this is a blog about memory keeping, funny stories & baked goods i make, and do my best not to eat. proper capitalization is always optional.


project life//2014

so here's the thing. i figure if i'm going to attempt to be more intentional with my blogging, i better start posting more frequently. seems obvious right? 

although i promise nothing (cause we all know how that works out), i am going to be more conscious of how often i am sharing. i love sharing. that's never been a problem. i'm probably an over-sharer. i'm also likely not nearly as funny here as i am in my own head. 

whatev. i'm going with it. 

today i'm going to share my pages from april.
april was hard. 
april was full of lows, and lower lows. 
i was having a hard time even snapping pictures. 
i really just wanted to be in bed sleeping. 


i suppose that's the way grief works, right? 


opening spread, nothing too fancy. (triangles: kiwi core kit, currently: aqua core kit)

oh yes. this was the beginning of the bad month. rance decided it was a good idea to put money in his mouth, and then he accidentally swallowed. couldn't NOT include that one. the tab is attached to the X-ray report that tucks in between the two 6x8 pictures. that studio calico 'yummy' flair seemed fitting. (week card: studio calico) 

orange and red and pink would not be my pick of a color combo, but i was really digging how this came out. maybe it's the combo of new strappy sandals that i'm still in love with, dunkin donuts, starbucks & target? probably. i'm also totally obsessed with not only the sandals, but these MAMBI stickers. (coffee: studio calico, orange: kiwi core kit)

i think i already said this, but i'm obsessed with confetti/floating pockets. family fun night. pictures are less than stellar cell phone pictures (again) but i decided after the first year to chuck the DSLR camera toting & just have fun. (red stripe: sunshine core kit)

more family fun night pictures & some journaling. (yellow journaling: boys theme kit)

this text still makes my heart sink when i look at it. obviously a text is the absolute worse way to find out that your grandmother just passed, but the flurry of activity over my oma as the medical staff worked to revive her had my dad kinda in shock, and my mom didn't want to leave my dad long enough to call me, so, text it was. it was an agonizing 1/2 hour after she sent that text that she finally called. the dude had an awards ceremony the monday following, and while rance & i were there, i just sort of sat & stared, so the journaling card got put in to commemorate his achievement. since we somehow misplaced his report card to be able to include it in there. my aunt was kind enough to snag a bunch of papers, and she cut out & laminated my grandmothers obituary. i didn't want to staple it for fear of ruining it, so it's adhered with a tape runner to a cut up page protector, and then inserted into the sleeve. (green chevron: aqua core kit, red stripe: studio calico)

i didn't really have anything to stick on the backside to cover the ads on the paper, so i just found this piece of october afternoon paper & cut it as close to size as i could & put the date my oma passed on it. the quote is from maurice sendak. it seemed fitting. (khaki card: midnight core kit)

birthday for my best friend's son, who is mason's best bud as well. (happy: amy tangerine plus one mini-kit, khaki card: midnight core kit)

some last minute diy projects to get our house ready to host easter. & a little boy that's insanely perceptive about his mama's sadness. & has a smile that can cheer me up in an instant. (for the record: sea foam core kit)

this was one of those times where looking back i wish that i had taken more pictures. and i'm sitting here just now, realizing i have no pictures of the boys with their baskets. doh! i guess i'm NOT done with april. ::sigh:: (khaki card: midnight core kit)

i couldn't narrow down my favorite picture of the re-done pink hair, so they all went in. it feels vain, but i figure i'm not in the book often enough, so there ya go. (pink card: studio calico)

some currents from the blog & a water gun fight in the front yard with the boys. (mason pouted the first 1/2 hour inside over something silly, which i can't recall, so i didn't get pictures of him) (green card: recollections brand, pink stripe: amy tangerine plus one mini kit)

and rounding out april.. few more pictures of rance, hanging off the back of the couch for the 100x & getting in trouble (#butfirstletmegrabapicture) & lining up stamps in my friend's scrapbook store. then some of me, during various walks, which did my heart a whole heap of good in april. (cloud, take a deep breath: studio calico kit)

now i need time, paper, & inspiration to get may-august done! 



project life//2014

i did it! 
i finished my first album for 2014, that holds january through april. 

that feels like a GIANT accomplishment. HUGE. 

we aren't going to talk about the fact that it's october, and i technically have less than half the year scrapped. we are going to pretend like i can finish may-november by the END of november, and be ready to rock a december daily album like never before. 

