Thursday, December 29, 2011

December Daily: The Blues Hit

It was bound to happen - the December/Christmas blues. When all the decorations are down, the parties over, presents unwrapped, and reality sneaks back in. This year the blues hit me especially hard because my parents are moving across the country in a month. My dad landed a huge promotion and will be Dual Director of Engineering for two Marriott properties in Washington D.C. I'm beyond proud of him, but my heart aches just thinking of living so far from my family for the first time in my life. All that to say, I let my December Daily pages and posts slide a bit, but I am committed to finishing. Even more now I want to document this month with my family, since I have no idea what next December will bring.`I'm still waiting to collect photos for a couple pages, but I wanted to go ahead and share what I have. Look for the rest of the month soon!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Daily Days 14-16

Weekdays when Josh is at work are pretty hum-drum around here. Wednesday the boys found the Play-do stash and remembered how much they loved squishing and playing with it, especially Cai! I love it when they find something creative to do instead of just begging to watch TV. Some days I'm tempted to toss the TV off our balcony! That might cause a problem in my marriage, though... Josh does love his movies, and Cai certainly inherited his daddy and grandpa's passion for the screen!

Thursday I forgot, again, to take any pictures. Cai talked about Santa a lot, he doesn't understand that Christmas is still days away! He thinks, when he hears a song or see Santa on TV, that he's coming NOW! Silly boy!

Friday I took the boys to a fellow Mops' mom's house for a Jesus Birthday party. We had a blast! I wish our group had been able to get together more this fall. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

December Daily Days 9-13: Catching Up

Well, I knew it would happen eventually. Life took over, I even forgot to take pictures a few days, and now I'm playing catch-up. Oh well, the pages are done, memories recorded, and all is well. I'm determined not to stress about this project!! With no further ado, here are my pages for December 9-13.

Friday, December 9, 2011

December Daily Day 8: The Good Day

Although it often seems that life with three little boys produces more stressful days than good ones, I truly treasure the happy, relatively peaceful days. Today all three boys slept at the same time in the afternoon, allowing mommy to sneak in a little nap, too, which hugely contributed to my happy feelings about the day! I also enjoyed snapping some (okay, a lot of) photos of Riah, he is so cute and photogenic! I love his happy smiles, they always brighten my day.

I wish I could create a (paper/hybrid) December Daily album like some of the ones I see linked up to Ali Edwards' blog posts, that are so incredibly creative and beautiful. Totally works of art. One year I will, I promise myself! This year, though, I'll be happy just to take my photos and tell a little story in my simple digital album - I'm proud of myself for just doing it!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

December Daily Days 6-7, or, The Humdrum Days

The days when Josh is gone to work from 4am to 7:45pm tend to drag on and on and blur together. The boys act up worse when daddy's gone, and you can't even imagine the number of diapers I change every day. It's hard to find something "special" to journal about on these days, but I'm trying to remember that December Daily isn't about finding something special every day, it's about capturing what really happened - boring bits and all! So here's days six and seven!

Monday, December 5, 2011

December Daily Days 4-5

Can't believe I'm actually caught up/keeping up! It's helped tremendously having my layouts done in advance, then I just need to pick a photo(s) and think about what story I want to tell. For Day Four, I journaled about my trip to the mall with Cai. I can't remember the last time I did something with just him, and it was a very fun, special time!

Day Five was pretty low-key, since Josh went back to work and I'm stuck at home with the kids. I told the story of Cai drinking hot chocolate (possibly for the first time, I'm not sure) and me baking Andes mint-chip cookies. Which really deserves its own page, since I bake so rarely! I have lofty plans to do more baking this holiday season, Cai loves to "help." So maybe more yummy pictures will pop up in future December Daily pages!

December Daily Days 1-3

Better late than never is my motto, as you've no doubt gathered if you've ever read my blog! Last night I finally had a moment to add photos and journaling to my first three December Daily pages. I shared the foundation pages here with full credits. Actually I'm still missing a photo for one day, since I snapped it on my mom's camera, which is currently at her house. But I'm gonna go ahead and post it and I'll add the missing photo later. That's the beauty of Photoshop, right?!
So without further ado, here's my December Daily pages 1-3:
Day 1 - Today wasn't all happy feelings, I really struggled with being depressed about our financial situation this Christmas. I want to make sure I don't sugarcoat our daily lives in this album, so I shared a little of the depressing part of the day, but also tried not to focus on that. I forgot to snap a picture, so I included the instructions and number sheet from my advent project, and the MOPS logo since that was a big part of the day.

Day 2 - Obviously I'm still missing a photo, but imagine a cute shot of my little 16-month-old shutterbug Avyn! We went to his surgery follow-up appt today, and the doctor prescribed Singulair to help with his constant postnasal drip. We go back in three weeks to see if that helps and to check his hearing. There is some concern that he may have hearing loss, given his speech delay. I'm trying not to focus on that and what it might mean for his/our future. Enjoyed a sweet evening with my hubby finishing the advent project, each day the boys get to open a box and discover a fun activity to do with mommy (and daddy when he's home).

