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West LA Amateur Quidditch Association

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You may have heard that there was a craze sweeping the Internet this spring of faking various sci-fi and fantasy scenes. There was Vadering, Hadokening and of course, Pottering! Some of my friends and I are big Harry Potter fans, so when this came up, we decided it was finally time to jump on board this train. We had at least one member from every house, including one sad Slytherin who couldn’t find his gear and decided to sit out so he could be our photographer (thanks, Ryan!)

We had so much fun trying this. There were lots of laughs and we got a bit of attention with all of us hopping around with various floor cleaning tools between our legs. I even made up a little back story for us (15 year reunion pick up game, anyone?) Afterwards, I was so stoked to try to get this event into my Project Life binder but, as with other events in the past, I struggled to make it work within the PL structure. Now that I’m revisiting some of my past Project Life pages, I decided that this would be the perfect opportunity to do it justice.

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Struggling with Project Life? Four Tips to Get Back on Track!


As the year progressed, I’d found myself really behind with Project Life. I heard people be embarrassed for being a few weeks behind and I scoffed a bit inwardly. A few weeks?! I knew I was more like a few months behind. I’d charged in with enthusiasm at the beginning of the year but as the year progressed that enthusiasm fell away like the rest of my unloved new year’s resolutions.

However, I like the idea of Project Life. I like what it represents. I may not have children to either fill it or to reflect on past years with, but maybe someday someone, either a niece or nephew or maybe even a vintage store shopper, will find it and see what life was like for one woman living in Los Angeles in 2013. Having that view into the past has been really inspirational for me personally and I want to help ensure that will be there for future generations. The love of that idea is what kept me lingering on it and wishing I was doing better rather than just giving up and tossing it all out in a huff.

Thankfully, I went to the Studio Calico boards for help. These boards are, without a doubt, one of the nicest places on the internet. Perhaps I’ve been jaded by the almost twenty years I’ve been online, but everyone I’ve run into there thus far has been nothing but kind and supportive. I came to them feeling lost and a little broken and pretty damn boring. They responded not only with advice but their own struggles. Since writing that forum post, I’ve taken some of the advice and added a bit of my own. I now feel like I’ve gotten to a really sustainable place with Project Life. I’m excited when I take the opportunity to sit down and I don’t feel chained to it anymore. This is a new feeling and so I thought I’d condense what I’d learned in the hopes it would help someone else.

So here are my four tips for making Project Life work for you:

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Sweet Summer Birthday Card


I’ll admit that I was always a little jealous that my sister’s birthday took place during the summer. My birthday was during some of the coldest part of the year growing up in Vermont. Summer meant long warm days perfect for swimming , sweet treats and the yummiest of summer harvest. That was party time! I wanted to channel that feeling into her birthday card. Now that it’s arrived at it’s home, I can finally share this card on the blog. It’s a real favorite of mine since I got to use some of the strawberry paper I’d been saving for the perfect place. When better than July?

Sweet Summer Birthday Card

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This card is mostly from the Lawn Fawn Pink Lemonade petite paper pack. I love this collection and luckily, it went really well with the theme of the card. All but the solids were pulled from the paper pack. The bunting sticker is from the same collection’s element stickers. I love when I have these coordinating items stashed away because it means no more stress of making sure everything matches. The card itself is build from a couple of cut files from the Silhouette store:

This hexagon card by Jennifer Wambach
This strawberry from Snapdragon Snippets
– One of my most frequently used shapes, the cloud border from Silhouette

I have to say that, overall, this is one of my favorite cards I’ve made. The colors and patterns are super cute and really captured the feeling I was going for. The only thing I wish had gone better was the sentiment! I need to get a ruler and some pencil to make sure they’re straight in the future. Also, swapping from my Extreme tack GlueGlider Pro to a repositionable will help a lot too. Little oopsies become a bigger problem when repositioning cleanly is as difficult as the extreme makes it.

Please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I love to hear your thoughts!

Scrapbook Page: My Angel Bunny

love you to pieces

click for a larger version

I found this adorable photo of Ruby and I together a week after she arrived and was hoping to put it into my Project Life album. But the more I sat with it, the more I thought I’d try to do something more. So, I set out to do one of my first, maybe my actual first, 12×12 layout.

