Project Life 2017 | Week 19


I have missed these past couple of weeks on this project. I may still return to those weeks and at least do a one-page spread but I decided to go with the stories most fresh in my mind - this past week. This week was cram-packed busy, mostly towards the latter part of the week.


I really like this half of the two-page spread. Sure, I like the pages together but I love how this half turned out. The colors, the embellishments, the words seemed to come easy and flowed nicely. Digitally-speaking, most of the page is my usual, Ali Edwards Design digital products. She doesn't create products that are fussy and that is so not me so these work really well for me.


I like how I began with May stories on the first page and ended with Mom stories on this page. Mostly, little stories, but the stories surrounding the Boston Butt cook are always BIG. Again, digitally, I used Ali Edwards Design, and also, One Little Bird Designs.

Project Life 2017 | Week 16


Continuing Project Life with Week 16 and a week filled with Easter joys and hard times. It was an eventful, emotional week in many ways. I wanted, no, I needed to keep these pages clean and simple. I used several repetitive ploys in the days of the week photo cards and the photo cards in the middle.


See the good journal card is from the April Monthly kit and appropriate for this weeks - events. I'm reading up a storm, so much so, that this may be a record month of books read. Still loving Salads in a Jar. And, my poor truck. Yet, so thankful we are only sore and stiff. We got in a couple games as a family, too.


Date night - such good food on Friday! We also had a date lunch, so, doubly good. Jeff and I worked together to resolve a discrepancy in our accounting books. Team work found the error!

Good week! Hard work! Seeing the good, even in the difficult.

what I've been reading | april


 Today, I'm linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy for her What I'm Reading Lately: the new and the notable. I cannot say enough how thankful I am that I found MMD's website, a site based almost entirely on reading, because she provides seriously useful insight on a host of potential good reads. I'm not sure how many I've found from her site, added them to my Amazon cart, have them on my bookshelf, or have already read. Scores of them I'm sure.

Now, I know what you're thinking. If I plan on meeting my reading goal I really need to up my reading game. This is true. But, I'm not worried in the least and comfortable I'll hit 100 New Books in 2017. Without further ado...

51ogx3ScyxLThe Emperor's New Clothes by Hans Christian Anderson
. I'm not sure I've ever read this sweet tale, but the illustrations are adorable, especially when the Emperor dresses in his new clothes and parades about his town. This is one of many books, hopefully, that I will add to my basket of books I'm putting together for when my grandkids come to visit. 21/100




51o5F8FpkRLThe Women of Easter by Liz Curtis Higgs. I read this beautifully written, conversational, - and lovely book as part of my Lenten reading. I'm so glad I picked it up at the last minute (I already had another book I was reading for Lent). Bring tissues. You'll want to let loose with fresh tears when you meet three women who are forever changed when they meet a loving, forgiving, and tender Savior. 22/100





81D1td7KPlL40 Days of Decrease by Alicia Britt Chole. Because I'm also studying the book of John for Lent I kept my readings to the devotion, the reflection, and the coming-at-us-from-a-unique-perspective kind of fast: fasting from comparison, fasting from neutrality, from being an armchair Jesus follower, from stinginess, from spectatorship... this is a spirit-filled book and I love how reflecting on the liturgical season of Lent, and Christ, in this manner, through an intentional and disciplined study has been invigorating for my spiritual growth. 23/100 




51wG7x-S+0LAll the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Gorgeous! Exquisite! I adored every page from beginning to end of this skillfully written and truly believable literary masterpiece that primarily takes place in Nazi-occupied France during WWII. I loved the short chapters told in alternating character voices that swiftly moved the story through time rather than laboriously moving through the 500+ pages. As I read I kept saying to myself, "the words Doerr crafted together are so beautiful! Every word is perfectly placed, perfectly stated." I felt like I was experiencing first hand, walking beside the characters, drawn in to their experiences. Just beautiful! 24/100



