Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Things Making Me Happy | 03

+ Having Jason home and off work for a few days. He is always away a lot for work, but the last month and a half it has been more than usual, and it's starting to take a toll. It's been a treat having him around more!

+ Austen is doing great with potty training! I'm still pinching myself at how easy it was this time around.

+ Playing outside in the snow.

+ Taking the boys skating a few weekends ago. JJ had so much fun and did so great :) (Austen only wanted people to 'zoom' him around the ice - didn't really have much of an interest in skating himself).

+ Austen has become obsessed with books. JJ has always loved books and reading, but Austen had no interest for the longest time. About a year ago he became tolerable of being read to, but it's gone to a whole new level now. He wants to be read book after book after book and is so interested in them. It makes this book-nerd mama so happy!

+ Watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Love that show, such a great ensemble. I've watched them all before, but Jason just started watching it on Netflix, so I've been re-watching them.

+ Things are finally starting to get back to normal around here. All four of us have had strep throat in the last month (ugh!!!), and I had the added bonus of developing scarlet fever from it. Needless to say, it's been a crappy month. But yesterday was the first day in a long time I felt back to normal and actually motivated to do anything!

+ Getting back into the practice of handlettering. I'm a total beginner, but find it so fun and relaxing.

+ JJ is loved his Valentine's party at nursery school yesterday. He had so much fun signing all his valentines cards (hockey ones, of course), and was so excited to look at all his valentines from his friends. His teacher also painted hearts on all of their cheeks, and he just loved it - they didn't come off until bedtime. His excitement is the best.

Happy Valentines Day, everyone!

What's making you happy right now?

Friday, February 3, 2017

GOALS | February 2017

My January started out strong and I was feeling pretty motivated, but towards the end of the month my energy fizzled out a little bit. There were a few reasons for this: Jason's busy work schedule and being gone so much got to me by the end of the month; having almost a week where I was sick and accomplished almost nothing of importance; I'm also falling into the trap of letting the political situation in the US and other Canadian/world events get me really down and depressed feeling once again. Part of the reason I'm glad I'm doing these monthly goal posts is that I feel slightly refreshed now that it's a new month, and like I can start fresh once again.

I did OK with my January goals, but there's always room for improvement.

February 2017 Goals

* Make a scrapbook page with the Ali Edwards Numbers Story Kit

* Complete my 'Scrapbook Your Year' 2016 album. This is one I didn't get done in January. I finished three months, but that was as far as I got. I still have seven more months to finish up. It sounds like a lot, but it goes fairly quickly once I sit down and do it. Just have to carve out that time.

* Get a good start on making wedding invitations.  My cousin asked me to design and make invitations for her wedding, and I was so happy to accept! I've mostly designed them by now, and I want to get a good start on putting them together. I don't have concrete goals yet, because we are in the beginning stages of figuring everything out, but she wants to have them sent out by April. This will be one of my top priorities for the month.

* A personal spending freeze.  This was a goal I had in my head for last month (it wasn't officially written down as a goal), and failed at. I did do better with spending, but the goal is nothing for myself this month.

* Be in bed by at least 11pm. This is going to be a tough one for me. I am very much a night owl. If it were up to me I would stay up until 2am every night (and I used to), but with the kids getting up early, and them not sleeping great at night sometimes... I am waking up feeling tired and grumpy. Need to make this a priority as well!

Recurring Monthly Goals

* Post at least once/week to my blog

* Have two date nights with Jason - this can be either staying in, or going out, but is a night that we do something together.

* Complete my February pages for my One Little Word album

* Continue documenting our life via one-second snippets using the 1SecondEveryday app.

Update: I was able to accomplish all of these goals in January! Yay!

Have a great February!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Monthly Roundup | January 2017

