A Note on Life and Procrastination

Can I write a personal post, for a change and an update? Well, of course I can. I have been  busy with my classes this semester (big surprise right?), and it’s only just the beginning for me. On the plus side being busy keeps me from thinking that something is missing in my life. On the down side it has taken me over a month to adjust to the new schedule and teachers.

Michael started his new job and the shop, where I work, closes an hour earlier now, so both of us are off at 5! I also have a come-to-Jesus with my Educational Psychology homework. We were not doing well together. I realized that I needed to be motivated, whether I felt like it or not. So far it seems to have made a great difference. I will truly know when I get my grade back on an upcoming project.

As far as farmhouse items go, I have been busy decorating and perfecting for Autumn, when I can be. I am almost ready to take some photographs. I think I will go ahead and do this Sunday or Monday, my days off. The weekend after next I will get to decorate the front “porch”. I’m so much further behind everyone else, but I have homework that is tons more important and a new house that deserves so much more than many of my dinky apartment decorations. If you follow my Instagram you can see a few sneak peeks.

In the way of fitness. I dropped off just before September. I am making an effort to regroup very soon. I miss running. and now that schedules are syncing and flowing I think I will be able to get back with it. Especially with food planning. I get very mental about things you see and it causes me to withdraw. I call it being lazy. I am lazy. But it’s more likely often a result of my anxiety. I throw lots of pity parties for myself, mentally.

As for other things in my life… it’s always quite interesting! I have been Happy Planning away, I decorated for and witnessed a wedding at the Harley Shop, I have been to Colorado on the motorcycle (hope to share pictures with you soon as well!), went shopping with my mom for all things great, I have been in an amazing classroom for my internship and taught some lessons, and I continue to find ways to improve after being in a slump!

Some of the changes I have made, which really are just adulting:

  1. Buying groceries with a plan. I haven’t really been doing this. I have been relying on Michael to come up with ideas for dinner and grill. So I was quite proud when I bought myself some breakfast foods, some snacks for both of us and dinner for two meals this week. I didn’t even break the bank! When Michael came home from work, the chicken and dumplings were ready to eat! It was a perfect Monday. I hope to keep this going.
  2. Syncing schedules has helped a ton. I have so far been able to convince Michael to help me clean up after dinner, and we have been eating at the table. He helps wash some of the dishes which is better than nothing and I super appreciate it. I’m able to put leftovers away and dry them and then finish the rest. He also takes out the trash the majority of the time.
  3. Doing my homework with a plan in mind. When I started visiting a friend regularly, sort-of, I felt the need to get certain homework items out of the way earlier than my normal procrastinating self does. And somehow I stuck with it. Now I get the discussion boards done a day early, and after my problems with Ed Psych I’m reading that text book through out the week rather than the couple of days before things are due. I tell you it feels great at the end of the evening when it’s 9:30-10:00 and I’m able to stop and relax and read a fun book or watch a show with out any stress. Often I can even not do any homework Friday or Saturday because I am far enough ahead! It’s really rewarding.
  4. And a simple change in setting for homework has done wonders. I began reading my Ed Psych text at the table to give me a greater sense of importance. I was not giving it enough attention on the couch. I began reading and highlighting and making note-cards for vocabulary and even rereading for summarize the major chucks of concepts they want us to be able to explain. It’s been fantastic. So yes, I do my homework in three different places at home!
  5. Of course having my Happy Planner has helped me. I keep track of my homework using the side bar. Other important dates, to-do’s, or what homework I feel like concentrating on that night get written in the regular daily part.

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All in all, I’m sad that it has taken me so long to realize how great it feels to not be a procrastinator, but I know in my heart I will always be fighting this! Thankfully I know what needs to be done to get on track, up so speed, and ahead of the deadlines! And maybe this information makes me seem really ridiculous, oblivious, or even naive and child like. I’m ok with that. We all fight our own battles. My life has been relatively easy, especially working at a Harley shop, but being in school gives me more responsibility, and it’s only going to increase. I just wanted to share some things that I have found help me function at home and with homework a little bit better.

So this busy bee will try to keep some future updates in mind!

-Colorado

-Fall Decor

-New Work Wardrobe (Oh, YES. LOFT LOVE!)

