Documenting the Holidays with Project Life Scrapbooking

November 30
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Documenting the holidays with Project Life scrapbooking. December Daily overview as well as thoughts on christmas and holiday scrapbooking. AmberDowns.net

If you find yourself in communities of Project Life lovers then I am sure you have heard of December Daily.  For those not in the know, December Daily is the idea of doing a Project Life or scrapbook album for the month of December with a page dedicated to each day.  Because we have so many big events in December its great to just sit down and put it all into one album.  My take on December Daily focuses less of pages for each day, and more on the time from Thanksgiving to New Years.  For me, this will include our family thanksgiving, 2 birthdays, my anniversary, a bridal shower, holiday parties, a cruise, my nephew’s 1st Christmas, New Year’s, and my friend’s wedding on January 2nd.  Wow, just writing that all out is reminding me how busy this season really is!  Anyways,  I use 6x8in albums for my project life scrapbooks and I have purchased an additional 6×8 album for this project.  Heidi Swapp and Project Life have teamed up for a great line of products this year and I found my album at Joann’s from their holiday line.  Although I don’t plan to make a page for each day, I do want to use a number set to mark the day of the month the activities on the page are from. I picked up the MAMBI sticks Joy to the World set which includes  the numbers 1-25 for the christmas countdown.  So I won’t use all 25 numbers, but it will be a nice way to travel through December.  I will make a few cute date embellishments to denote the end of November and the few days of January that will be covered.  Of course, I have the entire month to work on this so who knows what changes I may make, but I am very excited to do my first Holiday Album. The embellishments on the left (Chipboard letters, christmas stickers and lights/candy canes are from the Target Dollar Spot, and the washi tape is just from my personal collection.  The silver letter stickers and the mambi small embellishments were also purchased earlier this year.

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Instead of purchasing Project Life or other branded cards for my album I decided to just cut down scrapbook pages to fit my pockets.  Here are some that I grabbed on sale.  My Joann’s had a great selection of Christmas open stock paper as well as super cute embellishments and accessories.  I hadn’t been in there in awhile and didn’t realize how great their scrapbook section was.  I am looking forward to getting back over there.

 

Are you doing a December Daily album?  What album and supplies are you using?  Do you have a better idea?  Share in the comments!

 

 

Interested in project life?  Check out my other posts the topic.

Project Life- Or why I love pocket scrapbooking

Project Life organization on a budget

30 days of Gratitude with Project Life

 

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Holiday Book Guide- Part 2

November 25
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Holiday book guide part 1

I wanted to share some more book gift suggestions with everyone.  As I have mentioned before, I am a youth services librarian so most of my recommendations will be related to children and teens. This post focuses on books for middle grades through adult.  Enjoy!

Goodbye Stranger by Rebecca Stead

I love Rebecca Stead. I loved When You Reach Me  and always look forward to her new books.  I was lucky enough to receive a early preview copy of her newest book, Goodbye Stranger via NetGalley, which is a book service for librarians and other influencers.  Goodbye Stranger takes place in New Your City over the course of a year with several middle school characters.  This book tastefully deals with the sensitive topic of texting photographs and the repercussions of what can happen. I think this is a great title for both boys are girls who are beginning to deal with life on the internet and the idea of a digital footprint.

 

Leave Your Mark: Land Your Dream Job. Kill It in Your Career. Rock Social Media by Aliza Licht I picked up this book on a whim from the New Book shelf at the library.  It looked cute and seemed like an educational read.  After reading the first chapter I knew this book was a star. Aliza gives a no nonsense approach to how to be successful in your first job.  As someone who works with teens on a daily basis I can tell you that this is information young people need.  The author shares fun antidotes as well as a checklist onto how to follow her suggestions and really rock your job.  The rest of the book goes over how to get a promotion and really be successful and smart with social media.  This book would be an awesome gift for anyone from high school seniors through young professionals.  It would definitely be a great gift for a college graduation.  I know it looks girly, but this information in this book is for both guys and girls.

The Girl With All the Gifts by M.R. CareyThis book was suggested by a friend on Facebook and it sounded a little interesting so I went with it.  The Girl with all the Gifts is a story about a girl who lives in a jail and that is the only life she has ever known.  As the story progresses we learn more about the new and different world this story takes place in. However, I don’t want to give anything away so that’s all I’m saying.  This is a great thriller for readers looking for something new and fast paced.  Although this is an adult book, I would suggest it for high school and adult aged readers.  Also, I haven’t heard anything yet, I wouldn’t be surprised if this becomes a movie in a few years.  ‘d see it.

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

Do you have a teen who is still obsessed with Hazel and Augustus from “The Fault in your Stars?”  If so they need to read Everything Everything.  This is a great love story about Madeline, who, due to an extremely rare disease cannot leave her home.  Everything is going swimmingly until a boy moves in next door and suddenly her world is upside down. Perfect for teens and young adults who love a good love story.

Every Day by David Levithan Every Day is a story about A, a person who wakes up every day in the body of someone else.  This book tells the story of the first time A falls in love and what its like living in his unique world.  This book is the perfect blend of realistic fiction and a hint of sci-fi. Great for a teen or young adult into romance or science fiction.  