Last year I did an "Around Here" post at the end of each month as a way to jot down the things we did/what was going on in our life at the time. This year I am going to change it up and try out Katie the Scrapbook Lady's Roundup Your Month. The same idea, just a little more detailed :) Here's January's roundup!
  • What fun things did you do with friends and/or family?
    • Jason took the boys to Kountry Kids in Selkirk a few times (I stayed home and got stuff done around here). They always have a blast there.
    • Jason and I had two date nights when the boys went on sleepovers to both grandparents. Just a low key dinner date for one, and for the second Jason was unfortunately not feeling well. But always nice to just have a relaxing evening at home. 
    • Monthly "BFF Date" with Tabitha.
    • Jason, JJ, my Dad and I went to a Manitoba Moose game. JJ loved it. Austen stayed home with my Mom (not sure he's quite at the point of being able to sit there for long periods of time) - we thought he'd be mad/sad we were all leaving him, but he was basically shoo-ing us out the door! (He's a big Grandma's boy)
  • What milestones occurred? Any holidays or celebrations? How about special events?
    • Three birthdays this month - My brother's and my sister and mother-in-laws. Just had low-key family dinners for all three. We also went skating my mother-in-law's birthday, and the boys (JJ in particular) had so much fun (no surprise). 
  • What happened in the news and the world around you? What was the weather like?
    • Ummmm, I'm not sure if we all need a reminder of what happened in January of 2017. But it's been quite the month (or last two weeks more accurately). 
    • The weather has been crazy around here. Super cold snap (-45C with windchill, which is about normal for January), but the craziness in that it was followed by above 0C temperatures. It's been a disaster for the roads. So mucky and dirty and wet - which then just freezes making the roads literal skating rinks. Ugh. I would honestly rather just have the cold than to put up with the melting and freezing and sheer ice everywhere.
  • Talk about the everyday and routine bits of life
    •  This was a long month. Jason was sick/not feeling well for the first couple of weeks and then gone for the next couple. For the stretch that he was gone, I also ended up getting sick for a few days, so that added to it.
    • Austen has been so good at dropping off/picking JJ at nursery school this month, which is a welcome change from the traumatic event it used to be (for him and me.) 
    • JJ is still loving nursery school. This month they were learning about numbers. He was so glad to go back after Christmas break (so were we - so he could quit pestering us about when he was going back to school). 
    • I'm not sure I should even be writing this because I don't want to jinx it, but Austen has been a completely different kid in the last couple of days. Easy going, loving, very minimal tantrums, eating well, actually listening (!!!!) Honestly, it's like he woke up the other day and just turned into someone else. It's been a warm welcome after some very challenging months. Even other people have commented on it, so it is obviously noticeable. I hope this sticks! He's gone through some big changes recently (he's doing amazing at potty training, and I've taken away his bottle during nap and bedtime and cut back on the amount of screen time he's had), so maybe those are affecting him as well. 
  • What TV shows did you watch? Did you go to any movies or live performances?
    • I'm re-watching Brooklyn Nine-Nine with Jason. He just started watching it on Netflix, and I've joined him. Love that show. 
    • I've also been keeping up to date with This Is Us.
    • Jason and I started re-watching the Star Wars movies. I haven't seen the first episodes since they came out, and *embarrassingly*... I don't think I've ever seen the originals. 
    • A lot of hockey (Winnipeg Jets), obviously
  • What and where did you eat?
    • A lot of the basics around here - pizza, spaghetti, "chicken" fingers (vegetarian version), wraps, waffles, pancakes, tacos.... the only 'new' thing we've done lately is flatbreads. For the kids I just make a veggie version with peppers on naan bread, and I've been making a bruschetta one for myself. Yum :) New favourite. 
    • We pretty much ate at home for most meals. We don't really go out much to eat. Our only meal out was for our date night, at Original Joes. 
  • What places did you visit? Did you travel or go anywhere out of the ordinary?
    • Nothing out of the ordinary this month!
  • What good stuff happened? What were the hard things? Anything unusual?
    • Good stuff:
      •  JJ back in nursery school (he loves it!)
      •  Austen has gotten so into reading, and it's awesome
      • making time to have date nights with Jason
      • making time to hang out with friends
      • spending more time with Jason at home. Even if it's watching TV together, we're at least in the same room and interacting.
      • The boys are starting to really play together. It's so fun to watch them bond.
      • Austen has become so cuddly and affectionate.
    • Hard things:
      • Jason being away so much
      • Sickness between Jason and I (thankful neither of the boys got it, though)
      • Some of the political/world events going on. It's leaving a feeling of weariness.
  • What did you scrapbook about? (*Note* This is my own addition to the list. I want to start scrapbooking more, and I'm hoping rounding up my projects will help me!)
If you would like the list to do your own roundup, you can find it here, on Katie's site! Thanks for creating this guide, Katie, and for the monthly reminders to actually get it documented!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Things Making Me Happy | 02

As part of my One Little Word Happy, this is my blog series about stuff that makes me happy. Small, little, everyday stuff, or big, exciting stuff! It all counts :)

+ Taking JJ to a Manitoba Moose game (our AHL team). He had so much fun - dancing, cheering, eating popcorn. He got his picture taken with Mick E. Moose (the mascot) and just loved it.

+ The Babysitters Club Club podcast. OMG, if you loved the BSC as a kid and want to hear two 30-something guys discussing the books, one-by-one, explaining the biblical allusions, themes of patriarchy and other wild theories you probably missed while reading them as a child, this podcast is for you! I literally laugh out loud multiple times per episode.

+ Getting my 2016 Scrapbook Your Year pages done. It's been fun going through pictures from last year - the boys have already changed so much!

+ That it has warmed up around here. It's actually been above 0C the last couple of days, which is unheard of in Winnipeg in January! (And a warm (haha) welcome from the -45C temps we had just over a week ago!) The only downside is that there is so much water everywhere now that will inevitably turn to sheer ice once it cools down again, making everything dangerously slippery...

+ My new Garmin Vivoactive HR. It is way more than I actually need in a fitness tracker, but it was on major sale and a way better price than some of the alternatives I was looking at. (And way less than an Apple Watch... which I really wanted, but just can't justify spending the money on.)

+ Lauren Graham's "Talking as Fast As I Can". I just finished it, and if you like Gilmore Girls, I'm sure you'd like this book. She is very "Lorelai-y".

+ Austen had a great week of dropping off/picking up JJ at preschool. It used to be a nightmare. He'd try to take his boots and jacket off and want to stay too, and throw a huge fit when we left, then fight getting in his car seat. It was a disaster. He's been so good this week (and the last few weeks), and it is such a relief!

