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Project Life has been a main staple in my creative process for the past four and a half years. Many things have changed in the way that I’ve completed it between then and now, but one thing remains the same – this project helps me get photos out of my camera and into physical albums. This is the primary way that I document our lives – all of the travelers notebooks and journals are gravy. Documenting my life in this way has followed me through some of the most exciting times of my life – graduating college, getting engaged, our wedding, the honeymoon, adopting our dog, buying a home and lots of daily life in between. We love cracking those albums open to take a peek at our memories and how much has changed in just a couple years.
I was originally introduced to Project Life by my Aunt who encouraged me to try out some of her supplies for an album of a trip to California. As soon as I started, I was hooked. For Christmas, I asked for all of the supplies – an album, pocket pages, and even Elise’s Seafoam Edition of the cards – so that I could get started on January 1st of 2013.
The way that Becky Higgins intended it and the way that many of her creative team members use the system, is on a weekly basis. While there are a lot of options when it comes to the sizes of pocket pages, the main pages are 12 x 12 and have spaces for 8 – 4×6 inch photos or journaling cards and 8 – 2×3 inch photos or journaling cards. Many people use a card a day in the middle row and then a coordinating 4×6 photo but I was just finding that it wasn’t working for me. There were three major things that were holding me back: 1) my life isn’t that exciting, 2) printing photos is expensive, and 3) space is limited.
The other two points aside, space and clutter are issues for me as I tend to be more of a minimalist than most scrapbookers. The idea of having multiple albums for a year terrifies me, so I had to find a way that worked for me that still documented my life in a way that was meaningful yet, more realistic for me. As you will notice in the pages below, instead of doing it on a weekly basis, I just do one spread for each month and then if we go on vacation or there are extra photos, I’ll simply add another page. This has allowed me to fit about two years in each album which is a significant win in my option.
Since I use a month format, I have a lot more photos to choose from than I would if I were just working with a week at a time. I try to include photos that go well together, but also ones that tell full stories. I use a piece of scrap paper to plan my layouts so that I’m only printing the photos that I need. From there I grab a bunch of supplies in similar color families and then use each pocket opening as if it were it’s very own scrapbook layout. As a more visual person, I tend to hide a lot of my writing. I generally use a card to write “highlights” for the month and then include specifics, such as names of friends, places, and events, on the back of the photos.
At the beginning of this year (my 5th doing Project Life), I started considering alternate ways to document our lives – possibly something online. Obviously, I decided to keep going but my thought process changed a couple months ago when I plugged in my external hard drive to back up my iPhone photos, only to discover a blank folder where all of my files once were. All of a sudden, well over 50,000 photos were gone. I couldn’t help but feel SO thankful that I had a few Project Life albums full of our memories.
I’m not sure how long it was later (it felt like hours), but we finally were able to get the files to show up. I virtually thumbed through my photos feeling reassured that, indeed, the best ones were printed. It was a good reminder, that photos are a priority to me and that I cherish documenting my stories and my life. I care about it so much that even now when I’m at my parent’s or grandparent’s homes, I’ll look through family photo albums that include everything from travel to family history and everything in between. I can’t imagine not having my own stories to share with… well, basically anyone who’s interested.
Needless to say, I’m not giving up on Project Life anytime soon and I might even share it here more frequently.
How do you document your story?
baking: in my circle of friends it seems that I often get put on dessert duty, which I’m 100% happy about. My recent faves are brownies (with ice cream), my Nana’s banana bread muffins, and trifles (which I guess aren’t technically baked).
September is here and it’s bringing all of my favorite things – football games, nicer weather, and all of the pumpkin flavored things. For the first time this year, August actually felt the length it was meant to be. We had a lot going on including multiple weekends out of town, so it will be nice to stick around town this month. Mizzou’s plays three weekends in a row at home during September, so we are looking forward to all of the excitement that brings. Kevin has been to every home game but one in the past seven years and I’ve been to almost as many, if that gives you any idea of how seriously we take our Tigers.
August was full of being absolutely spoiled my my family and friends. I’m coming at you from a new computer and have some fancy headphones to match, thanks to my thoughtful hubby. Speaking of, we went on our first photoshoot together, which was a total blast. I’m looking forward to a lot more dates like this in the future and I’ll definitely get around to sharing some more photos soon.
On the Blog In August:
August Goals Recap:
Celebrate turning 26 – Turning 26 was so much easier for me than turning 25 was. I was spoiled rotten and celebrated myself by making my annual birthday cheesecake.
Schedule a hair cut with a new stylist – This was a fiasco and I ended up getting my haircut by the same stylist I’ve been going to for the past two years. It turned out just fine, but maybe I’ll get to try someone new in the future.
Read Artist’s Way and complete challenges – Done and still keeping up with morning pages on a regular basis. I’m glad to be putting some of these practices into my life.
- Send two cards using the INK app – Dang, I really wish I would have done this. I’m adding it again for September.