Day 3 - Today's big event was our Sunday School class Christmas party! It was so fun to get all dressed up and go out without the boys! I even wore a pretty dress, which is impossible to do with a nursing baby usually. The boys loved having Miss Christi babysit, and she said they did wonderfully. I'm sure most of my pictures this month will feature the boys, so I wanted to make sure and include these photos of Josh and I.

Friday, December 2, 2011

My December Daily Digi Album, part 1

So who else is diving into the December Daily madness this year?! If you don't know what December Daily is all about, check out this post from Ali Edwards, the Dec Daily queen. She has tons of great information on her site about December Daily, and plenty of beautiful inspiration! I'm doing mine a little differently, going all-digital since I simply can't find the time to make one of those gorgeous paper or hybrid books (one year I will!!!). I'm designing each page ahead of time, so all I have to do each day is snap a few photos, drop them in the photo spots, and journal about our day. I chose Sabrina's Creations 25 Days of Christmas template set, available at Mscraps - check it out:

How beautifully simple is that?! I love the blocked design. I couldn't pick just one kit to use, though. I adore Christmas kits, so I chose several! They don't necessarily match, but I don't particularly care. Here's the pages I've completed so far (well, ready for photos and journaling), along with the kits I used.

First four pages created with He's Coming! kit by Studio Basic:

Pages 5-8 created with Sabrina's Creations 25 Days of Christmas kit:

Pages 9-12 created with Christmas Morning kit by Valorie Wibbens and Creations by TinaMarie:

That's as far as I've gotten so far, today I'm working on finishing up the rest of the album, adding my photos and journaling to day 1, and whipping up a little hybrid Advent project to do with my boys this month. I'll be back here later to share all that! In the meantime, if you're doing any kind of December project, I would love to see it. December Daily, an Advent calendar or project, or anything else to help make, capture, and record your memories this month!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Layouts from DSD and beyond!

Sorry for the cheesy title, I couldn't help myself. Remember I promised to share some more of my recent layouts? Well here you go - my creations from the past week or so! As always, each image is linked to the gallery for full credits.

The first three I created for the Scrap Orchard DSD challenges. Their theme was "Game On!" and each challenge borrowed its theme from a popular game.

For the Boggle challenge - we had to find our title in the Boggle dice. Tried my hand at the art journaling style, which is very new to me. It's pretty amateurish, but I like it anyway! If you can't read it, it says "I am loved because I am a princess," a reminder to myself that I am God's child.

This challenge was based on, you guessed it, Tic-Tac-Toe! I thought it was a pretty creative template idea.

For the Connect Four challenge, we had to choose four layouts to combine in one scraplift. I found this one quite challenging!

Ahh, the colors! I scrapped these layouts with The Lilypad's November BYOC goodies - I just love this month's color palette! And the products... swoon. A few of my favorites: 
Hometown papers and ellies from Lauren Reid
Magical Splatter 3 by Kitty Designs
Scrap Essentials No. 2 by Jenna Desai

Finally finished a layout with the gorgeous Catscrap collab, My Life. It worked perfectly for this "Avyn at 15 months" layout!

This layout is for the Catscrap November Torn Up challenge. I used Creashens' Torn Bits 2 as photo masks for my torn element. I love these photos, taken on our first trip to the park this season to require jackets!

I managed to get two challenges done at Design House Digital this week, this one for their scraplift challenge. I love the bright colors of their DSD Blog Hop collab kit!

Che Yang Designs at Mscraps debuted her cute Night and Day kit last week, and it was just perfect for my snapshot of Riah all cuddled up in my blanket.

OK, last one! I didn't quite realize how prolific I've been this week! This one is with Anita Designs' newest kit, Christmas Joy, at Mscraps, showing off my family's Hallmark ornaments for this year. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

DSD Aftermath

Whew, I am still reeling from all the fun craziness of iDSD! (That's international Digital Scrapbooking Day, or Digital Shopping Day, as some husbands call it LOL!) How about you? Did you participate in any chats, games, or activities? Almost every store in digiland offered amazing sales, fun-filled chats, generous freebies, and creative challenges to get us scrapping. Some stores even crashed from all the shopping frenzy!
So today I'm working on unzipping and organizing all my downloads, and thought it would be the perfect time to share some of my purchases (linked of course for your shopping pleasure :)), and maybe a layout or two. Then once I have time to scrap with the new stuff, I'll come back to share those layouts, too.

First up - The Lilypad! Due to technical difficulties, they extended their sale through today, so don't miss out! Here's a few of my fave kits that I either won or bought this weekend:
I just adore glitter. L.O.V.E. it. Especially this kind of stampy/splattery stuff I can layer on a background. Since I mostly scrap my boys, I can't have TOO much obvious glitter, so I like to use it to add a little pep to my backgrounds!

