Project Life update…2013 !

Good morning everyone!  One of my (many) to-do list items is to photograph and post my 2013 Project Life album.  As of today, I am 3/4 toward that goal !  Head on over to my new and improved Project Life 2013 page and tell me what you think?!  I have a master plan for the Memory Keeping portion of the blog which I am slowly working on, so more updates and revisions to come (so exciting!)


It’s sunny here in New England today and mild-y not so bitter cold …we’ll take it!  Showers forecasted for the next few days so we will enjoy the sun as long as we have it!  Have a terrific weekend everyone!

Goals for 2014 …. the lists

Goals for 2014

IMG_3948Oh boy is there a lot of stuff I want to accomplish this year!  Holy Moly Guacamole… But it’s a good thing I love lists, I live by my list that I make for the week, lists for shopping, errands, to-do, books to read…you name it, I have a list for it.   So I thought I’d start the year by making a List of the Lists for 2014 and break it down into manageable parts. I may even post this to a separate section on the blog here so I can keep track and cross things off as I go. We’ll see…the important part for me is to get the process started and add to it as I go along.

IMG_4129General Thoughts

-Start working on ‘life list’ – I resisted this for a very long time for a variety of reasons but I am now coming around to the idea that making a list doesn’t mean it’s the last life list I”ll ever make (far from it if history is any indication) but there is a power in words and in writing things down and I”m seeking to manifest that for the good

-Family Time-We have a good time playing games together and doing projects together, I’d like to do more of that in 2014, even if it’s just a movie night!

-Date night- we’ve never really formally had a standing date night but this year may be the year to start, it’s nice to spend a little time just us, without the kids…it’s a pre-cursor to what it will be like around here in 6 years when the girls are off to (*gasp) college.

IMG_1949Adventures & Travel – I’d like to travel more this year, even if it’s just locally to see things we just have not gotten around to seeing  (soccer, basketball, and social obligations not withstanding!) The girls are at a great age to do things with and are terrific travelers.  Even things as simple as going to the ICA with my girlfriends (or dragging my family there on mother’s day) qualifies as an adventure in my book!

-Getting the gang back together for Homecoming 2014 at Syracuse….I had an awesome time last year and want to go back again with my sisters from the class of 2014. Going to put that in the works as soon as the dates are announced!

-Connecting with some of my like minded kindreds who I’ve become very close with through the “Be Present” retreats.  I visited my friend Kimberly last month and we had a blast…. scheming to get a group of us together this year.

-Family vacation…we don’t take a big vacation every year but would like to maybe do some smaller get-aways this year, we’ll see…I’m sure we will spend some time on the ‘Cape with Charlie’s family this summer which will be fun in the sun!


-Being that my chief position these days is “Domestic Goddess” (yes, that is what it says on my tax return), this year I want to keep adding to my routines that work and re-evaluate what doesn’t and simplify as much as possible.  This also includes my position as the “Queen of Finance” and re-evaluating how I handle our day to day finances and make sure we are doing what needs to be done.

-Make a list of projects we are going to tackle (or have tackled) this year and make them happen.  We are fortunate that this house has not required quite as much intensive hands-on work as our previous home but as always, there is always much to do!

IMG_1248Family History

-Continue to work on the family photo archives from all branches of the family, organizing, scanning, printing and getting things annotated and in albums for people to enjoy

IMG_0100Memory keeping

-Finish the online classes I have started and abandoned OR not even started at all

-Make progress on the girls school albums starting from last year and working backwards, also tucking away things from this year that have already been delegated to go “in the book mama”

-Continue with a fourth year of Project Life documentation…although I suppose we should call it “Project CSLG” around here

-Map out other album projects I’ve been thinking about

-Switch out old post bound albums for new ring binder albums and possibly re-arrange the pages…still thinking about that

IMG_2142Fiber Arts & Sewing

-I want to get back to my roots so to speak and really start some serious sewing, I did a number of projects in 2013 but I want to up my game in 2014

-Play … whatever form that takes


-There are a number of different professional options/ideas I’ve been tossing around the last two years and I have to say, dithering about which one is the best path to take has just meant nothing has gotten done, this year I”m going to pick one and pursue it and if it works out, great!  If not, on to the next one.  Onward.

