Friday, March 30, 2012

112 in 2012: March Progress

It's the last weekday of the month, so that means it's time for an update again. If you don't want to read through the whole list, I don't blame you! Scroll down to the bottom though for info about something fun coming up!

Normal text - haven't started
Italics - making progress
Strikethrough - failed miserably
Bold - completed

1. Pack or eat a healthy breakfast on days I have to work {don’t stop for fast food or skip it} {3/12 - I actually haven't eaten fast-food or vending machine breakfast all year}
2. Pack or eat a healthy lunch on days I have to work {don’t stop for fast food or skip it} {1/12, I can finally call this a successful month! Mike & I have developed a system that works for us, so now we just need to keep it up!}
3. Plan dinners the night before so we can stop for necessary ingredients or take things out of the freezer to thaw {2/12} {I'm calling this month a success...we weren't perfect, but the majority of time, we planned ahead}
4. Move closer to Elmwood {So glad to finally have some hope of this happening soon}
5. Donate at least 20 boxes of things to the thrift store before moving
6. Sort and organize all holiday decorations so they are easily accessible
7. Donate holiday decorations that won’t be used prior to the next holiday
8. Start a family
9. Complete 2011 Project Life Album
10. Start & complete 2012 Project Life Album {I'm behind again, but have a light weekend ahead so I'm going to try to get caught up and back on track}
11. Complete at least one additional Project Life Album from a previous year
12. Print pictures at least once a month from the previous month
13. Work with nieces on Project Life albums, including printing pictures for them monthly
14. Grow my business
15. Blog at least 3 times per week { 0/12, still not there yet.}
16. Engage in at least one activity per month to promote my business {2/12...it's finally nice out and I can take pictures of designs outside with plenty of spring light!}
17. Take at least 1 picture per day {I figured out this doesn't really work for me...I've been doing weekly PL layouts, which is much more attainable}
18. Take pictures during important events/gatherings
19. Plan 1 date night per month with Mike {2/12, we haven't done this for March...but, the month isn't over!}
20. Complete 1 project per month from inspiration found on Pinterest {3/12, lots of new recipes this month from Pinterest...I'll write a post highlighting my fav's next week}
21. Start an idea binder to keep inspiration from magazines, etc. {I'm calling this in progress because I started a notes section on my iPad for things like this}
22. Visit grandparents at least 1 time a month {2/12}
23. Plan and work on 1 craft project per month with nieces and nephews {0/12, I suck as an Auntie this year}
24. Take at least 1 vacation out of state {Uh, yeah...I thought we had things in process, not so much now}
25. Take at least 1 vacation in state
26. Visit 1 place I’ve never been before
27. Pay off at least 1 credit card {Sooo close!}
28. Use at least 1 coupon with every grocery purchase
29. Try one new recipe per month {2/12, I tried at least 3 that I can remember off the top of my head}
30. Learn to sew
31. Donate items from couponing to an organization in need
32. Take a photography class
33. Make our new house feel like our home
34. Purchase/borrow bikes and go riding on the trail this summer
35. Plan an outing/visit with friends at least once a month {1/12. I honestly don't know where March went.}
36. Take pictures for my blog posts
37. Create a video to post on my blog {Working on it finally}
38. Send birthday cards on time to important people when we can’t celebrate in person
39. Create a stash of cards for multiple occasions to have on hand
40. Frame pictures for our home and display them
41. Create a gallery wall in our new house of important/sentimental pictures
42. Work on creating Christmas decorations throughout the year
43. Relax and enjoy December and Christmas preparations
44. Finish all holiday shopping by December 1
45. Wrap and label Christmas gifts so they are under the tree by the end of the first week in December
46. Use my iPhone calendar to help keep me organized
47. Build a stockpile and only shop for perishable items as needed - otherwise, use the stockpile {We're definitely rebuilding our stockpile, it's been a good couple of weeks for couponing}
48. Plant a garden or work with family to have a garden
49. Freeze or can fresh produce to use throughout the following year
50. Take a family picture to display in our home, including both puppies
51. Attend 1 Christmas event in the community {tree lighting, Santa visit, etc.}
52. Visit the local library
53. Become a member of Mike’s church
54. Take all my nieces and nephews to the zoo for the day
55. Go to the Farmer’s Market at least once a month during June/July/August
