Most scrapbookers have heard of Project Life, the pocket-page style of scrapbooking. I mostly see the weekly version where you create a page or spread for each week of the year. The “365″ version is the “photo a day” approach. I’ve always liked the style and simplicity of Project Life, but I knew I could never stick to scrapping each week by the week, and DEFINITELY would not enjoy trying to take a photo every day. I finally thought to just do the pocket style but scrap however many days in each page/spread I wanted and (oh my!) even skip days if nothing happened that day. It freed me up to do this quick and easy style, and doing it digitally makes it REALLY quick and easy. So here’s our January:
The first spread covers only the first 4 days of the month. But it was a BIG four days! I’m keeping VERY simple by using white cardstock for the background and mat every time (I can take forever to decide on paper colors & patterns and this really simplifies and streamlines the process). I choose one accent color for each spread and embellish minimally. Not my usual scrap style, but I am at a busy phase of life with my four kids (I have a high-schooler, a middle-schooler, a kindergartener, and a toddler!) and it’s quick-and-easy scrapbooking for me right now or none at all.
Since the flu hit us, it made the rest of the month a pretty slow one. We didn’t even TRULY celebrate my birthday (the plan was for me and Ron to go to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner) because I was still feeling horribly. Hey, that’s life and I’m glad I gave myself the freedom to not try to create a page or spread for every week of the month. There was pretty much nothing going on from the 5th to the 16th and how would those pages have looked if I’d stuck with the by-the-week approach religiously?
So there it is. I already can’t wait to see how the rest of the year goes, and then to create a hard-bound photo book using these pages (I will probably do a 10×10 book from Shutterfly) as our family album for 2014.
Do you do Project Life? If you’ve posted images online, link me up in the comments!
I did it! When it became clear our 5 year old needed some fun Christmas make-believe, the elf was the perfect solution. I was a little nervous about being committed every day for 24 days (what if I forgot one night?!) but the desire to not see Jaimee disappointed was strong enough to remind me each night. It ended up being fun for the whole family and I’m glad we did it.
I hinted in the post about how we decided to start doing this that I changed some of the traditional “Elf on the Shelf” ideas and wrote a letter from our elf that better framed this the way we wanted to do it. I didn’t want an elf that went back to the North Pole each night to report on the kids’ behavior. Because… well, for a LOT of reasons. Here’s the text of the letter:
Dear Drew, Holly, Jaimee, & Bennett,
I hope you had a great Thanksgiving. Now that it’s the Christmas season, I’ve come down from the North Pole to stay with your family! There are three things you should know about me:
1. I only come awake when everyone else in the house is asleep.
2. I shouldn’t be touched (only your parents can if it’s to keep me safe).
3. I will go back to the North Pole on the night of Christmas Eve.
I will have fun watching you during the day, and I’ll be having my own fun in your house at night while you sleep!
Yes, I named the elf, lol. Knowing what Jaimee wants to name our future pets, I knew this would be a better idea. And I wanted something that would amuse ME too, hahaha. I liked the “no touching” rule but I didn’t say anything about elf magic… I just didn’t want the elf to become a play thing that would endure extra wear and tear, or worse, I didn’t want the elf to get MISPLACED (*shudder*). Lastly, I wanted the elf to be “leaving” on Christmas Eve because really… can the elf even compete with Christmas morning? And do I want another thing to have to do the night before Christmas? Sometime during the month, Jaimee reasoned that the elf had to leave on Christmas Eve so that he could help Santa deliver toys. Ok!
So…. I admittedly used many ideas I’d seen online (I’m just not that inventive!) but I do love how it all turned out and it really was a lot of fun. I’ve already shared the first six days. Here are the rest!
7. Jolly is taking a Barbie out on a date. And driving all over our partially-done puzzle!
8. Jaimee had the class “pet” for the weekend and they were chilling on top of the TV. Sunday was a great day for this since we were all watching a lot of NFL football that day (P.S. how much fun was watching that game in the deep snow?!)
