. Starting anew and re-dedicating myself to little pockets of memories.

I'm not even going to go by week (gasp. what did she say??) I am setting up my album with monthly dividers and am just going to add photos in, not worrying about dates. I mean, unless it's a birthday or some big event, does the actual date matter so much? "It happened in January 2016" works for me.

I chose a word to focus on this year: give. My goal is to focus on giving more to my family, to others and in my own self-care. My intentions are documented right in the front of a brand new album. A great reminder every time I open the cover to work on my pages.

I started off this album using the Project Life Everyday and Midnight Core Kit cards. The simple, graphic cards really allow my photos (just look at those little faces!) and my intentions stand out.

Cheers to 2016!


u-pick :: 7paper spotlight with paper issues

I always love playing along with the Product Spotlights on the Paper Issues blog. In the past I had a little habit (ahem) of hoarding new products, not wanting to cut in to the new favorite patterns or to "use up" the pretty embellishments. I finally learned that there will always be new goodies to play with so, I'm using what I love. Now. This Spotlight feature encourages that usage by featuring projects with newer lines available in the Paper Issues shop.

This layout was created with mainly 7paper Products from the Elliot and Darcy lines. At first glance you wouldn't think the lines would play well together but, I had such fun pattern mixing to highlight the photos for this autumn layout. How cute are these kids choosing their perfect pumpkins???

Need some 7paper in your life? Use code: JENBOOM for 20% off your entire order from the Paper Issues shop!


Top 15 of 2015 :: A Year to Remember!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! Welcome 2016!

Today, I'm taking a look back at some of my favorite projects from last year. Fifteen projects, to be exact!

2015 was a huge year for me, creatively speaking, and I have my position on the Paper Issues Design Team to thank for that. I started off the year just planning to continue on my way with Project Life but, ended up making more single pages layouts than I have in many years, had a lot of fun with my planner and did a few pocket pages here and there. I cannot to see what 2016 has in store!
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