Day in the Life – 07.30.16

For this edition of Day in the Life, our family was getting ready to head home from our vacation at my sister’s. That meant laundry, packing, cramming in a few last minute fun things to do, saying goodbye, a long drive home, and unpacking. Needless to say, this was a welcome change of pace from my last DITL. 

I again used the kit Ali Edwards created for this project and fully embraced the concept of taking one photo an hour. I set up alarms to go off every hour and then just let the day progress as it would. 


It’s always a dicey thing to be working on a photo project when you aren’t in your normal surroundings, but I made sure my family knew what I was doing and, for the most part, they happily played along.  

The layout for this one ended up being pretty simple, especially within the confines of the DITL kit and the fact that it needed to fit within my main PL album. It also helped that I had exactly 16 pictures. Overall, I really like how it all came together. 

DITL Layout #1



DITL Layout #2


Page Construction Notes

  • Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors
  • Ali Edwards Day in the Life Kit
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PL 2016 – Week 19 (WITL)

I’ve tried a couple of times to participate in Ali Edwards’ Week in the Life project. I feel like I am not usually all that successful at it.  At least not at the time it is actually happening. It’s only after I go back and review the photos from the week in question that I discover I do actually have enough material to complete the project. This year was no different. 

I’d wanted to document and post my pages each day, but quickly realized it was not meant to be. I did try to keep up, but the week just got away from me. I did the best I could taking pics and crossed my fingers it would all work out. 

I am happy to say it did. I had to get creative with what I had, which meant a healthy amount of repetition in the pics and not a lot of words, but I got it done and am thrilled with the final result. 

WITL – Sunday 

WITL – Monday

WITL – Tuesday

WITL – Wednesday

WITL – Thursday

WITL – Friday

WITL – Saturday

Page Construction Notes

I am once again using a kit Ali Edwards designed specifically for this project. I have to say that while she has absolutely been knocking it out of the ball park with her DITL kits, this kit for WITL is my all time favorite. I just love everything about it, from the rainbow colored title cards to the daily chipboard pieces. It made what could have been boring repetition into a beautiful and visually exciting project. 

PL – Week 15 & Tough

This week was a study in the highs and lows of life. 

The High: Ella had an absolute blast playing clarinet with Dallas Brass who visited both Hoover and West to workshop with the band students. Dallas Brass performed a concert Tuesday night and the Junior High bands were invited to play a Star Wars medley with them. I was impressed with how much time Dallas Brass spent with all of the kids, how amazing everyone sounded and absolutely loved how excited Ella got about her instrument and performing. Yay! 

The Low: Exactly 24 hours after the Dallas Brass show, Ella broke her wrist skating on her dad’s too-fast roller blades. We now have an orthopedic surgeon on speed dial as this is the second time Ella fractured a bone near the growth plate (the first being her finger back in October 2015) which requires specialized care to ensure the bone heals correctly. Ella ended up in a cast for a month and thus no clarinet. Boo! 

PL 2016 – Week 15

A final note: I subscribe to Ali Edwards’ Story Kits/Story Stamps and have since their inception. While I have used some of the elements from random kits here and there, I’ve never created a whole layout from one of them. So I can’t decide if it was ominous or fortuitous that this month’s theme just happened to be ‘Tough.’ On the one hand, Ella broke her wrist and was in pain  and it sucked, but on the other hand, the experience turned into a pretty cool tradional scrapbook layout. 

PL 2016 – Tough

Here’s the text:

Ella is a strong girl. She is tough. We’ve taught her to be that way. Is it gonna fall off? No? Then suck it up and deal. It will be okay, so move on. Sometimes I wonder if we took it too far. Ella broke her wrist yesterday. She thought she was going to throw up when it happened, but did not cry even though it hurt. Badly. She would not give into the pain. So much so that her chest hurt from holding in the sobs. So much so that when the pain woke her up in the middle of the night, she refused to bother any one for more pain meds. So much so that she refused help to do anything she is used to doing by herself. So much so that she refused to even consider the possibility of taking the day off school or calling to come home early if the pain got to be too much. So much so that she refused to let us send pain meds to school for her to take later in the day if needed. So much so that she refused to let her dad or me see her finally give into the pain and let a few tears fall. No, she just quickly wiped them away and said she was fine. She’s not weak and will not let anything keep her from what needs done. Because she is strong. Tough. And she won’t let anyone convince her otherwise. 

Page Construction Notes

  • Becky Higgins Picturesque Core Kit designed by Heidi Swapp
  • Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors 
  • Ali Edwards ‘Tough’ Story Kit and Story Stamp

OLW 2016 – April

April’s One Little Word prompt was a simple question – what does it really mean to [your OLW]?  We were to spend the month exploring our word and what it means in our life right now. 

So, what does it really mean to FOCUS? 