9. Peeking out from the water dispenser in the fridge
10. TP’ing the tree. (I loved how fast this one was – great reaction… a lot of bang for the buck!)
11. Then rolling down the stairs in the toilet paper roll (30 seconds to set up since he was already in the toilet paper roll!
12. You know syrup is one of the main elven food groups! (That blue one is my bunny-elf from my childhood!)
13. A panty raid on the ceiling fan! A pair from everyone except Drew. I’ve even got one of Bennett’s diapers up there.
14. Playing Candy Land with some Groovy Girl dolls.
15. Jolly made a gingerbread train and brought three gingerbread house kits. That day (a Saturday!) Jaimee, Holly, and I made gingerbread houses.
16. Jolly made a snowman in the freezer! (this was the one time Jaimee needed help finding him)
17. The elf loves low-brow humor (ie. whatever will make a 5 year old laugh!)
18. Jolly, drunk on sugar, eating a gingerbread house!
19. Snow angels (I used flour, sifted)
20. “Snowball” fight!
21. Playing Mr. Potato Head. With REAL potatoes!
22. Elf-sized donuts (cheerios, frosting, cookie decorations) and a dozen donuts for the family from Krispy Kreme. Perfect for a Sunday morning.
1. Plant the seeds in the vase on the ledge
2. Sprinkle the fertilizer on top
3. Wait till morning to see what grows!
And that was a big hit that morning. By the time I’d gotten up, Holly and Jaimee had already each had a candy cane, lol! Next time, I guess Jolly needs to specify that they need to wait for mommy (so I can get pictures!) and eat their breakfast first.
What a blast. Jaimee already misses Jolly and hopes he’ll come next year too.
That is until Jaimee. Jaimee is our first child who really REALLY wants to believe in Santa. We were sort of blasé about it at first because it wasn’t a big deal with either Drew or Holly… it just caught us by surprise, I guess. Over the Thanksgiving weekend when we were at Grandma & Grandpa’s as Jaimee and I were snuggled together on a blow-up-mattress ready to fall asleep, I was looking at Elf on the Shelf pics (knowing she’d be looking over my shoulder) to see her reaction. When I told her about elves from the North Pole who sometimes visit homes for the Christmas season and sometimes cause mischief, she was so tickled by it. And I knew this would be the way to bring some Christmas make-believe that she was so craving. In the car on the way home, I typed up a letter from him and emailed it to myself. We stopped by Barnes & Noble (yay for their 30% off Black Friday weekend coupon!) and I ran in to get the elf. When we got home, I got in before Jaimee could get out of the car seat and hurriedly put him up on top of the entryway mirror and printed out the letter. She spotted him minutes later. She was so excited she practically started crying and her face turned beet red. Yay, we pulled it off!
So now, six days into it (wow, already 25% done!) here’s what Jolly McJinglepants has been doing in our house:
Dec 1: Surprise! Jaimee gets her elf!
Dec 2: Having fun with Dumbo
Dec 3: Naughty Jolly on the mantle. There were discarded wrappers and chocolate bits on the floor too!
Dec 4: Haphazardly strewn lights and a few ornaments… the tree smells good, but decorate it already!
Dec 5: He likes TV and popcorn. Who knew?
Dec. 6. Did you know elves poop chocolate?
I think we’re all having fun with it. Holly is excitedly giving me ideas and Ron, who’s been out of town for the last two days on business, asked me to send him pics of what the elf has been doing while he’s away. But mostly, I’m just happy to be doing it for Jaimee.
If you do Elf on the Shelf, hit me up with your blog posts and Pinterest boards!
I’ve always loved Halloween… I love the dressing up, the trick-or-treating, the candy… this year we’re doing something really fun (hint: a very happy place!) and for the first time (and most likely the last) we’re doing one theme for the whole family. I know the Alice in Wonderland theme has been done before, but it’s still fun for us to do it. I had a little harder time with the guys… either they didn’t want to do a full-on costume (cough, Drew, cough) or they weren’t old enough to cooperate (cough, Bennett, cough)… or, well, Ron was actually ready to do a full costume, but he only told me this a couple days ago and there wasn’t enough time to shop for/make/whatever a full Mad Hatter costume. If only I’d known!