8 Hours of sleep each night – Since I was being intentional this month, I did a LOT better on this than I normally do.
Low FODMAP foods – I mentioned last month that my doctor suggested the low FOD MAP diet for me. I did a lot better eating this way but I’m trying to do even better in September.
Journal – Straight up knocked it out of the park.
Workouts – I’m proud of what I did but am looking to ramp that up with more walks and outdoor runs in September.
Oils – Done and done!
- Celebrate 8 (!!!) years with Kevin
- Take photos at my family’s annual golf tournament
- Get my passport – I’ve been meaning to update this since we got married, but haven’t gotten around to it. This needs to happen this month.
- Schedule another photo shoot with Kevin
- Send some thank you and encouragement cards – Hand written cards are my favorites but like I mentioned above, I didn’t quite get to the INK ones from last month so I want to incorporate a couple of those as well.
- Move my body + Quiet Time + Essential Oils
I found this fun little quiz that a couple blog friends
have shared and I thought it would be the perfect thing to do on my birthday. This originally stemmed from Vogue’s 73 questions game that they were doing with celebrities
- What are you most excited about these days? Weekends, sunshiny mornings, and getting out my DSLR.
- Favorite holiday? Christmas without a doubt!
- Favorite season? Fall. Wearing layers and cheering on my tigers makes for the best time of the year.
- Recent hobby? Reading, bible journaling, a workout schedule and the blog are all keeping me busy these days.
- If you could switch lives with someone for a day, who would it be? Chloe, my dog. Napping all day and then having your head scratched literally sounds like the dream.
- If you could have coffee with someone from the past, who would it be? C.S Lewis.
- What’s the best thing that happened this year? I particularly LOVE having all of my family together, so I’d say that but I also love hosting people in our home.
- What’s the best way to decompress? Going for a walk with Chloe or taking a nap on the couch with the sun shining in the front windows.
- What’s the weirdest word in the English language? Perfect…as in to make something better. WHY IS THIS SPELLED THE SAME AS PERFECT. Or am I wrong? I can’t even explain it to the internet so that’s how you know you’re losing.
- If you had one superpower, what would it be? Teleporting – so I could travel around the world anytime I want or just get to the back door faster when Chloe wants to be let outside.
- Who do you miss most? My family in St. Louis.
- Who was the last person to text you? Kevin
- Who are three people, alive or dead, that you would have dinner with? Haha, my group would be so random: Wayne Gretzky, Miranda Lambert and Ann Voskamp…wouldn’t you like to be a fly on the wall for that one?!
- Last book you read? I’m currently reading Scarlett by Alexandra Ripley, it’s a sequel to Gone with the Wind and I’m enjoying it so far.
- Book you plan on reading? Everything by Elisabeth Elliot
- Book you read because everyone else in the world was reading it? The Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines
- A book from your childhood that positively shaped you? The Harry Potter series
- Favorite tv show that’s currently on tv? I’m currently watching the Great British Bake Off and (slowly) Jane the Virgin
- Favorite ice cream? Plain vanilla
- What makes you smile the most? Serving my friends, plants, photography.
- First pet? Brownie the teddy bear hamster.
- Worst subject in school? English, I always got the worst grades in that class. Is it ironic that I have a blog and love reading?
- Favorite game? Pandemic
- Coolest thing in the world? The ability to talk to and meet friends all over the world online.
- Cutest thing in the world? Puppies, especially mine.
- Favorite thing in the world? My camera or my new Mac *heart eyes*
- One talent you wish you had? Singing, i’m terrible.
- One thing you still have from your childhood? A wooden radio flyer wagon…and by have, I mean that it’s at my parent’s house.
- What’s your patronus? A lab puppy – loves people and is a complete busy body
- Last song you listened to on your phone? Redeeming Love by The Crossing Music
- Favorite song lyrics? I’m not really into music lyrics, so I’m going to say our first dance song, Everything by Michael Buble or Clean by Natalie Grant
- What song would you probably be caught dancing alone to? Kinks Shirt by Matt Nathanson
- If you could work the runway, what song would it be? I could never make this work, but probably something by Taylor Swift
- Best gift you’ve ever been given? There are a lot of things that rank high on the list starting with our wedding and anytime I’ve been given the gift of travel.
- Fashion icon? I literally know zero people who are famous for fashion…sooo…
- What did you wear to your prom? A white dress and apparently the tallest heels I could find.
- Who was your date to your prom? My hubby.
- Favorite movie of all time? Forrest Gump
- Favorite movie of the last five years? Inside Out
- Movie that made you cry? The only movie I’ve ever cried at was My Dog Skip (which I’m sure would be followed by A Dog’s Purpose, but I’m steering clear of that one).
- Movie that made you laugh the hardest? Caddyshack
- If you could make a documentary, what would it be about? Nature photography maybe?
- Favorite TV show? Quantum Leap is always a classic. Can’t think of any show I’ve watched more episodes of, that’s for sure.
