March 30, 2015

Project Life 2015 | Week 11 + Day in the Life

Unlike my week 10 spread, I'm very happy with how this one came out. I put a little more time and effort into the planning before printing, which made all the difference in my mind. Here's a closer look at the spread.

March 25, 2015

Project Life 2015 | Stamping Pt.1

I used to not like stamping. At all. I thought it made Project Life spreads look too busy. What I didn't realize is that while stamping can sometimes be too much, it's all about how you approach the process that makes the difference.

I'm happy to say that I'm now a stamp convert.

Being on the Kellie Stamps creative team helped a lot, and I've started branching out a little bit using Kelly Purkey stamp products as well.

I have been getting a fair amount of questions about the stamp products I use, so instead of answering everyone separately, I thought it would be a great idea to write up a post about my experiences. So, here we go.

I've discovered that the brand of ink pad I use depends entirely on the type of paper the photos are printed on. For example, I usually print at home, but this time I decided to have my photos printed at Walgreens on glossy paper. I tried stamping on a list from Kelly Purkey using the SC Color Theory ink pad and.... smudge. Not good:

 But, stamping on the same paper with StazOn, and no problems!

In the following example, this photo was printed at home on a semi-glossy paper using the StazOn ink. As you can see, the ink didn't stick to the photo very well.

Then of course, there's card stock. I haven't had any bad experiences with stamping on it.
So to sum things up: when I print my photos at home, I will definitely use the SC Color Theory inks. When sending my photos out to be printed, I will use the StazOn ink.

I hope this helps you guys out!

Stay tuned for Part Two, where I show you how I've been using stamps lately.
March 23, 2015

Project Life 2015 | Week 10

I've debated over and over whether or not to share this week. You know why? Because I'm very unhappy with how it turned out. BUT, there's a lesson in that: that it's done, and that's better than nothing. So, I decided to share it and move on.

Here's a closer look.

Left side:
Right side:


Products Used: WRMK 9 square page, Design F (trimmed) BCQ Weekenders (coming soon), kellie stamps, StazOn ink pad, date stamp

* Project Life is a product, system and a lifestyle created by Becky Higgins. In 2015, I'm creating a spread for each week of the year. Here are all of my pages from 2013, 2014 + 2015.
March 19, 2015

All I want is some resemblance of normal

“You’re going to have to muster all the mommy patience you have,” my father in law said, as he headed towards the door on Tuesday night. And I knew in that instant that all I wanted to do was crawl under the covers of my bed and cry.

Cry for the past month. Cry for the pain and discomfort and frustration that my son is going through. Cry for all that I haven’t done, and all that I have yet to do. Cry for all of the weight on my husbands shoulders these days. Cry for the feeling in my gut never letting me forget me how painful and ridiculously hard motherhood feels.

As I write this, I’m sitting at the kitchen table, exhausted as it is long past the time my head would normally hit the pillow, afraid to give in and close my eyes. Because I was up with my son four times last night. Because he won’t stop hitting and throwing things. Because I’m having terrible, anxiety-ridden dreams. Because I’m afraid of how many times I will again be awakened before morning. Because of how I will feel tomorrow, and the day after that.

I’m trying so hard to be thankful in the midst of all this crazyness, to embrace motherhood no matter what shape it is taking at the moment, and to remember that everything is a phase and we will eventually come out on the other side of this.

But it’s hard.

And I know there are other parents out there right now, nodding along as they read these words, wishing they too could get a grasp on their lives. I know they too, you too, have wanted to raise the white flag and surrender, the way I do tonight.

Let’s all admit right now that it’s okay to feel that way. The last thing we need is more judgment.

What we so need is more honesty, to hear our thoughts and feelings echoed in others around us.

To know that we are not alone.

To know that everyone is human.

To know that it’s a bad day, not a bad life.

To know that it’s okay to be crying alone in your kitchen at 11:21pm on a Wednesday night.

To know that it’s time to go to bed and turn off the light, and replenish that mommy patience we all so desperately require.
March 16, 2015

Getting over the Hump

Flickr / Kristine May

I've been experiencing some terrible writers block the past few weeks. Naturally, I want to blame it on the shift of brain power from: whatever-the-hell-I-want, to: working eight hours a day, five days a week. That doesn't even take into consideration my consulting work.

My typical day looks a little something like this. Up at 6:00am, feed my son once he's up, hop in the shower around 6:50, leave the house at 7:45 for daycare drop off, back home by 8:10 to begin my work day. Working lunch, every day. Work until my son comes home with my husband around 4:15, and get him a snack. From now until the end of the night, I steal moments here and there to work on my consulting projects. Around 5:30 I start dinner, we're done and cleaned up by 6:50. Bath time and then celebrating a sleeping toddler by 8pm.

Just like that, without batting an eyelash, fourteen hours of my day have disappeared, and I now have to choose between sitting in front of my computer more than I already have that day in order to write (or work!), or spending a couple of hours alone with my husband.

I'll give you one guess as to what wins out.

Like my son, who needs time to adjust to being in daycare, I realize that I too need time to settle into my new role. After nearly two years, I am no longer a stay-at-home mom. I am now contributing to the household financially. I am relaxing into my work from home position. And I am trying not to raid the pantry and eat all the things, or survive solely on black coffee.

With every life change comes a grace period, where it's okay that I'm self-medicating with a glass of red wine most evenings, and perfectly acceptable to feel completely lost because I can't seem to voice my own thoughts on this blog.

Well, hell, I may have just made some progress.

Cheers to that.
March 12, 2015

Excerpts from my Journal | 06

These pieces are anywhere from 1 month to 2 years old, but upon re-discovering them + finding strength in them, I knew that I wanted to share them.

Sunday. It was gloriously beautiful out. The kind of day where everyone is suddenly outside. your neighbors are cleaning their cars, trimming their hedges and stepping out for a long walk. The air was buzzing with excitement. Children were running the streets, filling them with laughter. The sun shining on our faces.

It was glorious.

I wore a dress, the first one of the season. Pink and black striped, a gift from my mother-in-law this past christmas. The dress, and me in it, were a perfect indication of how I was feeling. Carefree. In love. Relaxed.

Sunday. I will never forget you.