Monday, July 22, 2013

Second New Obsession: Smashbook! I was saying yesterday, I have two new obsesssions. Project Life was the first obsession, so what's the second one?

Obsession #2: Smashbook!

I'm sure a lot of you have seen Smashbook's in the stores and around the internet. There's so many different things you can do with them!

What is a Smashbook? "Smashbook" is a brand of paper products. The base is a notebook or small binder with two sided paper. A lot of the paper in the Smashbooks have themes. The Smashbook I have above is the Eco-themed one -- it has lots of nature-y themed papers.

What do you do? You go crazy! There really isn't a rule, you just kind of put whatever you want in there. "Smash it in!" as they like to say. I love the idea of putting whatever you want in there. Of course I like to Google and see what other people are up to. Here's what I've seen: lots of elaborate, specialized pages. (Like this, this, and this.) Yea...I'm not going to do that. I would, but I have that whole Project Life thing for organization. (But there are lots of really neat random ones that are more my style like this, this, and this.)

Smashbooks sells a lot of extra stuff that you can put in there: tabs, stickers, dividers, random embellishments, quotes, pretty much everything. This, to me, misses the point. In my mind, you're supposed to put random things in it. It's not very random if you buy their kits of "random stuff." Sure, some is fine, but I don't think the whole book should include this stuff. (Just my opinion! If you like to use only their products, go ahead! To each her own.) I'm not going to lie, I did buy some of the stuff (like tabs and pockets) that I found on clearance. I'm not going to miss a good sale!

How am I using my Smashbook? Random little things I'd like to keep...I just pop in there. Extra pictures? They go in! Buuuuut....

Here's what I mostly do: I have about 5 different magazine subscriptions and that adds up to a lot of magazines laying around. (Because I'm a girl and we keep them for no reason.) I started finding my favorite parts and snippets from magazines and clipping them out and gluing them in there. Let me tell you -- this is sooo therapeutic. It's such a small thing but it instantly brings me back to my 11 year old self....cutting out things to make magazine collages, messing with tiny scraps of pretty things, collecting. The first night I did it it was like the heavens opened up. I felt so relaxed. It was like for a little while I was really transported to another land for a while. So nice.

Okay, and tell time! (Obviously, it's all a work in progress. It's the type of progress that's always kind of a work in progress...)

Here's July's main page. It was Luna's birthday so I have some of her wrapping paper. It has an extra picture from the reunion taped in with some washi tape. The calender is a one of the Smashbook pockets. It has a card, some extra pictures, and a postcard. I'm sure there'll be more too. (The little pictures are all from the little cards they give you when you get pictures printed at Costco. It's a 4x6 with tiny thumbnails of all your pictures. I cut them up and taped them all in there.)

Here's my "Reading Room" page (mostly from Oprah magazines...) I put an envelope in there so if I come across a book I might want to read, I cut it out and put it in there, or write it on a piece of paper and put it in there.

Here's what I call my "Inspiration" page...mostly a lot of quotes, an article I cut out and stapled in there, some pictures (not pictured) of places I'd like to go (India!).

Part of a "random" page. Has a lot of craft things on it.

Here's my "Home and Garden" type page...

So, that's about it! For me, other than memory stuff it's like a real life Pinterest for anything you find in your day. I love this! And like I said's so therapeutic. that I've officially "shared" I'll try to post new pictures from time to time! Does any else keep a journal like this or a Smashbook? If so I wanna see!

Oh yea...4 more days til the wedding! Goodnight!

- The soon-to-be Mrs. 246!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

New Obsession: Project Life!

Okay! You may have heard hints in the past couple of posts that I have two new (kind of) crafty obsession. I finally took some pictures today so you get to find out Obsession #1!

(I'll post about obsession #2 in another post. Each thing is so awesome it deserves its own post!)

New Obsession #1: Project Life
I've never seen or heard of Project Life before but I came across it a week or so ago in this post on the blog Wee Wonderfuls. It's genius! (I also feel like it's a bit silly. I'll explain why later.)

Here's kind of what it is:
  • You have a 12 x 12 binder.
  • You have plastic pages with a bunch of pockets, usually measuring 4x6 in or 3x4 in.
  • There are kits you buy with embellishment papers.
  • You place your pictures and embellisments/journals in the pockets. 
  • Voila! Done.
Here's my first page so you can see what I'm taking about:

When I first starting watching the video links (like these here, here, and here for example) for this I got that creeping butterfly-in-the-stomach excitement about this. Like, super excited. It was revolutionary for me that I could do this and that it was so easy and so quick. Here's the part where it's a bit the back of my mind I'm thinking: "How is this that different from a photo album which has been around for years? How is this a "revolutionary" idea of putting pictures and things into pockets?" Whatever. If it makes me happy, right?