<insert laughter> 

yeah right. 

here's to dreams of mythical proportions, and the reality that i will likely be wrapping up a christmas album this time next year. 

but for now.. YEAH.. WOOHOO...YIPEE.. i finished an album. :) 

here are a few pages from february & march: 


that 1 year card holds some journaling about completing my first year of school. it was a little wordy for a 3x4 card so i used a bifold card from the coral core kit & journaled my little heart out. (green card: sc kit, asterisk: amy tangerine plus one mini kit)

 sometimes i have really crappy photos to work of semi-important things. i have learned to roll with it. to me, it's more important to get the memory/story down than it is to have pro quality pictures. my kids could really care less about grain & lighting. seriously. (star card: sunshine core kit)

i really really really love ghostbusters. like really really. i was sad to hear harold ramis had passed. i don't often include pop culture news, but the ghostbuster geek in me couldn't not include this comic i saw posted all over instagram. too perfect. (khaki card: midnight core kit, polka dot card: sc kit)


opening page for march with my vellum month divider that i am still really really loving. nothing special here. (khaki card: midnight core kit, navy stripe: aqua core kit?)

i wanted to hoard that triangle card, but i'm really trying to use what i love instead of hoarding. loving that when a spread is all b&w photos i can squeeze in those multi colored cards i seem to have a hard time using otherwise. (triangle: sc kit, aqua stripe: sunshine core kit, yellow quote: kiwi core kit)

squeezed in a GIANT 12x16 painting the dude did in school by snapping a picture of it & putting it in a 4x6 square. (no way that baby was going to fold down into a 6x8 album) (today, good story card: kiwi core kit ?)

missing the 12x12 photos,  but LOVING the 6x8 photos. (red & yellow cards: sc kit) 

the stamping on the salad didn't work out quite as i'd hope, but sometimes you just gotta roll with it &  move on. (orange card: sc kit)

i'm 110% addicted to confetti/floating pockets. they are just so much fun! the following page wraps up the rest of one of my best friends weddings, but i'm waiting on a picture to fill in a gap before sharing! 

that's it for february & march.. 

ahh. that feels good :) 




loving// words. it feels good to be writing them again... now i just need to get back to the reading of them.

loathing// potty training. need i say more?

drinking// coconut iced latte from dunkin. i apparently always type up my currents in the morning, and i'm always drinking coffee.

watching// catching up on the final three episodes of true blood. it's kinda odd to not be shocked when a main character dies... cause you know the end is coming anyways, so like, what does it matter that someone dies when essentially the whole thing is over. i'm delaying watching the season finale.. i'm just sad for it to be over. they got all crazy there the last two seasons, but seriously.. it's been good to the last drop.

listening// i have a couple of favorite songs that i am living for right now.. secrets by mary lambert, cool kids by echosmith, boom clap by charlie xcx & as much as i friggen don't want to admit it... shake it off by taylor swift. the girl is a talented writer/musician, obviously, but something about her kinda rubs me the wrong way...

thinking// about motivation. about pushing out of your comfort zone. about trying and failing. my head is full of motivational quotes. i'm contemplating my 2015 one little word, already. i've breathed my way through 2014, and i'm ready for another action word!

anticipating// fall. oh fall. i am always ready for it, and it never lasts nearly long enough. i just whole heartedly wish for a cool one. please. please please be a 70-degree weather fall, florida.

pinning// halloween inspiration & layout design


on// comfort zones

excuse me while i put every inspirational/motivational quote i find over this photo i took with my iPhone & edited in #mextures. i'm addicted.

so, i've been really thinking about these two lines:

everything you want is on the other side of fear


great things never come from comfort zones

i'm a seriously lover of the comfort zone. i will curl right up with that guy & snuggle down for a good long nap. i like familiar. i like 'known'. the unknown scares the crap outta me, and makes my little libra mind swirl between the pros and the cons.

yes, i'm always the one that says... but... what IF. and usually it's a what IF that leans towards downfall and demise.. what IF i send in my work, and it's not up to snuff? what IF i put myself out there, and am rejected? what IF i do this, and i totally suck?

i think we can all relate to that right?