56. Make homemade rolls for a holiday dinner {Garlic knots to go with my corned beef & cabbage on St. Patrick's day...amazing, and not too hard. I'll never buy rolls again}
57. Drink at least 3 big glasses of water daily {3/12, I haven't been keeping track to know if it's 3 or not, but I've been drinking a lot more water}
58. Find at least 1 new blog per month to follow {3/12, turns out, this isn't hard for me...check out these awesome blogs: IHeartOrganizing and Hostess with the Mostess}
59. Comment on at least 1 blog post per week {12/52, I've been trying to do this every day I catch up on my Reader}
60. Host 1 holiday celebration at my house
61. Have a family dinner for no special reason at least every other month {We cooked for St. Patrick's Day at my in-laws house, so I'm counting this one}
62. Identify a space in our new home for books and make use of it
63. Visit a large flea market/antique show {I have plans!!}
64. File important paperwork so it’s easily accessible
65. Organize my spice cupboard so it’s not overly full and difficult to find what I’m looking for
66. Utilize my closet
67. Make a plan to complete chores/housekeeping responsibilities on a routine basis
68. Purchase a new vacuum cleaner and use it!
69. Begin filling my home with meaningful decorations that make us happy
70. Make time weekly to create for myself {rather than for customers or gifts} {4/52, it's been a bad month for this sort of thing...lots of customer orders}
71. Attempt to make contact with the people who received organs from my mom
72. Send Christmas cards
73. Carve a pumpkin
74. Attend a training/seminar to learn a new skill for work
75. Take a picnic
76. Learn how to use Photoshop
77. Take flowers to the graves of loved ones who have passed away
78. Use my time wisely to eliminate stress {I'm getting much better}
79. Check Etsy and local stores first for gift giving options {So far, so good}
80. Plan ahead for gift giving to allow time for shipping or searching for the right gift
81. Complete the Week in the Life project and get photographs into an album or Project Life layout {WITL is scheduled for April 23-29. It's going to be easiest for me to do this within PL}
82. Get my house into a state where I would be comfortable with people dropping in
83. Keep my new house in a state where I’m comfortable with people dropping in
84. Change my mindset that people can drop in on a house that is not perfectly spotless
85. Strive to be more patient with people
86. Get up at least 3 times per week after hitting the snooze button only once {set alarm for the time I want to get out of bed instead of 45 minutes early} {I feel physically ill if I don't hit the snooze buttons a couple of times...I tried it, I'd rather just wake up at my own pace}
87. Become more active in an attempt to be healthier {and lose weight in the process}
88. Purchase a pair of dress shoes that are cute and do not hurt my feet
89. Send at least 1 “thinking of you” card to someone for no particular reason
90. Make and display an advent calendar
91. Organize my pantry {Did it last weekend...looks great!}
92. Don’t give up on taking photographs daily if I happen to miss one day {I missed a couple days and came up with a solution that works for me...weekly photo layouts in PL}
93. Don’t complain about anything for a week
94. Watch a movie I’ve always wanted to see but have never made time to watch
95. Make a custom recipe book {or find my favorite online recipes and pin them onto my Food board on Pinterest}
96. Eat 3 things I’ve never tried before
97. Learn to knit or crochet
98. Make Cold Cookies for Grandma {and Mike & me}
99. Make my own cleaning product rather than buying something
100. Go to the county fair
101. Go to Groundhog Days {We got snowed in sadly...heard it was a blast. Next year!}
102. Don’t swear for a week
103. Identify 25 things that make me happy and find a way to incorporate those things into Project Life
104. Journal in Project Life as I take pictures - complete journaling for the previous month at the start of a month}
105. Visit at least 1 photo booth
106. Take vitamins daily {I honestly forgot this was on my list...whoops}
107. Organize the photos on my computer
108. Clean out refrigerator weekly {2/52...uh...not happening weekly. Bimonthly, maybe...}
109. Send thank you notes in a timely manner
110. Donate expired coupons for military use
111. Create/purchase a family calendar to be used by both Mike & me
112. Say no to things when I don’t have time or am feeling overwhelmed {I tried...it didn't work. I need to be more assertive. I'll keep trying.}

So, I told you above that I have something fun coming up and I do! On Thursday, April 5, I'll be participating in a Project Life blog hop. Last month was my first time, and I loved being part of such a talented group of Project Lifers! I'll probably be sharing all my updated Project Life layouts on Thursday {as you know, I haven't shared since the last blog hop}.

