Tuesday, December 3, 2013

December Daily Album

One of the ways I am choosing to simplify my focus this Christmas is to really acknowledge the abundant blessings we have been given. I've decided to shift our focus a little and to document this time, I opted to jump on the "December Daily" bandwagon.  I've always loved the idea of documenting a month more intimately but was always intimidated by the project. 

Thankfully, I have Project Life! I already had a mini album and the Merry and Bright Kit. These two things, along with a tiny stash of letters and numbers are what I used to put my album together.  I used the cards as prompts and planned out the month in my book.  

Since we begin our Christmas traditions on Thanksgiving night, I chose to begin my book then. This year is also unique because of my work schedule and while I would normally have stopped the album on Christmas Day, we actually won't be celebrating until the 26th and then will follow that up with a trip on the Polar Express on December 27-28...the life of a Catholic Church musician means it's a churchapalooza between December 20-29! 

Here are the first couple of days of my album. 


My opening page is very simple and has a photo from our Thanksgiving tradition of ZooLights. I used some old "Making Memories" red glitter stickers and some grey "Thickers" to make the title card.


I planned a two page spread for Thanksgiving day and night because of the dinner and ZooLights. 


The 29th was Black Friday which meant we hunkered down and had a super relaxing day at home. No shopping for this family! Our focus this holiday weekend was our little family. We went on a couple of walks, watched movies, baked banana bread with our elf Happy and hung out together. The only embellishments used on this page are the "Making Memories" number stickers and a piece of American Crafts wood grain washi tape.


We received our first Christmas card from our sister, Barbara and her family. Our cards get stuck up on the wall for a couple of months but I took a photo of the stamp and postmark to document this important and well loved holiday tradition. Getting cards is one of my most favorite things...I love seeing the new and updated pictures of everyone!

I've got a couple more days to photograph and blog about...it got too dark to photograph before I had today finished but come check out those pages tomorrow!

Here's to a simpler holiday, focusing on family and documenting the journey to Christmas! Happy Advent!

Monday, December 2, 2013

A quest for Christmas cards.

I can hardly believe that we are just 3 weeks away from Christmas.  I am in complete denial that 2013 is quickly coming to a close.  But try as I might, it's happening and there's nothing I can do to stop it!

One of my favorite parts of the holidays is going out to the mail box every day to check for the "happy" mail that floods our box this time of year.  It sure beats all of the junk mail and bills we normally get!

Before I was blessed with 3 kids, I would painstakingly design my Christmas cards and hand make every single one of them.  I loved the process of working with the paper to create something unique and  personalized to us.  I STILL love that process but there simply isn't the time to realistically get that done anymore.  I've been looking for something to ease this process, and I've found a solution I wanted to share with you.

Enter Minted.  They are an online stationary company that specializes in cards, stationary, photo gifts, invitations, and party decor.  The unique thing about Minted is that all of their designs come from independent designers that submit their designs to Minted.

They have recently launched their 2013 Holiday Card designs and they've asked me to tell you all what I think!  I've long admired Minted for their beautiful designs and extremely high quality products.  I love that they are unique and I know I won't be sending a design that everyone else is sending out.  This totally soothes my creative side now that I'm not personally crafting all of my cards.

Their site is easy to navigate with easy filters to narrow down the holiday occasion, number of photos, card style, color, and even card shape...cause really, the fancy edges are where it's at!

The coolest feature of their site though, at least for me, is the "find it fast" feature.  You upload your photo and it pops up in the designs so you can preview various cards at the same time to really solidify your decision.  I LOVE that.  It makes my decision so much easier when I can see my own family photo in there.

I thought I would give you a few of my favorite designs as suggestions.

I just LOVE this first card. Super customizable and adorable.  It's called "We Are Family" designed by Oscar and Emma.  You can change the style, the color, even the holiday message from Happy Holidays, to Merry Christmas, to Happy New Year.


We Are Family

Anyone that knows me well knows that I love the color teal.  I'm a total sucker for it and one day I will have an entire room decorated in teal and white.  It's so soothing to me!  I fell in love with this design the second I saw it. It's called "Pom Pom Fun" and designed by Carrie ONeal.

Pom Pom Fun
Minted has these precious White Noel Ornament Cards designed by Hooray Creative that come complete with a hanging ribbon.  I think you'll agree that they are stunning. Who wouldn't love to get one of these in the mail?! I'm thinking these would make beautiful annual keepsakes for family members.

White Noel

They also have several more "traditional" designs like the "Splendid Pinecone" designed by Pistols. Also super customizable with colors, number of photos, and even the flip side of the card! 


Splendid Pinecone

There are so many beautiful cards to choose from, it's hard to narrow it down!  If you're still looking for holiday cards, check out Minted.  I guarantee you'll find something you love and then you can get those cards done and shipped off in no time! 



Disclosure: All opinions of this site review are my own.  I was compensated in free product for this review.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

CreativeLIVE

I recently discovered this amazing site called "CreativeLive.com."  I had never heard of it until Miss Becky Higgins, the Project Life Guru announced that she was asked to teach a class on Project Life.  

Her class started today and I spent a good portion of the day listening and watching the live stream of her sessions.  Their studio is in San Francisco but their classes are available online, via live stream.....wait for it....FOR FREE.  Get. Out.  They rebroadcast the episodes/sessions and then you have the opportunity to purchase the classes.  

Miss Becky is there teaching about how to get started, what to do if you're overwhelmed, how to get organized and pulling it all together.  She had great tips and ideas all day today.  Tomorrow and Friday, we will be treated to other members of her team....Kari is talking digital memory keeping, Kevin is talking technology, and Kara is talking photography.  I'm so lucky to know Becky, Kari and Kara in real life...I've only seen Kevin via Becky's blog, but he's very knowledgeable and great at breaking down technology for scrapbooking.  


During some of the breaks, I took advantage of the time to browse the CreativeLIVE website and must say that it looks AWESOME!!  I'm anxious to plot out my next free class.  

If you've got some extra time in the next couple of days, I highly recommend tuning into the broadcast. You're sure to learn something fun, interesting and most definitely inspiring with regards to leaving a documentation legacy for your family.