Kitchen Sink Minestrone

The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.
— Mark Twain

This quote still holds true today for the Bay Area. So while it is nearly summer, the past few weeks here have been mostly cold and foggy. And when the weather gets like that, I always crave homey, comforting soups.

So when I had a hankering for soup three weeks ago, I went to my fridge and pantry to take stock of what I had. Get it? I took stock. Sorry I couldn't help myself with that pun. Moving on...

I had some soup basics, but not everything I needed to make any of the recipes I have on hand. So I decided to improvise and threw in just about everything we had (hence the name) and the results were pretty great. The best part about this recipe is I bet you could add or swap in some of your own ingredients to the recipe and it would work out just fine. Soups are pretty forgiving that way, which makes them such an easy weeknight meal.

Kitchen Sink Minestrone |

Kitchen Sink Minestrone

Makes about 6 servings | 273 calories per serving*

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
2 carrots, thinly sliced
1 can (14oz)  low sodium diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tbsp italian seasoning
2 cups diced cooked chicken
1 large zucchini, sliced
2/3 cup whole wheat macaroni
2 cups kale, roughly chopped
Salt & pepper

Heat olive oil in large saucepan. Then, add in onion and garlic and cook until soft.

Add in chicken stock, carrots, diced tomatoes and italian seasoning to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in diced chicken, zucchini, macaroni, and kale. Then add salt and pepper to taste. Cook and cover for an additional 5-7 minutes until the macaroni is cooked through and the zucchini and kale are tender, but firm.

Divide into bowls and serve immediately. You can store it in the fridge for up to 10 days.

*Nutritional information estimated using and – my calculations are not exact. Not all foods may be listed in their database and some substitutions may be made. This is only a guideline.

Posted on June 4, 2015 and filed under Recipes.

CT Inspiration | May Edition

My creative team (and special guest CTs) have been making some pretty spectacular layouts with my products this month and I'd love to share a few of them with you.

LO by Sabrina using Stitched Grids Vol. 3 and Community of Tomorrow Kit by Scotty Girl

I wonder if I'm too old to play with legos because I really want to make this candy dispenser that Sabrina's husband and son made. Is that weird?!? She really made her photos stand out in this layout by only using tone-on-tone papers in the template grid, a very smart approach. Materials used: Stitched Grids Vol. 3, Community of Tomorrow Kit.

LO by Guest CT Steph using Tropical Serenade Collection by Scotty Girl

The strong vertical axis of this layout makes it immediately striking, but I love how Steph softened the look by including various sized circles. Another special touch is the distressed stripes behind the photo – I'm not exactly sure how she achieved such a perfect rub-on look, but the effect is perfect for her beach photo. Materials used: Tropical Serenade Collection.

LO by Amie using Not a Zoo Collection by Scotty Girl

It can be difficult to include lots of photos on a single page, but Amie makes it look easy with her photo grid. And I think my favorite part is that she scanned in coins and ephemera she collected on her family's day at the zoo and included them on the layout (see the token on the right side of the layout?). Materials used: Not a Zoo Collection

LO by Guest CT Lauren using Stitched Grids Vol. 3 and Tropical Serenade Collection by Scotty Girl

The first thing I noticed on this fun and colorful layout was Lauren's perfect photo of a Dole Whip – it looks so yummy I just want to reach through my screen and grab it! But the story of this layout is the real treat and something I'm sure a lot of you can relate to. Materials used: Stitched Grids Vol. 3, Tropical Serenade Collection.

LO by Nadia using Tropical Serenade Collection by Scotty Girl Design

I have a hard time incorporating journal cards into my traditional scrapbook layouts, so I'm in awe of how Nadia worked in so many into this layout, and so seamlessly too. Materials used: Tropical Serenade Collection

LO by Rachel using Stitched Grids Vol. 2 & 3 by Scotty Girl and A Fair to Remember Kit by Scotty Girl and Laura Passage of Wishing Well Creations

Rachel created this double spread by combining and rotating different templates from different sets of my Stitched Grids templates. What a brilliant idea? And the smiles she captured in her photos are priceless. Materials used: Stitched Grids Vol. 1, Stitched Grids Vol. 3, A Fair to Remember Kit.

LO by Alice using Stitched Grids Vol. 3 and 2014 Summer Collection by Scotty Girl

It may still be a month til we've officially hit summer, but Alice's layout is making me yearn for warmer days. And she did a great job in choosing papers that matched perfectly with the dominant colors in her photos. Materials used: Stitched Grids Vol. 3, 2014 Summer Collection.

Want more scrapbook inspiration? Check out my Creative Team and Digital Scrapbooking Pinterest boards.

Posted on May 24, 2015 and filed under Scrapbooking.

Whoa, You Have a New Logo!

Things might look a tad different to you here on my blog as I decided once again to refresh the look of my branding. It's not a change I considered lightly – in fact, I've been mulling it over for several months and finally felt ready to take the leap.

Perhaps the biggest change, dropping "DESIGN" from my logo, seemed like a natural progression for me. It's pretty easy to discern from a few glances at my blog or my digital scrapbook products that I'm a designer, so I didn't feel the need to include that in my logo anymore. I also feel like it gives me a bit more freedom to choose what to write about on my blog here, allowing for more inspiring possibilities.