That's all for today! Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Fun Details {Inspiration}

First up, a little housekeeping. I keep forgetting to mention that I've pinned all the ideas I've been sharing on my blog on various Pinterest boards {normally titled the same thing as my blog post}. You can follow me on Pinterest here or just check out the boards for even more inspiration than I share on my blog.

I'm still battling the same cough. I feel pretty good most of the time {other than being annoyed at the cough}, so I guess it could be worse. I'm ready to be done with it though.

I just finished some wedding invitations for a bride that she loved. I'll share pictures as soon as I'm sure they're in the mail so I don't spoil her surprise. Up next, an aisle runner for a wedding with a fuchsia, black and damask themed wedding and a custom printable collection for a modern & fun baby shower. I love this part of my life! {If you're interested in party printables or custom aisle runners, you can check out my Etsy store or e-mail me for more information.}

Today, I thought I'd do an inspiration post on fun details I'd like to include around the new house. A lot of these things I like because they're cute/fun/creative/unique AND they serve a purpose. 

I love these barn doors inside houses. One of the things I hope to do with our new house is give it more of an old farmhouse look {it's less than 20 years old, the one we're moving from is over 70 years old}. I think these would be perfect. Plus, I love that it's just an interesting detail, and you don't have to account for the swing of a door when decorating or arranging furniture. It might just be perfect for the guest bathroom.

Dutch doors are awesome. Especially when you factor in kids. I have one on my office door at work {it's not nearly this cute} and I love it...my door can be open, but people don't automatically feel comfortable coming in to interrupt me. In our new house, I'd love to see this on the door to the basement {where the family room will eventually be} so it has more of an open feel, but doesn't automatically allow dogs or {someday} small children to run up and down the stairs.

Source: bhg.com via Jen on Pinterest

This beverage station is so cute! I already have a {smaller} spot picked out for this in our new kitchen. It will be right next to the fridge, and will house our Keurig, or standard coffee pot, k-cups, coffee, tea, drink mixes, cinnamon sticks, hot chocolate, marshmallows and anything else that I frequently use for making a drink. I don't particularly love the look of this one {not my style} but it is a fantastic idea! {And, it gives me a great excuse to go buy adorable, matching coffee mugs instead of the hodge podge I have now!}

Source: flickr.com via Jen on Pinterest

We love spending time outdoors with guests. We have a portable fire pit now that's smaller and still in great condition, but I love this built in one also. We'll have plenty of space to build it, and it just seems so much easier to have something like this rather that replacing the small, cheap ones every few years. I'd also love to figure out a way to incorporate some wood storage near the fire pit so we don't have to worry about finding cut, dry wood whenever we want to build a fire.

I pinned a self similar to this when I first joined Pinterest, and I've been pinning these kinds of things ever since. I hate the look of towel bars, so this is the perfect solution for our guest bathroom & master bathroom {in different styles, of course}. I'm so anal that even if drying towels aren't hung perfectly on a bar, I have to fix them. And you know there's always that spot that's still wet the next morning. It doesn't really matter how messy the towel is on a hook, it still looks great, and it drys my faster.

Source: leevalley.com via Jen on Pinterest

This is just genius, and it answers my issue with having drying space in the house. It's not very noticeable when it's retracted, and it would meet my needs for having a ton of drying space but nowhere to store all those collapsible drying racks. I'll have a clothesline outside as well, but with Nebraska winters being so unpredictable and long, I'm definitely going to need an indoor solution as well.