I made Mr. 246 watch a HSN video on Project Life and they kept exclaiming "You just take your pictures and put them in the pockets!" I kind of cringed at that point 'cause I felt a bit silly being excited about a photo album, but it's so much more than that! Here...let me show you!

The "kits" I got were from Michael's and they are official "Project Life" products, but they're pretty much the same thing. The brand is Pocket Pages and they were on sale last week for 2 for $5 at Michael's!

You get a little embellishment & journal pack with 4x6 in cards and 3x4 in cards:
Each pack they sell kind of has it's own theme and color scheme. The one above is travel themed. Some of the cards have spots for journaling specific things, others just have a pattern (like the 3x4 cards on the bottom right), but all  of them have space for journaling on the back!

Look at this embellishment card:

It's beautiful and would look lovely to embellish any photo page, buuuuut that's not all, folks! Turn it over and there's space to journal!

It's kind of hard to see in that picture since it's so faint, but all cards have either a grid or a dot grid (so you can use it portrait or landscape orientation) so you can journal.

I love the journaling aspect. And the pockets. It makes it an interactive photo album/scrapbook hybrid. Who doesn't love a project that you can pick apart and interact with? It's like those hands-on museums which are far superior to regular museums. You really get to get involved. Little surprises everywhere!

Here's one of my little interactive journaling bits in action:

Wanna see the full effect? It's like paper crafting eye candy...
Some of the pages I put together a 12x12 collage in a photo editor and just printed those out to slip into 12x12 pockets. Also, you can see near Luna's birthday pictures in top I have an envelope I slipped in. It's an envelope from one of her birthday cards and it has extra pictures and other birthday mementos inside it. Fun, right?

You want to see some more? Of course you do!
I love that I can add in little memory things like the pressed pennies. The little San Diego Zoo title I cut out of packaging from a souvenir we bought (paper made from elephant poop!). Years from now we can take them out and touch them too!

Above is an example of some of the prompted journaling. I think on the back of the "Trip Details" I had written even more. You can see the top edge in the bottom right side where I used some washi tape to include our hotel parking pass and room key!

I've even starting day-to-day documentation. This page includes: pictures from my trip to the antique bookstore, pictures of Luna at Barnes and Noble's on "family night", picture of Luna doing her first painting, and I even cut part of the painting and laminated it to keep in the pocket. (See bottom left corner of photo). I love that I will have this stuff forever and it's displayed in such a nice way.

I've started my little collection of supplies in a photo box. It came with dividers which is perfect since I can divide up the cards by the themes they're sold in. I even have some Smash book supplies that were on clearance so I can add even more embellishments and whatnot.

Here's what I love about the "Project Life": I have a beautiful way to display our pictures (usually they sat on our computer and if I got around to it I would print some off or make a Shutterfly book). It's interactive, and fun, and easy! Print out some pictures once a week, put them in the pockets, add some journaling, and you're done. 

I could never do scrapbooking before since I'd literally spend hours on one page because I'd want it to look fabulous. You can't keep up with that. This you can keep up with.

I've started pinning things here if you'd like to follow that board.

Do I sound like a commercial? Maybe. But I told you, it's a new obsession so you were warned. Haha. I'll try to post pictures of anything neat I add to my book. I just really wanted to share. I hadn't heard of this before (usually I stay away from paper crafting) until I read Hillary's at Wee Wonderful's blog post. So, a big thank you to her!

So, what do you think? How do you keep your families memories organized?

-Ms. 246

Five Days Until the Wedding (Also, I have a TODDLER!)

Isn't that adorable? Luna was helping Mr. 246 plant some succulents for the wedding. They're going to be name tags for the reception table as well as wedding favors.

We have 5 days left and I am stressed. I may have forgotten to mention that my wedding dress that I specially ordered online on Etsy never came. So I had to buy another dress last Wednesday from a dress shop. Of course then my dress arrives 2 days later. So now instead of having no dress, I now have two. And I'm $500 poorer. Ahhh, the joys of weddings, right? I keep swaying back and forth from being super excited to being on the verge of losing my shit.

In other news, I officially have a toddler. She's been walking pretty good for weeks, but this past week or so we've been taking her on a lot more walks and she is getting fast.

There was an incident today however. It involved a face plant to the sidewalk. Poor Bean was in shock after it happened. She has a little scrape on her eye, cheek, and nose. There was blood. She was a trooper though. I even think it's minor enough, she should be good to go for wedding pictures Friday. You can kind of see her eye in this one. It's super hard to get a picture of her today. She is on the move!