Here’s what I discovered:

  • FOCUS is having a vision and the belief that vision will become a reality. Dream big and believe, without a shadow of a doubt, that those dreams will come true. 
  • FOCUS is having a plan and following it. Figure out what you need to do to make your dreams reality and then DO THE WORK.
  • FOCUS is setting clear guidelines about what is and what is not okay. Boundaries must be set – both with yourself and those you interact with. 
  • FOCUS is recognizing when you’ve seen a squirrel and pulling yourself back to task. Distractions happen, just don’t let them drag you off course. 
  • FOCUS is understanding that there are times when playing with the squirrel is totally needed. Sometimes distractions are a must. They relieve self imposed pressure and encourage creative thinking. 
  • FOCUS is allowing mistakes and learning from them. Everyone makes mistakes – EVERYONE! Rather than playing it safe, allow yourself the grace to royally jack something up and then learn from it. 
  • FOCUS is letting go of the constant need for perfection. No one is perfect – NOT ONE PERSON. Embrace your flaws. It’s where your creativity comes from. 
  • FOCUS means sometimes you just have to say NO! Say no to things you don’t want to do so you can say yes to the things that make you happy. 

That’s FOCUS for me right now. 

OLW 2016 – April

PL 2016 – Week 12 & 13

Most honest, I don’t remember much about the end of March. I was knocked out hard with a cold that morphed into bronchitis and it was all I could do to make it through work each day. Sleep and medicine, including an inhaler, were my friends. 

I can tell you, only because of the pics on my phone, that we had a lovely snow shower on March 24 and a light rain that let up right before the start of Easter Vigil Mass on March 26. 

While I did have to sit out much of my church’s Holy Week festivities, I worked hard to be rested enough to make Easter Vigil. I may not remember much of it, but I’ve not missed one since I joined the church 20 years ago and wasn’t about to let being sick keep me away from what is, by far, my favorite mass of the entire church year. 

PL 2016 – Week 12

As is typical in my albums, Easter pics usually make up the PL spread for the week in which it falls. We had a delightful time with Jason’s side of the family – sharing a wonderful meal and hunting Easter eggs. We even managed a picture of all the cousins. 

PL 2016 – Week 13

And finally, in order for layouts to work out right a few weeks from now, I added my first filler page. This is an image from an old calendar, one of many I keep around for occasions such as this. 

PL 2016 – Filler 1

Page Construction Notes

  • Becky Higgins Picturesque Core Kit designed by Heidi Swapp
  • Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors
  • Ali Edwards’ Storytelling Class Kit (no longer available)
  • Chipboard stars from Studio Calico

PL 2016 – Weeks 10 & 11

Week 10: 

  • Downton Abbey ended after 6 glorious seasons. I shall miss it terribly.  
  • Gus really is a gorgeously photogenic cat yet also insanely moody. 
  • It’s amazing when you have a PL card that is so perfect for the time your daughter tells you adults shouldn’t use the word ‘adorbs.’
  • Even short visits with family are better than none at all. 

PL 2016 – Week 10

Week 11:

  • Jason decided to try a French press with a new flavor of coffee – Verena Street’s Mississippi Grog
  • Enjoying the muted greens and oranges of Ali Edward’s newest Day in the Life kit as I prepare to join in the fun in a few weeks. 
  • And a lovely reminder from Bill Watterson, of Calvin and Hobbes fame, that life is what you make it. 

PL 2016 – Week 11

Page Construction Notes

  • Becky Higgins Picturesque Core Kit designed by Heidi Swapp
  • Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors
  • Chipboard stars from Studio Calico

PL 2016 – Week 7

The entertainment theme continued into the 7th week of 2016. 

Ella started clarinet lessons at the UNI Community Music School with Cindi Mason. I was surprised at how hard it was to leave her at the door and walk away.  As much as I want to be there during her lessons, I know she needs to experience this for herself and she doesn’t need me hovering over her while she does so. She’s already learned so much in just two lessons, so I have to get over myself and just let her be. Which, while it is the right thing to do, sucks. Oh well. It had to happen some time; they are only going to get older and more independent. Best learn to back off now, right? 

In the spirit of backing off, my sister came down for a weekend visit and we ran away to spend the day at the Marcus Theaters’ College Square location watching the first part of their 2016 Best Picture Festival. We saw Brooklyn (just lovely), Bridge of Spies (excellent), The Martian (spectacular, even the second time around), and The Big Short (depressing as hell, but phenomenal). Loved spending time with my sis and enjoying four wonderful movies. 

PL 2016 – Week 7

Finally, the Grammys were this week and my sarcastic, world weary Ella was on fire tonight as we watched the show together. I posted her observations and comments on FB along with some of my own. It ended up being quite an entertaining experience.

I wanted to document the evening so I took screenshots of my FB posts and combined them with pics of the moments we referenced to create 3×4 photos. I then used the Project Life app to create 2-12×12 layouts. Check them out. 

Grammy Observations – Part 1

Grammy Observations – Part 2

Page Construction Notes

  • Becky Higgins Picturesque Core Kit designed by Heidi Swapp
  • Becky Higgins Design A Page Protectors
  • Ali Edwards’ Storytelling Class Kit (no longer available)
  • I used the PicStitch app to make the 3×4 cards in the Grammy spreads and the Project Life app to make the spreads themselves.