Category: inspiration

insta-love: my favorite birthday memory

with Kim Jeffress living in Australia, it was like we got to celebrate her birthday twice! once her time and then again my time! ha!!! it’s hard to be away from friends on their birthdays. that’s why it was so special to read this post and see how much fun Kim’s birthday was! her pictures took me right there and it was like i was celebrating with her! i am sure you will feel the same too…

Last week it was my birthday and I was lucky enough to go to the brand new Jamie Oliver restaurant that opened just that week in Brisbane for my birthday lunch. I have been a long time follower of Jamie Oliver so I was excited when I heard his restaurant was coming. I wanted to create a quick mini album of my time there with a  focus on the photos so I turned to some of my photos I uploaded to Instagram and grabbed the Favorite Things Memory File kit new at Hobby Lobby to help me out! I wanted my photos to be the star of the mini so I printed them at 6×6 inches. Then  I took the black and white and floral Memory Files  and trimmed the decorative edge off so each flap was approx 6 1/2 inches in length. To the black and white Memory File I reworked the spine by folding along one of the other scored lines to enable the contents of the mini to sit inside.  I then went ahead and adhered my photos and embellished each page. I tied some white seam binding around all of the pages to hold them in place

For my cover I adhered the photo and then took one of the Glitter Frames and overlaid it on my photo.  To complete my cover I added some of the Glitter Words Stickers  and chipboard stickers (also new at Hobby Lobby) directly on  to my photo.

For a few inside pages I trimmed some 61/2 inch strips of pattern paper from the Favorite things 12×12 paper pack and folded them in half. Here you can see I adhered one photo to the inside cover of the Memory file and the second photo to one of these pages. To embellish I added some of the new Word Jumble Vintage stickers from Hobby Lobby to the photo.

Turning the page more Word Jumble stickers and Glitter shapes from the Glitter word pack.

Here you can see one of my pages I created from the 12 x 12 pad. I added the sticker die cut from the sticker sheet from the Favorite Things Memory file kit, stamping it with a stamp from The Best Day Clear stamp set , overlaying a Gold Glitter Word then splashing with some Gold Lame ColorShine to finish.

On the reverse I added that chipboard word from the Color Pop Chipboard sticker sheet and another Vintage Word Jumble sticker again more splashes of Gold Lame to complete.

Next I took the Mini Memory file from the kit and trimmed it to be 61/2 in height. I then adhered the back of this Mini Memory file to the front of the floral Memory file.  I created a little shaker by trimming a square of that gorgeous ombre pattern paper from the Dreamy 6×6 paper pad, trimming a square from it’s centre and adding some Bazzill Clear paper to form the window. I popped some punched hearts inside before adhering it with foam tape to the front of the Mini Memory File. Finishing off with that sticker from the kit stamped with words from the Best Day Ever set.

Inside I added the receipt using one of the clips from the  September Skies Attachment kit and my handwritten journaling.

More photos embellished simply with Stickers from the Memory File kit, Jumble Stickers and Chipboard Stickers. On the right photo , my yummy lemon and mint ravioli I stamped one of the stickers from the kit with a phrase from the Best Day Ever Clear stamps.

To my favorite photo I added that Glitter Word sticker and tab sticker from the sticker sheet in the  kit.

More Vintage Jumble Stickers.

Additional  simplicity with a Sticker from the Kit stamped from the Best Day Ever stamps and that chipboard heart and of course splashes of Gold Lame Colorshine.

I had to take this photo of the chandelier, it was stunning!

To complete my mini I added one of the Gold Glitter Shape Banners that I trimmed and backed with some scrap pattern paper then stapling it to the Memory File layering it with more stickers.

I love how the photos remain the highlight of my album with touches of embellishments here and there to make it extra special!

how fun Kim!!! i love the simplicity of this project – yet it is so beautiful, making your photos just shine!!! happy birthday dear friend and thank you!

Supplies: Favorite Things Memory File Kit, Favorite Things 12×12 paper pad, Glitter Shape Frames 2, Glitter Shapes banners, Glitter Words Mixed Company Stickers, Color Pop Chipboard Moments Stickers, Chipboard Stickers,

Word Jumble Vintage Stickers, Clear Stamp Best Day Ever, Gold Lame ColorShine, September Skies attachment kit

so very grateful.

h a p p y    t h a n k s g i v i n g   f r i e n d s


i love this opportunity to STOP and sit… and enjoy family! what a gift! i am so grateful! so very grateful!

we love coming to Arizona for Thanksgiving! the weather in Utah has gotten just cold and snowy enough that the blissful blue skies and perfect temps make coming here the biggest treat!  I am not sure the last time we made the effort to take a family photo – seems like we just can’t get everyone here at the same time, and we are going and coming- and i just haven’t pressed the issue… but this year i did! and i am SO glad!  LOOK how cute it turned out! everyone is smiling! we are missing Shelly…. i wish we could have had everyone

every time we make the effort, i am so thankful! i love photos! don’t you?

