A week ago while I was at Pinterest pinning stuff for some inspiration to get my Project Life moving, I came across a few banana bread, muffins and cake recipes. From the look of those photos, they look really good and I thought I’d give them a try myself.

So, I pinned those recipes onto my Food For Thoughts board, started gathering ingredients over last weekend and finally on Sunday morning, I decided to give it a go.

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I chose to try the Nutella Banana Swirl Muffins that I found from Pinterest, which looks pretty good and I’m hoping that it’ll turn out as good as it looks.

Well, I used to major in kitchen operation, which includes a full year of baking and cooking when I was in college doing my diploma in Hotel Catering and Management. I was one of the top scorer in baking and I think I can bake simple muffins even though I’ve not done so for ages!  Come on, how hard is it to bake muffins right? Even a child can do that! *laugh*

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Ethan was pretty excited to be involved as well. He loves any kind of hands-on activities, be it crafting, building or baking. I love his enthusiasm and energy when we get him to be part of our day to day activities.

As he grows older, he’s becoming very sensible, understands reasons without getting into a fit or argument (that wasn’t the case a few years ago) and have fun in everything he do. That’s the gist of all our activities. His energy is contagious and we do have a lot of fun doing everything together.:)

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When the muffins came out hot from the oven, smelling so good and delicious, Ethan’s first remark was “They look ugly!”. *laugh* He’s so outrightly frank with his thoughts and I have to agree with him, the muffin top do look sort of ugly.

Ok, I think I used the incorrect fan setting and the heat is coming out from the top oven. I should have used the fan setting which will circulate the heat equally in the oven. Noted on this for my next try out.

Seriously, they do smell awfully good regardless of the look. The nutella spread blended into the browned muffins’ top, and the swirl can barely be seen. Very unlike how it looks from the picture from my pin in the Pinterest.

Well, I’m still hopeful that it’ll taste good. You really can’t judge a book just by looking at it’s cover, right?

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I took a big scoop, put it into my mouth, trying to feel the texture and taste. I could really taste the soft and evenly moistured mix of banana with a tinge of nutella. It was really good!

For someone like me who don’t have a sweet tooth, this muffin turned out perfect, with just the right amount of sweetness. The medium size bananas I bought was’t fully ripe and with the added 1/2 cup of castor sugar (replaced the granulated sugar) and removing the brown sugar, it turned out just right. If I were to get fully riped bananas and added brown sugar, they will turn out too sweet to my liking.

The banana taste was also not overwhelmed by the taste of nutella. Just pick up the nutella with a teaspoon, top it onto the batter mix, swirl it randomly with a toothpick and they’re good to go into the over.

 So, here’s my slightly modified version of the original recipe.

Yield: 12 muffins

Ingredients:

- 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon baking soda
– 1 teaspoon baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 4 medium medium-ripe bananas, mashed
– 1/2 cup castor sugar
– 1 large egg
– 1/4 cup vegetable/olive oil
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– nutella

Directions:

1) Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line muffin pan with cupcake liners.

2) In a medium bowl, sieve and mix flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until well combined. Set aside.

3) In large bowl, whisk together banana and sugar. Beat in egg, vegetable/olive oil and vanilla extract. Slowly whisk in the flour mixture, until there are no lumps.

4) Fill muffin tins 3/4 full. Top each muffin with about 1 teaspoon of Nutella and use a toothpick to swirl it into the batter.

5) Bake muffins for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

And they’re ready to be served warm with a nice cup of tea or coffee!:)

Give this a try and let me know what you think.

I’ll be trying the Banana Bread recipe that I’ve pinned onto my board this weekend. If you have any nice recipe that you’ve pinned onto your Pinterest board, do share them with me and the other readers by including the link in the comment.

Have a great week ahead!

Hey All!

I have a friend who just passed me two bags filled with Becky Higgins goodies and I’m helping her giving them away! They’re all brand NEW and still in the packaging.:)

Here are what I have in hand – 2 pcs of Black Signature Binders, Small Variety Pack 1 (lots of them!), lots of Design H, I, J, a couple of 6×12 protectors, one pack of 12×12 and a couple packs of 6×12 Envelopes and few packs of 3×4 Grid Cards.

However, due to the weight of these items, I am giving them away to residents of Singapore only.

Please take note that I will not be mailing these goodies out locally, even if you’re willing to pay postage. I’m working full time so I’m not able to make time to pop by the post office to send packages.

You need to pick them up from my place in Punggol with an agreed timing. No meet up at any other place as well as I really don’t have the time to go anywhere in the city.

If you’re really interested in taking them off my hands, email me at findingnana73[at]gmail[dot]com. I’ll pack the stuff randomly for you. No cherry picking of the protectors but I assure you I’ll give you a good mix.:)

The 2 pcs of Black Signature Binders are on first-come first-served basis. *Update – binders are taken*

If I can get everything off my hands, she’s going to pass me more to give away! Woot woot! Thank you to her for sponsoring!

