Friday, February 5, 2016

Project Life 2016 - Weeks 1 & 2!

Back at it again! Another year of project life has begun.

I finalized my 2015 album, and it just feels so darn good to be done.

I have yet to create my title page for this year. I'm wanting to get some current family shots, which is proving to be difficult. On the bright side, literally, the days are becoming noticeably longer, so that should make taking photos in natural light a little bit better.

Here is a look at Weeks 1 & 2:

Week One: 

After Christmas, on December 27th to be exact, Madelyn's ringette team was in a 3 day tournament in DeWinton, AB. We played 5 games in 3 days. It was pretty awesome, because we won every single game. On the 30th we headed out to the mountains for a ski get away. We skied for 3 days and also celebrated New Years. We had a really good time. The kids are at a great age. I was most appreciative of this watching families with little kids. Little kids that have no manners.  Little kids who have parents that have never uttered the word no... Eeks.

Week Two:

Mason started back to school on Monday, but Madelyn had an extra day off. [To which she was elated] Her and I went to see The Good Dinosaur. A good family movie. A token photo of the 'boy' doing what he does. This is a sight that takes some getting used to I have to admit. Miss Mad, earned the player of the game hat again. So proud. Love it. We also got together for our annual Christmas Table dinner with a group of people I used to work with. So many laughs with this crazy crew.

Following Sahlin Studio Product Used:

Week One:

Monthly Calendar Cards
Photo Tabs weeks
Shine Bright Elements 

Week Two:

February Template Freebie

Right now, for the month of February, you can download this template freebie from Sahlin Studio.

The reason I love templates is very simple, really.

They're super FAST.

I don't have to put any thought into the set up of my own layout. I do enjoy creating layouts. I spend a lot of time, tinkering and trying different positionings [is that even a word?] I wouldn't say I'm super fast at it. It probably takes me just as long to create a digital layout, as it does to create a paper layout. It's a good thing I love doing it so much. I guess that's why, getting a template is so much fun.
The layout is already done for me. Instead, I get to focus on:

- What story I want to remember/tell. 
- What photos I want to use, to do the storytelling.
- What paper/elements/journal cards etc, will help me do that the best.

This Christmas break, we made our 3rd trip out to Kananaskis between Christmas and New Year's for a little getaway. This one was our best ski trips. The kids are both at such an awesome age.

I see families on the hill with tiny, tiny kids, and sometimes I think we should have started sooner. But we didn't, and you can't constantly live with 'should haves'.

The important thing is we did start. Barry and I were reminded just exactly how much we enjoy this winter sport. It's something that we can enjoy together as a family. All the quad chairs make it a family experience for sure. We go up as a foursome, and come down as a foursome.

Now, our only problem is, trying to fit in some ski days between hockey and ringette games and practices. That's not quite as easy as you think.

Following Sahlin Studio Product Used:

PS I Love You - Elements
PS I Love You - Journal Cards
PS I Love you - Paper

Saturday, January 30, 2016


We recently bought a new computer.

I've been having heart palpitations ever since.

I think we bought an iMac mini. Think, being the key word.

It makes sense to head towards the Mac, as we're a household full of iPhones and iPads, but I'm still freaking out a little bit.

I'm a PC girl. It's what I know. It's all I've ever known. So the learning curve seems huge.

Any way, right now we're in the process of 'migrating' information from the PC onto the Mac.

I'm hoping for the best. And who knows, maybe in a month I'll be totally converted. Or... Maybe in a month I'll still be using and loving our dinosaur PC. Time will tell.

I'm excited because I finally finished my December Daily book. It will be awhile before I can share it here.

I've also got the first few weeks of this years Project Life album done. Again, it's going to be a bit before I can share it here.

But I will as soon as I'm able to.

Wish us luck!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

PL2015 - Weeks 47 through 52

Something happened in these last few weeks of last year.

I kind of got disinterested in picture taking.

It was that way over the Christmas holidays too. And while I knew it was happening, and I knew I would be disappointed with myself, for having hardly any pictures, I didn't care.

I decided that this Christmas, I was going to be present.

I wasn't going to go running for my camera all the time. I wasn't going to say, 'wait, hold that up again.' 'That picture didn't work, let me get another.' etc. All those kinds of things you say, when you're the picture taker. When you're trying to get just the right photo.

Taking pictures is awesome. But you tend to miss a lot too. You might not think you do, but when you're busy with a camera up to your eyes, trying to 'catch the moment' you sometimes miss the other moments.

I wonder if the kids even noticed... I don't think they did. Nothing was said about it any way.

And I am terribly disappointed with the lack of photos taken from the middle of November through December. By the end of November, I had no memory left on my iphone 4S, so I hardly took a picture with my phone. My big camera has started giving me an error message, which I thought would be rectified by purchasing a new SD card. Sadly, I still got the error message. I've done done some investigating on line, and the prognosis doesn't sound promising.