IMG_3014Connection and Personal / Creative Growth (the big journey)

-These have been something I’ve been working on the last few years a little at a time and I’m really excited to see where this takes me in 2014!

The scary thing is that this is just a few off-the-top-of-my-head ideas, the more I type, the more I think of so must. stop. now 😉

OK now…. GO !

2013 memory keeping retrospective

I love memory keeping and telling our family stories.  I am happy to be the gatekeeper for the family photos and memorabilia and the designatee to get it all organized in a format that we can share with our little family, our larger extended family, friends and with the world at large.

Plus, it’s fun

Toward the end of this year, I felt that I hadn’t really accomplished much as far as my memory keeping / scrapbooking projects were concerned.  I know I have a big bunch of on-line classes that I am going to finish up next year, as well as other ongoing memory keeping projects (that is another post for another day) but I thought I’d tally up my efforts this year and see where I really stand (I am planning in my “to do blog list” to share about some of these projects)…

Project Life

PL-for-Blog-PostYes, as of the close of 2013, I am still working on 2013 while looking forward to starting 2014.  Am I OK with it?  Yes.   Does it work for me? Yes…  Am I going to continue with this way of documenting our lives weekly?  Absolutely.    I’ve found during this my 3rd year of this kind of documentation, that sometimes this works best for me if I can “batch” it and do several weeks at once.  Earlier this year, I put together 8 weeks of layouts (8 double or 16 single) in less than 2 hours (!)   For 2014, I would really like to keep more current on this project but we’ll see how it goes.  The most important part is that the photos and the stories are getting documented.

Tally:  52 weeks of 2 – page spreads  (or 104 single spreads) (plus some extra stuff thrown in for good measure)… am going to down grade the number of weeks completed because I realized after I published this post that I’m still working on the last 4 months of 2013….that would be the not-caught-up-but-its-ok part of the project !

Revised Tally:  36 weeks of 2 page spreads (or 72 single page spreads)…still a good number!


Florida Keys vacation 2012:  

FLA-album-for-blogI was really happy to find a way to liberate the photos and stuff from this trip and get it into an album we can all enjoy.  I still need to corral everyone to write a few things down on some of the journaling cards but it’s basically done.   Love how it all came together, since I had everything all categorized and organized ahead of time, it took about 3 hours to pull the actual album together.

Tally:  20 double spreads/ 40 single pages

50/50 for Charlie’s 50th birthday:  

50/50 Timeline-album cover pageWhen I thought about my memory keeping efforts, for some reason I did not count this album or Project Life (???)  I know, silly.  This project was a true labor of love and I’m so so happy that I made this gift for my wonderful husband.  In short, the album was a 50 year retrospective of my hubby’s life to date, including photos from 1988 forward that I had, and photos from 1963 to 1988 from his mom.  Everything until about 2007 had to be scanned, cropped and edited (!)

Seriously love this book!

Tally:  202 photo album pages or  large images scanned

484 images edited/manipulated/printed

48 double page spreads / 96 single pages

50th Surprise Birthday Party Album

party-album-for-blogThe album about the party (yes we were just a little party-centric earlier this year!) I almost forgot about this album…I used the same type of album as the Florida Keys vacation, slipped in photos taken at the surprise party and notes from the guests.  Easy peasy done.

Week in the Life Album

WITL-13-Cover-Page I almost didn’t do it this year but at the last minute decided to jump in and keep it SIMPLE which I think I succeeded in doing…. layouts are printed and note sheets are all tucked away just waiting to but put into the album.  This project was all digital which was the only way I could keep it super duper simple and it worked.  I shared about this project on the blog (yay!)

Tally:  24 single page layouts

December Daily Album

December Daily 2013-startWork in process…I don’t think I’ve ever actually finished one of these in December (!) and thats ok.

Girls School Days Albums

Had them each pick out an album color, ordered the albums and started sorting current year and last year items loosely into each album….ongoing project I hope to work on more in 2014, but hey, at least they’re started.


