thanksgiving in just a few frames.

I took my "big" camera out, with the intention of capturing the holiday in perfect exposure. The reality is that I was busy cooking...and talking...and directing the opening of another bottle of wine. So my grand plans resulted in less than a half-dozen photographs. 


We had pies, of course...and cheesecake bars, the most perfect artisan bread (if I do say so myself), a variety of a vegetarian-friendly sides, and a turkey for the meat-eaters. No one left the table hungry!


I had an able sous-chef who was only slightly distracted with a book...

Dan Holtz

and a sweet boy who reminded everyone that holidays are good for resting.


 I hope that everyone had a lovely day! 

2014 Project Life : catch up (& a missing week!)

I spent some time speed-Project-Life-ing on Sunday night - determined to finish off a few weeks that I'd started and planning to tackle the month of Sept in one fell swoop. For me, catch up looks like this: my "faves" channel playing on Spotify, a bold glass of red within arm's reach, grabbing photos from iPhoto without over-analyzing, and relying on blog & social media posts to fill in details that I may have forgotten. The result? Super simple weeks with minimal info...and that's okay

Week 29 PL

Week 29 - I included my How Are You? blog post b/c it really told the story that I wanted to tell for this week. 

Week 30 PL

Week 30. Note the lack of journaling. Should I add more? Maybe. Or...maybe these pictures are enough. That's the constant questioning, right?

Week 31 PL

Week 31. I do fully intend to add journaling to the sky on the photo in the lower left. This week was all about our visit to RISD. There's an insert that isn't shown - a simple, graphic greeting card from the school. 

Week 32 PL

Week 32. Don't love the rather dull color scheme - but that's what I had. That sunflower, though.

Week 34 PL

Week 33. I know, I says week 34. Let's blame that on the bold glass? I'll fix it. Nobody panic. 

Week 34 is missing! It's okay - I'll go back & adjust

Week 35 PL

Week 35. One side + a 4x6 insert. Again - very little journaling. Perhaps the summer of 14 was just about the visual? This week wraps up August. I was feeling pretty weary of the "catch up" work, so I decided to tackle Sept in one fell swoop. Photo collage + hashtags FTW!

Sept PL

Hashtags - #sundays #nyc #girlswithgrins2014 #truth #fiction #manifestthatshit #miseryloves #hothipster. 

Keeping my eye on the finish line for this project. I'll catch up on October soon (yep, that guy makes an appearance again!), and will embrace what Nov & Dec bring. Even though Project Life hasn't come easy to me this year, I'm still super glad that I'm doing it.

I'd love to see more PL inspiration to give me some energy for the rest of the year. Please share your links in the comments! 

2014 Project Life : weeks 27 & 28

PL vol 2 cover

Volume 2 begins! I decided to just do a full image for the opening page. This is an awesome download from The 36th Avenue and it just so happens to (almost) match my bike! (font: Angelina)

PL Week 27

Week 27. My craving for a full page photo = satisfied. I really never tire of the waterfront. (fonts: CK Ali's Hand, Nexa Light)

PL Week 28

Week 28. I'm thinking that I'll add a few journaling strips to the cookie packaging - this recipe from Shutterbean has been my go-to for desserts this summer. Oh, and that's Austin's "do we really have to take a selfie??" face. That kid. (font: nexa bold)

2014 Project Life : weeks 22-26

I rarely re-do cards/pages in Project Life, but I did replace the memorial card in Week 21. I just wanted it to feel a bit more special, so I used one of Ali Edward's digi stamps (from way back)....

Memorial red-do

And then I moved on to June. I was determined to "catch up" so that I didn't start resenting this project. I know that we talk alot about this project being easy & no-pressure, so I'll be clear in saying that I wanted to catch up for me. I like my weekend ritual of working on the previous week - and the weekday ritual of posting pages on the blog - so catching up was important to me. 

PL week 22

Week 22. The picture in the top left is from Hope. She frequently texts me, and sometimes includes pictures from her tree-planting camp in Northern Ontario. She often says "this is for your Project Life thingy." Ha! Hello digi-stamp is from Pixels & CoEven though I was working through a month at a time, I still took the time to add small elements - I'm always super simple, but little details still make me smile. 

PL Week 22 close

PL week 23

Week 23. A super full week b/c I was in San Francisco for work (& friends). 

PL week 23 selfie

I started to just include this selfie, but then decided to make it more about what I was feeling as I headed "home" to the west coast. The quote is from my Pinterest "truth" board. I reduced the opacity of the photo to about 60% to allow the words to stand out. 

PL week 23 second pg

More Week 23. I miss you, California. 

PL week 24

Week 24. Not a lot of words, and I'm going to be okay with that. Quick trip to NYC. Loving that b&w conversions help to doctor up indoor lighting fails. 

PL week 25

Week 25. Busy. Sunsets. Dark & Stormys. Popsicles.

PL week 26

Week 26. I knew that I wanted to use a 6x8 page to end the album. I originally intended to do a full page photo - but didn't have one that was "worthy." So I opted for a simple strip of colorful photos, grounded by my beloved kraft cardstock. 

2014 PL Volume 1 end page

And that wraps up Volume 1 of 2014. It feels good. I closed with a few highlights using one of Cathy Zielske's Weekly Wrap-Up templates. I'll be working on the cover page for Volume 2 this weekend. 