*UPDATE – ALL the items have been taken up*

BH Protectors

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Project Life | Week 32

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Just the other day I was thinking to myself what Project Life really means to me, aside me diligently taking photos almost every day, posting them in Instagram, uploading them onto my folders, print them out and putting my spreads together week after week for two consecutive years.

It does mean a LOT to me.

You see, I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world. And that leads to keeping up with a really fast paced life. Well, that is the REAL life living in a big city like Singapore.

Can you imagine that this country is so tiny on the world map, just a tiny dot that it can’t be really seen from the moon at all compared to the other countries and continents? Having said that, it’s one of the busiest cities on earth. Many of you out there don’t even know where this little tropical island is located. We can’t really blame you. It’s too tiny to be noticed even if you look really hard on the map with a magnifying glass! *laugh*

In this country, everyone is always rushing for time. We rush to catch a bus or train to work during the peak hour , we rush to join the queue for lunch while at work, we rush to get the groceries done within a record breaking time, we rush to send our kids to their swimming lesson, piano lesson, private tuition, we rush home to get the house cleaned and to prepare decent meals for our family, and we even rush to get ourselves showered!

In a day of 24 hours, we packed our day with so many activities and everything becomes a blur because we spend so much time rushing like a headless chicken! I bet 80 percent of the time we don’t even know what is really going on. That’s life in Singapore. That is as REAL as it gets.

So, what does Project Life have to do with what I’ve just said? I’m like any of the residents in Singapore, rushing for time, day in day out, all year long. I barely have time to breathe, let alone sit back and enjoy a nice cup of coffee and soak in all the goodness of my surrounding. I work 9-6 from Monday to Friday, I’m up almost 18 hours a day and spend less than 6 hours in bed getting proper and much needed sleep. I travel frequently for work and what’s left for my family? Only that few hours in the evening on weekdays and two full days over the weekend.

Project Life became my saviour and something that I hang on to for dear life. It became my memory-keeping ‘place’ of my ever so busy life. As I go through my routines each day, I do missed out a LOT on the little details.

I forgot to step back and marvel at how beautiful the day is, how much my son has grown, how does my lunch actually taste like before I gobble it down in a mere 10 minutes.

And so I let my Project Life ‘speak’ to me and show me what I’ve missed out while I rush through my days. Documenting those photos that I have painstakingly make efforts to snap with a lot of staring and weird gazes from people at restaurants, in the elevator, at my work place, while everyone is seated down in restaurant for meals and I’m the odd one standing up trying to snap multiple shots of my food, they are so totally worth it! So what if those people think of me being obsessed with my phone and snapping photos of even a minuscule thing. I don’t really care.

I care about what goes into my Project Life pages, that’s what matters to me most. Because at the end of the day, they tell stories of my life and what is happening around me, day after day. I find real comfort in those big binders sitting on my shelf.

Those pages connect the puzzle and put my life in perspective. And I love every photo, every embellishment and memorabilia, every page and every moment I spent putting them together into those big binders.

And I’m definitely doing this for a long time and for many years to come.:)

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In Week 32, life slowed down a little as I settled comfortably in Singapore and did not plan any business trips. I needed time to catch up with a mountain of backlogs in the office and I needed much time with my family. My boss kept asking me “So, when’s your next trip?” and I looked at him and smiled “I’m taking time to plan and organise my work. I’ll be out of office again when I’m ready”. He left me in peace for a couple of weeks. He obviously got the message. *laugh*

I used the Poet Society Project Life add-ons, Oliver and Yeats on this week’s spreads and I have to say I do seriously love them. Both add-ons are packed with embellishments that are easy to put together without adding the extra bulk to the pages.

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What I love most about Oliver and Yeats?

Well, the list is long but to narrow it down to top three favourites, I have to say the wood veneer “Hello”, Crate Paper Ephemera Pack and sentiments Rub-on Transfers topped the list.

I used the “Hello” wood veneer on my title card and secured it onto the PL card with my Tiny Attacher.

I found the labels from the Crate Paper Ephemera Pack really useful. On the 4×4 photo that I printed, I just wanted to add some sentiments and leave it as it is. I stapled two of the labels from the ephemera pack, one with sentiments already printed on it and on the other velum label, I rubbed the “the BEST day” sentiments from the rub-on transfer onto it.

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That faux stitch is actually from the Crate Paper Rub-on Transfers as well.