You can find these pins on my New House? Board on Pinterest. If home decor isn't your thing, I've got a lot of inspiration for crafts, party themes, wedding, photography and recipes pinned as well.

I'll be back tomorrow with an update to my 112 in 2012 goals list for March. Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Laundry Room Inspiration

Hi all!

Back with my little series of inspirational pictures for functional, organized, and beautiful rooms. Today, I'm focusing on the laundry room.

Let me tell you a little of my laundry story. I actually don't mind doing laundry. I love my washer & dryer. What I don't love is having a small space for all of this. I don't typically dry my clothing in a dryer (some I do, but it's not often), so I need plenty of room to hang clothes. Once they're dry, it would be nice to have a spot to iron them and fold or hang them on hangers. And, ideally, it would be nice to do all this with a tv on so I don't get bored hanging out in a room by myself.

Our current laundry room is in a small room in the basement. It's dark and cramped and pretty boring. The laundry room at the new house is much larger and I actually think it can meet all my needs with some careful planning and organization.

Here's a few inspiration pictures I'm using as I make my plans:

First and foremost, I adore that rug and WILL own it shortly. The colors are amazing, and they even go with my red washer & dryer. Laundry would be a LOT more fun if I was able to do it in a beautiful room. I love that she's using the pedestals too {I have & use pedestals, but don't find a lot of inspiration that includes them}. She has created plenty of storage and opportunities for organization by using inexpensive bookshelves from Ikea {oh, how I wish we had an Ikea within reasonable driving distance}.

There's a lot of things I love about this room. But, I think the reason I originally pinned it is because I love the way they incorporated the necessities of a laundry room into its decoration. The apothecary jars with clothes pins and detergent keep the function of the room in mind while making these mundane laundry supplies look great!

I adore the folding space and the shelf on the left of the washer. It allows necessities to be tucked away in baskets, and the whole set-up looks like a piece of custom furniture.

Source: houzz.com via Jen on Pinterest

My beloved tv, hanging over the washer & dryer. I swear, so many chores are less boring with the addition of tv. Now, I realize it's a little extreme to have a tv in every room of the house, but if having it there means I would actually keep up on my folding, ironing, hanging and putting away...well, it might be worth the investment.

I love this island with basket storage if you have the space. I'm pretty sure I don't, but it is a really great idea.This idea could easily be modified so that it would work in a folding table or counter pushed against a wall.

Remember I said that I don't dry my clothes in the dyer? That means I have to find a lot of places to hang clothes when I'm washing them, and I don't really like hanging them on hangers {hello, shoulder bumps}. I have a couple of those collapsible drying racks, but they take up a lot of room when in use, and there's nowhere to really put them when they're not in use. Something like this drying rack might just be my answer. It could be extended when it's in use, and then tucked up against the wall later on. The question is, how many of these bad boys would I need?

The key to having a functional laundry room for my family {both now and as it grows} is to make sure everything has an obvious place. My husband will not go looking for the correct place to put something away, so everything has to be clearly labeled and visible. Fortunately, I'm finding more and more storage solutions that are as attractive as they are functional. I wouldn't mind having a lot of them out in the open for others to see!

What are your keys to making sure your laundry room stays organized, while still being functional? Do you have a room that you don't mind being in for this never-ending chore?

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Bathroom Inspiration

I've spent the last couple of days cleaning and decluttering, and as exhausted as I am, I'm really in the mood to clean and organize anything I can get my hands on.

One place in particular that storage and organization are key, at least for me, is in the bathroom {I read on a blog somewhere that a family called it the "Necessary Room". I love that! In my head, I picture a proper Southern woman saying that. I'm trying to get it to catch on in my farm house in the Midwest. So far, no luck with the husband or the dogs. Hmm...}

Anyway...the new house has 4 bathrooms. I don't need 4 bathrooms, but I'll have them. The current house has 2 bathrooms: one on the main floor that's used for everything, and one in the basement that has the only shower in the house. It's inconvenient and both are too small even for just Mike & me. So, I'm really looking forward to having more space at the new house.

