The Art + Science of Scrapbooking *Giveaway* from Jennifer Wilson and Big Picture Classes


Art + Science image collage

Today I’m so excited to be giving away, to one lucky Heartmix reader, a spot in The Art + Science of Scrapbooking at Big Picture Classes! Art + Science is taught by two of the best scrapbooking teachers around, Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson. Over four fun-filled weeks, using videos showcasing their own right brain vs. left brain creative personalities, these amazing teachers issue 16 brain-boosting layout challenges to help you strengthen your own creative process.

Art + Science teachersWhether you’re new to scrapbooking or a papercrafting veteran this class will get you thinking about this wonderful hobby in a brand new way, by both tuning into and challenging your own creative personality type. Class starts on May 15 and costs $45 so get  your Mother’s Day present request in now. (This class is currently on introductory special for $35 so get signed up quick!)

From the Class Description:

Are you a right-brained person who embraces possibility and spontaneity, thrives on imagination, relies on feelings, and thinks in symbols and images? Are you a left-brained person who practices strategy and order, finds comfort in facts, relies on logic, and thinks in words and language?

The answer to both questions is “yes!” In The Art + Science of Scrapbooking, a mind-bending workshop from Stacy Julian and Jennifer Wilson, you’ll learn to harness the creative power of both sides of your brain.

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In four illuminating weeks, right-brainer Stacy Julian and left-brainer Jennifer Wilson will help you embrace your natural cognitive strengths. But they’ll also challenge themselves, each other, and YOU to find a new sense of balance and power as you explore the other side of your brain.

You can learn more about the class and get signed up here.

I took this class last year and had a blast creating 8 brand new layouts, including the one below which involved a challenge on color and is now one of my favorite layouts ever. (My first class where I completed ALL the challenges!) I’m really so excited to offer a seat in Art + Science to one of our lucky Heartmix readers.


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How to Enter: To enter to win a free seat in this amazing class just take a guess at you’re own personality type by commenting left-brain or right-brain. Comments will close and a winner will be chosen at random on April 22 @ 9pm PST.

*If you are selected as the winner but purchased the class before the giveaway is over you will be reimbursed by Big Picture Classes. Giveaway winner will need to claim their seat in the class before registration closes on May 24, 2014.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce


This post is part of my Family Jewels project.  You can read about it here

Hi!  It’s been ages.  Hasn’t it?  I even aged a year since last time I posted.

I decided that I would just make whatever I felt like in the Family Jewels this time around.  No rhyme, no reason, just eeine meenie miney mo and voila! Mushrooms in green sauce.  Sound weird?  I thought so.  I also thought, after reading the ingredients,  that mushrooms in green sauce sounds like something Charlotte would like to try after eating green eggs and ham during Dr Seuss week at school.

Let’s do this.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

If your mushrooms are large, like mine were, cut them up a bit.  Chop onion finely and mince garlic.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

Saute mushrooms in olive oil to soften them a bit.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

Saute onion for two mins, then add minced garlic.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

add flour and cook about one minute. Add white wine and chicken stock .  Add mushrooms back in. While mushrooms cook in sauce, finely chop parsley and add to the pan.  Stir to combine.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

Serve at room temperature as a side dish or do what I did, serve over steak.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

God, I love vermouth.

Some notes.  This recipe mentioned I should refrigerate the mushrooms after first cook.   I didn’t do that as I thought it was written as I make ahead dish.  I loosely followed that part of the recipe and really have no idea if it would have made a difference.  It didn’t make much sense to me so I cooked everything together and omitted that part from the recipe below.

Mushrooms in Green Sauce

  • 3/4 lb small to medium size white mushrooms
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine ( I used vermouth)
  • 3/4 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper
  • large bunch of parsley, cleaned

Clean mushrooms and set aside.

In medium side skillet, heat two Tbsp of oil over high heat until oil reaches smoking point.  Add mushrooms and saute for 3-5 minutes, stirring until they browned and softened but still retain their liquid.  Turn off heat, remove mushrooms and set aside.

Heat remaining oil over medium heat.  Add onions and saute two minutes or until wilted but not colored.  Stir in garlic.  Add flour and cook, stirring, about 1 minute.  Gradually add wine and stock.  Add mushrooms.  Stir.  Sauce will thicken.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Add parsley and stir to combine.  Simmer until mushrooms are cooked through.

Can be served as a side dish or as topping to a steak.


A Long Way Down | My 2014 Reading Challenge


2014 Reading Challenge

This year I’ve challenged myself to read at least one book per month. I’ll be selecting titles from this list of books that will be coming to the big screen this year. You can read more about my 2014 Reading Challenge here

A Long Way Down

I read two books in March! A Long Way Down was next on my list. This book is about four people who happen upon each other at the top of a well-known suicide spot in London on New Years Eve. They each have very different personalities and very different reasons for wanting to end their lives. After an adventure-filled evening, which distracts them from their deadly deed, they make an agreement to postpone their suicides until Valentines Day. Over the next two months they learn more about each other and become friends. They have a few more adventures and some heart to heart moments and a lot of self-realization. In the end, they basically agree that what has happened in the past few months thanks to this group of friends is more than enough reason to “keep on going.” Nick Hornby (author of About A Boy, High Fidelity, and Fever Pitch) is a good writer. So the dialogue between the characters is good and there are some laugh out loud moments. I personally thought the premise was silly but its the outrageousness of some of the characters that carry this book. I rated this book three stars on Goodreads.

The movie version was released in Europe at the beginning of March. I want to see it so that I can see the performance of each character which is really what carries the story. Unfortunately the reviews haven’t been great so its unlikely that it will be shown here any time soon. I’ll have to wait until this one comes out as a rental.