Did you receive a favorite book as a gift? Comment below with your favorite memory of a book gift!

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30 days of Gratitude with Project Life Part 2

November 22
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So earlier this month I posted my plan for a 30 days of gratitude mini album for November.  I am making this album as a way to refocus myself and really understand who, what and why I am thankful.  I wanted this album to be a small item that I could keep on my desk or on my bedside table to be a constant reminder of all the amazing things that have happened and will happen in my life.  To assist with this, I made Project Life type cards to guide my pages and give me prompts for each day.  Although I am not doing this on a daily basis, I wanted to go with the 30 day system like in the Instagram type posts many do. (Search #30daysofthankful or #30daysofgratitude on Instagram for more information.)

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So this is what I am doing for November, what are you doing?

Project Life Cards

Here is a PDF file of my 4×4 cards.

Days 8-30 of gratitude

Need days 0-7?  Check here.

 

PS:  Be on the lookout for this upcoming giveaway!

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Goal Planning

November 17
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I put together these goal planning sheets a little while ago to help with keeping my goals in focus as well as to  ensure I was staying on the path and on time for competition.  I honestly feel that if you really want to do something you need to have it on paper with steps and a time frame.

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When using this sheet I suggest starting with a messy copy where you flesh out your ideas. It will take a little time to really see what the best steps are for you as well as to put together a realistic time table.  Do you know someone who has completed a goal similar to yours?  Ask them for advice as to where to start and how to  proceed.  Also consider asking about how long it will really take.  Be honest with yourself, you’re not going to loose 30 pounds in a month, but you could in a year.

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Once you know what you’re doing print out a new copy and write it out nicely.  Into paper crafting?  Decorate the sheet!  Now find a prominent place to put it where you can see your goal and work on it daily.  I made a smaller version to fit inside the Happy Planner so that it can be kept in the front of your planner so you have daily access.

Without further ado, here are the PDFs.  Be sure to print on 8.5×11 in paper and print them at actual size.  Card stock and colored paper are fun ways to jazz these up.

Goal planning sheet

Happy Planner goal planning sheet
Want more? Try my contacts sheet printable here.

What goals will you work to complete with these sheets?  Share below!

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2015 Ornament Exchange Link Party

November 13
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Looking for a christmas ornament to make? Look no further! Here is the complete list of all the ornaments made for the exchange I participated in last week.

Ornament Exchange Link PartyWelcome to the first 2015 Holiday Ornament Exchange!

Want to see all the amazing ornaments we have shared?

We are linking up all of our ornaments in the link below so everyone can see all the beautiful handmade and/or store bought goodies we came up with!

Let’s all get inspired this season!

The Hosts of the Exchange~Ornament Exchange Hosts

My Pinterventures | Made in a Day | The House Down The Lane | The Kolb Corner | Intelligent Domestications | Where The Smiles Have Been | Ash and Crafts | Inside the Fox Den | C’mon Get Crafty | Olives-n-Okra

We want to say a huge “Thank You” to all the blogs that shared the exchange announcement on their sites, we could not have done it without you! Hugs! Ornament Exchange Helpers

Lexi Michelle Blog | B is 4 | Xo, Lorey | Craving Some Creativity | Cherishing a Sweet Life | Our Crafty Mom | MidMichigan Mom


Make sure to visit all the other wonderful bloggers of the 2015 Ornament Exchange! All of their incredible creations are linked in the link party below.

DIY Adulation | The Farmhouse In The Field | Tastefully Frugal | My Sweet Things |Christmas Tree Lane | Simply Kelly Designs | Munofore | Decor To Adore | Tulips & Orchids | Rhinestones & Sweatpants |Happily Ever After, Etc. | From This to That | DIY Just Cuz | This Design Journal | I am Homemaker | Organized by Sunshine | Displaced Yinzer | My Life From Home | Nets Blog About Jnets Line | 10 Acres and 6 Chicks | Books and Life | Gardenchick | Two Purple Couches | DIY Just Cuz | Across the Blvd | Kentucky to Cali | Insolence + Wine | Our House Now a Home | Weekend Craft | Mary and Martha’s House | Random Bits of Happiness | Dragonfly and Lily Pads | Garden Matter | Recipe For a Sweet Life | Mama’s Journey | Amber Downs | Toolbox Divas | Craving Some Creativity | Vikalpah | Flourish & Knot | Raising Fairies and Knights | Blue Willow House | The Road to Domestication | Love My Messy Messy Mess | An Oregon Cottage | Home On The Corner | Fearlessly Creative Mamma | The Evolution of Mom | The Green Mountain Couple | Simply Home Love | Run with Jackabee | simple.pretty.life | The Chilly Dog | Try it – Like it | Gypsy Road | Playfully Tacky | Wife Mommy Me

We want to see your ornament tutorials too! Show us your creations by adding your post to the party below! Please add only ornament tutorials to the party. Thank you!

