Monday, July 17, 2017

Scrapbook Layouts

In my last post, I mentioned that I had been working on a regular scrapbook layout that does not have anything to do with my Miami mini album. In fact, I have made two layouts recently that I wanted to share today.

I haven't subscribed to a scrapbook kit in a long time. Probably at least four years. But back in April, I started subbing to The Ali Edwards Story Kits. She is one of my long time favorite scrapbookers that I look to for inspiration, and I thought her kits would be a good way to get me back into making regular pages.
Using a few embellishments from the "Lens" kit, I made this layout based off an Instagram collage I had posted. I wanted to tell the story of how Mike and I had been playing around trying to snap photos of each other with our cameras. What came though was realizing that even though we can see life and each other different ways sometimes, ultimately we see the same thing. Love. Sappy I know, but true. I mean after almost twenty years of marriage, that we can still try to always see the best in each other even when times aren't so easy is pretty great.

I kept this layout pretty simple because I didn't think it needed a lot. The main focus is the photo and story.

Now the next layout went kind of the other direction as far as simplicity, but still the same theme. Love :)
As I said in my last blog post, back in January I posted this photo on Facebook with a little tribute to love. It had such a great response from so many people, and I just knew that I wanted to capture how I felt in a layout. So I copied my facebook post pretty much word for word and added it to my page. It's not as simple as my layout above, but using my favorite go to block design helped simplify things. Probably the part that took the longest was deciding which pieces to use on the bottom right.

One of the things I always found the least fun about sharing my scrapbook pages on my blog or anywhere online, was trying to get get good photos. But I took both of these pictures with my phone camera and only had to do a little editing. So much easier! Probably not as good quality as my DSLR, but whatever helps make the process quicker is ok by me.

If you share scrapbook layouts online, how do you photograph your pages? Phone, point and shoot or DSLR camera?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Around Here

Still blogging!
But I did take a week off for the holiday.

Anyway, I thought I'd share a little bit of what is going on around here.

My birthday at the end of June.

My mother in law gave me some beautiful flowers.
And every year for the past few years, I have hung birthday signs around the house for the kids to find. I found these hanging up all over the house the morning of my birthday. Erin made them for me. And no, I did not tell her that birthday isn't spelled that way!

Since my birthday was on a weekday, Mike had to be out of town. But he did call me bright and early that morning to wish me happy birthday. I spent the rest of the day doing fun things I love. Went out to breakfast with the kids, got a pedicure, went to the library and did a little clothes shopping. A few friends came over that night and brought wine and we had pizza and cupcakes to celebrate.

I know he would hate me to brag on him, but I can't help it! The day he came home, he had to drive several hours back into town after working. Before coming all the way here, I discovered that he had picked up a few gifts for me and some groceries to make me a birthday dinner so I wouldn't have to cook. I really appreciated that he still wanted to celebrate with me even though I know he had to be tired!

We didn't do a whole lot for Fourth of July this year. We were lucky to have Mike home a few extra days, but really we kept things kind of quiet. An afternoon at the pool, dinner and a movie out as a family another night, and seeing a few fireworks was enough over the holiday weekend was enough.
The movie we saw...

And I have to admit that I did not enjoy it as much as the first two. Erin of course loved it. And Mike and Evan thought it was ok. There were parts I liked, but it just wasn't my favorite.

I was also happy to have my brother and his wife in town for the holiday. We were able to see them for dinner the night we went out to the movie, on the fourth of July at my parents house and for brunch the next day. Ok maybe we did a little more than I realized last weekend! lol

Scrapbooking again!
I'm not just working on the Miami Summer album, but also finding time to work on a few layouts for fun. I posted that photo of Mike and I on Facebook back in January with a little tribute to love, and I decided I wanted to document it. This layout is going in an "Us" album. Maybe I will share the completed page next blog post.

On the left there, is a little Miami album Erin is creating on her own. I think it's going to be really cute. And I love being able to spend some time working together side by side on projects.

This is a super cool app I found quite by accident when I was reading an article about stress reduction.You can learn all sorts of languages and it is free! It may not be the super best way to learn a language, but it's fun. I can say quite a few phrases already, and it's sticking. My kids laugh at the way I'm walking around practicing. I think I will work on German or brush up on my French that I learned in high school next.

Iowa again to be with Mike. He had to work another weekend, and there is no way we were going to go almost two weeks without seeing him.

Evan has found a spot where he loves to fish, and it's a pretty popular spot. He was able to fish several times while we were up there.

We also went to the local water park one day and for the price it was pretty reasonable. It was $6 a person to get in but really only had a wave pool, three slides and a kiddie pool with a playground. I don't know about the kids, but I had fun!

And one day Erin and I went to lunch just the two of us. Evan was too tired from fishing all morning, and Mike was at work. Despite Mike having to work during the day, the good thing about going there is at least getting to spend time with him at night. Something we wouldn't be doing if we had just stayed home. And we had dinners with him, went out to get ice cream and even headed down to fish some more on the last night.

Listening To...
Podcasts! Like a lot. I think my whole ride to and from Iowa I spent listening to different podcasts. Here are some of my favorites...
Lots of good health tips and advice. Really educational when it comes to learning about how things affect your body. 
A fun scrapbook podcast 
Another scrapbook podcast, but this one is about pocket pages scrapbooking
It's a horror podcast, so not for the faint of heart and has some bad language at times. But nice and scary if you are in the mood
It's a public radio show and has had some really interesting topics and stories that draw me in.
An absolute favorite! It's not all just about being happy. Lots of good try this at home hacks and ways to simplify life as well.
I'm going to be honest. I'm not enjoying the second season as much as the first. And it can get a little gruesome at times. So I don't recommend this one if you are not a fan of horror. I'm not really a fan of the gore side at all, but I kind of got hooked on the story and seeing where it went the first season. I guess we will see if I stick with it.

I also have Welcome to Night Vale, Live Inspired, Alice Isn't Dead, Freakonomics Radio, Happier in Hollywood and Elise Gets Crafty in my podcast List. I just added the Feel Good Effect Podcast but haven't had a chance to listen yet.

And to wind down what has become a very long post:
We love summer here! Personally, I love being a mostly stay at home mom because it is just what works best for our family. But what I love most in the summer is how there is no school, longer daylight, sleeping in if we want, no rushing around most days, hanging out at the pool, and spending time with friends we don't see as much during the school year. Yes, there is some summer homework, but not a lot. And we do try to exercise in some way every day, whether it's walks, swimming, bike rides or yoga. 
But I love the less stressful vibe of summer and being able to enjoy this time with my kids. Well, most days. When they are not fighting. lol
And I especially love the flexibility of being able to pick up and go on little trips if we want. 

Summer is my favorite season for all those reasons I listed above and more.
Do you have any fun activities you love to do in the summer?