Jaimee is Alice!
I’m the Queen of Hearts
Ron is the Mad Hatter
Holly is the Cheshire Cat
Drew is a Card Guard
Bennett is the White Rabbit
Bennett looks even cuter when you can see his face:
Okeee, this is a quickie. Gotta go pack the car. Now get outta my way. Or OFF WITH YOUR HEAD!
You remember the ol’ “What did you do this summer?” essay. Me? I did this:
It took me 14 weeks. That’s 98 days. From June 7th (before pics) to Sept 12th (after pics). The summer.
Those before pics are really embarrassing, y’all (and there is no Photoshopping of the bod in any of the pics, I promise). I struggle to even post them. But if someone (Kerry Stewart) hadn’t posted her own transformation three years ago, I never would have had the inspiration or known how she’d done it. So I figure I owe it to whoever may be out there that would be inspired enough to change their body (and life!).
How’d I do it? Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle (BFFM). It’s not a diet. It’s nothing extreme. It’s eating right and exercising. It’s not about the number on the scale. It’s about body fat vs. lean body mass. It’s about health and fitness. If you want my advice (and I’m not an endorser, I don’t get paid to say this, I’ve received nothing, I’m just someone who’s been successful using this) I recommend getting his book (either ebook now or hardback when it comes out in December) and even joining the online community and participating in the next 14 week challenge which starts the first week of January. Actually, I recommend first reading his book The Body Fat Solution and then “graduating” to BFFM. Be prepared to not only count calories, but to calculate “macros”. These are the percentages of the total protein, carbs, and fat grams you eat each day. I used My Fitness Pal (you can use it on your computer and/or via an app on your phone) to track my macros and highly recommend it. Don’t let this scare you off! If I can do it, you can do it!
Anyway, I was ready to change my life. After two miscarriages, a pregnancy that required bed rest for the 2nd half, and then my mom being diagnosed with cancer and passing away this March, I was in bad shape. I weaned Bennett in April and was ready to start taking care of myself.
I’m not gonna lie. It was work. It took time and effort. But isn’t something worth having worth working for? I have to admit… I’m proud of myself. I feel GREAT. I’m sleeping at night. I’m STRONG. When I first start started working out, I attempted to climb the rope at the gym. I couldn’t even lift my own body weight up off the ground. As of 2 1/2 weeks ago, I can climb that rope. I’m getting out there and being active. Last Saturday, my daughter and I did a 5k and had a blast. I have energy. I’m living life. I’m loving life.
Speaking of working out, I’ve tried doing the big gym thing in the past. For me, it’s hard to motivate myself to get in regularly. But this time I decided to give Crossfit a try. They are 100% willing to scale every workout to what YOU can do, so don’t worry and don’t think you can’t do Crossfit. It’s an awesome community of encouraging people and I recommend it highly (again, not an endorser, I receive no compensation from them). What more can I say than, even though my 14 week challenge is over, I can’t wait to get back in for my next workout. I love getting stronger. I love feeling good. I will continue to improve my abilities and strength. This has been a kick start to truly changing my life. I am so thankful.
If you use Pinterest, check out my Fitness Motivation board. The mental aspect is important too.
I’m happy to answer any questions you have. Just post in the comment section and I will answer!
Last week, BasicGrey announced the Design Team for the 2013-2014 year. And yep! For the third straight year, I’m on the team again, yay!
Up to this point, I’ve made strictly digital creations for them. Most recently, I made this:
using their newly released “Clippings” digital kit. Which I *heart*. I just adore the style and the muted colors.
Ok, seriously… I saw this stuff and HAD to do something with the awesome.
I’ve actually been pinning paper creations for over a year. You see, I started scrapbooking digitally over 4 years ago and while I love it and it will remain my main way to document our memories, there have been some things I’ve missed about paper scrapping. The two biggest of those have been utilizing the actual memorabilia, and incorporating my own handwriting. Sure, I’ve taken pictures of memorabilia and included it in the photo books where have my digital scrapbook pages printed. And I could use a Wacom pad to include my own handwriting. But it’s not the same. And I’ve missed it.
