Monday, February 28, 2011

Project Life Process



I don't exactly have album layouts to share today.  Lately real life has been getting in the way of Project Life.  :)  But I do want to show you all what Kenny got me for a little Valentines gift this year.  (Cue angels singing in the background...)
YEA!!!  My new kits!  Two of the Amber kits for my girls and one Turquoise kit for Kole.  Talk about the best Valentine surprise ever.  Isn't it romantic!?  ;)  Now that I have my hands on my beautiful new kits I am SO motivated to get caught up so that I can start using them.  Hoping that by next Tuesday I have LOTS of layouts to post.

I wanted to answer a question one reader had after my last Project Life post: "how do you keep track of the other stuff that goes with the pictures so when you scrapbook you have it all there?"  I've had other similar questions on how I organize and assemble these albums so I thought I'd share my process - for any fellow scrapbookers out there who get as excited about all of this stuff as I do!  :)

Step 1 - Go through photos.  I organize my pictures by blog posts since I share most of my favorite pictures on my blog.  For example, in my 2011 folder I have a January folder and in the January folder I have two other folders - one for January blog posts and one called January randomness (pics I am keeping from the month but didn't blog).  So if I'm working on Addison's album, the first thing I do is go through my folders of pictures for each month and choose what I want to develop for her album.  I put everything I'm going to develop in another folder titled something like "Addison' PL March - June 2010"  This step takes the longest for me because not only does it take a while to select the pictures, but I also have to crop and save any vertical pictures I'm using (directions on developing two 3x4's as one 4x6 in Photoshop here).  Luckily most of my photos have already been cropped/edited so I don't have to add that step to the process.  Blogging has made this all so much easier for me.

Step 2 - Upload photos to print.  I've used on-line sites before, but I get really impatient with the whole shipping thing.  There is a photo store near my home that is a bit pricey, but produces high quality prints so I usually just pay a little more and go there so that I can pick up the pictures an hour or so after I make the order.


Step 3 - Organize photos in order.  I use my blog and picture folders to help me organize the pictures into piles in the order I will use them.  I group them in themes (Disneyland, picking lemons, random February pictures, etc.) and spread them out all over my work space.  You can see to the left that I was sharing a work space with Addison and her Valentines.  :)

You can see in this picture I posted two weeks ago the piles of pictures on the right.  (You can also see why I need a bigger scrapbook room!)  :)

Step 4 - Add additional memorabilia.  Any little thing I think I MAY want to add to these albums I keep organized in my PL drawers in my scrapbook room.

I have a pile for each of my girls (the work is organized on the left of the drawer).  Here is a picture of Ellie's stuff from March 2010 through today...

After I put my pictures in piles, I go through all of the paper pile and add anything that goes along with the pictures.  (I date EVERYTHING I save for my girls (write the month and year on the back before I stick it in the drawer) so it's easy to see what goes where.  I decide what is really special enough to keep and trash the rest.  Now that I've added their work to each picture pile, I'm almost ready for the fun part...

 Step 5 - Before I start assembling the albums I do one last thing.  I go through my blog and see if there is anything I want to print for their books.  I know I mentioned this a lot when I first shared Ellie's album, but I have to say again that blogging has made the journaling for these books so easy.  Here are a few examples of how I've added material from blog posts to my albums...

On Ellie's first day of Kindergarten I used the PL journaling cards to explain what was taking place in all of the pictures which left no room to write about the things Ellie told me about her first day of school.

I had blogged all of the little things she mentioned about the day so I just printed the post and added it to the book in an 8x11 sheet protector.  These are the little things I cherish that I never would have written down or remembered if I wasn't blogging.  

In December I had written a whole post about all of our December traditions so I just printed the post and added it in with all of the Christmas pictures.  

Here I added Addison's "Quotable Quotes" from the summer of 09' (just like the post I did yesterday) and printed it straight from my blog with the picture on it and everything.  Blogging makes it so easy!  

Step 6 - Assemble the albums.  While I enjoy this whole process, assembling the albums is the most fun! These albums make the creative process so easy.  Stick the pictures in the slots, choose the color/card scheme, and do a little journaling.  Before you know it a beautiful album is coming together right before your eyes.  :)

And that's it!  My process in a nutshell.  Hope that answered any questions.  Hope you too can find some time to scrapbook this week (if it's something you enjoy).  And I hope you all have a lovely Tuesday!  