 Master Bath
The master bath currently has double sinks, one large mirror, a walk in shower with a glass door, and a linen closet. It's fairly large {especially compared to our existing bathroom}, so there's plenty of potential. The keys for us when we're looking at changes are:
  • Plenty of storage off the counter
  • Great lighting
  • Relaxing, pleasing decor
Believe it or not, that last one is pretty important for me. Considering showering, hair, make-up and dressing, not to mention other necessary things, I spend more time in the bathroom on weekdays than I do any other room in our house. Keep in mind I'm not home all that much, but come on. The bathroom?!?

Alright, enough rambling, on to pretty pictures that inspire me...

These first two pretties are from Pottery Barn and entirely out of my price range, but I love the open storage at the bottom and all the drawers & doors for hidden storage. I also love the two smaller mirrors hung above each sink, rather than one large mirror. And the lighting on the second picture is amazing, even if I don't think it would work well in our space.

Source: google.com via Jen on Pinterest

This photo is pretty similar to the two above, but the lighting would suit our needs in this particular set-up. I also just noticed the coat rack to the left of the sink, which I imagine is for hanging towels. What a cute idea if you have the space!

I won't delve too much into organization in this post {but I will in a later "Organization Inspiration" post}. However...I love this. I'm definitely one of those people who has a lot of little things that I need in the bathroom, and nowhere to put them. Which means I end up chasing bobby pins down the drain or hunting for just the right eye shadow in my huge makeup bag. This drawer is awesome!

Source: houzz.com via Jen on Pinterest

Hello, dream bathroom. I love the flooring, the shower, the hardware, the lighting, the neutral colors, the woodwork...I could go on and on.
Guest Bath

The guest bath will have a lot of functions in it's little life with our family. It will be the main bathroom used by guests who are just visiting, will probably be the designated bath for people who are staying over {though it doesn't have a shower...}, and will eventually be the closest bathroom to where our kids' room will be. That's a lot of responsibility for one little bathroom. And don't even ask me what I'm doing about the shower issue quite yet, because I don't have an answer. This bathroom has a tub, and there's a bathroom off the laundry room that has a shower...they may have to work together to get our guests ready for the day.

Anyway, here's some inspiration for the guest bathroom:

I adore everything about this bathroom. The sink is what caught my eye originally, but the little shelf under the mirror is great, the lighting is awesome, the subway tile is exactly what I want, the repurposed plant stand...all of it is so great.

I love the idea of pampering guests if we have the chance. It's also really practical to have some necessities out in the open. One of my favorite aspects of our wedding were little guest baskets I put in the restrooms so guests could help themselves to bobby pins, hair spray, first aid items, feminine products, body spray, shout wipes, aspirin, etc. I think the same should be true at my home...they can get what they need without having to ask or rummage through the drawers!

Source: ana-white.com via Jen on Pinterest

This is adorable, a great idea, and almost makes me want to have kids!

Again, these are great, practical ideas. I hate staying at someone's house and having to awkwardly ask them where to find towels. In either of these bathrooms, there's no guessing. I looks like in the first picture the home owners even included some shampoos, soaps and other things to pamper their guests.

Lots of inspiration and lots of rambling from me. Now here's a question for you: what features do you think are absolutely necessarily in the perfectly organized bathroom? Leave me a comment and tell me your must-haves!

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Entry Way Inspiration

I posted back in November that we had purchased a new house, and then I took my break from blogging and never got back to things. Without going into a ton of detail, we decided not to purchase the house, and it looks like we'll be moving in to Mike's parents' house sometime this summer or fall. We were terribly upset when we had to make the decision, but in the end, it will be best for everyone involved.

That being said, the move to their house has gotten my creative juices flowing with ideas of what I'd like to do to make sure we have a beautiful, organized, and functioning home for us. I'm very inspired by opportunities for fresh starts and this is a big one in our family. So, I thought over the course of the next few weeks, I'd share with you some of the ideas I've been pinning on Pinterest and collecting in my notes. Once we're in the house, I can hopefully share with you before and after photos and stories as we make the house feel like home.

By the way, if you follow me on Pinterest, you can see most of these ideas and more than I'll share here.

