Previous month:
January 2012
Next month:
March 2012

project life : week eight.

Oh my. Where to start? First, I am still just speechless over the amazingly kind response to my so-called project life post last week. I am determined to respond/comment to each & every one of you that took the time to stop by - I haven't gotten there yet. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Oh, and just in case lightening can strike thrice...note: Bradley Cooper does not read my blog.

Without further ado, let's dive into week 8. This is another photo-heavy post. I always think that I should cut down on the number that I'm posting, but I don't know what to leave out! Here goes:


Week 8 - full spread, sans inserts. With funky lighting. Sorry 'bout that! You'll also notice a "censored" box. Just a little snarkiness that isn't appropriate for the internets. ;) I moved things around a lot this week, trying to get the right balance. Still not entirely sure that I achieved it, but it's done for now!


Week 8, left side. Hope was home for reading break this week, so there's a little airport capture. Melanie & I met up for sushi. The aforementioned censored snark from our email Ventage group (ventage - emails for venting, but with style. Rhymes with "fromage"). A meal plan card that I don't love. And a song that was on repeat all week -


I lowered the opacity of the photo to about 60% so that I'd be able to read the text, and so that I wouldn't notice how dirty the bathroom mirror is. (and yes, I did feel like a geek taking that pic - but it totally fits the song/video).


Y'all knew what the inserts would be this week, didn't you? The first is this cute little saying that I found on pinterest. Just printed it on a 4x6 card, slipped it into a C-Line pocket, and punched through the pocket & cardstock to add the ribbon (hope that made sense). And I have to say - this is a sentiment that I need to remind myself of. It doesn't always come easily to me. The next 2 inserts are Becky's facebook post (6x11) about my blog entry, and then the blog entry itself (8.5x11)


Seriously - THANK YOU for all of your terrific feedback. I had so much fun reading all of your comments! 


Week 8, left side. Definitely a brighter vibe on this side. :) Lots of playing with my new iphone, and a guest appearance by Miss Hope!


Fun little photo booth app. 


A little "recipe" for a fun day (and it's blurry - but in the upper corner there's a "love this" digi element from Becky).


iphone love. <3


Love having Hope contribute. This was a page that I had torn out of a SMASH album - the perfect prompt for her!

Happy to answer questions about product/process/whatever. I'm still digging deep in old supplies & mixing in a bit of new here & there.

Thanks for stopping by!  

on a sunday.


Today i

*today I am laying low. Woke up with serious/severe back pain. I'm so frustrated that I haven't resolved this yet! First it was my hip - or was it? I'm now wondering which came first and what caused what - hip pain + back pain. 

*today I am feeling overwhelmed by all of the things that I want to / need to / get to do. My monkey mind is in overdrive. 

*today I am loving every minute of my new iphone. Every minute except for battery life. Words of wisdom to keep this thing charged? 

*today I am pondering new adventures and missing good friends. 

*today I am looking forward to 30 Days of Lists starting on Thursday. Thinking that they will be a great addition to Project Life

*today I am making potato soup & grilled cheese. It's a comfort food day for sure. 

foodie friday : sushi

This Foodie Friday is about good food AND good friends...

I've known "of" Melanie for years. She was a Simple Gal, and I was almost a Simple Gal. We were both on the American Crafts team. We traveled in the same scrapbooking circles. And all the while? We lived a mere 2 hrs from each other, but never managed to meet. Yes, we're in different countries...but it's only a 2 hour drive. This past Monday, I had to drive up to Montreal to pick up Hope for reading break. It seemed like the perfect time to FINALLY meet a fabulous scrapbooking superstar whose work I have long admired...


I realize that it appears that I am molesting Mel in this pic. In reality, I am merely trying to ensure that she doesn't run away from the camera b/c she was refusing to let the waiter take our picture. HA!

Melanie is, in a word - FABULOUS. I felt like we'd been friends for years. She's funny and real and honest. I am giddy that she's in our Traveling Smash group. I'd predict that we'll be spending many a lunch/weekend/daytrip together in the coming months. (I also predict that I'll convince her to start blogging again. Mel! Mel! Mel!)

After a bit of scrapbook shopping, Melanie took me to Maiko Sushi. Oh MY. I have to say that it was probably the best sushi that I've ever had.


I'd love to tell you what we ate...but I honestly don't remember what everything was! Melanie was a terrific sushi guide. Every single one of her choices was delicious. (and DRAT! about forgetting to grab an extra sushi list for my PL!)


Another fun Foodie Friday thing - I'm participating in The Meal today. I honestly forgot all about it, so I'm thankful that they sent a reminder. I brought my lunch, so it won't be terribly exciting, but it will still be fun.

What did you eat/cook/bake this week? Link up your Foodie Friday posts in the comments!

my so-called project life.

Many a blog post has been written about how to "do" Project Life. If you're looking for that ...sorry. Nothing to see here. :) I have no real wisdom to share, just a few random thoughts...

Project Life doesn't have a possessive pronoun.