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Quotable Quotes


Addison's Latest:  (Fall 2010 - Winter 2011, age 4)

"I thought yesterday was the day after tomorrow!?"

Me:  "Addie, be careful not to touch that curling iron."
"I didn't mom.  Look!  My fingers are still on!"

Addie talking to Kole while watching the wicked Queen first appear on Snow White -
"Cover your eyes buddy!"

Ellie:  "Mom, you should have another baby...I'm having six kids when I'm a mom."
Addison:  "Not me!  Kids are too much work.  I'm having two babies and when they have dirty diapers I'm calling a babysitter to change them."

Me: "Guess what Ad!  I have a new job in church.  I'm going to teach primary so I get to be in the same room with you and Ellie!"
Addison:  Are you teaching my class or Ellie's?  If you're teaching Ellie's class and not mine I will be heart burned."
Me: "Did you mean heartbroken?"
Ad:  "I will be heartbroken and heart burned."

Ellie's Latest:  (Fall 2010 - Winter 2011, age 6/7)

"Mom, can I bring two "friends" (toys) in the car instead of one?
"no."
"please!"
"no"
"PLEASE!"
"I said no Ellie."
"But mom!  It's groundhog day!"

"Mom, will I for sure have to get surgery some day?"
"No."
"But Bobby said I will."
"Bobby must be confused."
"Well he's the tallest one in our class mom."

"Mom, I didn't get waffles AND I had to do homework.  This Saturday has been a flop!"

Me:  "What did you learn in school today?"
Ellie:  "We learned about frogs and toads!"
"What is something you learned about frogs and toads that you didn't already know?"
"That you can't cut them in two and share them with someone else."

"Ad, did you know that if you don't go to heaven you go to this really scary place where Satan lives and it's full of garbage and... guess what else Ad?"
Addison:  "What?"  (eyes as big as saucers)  
"Bumblebees!"

Saying the prayer at dinner:  "Please bless that Kole isn't so fussy tomorrow and please bless that I can have a play date next week and please bless that me and Addison can go to Legoland someday...."
Me:  "Ellie, you need to remember to bless the food."
"Please bless this food that it will be yummy.  Amen."

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Random Friday

Thanks so much for the great tips after my last post!  I really appreciate your comments.  A lot of food for thought.  :)  (yeah - it's late and I'm tired)

I've eaten SO GOOD - for like three days.  And now I'm ready for some peanut m&m's.  My mantle is calling me!  Kidding.  Kind of.  A couple of health problems I have that need tweaking: (whenever I say the word "tweaking" I think of Tom Hanks in You've Got Mail.  Love that movie.  Love the way he says "a project that needs tweaking"....)  Anyway, my problems, aside from the obvious one that I can't stick to the point.  First of all - the water thing.  I love water and I feel lucky that I don't like soda.  Aside from a major minor obsession with root beer during my pregnancy with Kole, I never drink the stuff.  BUT even though I drink water with every meal/snack, I know I don't drink enough of it.  To be honest, the reason I don't is because it is so inconvenient having to use the restroom every time I turn around!  Most days I'm running errands with at least two of my kids and it's so much work to drag my whole crew into the bathroom.  Lame excuse?  Maybe.  But it's the truth.  My other problem is that I don't eat a lot during the day.  I get busy running errands, taking care of the kids, working off of my trusty to-do list, etc.  A lot of the time having to stop and fix something to eat just feels completely inconvenient.  So I don't do it.  Then I get the kids in bed and sit down.  And I eat dinner.  And I eat a snack.  And another one.  And another one.  Quickly I realize how hungry I am from the day and I eat too much.  SO.  More water (less errand running?) and more frequent, healthy meals/snacks during the day.  And definitely more You've Got Mail watching.

Several of you have e-mailed me about my workout routine (how I fit exercise in and what I do) so I'll post about that sometime next week (even though it's nothing too exciting).  :)

Sharing a few pics I came across tonight that I took of Ellie and Kole in December -



She is my best little babysitter!  Honestly, even though having three kids is crazy (complete madness at times) in some ways it feels so much easier than when I just had one and even two.  I think the age difference is MAJOR.  My girls are just such a huge help.  They keep Kole completely entertained and out of trouble.  I probably hear five times a day "Mom!  Kole almost put a barbie high heel in his mouth!  Mom!  Kole almost got stuck.  Mom!  Kole almost tipped the chair over!"  Key word here being "almost."  They are extremely cautious and diligent with him and I rely on their help a lot.