Elise Blaha Cripe keeps repeating this Amy Poehler quote & i keep thinking it's so spot on for this issue we all seem to have:

“Great people do things before they’re ready. They do things before they know they can do it. Doing what you’re afraid of, getting out of your comfort zone, taking risks like that – that is what life is. You might be really good. You might find out something about yourself that’s really special and if you’re not good, who cares? You tried something. Now you know something about yourself.” - Amy Poehler 

so, i've been doing my best to embrace this mindset, that failure is part of the process, and that you have to push yourself to a place that makes you squirm to become great. 

which is why i applied for a job i was completely unqualified for, and came out with an internship. and i'm over the moon about it. i saw an ad for a graphic design position at our local city magazine, and took a chance & sent in a portfolio. i was originally set up to go in for an interview, and then the publisher decided they wanted someone with previous experience for the immediate position, and i was offered an internship. 

i was shocked at the prospect of the job, when i really sent in my stuff 'for the hell of it', cause 'you never know'. the praise from the creative director really floored me. i see myself as being of average talent. but his reassurance that i was better than half the experienced graphic designers who send in resumes, floored me. when the chance for the internship came around, i felt the pressure release a bit (because job+school+kids... YIKES!) & was like, this is exactly where i need to be. learning while still keeping the focus on school. & because i read somewhere in all this school stuff that it is wise to intern in the field you are interested in, so when you get out of school you are not going.. 'what do i do now?' 

you'd think i'd have figured out this comfort zones deal by now. years ago, i pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and went to a scrapbooking retreat, where i met three of my now best friends. 



Project Life//2014

i said it before, & i'll probably say it again & again until you're totally tired of hearing it. 
i love project life, and i am IN LOVE with this 6x8 size. 
it's so great to pick my favorite stories, quotes, & pictures & keep going until i hit the next month, without paying attention to a weekly format. 

i made a vellum overlay to separate the end of one month & 
the beginning of another. mostly because i have 4 'month in review' cards
one for each of us... 
& because i just wanted to :) 

nothing really special about any of it. 
almost 100% of the pictures are from my iPhone & edited in pictapgo. 
(the spreads were shot with my nikon, which sounds like it's on it's way out :( ) 

i have this post in mind, about the way we approach scrapbooking... 
but i think i'm going to leave that for another day.. 




I wrote this shortly after my Oma died on April 6th of this year. I read it at her services in May. There's so much more that I wanted to say, so much more that I felt. But I don't think you can ever really capture the entire scope of someone's affect on your life, or their life in general.... right? 

