Category: inspiration

here and now: look up in the hard times

my “Here and Now” blog series talks about documenting real life, things that don’t go right, or just our everyday messes. life isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. scrapbooking these difficulties can be quite a therapy session. it also can help better tell our story. i am grateful to Jen Evans for opening up and being honest with us today about her reality and how she chooses to look at it…

Sometimes the here and now isn’t easy. Sometimes the here and now feels like you are doggie paddling in the ocean trying to keep your head above water. It’s a minute by minute struggle. Being honest about this is hard and this wasn’t easy for me to sit down here and type this out. I wonder if it is because when I actually sit down and really type these words, I feel defeated. No one wants to feel defeated. If you are a mother of a special needs child, maybe you know what I am talking about. I guess this is the only reason why I am actually sitting here and telling you my “Here and Now” story. Maybe I am hoping there are other mothers out there that feel the same.

It’s in the days when I take my son to occupational therapy that I look around and really can see how many mothers are struggling even more than I am. There are so many beautiful children  there with either Autism, Ausperger Syndrome, ADD, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, or even physical disabilities that keep them from walking and enjoying a normal life. I am continually reminding myself to look at the good. To capture the beauty in my everyday.

Are my layouts sometimes a facade of what reality really is? Maybe. Maybe I choose to remember the good and one day I might be able to forget the bad. This is only for a season, I keep telling myself.

The real question really is, “What do I want my son to remember when he is older?” Do I want to pass down the beauty of his childhood or the hardships?

I have no idea what he will remember when he is older. Will his mind remember how hard it was to get to sleep; how boring school was because he was so advanced; or why it was so hard for him to make friends? Will he remember how much he was loved, how involved his parents were, and the love he showed his sister because those were the things that I chose to record and document?

This is my first layout actually talking about his Sensory Processing Disorder. It is not going in his album but will be included within my album. When he is older and understands more I will place it inside his. It talks about our struggles this year and what he is currently using in his everyday to help him control SPD. These items have really never made it into any of my layouts even though they are things we use everyday – his chew stick, Sock Buddy, fidgets, essential oils, timers, clocks, books, diet, therapy ball… the list goes on.

I can here and now, even while doggie paddling in the middle of the ocean, can choose to look up. To see the light – the good. After my creating this layout and getting honest about my everyday, I still feel completely right in the way I choose to scrapbook. I document those “light” moments for my son and for our family. It does good for us all. When we sit down and look at our year together we are happy. We see the good.

If you are a mother with a special needs child, I hope this inspires you to look up, see the light, and document the good in the midst of the storm.

Supplies: Favorite Things Project Life Core Kit, Project Life Foil Photo Pocket Pages, Project Life Mini Memory Folders, Project Life Sheer Stickers, Project Life My Heart Stamp and Stencil SetChipboard Black and White Stickers, Black and White Buzz Words, Color Magic Resist Striped Alphabet, September Skies Attachment Kit, and Becky Higgins Project Life Roller Stamp

“there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy”.

today Lindsay shares one of those posts that you just needed to read. especially as those that live in the US prepare for Thanksgiving Day week, gratefulness and thankfulness are on the front of our minds. no matter what we might be going through ‘there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy’!…

Every now and again, a project comes into my life at the perfect timing.  By perfect, I mean a time when you are needing reminders, refreshers….something to nudge you to regaining your focus on the things that are really worth your time and energy.  Things that FILL a person up…rather than dragging them down.  We are all so busy, with lists a mile long.  Demands at every angle we go.  Clutter, messes, chores, responsibilities.  The list goes ON.  I know we all know what I am talking about!  Sometimes it can get so overwhelming.  So when things appear in my life that help me clear the waters, regain my composure and serve as beautiful reminders that I KNOW to be true (but somehow they find themselves on the sidelines), I am forever grateful.

Enter the “art of observation” project.  I LOVED this assignment.  For those of you who maybe are not completely familiar with the “art of observation” project, it was an online class Heidi Swapp taught about 2 years ago through Big Picture Classes.  It was an amazing journey into the everyday “wonders” that fill our lives and bringing them into the forefront of our consciousness, celebrating them through memory keeping using the Memory File system prompts like “what amazes you”, “where do you find joy”, “how do you show love”.  Of course at first these may seem like simple little questions, but if you REALLY stop and think about them…and then observe your life around you in the process I can guarantee you will see a much clearer picture of a really beautiful life (rather than one that is overwhelming, taxing and sometimes down right exhausting).  As a new mom, let me tell you I am learning some very important life lessons each and every day.  Sometimes every hour at that.  Lessons about patience, strength, compromise, love, balance, the value of time etc. etc.  It is a whole new world that I am still trying to familiarize myself with so this project has been such a source of reflection for me. I chose the following quote, “There Are So Many Beautiful Reasons To Be Happy” to not only inspire my project, but to serve as a place of focus as I looked around at my life and document it.  This is what has resulted from my little personal journey, and I am very excited to share it with you all.  Note: It is still a work in progress, (with personal journaling yet to be added) however I will be sharing some of my favourite pages with you that represent the art of my little world.