Speaking of my best little babysitter Ellie, the other night I told her she had WAY too many "friends" in her bed and she needed to take some off.  (She has been sleeping in our guest room lately)  I went to tuck her in and found her toys off of her bed (yes) but instead of being put away back in her room, they were strategically placed all around her.

Dolls and ponies enjoyed the view from the window.

Disney figurines took on the Twilight Series.  (psst...Eclipse is the best!)

Additional ponies spent the night with classics like Lord of the Rings and A Tale of Two Cities.  Can't go wrong there.

And it seems the dogs were left to choose between Constitutional Law, Securities Regulation, and Comprehensive Criminal Procedures.

Poor poor dogs.   

Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Healthy Eating

Just got back from the grocery store.  I am TRYING to drop a very annoying, very unwanted, incredibly stubborn last 5 pounds of baby weight that just doesn't seem to want to budge.  But I am determined to lose it for good over the next few months.  Of course I've been determined to lose it for good since last summer, but this time - for real.  :)  Here are my go to snacks/foods when I decide to kick it in gear and eat healthy.

{Favorite snacks}

Eating Right sugar snap peas (girls prefer them in the ground)
carrots
Smart pop popcorn
strawberries
Dannon light yogurt
Eating Right granola cereal with raisins (I love this w/o milk - just as a dry snack)
Claussen pickles (have to be refrigerated - so good!)
grapes
for my chocolate fix I love Eating Right jello pudding and Healthy Choice fudge bars



Oh...and I LOVE California cuties.

{Favorite fast meals}

Of course I always eat my turkey sandwich for lunch.

For dinner I love Eating Right chicken stir fry.  So does Kenny.  It's just the right amount for the two of us and perfect for nights when we eat later after the kids are in bed.

You all know my addiction to Lean Cuisine pizzas.  I like a lot of the Lean Cuisine meals.

I use the almond slices and cranberries in my Summer salad.  I love that salad and it's a pretty healthy dinner option as long as I don't go crazy with the dressing.

I've found that the secret for me to stay on track with food is to prep everything as soon as I get home from the grocery store.  If I wash and cut up the produce, wash the lettuce and make some salads it is much easier for me to grab something healthy when I'm hungry and in a hurry.  If I don't get things ready to go, I just grab whatever is convenient (usually not healthy) because I don't want to take the time to prepare food. (more about my favorite cutting board in this post)



Some of these things may not be the healthiest thing out there, but they taste good to me so I don't feel like I'm totally depriving myself and they have worked in the past when I've needed to drop a few pounds.  What are your tricks to eating healthy?  Any great snacks/meals that help you stay on track?  I need all the help I can get!  :)

Monday, February 21, 2011

Favorite kind of weekend

Hope everyone had a great weekend!  We traveled to southern Utah to hang out with family and check out the home show.  It was a really quick weekend but we packed a lot in!  
Dayna (my sister-in-law in the ever so stylish hat I bought her for Christmas) and I spent lots of time chillin' with our boys.  Drew is small and nimble.  He is all over the place crawling and using the furniture to stand and walk.  Kole is bigger and hmm...how should I put it...less nimble?

 He's doing the army crawl, but for the most part is pretty content to be held or to sit and watch Drew (his younger cousin) crawl circles around him.

But oh am I ever in love with this little guy.  I don't care if he doesn't walk until he's two.  In fact, come to think of it, I quite prefer it that way.  :)

 We celebrated my brother's birthday and my girls especially enjoyed the cake and presents.  You can see the finger marks in the cake from two little ones who just couldn't wait five more seconds to dig in.

 They love spending time with their Uncle Austin.  Uncle Austin is a VERY good sport.  :)

And it snowed!!!  So exciting!  It never snows where we come from and it rarely snows in Southern Utah.  My mom and I were so excited to wake up early one morning to find snow softly falling.  I ran and woke the girls and they flew down the stairs and out the front door in their pajama's.

 They tasted the snow.  And then danced in the snow.  And yes.  We all had a big old IT'S SNOWING party!   I know that this isn't exciting to most of you and our snow storm was pretty weak and misty and may not have even stuck to the ground, but it was snow none the less.  And we were thrilled to see if for the first time this winter.  Addison knew right off why it had snowed in the night.  Because she was wearing her snow flake pajama's, of course!

