Catching Up

Hey everyone! It’s been a minute, but I’m still here! I’m having a series of days that are just eye-rollable. For example I spent most of the day yesterday catching up on laundry while I cleaned the bathroom and washed dishes. I did SO. MUCH. LAUNDRY.

BUT I’ve gotten some awesome things done around here, not that it’s ready to be photographed for Better Homes and Gardens #crylaughemoji

I thought I’d share a few pictures from my regular life because I have been too busy to pause to write and photograph thoughtfully.

I really have just been busy doing chores, unpacking and cleaning, and most importantly beginning my new internships for teaching! (I’m not a student teacher yet, these are what you do before then.) Staying on top of my homework while working 40 hrs is important especially with internships.

I got myself a few new tops. The main reason for this was because I wanted shirts with higher necklines so I wouldn’t have to worry about bending over. I have also purged my wardrobe of the things I found were not fitting my lifestyle/job/comfort anymore because it’s good for me and because of sharing a closet with Michael and decided to be a free spirited hippie type this spring. (Again, none of these will be very good pictures…)

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The students were allowed to celebrate the Super Bowl with team colored cupcakes… So I had the choice of dark blue or black… I got black and looked like Tia Dalma for the rest of the day.

The house has been quite the mess, but yesterday my honey checked off the list! His family helped us hang up three major pieces of wall art! Now I get to obsess over things as I can start putting them into place better.

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Gotta love Snoopy, passed out on the couch. I know, it’s overwhelming!

Here it is currently.

Chalkboard and GATHER is UP! I want to get some metal chairs, console table, white curtains (the tie-up kind) and MAYBE a rug… It’s so easy to clean the way it is so I’m not sure.

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A cute decorative spot on the kitchen counter. I’d like to find a picture for behind it, then to the right will be a metal basket for coffee, the Keurig, and mug tree.

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“My Office” ha… It’s a mess in here, but it’s happy! And I’m thankful I have a space to study. At least that area is being managed.

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I spruce it up best I can.

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Got one window covered! The bedroom window, weeee! It was yellow before! Made the room a strange green color hehe.

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The living room in not quite this clean right now, but lets revel in this moment! I can’t wait to find a substitution for that footstool. I’ll be putting up curtains and I haven’t decided on shelves or wall art. We need a place for the play station and shelves could make that possible, PLUS they would be fun to decorate for the holidays.

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My MAGNIFICENT mirror!

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The last picture shows the old headboard under the mirror. I want to put a console table so oddly enough this gives me an idea! I cant let it be too deep, this is 8 inches. I was planning on ten, but I think 8 will be better. There is enough space to put candles and pictures and a skinny tray and figures.

The blue rooms will be painted someday, if I haven’t mentioned so before… It will be the hardest thing to get Michael to change.. Well the lighting in the kitchen and bathroom too…SOMEday!

I still have such a long ways to go to get the things I have settled and finish cleaning out my apartment before I can get too excited about big furniture purchases. So I dream out loud A LOT!

Here are some pieces I want to get from the antique store.

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Bucket for blankets in the living room!

And some living room inspiration. I have NO idea what to put above the couch!

 

And some inspiration. Color splash! I’m seeing aqua pop up in the bathroom and kitchen.

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Things I’m loving:

  1. This darling bench… I’m needing something for the mud room to sit on and put shoes/boots under.

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2. This sweet little girlie 🙂 This is my dog Pippi and she looked so cute sitting in the middle of the back seat of Michael’s truck.

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3. And Moscow Mules! How did I NOT know about these!!! Ginger beer has always been may favorite. I’m going to have to find some copper mugs now! Decorative AND functional!

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I’m REALLY hoping to get a Valentine’s Day craft done in the next couple of days, so I will definitely share that with you all!

 

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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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Holy Haul

Holy Moley was said mentally and under my breath about a thousand times in the last week. This is the haul to set them all apart.

Guys what I am about to share with you is something that I have wanted to do/have for a very, very long time now.

I decided it was time to get my photographs made physical. I have so many burning in my files and it is high time to print the most important ones. Being the crafty person I am, printed pictures would ideally go hand in hand with scrap booking.

I went all out.

I started with some scrap-booking tools. A cutter, and corner round cutter, tape glue dots, and some nice journaling pens.

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Next were the bones of the whole project; the book and photo sleeves. I went with the Project Life variety pack because of the variety and ease of access. There weren’t many other options and I want all of my pages to be different!

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This will be the first of three books for Colorado. I have a mental plan for them to all go together using color and pattern. I just wanted to start with the one for now. There are 230 pictures from the third trip, 175 from the second, and maybe 100 from the first… so I have a lot of sorting and deciding to do!

Next came the papers. I struggled with this because I do not like the card kits from Project Life and mamBi… They are adorbs! Don’t get me wrong. But they weren’t right for this. I needed the right colors and textures so I went for the scrap-booking paper and decided on turquoise because I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it and green and brown for the nature effect. Gold and textures from nature as well. These will help tie the other books together that I saw.

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Next are the project life products I picked up. Now I know I just got done saying that I didn’t like any of the kits. This one I do, but it doesn’t offer enough color on its own. I like the chalkboard set. There are some nice decorative ones, phrases, and journaling ones in it. I also grabbed the Polaroid and white doodle overlays and a set with gold accents.