To create my project I used one of the beautiful NEW journal limited boxed kits that are now showing up on Michaels store shelves (just in time for the holiday season…yay!).  They are FILLED with beautiful product, an exquisite 6 x 8 3 ring binder (as well as some exclusive extras!).  Each kit is unique and I chose this one in particular because I found it to represent “journey, adventure, exploration….” and this project for me was just that.  Learning to be a mom is definitely the greatest and biggest adventure I have ever been on!

I LOVE this first page in the album.  A gorgeous transparency with the brush script  “adventure seekers”.  Note that ALL of these pages you will see in my project are included with the album.  Tons of beautiful memory file pages just waiting to be filled, along with pocket pages and note paper.  It is seriously the most beautiful journal album I have ever seen.  The kits also come with a match book of stickers.  Think Vintage Chic miniature version.  All of those delectable sentiment stickers and definition stickers are included, just in a much smaller/mini version.  I LOVE them.  I used a lot of the definition stickers as tabs in my album, and the sentiment stickers as fun embellishments added directly onto my photos and/or tabs.  I chose this photo as my first page because we are the “adventure seekers” in this life.  In our life that we have created together.  Each day brings new things, new scenarios, new EVERYTHING.  I added the super cute flair (that comes with the kit as well) entitled “away we go” on top of the transparency. The perfect added touch.

A common element I incorporated into this album is the use of large full page photos.  I love the effect of this.  I simply printed my photos to 8 x 10 inches and then trimmed them down so I could adhere them directly to one of the album pages.  You will also notice the cute little 2 x 2 pictures and pockets.  These are perfect of instagrams, or wallet size photos.  The cute little patterned cards that come with the kit are also the perfect addition into these little pockets as well.  They are also double sided which is fabulous!

I also took some time to really write down some thoughts.  I love that this is a ‘journal’.  A place to reflect and celebrate, think and just observe the world around me.  I really want to fill this album up not just with photographs, but with words that remind me of all the amazing things that fill my life.  The ordinary that I am so lucky to have around me.

The one thing I love about creating projects like this is the ability to really dig into my stash, mix and match and just PLAY.  One of my favourite latest releases from Heidi Swapp is the Gold Foil Value Kit that she designed to accompany the Project Life release.  This value kit is full of beautiful elements that added so much to my book.  From the quotes to the chipboard pieces.  I utilized a ton of them in my album.

I created a little place in my album to record my gratitude.  A place where I can take a minute to jot down the little things that I come across in the day that fill me.  I think this is such an important practice and really helps to reframe your thought process when sometimes things just feel like they are getting too much.  Like the quote I chose said, “there are so many beautiful reasons to be happy”, and there are.  We just have to LOOK for them.  RECOGNIZE them.  ACKNOWLEDGE them.  CELEBRATE them.  The little triumphs.  They are worth it.

I loved incorporating little reminders into my journal.  Quotes, words…little notes that refocus me.

Photographs of moments.  Memories that are so precious and so fleeting and time goes by.  One of my most cherished times with my son is in the mornings when he wakes and then I sneak him into my bed for some extra sleep and cuddles.  I had to take a photo of this memory because I know it will not last forever.  He is already growing so fast.  However this is a real life observation of my world right now that brings me back to the pure joy and blessing that he is and the new love that fills my world.

This quote above was actually a quote that we were given as part of the art of observation class.  I have always held onto it (I love the message) so I definitely wanted to include it in my album and create it’s own page.

These journals come with a stash of notebook paper.  I love this!  What I did was mounted some of the notebook paper directly onto some of the memory file pages.  I then added some stitching and extra embellishments.

I love the little details.

I love the mix of photos that I used in my project.  Glimpses of candid photos from my iPhone to photos that we had taken of my family earlier this fall.  Sort of the ‘big picture’ of our world right now.

These pages are probably some of my favourites within my entire album.  I love how the gold foil cards blend so beautifully with the vintage chic papers.  The subtle hints of blush.

More mix and match elements and pocket pages.

I love how this next page turned out.  I used some of the 2×2 pattern paper squares (that come with the journal kit) to create a fun layered background.  I then added some stitching and extra embellishments.