Our entry way has to serve a lot of functions, even without throwing kids into the mix. Things get dropped there, shoes get taken off, we need to have a place for the mail, and so on. In our case, it can't be anything too dainty because we've got furry {often muddy} dogs and a {often muddy} husband coming in the house from doing animal chores.

Our current entry way is more of a back porch, but everyone comes in through there. I realized that I don't have even one picture of it because it's kind of small and pathetic. We have a tiny little coat closet and maybe 4 feet by 6 feet to work with for space. I think that's being generous. Needless to say, it doesn't function for us except as a place to drop shoes.

So, at the new house, I'm hoping for something a little more like these inspiration pictures:

There's a lot I love about this one {it's first on my list for a reason}. The space for shoes under the bench is great...in my head, each person in the family has their own cubby. The oversized hooks for coats and bags look like they would hold a lot of weight and they still look great. The baskets on top with the chalkboard tags could be assigned to each member of the family for things like hats and gloves, or they could hold collections of things. The set of drawers on the left is really cute and would provide a great mail drop-off.

I like the openness of this one, though I'm actually craving something more established when we build ours. I do love the numbers above the hooks so each person knows which hook is theirs.

Here's another great one. I love the symmetry of the small cabinets on either end, and the long bench with shoes under it {again, my version wold have more cubbies so each person could have a spot}. I love the corbels and the board and batten to make it feel like a piece of furniture. There's obviously plenty of storage space available over the hooks as well.

Source: ana-white.com via Jen on Pinterest

This entry way was done on a budget, and I think it looks just as cute as the others. The bench is made from kitchen cabinets and the shelves are from Ikea. Oy, I wish we had Ikea close by, I really miss it from when I was living in Phoenix.

And finally, an asymmetrical version. I have a feeling something like this might work best for us when I take into consideration where I want our new "entry way" to be built. I like the look of the individual "lockers", but I'm afraid that might be too confining, especially when we pull out the bulky coats to make it through Nebraska winters.

Now that you've seen/read about what I'm thinking, is there anything I've missed? What are some of your must-haves for entry storage, organization and functionality? Leave me a comment and let me know what you think is most important!

Have a great day, all!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Scattered Thoughts

I've spent the last week + battling a super awesome cough that my husband was kind enough to give me after battling it himself for 3+ weeks. I honestly haven't felt sick necessarily, just really annoyed by this stupid cough. And exhausted after a day spent coughing. Thus, I haven't blogged for a week. I thought I'd catch you up on the last week, in my typical random train of thought fashion {this is a scary glimpse into how my mind is usually spinning.}

- Cherry is a gross flavor. After all these cough drops, I'm done with cherry for awhile. Anyone have any really awesome cough drop recommendations to share with me?

- Many thanks to everyone who visited my blog and commented on my March Blog Hop post on Monday! Thanks to Jill for hosting the blog hop and doing all the behind the scenes work to get us organized.

- I think I promised to have weeks 8 & 9 caught up in my Project Life last week. Um...that didn't happen. Maybe this week.

- Monday's post happened to be my 200th on the blog. Yay me for noticing it a week late!

- I'm finishing up these beach themed wedding invitations, and they're making me really want to take a trip to the Outer Banks {where the wedding will be}. Who wants to carpool south?

- I'd spent my down time the last week {when I'm too tired to actually do things that have to be done} making notes on my iPad about organization and home improvement and whatnot. I bought this magazine/book {bookazine?} the other day and I'm devouring all the ideas.

- Spring fever hit hard a couple weeks ago and I'm dying to clean out & organize everything I can get my hands on. Getting sick put a crimp in that, but even yesterday, I found myself completely reorganizing our spice cupboard because I'm sick of not being able to find what I want in there.

- I am seriously so excited for St. Patrick's Day. Last year was the first year I'd ever had corned beef & cabbage {I led a VERY sheltered life}, and I LOVE it. I can't wait to make it again on Saturday.

- Why does being sick make me suddenly inspired to do all sorts of things I'm not really up to doing? I really wanted to get in the store this weekend and get some work done while I was in Elmwood, and I just didn't have the energy after a long day on Saturday.