Notice that Becky H didn't call it "Our Project Life" or "His & Her Project Life" - there are no rules about who has to be included. Some people are opting for it to be an (adorable) record of their young kids' lives. Some people are documenting their life with a (fabulous) significant other. Some people do a fantastic job of balancing their layouts to include everyone in the family. Me? I'm not some people. My daughter lives in another country for part of the year (y'know, when she's not upstairs wearing MY sweater). My son likes to dodge the camera, and is often on the moutain (where he knows Mom will not venture). My family is scattered across several states (hi y'all!). So, this Project is really about my view of life. Some weeks it might just be all about me. Some weeks I might include the village that it takes to deal with me (hey girls!). I'll include my children as much as I feel like it (and as much as they'll tolerate). I will bribe my niece with lip gloss so that I can include her. My point? Everyone doesn't have to get equal playtime. (oh, and I've been asked where my husband is. fair question. 98% of the time, the answer is "on the couch. watching Two & a Half Men.")

Some days are dark & twisty days. Some days are shiny sparkle pager days.

I love that Project Life doesn't come with a rule book. Some weeks I'll include the dark & twisty b/c it's therapuetic. Some weeks I want more shiny sparkle pager. Early on, Barb mentioned that Project Life can kinda force you to look at your week and find some good. She's absolutely right. I'm making a conscious effort to balance the dark & twisty with some gratitude (you thought I was going to say shiny sparkle pager, didn't you?) and good. Highs & lows. Good hair days & bad hair days. And besides, where else can I put all of these Grey's Anatomy references? 

I drink a lot of coffee. I eat a lot of food. And sometimes I photograph my feet.

That might seem friviolous or narcissistic. Who wants to see what I ate for breakfast or what I wore to work? Uhm, I do. I adore the "pop culture" aspect of Project Life. I sooo wish that this had been around in the 80s...there would have been page upon page of Diet Cokes and Carl's Jr Western Bacon Cheeseburgers. Not to mention photos that would make you say "No, that's not a pop dot...that's my shoulder pads." It's like a time capsule for 2012. Isn't that what scrapbooking was meant to be anyway? (cue the PL theme song...wait, we don't have a theme song? whatttt??) I want to be able to look back and see what I was wearing, eating, listening to, reading, might seem materialistic now, but it will be historic later. (Edited to add - I predict that we'll see spin-offs next year, just like CSI. Project Life: Food. Project Life: Music. Project Life: Feet. Okay, maybe not feet...but you get my point.)

That's it, in a raw almond philopshy on Project Life. Go forth & scrapbook. 

Oh, and I promised a few notes on process. This might be boring. Or obvious. Or completely unneccesary. If so...why are you still reading? ;) 

*I'm not using "official" Project Life page protectors. Because I'm impatient, that's why. I'm using We R Memory Keepers for the main pages, and a variety of sizes for the inserts. I trim & sew page protectors to fit whatever random size that I need (oh, and Becky, if you're reading - please make 6 x 11 page protectors - I want to print at home.) Note: Becky Higgins does not read my blog. 

*I dig hybrid scrapbooking. I spend quite a bit of time in Photoshop - cropping photos, using web images, typing up journaling. I have the Turquoise Kit elements, and a variety of other digi elements from around the web. I adore Cathy's digi supplies (Hi Cathy!) Note: Cathy Zielske doesn't read my blog either. I am a font-aholic. I go through a lot of printer ink, and I am VERY grateful to Epson for 2 fabulous printers (review of the PictureMate Show coming soon). 

*I cannot work on this album throughout the week. I'm a little weird about that. I need a clean slate on the weekend...Adele playing in the background, and a beverage in hand. I usually do the whole week in one sitting. I typically HATE it when I start - but like the result. I do have 3 Project Life poly envelopes - one on the fridge, one in my home office, and one in my laptop bag. I collect stuff as I go. I don't currently have a good notetaking system. I sometimes email myself notes. I have a Project Life file for my email - anything that I want to save goes in there during the week. 

*I've been using my Canon 7D for photos, and filling in with images from google when I need them. It may be the weight of the Canon that is giving me back pain this year. That damn thing is HEAVY. As hard as I try, it's just not practical to carry my "real" camera everywhere. So I did the next logical thing. I bought an iphone. Wheeeee!!!!! It will be here tomorrow and I'll be in Instagram heaven. 

And that, my scrappy friends, is all. THANK YOU for reading!! 

project life : week seven.

So, I'll be honest - this one was tough. When I sat down to work on it this weekend I hated everything. I didn't feel like the colors were working, I was uninspired by the stories, and I hardly had any photos. Then I realized - well, this is life. Real Life was pretty stressful last week, so OF COURSE Project Life wasn't going to be a walk in the park. I pushed through, and here's what I came up with -


full week, sans inserts.


left side. some details -


What to do with poorly lit, hastily snapped photos? Make them small & black-and-white!


What to do when you don't want to write a diatribe about a stressful week? Remind yourself to carry on w/a simple Becky Higgins card (with some CK Ali's Hand thrown in).


What to do when you read on a Nook, so you don't have an actual book to photograph? Print the cover from Google, then adhere with pop-dots.


