Friday, October 31, 2014

31 Days to a Peaceful Holiday Season: Memory Keeping

Welcome back to Almond Place! I am so excited for you to be joining me on this very last post of Write 31 Days. What a fun month it has been! You can find all of the links to my posts in this series HERE

I'd like to take some time to share how I plan to document our holiday season and hopefully give you some ideas if you're not sure where to start!

Many of you are familiar with Ali Edwards' December Daily.  I completed this album Project Life style last year and I fully plan to continue that this year. I'm currently gathering my supplies for my new album that I will begin setting up in the next couple of weeks. 

If you're not familiar with it, basically you document a piece of each day for the month of December. I opted for a slightly longer time frame to include some of our most treasured family traditions. I usually included 1 or 2 pictures along with a journaling card...nothing fancy or complicated. My little Epson photo printer helps me get this done easily every other day. 





I will continue to document our time with regular and frequent photo taking. I most often use my phone for this now. I am thinking I will use my dSlr a little more over the holidays because I love getting a little more creative and advanced in documenting than what I feel like I can get off my phone.  That being said, if you have an iPhone, practice and have fun!! These phone cameras can blow me away and I love the saying "the best camera is the one you have with you!" I always always always have my phone :-)



I will use the Project Life App to help me document on the go and I will upload to Persnickety Prints when I've got a few ready. 


Here is a sample of some of the cards from the Seasonal Kit in the app.


So just what exactly am I planning to document? Well, all of the big obvious things of course like Christmas morning, ZooLights, thanksgiving and Christmas dinners, etc...but I'm hoping to capture detail, emotion and the true character of our holiday...it means the kids eyes when they see the presents under the tree, the reflection of the Christmas tree lights on their faces, details pics of the food we eat, of our precious ornaments, of the many little details around us. It's easy to remember the big stuff, but the tiny details? Those are a little trickier :-)

Whatever you decide to do, I hope that you are able to soak up some of those amazing moments and get them documented for you and your family!

I'm going to take a quick week off from blogging to turn some focus back onto my little family. We have Grandma visiting this week and it's a busy week at work.  See you back here in a week!!

As always, you can keep up with me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram

Thursday, October 30, 2014

31 Days to a Peaceful Holiday: Family Time (Throwback Thursday)

Welcome to Almond Place!  I am so happy to have you here!  This month is quickly wrapping up and then quite honestly, I'm not WHAT I'm going to write about! I've got an awesome 12 days of Christmas Giveaway series coming up in December so we can all get excited about that!

This past month, in case you're new here, has led me to be a part of Write 31 Days where we (bloggers) focus on one topic per month.  This month, I chose a Peaceful Holiday.  I love the holidays!  I do not love stress :-) You can read the rest of the posts HERE.

So we do have one little secret up our sleeves when it comes to a stress free holiday.  It's not even that hard to do.

Ready?

Family time. Intentional, uninterrupted, undivided attention, fun, relaxing and quiet family time.

We really do quiet down at this time of year. I like to think if as a mini hibernation.  Don't get me wrong, we are still busy as heck, but it doesn't feel like that most of the time.

We have actively participated in what we call "Holy Day of Darkness" where we take a day to completely unplug. We use minimal power opting for natural light during the day and candles at night.  The only lights we turn on are the Christmas tree lights.

I can't tell you how much this one day does for our family. It's almost magical....because honestly, it's a bit of a challenge.  It's hard to unplug.  It's hard to keep the kids occupied without our technology crutch. It's hard to sometimes do things in the dark!

But it is oh so necessary and we love it.  I'm excited for ours again soon.

These images are from our very first day when we were just a family of 4 with a 1.5  year old and a 3 month old.  The boys were SO LITTLE!



So, how do you help reground your family at this time of year?  Does it help?

I can't believe that tomorrow is the last day of the series!  I'm going to be talking about memory keeping for the holidays!  Hope to see you then!



Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days to a Peaceful Holiday Season: Santa

Welcome back to Almond Place!  This month, I've been focusing on ways to bring us peacefully into the holidays.  You can find all of the posts in my series HERE.



So I realize that everyone has their own take on how to handle Santa but I though I would share how our family incorporates the Big Guy into our holiday traditions.


We do the Elf on the Shelf and our elf, Happy, comes to visit starting Thanksgiving night. We have not read the book and you won't find this mom with elaborate plans for Happy's escapades each night...remember stress free here, Friends!! If you've got the time and energy well, by all means please come back and fill me in on your elf's adventures....but DO NOT feel guilty because your elf doesn't move four days in a row! He's there to keep a watchful eye and report to Santa...that's pretty effective for our kids.

We have not ever lived in a home with a fireplace...which can be an issue given that coming down the chimney is a key component to Santa's story on Christmas Eve.  We've given Santa a little alternative for visiting our house by providing him with a key!

This year, I decided to step up my key game a little by making a legit key for Santa. His own Magical key. 


It comes in a small tulle pouch with glitter stars to show him and the reindeer the way. And a little note printed on a Christmas Project Life card that reads:

It's the night before Chrismas and we're as excited as can be. We're leaving this here for you, it's a special and magic key! You can shimmy down the chimney or tiptoe through the door. Just use this key we've left for you to find your cookies, milk and more!



I just love how they turned out! And lucky for you, I made 2!! 

So, let's do a fun little giveaway. Leave a comment on the blog with your name and general location, or on the image I post on Instagram: www.instagram.com/almondplace
I will pick a winner on Friday and announce it here, and on IG.

Good luck!