Friday, February 5, 2016

2015 books

I've started keeping a list of all the books I've read. I started a few months into 2015, but here is the list I have from last year. I love to read and recently joined a book club. I'm looking forward to reading books that I wouldn't normally choose.

Promises to Keep - Jane green 
Free Range Chicken Gardens - Jessi Bloom
A chicken in every yard - Hannah Litt
Winter street - Elin Hilderbrand  
Summer House - Nancy Thayer
The Artful Year - Jean Van't Hul
Heat Wave - Nancy Thayer 
Tinker lab - Rachelle Doorley
The Artful Parent - Jean Van't Hul
The Paleo Kitchen - Juli Bauer
The rumor - Elin Hilderbrand
Last Summer - Holly Chamberlin
Summer Secrets - Jane green 
Nantucket Sisters - Nancy Thayer
A Hundred Summers -  Beatriz Williams
Design Mom - Gabrielle Blaire
Love Anthony - Lisa Genova
Still Alice - Lisa Genova 
Inside the O'Brians - Lisa Genova 
The deep blue sea for beginners- Luanne Rice
Big Little Lies - Liane Moriarty
The Husbands Secret - Liane Moriarty
Winter stroll - Elin Hilderbrand 
Torch - Cheryl Strayed 
The girl on the train - Paula Hawkins

Happy reading!

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Project Life 2016

Hello my fellow Project Lifers! It's a brand new year and and we are all feeling the itch to get organized. I am super far behind on my PL. I'm on the last week of July you's bad.

I have all my pictures printed. I just need to get it done.

I am starting up my Project Life nights again this month. I have a group of girls who come over to the studio once a month to do PL together. Lately I've been thinking maybe I need to do it once a week so I can make PL time a priority. I am going to miss being on the Becky Higgins Creative Team this year for this very fact. I liked having someone tell me I had to do it. I had deadlines. It was good for me.

All that noted, I know I will catch up. I always do. I have a few friends that are joining the group who are new to PL. And I have some others that still ask me questions about it all the time. So since we are still in January I thought I would recap how to get started with Project Life.

Project Life is a simple way of memory keeping. Many people do it by week, but you can also do it by month or just in chronological order.

To get started with Project Life you will need:

1. Project Life Core kit
       *I recommend starting with a neutral kit such as Midnight Edition or Everyday Edition
2. 12x12 D ring album
       *if you plan to do each week as a two page spread you will need two albums for the year
3. big pack of design A pocket pages (this is what you slide your photos and journal cards into)
4. PL pens, 3 pack black
5. 3x4 white cards
6. 4x6 white cards
7. date stamp & black ink

You can find most of these items on Amazon, or all of the items on the Becky Higgins website. If you purchase all three main items from BH you will receive 20 percent off your total.

The first three are musts. The rest I strongly recommend. Even if you go with a neutral kit as I've suggested above, there are zero plain white or blank cards. I often want just a white card to either adhere a smaller photo on or for journaling so I always recommend getting the blank white cards in both sizes.

After you have your supplies, look at my Project Life posts and get some ideas. Then just start. The biggest part of PL is being organized. As I have mentioned before my total life saver is my folder system. I have a basket that holds 53 manila folders each marked with the week number and dates, such as week 1 - Jan. 1-7. I then put all my photos, kids art work/school work, notes about the day, etc. into each folder. SO even if I get behind, like I am now, I still know when everything happened. When I'm ready to work on my book, I just grab the folder for that week and I'm ready to go. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND DOING THIS. This will be my forth year using this system and I wouldn't be able to do PL without it.

I hope this helps some of you get started if you've been thinking about trying Project Life.


Favorite Consignment & Thrift Stores

Hello friends. It's way too long since I've seen this space. I have so many things I want to write about and share with you, but there just isn't enough time in the day to do it all.

Today I'd like to share with you a few of my favorite consignment stores. Let me first say that I buy 90 percent of my clothing used. If I do buy something new it is either skinny jeans (so hard to find used), white tank tops, undergarments, and bathing suits. Everything else...used.

