Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Project Life: Week 7

Guys, I've hit a milestone in my Project Life: I have a spread that I'm not trying to pick apart the next day. To say I'm a perfectionist with creative projects would be an understatement--and it's also the reason I could never ever do "regular" scrapbooking. I feel like I'm starting to really get the hang of Project Life, though, and I'm definitely gaining some confidence. It may seem silly, but I kinda need that right now.

Here's week seven (I've made quite a bit of progress on our wedding album, too, so I'll share that soon!):

(Left side)

(Right side)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

V-Day Celebrations

I think I have officially become a fan of Valentine's Day. Yes, it's contrived and largely consumer-driven. Yes, I think we should show and appreciate our affections all through the year, not just one designated day. Yes, I know it's cheesy.

I don't care. V-Day has won me over.


Here's the thing: we're pretty simple folks and we live a pretty low-key life. Most of the time, I wouldn't have it any other way; pizza and a movie at home? Happy girl, right here. Every once in awhile, though, it's nice to have an excuse to dress up for a fancy date. Besides, seeing my guy in a suit makes my little heart a bit fluttery.


It just seems like the extra effort--the suit, the reservations at one of my favorite restaurants, dessert at the cupcake place we went so many times when we were dating-- reminds me of how lucky I am. It's not that I'm ungrateful for the day-to-day, but I just get too comfortable sometimes. I forget how utterly amazing it is that I get to spend my years with someone I love more than anyone else, who loves me more than I can understand or believe. I'm a little ashamed that it takes a cheesy holiday like Valentine's Day to remind me of that, but all I can say is I'm grateful for the reminder. I've been a little giddier since our date, and the little things have been striking chords in my heart so much more often. So V-Day, I owe you one.


Monday, February 17, 2014

Today, I just have to say....


I'm really really really grateful for this guy. And I couldn't love him more.

Friday, February 14, 2014

In honor of Valentine's Day....

Since it's the Day O'Love, I had to share a little bit of information that I found out today.

You know Delores Umbridge, possibly the only Harry Potter character more hated than Voldemort?


And you know Mr. Carson, that lovable ol' semi-curmudgeonly butler from Downton Abbey?


They're MARRIED.
(Well, the actress and actor who play them are married.)

(.....and have been for 30+ years)


If your mind isn't blown, I'm not sure we can be friends. Unless you already knew that, in which case you're off the hook (and probably much cooler than me). Happy Valentine's Day! 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Follow Me Over

Hey guys! I'm guest-posting today over at Harrells On Hood to help fill in while Angela is on vacation. I'm talking about some deeper thoughts on faith and shame, and I would love it if you clicked over and gave me your thoughts too! You can find the post here.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Going against my nature.


I'm not a winter creature. When the wind starts to blow cold, I retreat under snuggly blankets with neverending cups of tea. I hate to be cold (and I seem to have been cursed with cold-naturedness) so I would hibernate all winter if I could. Hibernating is wildly underrated in my opinion. I might wake up to watch a snowfall or two--from the safety and warmth of the great indoors, of course. It's beautiful, yes, but it's just as beautiful from the other side of a window.


So then, it goes against any logic, and really my very nature, that we went to the battlefield on a snowy Saturday last weekend. We drove the winding roads through snow-covered fields--stopping now and then to hop from the car to snap some photos, and run back, chilled and giggling. Freeze and thaw, freeze and thaw. Winter might have claimed a little piece of my heart.




Tuesday, February 11, 2014

PL Weekly.

I know I've mentioned doing Project Life before and even given a few sneak peeks of my (still in-progress) wedding album. Well, I've also been doing weekly pages for this year and trying to go back and make pages for major events from 2013 (since 2013 was our first full year of marriage). Nothing like jumping in with both feet, huh?

I'll be sharing some of my pages periodically here on the blog, but I'll try not to post them too terribly often. I would love to hear any thoughts or ideas from fellow PLers/scrappers/creatives in general, too. Just remember, I'm still a beginner, so be nice!

Today I'm posting the first few weekly pages (although not last week's because I'm about a week behind, eesh!). At first it really bothered me that they were so different from each other, because I thought it made the album less cohesive. The more I looked through it, though, the more I began to see it as a better reflection of the week and of my (rather, um, eclectic) personality. So I've come to accept it. Maybe someday I'll have an album with the same theme for the whole year....but is it bad if I kinda hope not? :)

(Title page)

(Week one, left side)

(Week one, right side)

(Week two, left side)

(Week two, right side)

(Week three, left side)
(Week three, right side)

(Week four, left side)

(Week four, right side)

(Week five, left side)

(Week five, right side)

So that's it. Anyone else taking the weekly route for 2014? I'm loving it so far; I'm finding it's really keeping me accountable and helping me find memorable moments throughout the week, even in the small things. :)

Monday, February 10, 2014



Has something ever meant so much to you that you've found it hard to write about it? I've started and erased this blog post so many times because everything I've written has seem too.....light, I guess. Since last Wednesday, when I got this tattoo during a snow day afternoon with a friend at work, I've had so many people ask what it means. To be honest, I've found it hard to explain without a 20-minute diatribe (which would probably be about 20,000 paragraphs here). I'd written a little bit about wanting this tattoo on the blog before, and even posted an excerpt from the book it's from, but it's been hard to put into words just how much this simple little word has impacted me personally. Today, though, I'm going to try. (This is a version brief enough to give Cliff Notes nightmares, but bear with me for now and then go buy yourself a copy of the book!)