51hIEmkYV7LGenerous Justice by Timothy Keller. It is a book that looks deeper into the Bibles call to justice. Statements such as, "Radical generosity," "One's heart attitude toward the poor reflects one's heart attitude toward Christ,"  "If people obey God as they should there should be no permanent poverty that exists." Keller reminds us that there is common grace given to all by God, thus non-Christians (and Christians, both) will make acts of kindness and self-sacrifices because of common values and God will display his glory and goodness through general revelation. And then there is the chapter on who is your neighbor... 25/100



51LYW5KGxSLLast Stop on Market Street by Matt de La Peña and Christian Robinson. This is the second children's book I read this month. This one was a little short but it did get its message across. I just wanted - more, I guess. Loved the colorful pages and I cannot wait to read this to my grandkids. I'm collecting books to read aloud to my grandkids, as three of the five will be moving close enough I'll probably get to see them a couple times a month. I want to have books on hand to read to them. It holds a Coretta Scott King Award and is a Caldecott Honor and Newberry Medal book - definitely worth of awards! 26/100


51H3wrGIkfLShe Reads Truth by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams. A spiritual memoir slash devotional in the spirit of their devotions on their website I've always loved their writing voices so, honestly, I knew I would enjoy their book and I did. 27/100





Now, digitally speaking, I created a 12 x 12 digital pocket page filled with product from Ali Edwards' Story kit READ, and One Little Bird Designs High Street Stories. I'm not making a separate album this year as I've done in past years but I will include all of my What I've Been Reading Lately pages will go in my Stories 2017 album

Project Life 2017 | Week 14


Today I am sharing my Project Life 2017 spread for week 14. It leaves me feeling really good, even giddy, that I have stuck with this project this year for this long and haven't missed a week. Sure, some weeks have been slim on photos, not this week though; or, slim on stories, yep, this week; but, I'm comfortable with, and know that, these stories are just one week of our bigger lives, bigger stories, even smaller stories.

For these two pages I took Ali Edwards lead from her Week 12 project life that she just posted this week on her blog and used 1/2 circle or oval chipboard from her Story kits and light pastel journal cards with lots of space for journaling to complete the easy-put-together pages.


I have enjoyed this short season of Jeff working out of the Savannah office rather than a jobsite because it has allowed him to come home at a decent time (leave work between 5-5:30 rather than 6-6:30 with an hours drive). We sat down to eat as a family and we've had time for evening activities. He enjoyed some time outside, thanks to beautiful weather, and almost finished up his deer stand (in preparation for this next deer season), so, no scrambling to get it done.

I began eating salads in a jar and found that they are superb and long lasting. Day three salad was just as fresh as day one. This is the beginning of a whole new lunch practice. Eat more salads. The key is making the time on Sunday afternoon to put together the salads for the coming weeks lunches.


And then there is all the other good food we enjoyed this week: a deep dish pizza in a cast iron skillet - new recipe here. And, our coveted homemade tacos that we absolutely adore and even though they are insanely fattening, and addicting, they are a staple in our home.

A date night on a Saturday (Jeff had a boy scout thing on Friday) and we had dinner and a movie. We went to see Boss Baby. Yep, a cartoon - and laughed out loud - a lot! I loved Saturday. It was a good day that started at the Breakfast Club on Tybee Island with more delicious food. The bank, groceries, housework, and Jeff and Jarrod gave all three trucks a little tender loving care.

Project Life 2017 | Week 13


I was making out a to do list yesterday morning at the start of my day, those top tasks I'd like to accomplish for the day, a list of about 10 things. I had about three things on the list that were absolutes, which I completed by the way, but by mid day as I was checking items off and lining through tasks it hit me that another week had gone by and I hadn't even thought about making a weekly Project Life page. 

I'd taken several photos last week, although it was a quiet, typical week, but hadn't even put a plan together as I most often do for how I'll put together a 2-page spread, 12 x 12 using a modified template for maximum photo coverage.

So, I added completing a Project Life spread for Week 13 to the top of my list (of those I had yet to accomplish) and when I got home worked on these two pages.


