13 Books in 2013-Book Eight

I’ve come to the end of the year, and although I didn’t complete 13 books in 2013, I did finish strong. The goal of the challenge was to get myself reading more again.

I used to read a lot, but it slowed down in college because I was already reading text books. Then I met a boy, fell in love and got married and as you can imagine, that consumed most of my free time. After that, we had a baby and then another baby and as every parent knows, that takes up all of your free time.

Now that my babies are getting bigger, I really wanted to stop watching so much mindless tv and read instead. I completed eight books this year and that’s about six more than I’ve finished in the past four years. I’ve read books here and there, but reading eight in a year was awesome! So for me it’s a victory! I read more and rediscovered my love for books. I plan on continuing my challenge in 2014.

I read Things We Set On Fire by Deborah Reed

book

 

It was a decent read. It was about tragedy and how it can either bring people together or push them apart, but how you can’t know until you’re in it.

The characters were very complex which lead to them having complex relationships with one another…obviously. However, I didn’t think the author had enough explanation as to why the characters were the way they were. She touched on it lightly, but there could have been more details. I was left a little confused.

I didn’t really connect with any of the characters though which always makes loving the book more difficult. I suppose there were bits and pieces of each character that I liked.

There was a part of the story that revolved around the relationship between the sisters where they didn’t really get along or like each other all that much, and I didn’t really understand why and I didn’t feel it was explained at all. It seemed awkward as a part of the story that left me with more questions than answers, which in my opinion didn’t enhance the story at all. But, I’m not a book critic. Not. Even. Close.

So, that’s that. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I’m not sure if I would recommend it to my friends.

I’m hoping to really love my next book. So far nothing has compared to The Light Between Oceans, but I’m sure the new year will bring new books that totally change my mind!

If you have any book recommendations I would love to hear them! I’m always on the look out for great books.

 

One Little Word 2014

photo - Copy (2)

For the past two years I have followed along with Ali Edwards class/workshop called One Little Word. The idea of the class/workshop is that you choose (or your word chooses you) one word to focus on in the upcoming year and then live with that word for the year instead of setting New Years resolutions.

The first year I chose Nourish as my word and it was amazing how much it worked for me and shaped me that year.

Last year I chose Open as my word and found that about three months into the year that I wasn’t connecting with my word. It just didn’t fit with my life, but I still tried to focus on it when it applied. I was open to 2013 being a good year and man was it good!

This year I chose the word Choose. There are so many reasons I chose this word…well actually, I think it chose me.

I want to make choices that enrich my life on a daily basis in both big and small ways. I want to choose happy, choose patience, choose peace, choose health, choose me.

I’m thrilled to start a new year and to focus on Choose as I welcome all the possibilities that are ahead of me.

If you would like learn more about One Little Word, visit Ali Edwards website by clicking here.

I highly recommend this class. You won’t be sorry!

P.S. Sorry I’ve been a little MIA. We were out of town for the holidays and then came home to a broken router. But we bought a new one and got everything all set up. Yay! I hope you had a wonderful holiday!

Ten Projects-Project #9

I finally finished my BIG project! I’m so glad this one is behind me (whew!), but incredibly thrilled that I actually did it! And I couldn’t be happier with how they turned out!

IMG_0601

I was inspired by this amazing pillow by Amy at Nana Company that I came across on Pinterest over a year ago. It’s so beautiful! I had never quilted anything, but my mother-in-law is a quilter, so I thought I could attempt something similar with some help from her and this tutorial that I also found on Pinterest.

They are far from perfect and look nothing like Amy’s, but I’m really proud of them! And best of all, the kids love them!

IMG_0586 IMG_0591

My original plan was to make them pillow cases, but once I started, I realized that would be a little more difficult than I thought I could manage. I’ve sewn a pillow before, so I figured I would do that instead.

IMG_0598 IMG_0600 IMG_0603

I can tell them apart by one patch on each one. Hudson’s has a Santa patch in the center.IMG_0604

And Harper’s has a Mrs. Claus patch in the center.IMG_0607

I plan on hand embroidering their initials on the backs of the pillows. I still have to look up how to do it!IMG_0609IMG_0610

I’m so happy to be able to add these pillows to our holiday decor and hope that the kids can enjoy them for years to come!

Hooray!!

Sharing here:

Under The Table And Dreaming

Happening Now

Focusing on finishing up projects and holiday shopping.