For example yesterday I went to Savers in Framingham, MA (like a Goodwill) and bought the following:

Crewcuts dress - girls
Vintage tablecloth
wooden salad utensils
2 mason jars
kids klean kanteen
Corkey Kids dress
LL Bean kids robe
Toms ballet flats
Hanna Anderson tights
Old Navy jean dress - girls
Gap jeans
J Brand jeans
NWT Tommy Bahama swim trunks
Cynthia Rowley sweater
J Jill sweater
sweater with missing tag
Cobb Hill sandals
Anthropology throw blanket

total spent - $83

This is my normal. I LOVE thrifting. Ok, so the moral of this story is if you think you won't find anything good, I promise you that you will. You need to be patient. You need to go WHEN YOU HAVE TIME TO LOOK. I went yesterday because Paige was off school and so I wouldn't be rushing for Pre-school pickup. I took some snacks for her and the iPad (treat for her) and we shopped for two hours. Ok, here's my list. I encourage you all to look up some shops in your area, meet up with a friend and hunt for treasures together.


Return to Oz
2011 West Street
Annapolis, MD 21401

Savvy Consignments
Savvy Consignment
553 B & A Blvd

Severna Park, MD 21146

*these two stores are worth the drive for a day of shopping if you are within a few hours

Wee Sale Kids Consignment Sale
This is actually a giant kids sale that happens twice a year, it is not a store. BUT I highly recommend going if you need baby or kid cloths, toys, etc. IT IS AMAZING.

Goodwill Superstore
various locations across MD - I have been to the Annapolis and Salisbury locations and always find fun things.

Rhode Island

193 Water Street
Warren, RI 02885
*this store is all name brand, high end consignment

Second Helpings Thrift Store
This store is a mix of antiques and vintage. Next door is a women's consignment shop (Thirds Resale Shop), and next door to that is a children's consignment shop (Just Ducky), so it's a fun place to spend a few hours. I've found cool chairs and wooden crates at this shop.
32 Gooding Avenue, Bristol, RI

Savers Thrift Store
I have been to the Providence location and did well. There are locations throughout the state.


Savers Thrift Store
I have been to the Framingham always find so many awesome things. There are locations throughout the state.

Children's Orchard
196 E. Main Street, Route 16 
Milford, Massachusetts
*I rarely find things for my son here, but I always find things for my daughter, it's hit or miss

Buttons and Bows
I have to admit that I still have yet to visit this store, however it's been on my to-do list for two years. I have heard amazing things about it.

448 Great Rd, Acton, MA

Happy Shopping! 

*If you have any great spots you love, feel free to comment and share!

Monday, November 23, 2015

15 things I'm THANKFUL for

1. My family, who supports me and cherishes me
2. Wonderful friends who love me and welcome me 
3. My kids..for reminding me the true beauty in life
4. A house to stay warm...even if there is paint peeling and walls crumbling. 
5. New snow boots...thank goodness
6. Pumpkin pie, apple pie, and gingerbread
7. The ability to get away, take vacations, recharge as a wife and mom, and know that my children are well cared for
8. Being a part of the Project Life Creative Team
9. MOPS...for the support, friendship, and prayer
10. Sweet potatoes in every possible way
11. Memories of my grandfather that will stay with me always
12. The reminder that my children are healthy and whole and oh so good
13. Wonderful teachers who see the value and worth in my children
14. Photographs...always thankful for photographs
15. My husband...for taking me as I am. For loving me every day and promising to love me no matter what. 

Happy Thanksgiving friends. Be thankful for your many blessings this week. 