The other change which will likely be the most controversial is the change in my principal branding color from red to aqua. I've been using red in my logo and branding since 2010, but what most people don't realize is that I actually started out in 2009 with aqua. So I am, in fact, reverting back to my original color.

I also put together a timeline of my logo so you can see it's full evolution. While not as exciting perhaps as looking through the progression of Apple or Coca-Cola's logos, it's quite fun to see the visual changes I've made over the years.

Evolution of the Scotty Girl Design logo 2009 to the present

Pretty interesting right?!? Of course, all I can think is that my 2009 font choice was really boring. But that's ok. At least I wasn't using Comic Sans.

Posted on May 19, 2015 and filed under Daily Life.

The Evolution of my Project Life Scrapbook Style

I'm now into my 3rd year of creating Project Life albums and I'm amazed at how big an impact these albums have had on my scrapbooking process as a whole. When I started my first album in 2013, I had doubts on whether I would actually be able to keep up, even if I was only scrapbooking monthly and not weekly like many PL scrappers. Major props if you do weekly layouts!

Now that we're nearly half-way through 2015 – how did that happen??? – I thought it would be fun to show the evolution in my scrap style from the past three years of Project Life. It's also the first time I've had the chance to share layouts from this year's album :)

2013: Where It All Started

Although I first thought about attempting a PL album in 2012, I didn't actually take the plunge until 2013. I knew I wanted to print all my albums as a hardbound Blurb book (affiliate link), but the only square sizes they offered was either 7x7 (too small) or 12x12 (too big). So I opted for their 8x10 size which I had already used for my wedding album.

January 2013 Project Life Page |

Then I started scrapbooking – month by month. I kept my layout very literal: using a square format with roughly the same ratio as the actual Project Life albums (sized down to fit my 8x10 book). However, because I used a square format, I had about an inch of white space on the top and bottom of every page.

February 2013 Project Life Page |

Now, that's not necessarily a bad thing (I usually love a good use of blank space), but since my layouts were incredibly simple by the very nature of the grid design, I wondered if I could still achieve the same feeling but go full bleed on my pages. Which brings me to my 2014 album...

2014: The Year of Experimenting

Not only did I decide to ditch the extra white space of my 2013 album, but I also decided to play a bit more with the standard Project Life grid. Last year was the year that Becky Higgins added square grid designs to the Project Life pages. So when I saw the beautiful square layouts fill my Pinterest feed, I knew I wanted to include squares into my layouts as well.

June 2014 Project Life Page |

The result was a very structured grid design where I could do squares, 3x4 and 4x6 rectangles and everything in-between. I enjoyed the freedom of getting to play with different shapes, but over the course of the year I found myself feeling like I might have overcomplicated things a little bit.

November 2014 Project Life Page |

My approach to journaling also changed. Instead of my Month in Review cards in 2013 which feature short phrases for each photo or memory, I opted for a full column on the right that I could devote to journaling. Giving myself more room to explain the highlights of the month allowed me to share what we'd been up to, but with a bit more detail.

2015: Finding my Style Groove

That brings us to the current year and I think I've finally found the format I like and want to carry through for years to come (at least that's what I think for now). The interesting part is that I landed sort of in-between my styles for 2013 and 2014.

I kept the full-bleed design since it gave me the most room to work with, but I reverted back to a much simpler grid design. I've also decided to continue using my Month Highlights strip for journaling each month since it worked so well in 2014. The result is the perfect formula for my personal scrapbook style.

So what about you? Are you happy with your own scrapbook style or are you still working to find that style sweet spot? If you are, don't get discouraged – honing your own personal scrap style takes time. To be honest, half the fun is the process of discovering it because you get to create scrapbook pages all along the way.

And if you're looking for more inspiration, I'll be sharing more of my 2015 Project Life album soon and discussing how my Project Life scrap style has now spilled over into my everyday layouts. Stay tuned!

Posted on May 11, 2015 and filed under Project Life.

SHCo 2015 iNSD Blog Hop

Hooray! Today is officially International Scrapbook Day and that means one more blog train, this time from the girls and I at SHCo.

My freebie below is a cute new illustration set (formats included: .AI, .EPS, .PNG, layered .PSD & .TIF), perfect for your spring and summer kits.  

NOTE: This freebie was only available through the month of May 2015.

Special iNSD Commercial Use Grab Bag

With the popularity of the grab bags at my personal use store, I thought why not offer something similar for those of you looking to score some great deals on CU products. So I've got a new $5.00 CU Grab Bag for any 5 single products in my store!

The grab bag is for single products ONLY, multi-product bundles are excluded. Also, please note that due to the extremely low price, you may not use coupons or points to purchase the grab bag. Thank you for understanding!

SHCo Storewide Sale

If you're looking for to stock up on CU products, but aren't quite sure you want to commit to purchasing 5 items in the grab bag, I totally understand. Luckily, the entire SHCo shop is 60% off so you can try a single product of mine out without breaking the bank. 

And I've got two brand new patterns sets (and bundle) for you to try out:

I hope everyone has a fun and relaxing (as much as it can be) iNSD weekend! And in case you're looking for my DigiScrap parade freebie or any of the specials for my personal use store, you can find ALL the information in my previous blog post.

Posted on May 1, 2015 and filed under Commerical Use.