What to do when your daughter sends you a super cute email? Print it onto cardstock, add a logo (google), a super cute Amy Tangerine heart, and some random rub-ons.


insert #1 - Take Twelve.


Insert #2 - sweet Valentine's from my Mom, Barb, and Angie.

Insert #3 (not pictured) - the Wellness Survey results from a company-sponsored online survey. Just printed & shoved into an 8.5x11 page protector.


right side. details -


Angie or Barb had the brilliant idea last week to use postcards when traveling. I was in Ohio (again) last week, so I just picked up a postcard @ the airport, then added a journaling card. Since this is work related, I may end up switching out that card for one from the new October Afternoon 9to5 line when it's available.


I set my phone down on the nightstand & realized that the colors were very "me" - this card doesn't "match" anything else this week, but I like it just the same!


When in need - use google images! (oh, and Becky Higgin's Turquoise digi embellishments)

And....week seven is a wrap! If you're a Project Life junkie (like me), do come back tomorrow. I'm going to write a bit about my "philosophy" & process with PL. I promise that I won't be all preachy. I've gotten a few email comments/questions that I want to address.

ps. this post was written quickly with little coffee. please excuse any typos, run on sentences, or general nonsense.

hello monday.


hello Mom - Happy Birthday!! 

hello Montreal - so excited to meet Melanie & then gather up Hope for 8 days at home.

hello laundry - i'm fairly sure that Austin owns more clothes than i do.

hello commitment - knowing what to do is one thing. doing it is another. just do it.

hello lists - keeping me one step away from insanity.

hello back pain - really over you. please go away. 

what are you saying hello to today?

(hello monday is a lisa leonard inspired practice)


weekly eats.


On the menu this week: 

Sunday - Arugula Risotto w/Pan Seared Shrimp (shown above) 

Monday - Burgers (sweet potato for me, beef for everyone else), eggplant fries, sweet potato tater tots 

Tuesday - Panera Stove Top Mac & Cheese, Roasted broccoli & cauliflower (in honor of Fat Tuesday, I'm using purple cauliflower along with the green broccoli)

Wednesday - Burritos with rice, black beans, and cheddar - and maybe some roasted rainbow carrots (that I bought simply b/c they were pretty)

Thursday - Spinach & Leek Frittata, Smashed Potatoes

Friday - Fend 4 Yourself

Saturday - (likely) Garlic Cauliflower Soup, No Knead Bread

lunches - kale & pistachio salad, kale salad w/currants & walnuts, arugula & tempeh quesadillas, apple arugula wrap

got a bit off track last week with my coconut oil consumption - traveling through me off. so I'll get back to it w/green smoothies this week.

foodie friday (the grocery cart edition)


I'm in Ohio today, and neglected to upload any recipe/foodie photos in preparation for Foodie Friday. Just didn't quite make it that far down the list of things to do. This week has been at "stress level orange" - a rather sudden crush of things that must be done that has left me a bit breathless & frantic. My plans for blog planning were hastily set aside. So. As I drink my hotel room coffee out of a styrofoam cup (never fear, they serve Starbucks downstairs!), I thought I'd write about what was in my grocery cart this week. I think it's an interesting snapshot of life, don't you? 10 years ago my cart would have looked much different - likely piled with Lean Cuisines, blue boxes of mac & cheese, plastic wrapped 2% slices, and diet soda. I have no always been a member of the eat real food club. These days, there are a number of "staples" that make a weekly appearance -

1. baby arugula - is it weird to say that I have a favorite green? I do - arugula. I eat simple arugula salads for lunch most days. I also like to cook with arugula - tossing it with pasta & parmesan, or stirring it in to risotto.

2. baby spinach - for smoothies and a frittata this week.

3. cheese - I love cheese. This week involved gouda, grafton village smoked cheddar, feta, and parmesan. I normally buy a few blocks of extra-sharp cheddar as well - Austin's favorite.

4. european butter - first discovered during Barb & Kat's Excellent Adventure: Chicago. I find myself baking with plain ole Cabot butter - but using european butter for bread, toast, and pasta.

5. organic eggs - remember my inner critic's rant about organic eggs? That one stayed in my head, so I've been buying organic, cage-free eggs. Silly, but - I feel better about it. I would actually love to buy more local eggs, but can't bring myself to pay $7 a dozen.

6. wine - most of my everyday wine is purchased at the grocery store. The Dreaming Tree Crush was on sale this week, so I bought 3 bottles.

7. smoked salmon - this definitely falls on the list of "things that I never thought that I'd like" - but it's lovely with eggs (and the aforementioned frittata)

8. fruits & veggies - arugula, spinach, radishes, broccoli, lemons, apples, pears, avocado, green onions, kiwi, sweet potatoes, and bananas.

9. ice cream - a weekly treat for Austin. I honestly rarely eat it - I loooove ice cream, so I have to set a high "gourmet ice cream" standard for myself so that I have the willpower to avoid a daily scoop.

Various other things for specific recipes/meals - but these 9 are "eat often" purchases. I did end up stopping at the natural foods market for seitan, eggplant fries, milk, and manchego cheese.

What's in your cart? (doesn't that sound like a really bad pickup line??)