Monthly Archives: January 2013

Project Life – Week 3

Busy-ness as usual around here, so here’s Week 3, a bit later than I had planned.

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We did Aoife’s 7-month photo shoot, and she acted like the little model she is. It’s just too darn easy to take good photos of that little girl. And then there’s the cat.

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The weather has been nice lately, so I took advantage one day when Aoife fell asleep in the stroller on the way home to do a bit of extra walking, which is when I took the statue picture. We’ve been rebudgeting, so that is featured. I cut a 4×6 photo of Aoife’s books so it would fit in the smaller pockets. No journaling this week, but I did include my 5-star books from 2012 that I wrote about.

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We also did an outdoor photo shoot to finally get a shot for the title page of the album. I don’t have that ready to reveal yet, but I did include a couple of the outtakes, when I was lining up the tripod. I love that Ryan’s and Aoife’s heads are cut off in one of them, and yes, at Walgreens they asked if that’s how it was supposed to be.

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Project Life – Week 2

Here it is … week 2! I have some tendonitis issues going on, hence the picture of the wrist brace … a couple of “at work” shots … and baby-heavy, of course.
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And a few “things” slipped in for good measure. A tag from Aoife’s new diaper cover, the tag from my new camera bag. A little bit of journaling, and the week is complete. Just the way I like it.

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Best Books in 2012

All right, so I read a lot in 2012. Like 100 books a lot. That’s what happens when you have a baby and spend 3 weeks in the hospital with nowhere to really go — you read the entire Song of Ice and Fire series, because what the heck else are you going to do.

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Speaking of, I enjoyed that series, but I didn’t rank any of the books higher than a 4. Respectable, but here’s a list of those books that received a coveted 5-star rating from yours truly.

  1. The Phantom Tollbooth: Re-read! I felt the need to brush up on some of my childhood/teen favorites now that I’ve got a kiddo of my own — as if I needed an excuse to re-read this crazy word-and-numbers conglomeration. I have to admit that I am pretty tempted to get tattoos of Rhyme and Reason.
  2. A Moveable Feast: Hemingway has that way of writing that is so straightforward that it seems like something I should be able to do, but no matter how hard I try I can’t match it. Plus, this book is about Paris, which is always a plus.
  3. The No S Diet: This is the one and only diet that has actually helped me lose weight. This is another re-read, since after having a baby I kept eating like I was still pregnant. The best part about this book is that the diet that it outlines is hardly even a diet.
  4. The Knife of Never Letting Go: This book aimed at young adults is just incredible. Even with the touch of science fiction, it seems so amazingly real and it completely drew me in. I had to read through tears because I just couldn’t put it down.
  5. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks: As you read this book, you might think that there must be some science fiction involved, between using cells without a person’s consent and keeping cells alive some 60 years after the person’s death. Nope. It’s a mix of awe-inspiring and horrifying, but it’s all real.
  6. Battle Royale: I’m a sucker for a good dystopian novel, and after reading The Hunger Games (you may have heard of it) in 2011, I guess I felt the urge to keep reading about kids being forced to kill each other.
  7. Bringing Up Bebe: And finally, this book about the difference between French and American parenting styles was a very interesting read. I’m curious to see which aspects I borrow as I find my own parenting style over the years.

If you want to take a look at any of the 90-odd also-rans, click over to GoodReads.

Project Life – Week 1

So I’m pretty sure I will perpetually be a week behind on Project Life. I’m not printing photos and things at home; I’m getting them printed at good old Walgreens on the cheap and picking them up. Which means between finding time to upload photos, edit them, order them for printing, and actually pick them up … I’ll be a week late or so.

That being said: I love this!

I don’t have a title page yet. I want to get a nice shot of our little family, using the tripod and self-timer and all that, and today was just bitterly cold. So, I’m waiting with the title page for now, but watch for that.

Without further ado, here is week 1:

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spread01right I’m using the Design A pages for the weekly spreads, and it really is just as easy as slipping pictures and “stuff” into the pockets. I made the little slip that shows which week it is (stapled to paper in the top left). The bottom left journaling page is from Miss Tiina, the receipt is from Home Depot, and I found the quote on Pinterest, of course. I’m not sure if I’ll stay with the handwriting or if I’ll print the quotes.

So that’s it! Shots from our New Year’s game playing, playing in the snow, the 2012 photo album finally in completion (watch for a reveal soon), and lots of baby shots. I love it.

I love fresh starts.

I’ve always loved New Year’s, maybe because of the hours upon hours of board games my family plays or maybe because of the wanton snacking that goes on during said hours of game-playing. Or maybe it’s because it represents a new beginning, a fresh start. I was that kid who loved the first day of school because I got to use my brand-new notebooks. Who am I kidding — this obsession continued up through grad school and continues now when I get a new calendar at work or a new planner or a new Moleskine reading log.

So, I suppose that’s what brings me back here. That, and the fact that there are three baskets of laundry on the couch to be folded, and you know I would do a lot of things to avoid folding laundry.

Remember the 500-photo capacity album that I was looking for? Have I completed it for 2012 yet? Nope, because having a baby seriously cut into the time I had to edit and process photos. Am I going to finish it? Yes — I have 156 photos sitting at Walgreens right now, just waiting to be picked up. Is it going to be as cool as I hoped? No, because I lost track of it in all the craziness, lost some of the fun stuff I was going to include, and because I was trying to make do with imperfect tools for the job.

Which brings me to what I hope are the right tools for the job. You may have heard about Project Life — it’s been mentioned on a lot of blogs out there. I first heard about it on Elise’s blog, which I love. It’s basically scrapbooking without having to actually do the scrapbooking, and for someone who’s never been able to scrapbook more than a single page, it sounds like a dream come true.

I purchased enough Design A Pocket Pages to get me through the whole year, with two pages to a week. I also purchased a pack of Design G Pocket Pages for additional photos of special events, a pack of White 3×4 Cards, and a White Signature Binder to contain it all. I’m really excited about using the cards for journaling and quotes, as well as filling the pockets with all kinds of ephemera that I collect throughout the year. I want to add pops of color and patterns with some of my own scrapbook paper that I have sitting around unused.

So why Project Life? I love that it can be as simple or as complex as you make it. I love that you can display photos alongside “stuff”. I love that it’s just about printing and collecting things and then filling pockets.  Is all of this a guarantee that I will stick with this all year? Of course not, but at least I’ll be preserving more memories than if I wouldn’t do it at all.

Just for fun, here’s how I fared on the other goals I listed in that post:

Reading. I kept up with this consistently, reading at least one nonfiction book each month (usually around three, actually). I was afraid to put down a number, what with Aoife coming and all, but I actually hit 100 books, which is an all-time high for me (in my adult life, at least).

Project 365/6. Fail. I still took lots of pictures throughout the year, but in no way did I take one every day. I’m ok with that.

Etsy. Fail. I put the shop in vacation mode after Aoife came and just have not taken the time to get everything re-listed. Extra cash would be nice, but the extra work of getting the word out, making things, and taking photos has been moved lower on the list of priorities.