Eating lots of Cuties and if I’m being honest, Christmas cookies.

Baking, baking, baking. Yesterday I made an awesome and super easy caramel corn. You can get the recipe here.

Feeling worn out. Both kids were sick with head colds and coughs this week. Blah.

Watching all our favorite holiday movies. I think me favorite is and will always be Christmas Vacation.

Wishing for a date night. I still haven’t seen Catching Fire. I think I’m the only one. *sigh*

Looking forward to Christmas Eve and spending time with family.

Wrapping presents, presents and more presents.

Trying to decide which Project Life kit to use for my 2014 album.

Needing to catch up on my 2013 Project Life before starting my 2014 album.

Listening to Micheal Buble holiday station on Pandora.

Getting excited about my One Little Word for the new year. I chose open last year and it ended up not really fitting, so I didn’t complete the course, but I’m really excited about my word for this year.

Playing Lalaloopsy dolls and super heroes almost everyday lately.

Working on my December Daily album every night and loving how it’s looking. I think it might be my favorite one so far.

Enjoying this holiday season immensely!

Loving this photo of my babies! They’re my favorite people ever.

photo - Copy

 

Have a great weekend!

Ten Projects-Project #8

Today’s project is a really easy and affordable gift idea. I came across this tutorial from Design Mom on Pinterest and thought these were totally adorable and knew I had to make them as little Christmas gifts.

Pom Pom Bookmarks

Totally cute, right?!

photo

 

photo (1) photo (2) photo (3)

 

They are SO easy to make that I’m actually headed to JoAnn today to buy some different colors of yarn to make more! Obsessed!

This project was free for me to make because I already had the yarn. You can’t beat free and super cute!

P.S. I’m actually done with all of my Ten Projects (hooray!), but need write the posts for the last two. Things have been really busy around here with lots of holiday happenings and December Daily spreads, but it’s been an awesome season so far!

Ten Projects-Project #7

I made a garland out of found pinecones and baker’s twine for project #7. I wanted something to hang in front of the window in our kitchen and this was the perfect solution.

DSC_0091

All I did was tie a double knot in the twine at the top of the pinecones and then to hang them I tied a loop and hooked them over some hooks that we already had.

This project was totally free. I found the pinecones and I bought the baker’s twine two years ago at Michael’s. I believe it’s Martha Stewart. Done and done.

DSC_0093 DSC_0100 DSC_0101 DSC_0102 DSC_0103 DSC_0104

Hooray for free crafts!!

See you tomorrow with a December Daily update!

Ten Projects-Project #6

I finally got around to making my sixth project yesterday. This one was super easy and cheap!

photo (34)

My inspiration for this project came from Pinterest, of course. There are a ton of different tutorials and design ideas on there.

I bought two clear glass coffee mugs at The Dollar Tree over a month ago because I loved their shape. I originally wanted to use white mugs, but I didn’t like the ones they had. I planned to paint my mugs, either to keep for myself or to give as a gift.

I used a black Sharpie paint pen and drew (freehand) an ampersand onto the mug. The Sharpie website said it works on glass and it would be water-resistant. After letting it dry overnight, I hand washed it with soap and water this morning and it was fine. I think I’ll stick to hand washing instead of the dishwasher, just in case.

I really like how it turned out, although I wish it wasn’t so glossy. It looks a little too much like puffy paint in the photos. I ran out of paint before I could make the second mug, so I think I will look for a metallic gold paint pen for the next one. I think gold would be so awesome! I’ll either do another ampersand or buy another mug and paint the words “me” on one and “you” on the other.

photo (33) photo (35)

 

 

This is a very inexpensive gift idea. It would be great for a coffee or tea lover!

Total cost for me was $1.00 because I already had the paint pen. If you buy the pen I think it costs around $6-$7, but you could use a Michael’s or JoAnn coupon and get it for less.

Cheers!

December Daily~Days Six, Seven & Eight

I’m back with another day of December Daily, and I’m really loving how the book is turning out. Day eight is my favorite!

Day Six

Today we went out to dinner, which doesn’t happen all that often, so it was sort of special. I decided to make that my story and kept the page really simple. I wanted to use one of my page protectors with the two 4×4 slots, so I turned two photos from dinner into Instagrams, printed them, and then added some journaling right onto the photos. Easy.

DSC_0064 DSC_0067

And you can see that there is a thin pocket on the left side. I simply cut a piece of the star screen print. I knew whatever I used would be seen on the other side and that’s what worked the best.