Divergent, the next book on my list. This one was a quick read and I’ll be back soon to share some thoughts. (I’m hoping to see the movie this weekend.)

Thank you for reading Heartmix. After a short hiatus due to the busy-ness of life, we’re both back in action. Look for more posts on our favorite topics and more of our regular features coming soon.

The Monuments Men | My 2014 Reading Challenge


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This year I’ve challenged myself to read at least one book per month. I’ll be selecting titles from this list of books that will be coming to the big screen this year. You can read more about my 2014 Reading Challenge here.


In February I met my reading goal by finishing The Monuments Men. This book was a very slow read even though I usually like non-fiction. The Monuments Men tells the story of a small group of artists and museum curators who were recruited into the Armed Forces to find and protect Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFAA) throughout Europe during World War II. The book is based on a true story so the author did take some liberty in overlaying more story and dialogue which did not add any additional interest to the book. I’m glad I read it because I did learn more about the start of World War II and some of Hitler’s grotesque motivations in stealing so many priceless European art treasures. Also, since my Grandpa Mago was a World War II veteran I enjoy learning about this formative time in his life.

I was able to go see the movie at the beginning of March though I wasn’t really excited to spend my time on this one. The reviews I read ahead of time were not very good at all. With so many great actors I was hoping for something entertaining, despite the reviews but sadly the movie just seemed to try too hard. All of the lines were very kitschy and the focus was less on the facts of the MFAA mission during World War II than on getting a few laughs. If you’re interested in this story I suggest reading the book.

There are a couple more non-fiction books on my list for this year, Unbroken and Wild, both of which look like they will be really great reads. I’m looking forward to these two towards the end of the year.

A Long Way Down

In the meantime my March book is A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I was able to get this one from the library. Woohoo! I’m not very far along into it yet but there has already been some laughable moments even though it is a book about suicide. The movie is being released across Europe this Friday but no US release date yet…hopefully it does well enough to come across the pond…I’d like to see this one.

What books have you enjoyed so far this year?

Project Life | February Update (and a VIDEO!)


This is my third year doing Project Life and in 2014 I will get a whole year done! I’m sharing each Project Life spread here at Heartmix to add some accountability and, hopefully, to give you some inspiration for your own photo projects. Check out all of our Project Life updates here.

Project Life | February

February has come and gone. It was a busy month for us. I didn’t do the “scrap-as-you-go” method as much as I would have liked but I am already doing better in March. I’m not going to go through lots of details here because…

I recorded a video! I got this cool new camera tripod for my Canon Rebel T3i for Christmas that I used to do this recording. If you all like this format, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to do this each month for Project Life and other projects. Click here or on the video below to see my February Project Life spread.

So what did you think of the video? I need to figure out how to reduce the white noise and the glare on the page protectors. The Becky Higgins Cloth Albums have been on sale for the last few weeks at Amazon so get them while they’re hot.

So this month I used the Design E Page Protector (4-6×6), again, from the Becky Higgins Big Variety Pack 1 but I think I’ll be moving back to all Design A and use odd shaped ones for inserts, but we’ll see.

I am loving Freckled Fawn embellishments. Still not a subscriber but if I had extra money I would probably sign up for their monthly embellishment kit. Even though Project Life is meant to be simple sometimes it is fun to add little bits here and there. How much do you embellish your own pages?


These cool 4×6 Flip Pockets were recommended by Mary Ann Perry a while back and I still love them. This month I used one to highlight my Stitch Fix picks. Isn’t that black and white skirt super cute? Love this new piece in my wardrobe. Get your own Stitch Fix box here. It’s like a surprise trip to the mall with a personal shopper without ever leaving your house.


In the video, I mentioned using an insert for Reya’s 6th Birthday weekend. Inserts are a great way to include big events in your album without overwhelming an entire spread. This insert uses a Design O protector (part of Small Variety Pack 3) and fits three 4×4 square photos down the center, great for Instagram pics but I mostly used standard 3×4 photos here with some patterned paper. Do you print a lot of your Instagram photos? There are so many ways to put these cool photos on display (not just in scrapbooks). Print a few favorites and stick them on your fridge, they will definitely brighten your day.

The adhesive divider tab is an Ali Edwards recommendation and helps the insert stand out from the rest of your layouts. And speaking of Ali Edwards, (I sure mention her a lot don’t I. She is my scrapbooking hero.) the inspiration to use Who, What, When, Where, Why to describe our weekend came from her Hello Story class that is open for registration at Big Picture Classes. I took this class last year, and I think it was THE best class on memory keeping I have ever done. So many great layout ideas.

IMG_0009The last thing I’ll mention is memorabilia. I included the park maps from both places we visited. They are kind of scrunched in there but I really wanted to include them since Reya was really big on using the maps herself and directing us where she wanted to go. Project Life is great for keeping little mementos like this that wouldn’t be easy to incorporate into a traditional layout.

So many people, probably even some of you, keep lots of things from trips or old mementos from a special moment in your life. That definitely counts as memory keeping. Think of a way to put these little treasures on display so instead of being tucked away in a box somewhere they can be a conversation starter.

And that’s it. My February Project Life spread is all wrapped up (just waiting on that card from the Hubs). I’m so excited that Ally decided to jump on the Project Life bandwagon. Did I “hook” anyone else? Let me know in the comments if you’re doing Project Life this year and if not, how you’re documenting this year’s memories (and let me know what you thought about the video).

Note: It’s hard to keep track of all of the different Becky Higgins Pocket Pages but she has a great freebie section on her site with a template of all the different pages. I keep this on my Mac desktop so that I can reference it quickly.

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