Layout 2013-Julia's kitchenAh the backbone of scrapbooking and part of my memory keeping toolkit.   I love making layouts and have to admit, that I’ve been doing a lot more digital scrapbooking than paper but I’m making a concerted effort to do more paper scrapping to:  a) step away from the screen b) use up the large amount of scrapbooking supplies I own.  I am working on a better system to keep track of the layouts that are in process, completed, printed out (for digital layouts) and photographed (for traditional layouts) so I kind of feel I have work all over the place but here is a rough estimate of layouts completed….

Tally:  103 single page layouts   …   61 digital  … 42 paper

More than I would have guessed, I think my tally was helped by a weekend crop in January, and Layout-a-Day challenges in February and May.


124 Double Page Spreads  (or 248 single page spreads)

127 Single Pages

375 Single pages (counting double spreads as 2 pages..which they are)


More than a page a day

No way would I have dreamed it was that many!!  Awesome.  So glad I tallied it up.  So happy that all of these memories are written down and in albums for everyone to enjoy and for those who are wondering…yes, I printed out all of my digital pages.

How did you fare this year on your projects/hobbies/memorykeeping exploits?  I’d love to hear!!

Bring on 2014!

…we interrupt this photo shoot…

One of my goals for my blog is to post my Project Life layouts for others to see, be inspired by (maybe!!) and to connect with my far-flung family and friends.  I have been pondering how best to organize this on my blog, but in the meantime, I’ve been trying to shoot some of my layouts in preparation for uploading.  In addition to figuring out how I want my blog to “work”, I’ve been experimenting with how best to shoot my layouts…















And things were moving along except for one 10 lb glitch








Fred, the Cat

For those of you who haven’t been to my house, this is Fred.  We adopted him and his sister Ginger in 1996, so he’s getting up there in years.  Ginger passed away earlier this year and since she’s been gone, Fred has been spending a lot more time upstairs with the humans.  For instance, when I’m trying to take photos…








He’s decided that he must at that very specific moment in time…wake up from whatever pile of blankets or clean clothing he’s sleeping on, and come and see what his human is doing.  I think he sees himself as a household supervisor








And of course, the next thing that happens when I say “Fred!  Get out of there…”  Shadow, the dog races upstairs from her nest on the Family Room sofa to see what is going on…








It’s no wonder that the photos have not made it onto my blog yet…but at least photos of the pets have…. small progress??  I guess I”ll have to take what I can get…


Week in the life / Project Life et. al.

As usual, life gets in the way doesn’t it?  I do have the best of intentions, really…  I LOOOOOVE projects and my biggest failing is…I have too many balls in the air at the same time…but don’t we all?

So this month, December, my goal is to catch up and finish as many projects as possible before the dawn of 2012 and a whole ‘nother cycle of fun starts!

Here is where I am with two projects that I’d really like to finish up…

Week in the Life

This year, I decided to participate in Ali Edward’s “Week in the Life” project.  WITL is documenting everyday life for a week in detail in pictures, words, and the beautiful minutia of everyday life.  You can learn more about it HERE on Ali’s blog.  This year, the designated week to “Play Along” as I call it, was July 25 – July 31…the week we closed on our new house and all of the attendant craziness that goes along with it.  Needless to say, I knew there was no way I could actually document every day at the time so I set out to corral all my notes, photos, bits & bobs and supplies in one place to work on later.

Here is where I am today…

I figure at least it’s all in one place and pretty organized.  My photos are all in smart albums in iphoto sorted by date, my details are all in a file and ready to go,  I have the album, page protectors, and supplies…all I have to do is put it all together…

Hoping to share the finished product before 12-31-11 !

Project Life

Because I don’t have enough projects I also embarked on Project Life this year.  Project Life is a system and philosophy developed by Becky Higgins, you can read more about Project Life on Becky’s blog HERE.  I’ll write more about this project in another post but basically Project Life is an awesome way to document everyday life easily and relatively painlessly.  I have kept up with the photographs and collecting snippets of our everyday life, I just need to do some more writing and adding in all the lovely bits and 2011 will be done!

I actually have two books for 2011 because there is so much good stuff to celebrate and save!  I am really looking forward to keeping this project going in 2012.

So…all I can say is December will be busy busy busy and you’ll know where to find me!