I started with the base paper from my stash (Sweet Shoppe Marshmellow by lilybeedesign). I sprayed it down with My Little Pony, Taxi, Gold and White Mister Huey’s to punch up the color. I went back to a Studio Calico class I took awhile ago, Pop Off the Page, to find inspiration. After taking a look at the hand outs, I decided to create a larger focal point and then go smaller and smaller to draw into the photo. The two larger, more feminine, embellishments added a bit of sweet softness to offset the square geometry.

I was thinking of adding more embellishing but after coming back to it this morning, I liked it just the way it is, simple and sweet, just like my baby Ruby. The final touch was the Amy Tangerine minimarks rub-on to add a bit of text.

Why Angel Bunny? She’s my little bunny butted gift from heaven. I’m also a My Little Pony fan. What else would I call her?

Please let me know what you think!

http://www.thenewlywedpilgrimage.comLinked up on the Moonlight & Mason Jars Monday Night Linky Party! Check it out!

SC Sunday Sketch

Something in my mind has flipped recently and I think I have purpose for the first time since getting off my anti-depressants. It’s manifested itself in all sorts of training. I’ve started working out daily, just hopped back on the paleo train and I’ve started trying to actively get more papercrafting done. One of the best ways I’ve found to push myself to try new things is with challenges! I stumbled across this one from Studio Calico on their blog and decided to take the plunge and give it a shot!

July 14th Sketch

July 14th Sketch

First, I grabbed a pre-made card and sprayed it with three of the LE Neon Mini Mister Huey’s: Punky Brewster (purple), Trapper Keeper (orange) and My Little Pony (pink). The next layer is some American Crafts glitter tape in Powder and Marine. The circles were from their March printable which I printed out on cardstock and cut with my circle cutter. The yellow circle is glued directly to the card. Rad has one foam, you are my sunshine has two. Finally, I took the thanks stamp from my Summertime Charm set from Lawn Fawn and used it for the sentiment. 

I have to say, I really struggled with finding the right thing to use on this card before I settled on the circles. I’ve discovered that my stash is lacking in bright, punch-y plain papers. This is something I need to fix ASAP!

Please let me know what you think in the comments below OR share with me a challenge you’ve accepted! I’d love to see your work!

UPDATE (7/29/13): I actually won with this card! Many thank yous to the folks at Studio Calico!

Things I Love Thursday


Today’s an exciting day here at finn & roo headquarters! Why? Because it’s time to cancel the apocalypse! pacificrim

I’m a huge kaiju/giant robot fan so I’ve been waiting on this since it was first announced. This summer has been great for sci-fi fans and I think this one may come out as one of the best of the season, if not the best. Seeing it tonight at 10PM with the hubby and I can’t wait!

But now onto less nerdy things… 

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Interior Tuesday: Living Love

Our poor unloved living area is definitely in need of an update. Today, I’m focusing on the “TV Zone”, which contains a sectional couch, TV and console as it’s main components. As I mentioned in our move-in post, the pieces that we moved in with are too big for the space. I love our couch and have taken many many naps on the chaise, but it’s a pain to clean under and the dogs like to hide things there. Additionally, it blocks our sliding door. The TV console also blocks the fireplace which isn’t a big deal right now when it’s 80* every day, but once fall arrives, I’ll want to use it! And from a design perspective, they both crowd the space. There’s no wiggle room and, because of the aforementioned couch blocking issues and just the position of the apartment in the building, it’s dark. It needs more space, more light and more color!




I’ve been building a Pinterest board to help me get an idea of what direction I wanted to go. I’ve always been able to picture how I want it to look in my mind but it’s sometimes more difficult to go from a mental image to the real world! I see a squishy couch and my fireplace again. I’m easily won!

I love the couch I included (the Kensington from Jonathan Adler) but at almost $4k, that’s our entire WDW budget out the window! On something that we let the dogs up on 🙂 I’m actually thinking something insane, something I swore I’d never do again… I’m thinking of just getting a futon! Assuming it had a high enough quality, I like the idea. It’s comfy and more washable than your average couch. This one from Target would fit the bill quite well. It’s a bit trendy with the chevron, but at $200, it’s easily sent along to a college student who would love it or given a slipcover.

Screen Shot 2013 07 08 at 7 15 53 PM

NewImage“But Carolee”, you say, “you mentioned color. I’m seeing a LOT of grey!” That’s true, there is a LOT of grey and white. But that’s what layering’s for, right? There’s tons of great things, like the wall of art I showed in the design board above to the mess of pillows you see to the right. I also have an impressive collection of random art bits that will be a solid start that I can continue to build on.