 The year was 1987. I was 8, my brother Rick was 5, and we were quite possibly the only people under 30 who watched reruns of the 1950’s TV show “Dragnet”. Dad was a big Nick at Nite fan, so we were forced to watch reruns of shows like “I Love Lucy”, “I Dream of Jeanie”, & “The Dick Van Dyke” show. I’m pretty sure we complained more than once about being subjected to the horror that was black and white television. It was that year though, that Tom Hanks, and Dan Akroyd took to the big screen as Detective Pep Streebek, and Sgt. Joe Friday, in a movie version of “Dragnet”.  I can remember standing outside the theater on Silver Springs Blvd, with Rick and Oma, looking at the movie posters, and deciding we were going to see the movie remake of “Dragnet”. I remember sitting about 2/3rds of the way back in the theater, Oma sandwiched between Rick and I. The theater had just a few other movie-goers scattered about, which was surprising as it was mid-June, and one would think that it would be full of parents, grandparents, and kids, like us, desperately trying to avoid the summer heat.  
  The lights go down, and the movie begins.  We sit & watch as Dan Akroyd plays the part of our Sgt. Joe Friday.  Now, having seen the movie as an adult, I know that there were some innuendos, and vulgar remarks that flew right over my little 8 year old head, as well as Rick’s, but Oma had to have known what was coming.  Friday, and his sidekick Streebek, walk into a strip club, and front & center screen is a topless dancer, wearing star shaped covers on her breasts. Before I could even process what we were seeing, my innocent little 5 year old brother flies up out of his seat, and yells “OMA! LOOK SHE’S GOT STARS!”.  Oma never flinched; I of course, taking after my dad, was mortified. I yell at Rick to sit down, and can’t believe that it all just happened.
  Back then I was totally embarrassed. Now, it’s one of my favorite stories to tell of our times with Oma. Believe it or not, I found myself in a worse situation with her when I turned 18, and she & Aunt Susan treated me to a movie, where I picked to see “American Beauty”.  If you aren’t familiar with the movie, let me just tell you… I was embarrassed to be seen in public watching the movie, let alone watch it with my grandmother.  She of course, took it in stride.
  But that’s what was so great about Oma. Nothing really about her was ordinary or traditional. Some grandmother’s bake you cookies, and read you books, she rented convertibles and drove fast with the top down, and always made you eat something green with every meal. I can’t tell you how many leaves of romaine lettuce I gagged through eating dinner at her house, but I can tell you that lemon pepper doesn’t mask the bitterness, greek seasoning does, and Oma’s chocolate stash is always worth getting down the green stuff for. Oma loved her sweets, and she was always ready to share. Rick and I were fortunate to suffer through many of those kinds of green-laden dinners with Oma throughout the years, with both mom and dad working night shifts.
 If I had to pick a word to describe Oma, it would have to be extraordinary. She was easily the first person I ever found myself fascinated with.  She kept little gemstone crystals on her nightstand, and rubbed apricot cuticle cream on her fingers every night. She had a bottle of regular Listerine in the front seat of her car at all times, and I don’t think she knew the radio went had an FM, because it never switched from AM, and it was ALWAYS playing opera music. She taught Rick & I how to play rummy, and then spent hours playing with us on her back porch when we were kids. She took a photography class at the community college, and took a picture of Rick, Mikey, Stevie, Lisa & I jumping into a pool, It is, to this day, my most favorite picture of my childhood. The point is, she was just the kind of grandmother who never stopped surprising you as a kid, and also one that wasn’t afraid to call you on your crap.
  And her heart. I sometimes wonder if her heart didn’t give out, from the sheer amount of love she carried around in it. The love for her family, present and gone, love of music, love of chocolate, love of Seminole football, love of children, love of animals, love of charities, love of McDonald’s Frappe’s, love of nature, love of watermelon, love of angels, love of hope, love of love, love of chocolate… yes that’s chocolate twice, but if you knew Oma, you knew the love of chocolate was a BIG LOVE. Godiva, Russell Stovers, Hershey’s, it mattered not to her if it was the gourmet stuff, or the drugstore variety.
  I think that’s the most important thing Oma instilled in me. Not just in chocolate, but in people. That people are people no matter their race, gender, upbringing, or perceived handicap. She always routed for the underdog, always made it her duty to lift them up. To fight for them. To SEE them, and let them know that they were SEEN.

And I say all this because somewhere out there, she is listening, and I want her to know that she was SEEN. I saw her. I loved her. She was my Oma.


Project Life//2014

before i get into the whole project life thing.. i just wanted to vent?


type away endlessly & dump my brain? ya. maybe that's a better description.

i've been blogging since 2006. that's 8 years. not consistently by any means. but that's a lot of blogging. i've run the gambit of blogging material... random thoughts, notes to my kids, vacation recaps, recipes, crafts, movie suggestions, scrapbooking, you name it.

i'm not short on words. i never really have been. blogging was always therapeutic in a way. i'm not afraid to announce my shortcomings. i'm not proud of them, but acknowledging them out loud has always helped me find some sort of accountability to myself. i'm not afraid to talk about the bad stuff. it's life. i don't need anyone to think i live it a castle in the clouds. i'm down here in the trenches just like the rest of you.

but somewhere, somehow, along the way, i lost my voice. i fell out of love with blogging. i'm almost certain it's when i tried to turn myself into a "crafting-mommy-blogger". i'm not a crafty mommy blogger. i'm lucky to get one project done a year. i'm sarcastic, i'm sappy, and i'm far from being able to crank out regular new, exciting, highly photographic recipes. it's not me. i found myself needing something to focus on the other 4 hours of the day i was juggling household duties & managing care of a newborn & 6 year old, and somehow, that became it.

that's when i started the downward spiral into the blackhole that has now become my blog. add into that i started back to school, and we have the current state of a once monthly update. i wrote a thing for my grandmother's funeral service in may, and i wanted to share it here in this space, but not before i talked about this feeling of losing my voice.

ya see, writing that little bit for her, it brought back all those memories of how much i loved to write, and share, even if no one was really reading. so anyways, you may see more of me around here, those of you that are still out there, anyways.

right now though, i just want to share pretty pictures & my approach to project life for 2014. i'm practically done with 2013. just 2 weeks left, & just pictures to print out at that. it's a dump & run situation at this point, i just can't manage the interest to be all crafty with the christmas pictures. get them in, get the story down, and move on.