Day Seven

Today we took the kids to see Santa at a cupcake store. Hudson was super excited, but Harper wouldn’t even go near him! They were offering Polaroid photos for $5, so we got one of Hudson. It turned out great! I still plan to try to get one of Harper this coming weekend. That’s why I left the bottom pocket open. Fingers crossed!

DSC_0068 DSC_0076

I love this cute paper for pages with the kids! It’s a little more cutesy than I would normally use, but it works for this album.DSC_0071

Day Eight

It snowed today!! The kids were so happy! We didn’t get to stay outside very long because it was bitter cold, but they made the most out of the time they had. I can always count on big hugs!

I wanted to add something really special today because I had extra time to work on it. I came up with the idea of using a coin pocket page. This definitely isn’t a new idea, but I’ve never done it in a December Daily before. Oh man, I love, love, love this page! I added different things to each pocket and spelled out the word snow with big silver glittered letters. I also added our first initials to a pocket and eight silver stars, four in each pocket. I also added a paper clip from two years ago, some red sequins and a flair button from aflairforbuttons on etsy. So fun!

DSC_0078 DSC_0082

photo

photo (1)

 

Thanks for stopping by to check out my album!

December Daily~Day Five

I’m back with day five of my December Daily album. We had a very low-key day yesterday. It was freezing cold outside, so the kids and I stayed in our comfy clothes and didn’t leave the house all day! I got out Hungry Hungry Hippos for them in the morning and they played it all day long. That almost never happens! They had so much fun playing together and not only did they play together, but they were nice to each other. It was awesome! I knew that had to be my story for the day. It doesn’t have anything to do with the holidays (except that they were playing close to the tree!), but it’s our real life right now and that’s what I want to remember. Here’s a look.

And this time I kept it to one page instead of a two page spread.

DSC_0042 DSC_0041

I made the journal card with cardstock and glitter tape cut into strips. Simple.DSC_0043DSC_0044

 

P.S. I love how Hudson is wearing mittens! That’s so him! Ha ha!

I’m planning on posting today’s and Saturday’s pages on Sunday if you want to come back and check them out.

Have a great weekend! Stay warm!

December Daily~Day Three & Day Four

It took me all day to finish day three yesterday with both kiddos running around and me not being able to decide on the layout, but once that was finished I was able to knock out day four quickly. I love it when I know exactly what the story for the day will be right when it’s happening. That’s not always the case, but yesterday’s story was easy. So here are days three and four.

Day Three

Not much happened around here, so I decided to go back and add a page about decorating our tree. We changed it up a bit this year by doing it in the morning instead of in the evening and it worked much better for the kids. I had a lot of photos that I wanted to add, so this time I made a collage and added an Ali Edwards digital file.

I like having both typed and handwritten journaling throughout the album, so I just pick and choose which to type and which to write. If I plan on writing a lot then I typically type it out for a cleaner look, which is what I did this time.

I also added the sleeve from my Starbucks coffee to the layout. I always love their holiday designs…although I have to say, I’m a little disappointed that they don’t include a holiday phrase this year. That’s always my favorite part!

DSC_0020

I used another one of Ali Edwards digital files on my journal card. I’m happy with the way it turned out.DSC_0021DSC_0022DSC_0023DSC_0024

 

 

Day Four

After dropping Hudson off at preschool, I took Harper to the post office to mail their letters to Santa. This is new to us (they’ve written letters in the past, but never mailed them) and I’m really hoping that we get letters back. I’ll keep you posted.

I let her put them in the mail box, but I grabbed a photo of her before she dropped them in. Love it! I added the day four December Daily overlay on top of the photo and then put the silver “H” sticker in the corner.

The opposite side holds one of the sequins pockets I made awhile back. Loving those in the album. I made a simple journal card from white cardstock and a tag from last year’s Evalicious pack.

At the bottom I added some Christmas paper, but I’m feeling like it’s too boring and may go back and change it when I have some time. I had picked up a coffee before going to the post office and took a photo, so maybe I’ll print that out and slide it in there. I’m not sure yet.

DSC_0030

 

DSC_0028 DSC_0031 DSC_0033

 

I’m definitely keeping things simple as I document each day because I know there’s always time to go back and add things if I want to. I’m just trying to document the stories first and build upon them when I can. No stress, just fun!!