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project life : week forty-one.

Major catching up happening over here! Yay for 4 day weekends! 

W41fullweek 41 full. I really rely on emails, my blog, and instagram to remind me of what was going on in these weeks! 

W41leftW41 left. Not one, but TWO blog posts in this one - hello monday, and ventage tuesday. The Turning Endings into Beginnings card is courtesy of Barb - via Marc & Angel Hack Life

W41austinsaidI do love capturing Austin-isms. I email them to myself, or jot them down in my notepad on my phone. W41dalailamaOne simple insert this week - the info sheet from the Dalai Lama event. 

W41rightW41 right. It's really all about the Dalai Lama! That pattened paper 4x6 will have my event ticket added to it...when I find it. Oops. 

W41frombarbI had to include this funny email from Barb. Really, my friends are the best.


Added a QR code that links to the actual speech - used Cathy Zielske's Story Savers brush (modified a bit). 

Week 42 coming soon!

project life : project dig deep.

PDD cover
I am so psyched to share this new eBook with you! My sweet friend Wendy over at Ella/Big Picture sent me a copy, and it is FABULOUS. Whether you need an inspiration boost to close out the year in Project Life, or you're already gearing up for 2013 (or both!)....this eBook ROCKS. Here's a little sneak peek...

Becky Higgin's Project Life system, which is built around the idea of scrapbooking quickly inside divided page protectors, has revolutionized the way thousands of people approach memory keeping. 

We're thrilled to unveil the first eBook to dive deep into the Project Life system, revealing seven amazing strategies that could revolutionize the way you approach Project Life!

This is your chance to join seven avid scrapbookers as they get inspired by their own recent scrapbook pages and then "dig deep" to tell seven types of expanded stories within their ongoing project Life albums.

Whether you scrapbook chronologically or in a story-based format, you'll love these concrete strategies for discovering tha sharing meaningful stories. You'll be inspired to expand on a loved one's personality, flash back to the past, show off a photo tour of a beloved place, create a tribute page to a loved one who has passed on, explore an important relationship, and more! 

Meaningful, story-based scrapbooking has never been easier - or more fun! 

Meet the talented ladies whose stories compose the eBook - 

Amy Schubert
Annette Haring
Elisa Blaha Cripe
Jessica Turner
Kam Altar
Megan Anderson
Melanie Britt

PDD inside 1
PDD inside 2
To join the eBook launch party, head over to Big Picture Classes. You can pick up the ebook at a reduced price os $6.99 this weekend! 

I've also got a free copy to give away! To enter, please leave a comment telling me if you're planning on doing Project Life in 2013 - and why/why not. Giveaway is open until midnight PST on 11/25. I'll draw a winner on Monday! Good luck! 

11/21 wednesday on the web : the gratitude edition

Small confession: I have a stack of cards ready to be mailed for my 30 Days of Thank You. It's the thought, and the gratitude, that counts! Today, I want to say "thank you" to a handful of bloggers that are a part of my daily life -  
Ali Edwards - In addition to her crazy brilliant scrapbooking skills, Ali inspires me with her grace, her parenting, and her kindness. She is a great writer (a common thread among the folks you'll see in today's list), and has such a creative eye that she makes me see things in a different way. I don't often comment on her blog b/c my introvert nature whimpers at getting lost in the crowd. Ali, thank you for sharing your life & adding inspiration to my days. 
Ashley Ann @ Under the Sycamore Tree - I followed this family's adoption story with rapt attention. I cried tears of pure happiness when she posted about finally picking up her Little One. Her kids make me smile, and her creativity makes me want to be more creative. Oh, and she's from Oklahoma! Which must mean that we're related somehow. Wait, maybe that's only Caddo. Ashley Ann, thank you for letting your readers come along on your incredible journey. 
Amy Estes @ Coffee & Sunshine - I often send links to Amy's blog to friends with the simple intro of "this. YES." She's awesome. She practices yoga. She keeps it real. I want to have coffee with her. Amy, thank you for being a kindred spirit. 
Catherine @ Design Editor - I adore her Project Life. ADORE. I fully expect her to be on Becky's Creative Team. She is such a gifted person. Her friday font pics are spot-on, and her digi downloads are some of my faves. Catherine, thank you for sharing your rock! 
Marc & Angel Hack Life - What in the world can I say about Marc & Angel? Their lists are printed & plastered all over my office. If you aren't reading them, WHY NOT? Their posts resonate with me something fierce. Marc & Angel, thank you for making me think, reflect, and do better. 
And to each & every one of YOU who read my ramblings here - THANK YOU. I am so grateful for you. 

ventage tuesday : thanksgiving faves


It's Tuesday...and more specifically, it's the Tuesday before Thanksgiving here in the states. For everyone wondering/, Hope does not come home for American Thanksgiving. She celebrated Canadian Thanksgiving last month with friends. Yes, that makes me sad. :( Austin & I will be joined by Rob for Thanksgiving Dinner (as Austin said "dude, we make our own rules.") In prep for the holiday, the Ventage girls are sharing 5 Thanksgiving Faves...

(image source)

Fave #1 - Mashed Potatoes. A favorite in our house. Made with real butter & cream. With a little extra butter for good measure. 