Thanks for stopping by! 

seven practices in the seventh month.

vintage red number 7 marquee hanging sign seven industrial salvaged retro modern wall home decor initial personalized mid century monogram

(image source)

I've bounced around a lot with monthly goal setting this year. I've tried to follow the lead of people who inspire me (like Lee and Elise), and set four firm goals. Sometimes, that creates focus. Sometimes, it just adds to the noise, and results in rushing back to the list at the last minute to see if I can accomplish everything in the last day or two of the month. Sometimes, it just feels uninspiring - simply 4 more things on my to-do list.

So. Back to practicing, I go. The practices that I mentioned at the beginning of the year still hold true - so you'll see some redundancy in the list below. 

1. a self-care practice - I'm already in love with Bella's 31 Days in July. It's familiar in some ways, and stretching my comfort zone in others. 

2. a photography practice - even though my iPhone is constantly with me, there are still days that I don't take a single photo. Wanting to change that. Photos help me see my life from a different perspective. 

3. a meditation practice - I have been super consistent about meditation this year, and I will continue to practice in July. 

4. a movement practice - I've gotten off track thanks to travel & work & life. Wanting to incorporate more movement, in many forms - walking, running, biking, yoga. I haven't been to barre in a while (I miss you, Hermine!), but know that I will return at some point. 

5. a vision boarding practice - in the workshops that I facilitate for co-workers, we coach a lot of visioning - what do they want the business to look like? What does success look like? In July, I'm going to devote some time to applying those principles to my own life - through the vision board in my office, my Pinterest boards, and my vision book. 

6. a writing practice - I'm following the ALM Writes prompts for July (using 750words). 

7. a reading practice - I finished off 4 books from my summer reading list in June...11 to go! 

What are you practicing this month?

2014 Project Life : weeks 20 & 21.


I struggled with this week - the main event was my trip to NOLA with Barb, and this smaller format doesn't lend itself to big stories. So. What you see above is the bookends of the week - and then I added another page that included snippets of NOLA on both sides. 

PL NOLAOn the second "bookend" page, I added a small flip pocket with the tag from my Trader Joe's bag - yes, THAT'S how excited I was for that opening!


Week 21 took an abrupt turn when my Grandfather died. While I do have a handful of photos of family, I opted to simply add a picture, and the lyrics to "Peace in the Valley" of the songs that was played at his memorial. The program from the service is tucked behind that card. 


I'm slowly, but surely, catching up on Project Life. I'll add June to this album, and then move to the next album. I've already decided that I'll switch back to the 12x12 albums for 2015. More room to tell stories, more room to include quotes/lyrics, and more room to include ephemera. 


it's a good life, hazel grace.


Oh, summer are so good to me. I know that yesterday was the official start to summer, but the past week+ has offered up glorious days (even the rainy ones), a vibrant social calendar, and the chance to embrace lots of happy moments. 

Interesting - last monday, I became hyper-aware of the fact that after a particularly good weekend, I "corrected" back to my normal - a state of struggle & discouragement. It was super empowering to be able to recognize the behavior, talk about it with a trusted friends, and come up with a plan for the next time. When you know better, you do better.


So often, my peace & calm is tied to water - I've found myself at the waterfront more often than not over the past week. I'm missing the ocean, and thinking hard about my 2nd act being in the west, but in the meantime....Lake Champlain serves up a worthy substitute. 

As usual, I'm behind on a dozen things (hi Mom!), and feeling like the days go by in a flash, but I do know's a good life. (and yes, I saw The Fault in Our Stars...and loved it. Also loved Chef.)

2014 project life. Weeks 16-19.


Week 16 - included a 6x6 insert for Hope's return (eventually, I may add journaling to the back)


Week 17 - Trip to Maine! The lighthouse photo is a flip card....


Week 17, side 2 - I have no idea what I'll put in that patterned paper pocket (if anything). 


Week 18. 


Week 19. Please note that there are THREE coffee related pockets. No, I don't have a problem. 

I'm almost done with week 20 (the NOLA week) - and honestly? I don't love it. I'm trying to just view it as "a place to put all the business cards & random photos" - and use a different format for more of the story (I'll likely add more to a SMASH album that tells the stories of some of our other adventures). 

Slow & steady wins the Project Life race (except, really, it's not a race....).  

she. he. me.


  • turned 22 on Thursday.
  • flew to Thunder Bay yesterday to start a 2 month tree-planting job.
  • has amazed me with her courage & sense of adventure as she's prepped for this job.
  • sounds so grown-up when she pulls out her wallet & says "I've got breakfast, Mom." 
  • makes me laugh...especially when she's stealing my denim jacket. 
  • texted me a picture of her plane ticket, with the note "thought you might want this for your Project Life thingy." 
  • is still NOT a morning person (which makes me really curious how early am tree planting is going to play out). 


  • participated in his high school's mock crash to help demonstrate the potential outcomes of drunk driving. 
  • was deeply impacted with the gravity of said "crash," and the emotion of the experience.
  • is learning to make pizza at his job (he normally delivers the pizzas).
  • brings home the most amazing sculptures from art class.
  • makes the best rice, veggie, and egg scrambles. 
  • was chosen as a Student of the Month for May. 
  • is nearly done with his junior year, and is making lists of design schools to visit this summer.



  • processing recent changes at work while holding tight to kindness & grace.
  • had the overwhelming, inexplicable need to watch Less Than Zero this week (thank you, Netflix, for helping me out). 
  • cried when saying goodbye to Hope at the airport - tears of pride, not sadness.
  • packing for my trip to NOLA.
  • finished and loved Paradise in Plain Sight
  • checked out Stories I Only Tell My Friends for vacation reading.
  • have googled the following this week - painting concrete floors, staining decks, toilet paper holders, average showings before offer, and how to remove adhesive residue. Sigh.