Okay...that's all. Nothing terribly interesting, except that I'm feeling motivated about a lot of things that I haven't felt motivated about for a long time. It's a really nice feeling and I think we're getting a lot accomplished! This is such a busy time for Mike & me {at work, at home, in our businesses}...it's great to feel energized about everything!

Have an awesome week!

Monday, March 05, 2012

March Project Life Blog Hop

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the March Project Life Blog Hop!

For those of you who haven't visited my blog, I want to introduce myself very quickly. My name is Jen and I've been scrapbooking since I was 16 {13 years now!} Even though I call myself a scrapbooker, I hadn't actually completed a layout for more than 5 years...until Project Life came along. I participated in Project 365 2 years ago and failed miserably. I purchased my first Project Life kit last year, but haven't actually put a single picture in that album yet. This year I got the Clementine core kit, and the project has been successful so far. I can't say enough how much I love this project!

I've been married to my wonderful husband, Mike, for over 2 years now, and we have 2 furbabies: Molly who is a pug, and Abby who is a husky. We live in on farm in small-town Nebraska. Mike works with investments, and I work for senior living communities doing marketing & fundraising. We raise cattle on our farm, and we're opening a small boutique called Gather that will sell home decor, vintage goods, wedding stationery, party decor and just about anything else I think is interesting!

On to the Project Life layouts! I had fallen behind on my layouts because I ran out of page protectors and was waiting on them to get back in stock. I finally caught up on Weeks 4-7 on Sunday, and should have weeks 8 & 9 done by the end of this week!

During Week 4, I decided to try something different with my photos and go all black and white. It turned out I didn't like the way it looked, so I tried to add some extra color with embellishments. The stamps on the journaling cards are from an Ali Edwards' set, Life in Pictures.

Week 5 was full of color, which I loved after all that black and white! On the left side, I took a photo of Buffalo Enchiladas I made for the anniversary of our first date. Next to it, I used a folded journaling card to write the recipe down. {To get the recipe, visit my Pinterest page: www.pinterest.com/gatherboutique}

On the right side, I asked Mike to do some journaling with me. I'm really blessed to have Mike's help on this project whenever I ask for it, and I'm glad that when we look back over these stories, I'll have his perspective as well.

Week 6 was a different kind of layout for me. I decided to focus on one main story, my nephew's 6th birthday party. I took a lot of pictures of details and of all the activities we did. I also included the Pit Passes that I made for the guests at the party. On the right side, I used Design D photo pocket pages and did some journaling on 3x4 grid cards. I used the top card to tell a shorter story, and the bottom two cards to tell a longer story.

I liked this kind of layout for a change. After being a traditional scrapbooker for so long, it was comforting to focus on one main story from an important event in our lives. In the grand scheme of things, this album won't feel like it's missing some of the other stories that happened during the week.

And finally, week 7. I added some embellishments to the grid cards on the left side just to give them a little more color. On the right side, I photographed some paints at work that reminded me of an art project I used to do with my grandmother. I wrote the memory on a journaling card to go with the photo of the paints. 

All in all, these updates took maybe 2 hours for me to complete. I love that I was able to get so much done in such a short period of time!

I tend to keep my Project Life album open on my dining room table so it's always accessible and it reminds me to be on the lookout for picture taking opportunities. I have some Martha Stewart organizational products to hold all my core kit elements and other embellishments. I want to make this project as simple as it can be so I'm sure to keep up with it throughout the year.

For more information on my Project Life, visit my Project Life related posts. You can also check out some of my Project Life inspiration on Pinterest.

Make sure you visit the other participants and see what they have to show you next week. Up next is Sarah.

Don't forget to visit the other participants:

Have a great day & thanks for visiting my blog!

Friday, March 02, 2012

March Blog Hop Reminder

Hi all!

I'm popping in quickly to remind you about the Project Life blog hop that's going on here on Monday. It will be full of Project Life inspiration from some very talented folks, and I'm proud to be a part of the group. Check in Monday morning for all the details {and TONS of Project Life updates from yours truly!}

Have a great weekend!