-Possibly Happy Planner and craft room/office related

-&…?

Thanks everyone!

Love,

Ashley

 

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Lilacs & Honeysuckle

And just like that it was time to brighten things up around the farmhouse and celebrate spring and the resurrection. A little here, a little there.

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Don’t tell anyone, but Im starting to get fond of this ugly old headboard. It’s become quite the work-horse! Alas, I must wait to find the right furniture for this room because after a few months or so it will be serving as our dining room! No sense rushing out to find something for a space you can’t predict.

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Again, I just love using printables and whatever scrapbook paper is around to give them a personal touch. The dandelion print was a gift, the fauna were thrifted many moons ago and the white deer is definitely in my top ten of favorite things to decorate with.

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The mossy friends have been EVERYWHERE in the farmhouse circle. Grabbed the last two at my local Hobby Lobby. Score. Wood candle holders and hobnail candle are from The Faithful Farmhouse, a local shop that sells handmade items like my GIANT gather sign in the kitchen as well as many items from Creative Co-op.

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This tray in the kitchen is always the most fun and easy to fix up! I love the ease of using my everyday pieces and mixing in a few small seasonal things.

I created this embroidered image myself. Back when Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros had just come out with this song and I was swooning. Times were so different then! I was Tumblr-in’…#hipster much? Things never change… I still love my pretentious records!

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I decided to give the classic blue color a try for the mason jar. I saw some of the “eggs in a jar” at Hobby Lobby and thought eh, I can make up my own! Burlap plant is The Faithful Farmhouse.

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In the spring, lilac is an absolute must for me. Nothing brings back such tender wonder-filled memories as the scent of lilacs. We had a row of them in our backyard in the part of the yard I call ed my secret garden. Next would have to be the honeysuckle in grandpa’s backyard.

Again with the printable, and behold: deer shed! I knew eventually I would get my hands on some. This piece was given to me as a hat for my dog… My boss is hilarious.

The small moss bunnies and nests are from Hobby Lobby and they are just the perfect size to tuck into the nooks and crannies. Again I wasn’t trying to go too overboard with the Easter/Spring stuff… Michael is probably like “What is with all the froofroo stuff?!” These little guys were actually plant fronds…? If thats what they are called… They are made to be stuck into floral arrangements. So, I took the long wires off or curled them around under and voila!

I feel like the most blessed person right now. Even amidst my trivial trials I see so many good little things that happen in my life and find myself quietly saying “Thank goodness for…”

This last weekend I was the first prize winner of a gift certificate to my FAVORITE store in Dodge, Boot Hill Antiques! (Where The Faithful Farmhouse is). So I thought it was a sign to go ahead and buy the one purchase I NEVER thought I would be able to, and probably still shouldn’t have, but eh… Go with it when it’s good!

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So I feel like I am a giant leap closer to something. The look I want to achieve? SOMETHING. An man… There’s some major curving in these photos. I guess I will start looking into wide angle lenses… Sheesh…

Have a blessed week everyone and HAPPY SPRING!

Lucky, Blessed

It’s way over due, but I had to share this years St. Paddy’s decor. This is the first time I have ever decorated for St. Pat’s and, unless I have a good handful of people over, i will probably keep it at a minimum! I’m definitely beginning to get “holiday-ed” out!

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But as I am a wee bit Irish myself, I must partake in the observance of it.

I’m not downing kegs of green beer, but I like to play with all of the traditions, and every year I learn a little bit more.

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I love that this holiday is really more of an Irish-American phenomenon. The foods we eat are not generally prominent in Ireland. There’s a ton of comparisons and facts online. BUT… whether we are talking true Irish or Irish-American aren’t all of us irish and part Irish people a little bit of both? We have ancestors from the mother land and those that came here, I mean that’s how we ended up here after all!

So YES! EAT the eats, DRINK the drinks, and WEAR the GREEN!

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The food I made was a fiasco that I don’t really wish to reflect on, but we DID eat Corned Beef and Cabbage, Soda Bread, and Bread Pudding. I also have a ton of recipes for the future to sprinkle into every day life. I can’t believe I haven’t tried making Shepard’s Pie yet!