we only had 1/2 hour window that we could make this happen – before someone could get there, and someone had to leave… this was the only chance we had. and it was a race against the sun and traffic and schedules! isn’t that always the case?

i called one of my sweet friends, Elizabeth (Hutzler) Lawlor (take a peek at the gorgeous pics on her fb page; so cute!) - she used to be our family babysitter. she helped me with my little kids for years, and now she is all grown up with littles of her own! she has a photography business, and she takes beautiful photos here in Mesa, AZ.  I explained to her WHAT LITTLE  we had to work with:  limited light, less than stellar location and semi-lousy attitudes coming from a few different directions…. the drive from my house to my MIL house is about 12 hours. We left late Tuesday night and overnighted in St. George, UT, and finally arrived literally at 4:15pm for 4:30 photos.  We were frantically finding clothes, wetting down hair and getting everyone dressed and ready after our all day drive!

and i am so thankful! for these happy faces!  for family! for the effort made by everyone involved and the smiles on faces and the looking at the camera! it makes me so happy!  I look at this photo, and i can’t believe how much these people have grown! the time goes by so fast. They are so happy to be together. We don’t get to spend much time together, so what do we have is precious and they all have so much fun!

and i’m so thankful for this lovely lady who just LOVES everyone! She is one who LOVES unconditionally. and these kids feel it! with her they feel accepted, and welcome and adored!  it’s not the turkey or fresh homemade rolls that i love about today … it’s this.

wishing all of you a little of this!  take pictures today! take a minute to feel grateful for all the quirky, crazy and totally unique things that you love about your family! and document it!

then.. lets make pretty stuff!

Oh Snap! Family Style

getting everyone in my family dressed and out the door on time is a challenge!!! throw in getting each one of my kids to look at the camera and smile during our family Christmas portraits makes me glad i send Christmas cards only once a year! i love my family portraits from last year, no matter how much the boys goofed off or how cold it was – it was fun!! a family memory that we will always have and treasure! today Jaime Pate has 4 ways to keep our expectations in check during the holiday portrait season. it is some great advice to remember before scheduling your family shoot…

Everything comes with a price. Even that ‘perfect’ family photo. O.K…well, maybe that almost perfect photo? If you pay attention to Pinterest for too long, and you know who you are, your expectations may be pretty high for that magazine imaged family portrait. If you have little ones you may be hoping that the very essence of that cutie will be uncovered during a family photo shoot. But if you are realistic, and yes, this post is all about being realistic, you may want to borrow a few of my tips to survive creating that memorable yearly photo.

Here is a bit of a behind the scenes look at what it takes to get the Pate family ready for a family photo.

1. Dress complimentary but not too matchy-matchy.
You don’t have to don Ambercrombie and Finch to have a nice look for your pics. Trust me. I am a busy mama and shopping around all of town to get the perfect on trend outfits just does not work for me. Besides, have you ever shopped with three girls before? Well, then you do know what I mean. Since most of my kids are older, I encourage them to dress in their own style, but give them parameters on colors and usually shoes. And of course pajamas are not optional. I may have to tweak the outfits a bit, but I like that their own personality shows through in what they choose.

2. Location. Location. Location.

We are pretty lucky and live in an area that does not require us to have to go far to find some amazing scenery. But even if you don’t have a lot of options, if you need to crop in close so as not to get a lot of background, that works too. But if you have an opportunity to get long shots with gorgeous background that shows off your rural or even urban setting, than make it work. I love me a fun shot of a family in a downtown alley. That look is so cool. These days I think one can make any location and background work.


3. Have fun.

When we went to have our yearly family photos made, it was such a gorgeous day, the location was fun and worthy of exploring. We just made a day of it and had fun. Everyone (well, for the most part), was relaxed and excited and energetic about this time together. And for me, it sort of became it’s own #onelittlethingeveryday sort of stop in the blur. Now, this may not happen every time, but I think for me, if I just go into the event with fun in mind, keep my expectations under control, and help the others do the same, then it can indeed be a great together time with family. (oh…and M&M’s for a little one goes a long way too).

4. No such thing as perfection.

And my last tip for you today, not that this is an all inclusive list of tips for family photos, but ya can’t hope for perfection and try to pursue that expectation. It will drive ya crazy. Seriously. Let it go, ladies. Especially if you have little ones in the shot. I mean, it’s hard enough to pretend to have control of the older ones. But when you throw a toddler in the mix?…well, I for one get happy with whatever I can get. And that is just what I am with this final family photo. That kid just could not look at the camera to save his life. So what are ya going to do? Embrace the imperfection and move on. Thinking we all could gain from that in every aspect of our lives.

So there you have it. Snappin’ it up family style. Keep the clothes simple but complimentary. Make your location work or work your location. Have fun…I think this should be above all. (Don’t forget the M&M’s) And don’t expect perfection. Make it work no matter who may not be giving their best look, and enjoy the results. It’s never going to look this way every again. It’s a quick moment in time. Embrace it.

Supplies: Believe Collection

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

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