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I love Instagram

Last year, I really did not understand Instagram.  I thought it was a hipster App that just showed random pictures.  But in the past 3 months I fallen in love with Instagram.  It is so much better than Facebook.  It is a way off seeing what is going in people lives but through pictures.  Some people take some beautiful pictures and post them on Instagram.  It really brightens my day and inspires me to be creative everyday.

As you noticed I put a new window on the right so it will be easy to follow me on Instagram.  You can see a window into my life daily.  Which is more pictures than the blog.  I noticed in the past 6 months I eat a lot, cook a lot, craft a lot,  and take a lot of picture of Addison and our dogs.  Yes, that pretty much sums up my life.  :)

As you can tell by looking at Instagram, I have been cooking up a storm this week. Monday, I made Maple and Mustard Pork with Pear and Fennel Salad for dinner.  And Tuesday, we had breakfast for dinner and I made Baked Eggs with Chorizo and Potatoes.  The rest of the week we ate out since JT had work dinners.

I have not been crafting this week and I noticed I started getting a little blue.  I really believe creating things really keeps me sane or a least gives me joy.  Isn't joy sanity?  While I was looking at beautiful paper products from Rifle Co., I noticed these beautiful Post Thank Cards.

I was thinking these would be great to send out to friends and family. But, I have a problem buying card because I make cards.  I have purchased too many stamps, ink, and paper that spending money on cards. I think it is wasteful.  So I decided I was going to make a PaperandPi Post Thank Card.  And here it is:

I love the way it turned out.  I am thinking of all the beautiful designs I can put on the front of the Post Thank Cards.  If you would like a Post Card, email me at your address and I will send you one.  Spreading the joy.

Talk to you soon, 


I found something new....Donna Hay

So last week while I was searching for something great to cook, I found some wonderful cooking blogs.  While I was on Always with Butter I discovered food stylist, author, magazine author Donna Hay.  For those who don't know who Donna Hay is I would say she is the Aussie Martha Stewart.  For all my international reader, I know I know you can't believe I just discovered Donna Hay.  Well, let's just say I am in love with her magazines.  The food photography is so incredible that it makes me want to try every recipe.  The wonderful things is Donna Hay magazine has just started an iPad app.  I was able to download 2 magazine for free and I spent about 2 hours oohing and aahing.  I bookmarked so many recipes that I didn't know what to cook first.    The great thing about having the magazine on the iPad is they made it very interactive for people who love to cook.  They have a recipe button and a cook mode button.  Cook mode breaks everything down to steps and shows what you will need for each step.  JT loves this because he gets confused by recipes sometimes.  He's always second guessing himself about when to put in each ingredient.  I believe JT will more than just "so sad sous chef" with the cook mode feature.  :)

After bookmarking too many recipes, I decided I needed to calm down and just pick one to cook for dinner.  I decided to make Slow-Cooked Beer Ragu Pasta for my first Donna Hay recipe.  I found the recipe online here too.

slow-cooked beef ragu pasta

by Donna Hay

  •  1kg beef brisket, cut into 4 pieces
  •  plain (all-purpose) flour, for dusting
  •  ¼ cup (60ml) olive oil
  •  1 brown onion, thickly sliced
  •  3 cloves garlic, peeled
  •  1 cup (250ml) dry red wine
  •  2 cups (500ml) beef stock
  •  1 cup (250ml) water
  •  1 x 400g can cherry tomatoes
  •  4 bay leaves
  •  2 tablespoons tomato paste
  •  1 tablespoon caster (superfine) sugar
  •  400g caserecci+ pasta
  •  sea salt and cracked black pepper
  •  ½ cup basil leaves
  •  finely grated parmesan, to serve
Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Dust the beef in flour, shaking to remove any excess. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a heavy-based saucepan over high heat. Cook the beef for 2–3 minutes each side or until browned. Remove from the pan and set aside. Reduce heat to low, add the remaining oil, onion and garlic and cook for 6–8 minutes or until softened. Increase heat to high.Add the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, for 2–3 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Add the stock, water, tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste and sugar and stir to combine. Return the beef to the pan, cover with a tight-fitting lid, transfer to the oven and roast for 2 hours. Remove the lid and roast for a further 30 minutes. Remove beef from the pan and shred the meat using 2 forks, discarding any fat. Return meat to the sauce and mix to combine. Set aside. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water for 10–12 minutes or until al dente. Drain, return to the pan with the beef sauce, salt, pepper and toss to combine. Top with basil and sprinkle with parmesan to serve. Serves 4–6. 

I decided to prep this early since Addison had an orchestra concert that night.  I gave myself enough time to chop and brown everything so I would just have to put it in the oven, set the timer for 2 hours, and go to the concert.  I even went a little crazy and went a la Pioneer Woman and took pictures of all my steps.  If I only had time and patience to do this everyday.