last year, keeping up with a 12x12 album during school was tough. trying to get enough pictures, in the right orientation, and planning out the pages was a daunting task. i saw a lot of 6x8 albums circulating around, and while most of them were being compiled by people who were without kiddos, i was interested. 

i had my friend order me 3 studio calico handbooks (because we all know EVERYTHING studio calico eventually sells out, and i didn't want to end up half way through the year without matching albums) & started stock piling page protectors. 

two weeks ago i finally got the chance to start printing out january 2014 & playing. 
i was instantly in love. the size was much more manageable, i could have the whole thing on the table in front of me while i worked, and not feel cramped. 

not only that, but as someone who can't seem to move past the scrapping-to-match-my-pictures phase, it was much easier to pull together spreads with cards & embellishments. 

i'm in the habit of using title cards to pull out & feature words that rance says, or phrases on repeat around the house. it's a fun way to get in those details that i don't always have a picture to go along with. 

this year, i lost the white borders as well. don't get me wrong. i like the white borders, and will probably find myself going back to them. but i needed a break. prepping my pictures for each month takes a heck of a lot less time now, and i really needed that chunk of time back to be productive in getting the album compiled. in a book is better than on a hard drive. 

something else i noticed as i was pulling together the first half of january, is that i felt better about using up pockets for play's sake. the past few years i've held every pocket as an opportunity to tell a story within the week. if i used that pocket for decoration, i missed a chance to tell a story. now, i can just push a story to another spread, & still play. it's making scrapbooking playful for me again. 

i've given myself permission to drop a photo or two from the month, because really, leaving out a picture of the dude on top of a swing set is not like leaving out some integral part of his story. (and there are plenty of photos from him as a toddler up on the roof with papa that will serve as a better reminder he had no fear!) 

the other fun thing is that, so often i've left out personal details from MY life, because i wanted this to be 'OUR' story, but it's hard when i live in a house full of boys who are not necessarily interested in contributing.. and now, i'm putting them back in, because really, this is my story to, and this is me telling our story.. and i have unlimited monthly space, so why not?!

(these are the last photos i took of my grandmother. her birthday, january, before she passed in april)

so there you have it. 
no rules
just fun. 

& i''m loving it. 



currently// 7.18.14

loving// bamboo paper for iPad. i downloaded it a few days ago, picked up a stylus, and spent 4 hours last night (like 10-2am), and another 2 this morning (shh!), just doodling. it reminded me of the crayola color studio i had when i was about 11 or 12 that used to hook up to the tv & let you draw on it. i sat on that thing for hours.

(i think my friend nita was ready to stage an intervention this morning if i didn't stop doodling!)

& also the babe (who i guess really needs a new nickname, since he's almost 4) has been coloring up a storm. i picked him up one of those color wonder travel kits when we took a weekend road trip, and he's been coloring up a storm since. went through the first pack, had to pick up a second for the ride home.. he made me print out a ton of coloring pages monday, and then made his dad do the same tuesday. i love it, because the dude never really liked coloring...

loathing// cooking. i'm just so over it right now. i don't even want to think about food. i just want someone to fix a plate & put it in front of me. i'm bored with food for the most part...i guess?

drinking// water. not enough, but a lot. & yes. iced. freaking. coffee. i give up.

eating// about the only thing that looks appetizing these days is avocado. on my burger, in my chicken salad, on a sub, in a car, in a plane, on a train.. oh, wait.. that's green eggs & ham.... just generally eating it on everything that sounds like it would go well with it. and i want some salsa from this restaurant in town, latinos, so badly, i have half a mind to make the 20 minute drive just for a jar of it!

watching// investigation discovery!!! due to a rather sad & tired computer chair, and a requirement of many hours in front of the computer for school, i've been rotating my time between the bed (where there is a tv, and no kids) & the computer room (where there is no tv, and often 2 noisy kids). it's no secret i'm a big true crime tv junkie. i'm a die hard city confidential, & forensic files fan, and seek out reruns often.. well somehow i landed on investigation discovery & was hooked. it's all day everyday of csi type shows. warning: it will make you terrified to leave your house, question everyone you come into contact with, and make you worried that the most bizarre things could quite possibly be happening inside your very private next door neighbors house.


listening// i don't have anything i'm particularly attached to at the moment. except maybe this paramore song..

catching up on// project life.. i have 4, that's right FOUR more spreads until 2013 is finished & i can move onto 2014. so so so excited about this.

until next month..

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