East of Eden by John Steinbeck has been my favorite book for.......well, I honestly don't know how long, but it's ages, believe me. The story revolves around this concept of timshel, a Hebrew word, which is illuminated toward the end of the book when one of the characters explains it's translation. The word is found in Genesis 4, when God is addressing Cain regarding sin, following his murder of Abel. In the King James version of the Bible, "timshel" is translated as "thou shalt"--a promise that Cain would conquer sin. The American standard translates it as "do thou"--a command to conquer sin. However, in the book, the correct translation is actually "thou mayest."  It's a choice, an opportunity. It's a gift. Timshel means that I guide my life closer to God or further away by my own free will--that God loves me enough to let me go, let me wound Him and walk away rather than control me--and that, because of that gift of love, I have the responsibility to make the best decisions possible in this life.

All that, from one little word.

Thanks for bearing with my not-so-eloquent explanation. I hope you have an amazing week full of opportunities and possibilities. Timshel.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

February Wishlist

I've got Valentine's Day on the brain. V-Day has never really been a big deal to me one way or another; some people love it, some hate it, but I've always been rather indifferent. For some reason, though, this year I'm all about it. Give me hearts, give me chocolate, give me everything in red and pink and lace. I've no qualms about being girly and buying into the hype sometimes. Besides, commercial or not, I'm all for a holiday that encourages people to be extra loving to one another. So in honor of V-Day, February's wishlist is a little extra feminine. 

Feb Wishlist


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

January's Favorite Reads

Here are a few of my favorite reads from January (and one from the very end of December because it was so good and I do what I want. Hashtag: rebel.)

"What They Don't Tell You" at Mushaboom. This is so important, you guys. So so important.

"Mademoiselle You Must Meet // Jenn Fortner" at The Skinny Luv.  I love the idea behind this series! Too often, women feel the need to tear each other down out of some ridiculous illusion of competition or to buffer the self-esteem that society chips away at daily. It is SO refreshing when to see women highlighting the inspiring ladies in their lives and raising each other up like this.

"Our Engagement" at Floral Mountains. Gosh, I just love love. I'm so envious of engagement photographers, especially ones that can capture pictures like these. Some of them also were taken in the exact same spot as some of our engagement photos, so warm fuzzies all around, ya'll.

"Gold Moon Wall" at A Beautiful Mess. I love this. Love it. Will I ever be gutsy enough to try to pull it off? Doubtful, but I'm going to admire it regardless.

"DIY Dream Mobile" at Freely Ronnie. I have always been a collector. I would wander off into the woods and come back with quartz-laden stones, handfuls of feathers and leaves, and bouquets of wildflowers that set my mom into an allergic fit. This little project is so nostalgic and whimsical--it's perfect.

"Hexagon Tray DIY" at Always Rooney. Courtney consistently produces some of my favorite DIY projects, and this one is no exception. Girl makes me want a garage full of power tools.

"White Painted Floors in the Bedroom" at The Room Journal. I have a serious crush on these floors. They make everything look so crisp and clean. Few things have given me house fever like this post. Love love love.

"Lighting Tips and Tricks for Bloggers and Photographers" at Making Nice in the Midwest. I'm always looking for photography tips; I recently bought a DSLR and believe me, I need all the help I can get! Some good stuff here.

"Project Life for Noobs" at Caylee Grey. Okay, so this *technically* was posted at the end of December, but as a recent convert to Project Life/scrapbooking in general, I found this so incredibly helpful that I had to include it (especially since I didn't do a Favorite Reads post for December. Blame the holidays!). Caylee rocks at PL, and I soak up any bit of wisdom she posts.

So those are a few of my favorites from this month. Any great posts you know of that didn't make the list? Send 'em my way! I'm always looking for new great blogs!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Gallery Wall Love

There are few decorating ideas that I love as deeply as gallery walls. I hope they never ever ever go out of style--and if they do, I'll probably have them anyway. The bigger and more eclectic, the better. I've been hoarding components for my own for months; right before Christmas, I took everything off the wall behind our couch and filled it with Christmas decorations, with the intention of replacing the decorations with a gallery wall after the holidays. The real result was that our wall was empty for almost a month (hey, it's a little intimidating!). Apparently all it takes for me to get my rear in gear, though, is a text from my mom saying that she's coming to visit for the weekend (because my mom has changed my dirty diapers and seen me vomit, but seeing blank walls in an apartment might somehow make her think less of me or something.......my brain is weird).

So Friday, this happened: 

About time, right? I obviously used the trace method for designing my wall (thank you, Pinterest!), and I am oh-so-glad I did. If you've never seen this done, prepare to have your life changed! I traced all the frames onto some leftover wrapping paper, then arranged them on the wall (I recommend using painters tape if you have it; I didn't, so I used scotch tape and just was extra careful removing the paper when it was time). I then used the "toothpaste trick" to determine where to place the nail--I put a small dab of toothpaste on the hanger(s) for each picture, then lined them up with their respective paper representatives, and pushed gently. This left a toothpaste mark where the nail should be, and the toothpaste wiped right off the pictures themselves. Once I hammered in the nail, I removed the paper place-holders and hung the pictures. It was by far the easiest time I've ever had hanging frames, and there aren't a million nail-holes in our walls--something we'll be grateful for when we move out of the apartment! 

Here's the finished product: 

Overall I'm really happy with how it turned out (although I just noticed that one of those small pictures is crooked, so I'm gonna have to fix that before I go crazy!). It feels much more personal and homey to me than our previous arrangement, and I'm thrilled to finally have a little gallery wall of my own.

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