+ I had a nice little 'date' with Austen while JJ was at school on Friday. We went to Chapters and played with and looked at toys there (and got a little Paw Patrol toy for each of the boys), then went to the library and got some books. It was a fun morning and I'm glad Austen is starting to behave a little better so that I'm not so nervous to take him places (in fear of a giant tantrum/not listening/general craziness).

+ Jason is finally back after a long week of being away.

What's making you happy right now?

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Scrapbook Your Year | August 2016 Pages

Well, I have a blast from the past to share today. Since we've been in a cold snap here (it's reached -45C with the windchill, and hasn't been much warmer than that in the past week), I'll share my August pages I've completed for my 2016 Scrapbook Your Year album, to help me remember some warmer times.

A brief update: In January 2016 I'd started a weekly physical 'Project Life' album, and fell off the wagon sometime in March. After trying to catch up for a while, I decided to scrap that, and do a digital album a la Cathy Zielske's Scrapbook Your Year class. You can read a more in-depth about that decision here, and check out Cathy's class here. 

I believe the class came out in July of last year (or around then), so in my memory I had completed a few months of pages - I was thinking four or five. Well... when I went back to check what I had done, I discovered I'd only completed two months. June and July. Ooops. One of my January goals is to have my 2016 album done and ready to send off to print as soon as a good print deal comes along, so that means I'd better get cracking. The nice thing about Cathy's Scrapbook Your Year process is that you can easily bang out a month's pages in just a couple of hours, so even though I currently only have three months out of twelve completed, I'm still pretty confident I'll be able to finish off the year by the end of the month.

Here's a look at my August 2016 pages!

Lots of everyday life moment captured! It's been fun getting these pages done, because even though this was less than six months ago, life moves so fast, and so much has already changed since then. It's been nice getting these little snippets of memories recorded.

That's a look at August. I have September's photos culled and ready to get into pages. I should be back in a few days to share them!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

"A Year In Review: Bro Edition" | Scrapbook Layout

One of my January goals was to make a scrapbook layout using the Ali Edwards Review Story Kit, and I finished one up last night. Yay! (Sidenote: I'm finding that having goals written down and somewhere where others can see them is helping me stick to them and get stuff accomplished so much better than my old way of having random goals in my head and forgetting about them all the time.) Anyways, it turned out that I didn't actually use too much product from the actual kit for my page - but the inspiration for the layout totally came from the kit and the classroom content. And I'm a pretty minimal scrapper, so I tend not to use too much product, period.

Onto the layout!

I have to say, this is probably one of my favourite layouts I've ever made. It's one of those ones where it turned out even better than I'd imagined it in my head. I went through all my photos from 2016 (literally all of them in my Lightroom catalogue), and somehow managed to narrow down my favourites of the two boys together to these 15. All of the patterned paper I used was from the Crate Paper Cool Kid collection. (Love that collection!) I cut the "A Year In Review" title on my Silhouette using the png file from the Review Story Kit, and I also made the "reflecting and remembering" word strip using a stamp from the kit. For the "bro edition" mini-title I once again used my silhouette and the Bobbles font (also a current favourite.) I left the edges of it curled up off the page to add a bit more dimension.

I love looking at this layout and these pictures and seeing how much love these brothers have for each other. It's just the sweetest :)

Since, as I mentioned, I didn't actually end up using much of the actual digital story kit on this layout, I'm hoping to try to make another layout with it this month, using more product. I'm already considering my goal met for this one, but we'll see what I can get done!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 8, 2017

One Little Word Album | January Pages

Hi! :)

Today I'm sharing my January pages for my One Little Word album. I know it's the beginning of this project, so there's probably some of that 'fresh start' feeling that's got me excited, but I'm feeling much more into this project this year than last. I think part of it is because last year I was kind of scared of my word... Choose seemed much more daunting to me. I loved that word and felt like it brought so much to me, but I think Happy is going to be an easier one for me. But still just as valuable :)

*Excuse the not-great photos. So hard to get good ones in this winter light* 

Here's a look at my pages. I stuck pretty much to what Ali did for this month. (If it ain't broke, don't fix it!) I always feel like a total nerd setting up my tripod and taking these selfies, but the one I did last year for this album was one of my favourite pictures of myself, and let's face it... Jason wouldn't take this good of a photo. Haha.

For this album I plan on kind of just sticking with the neutral colours of the kit, with a few little pops of colour here and there - like that marbled pattern paper.

Lots of writing!!

Aside from what was included in the digital downloads for the month, I also printed out the Action and Reflection cards for January. Right now I'm thinking I may fill out each of those cards every month, but we'll see how it goes. I like the idea of having a set of little actionable items to focus on every month, and then reflecting back and seeing how I did. For the quote, I just found a photo I liked on the Photos for Class website (an awesome site that has photos that are all licensed under Creative Commons for public use) and typed my quote out over it in Photoshop.

More of that marbled paper, and my Reflections card that I'm leaving blank until the end of the month when I'll fill it out.

Thanks for stopping by!