Beef brisket cut into 4 pieces


Put in pan to brown

Flipped and browned

My horrible slicing job of the onion

Brisket browned and set aside

2 cups of beef broth

Fresh cherry tomatoes. I didn't use canned.

Bay leaves

I love this tomato paste. So much more efficient that the canned stuff.

Yes I actually have Caster sugar stoked in my pantry.

1 cup of water.

The red wine is used for cooking.  

Everything put in the pan and ready to be cooked for 2 hours.

Finished product.  Delicious!!!

It turned out really good and it was really easy to make.  I can't wait to try out more Donna Hay's recipes.


Happy Pi Day

Oh yes today is 3/14 and what does that mean?  It's Pi Day.  Pi Day is always celebrated on 3/14 because pi is 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288....  Get it 3/14 and 3.14?  I know I'm a dork.  So what do we do on Pi Day at Paper and Pi?  Well, of course bake pie.   Eat pie.  And talk about pie and pi.

I decided to find some things about Pi for today.  I learned about a neighborhood in Florida called the Rotonda.  It's a round subdivision where the streets are laid out like pieces of pi.

Google Maps

On, Ford engineers are asking mathematical questions all day to anyone who wants to participate for prizes.  The post  a new math problem every 3 minutes and 14 seconds.

Oh and look at this apple pi.  Found here.  

Wow, PC world you guys are creative.  

And look at this Pi brooch from Geek Modish.  

How cute is this onsie from MyCowDazy?

Well, I hope everyone is having a wonderful Pi Day. Talk to you soon.

My other son (and sister)

Hey everyone.  I hope your week is great so far.  Ours is wonderful because we have family visiting.  My other son, Kevin, lives in Illinois.  He is on Spring Break and he's back at his real home for a week.  We are very happy to have him and I hope this week goes by slowly.  Kevin and Addison met in Kindergarten and they have been best friends since.  He lived down the street from us for 6 years. But last year he moved to Illinois and we miss him tremendously.  I think it was extra hard on Addison because he started middle school (a new school) without his best friend.  But now he's back and even though it's just a week, it seems like everything is back to normal.

You see Kevin has spent so much time over here he just knows how everything works.  He knows when I am in a bad mood how to talk to me.  He knows how I like everything a certain way.  He cleans up after himself.  He's polite and helpful.  He's our other child.  And don't get me wrong Addison has other great friends, it is just we do everything with Kevin.  Kevin goes to family functions with us.  JT's mom and aunt even buy him Christmas presents.  Kevin went to Asheville to visit our Carolina cousins.  He has gone on vacation with us.  He has kept me company when I have to wait for hours while Addison is at his activities.  And last summer he lived with us for a month.  Kevin is family and could never be replaced.

Oh and let me not forget Kevin's mom, Ebony.  She is my sister.  I miss Ebony because I never had to plan to spend time with here.  I could call her spur of the moment and ask her to go to the mall with me and she would go.  She was always willing to go on wild goose chases with me.  And I can tell her everything.  She's also is really great in telling me the truth without hurting my feelings.  The only bad thing about her is she is a morning person and I am a night person.  She she's ready to pass out around 10 PM and I'm just getting started.  In the morning she's ready to hangout and I feel like a zombie.  This morning she asked me to go running with her at 8 AM.  If I am not working at 8 AM, I am sure not going to be awake and exercising at 8 AM.  :)  The great thing is Kevin is a night owl like me so we can hangout all night.  Hey, I get my best ideas and so much work done at 2 AM.

So that's our week, hanging out and relaxing with Kevin and Ebony.  Poor Addison.  He is not on Spring Break, so he still has school, tests, and extracurricular activities.  I tried to convince Kevin to go to school with Addison for one day.  I don't' think that sounds very exciting to him.  :)

Oh before I go I need to mention what I saw on I am trying to decide if I want to make St. Patrick's Day cards this year.  I have not been inspired to make them and it's on a Sunday this year so I don't know if Addison even wants to give his teachers a card or a pin since it's not on a school day.  Well, I went to my favorite paper sites and really didn't find any inspiration but I did find something amazing.  You know how I have been loving laser cutting lately.  Well, this invitation is incredible.

Isn't it beautiful?  They remind of our 2012 Valentine's Day card but better.  I so need a laser cutting machine.  This would inspire me to make St.Patrick Day cards.  You can check out the blog post here.  

Speaking of paper, I forgot to mention the beautiful note cards I must have from Tokketok.  

I just love gold letterpress.  Now, I just need to figure out who I need to send them to.  Oh I so need a studio with a letterpress machine and a laser cutting machine.  A girl can dream.

Well, it is pouring down rain here and I just looked over and Luna looks like a little passed out chubby puppy.  I would try to take a picture of her but she would probably wake up.  Oh and she's snoring really loud.  A dog's life is so hard.  Well, we have to brave the rain and go to diving.  Talk to everyone soon.