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When decorating I am a HUGE fan of free printables on Pinterest! I do NOT claim this print as my own, but it is easy to find there and adds some instant charm and fills up a good amount of decorative space. Makes them however big or little you need and jazz them up. I may start keeping a folder of them all together for easy access.

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So whether the meal was a fiasco or not, I still feel so blessed. I get excited when I am able to claim my own heritage. We spend so much time learning about the importance of diversity and immersing ourselves into other cultures, but we should definitely reflect on our own as well! The banner I made up above was done using some antique postcard images found online and washi taped to some spare paper and then taped to twine. I love a quick and dirty DIY!

Irish blessings to you through the year!

Yay! I made a Scrapbook! & What I Learned While Making It!

Sometimes I think it’s a strange thing that I want to collect all of my favorite photos and decorate them and then I say “Ashley, it’s a gazillion dollar industry. You are a little fish in a big pond of scrapbookers and cratfers!”.

Earlier I talked about wanting to take the plunge to do this. Part of my new years resolution was to create. I wasn’t limiting myself to any certain projects, but I thought that if I could get myself into the mindset of creating that the possibilities would be limitless. So here is to the start of a good and crafty year!

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I LOVE this page! Ready…Set…GO (then a tiny picture of our friends bolting away) & they’re off!

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I made this scrapbook in 3 nights after I figured out my new Pixma printer and the basics of Photoshop.n  There are 4 pictures left to print, but I ran out of paper! I’ve got more on order, you best believe!

So I have some things to share with you after my first experience.

1.You will read about being overwhelmed with Project Life, and you WILL BE overwhelmed. It’s ok. It’s part of the process! I don’t believe this system was decide to do such a thing, but learn what kind of doses you can take it in! My next project, after our trips, is putting together books for each year we’ve been together, while trying to keep track of the current year. Trust me… these books will take forever, and thats ok. I’m planning on writing little notes about special days in my planner to help me look back. You do YOU!

2. When it comes to the initial shopping for supplies… well we are all in our own financial situations. I had the money at the time to buy more than enough. This is because I have three trips to scrapbook! So I suggest purchasing papers, cards, washi, and stickers that are your style. Go with your gut, something you love. I am a lover of all things turquoise. I also love the chalkboard look, burlap, washed wood, and polka dots. The color scheme worked itself out. I needed natural colors to complement all of the nature things we saw. It just comes together.

3. If you have your own photo printer and editing software don’t freak out about the sizes of you photographs and the pocket pages. They will work themselves out. I ran into several instances where I had to trim a picture down, add a decorative edge to make up space, or cover something up. it all works out. I learned that 4×6 and for some reason 3.8X2.8 worked nicely and I went from there

Here are some mistakes that turned out nicely, in my opinion:

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The picture of the tree turned out too small, but really it just gave it a nice crisp border!

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The pictures along the edge turned out short, so I added some scrap paper behind and washi!

4. When planning and working, I tried to divide things into chucks of events. I would see how many pictures were in the event, decide how many pocket pages I needed and what types would work better for the pictures I had taken (horizontal or vertical). Then I would imagine them in the pages and start printing. Some pictures are easy to imagine as a certain size and orientation. Sometimes I would lay them out, but I did this more with the decorative papers. I tried to have 2 decorative papers per side of every page to allow for a nice quote and some journaling.

5. One of my favorite things I came up with was making my own pocket page cards from scrapbook paper. The corner round cutter from Becky Higgins was amazing. (Other brands make these) All of my photos and papers were consistent this way. This also allowed me to have full control over the look of my book. I was not limited to the small supply of pocket page cards available at my Hobby Lobby. So my tip is to make your own cards and buy some! I bought some that were black and white with nice quotes and patterns and a chalkboard look to them, but picked my own colorful papers to use!

6. And with that, don’t limit yourself to brands. A lot of people use Project Life or Pocket Pages by mamBi, and even others yet, but these systems all work interchangeably pretty well!

*Again, I’m working on my photography. I will try to remember to upload photos that are more focused, but have you ever needed to get a post out there because it’s been sitting so long? Here it is, no fears folks! Putting myself out there! Also, The lighting in Kansas is so bad right now because of Daylight Savings time. I have little time to get my pictures taken when I get home! It’s all good though, I’m still learning.

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