One of my final completed pages uses one of my favourite acrylic pieces from the September Skies Ephemera.  It says “feel the love”.

To be honest, I think that is exactly what the art of observation is to me.  Feeling the love.  Seeing your world and what surrounds you.  What around you makes you come alive?  For me it is these photos, these memories, these pieces of my everyday.  They are the art of my life.  What I observe everyday.  The connection.  With the holiday season quickly approaching, it is a time that I think a lot of us sit and reflect on the past year.  Not everything is ever perfect.  But I think that is part of what makes it all work.  The ebb and flow.  The give and take.  The refilling when things fill empty.  I am so grateful for this project as it has really inspired me to re-evaluate some things in my life and has given me some courage and reassurance.  I want to have this album serve as that reminder for me when I am needing some extra ‘pep in my step’. I hope that me sharing my album today has inspired you all to take some time to document some of the moments and memories that you have created in your own life.  That bring you back to what we all want to feel.  Joy, love, amazement, wonder.  It is there….in our everyday.  Just waiting for YOU.

this album is beyond amazing Lindsay – you and your family will treasure it forever! I hope it has inspired and touched you as much as it has me! Click here to get this quote download perfect for your phone’s wallpaper! Just click on the link and then right click and save to your computer. Then, you can email it to yourself!

***Note, these boxed kits are available at Michaels Stores for a limited time. you can find them in the boxed seasonal albums, not with my other scrapbooking products in the seasonal section.

Supplies: Heidi Swapp Journal Album Kit; Project Life Gold Value Kit; Project Life Glitter Value Kit; Glitter Words Mixed Company Stickers; Chipboard Hello Stickers; Glitter Shapes Banners; Chipboard Titles Happiness Sticker; Word Jumbles Vintage Stickers; Chipboard Stickers; September Skies Ephemera; September Skies Attachment Kit

pretty pockets~ week 10!

i can’t believe there are only two weeks left in my ‘Pretty Pocket’ series! we sure have had so many fun and creative ways to use my Becky Higgins Project Life products available at Michael’s Stores! Sarah Bargo had fun creating her cards for her NEW special limited edition Gold Memory Planner Boxed Kit! If you have been trying to find this sweet little album, i have been hearing all week long of people going into their local store and finding it on sale Buy One Get One Free in the seasonal boxed kit section with the seasonal photo albums! (Not with my Project Life products and not part of my 2015 Memory Planner collection) if your store has labels but no product, don’t worry! it should be showing up soon! now, let’s check out Sarah’s pretty pockets!

Well hello there paper peeps! Are you ready for some more pretty pockets?! I have a few fun ideas for you to try, so let’s get to it!

Wanna hear something awesome? The 6×8 Project Life page protectors fit into the new Heidi Swapp planners at Michael’s!! I was so excited when I discovered this because I wanted to create my Pretty Pockets for my Gold planner, so it worked out perfect!

I used 2 6×8 pocket protectors, some September Skies banners & ephemera, and a mixture of the #hsprojectlife kits, the Dreamy Core Kit, the Favorite Things Core Kit, the Gold Foil Value Kit, and the Color Magic Value Kit. They all work together which I absolutely love!!! Here’s what I came up with!

I wanted to have some “introduction to the year” pocket pages at the beginning of my planner, and I wanted to have a plave to jot down some goals and dreams that I’ll have for the new year. I kinda didn’t want my goals out for the world to see, so I scrap-lifted myself from the Make Pretty Stuff Volume 1 Issue 3 Magazine lol! I created a mini accordion out of cardstock and and slid the back into the pocket!

Pretty Pocket #1~ Mini Accordion Piece

Take a 12×12 piece of cardstock, trim it down to 6×12, and score at 4″ & 8″. Fold like an accordion, and slide the back part into the pocket. Adhere a 4×6 PL card to the front of the cardstock, and embellish! (You can round the corners if you’d like)

Look at those crisp white pages just begging to be journaled on! I didn’t write anything yet, but I want to make some goals and idears for the year and write them in here! I think setting goals is important. With the way time is fah-lying nowadays I think they help keep us focused and remind us of what we want to work towards, amidst “the blur.”

Pretty Pocket #2~ Staple A Banner

Ok this is probably the easiest one out of the whole series, but I love it.

I used the little striped banner from the September Skies Collection, it’s my fave banner of all time, it’s the most darlin thing ever! I love making it all jumbled up it looks so cute! Just adds a little sumthin sumthin..