She is learning so much everyday. I can't believe it and I can hardly keep up with all the new stuff she's learning. It's so neat to watch her turn into a little person.

Anyways, I'll catch up with you all later. We're making a family trip to the bookstore again. Mr. 246 has suddenly decided at the lovely age of 25 that he'd like to read a graphic novel or comic book for the first time. Hahaha. I'm supportive though, so we're going with. Plus, summer clearance at Barnes and Nobles is 75% off right now. Off we go!

- Soon to be MRS. 246!

Friday, July 19, 2013

This Moment

A Friday ritual inspired by SouleMama. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment to pause, savour and remember.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The County Fair!


I had fun editing some pictures tonight if you couldn't tell. It's all part of my new crafting obsession. Need photos. Lots of photos. It's good because it's really motivating me to take more pictures. (I promise...I'll make a post real soon and share my new love.)

I love love love the last picture. Doesn't it look like she's looking at a fairy?

The cow and goat pictures were taken at the county fair. I wanted to go just to check out the quilts and crafts and photos and animals. (Not much, right? Hehe.) I love county fairs, except it was hot today. 100+ degrees. We were worn out when all was said and done just from the heat alone. Hopefully, when Luna's older and we're back in the midwest, I would like it if she would be interested in 4H. I think the whole concept and activities of 4H are so neat. I also wish we could have stayed longer until tonight because....Weird Al Yankovich was performing tonight! Haha. Does anybody remember him?

Moving I say every year after I go to the fair: "I'm totally going to enter something next year!" I really want to. I think it's really neat to do. Maybe I'll enter an afghan, or a photo or two. Maybe I'm an asshole, but I like to look around at the entries and say to myself, "I could do better than that!"

Before I add "enter something into the county fair" to my mile long list of hopes and dreams, I've got to finish this wedding stuff. Goal for tomorrow: finish writing ceremony. Wish me luck.

Please feel free to leave any links to any of your recent pictures! I love looking at what everyone else is up to.

-Ms. 246

Friday, July 12, 2013

San Diego Trip and a Quick Recap on Life

Okay, so I'm a little late on the update but it's been a crazy week. We got back late Sunday night. (Side note: It took five hours longer to get home because of traffic. And, just to brag -- I drove through LA traffic myself and we all survived!)

We had a great trip (we went to San Diego if you didn't see my last post). We went down for a family reunion. It was crazy to meet so many people you're related to but you don't really know any of them. Haha.

In order to save time, here's some lists!

Highlights of the Trip:
  • Meeting so many welcoming family members
  • Ryan took Luna to hang out near the pool so I could get all prettied up for something and he came back to the hotel room with Luna wearing his t-shirt as a diaper. Hahaha. I was cracking up. His response: "Yea...she really wanted to go swimming so then she needed a new diaper." I love it.
  • Going to the San Diego Zoo! It was such a short trip we didn't have time for much but we succeeded in our one goal: making it to the zoo. You could easily spend two days just at the zoo. We walked around all day and we probably only saw a third. 
  • Watching Luna enjoy herself at the zoo. She loved all the animals and liked to yell and wave at them (as well as yelling at other people). She got very upset once she realized we weren't going to watch flamingos all day. She really enjoyed watching them. I think her other favorite animals were the bear and the zebra.
  • Taking Luna to walk in the ocean for the first time. (Well...kind of. It was a port/bay area...but it's ocean water, right? Maybe we ought to go the beach again sometime soon.)

Highlights of this Past Week:
  • Monday we got settled back in from the trip. Ryan had to go back to work already though.
  • Tuesday we got our marriage license!!! We dropped Luna off at daycare and went to the county courthouse and got us a license. Yippee!
  • Wednesday I bought a wedding dress. Yes, you heard me right. My wedding is in two weeks and I just bought a dress. I ordered the dress of my dreams online from Etsy and it's not looking promising. They keep saying they're sending it (it's about a month late at this point) and it keeps not arriving at my doorstep. So yea...I bought a new dress. It fits well, just needs hemmed!
  • Thursday I went to the town we're getting married in and got my hair trial done. That wasn't the best part...the best part was wandering about downtown by myself when I was done. I had lunch and went antiquing. I got some old books, a needlepoint to hang in our kitchen (just needs a new frame), and some really old copies of crafty/crochet magazines. 
  • Today (Friday!) was a lovely day. I worked a ton on my latest crafting endeavor, Luna took some killer naps, and we wandered about Joann Fabrics and Costco, enjoying their air conditioning from the hot weather.
Whew! So there you have it. I've got so much going on lately, it's hard to keep up. I do, however, have two new crafting obsessions I will be making a post about soon. Squeee! I'm excited to share.
What's everyone else been crafting up lately?