Because I have a process down it took little time to insert the photos into their slots (I'd already uploaded most of the photos for last week) then I set about finding journaling filler cards for the 3 x 4 slots, plus embellishments...and journaling the little stories.


This week was mostly bits and pieces so that cute little journal card from the Project Life Everyday kit fit beautifully. That led to scouring through the remaining kit and inserting only cards from the same kit and making it easy on myself. I did, however, do some recoloring for a more uniform, cohesive page. I'm pretty pleased with the results.

Project Life 2017 | Week 12


This is one of my favorite 2-page Project Life spreads of 2017. I kept the process of putting the pages together extremely simple. I used 7 different Ali Edwards Design Story kit journal cards. I journaled on each card either the day's story or just a story that happened that week. When you are documenting each day of the week, each week of the year, if something occurred on a Monday versus a Tuesday, it truly is not something that bothers me. I also added one embellishment to each photo (mostly from the Story kits, as well) and Ali Edwards Design thick days of the week brushes.

Called it really good.

Giving a taste of my two punks in Star Wars 'costumes', outfits; Jarrod is a Sith lord, and John is a Jedi. I say taste because I am definitely going to scrapbook their 'costumes' and Lightsabers as their own story.

It was family pizza and movie night this week. Always good!

Jeff building his deer stand.

Me, doing tons of prep work for pizza, small group dessert, and Elevate volunteer breakfast - and lots of cleaning.

Sometimes our weeks are slam-packed busy, but other weeks are get up, go to work, come home, eat, watch a little television, sleep, repeat. Routine. Routines are worthy of being documented too.


Stories 2017 | Samuel at 7 months


Today I'm sharing a quick little diddy, 2-page 6 x 8 spread. All about Samuel at 7 months. One of my scrapbooking goals is to use the product I have. You can't really hoard digital scrapbooking supplies but one can accumulate quite a bit really quick. I have been subscribing to Ali Edwards' Story kits since its inception plus loving on other designers' products and the kits are enormous. 

I used one of those story kits, almost exclusively the kit, Little Things. A few journal cards, chip board and embellishments and I'm pretty pleased with the results. I 's#ck' at embellishment placements but I'm charging forward and calling it good.

So. Samuel. The little guy is 7 months this month. That face. Oh my! Samuel is learning, straining to sit up on his own. He's rolling over, too - all 15 pounds of him. Ashley was a little thing...ha ha, I crack myself up. Get it? Little Thing. 

Ashley was tiny, too, when she was Samuel's age. And, I can. not. wait. until. the end of June.

Project Life 2017 | Week 11


Today I'm sharing Project Life 2017, Week 11. I am excited beyond words that I have followed through with this project...taken enough pictures to either put together a 1- or 2-page spread, and kept track of our week through note taking and putting words to journal cards or on to photos.

This week was packed full of goodness. Melanie and the kids visited for a very short overnighter but man, so good. Jeff and I enjoyed an exciting Charlie Daniels Band concert. We met my brother Rich for lunch in Jacksonville, we visited the Catty Shack Rescue Sanctuary, and of course, the food!


I used the journal prompt I WANT TO REMEMBER as my starting off point for each journal spot. Everything I want to remember about the week. Our surrogate family, Melanie and the kids (Mark was missing - he had a temporary duty) drove into Charleston for spring break and then stopped into Savannah to see us. It. has. been. so. long. The Charlie Daniels Band concert was at the Florida Theatre in Jacksonville. Jeff has been singing a couple of Charlie Daniels' songs as long as I've known him. He even was instrumental in getting the boys hooked. The band put on a really good show and Charlie Daniels still can play the fiddle.


The food. The Metro Diner, a Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives episode highlighted this breakfast spot and the food did not disappoint. Rich took us to Burrito Gallery. Jeff just had some nachos but I had a salad with Bleu Cheese and a Tarragon dressing. The combination spoke volumes to my taste buds.