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I filled up this page basically with a lot of whites, from the photos to the PL cards. I love the pop of red against the white, mostly coming from the photos. It just happened that those photos taken have reds in them. It wasn’t intentional, I just realised about it when I printed them out and laid them over the protector.  :)

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This particular photo of my toolbox where I stored my PL cards was printed in 4×4 accidentally and I couldn’t find an extra pocket to fill it, so I cut it into 3×4 and I adhered the remaining of the photo onto a 3×4 card and added a journal label from the Crate Paper Ephemera Pack.

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I have a habit of printing landscape 4×3 photos and split it into two pockets. Both are adhered onto 3×4 cards and words stickers were added to finish it off.

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Another favourite embellishment that I love is the Heidi Swapp Color Magic Ephemera from Oliver. You can ink it or spray mist over it. I sprayed this heart shape ephemera with Mister Huey’s Canyon, covering the whole surface and used a dry tissue to dab the excess paint off. The word popped up so prominently! There are 90 pcs of ephemera in the pack and I can’t to use them in my upcoming weeks.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed my Project Life and once again, thank you for making time to stop by my blog.

Have a great week ahead!

  • KBSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:15 am

    Loved your description of why you love PL! I admire how diligently you stick to it!

  • LouiseSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:21 am

    I popped across from IG and i’m glad I did. The little I saw of Singapore many years ago now, was wonderful. It’s definitely a place I’d like to see again and explore more of. your PL spreads are a delight to see.

  • Kathy NeblettSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:22 am

    Hi!
    I have been flipping through your blog and I just had to tell you how much I love it! Your style is absolutely beautiful. Some PL layouts, while still being beautiful, are a little too embellished for my taste, or really, I don’t instantly see the pics. When I really get into doing scrapbooking and PL, I want the pics to be what is noticed first and then the beautiful embellishments that enhance the pics. Your layouts are exactly what I aspire to having mine look like.

    I also appreciate how thorough and understandable your tutorials are. I am not techy at all, and have not had the time to sit and watch a bunch of videos. I have 4 boys that keep my schedule tight. Anyway, love the blog, gorgeous layouts and pics and fabulous tutorials.

    Thank you for all that you put into your blog.
    Kathy

  • Donna G.September 3, 2014 - 6:48 am

    Excellent post, Leena! You’ve shown that even those with very busy lives can and should(!) use Project Life for recording their memories.

  • Sonja KleinSeptember 3, 2014 - 11:38 am

    Thank you for your blog Leena,I like it very much!
    Greetings from Sonja in the Netherlands

  • KirstieSeptember 3, 2014 - 3:48 pm

    Great post! Love your reasons for loving project life! It’s awesome and your pages are great!

  • Linda in AusSeptember 3, 2014 - 8:04 pm

    Wow it makes me tired just reading your post, never will i take my nana naps for granted again, although you are ten years younger and way healthier than me.
    Beautiful pages as always, i love them..Hope you can grab a couple of minutes of rest here and there.
    xx

  • Bernii MillerSeptember 4, 2014 - 3:59 am

    Love this Leena ♥

  • JanSeptember 12, 2014 - 4:09 pm

    Having visit Singapore a couple of time when we moved here (NZ) and went back to U.K.for a holiday I can see what you mean that it is a busy paced life, think it happens to a lot of countries unfortunately.
    I know for myself working full time doing my Master’s degree full time and then trying to fit everything else in (like my poor family), my hobby of scrap booking and this year trying PL unfortunately takes a back seat “because I am so busy, I don’t have the time”. So you post struck a cord with me and I thank you for that. Sometimes we need reminding of why we do things because as you said we get too busy.

Project Life | Week 31

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July was definitely a month full of activities for me. I was out of town for almost two weeks, both trips were back to back but I was home for the weekend to be with my family.

I went to Seoul, Korea for the first time in 13 years since my last trip there! That was ages ago. I knew I don’t have time to explore the city all over again because I was there for work but I did manage to sneak some time after work one evening to do a little fast speed shopping! Hah! Yep, I managed to snag about 7 pieces of clothing in an hour before I made a quick exit and headed for dinner with my colleagues.

The following week I flew in to Bangkok, another favourite city of mine and I did manage to eat some of my favourite Thai food! That’s one thing I love about my job. I work hard and yet I still get time off to enjoy eating local food. I’m a foodie person and I can eat almost everything, except some weird stuff like insects (this is popular in some cities), monkey brain etc. *laugh* I’m not a picky eater and I can eat spicy food well, that’s for sure. Most of Asian food are spicy, so I’m definitely loving it.:)

So, the thing I love about Project Life is that I’m able to document all the things that I do and see, places I go to, food that I eat and culture that I experienced when I’m traveling. My spreads are always filled with not only my mundane routine photos while I’m at work, photos of my family and me, food that I eat, cafes that I frequent, photos of my scrap room, but also places that I go for work. And that’s truly the memory-keeping that I love!