Monday, September 21, 2015

15 things I'm loving lately

1. Trader Joe's almond butter....amazing. I eat it with apples, bananas, on a spoon, with honey. I like it all the ways.
2. Dixie Chicks Essential on Spotify. It makes chores way more fun.
3. Podcasts. I can't get enough. I listen to The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey, Elise Gets Crafty, and Inspired to Action with Kat Lee. 
4. Lavender essential oil. I put it on my pillow every night.
5. Lisa Genova novels. I recently read all three and devoured them each in a few days. 
6. Cooler weather and riding our bikes to school in the morning. 
7. Having a MOPS group again. I missed this the past year. However it's not as relaxing when your running the group. 
Succulents. I have two that are still alive from last year and I love the little pop of green they add to our living space.
8. Playaway audio stories from the library. My kids are obsessed. 
9. Jars and trays filled with shells from our summer adventures. 
10. Still using my homemade deodorant and loving it.
11. Mountain Mama Cooks blender banana pancakes. So so good.
12. Beauty Counter sunscreen. It's smooth, smells divine, and it's safe.
13. Dr. Brommer's bar soap. I find it at TJ Maxx. We use it at the sinks for our hands and in the shower for our bodies. It's all natural, completely non-toxic, and they all smell heavenly.
14. Noonday Collection. My mom recently bought me a necklace from them and I wear it way too much. I love their mission, their designs, and their sales.
15. Having something to look forward to. We leave for Hawaii in 26 days and it can't come soon enough. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Project Life Mini Album

For my Creative Time project this month I decided to mix things up a bit. Honestly, with all our summer travels I was WAY behind with editing and ordering pictures so I wanted to use what I already had. I keep a basket on my desk of random pictures that don't make it into my Project Life album. So I call this my "Snapshots of our Life 2015" album. 

I started with the cover. I knew I wanted to do 3x4 so I could easily use my PL cards as the pages. For the cover I used the chipboard packaging that comes with the Becky Higgins page protectors. I cut it down to 3x4, one for the front and one for the back. I then used a Studio Calico mist, in Shine, and sprayed the covers. You can't see it in the photo, but it gives it a shimmery shine. I used a chipboard star from the PL Gold Foil Value Kit stitched right on the front. I then typed up my title and date onto cardstock, cut it out, and adhered it to the cover as well.

For the inside pages, I used 3x4 cards from the High Five Edition, Open Book Edition, and Fine & Dandy Edition. I also used some 3x4 white cards mixed in when I had a smaller 3x3 photo on that page (see below photo). I adhered two cards back to back using tape adhesive. On some pages, like the one above, I used a circle label sticker (Paper Source) for my journaling. I then stamped my phrase using the alpha set from Kellie Stamps. I used a typewriter to add a bit more journaling and adhered that on too.

For the pages with the 3x3 photos, I hand drew an outline around each photo using my PL pen in .03.

For the photo pages, I adhered the photo right to the back of whatever 3x4 card I was using for the next page and then cut around the corners to match the rounded edges.

Finally, to finish it up I punched holes in the top left corner, lining each card up with the last to match the holes. I then used a ring to hold the book together. My kids have really been enjoying looking through these little books. They are the perfect size for little hands! How cute would this be of all the kids artwork for the year! Or of drawings by each kid for a teacher at the end of the year! So simple and so cute.

additional products used:
stamps (similar ones available)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Books I've read this summer

Hello friends! I thought I'd pop in and share the books that I've read this summer. I have been reading a ton, thanks to lots of camping and vacations without TV. It's been really nice and a welcomed change from my Netflix binging. So here's my list.

Promises to Keep - Jane green   
Summer House - nancy Thayer
Heat Wave - nancy Thayer 
The rumor - Elin Hilderbrand
Last Summer - holly chamberlin
Summer Secrets - Jane green 
Nantucket Sisters - Nancy Thayer
A Hundred Summers -  Beatriz Williams
Design Mom - Gabrielle Blair
Love Anthony - Lisa Genova
Torch - Cheryl Strayed 

I highly recommend Love Anthony. I read it in three days. It will make you think about the way you are mothering, about life and why we are all here. ,also every book by Elin Hilderbrand is a must read. She's fantastic. I discovered Nacy Thayer this summer as well and loved Nantucket Sisters. Lastly A Hundred Summers has been on my "to read" list for a few yard now. I finally dived into it and oh was wonderful. Another book I couldn't put down. Be ready for tears. Ok friends, that's it!! I'm off to the lake with the kids and I'm starting Still Alice by Lisa Genova today. I can't wait. 

Happy reading!!!