 Since the snow brought with it some chilly temperatures (yes, 55 degrees is chilly to us) we decided to stay in and do some crafts.  I opened my mom's craft cupboard and gave her the look.  The look that says "are you kidding me mom....how are we supposed to find crafts in here?"  Then she gave me the look.  The look that says "I knew you'd be appalled enough to clean out my cupboard.  That's why I sent you to it in the first place."

 So of course some organizing was in order.  I pulled everything out of the cupboard and got to work categorizing.  Isn't that the best word?  Categorizing.  I can't say or think that word without smiling.

 My mom had some little plastic baskets on hand so I put everything in its place...

 And then back in the cupboard.  Ahhhhh...

 much better.  Supplies are organized and easily accessible.  Organizing is a perfect stay inside while it's snowing activity, don't you think?

The next day we went shopping and while my mom bought matching soccer outfits for two of the men in her life, Dayna and I found clothes and home decor in all sorts of bright colors.  When we loaded our stuff in the back of the car we decided it looked like a spring explosion!  I'm so so excited for March!

And one of my favorite things about visiting Utah.  With mine and Kenny's parents in town we have the best babysitters around...and you just can't beat their hourly rate.  The four of us snuck away to dinner one night and it was so fun catching up.  THANK YOU to my parents and Kenny's for spending so much time with the kiddos this weekend so we could play.  My girls adore all of their grandparents.  And Kenny and I think the four of them are pretty swell too.  :)

A weekend full of baby watching, birthday celebrating, snow fall partying, craft cupboard organizing, home show viewing, Chinese food dining, spring time shopping, and LOTS of family bonding.

My very favorite kind.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Car's House

Hi friends!  It's Friday night and a three day weekend ahead.  YEA!  Very much looking forward to the next few days.  I'm also looking forward to the next few hours.  In my pajamas.  On the couch.  :)   When I went to visit my sister Carly a couple of weeks ago I snapped some pictures of her house.  She and her husband bought their house about four years ago and have been giving it quite a make-over one step at a time.  They love contemporary - completely different than my decorating style, but I still LOVE what they've done.  And since I totally have house decor on the brain I thought I'd share a few pics with you!  Wish I had some "before" pics to show, but since I don't I'll just share the "afters"...

They pulled up the original carpet in the living room and laid this wood floor (they've done a lot of the work themselves - DIY style).  Car's husband made the coffee and end table out of cement.  Very cool.

Love this picture collage in their entry.  I think they've repainted this entry at least five times.  Every time I visit it's a different color.  :)


They got rid of the original black ornate stair rail and had this sleek steel railing put in.

They covered sheetrock beams in their dining room with wood and then covered a whole wall with brick (on the left).

Some shelves they installed in the kitchen.  I love the purple scale.  And the tidy upside down coffee mugs.

Their bedroom.  Another room that has been painted multiple times.  That's the fun thing about paint.  It's an inexpensive way to completely transform your space.  And if you're my sister, you can transform again and again and again.  Love you Car.  ;)

Next is one of my favorite spaces in the house!  They turned the loft at the top of their stairs into a TV/playroom for the kiddos.  Love the wallpaper.  This print is so in right now.  Very fun.



Thanks for the warm welcome Car!  :)


Next is another favorite room - Claire's bedroom (their 3 year old)...


The dresser and nightstand Car used in high school.  She painted them white and put new pulls on them.

Then she made these pink window coverings by covering a wood cornice with fabric.

Aren't they so cute?  Such a fun, creative, in-expensive idea.

Darling bookshelf.  Darling picture displayed.  May be a tiny bit biased.  :)

This desk and chair were also pieces of furniture from our childhood that Car painted.


I also love the way she displays Claire's artwork.  She bought this display clippy thing (nice description, right?) at Ikea.

New baby boy's nursery.

And this bathroom set was originally - hmmm - what's the best way to put this - UGLY!  Until Car spray painted everything white.

And then painted the wall such a beautiful blue.  She changed all of the hardware, laid down a new Anthro rug and wa - la!  DARLING bathroom.  I love this room.  I love her whole house.  It has been so fun watching this work in progress.  They have worked really hard on this house and have done an amazing job.  I love visiting them and continually seeing the progress they are making turning this house into their home.  Aren't home makeovers fun!? 

Have a great long weekend everyone!