And so this week, I’m so thankful that I’m able to include snippets of my days while I was in Bangkok and when I was back home too. I couldn’t be more pleased to use Poet Society Project Life Kit to document this week.

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Since I used the October Afternooon Daily Flash Pocket Sleeve with 16 of 3×3 pockets on the Week 30, I had to continue the back page for this Week 31. I cut up some of the 3×4 cards from the Poet Society Project Life Kit, insert them in alternate pockets and filled up the rest with my photos from my Bangkok trip.

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I printed my 3×3 photos on Canon Easy-PhotoPrint Ex printer utility software, selecting two square photos and print them on a 4×6 photos paper with border setting. I cut them up, leaving a border of a few mm which fit the 3×3 pockets perfectly. I’ll do a post on how I print these format soon.

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l’ve been adding labels with some sentiments to my photos a lot lately and I usually attach them to the photos with my Tiny Attacher. You can find the coordinating Poet Society label that I used on this sunset picture here.

One of the filler cards “Tell Your Story” was cut up to 3×3, I layered a few pieces of the transparency stars and sewed them onto the card with my sewing machine.

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In one of the pockets from Week 30, I inserted a transparency attached with a piece of wood veneer. So, when it’s flipped over to this week, I added a printable label from here and adhered it back to back onto the wood veneer.

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That orange card with a cup has a word that does not complement with the photo of me drinking ice tea so I had it covered with a transparency star and attached the printable “sweet” word by LifeLovePaper which you can find it here.

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The Becky Higgins Design K Photo Pocket Pages has been my favourite protector for months mainly because of the 4×4 pocket size.

As most of my photos taken are posted in my Instagram, they’re already cropped in squares, so printing them into 4×4 is hassle free without going through any more cropping in Photoshop. All I need to do is upload them into my folder, print them on 4×6 photo papers with border setting, cut them to 4×4 and that’s it!

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The diagonal paper strips that I adhered onto the photo is from one of the PL 3×4 cards. I just trimmed off two strips from the card, one with a white empty space that I stamped with the date of the photo taken, added some words and attached two small pieces of the transparency stars with my tiny attacher and cut another strip with sentiments.

Oh, I have to say that the gold rub-ons from this main Project Life kit is my absolute favourite! I basically add them onto my cards and photos and they look great just on it’s own or with other embellishments.

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The squares days of the week printable by Hello Forever are really useful especially if you need to add journaling of stories or short review of a particular day. I made that card on the days I was in Bangkok, just recording short notes on what I did on those three days. I then layered them and sewed over the labels vertically.

And that Sunday to Saturday card is actually in 4×6 size but I cut it to fit the 4×4 pocket and wrote a quick review of the week. I finished it off by sewing over layered transparency stars and a printable label by Hello Forever as well.

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Did I tell you how much I love the transparency stars?:D

If I didn’t I made it pretty obvious because they’re all over my spread! *laugh*

That’s all for now.

This is a pretty long post so I’m saving up the other spread which I’ll be sharing tomorrow.

Before I leave, I’d like to share what I snagged from Studio Calico store during the pre-sale and full reveal yesterday. I’m obviously very pleased to get what I’ve been eyeing at.

In My Cart

So, here’s my list of goodies that I purchased this month.

From clockwise -

1) 4×3″ Circles Stamp Set – love this!

2) 6×8″ Page Protector #4 – to store my stamps in handbook

3) Uni-ball Impact White Gel Pen – trying out for my journaling on photos

4) 6×8″ Page Protector #3 – storing of stamps in handbook

5) Design K Photo Pocket Pages – replenishing for my pages for the rest of the year

6) Whitman (Poet Society embellishments add-on – love this!)

7) Color Theory Ink Pad Bundle – can’t wait to try them!

8) Alex & Ben Alpha Stamp Set – this would be great for adding titles to my PL cards

9) Silhouette 12×12 Cutting Mat – to replace my current piece which is not sticky anymore

I think I over indulged myself this month but I do need them. Hah!;)

I’ll see you back tomorrow on Part 2 of my Poet Society real post!

  • Christine NewmanAugust 30, 2014 - 6:01 am

    Thanks for sharing your pages Leena! I always love to look at them and see what you’ve done with the PL main kit and printables.

  • Bernii MillerAugust 30, 2014 - 6:46 am

    Gorgeous PL spread ♥

  • Linda MorganAugust 31, 2014 - 7:42 am

    No, no monkey brains for me either. I got some k design pockets can’t wait for them to arrive and the same stamp set although I missed out on the alpha. Lovely lovely spread and thanks for going into so much detail on your post.
    Xx

  • Kathy NeblettSeptember 3, 2014 - 2:28 am

    Another beautiful layout. I’d love to know what sewing machine you use
    Thanks!