Finally, there’s the mantel. People laugh at the current state of our mantel. I’m thinking you might be able to guess why:


Watching Fantasista Doll recently

Along with the cute BMO and family picture is… the Velvis. I’m easily the third owner of that velvet painting, though I could easily be the fourth or more! I absolutely love it but some people don’t find it as hilarious as I do. I’m hoping to use it as the large centerpiece for my mantel, but I’m not sure if it’s big enough. It’s only about 25% of the mantel and I feel like a large piece should be 50ish percent. That will definitely be a work in progress, esp. since I’d like to update it from time-to-time with holiday finery!

How about you? What one piece would you love to update in your living room/TV watching area? 

Weekend Wrap-Up: Happy 4th!

First, a technical update: This site should now be running much much faster! If you have any issues with it, please let me know via the contact form!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! Mine was long, relaxing and sorely needed! I spent the 4th with some of my favorite people here in LA: 

(Taken from iamchubbybunny's Instagram feed)

(Taken from iamchubbybunny’s Instagram feed)


New suit!

New suit!

However, I have to say that one of my personal triumphs for this weekend was shopping for, buying and wearing a bathing suit, in public, without drama or feeling self-conscious. I’m not embarrassed to admit that this has not been the case for most of my adult life. I’ve “made due” with whatever I could find and it usually fit poorly or it was black because black is what I wore.

I worked with Reachel over at Cardigan Empire recently and she sent me a whole little book full of all sorts of fun fashion inspiration for me, my coloring and my shape. I used the newly given knowledge and approached my swimsuit shopping with it in mind. I was able to grab this fabulous suit at Marshall’s for under $25 and under 15 minutes! Woohoo! I got quite a few complements on it and felt great wearing it. It meant I got to enjoy floating around on that turtle you see up there rather than worrying about if all my parts were covered, if my boobs were going to fall out, etc. Pure chillaxing at it’s finest!

Beyond that, I had two specific intentions this weekend:
1) Take some Nendoroid photos
2) Start my Wondercolts Rarity cosplay

Let’s start with #1! As you can see, it went very well!


On a recent trip to Little Tokyo here in LA, I found a Taiga Aisaka Nendoroid and happily brought her home with me. My Miho Nishizumi arrived this week along with her little tank seat. I immediately thought of putting the two together! Luckily, we had a nice sunny day on Saturday so I grabbed my camera and took a few shots. I’m very happy with them (except for the dog hair. I’ll check next time!)

#2 didn’t go quite as well. I did manage to get the Wondercolts C and her cutie mark completed in Silhouette Studio, but then it kind of all fell apart. Fabric was the wrong color, pattern pieces were missing, the works! So, I decided to wait and try again in a bit. 

Aside from that, my weekend was filled with Korean food (one night with Sarah of Jynxed Art & Cosplay after she’d hit up AX as Pentakill Sona, the second with Yume Ninja, her boyfriend and our friend PSY!) and anime, lots and lots of anime! We watched:

I think that I’ll keep up with all of these except for Attack on Titan which is pretty much nightmare fodder for me. I tried, I really did, but it was too much!

And now it’s Monday, back to real life for most people, including myself. I had some real life thoughts this morning as I realized that I miss papercrafting. I still want to do it, the reason I haven’t been is a lack of inspiration. So, I’m going to try forcing it and hoping that gets the lead out. Thankfully, I have a person in mind who’s having a birthday soon so it’s a good time to start their card!

What do you do to get over creative block? Let me know in the comments below! I need the help!

Things I Love Thursday

mermaid nails


NewImageMy new words to live by!


Gluten-Free Chicken Parm!

I have an odd relationship with cookbooks. I love them. I read them like novels. But when it comes to actually cooking with them, unless it’s a brand new dish, I tend to avoid them. This is especially true of Italian food. For some reason, I have that Italian-American style that my husband loves (heavy on the garlic and savory) down to where I figure I can get it done almost every time with him singing my praises.

That was the case with the chicken parm you see here. I’ve only made chicken parm twice, both while I was with him and while he liked mine the first time, he loved this one!

This version is gluten-free, though really what that requires is different breadcrumbs. This could easily be converted to regular breadcrumbs (though I’d suggest the Italian style kind) if you don’t need the expense or don’t care. And as a friend of his suggested, you could also use crushed up corn Chex just as well 🙂

[yumprint-recipe id=’1′]Please leave a comment with how it goes for you! This was my version after reading a few recipes and taking the best from each so I’d love to hear how you switched it up and made it your own 🙂