I actually bought Gina's Simple Journalers Pack #2 as well. I've been taking pictures with my Droid a lot lately, using the Retro Cam app, which creates these nifty Instagram-like square pictures. I can't wait to use these journalers to showcase those phone pics, along with all the cute stuff my kids say and do!

I've had my eye on this one since it came out. I love that it's not too cutesy, so could be used for layouts about conversations between Josh and I, as well as for funny things the kids say.

I actually got quite a bit more at The Lilypad, but since I don't want this post to get too long, I'm going to move on - I'll definitely share more of my purchases with layouts later this week!

Another kit that's been hanging out on my wishlist - I was lucky enough to snag a coupon from the ultra-generous K Studio to get this kit for free! I love the color palette! And how cute is that sheep?!

I was excited to win a coupon from Emeto Designs, because she creates these beautiful fantasy-style kits that I've always admired, but been afraid to actually buy and experiment with! I think this gorgeous Christmas kit will be fun to play with this year, hopefully my kids will cooperate for pictures!

I was recently accepted to the Catscrap creative team (WOOT! More about that exciting news in another post :)), and had the chance to play with this adorable new grab bag by Catscrap guest Jazzmin Designs. It's only $3 too! Grab it fast!!! Also, just FYI, Catscrap is giving away daily freebies on their Facebook page for DSD - don't miss the last few! Here's the page I made with the grab bag:

During my October guest CT spot at The Lilypad, I had the incredible privilege of playing with SO MANY amazing goodies (the BYOC stuff alone warrants its own post!). One of the last things I snagged was Micheline Martin's new kit The It Chick.

And here's a layout with it, featuring my beautiful little sister Chrissy and her adorable daughter:

One final purchase - I'm getting ready for holiday scrapping, and I liked the non-traditional color palette for this Thanksgiving/gratitude-themed kit by Sugary Fancy.

To see more of my DSD purchases, check out my Facebook page! And I'll be back soon to show off some of my favorite freebies from the weekend, talk about the challenges I participated in, and show off some more layouts!
In the meantime, I would LOVE to see your favorite goodies! What did you buy off your wishlist? Or did you snag some of the crazy limited-time deals and steals? Enable us!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Grow With Love: Staycation - my experience so far

I bought Plant Your Story's Grow With Love: Staycation workshop about a month ago, before all this bedrest/hospital/baby worry stuff. I had high hopes of planning fun activities with the boys at home while daddy worked, then little weekend outings to the museum, park, zoo, etc. God had other plans, though, and I found myself on bedrest a couple weeks later. All summer fun plans put on hold. But I didn't want to totally abandon the workshop, either, so I've had to find creative ways to scrap some of the prompts. Here's a few pages I've completed so far, some before bedrest started, some after. I'll also include a brief summary of the prompt inspiring each page.

Prompt 1 summary: Take a photograph of a "detail" of this day, some kind of "memory residue."
I snapped a pic of the aftermath of a little nesting/cleaning spurt - a clean bathroom and (mostly) neat living room! My title explains that this is not a typical day for us :)
Image linked for credits

Prompt 2 summary: Choose a single moment in time to document.
I chose naptime - one of my all-time fave times of day as a mommy!
Image linked for credits

Prompt 3 summary: Scrap about your summer reading.
I read a lot, usually on my Droid while feeding baby, eating, taking a quick break, any time I have a spare minute. I enjoyed documenting the books I've read so far this summer, and I have plans to scrap a page about books still on my list to read, and about reading with Cai (who inherited mommy's love of books!).
Image linked for credits
Prompt 8 summary: Capture fun, silly, water-play moments.
Yes, I did the prompts out of order! I especially cherish these captured moments, since I'm not sure when the next time is that I'll be able to splash in the pool just me and Avyn. Middle kids always seem to get the short stick. But I love that he's finally old enough now to sit up on his own and enjoy some water fun with mommy! This was a fun memory to scrap!
Image linked for credits
Prompt 11 summary: Explore a local attraction, take a day trip, etc.
By this point I was on bed rest, so I lived vicariously through my sisters Lizzie and Becca and scrapped about their trip to Six Flags Fiesta Texas, somewhere we've all wanted to go since moving to San Antonio. Plus I had a blast using the amazingly fun kit Vintage Carnival kit by Sahlin Studio!
Image linked for credits

Prompt 18 summary: Create a list using the word "Reasons" as your foundation.
I linked this page up in my last blog post, so I won't bother you with it again! 

That's all I have finished so far, but I have a couple of Staycation pages in the works, and ideas brewing for more. Some of the prompts I think I'll save for after baby's born, and we can do a little more in the cooler fall weather. These 100+ degree temps are just too brutal for anything more than pool or A/C! I do look forward to exploring more of this beautiful city and outlying areas, there are so many places I still want to take the boys: Children's Museums, the coast (just a couple hours away!), Landa park, various parks and pools around the city. Can't wait for cooler weather! Oh, yeah, and a healthy baby :)!