Thankfully, I've got the itch again. I don't care for 'gaps'. So that spurs me on to be more diligent with taking photos.  Mason has grown tiresome of the never ending picture taking, but thankfully Madelyn is still game. So, I will keep  taking photos...

I've attempted to clean my camera, according to what it said on the internet, and hope for the best. Wish me luck! 

Here are the last few weeks of my 2015 Project Life book:

Weeks 47 & 48:

 Because of my lack of photos, I chose to combine a couple of weeks.  This week there was a dance assembly at Madelyn's school. We went to Lacombe, AB for a ringette tourney. I went on a Instameet to Bridgeland, celebrated my brothers birthday, and included a text from Mason.

Weeks 49 & 50:

These couple of weeks included several different snippets. Decorating the tree, a visit to Santa. Sisters at a hockey game with matching headbands. The water leak in our family room. What living with a teenager looks like. A collage of Madelyn's Girl Guide camp we went on in December.

Week 51:

The girl in bed, with all her favourite stuffies. Libby watching wood delivery take place. 1st game of a hockey tourney. Coffee with friends. It snowed! Which means we'll likely have a white Christmas. And of course the opening of Star Wars [that Mason got to go to on opening day] and our ringette Christmas party.

Week 52:

This is the week I'm most disappointed about, as far as lack of photos. I just wasn't in to it. Of course, now I'm kicking myself... I will keep that information tucked away for next year. So if I'm ever feeling that way again, I'll remind myself how disappointed I was to not put the effort in.

Having said that, we had a nice Christmas. Madelyn woke up sick on Xmas Eve day, with a cough that reminded me of croup. Her and I didn't participate in the family skate that usually happens. Mason got sick a couple of days later, and had a hard time shaking the cough. He was at his worst on the 27th, which also happened to be the day we began a ringette tournament.

It's awesome to be done another year of project life. Now, to catch up on my December Daily stuff...

Following Sahlin Studio Product Used: 

Weeks 47 & 48:

Reflection Elements
Reflection Journal Cards
Reflection Paper

Weeks 49 & 50:

Mad for Plaid - Elements
Mad for Plaid - Journal cards

Week 51:

Mad for Plaid - Elements
Mad for Plaid - Journal cards
4x6 Photo Templates Vol. 1

Week 52:

Making Spirits Bright - Bundle

Sunday, January 10, 2016

PL2015 - Weeks 42, 43, 44, 45 & 46

I'm almost caught up and finished my project life album for 2015.

It feels so good to be done.

I wonder on occasion, if I should continue doing this, then I look back at past albums and realize, yes of course I should. I will.

What seems trivial and mundane, every day, is a memory I can go back to each time I pick up a past book. Photos accompanied with a little bit of documenting, I've discovered that I can go RIGHT BACK, to a particular moment.  One thing creating these albums has done, it's made me realize just how quickly time goes by. The days, the years... It's a whirlwind, for sure.

When Mason was a baby, before digital cameras, I estimate I took a roll of film every month, maybe a roll ever two months. I have 2 or 3 photo albums of baby Mason. When Madelyn came along, I got my first digital camera... Rather than 24 photos a month, or 2 months, I took hundreds of pictures... Well, the poor girl has never made it to photo albums. Don't get me wrong. I have scrapbooks, and baby pages, milestones recorded. What I don't have is the candid photos of her those first few years. Well, I have them... Just not in albums.

I love photos. I love photography. I love memories. This documenting a year at a time thing is totally my jam. I'm still loving the format of one page per week, rather than a two page spread. I plan to continue on with this style of memory keeping.

I plan to look back and be grateful for all the every day stuff that I've captured. Stuff that you forget about. That seems mundane at the time.

Here are weeks 42 through 46 for your viewing pleasure:

Week 42:

This week we were still enjoying our awesome fall. I Sahlin Studio Mad for Plaid line. It's designed to be a Christmas kit. I'm looking forward to using it for Christmas too! Libby tolerates being picked up, but doesn't love it. Peace Bridge lit up at night. Early morning practice and breakfast. 

Week 43:

I love the long shadows of me and Libby going for a walk after the kids are off to school. The results of our Federal Election. My girl doing her safety buddy thing at school. Lunch with some mom friends. A fantastic glimpse of our chinook arch. Sisters at their brothers hockey games.

Week 44:

The week leading up to and including Halloween.

Week 45:

A Girl Guide outing to see R. L. Stine's Goosebumps movie. Back-to-back ringette games. Coffee and hockey [the two go hand-in-hand] Barry and Libby. He has yet to admit it, but he LOVES this little dog..

Week 46:

Remembrance Day assembly at Mad's school.  Christmas decorations up, already... Siblings on the couch. A veteran food drive with Guides. Ringette practice. Terror attack in Paris.