Pretty Pocket #3~ Heat Emboss

Sooo you’re totally going to think I’m a dork after I admit this (if you don’t already)! I absolutely love heat embossing!! I still think, after all these years of crafting up a storm, it is the COOLEST THING! I swear it’s magic?! I still get amazed every time I do it lol!  It was the first thing that popped into my head when I saw the awesome Color Magic Cards with the words cut out, I thought hmmm those would be cute stencils so let’s give it a whirl!  Go ahead and pick out the 3×4 Color Magic Card of your choice, one with words cut out of it. Lay it directly on top of a separate 3×4 PL card that you want to use. Either use a watermark dabber or marker and juice up the cut out letters. Remover the Color Magic card and sprinkle heat embossing powder onto wet ink. Use heat gun to set.

I used the “Life Is Good” Card and a minty Dreamy PL Card, along with some American Crafts Gold Heat Embossing Powder. I love how it turned out kinda sloppy & messy! And my thumbprint looks totally awesome too… Perfectly imperfect ;)

Let’s take a peek at a couple of the other cards!

Seriously. I cannot get enough of the September Skies Ephemera, and paired with the black in the #hsprojectlife kits? Match made in memory keeping heaven.

The little word snippets are from Heidi’s adorable stickers at Hobby Lobby! So fun.

So hey loves, it’s not too early to start thinking about the beginning of a fresh new year! What are some of your goals? Dreams? And don’t forget, no matter how much you hate pictures of yourself, please please put them in your creations. You might not like them, but your loved ones do and will cherish them someday, truly. Plus it’s fun to see how much you change over a year’s time! Can’t wait to see what you make!! xo

make sure to download this FREE printable to add to your collection. missed a week? you can find all nine of the other printable right here at my ‘Freebies’ Pinterest board!

Supplies: Word Jumbles Vintage Stickers, PL Cherish Clear Stamps, September Skies Ephemera, PL Gold Foil Value Kit, PL Color Magic Value Kit, Favorite Things Core Kit, PL Dreamy Core Kit


project life interactive pockets!

 i am so excited to share with you these NEW ‘Create to Remember‘ tips and tricks using some of my interactive pieces from my Becky Higgins Project Life collection. sometimes, i want to add more photos to my pocket page but the pocket openings are in the wrong direction or there just isn’t enough room to add the few extra photos i want to… here are a few ways I solve this from this week’s episode…

1. Mini Books give extra room for photos and journaling

depending on which way you face your mini book or which pocket page you are using, it might be hard to access my Project Life mini book while in the pocket. just grab a craft knife and slice along the back of the protector (as shown in the video below).

then slide in the back of the book into your pocket! now you can see all the pages when looking at your page in your album!

2. Decorate the back of a plain envelope and slide it into your 4×6 pocket for tickets and receipts!

3. Use a #HSProjectLife Mini File Folder to hold even more photos!

place something in your pocket to help you cut the page protector from behind (as shown in the video below)

then pierce a hole through the photos, front of the protector, and file folder so that you can use a brad to hold the photos inside the file folder. i created tabs on the outside of my photos so that they would be easy to grab!

have you heard?! my #HSProject products have been restocked at Michael’s Stores?!! grab your Project Life supplies and watch below how much fun it can be to have a few more interactive elements to your pocket pages! for even more interactive ideas, you can read my FREE Project Life e*idea book right here!

hello NOVEMBER *memory planner printable*

yes, it’s true… NOVEMBER IS HALF OVER!  hey, november… what’s up with that? this month i have been in a bit of a tail spin! right from the beginning… there is just so much going on, which is ABSOLUTELY NO EXCUSE for not getting the monthly Memory Planner FREE Printable out there to all my favorite people!  but alas, i have finally sat myself down and FINISHED it! i am so glad that you LOVE these! i LOVE that you USE them, and share them and that you PLAN with them! November is a BIG MONTH. and so far, i haven’t even written ONE THING!  and i am the one that always says “just write ONE LITTLE THING everyday”… hello, i should be practicing what i preach? right?  well, i have a confession. i have broken my #1 rule of “Memory Planning”.  Which is: KEEP YOUR PLANNER ACCESSIBLE.  I lost it for a spell. and by lost i mean that it was under a stack of stuff that i was purposely not looking through! do you have any of those kinds of piles?

Last night, i dug it out!  i looked back through October; then back through the summer…. and all the way back to the first of the year. what an AMAZING year. I LOVE my Memory Planner so much.  TODAY i am uploading some photos to print. I found my favorite pen, and a few stamps. and i created this SUPER fun printable for all of us to enjoy!

The holidays are upon us! it’s time to be pro-active. it’s time to plan. make lists, check them off… so get out your planner! print this freebie... and write ONE little thing everyday! write what you are grateful for; focus on your blessings!  and feel the “november LOVE”


happy monday my friends… make it a great day!

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