- If you could make a cameo in any TV show what would it be? Fixer Upper
- Best plot twist of all time? I realized that this isn’t a plot, but Snape’s character in Harry Potter surprised me the most.
- Twitter or Instagram? INSTAGRAM. Hands down.
- Who should everyone be following right now? Ali Brown (@alibrownie) her journals are swoon-worthy and I’m always a fan of Elise Cripe(@elisejoy).
- Favorite food? Steak and potatoes.
- Favorite dessert? Cheesecake – of basically any variety.
- Favorite band? Bethel Music.
- Favorite solo artist? Taylor Swift and I don’t care what anyone has to say about it. Also Harry Styles new album has been at the top of my list lately.
- If you could sing a duet with anyone, who would it be? Tim McGraw
- What would be the title of your autobiography? Love Bailey Jean. Expect to see more of that around these parts soon!
- Favorite sound? the ocean
- Least favorite sound? chewing.
- Favorite animal? We’ve already established dogs being my favorite, but after that, cheetahs.
- First celebrity crush? Tom Welling because Smallville = love.
- Current celebrity crush? Meh. *shruggs*
- What is your kryptonite? Instagram.
- Guilty pleasure? Chickfila and libraries/bookstores.
- Most proud moment? Graduating from Mizzou and buying a home
- Biggest weakness?
- Skill still unmastered? Diffusing my hair…it never looks the same twice.
- What is the definition of misery? Not being able to sleep when you’re tired and camping, although I’ve never done it.
- Biggest learning experience? Seasons of waiting…they are hands down the most trying.
- What is your idea of a perfect date? Dinner at a location I don’t have to choose (ask Kevin, I’m indecisive as can be) and something creative like painting or pottery or a photo walk.
- An experience when you felt the most nervous? Anytime I have to be the center of attention. I was particularly nervous to walk down the aisle at our wedding because I knew everyone was going to be staring at me and I thought I kept picturing myself falling on my face. Thank God my Dad would have never let that happen.
- At what age were you the happiest? I’d say every year is full of ups and downs, but 25 was particularly awesome.
- What’s one vice you wish you could give up? naps. I’ll never give them up though.
- If you could teach a college course, what would it be called? iPhone Photography and selfies 101
- If you could star in any movie remake, what would it be? Harry Potter.
- If you were an Olympic athlete, what would your event be? Ice hockey, no question.
- If you could offer your 13-year-old self one piece of advice, what would it be? Don’t take life so seriously. I’m still trying to teach myself this one.
If we were on a coffee date, we would grab our drinks and head to a park. It’s cooled down considerably in the last week or two, so it’s only natural to want to spend as much time outside as possible. We have some spectacular parks so we’d go to the one we haven’t been to in a while. I’d definitely be drinking something iced, or maybe even frozen if I’m feeling a little wild.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d bring you a shopping bag full of tomatoes. Our little garden is flourishing and I couldn’t be more excited not only to pick them but to share them with others as well. I never imagined I’d have to hold onto the hem and fill my shirt with veggies to be able to carry them all back to the house.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask how you keep track of your calendar and tasks. I’ve been asking people about their favorite planners and checking some out online. I’ve been doing bullet journal style planning and while I don’t hate it, the process does require a decent amount of time and I want to make sure there isn’t anything that I’m missing out on. I know that there are a lot of gorgeous ones out there, so I might even show you some IG photos of planners I’m crushing on (particularly Get To Work Book and the Illustrated Faith Planner).
If we were on a coffee date, my hair cut would inevitably come up. I had a terrible experience with a new-to-me stylist prior to my appointment but was quickly able to get in with my regular lady. I was mostly looking for a fresh set of ideas to wrangle this curly hair, but regardless, I’m happy with how it turned out. I got about 2 inches cut off and her go-to styling of my hair always ends up looking like this, but shorter.
If we were on a coffee date, I’d ask what things you do in your life to create space. I read an article Rachel wrote about creating space and haven’t stopped thinking about how I can create space and quiet in my own life. I’d admit that I’m a busy body and am constantly reading self-help books with all of the answers, “all you have to do is _____”. They can be super helpful in making progress because I really do want to be the best version of myself, but they can also really wear me down. I’d ask your advice in the area of balance and tell you I’m already considering that as my word of the year for 2018.
If we were on a coffee date, our reading list would obviously come up after our topic. I’ve already passed up my GoodReads goal of 15 books and I’m not stopping anytime soon, although I do imagine I’ll be slowing down a bit due to some reading I’ll have to start doing for work. I’m trying to vary the genre of books that I’m reading a little more to get away from self-help. Sometimes I get overwhelmed with all of the amazing books in the world, knowing that I’ll never come close to reading even 1% of what the world has to offer.
What would you tell me if we were on a coffee date?
Today I’m linking up with Erin for her monthly coffee date linkup. Join Us!