Thanks for stopping by!
-Ms. 246

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Our Morning View

Isn't it gorgeous? We're driving south to San Diego for a family reunion this weekend.  We left at 4 am so we could beat traffic and so little one could spend half the trip sleeping. The sun is now up and we're over half way there.  Not too shabby of views to greet the day with. 

Tomorrow we are hopefully going to the San Diego zoo. I can't wait! I'll be sure to share some pictures. I hope you all have a good fourth!

-Ms. 246

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Blog Lovin?

I was a very happy GoogleReader person until yesterday. Luckily I researched and researched and found a new reader before the first: Feedly. I love it for the most part and I will probably continue to use it but I'm noticing a lot more people using Bloglovin so I starting looking into it. They want me to claim my blog so here goes:

Follow my blog with Bloglovin


-Ms. 246

Luna Turned ONE!

How neat is that cat? Her great grandma got it for her birthday. She loves it! It's so cute to watch her chase it around. Haha.

Birthday Progression

That's right. My little baby turned ONE WHOLE YEAR yesterday. I sad, but not terribly sad...then I made that collage above. I cannot believe it's been a whole year already. It seems like she was just starting to roll over yesterday. Now this little Bean is walking!

How cute is that cat? She loves chasing it around all ready. It's too cute. Luna's cute-ness meter may have been off the charts for her birthday:
We had a lovely day yesterday and even went swimming. We did her cake and presents this past Saturday with her grandparents then we all went swimming. She was pooped by the time bedtime rolled around.

Oh, but you must check out the cake! It's a swimming pool since Luna loves swimming so much. And her little smash cake to match. There was much debate of whether it was a hot tub or a kiddie pool. Either way, it's adorable.

(No Martha Stewart here...100% store bought. Haha. It's been over 100 degrees for about a week. I'm not turning the oven on.) Luna got to have the whole little cake to herself. She was unsure at first, but then got the hang of it. Maybe it's TMI, but the "green" from the frosting came back to visit us the next day in her diaper. Quite a site.

And of course we opened presents. I was sad that she wasn't too interested in the book we got her. (Grandpa was playing with fancy electronic toys in the background.) We're going to write in it every year and re-read it every year on her birthday. :)
Why won't you look at my book

She had a grand time opening presents with Grandma and Grandpa:

Goodness. I can't believe it. She's one. I've been loving every minute with her. I cannot believe how lucky we are to have our little Bean. She can cheer anyone up. She's intelligent and cute and I love her. I can't wait to see what the next year has in store for us. Happy Birthday Little Bean!

- Ms. 246

Monday, July 1, 2013

Wedding Craft Pictures and My Desire to Cancel the Wedding

Wedding Craft Collage
Remember me? It's been two weeks without writing a blog post. Well, that isn't entirely accurate. I've written many, many blog posts over the past two weeks, probably at least one a day. The issue is I never actually sat down to my computer to write them down. They all have just been kind of floating around in my head.

I've been in a funk, mostly about the wedding and summer going by much too quickly. I'm slowly coming out of it. It's not a wedding unless planning and executing it makes you crazy, right? Severe PMS mixed with all the wedding nonsense got the best of me.

If I were brave enough and not so attached to the money I've already spent, I would have called the wedding off to do it completely different. I'd have a nice very intimate ceremony at Lake Tahoe with just Ryan, Luna, and I with a nice man to officiate us at one of those little wedding chapels near the lake. We'd do it by a campfire at dusk and I'd be in a light airy white dress. It would be simple, but very heartfelt and meaningful. We'd kiss then hug our little Bean after and we'd be married, man and wife. Simple as that.

Instead I'm having a wedding where we'll be the center of attention (which I hate), I'll have to speak up in front of people (which I hate), and I've have to party for the better part of an evening (which exhausts me). Hopefully I'm not the only bride to feel this way. Oh, and not to mention having to get all dolled up. As a girl, I feel like this should be my dream -- to have a nice fancy wedding, with all my friends, and it's the most special day of my life. Here's the thing though: I never really fantasized about my wedding like other girls. I didn't plan things and expect things. Frankly, I didn't care too much. I did fantasize about actually being married, just not getting married.

A good week or so has passed since this initial breakdown. I'm trying to be a bit more mindful of the wedding tasks at hand rather than seeing them as something comparable to "homework assignments." That's helped some. I'm sure I'll appreciate all the work I've done once the day comes but it doesn't make me too much happier when I'm sitting on this side of my wedding date.

In the end, however, I'll be happily married. And that's all that really matters. I just need to keep reminding myself of that. :)

-Ms. 246