Fave #2 - A non-turkey main dish. Last year, we had lobster tails. This year, it's Celebration Roast. I giggle at the people who are appalled that I don't serve turkey on Thanksgiving. Apparently, I'm supposed to take a hall pass on the whole I don't eat meat thing for the holiday. DO NOT get me started on the people who will act like Thanksgiving isn't "real" w/o turkey...but will then start telling me to put the Christ back in Xmas on Friday. 

Fave #3 - A rousing game of Aggravation. My Grandma Bea loved Aggravation. My kids didn't get to grow up having Thanksgiving with Grandma Bea, but they are carrying on the tradition of the game. As Grandma would say "you're going to town now!"...

Fave #4 - Pumpkin Pie. With a lot more whipped cream than what is shown in this photo. Like, A LOT more.

Fave #5 - Black Friday Ads. I have no plans on going shopping on Black Friday (although I've done it many, many times). I don't normally get the newspaper. I'll pick up a paper on Thursday for the sole purpose of paging through the ads. I think it's fascinating to see what the "must have" items are for the year...especially when they are totally unnecessary. 

Be sure to visit the other Ventage girls...Angie, Barb, Steph, and Em...and leave some Thanksgiving love! 

five on friday.


(image source)

I am all sorts of restless today. Anxious for the work week to be over. Missing friends. Wishing that I had more money, more free time, and more ways to take care of those that I love. I'm heading out for a latte to calm myself down, but first, here's a random-ish five on friday...

1. I'm going to attempt to make sweet potato gnocchi this weekend. Any tips?

2. I can't wait for Silver Linings Playbook to come out. I mentioned this to Hope the other night, and she laughed and said "oh Madre, you and your Bradley Cooper." Ha! 

3. I blame Barb for my current guilty pleasure of T. Swift's We are Never, Ever Getting Back Together.

4. I downloaded these awesome calendar journaling cards for my 2013 Project Life. 

5. I have read this blog entry about 1,692 times in the past week. It's simply brilliant. 

Enjoy your weekend, friends.


a day of rest.


Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us. - Maya Angelou

I wake up nearly every day in pain. A bad back, a hip injury, nerve damage...all conspire on most days to make me feel like I'm 71, not 41. For the most part, I've built up a tolerance. I move a bit more slowly until I get a handle on it & go about my day.

Yesterday, I couldn't get a handle on it. There was something a bit more insistent about the pain when I woke up. Something that told me that I wasn't going to be able to power through. I mentioned this to Austin, and he said "Mom. Your back has been really hurting lately. I think that your co-workers would tell you to listen to your body. The work will still be there tomorrow." He's a wise one, that boy. And so, I stayed home. I rarely call in sick, so this was kind of a big deal. 

I proceeded to spend the entire day resting. I mentioned my day at home in an email, and described it as "nursing a painful back & an exhausted mind." The link between the two is not lost on me. I didn't clean. I didn't fold laundry. I didn't "catch up" on the list of household stuff that is never-ending. I answered a handful of work emails, but I didn't work. I watched a few episodes of Alias, and the new episode of Private Practice. I took 2 naps. By the end of the day, my back felt SO much better. It's a good reminder that we have to give ourselves space - and permission - to rest and heal body, mind, and spirit. 

project life : week forty

Dude. Forty weeks of this project? I don't even care if I'm "behind" - I've completed 40 WEEKS of this project. Yeee haawww! 


WK40: Why yes, that IS the super-trendy big-photo-cut-into-pieces that you see there. I'm not ashamed to imitate/adopt genius creative ideas. 

Oh, this week just makes me happy. Must have something to do with those sparkly orange Thickers.

I do dig the large photo thing. I also dig avocado for breakfast. Can you tell?

Somebody special turned 16 this week! I'm planning to print out this blog post & slip it into an insert. 


This photo had a lot of indoor-light-sucky-color going on. Easy solution? Convert to black & white! 

You realize what this means, right? Only 5 weeks to get current (not including the week that we're in). Woot!

project life : week thirty-nine

W39fullWeek 39 is a wrap. Well, it was a wrap several weeks ago - but now it's a wrap in my album. 

W39tvGoogle Images saves the day again! I rely on Google for movie posters & TV series promos (among other things)

W39leftWK39 - new boots, new scarf, new song, and new TV shows. Yay!


It's possible that I take more pictures of kale than of my kids. Don't judge. 

W39rightWK39: a fun/fave quote, sushi for lunch, another On-the-Spot award, cheating on Sbx, kale!, IAM products, and a daily fashion email.


project life : week thirty-eight

More catching up! I'm starting to feel like I'm back in my groove with this project....and that makes me happy! Here's week 38: 


One thing that you might notice - I'm not posting inserts. Why? Well, b/c there aren't any at this point. I have a few things that I want to go back & add, but my focus is on getting weeks caught up. 

W38textWeek 38 involved a lot of stress...but fortunately, there were no professional assassins after me. 

W38leftWeek 38 kicked off with breakfast w/Colleen. Mid-week included a pro se class at the court (required if you file for divorce w/o lawyers.)

W38ginWeek 38 involved the inagural bottle of gin.

W38rightMore Week 38 highlights - a home improvement class with Amy, an On-the-Spot award at work, smudging the house with clary sage, and the closing on my refinance. Oh...did I mention the gin?