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The reason I made this purchase and the next is that the versatility and amount will allow me to use them for a while for many projects to come. I realized that they come out to be about 7 cents each!

Next are the me & my BIG ideas picks. I chose a pack that had some great quotes and textures for this project. The stickers are life and vacation related.

I will be able to use these for my upcoming trips! (More on that later on!)

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Then I found some stickers from  stick-abilities that have a great look and perfect phrases! Gold letters and dots for accents and phrases/words. Some fun plaques and some card stock for journaling. Also check out my washi collection! Yay!!!!

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While I’m not proud of how much I spent on this haul… I AM proud that I took the leap to get something done I have wanted to for a long time! I feel like I’ve made some great core purchases to get me started.

Resolution checklist:

  1. Fitness 5 days a week – NO check, but next on the list!
  2. Vacation and motorcycle lessons – NO check
  3. Get organized and be awesome at work – getting there, planner helps
  4. Watching finances – getting there, planner and paychecks to recover from holidays helps
  5. Create, do something with my photos, and decorate my home – GETTING THERE!!! currently under construction 😀 See folks, it’s all about forcing yourself to try something new!

Somethings I have been thinking about before getting started on this project:

  1. Many people get over whelmed with Project Life. I’m glad I am aware of this, and I have already experienced some of these feelings choosing these products. The thing is I will not stress over the details. This book is so far gone that trying to remember all of the details will be fruitless. Writing down what I can will suffice, and as memories pop up they can always be added.
  2. I have started pulling the cards that are possibilities and setting aside the ones that are out of the question. I think I will also start cutting the paper. I can see myself getting pretty consumed with the photograph part when the time comes.
  3. I will begin the scrap-booking by looking at the photographs to see if there are any moments that can be grouped together, then I will choose maybe 4 pages to work with at a time and begin arranging pictures and cards on them!

Just thoughts folks 😉

Stay tuned for Part 2!

YES… there is MORE!!! 😀

Getting Ready for College

It’s that time again! We are forced to buy some more school supplies… We’re talking books, a new printer, some clothes if necessary… those things that make you cringe to buy at first… At one point I desperately needed new work pants.

This semester I don’t have to buy a single textbook!!! HELLO open educational resources! I decided to spoil myself with a fancy planner!

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Look, it was even on clearance!

In the teacher world everyone is head over heels for Erin Condren’s teacher planners. With Hobby Lobby offering  The Happy Planner I had to grab it. It is similar in style, as in it is fun and offers super customization, but slightly more affordable… maybe?! I suppose you can spend as much as you like on them. What sold it for me is that it’s right in front of me! I don’t have to buy it online, I know what I’m getting. I can see if I like it before buying Erin Condren someday…

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I started out with the extra pocket folder add-ons, sticky notes, and two packs of stickers.

After going through it last night I can already tell I’m going to struggle with it. I was always that kid that had stickers, but never used them for a couple of reasons: 1. Once you used them they are gone and 2. Whatever you stick them on is also a commitment, you have to go with the look you are creating.

This will be a huge exercise for me in opening up my creativity. Most of you don’t know me, a few do, but I consider myself to be very creative, but I always have had biases, mental blocks, and other reasons for not stretching my skills. This will be a fun creative activity to start that will also help me keep on track with day-to-day tasks. Exercise my ability to let go and be creative!

There are some AMAZING examples on me & my BIG ideas website/blog!

Here are some of my first creations.

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A few things I have learned after sitting down with my planner:

  1. I think I will like having homework due for the week listed in the notes to the side. I haven’t yet decided how I will handle grocery lists and budget lists. I may utilize the pockets for these or use a strip of washi to tape it to the inside cover as I could go through a ton of shopping lists in a month. We will see! The pockets are proving useful for toting around extra stickers, but I’d like them to be a little more useful than that, even.
  2. Don’t get too carried away with yourself! There are endless colors of washi and stickers… If you are stuck in a rut, slow down and take time to appreciate the current month and week.
  3. BUT do plan ahead. Eventually you won’t have time to sit down and decorate every evening. You will want to do other hobbies! So do plan ahead with the decorating!

Teenage Ashley would be in HEAVEN right now if she found out that someday she was gifted a super cool planner! I had SO much fun using pink as a theme for February. I cant wait for other holidays. I will definitely be watching Hobby Lobby scrap-booking sales before diving any deeper with this. My pages are pretty blank right now, but as school starts and my work responsibilities increase I’m sure my planning will too. I was hesitant to put any of the quote stickers in for fear of covering up a time I might need, but i think i have chosen days where there will be little activity to note. Sundays are my days off, Monday will be for observations and other school things, so I think I have enough room on those days to “pencil it in” if I need to.

The excessive scrap-booking will probably eventually have to stop. I see myself being too busy as a teacher, but you never know! You just have to love the process.

What activities do you do to engage yourself creatively? Coloring books? Scrap-booking? Painting?

I’ve got BIG ideas of my own for his year… remember my resolutions? There’s something I’ve been dying to do for so long that I am FINALLY dipping my toes in! Time to rip-off that band-aid and DO WHAT MAKES ME HAPPY! 😀

I will be blogging as soon as they arrive. Hurry UP FEDEX!