And then there was V Pizzeria. Oh my! A-mazing pizza! This place rivals our Savannah own, Vinnie Van Go Go's easily.

Each night before turning in we threw open the sliding glass door and leaned out onto the balcony overlooking the St John's River with breathtaking night time view only to wake up each morning to watch the sun come up and partake of a morning time view of pink, orange and red hues on bridge and horizon. Beautiful.



This place, the Catty Shack Wildlife Rescue Sanctuary, was another highlight of our short weekend trip. They give an informative and engaging tour of the sanctuary, why they are there, what they do, and all the real life statistics on big cats and the gorgeous catty's they've rescued and care for.

Project Life 2017 | 10


Pretty darn pleased with this weeks pages documenting - well - our week. We're definitely in a transition in our household. While John and Jarrod still live with us their job situations means we are but ships passing in the night. I miss them and the way we were but I know, having already done this one other go around when Elizabeth and Ashley left the house, life changes.

In the meantime, I'll treasure these short bursts of interaction with my growing up sons - capturing pieces of there life when I'm present.

For these pages I once again used a modified Cathy Zielske template. Here's the thing with Cathy's templates: she's brilliant by the way. She prefers lots of white space. I prefer lots of picture. I can't wrap my head around a smaller picture when I can make it bigger. So, basically, this is a Project Life Design A 2-page spread. All of the 'vellum' journal spots are from Sahlin Studio Design; the middle templates are Paislee Press, the additional embellishments such as chipboard or 'vellum' pieces are Ali Edwards Design. I also used Ali Edwards Design Story kit EAT, the latest story kit available (which I'm sure I will use over and over because we love to EAT).



The fun little titles on the 'vellum' journal spots easily fit into the stories for this week. 'Vellum' is in semi-quotations because it looks like vellum but everything is digitally created. The same with the 'chipboard' pieces throughout the page. A huge pro for going digital: I can use and re-use pieces at my leisure. The 'gratitude' brush I've used for a couple weeks now and plan on incorporating the very same brush into each weekly page, using it over and over.

I love the middle section of the page, the 3 x 4 photo cards with journal all about the food I (we) ate. I made a yummy breakfast just for us on Sunday and I took leftovers for breakfast a couple times through the week. I prepped salads for my lunches and ate a salad 4 out of 5 days of the week. We also had a yummy grilled pork steak with what looks like rice but is in fact cauliflower rice - so no carbs! - and it's fantastic!


Jeff and Jarrod hung my book shelves in the master bedroom and I'm in love. I organized the books by color which makes my brain and heart happy. Jeff is confused:) and it makes no sense to him, but, he gets me so he's going with my flow. As acts of service is my numeral uno love language, Jeff getting these shelves put up filled my love tank up big time.

Because I had a few miscellaneous photos through the week that were all about beautiful things and stuff I'm loving right now I titled the journal spots Beautiful Things. I made sense.

This was a really good week. So glad I've documented - even the little things.

Project Life 2017 | Week 9


I'm keeping on and keeping up with Project Life 2017. I'm finding a groove.

A couple things this week I noticed: 1) I took notes through the week of conversations, or something that happened, 2) I saved photos Jeff sends me (texts me) and I used those photos, too!

In putting together the 2-page spread I 1) used a digital kit for the journal cards with additional digital brushes from my stash. The kit lends cohesion and repetition to my pages from left to right all the journal cards flow, are cohesive (because they are designed to 'go-together'), and the colors repeat.


and 2) I told stories. I filled the journal cards and the photos with the story. I kept the text cohesive - using Tahoma - a favorite, go-to font (I have several that I vary using, Tahoma font, and Type Right are favorites right now)


On Monday I had the two top photo spots to fill of this weeks pages. Then I watched Ali Edwards' lesson three of her Storytelling with Project Life and I was totally inspired! As soon as I had the chance I put the last two photos together with their accompanying 'journal' and my two-page Week 9 of Project Life 2017 was done!