I’d see paper scrapping things on Pinterest that incorporated these things… Project Life pages, “Smash” book pages… and I started pinning the ones that inspired me. But nothing made me actually want to create a paper album UNTIL… I saw BasicGrey’s new Capture line. It has everything! Yummy kraft albums. The coolest papers and embellishments. Pocket pages. I fell in love! Between that and their Carte Postal line, I was finally inspired enough to actually do some paper scrapping again! And what better way to get my memorabilia fix than to document our recent family vacations with a travel book! And of course, the Carte Postale line couldn’t be more perfect for a travel theme.
So I started with the plain kraft binder-style album in the Capture line that includes 7×9.5 kraft pages and envelope. I love love love it!
It allowed me to create any cover I wanted and here’s how I decorated the cover:
(and most, but not all of this is on the BasicGrey blog today)
I love the notebook page-style sticker along the left side. And clearly, I couldn’t get enough of the Capture and Carte Postale goodies! In the filmstrip, I used pieces of a Disneyland newspaper (yay, incorporating memorabilia!) and I loved using the various alphabets to create my title.
On the inside front cover I used paper from the Capture pad (it’s already sized perfectly for the Capture albums and the papers are so nice and thick!) as well as more alphabets to create a “log” of all the dates of our trips. We started a “Year of Disney” in April. We went again in May and again in July. I wanted something at the beginning of the book to show a list of our trips. If I fill up the front, I can create another one on the back cover (because there are two of each of the papers in each pad)!
In this spread, I wanted to document the road trip (thankfully, we live close enough to drive).
I printed out maps from the internet (imagine how fun these will be to look back at as technology changes!) and on the left side used BasicGrey fabric tape and a few embellishments:
and plenty of my own handwriting right on one of the kraft pages that comes with the Capture album. On the right side, I adhered the Yahoo Maps printout directly onto the back side of the kraft envelope. There’s a label and some alpha stickers used to create a journaling spot as well as an arrow sticker (from the Waterfall pack) and some vellum binder-hole reinforcing stickers directly on the map printout.
When you turn the “envelope page”, you see where I documented the hotel where we stayed.
I had lots of fun incorporating the memorabilia from the hotel (there’s more inside the pocket like the hotel bill) and using a sheet from one of the hotel note pads to create a journal spot.
And isn’t this a fun little cluster of delicious BasicGrey goodness?!
On the right side I simply used one of the pocket pages for photos of us in our hotel room. Easy! The room key (yes, I kept it! and punched a hole in in it!) and a business card (using more of the cool vellum binder-hole reinforcing stickers) are their own “pages” within the spread.
In this next spread, I documented how we surprised our 5 year old.
The same pocket page from the previous hotel page houses the photos as well as a title card with patterned paper behind it:
and look how perfectly the “1st Visit” button fits in one of the pockets! (I removed the pin and flattened it first). On the right side I used a kraft page and an assortment of photos from some of the first things we did when we got there. I love the garland from the Carte Postale line – such perfect whimsy for the photos about how much fun we were having!
Overlayed on top of that is a card from the Capture Waterfall Pack which has a little more journaling about the surprise as well as a printout of a QR code which takes you right to the YouTube page where I uploaded of video we’d taken of the actual moment we surprised Jaimee. I think it’s a pretty cool way to get videos into your scrapbook pages!
If you’ve been to Disneyland or Disney World, you know about the Fast Pass system, right? It’s very cool and I love being able to put the unused tickets into my album:
The tags “swing” open by the tape:
The arrow stickers, acetate stopwatch, and “ticket” are BasicGrey.
while the stamps, tape, and tags are from my stash. The info on FastPass came from one of the Disney park maps – I just cut it out and adhered it right to the kraft page with a little black outlining around it.
Can you tell how much I utterly adore the Capture and Carte Postale goodies?! I’ve obviously still got more of our three trips to cover to complete my album. This is just part of the first trip! But I’m so pleased with how the album is turning out so far. Stay tuned for more!