Following Sahlin Studio Product Used:

Week 42
Mad for Plaid - Elements
Mad for Plaid - Journal Cards
Mad for Plaid - Paper

Week 43
P.S. I Love You - Elements
P.S. I Love You - Paper
Acrylic Arrows

Week 44
Project Mouse - Halloween Elements
Project Mouse - Halloween Journal Cards
Templates - 4x6 Vol. 1

Week 45
 Celebrate - Papers
Celebrate - Elements
Celebrate - Journal Cards

Week 46
Worth a Thousand Words - Elements
Worth a Thousand Words - Journal Cards

Monday, January 4, 2016

Our Mountain Getaway

We went away for a few days. To the mountains. We got in some skiing and enjoyed some long awaited down time. I sat in the lobby one morning, drinking my coffee, waiting for my family to wake up and join me. While sitting there, I realized something.

I was enjoying the crackle of a fire in the fireplace. I watched as guests came down for breakfast. Early morning skiers headed for the hill. People dressed warmly headed out for a morning walk in the mountains, breathing in that fresh mountain air. As a blend of late 80's music was being piped through the lobby (which indeed made me feel right at home) I realized that one of the things that was making this moment serene and enjoyable was the fact that there was no gigantic TV. 

Everywhere we go these days, everywhere, we are assaulted with TV. It no longer matters where you are, we can't get away from the TV. Sadly, we all turn into zombies, staring at whatever trash we're being shown. We can't seem to help it. We just look and stare.

I for one, am definitely alarmed about this. The generation of kids growing up now, can't seem to be idle. They simply can't. And let's face it, there are many times in our life that we need to be idle. To just be. I think one of the greatest things we can teach our kids, is how to just 'be'.

I'm not saying that my family is the exception. I'm not saying that we are exempt from screens. I wish we were, but we're not. We try to limit 'screen time' in our house. We do great for a little while and then slowly things slip. More and more time gets spent playing video games or watching TV shows of pure rubbish. But we do try.

And having said that, I too have become accustomed to this technology at my fingertips. My phone or iPad. I have to remember sometimes that the rules apply to me as well. I need to just be idle sometimes.

Or read a book. Made from paper. With pages that turn.

But I have to say, it was lovely to enjoy a few days in the mountains with very little distractions.

The lovely wood burning, fireplace, in the lobby of our hotel. Love the snap and pop of the real wood burning.

 Little Miss, Nose-in-a-Book. When she's reading, she's almost in another world.

And here's my teenager... And he does have his device with him. But I didn't get a photo of him just hanging out, and didn't want him to be too left out.

 Playing checkers with my girl. Not sure that we were doing it right, but we were having fun.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

We're on Vacation

Christmas vacation, that is.

Our usual routine will be put to the wayside for the next 17 days. T H A N K  G O O D N E S S.

The theme in my life, and many of the people that I know is, the racing of time.

This morning, I actually feel relaxed... I don't feel panicked at all. Not yet that is. That will come. In a day or two.  When I realize everything that I need to do to be ready to head out for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day... 

It's no surprise, to almost everyone who knows me, that I adore summer vacation. Not just because the weather is nice. Trust me, that certainly doesn't hurt. I love summer vacation, because the pace in our life is S L O W.  We usually fit a summer vacation in, for a couple of weeks, which sees me spending more time in a lawn chair, than I would at any other time. It's just a time to relax. To unwind. I know some people don't do relaxation and unwinding very well. I've never had a problem with it. I would even venture to say I'm GOOD at it.

Once the beginning of the school year starts, I most relate to this guy...

It feels like I'm always going.

The beginning of September starts and I think, I will just be this busy until October...

And then when October hits, I think, "things will slow down after Halloween..."

When mini candy bars are being consumed, I imagine, that once November is over, I'll have done all my Christmas shopping done. I'll be finished everything I need to be. I will be able to thoroughly enjoy the month of December. Yes, I decide I'll rush around in November, to have a slow December.

Then suddenly, it's December. I have a ton of shopping done [which was really awesome and I actually had the majority of it done] I still have key items to find... And I'm having a hard time finding said key items.  I begin to panic, ever so slightly. I agree to a cookie exchange, because it sounds like such a great idea, at the time, [it did turn out great, I have 5 different types of baking things to add to our plate]  We have a snow storm, the roads are terrible, I'm grateful you don't have to leave the house, but I realize I need to do some last minute running around, because my kids are off in a few days. Then the reality hits that if my kids are going to be home, I need to sort and wrap gifts because you can't very well do that when they're around. I have to ensure there are an even number... Because after all, someone might notice if there's a discrepancy... And I realize that I forgot about teachers gifts, so I find myself making another 120 cookies the night before school is finished, so they can be given out as gifts. I have to get my kid to a ridiculously busy theater, in the middle of the afternoon, for a birthday party and opening day of the most anticipated movie of the year, then get home and realize, I haven't got my pot luck item ready for the ringette party you're attending...

From September, until now. In a nutshell.

So yes, this morning I have 17 days ahead of me and I'm calm. I'm not worried about what I need for Christmas Eve or whether I have what I need for Christmas Day dinner. No... Today I'm calm...