An InLinkz Link-up


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Holiday Book Guide- Part 1

November 13
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Holiday Book Guide part 1- Great Thanksgiving and fall books for kids.  Amberdowns.net

This post is the first installment of my Holiday Book Guide series.  My goal is to recommend quality new and classic titles that would be great gift options for children and adults. Today I am reviewing some titles that would be great for Thanksgiving as well as Christmas and other gifting needs. Interested in a title?  Click the photo to be directed to the amazon page for that book.

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli
This book just came out a few weeks ago and is destined to be a Thanksgiving classic.  In the story the child goes over all the simple things s/he is thankful for and then at the end s/he is thankful for “you.” This is a great gift item for both a children and adults. Wondering what to get someone who is so helpful in your life?  THIS BOOK IS THE ANSWER.  I know I will be ordering a couple copies for gifts. This book is great for preschoolers through adults.

Sophie’s Squash by Pat Zietlow Miller
Sophie’s squash is an adorable fall story about a girl who befriends what is supposed to be dinner.  The story, told over several seasons, shares the importance of friendship, even if found in unusual places. This book is perfect for preschoolers and early elementary students.

Red: A Crayon’s Story by Michael Hall
This awesome book came out in February of this year and is my favorite of 2015.  As you can see, Red is a crayon who clearly isn’t red.  This beautiful tale reminds us that we must be true to our inner selves regardless of what others tell us to be.  FYI this can be a serious tear jerker.  This title is perfect for children of all ages and adults.

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr(FYI This is another tear jerker) Todd Parr has done it again. He has taken a difficult topic and make it something simple to understand for little ones as well as adults: dealing with loss of a loved one. This book hits on many levels without going into too much detail.  The bright, simple, way he explains the feelings of loss are great for confused children as well as adults who are still coming to grips with this very personal topic. This title is perfect for children of all ages as well as adults.

Little Tree by Loren LongLittle Tree is a lovely story about a tree that refuses to let go. After his leaves turn brown in the fall the little tree does not drop them.  It is not until he can let go of the leaves that he can grow again. This is another story that children in preschool and elementary school will enjoy as well as adults who have been through similar situations.

 I hope that you have enjoyed my book recommendations.  Check back later this month for more titles as well as Christmas books and great chapter book gifts.  Have a suggestion of your own?  Share it in the comments!

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October Faves

November 11
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One of the things I want to do with this blog is to share my favorite things.  Often times these are projects, recipes, and tips; other times they are just things.  This will be (hopefully) the first in an ongoing series of my current favorites as well as things I do not recommend.

 

This is the photo from target because I am lazy.

 

Pajama Pants
In September we did a Pajama Storytime at my library.  The kids were instructed to wear pajamas and so I figured it would be fun to wear some too.  Only problem?  I don’t really own pajamas.  I usually wear shirts and gym shorts to bed, if anything. 😉  So of course I used this as an excuse to get some super cute PJ pants.  I remembered seeing one of my favorite bloggers, Kate from thesmallthingsblog.com wearing some cute ones from Target so I found myself a pair.  LET ME TELL YOU.  These are the most comfy pants ever. They are like wearing a warm loving hug on your legs. I would wear them every day, but I live in Florida and have a job. They claim they are a jogger which I guess is just regular pants, but they look like pajamas to me.  Regardless, I totally wore them to Publix last night.  Anyways,  check them out here.

 

Iphone 6s

I was an early iPhone user; I picked up a 3G on release day and keep up with them until 2 years ago.  I didn’t see anything great in the iPhone 5 so I switched to Android.  I had a Samsung Galaxy s4 for two years and it was fine.  Everything worked well, I just never happy with the photos.  The only pictures that came out good were ones that were lucky enough to have perfect lighting.  Finally, after 2 years I decided to go back to Apple only because I knew the camera was superior.  When out with my husband I had been making him take all the photos with his iPhone because I just knew mine was inferior.  So I went and upgraded and I was right, these photos are so much better.  I have nothing against android devices, I am just happy to have a good camera on my phone again.

 

 

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Pour over coffee

While Charlie and I were on vacation in Chicago we stayed at a hotel that had a kettle and pour over coffee in the room. I tried it and liked it; I love how simple the whole thing is. You are in complete control of everything and it’s cheap! I picked up this pour over cup on Amazon for $5. Get yours here. (Mine is size 01)

 

 

Don’t judge my music tastes.

 

Amazon Prime Music

I have had Amazon Prime on and off over the last 5 or so years and I signed up again back in September.  I have been using it for the shipping and books and a few weeks ago I found out there was an Amazon Prime Music app as well.  I downloaded it and I LOVE IT.  Its similar to other streaming music and downloadable subscription services. You can stream artists, albums, playlists, ect and you can download them too.  Being that I have a new phone (with no music on it) I went ahead and downloaded several albums.  I love that I can download for use in the car and when I am away from wifi and I can also stream whatever I want.  I know the $99 Amazon prime annual membership is a little high just for the music, but if you were on the fence about it before and think you’d like this feature I want to let you know its worth it.   Purchase a prime membership here.

 

So those are my faves for this month. Do you agree?  What are your current faves?

 

Holiday Ornament exchange 2015 DIY Glitter Ornament

November 8
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Make a super simple, super cheap, glitter ornament for yourself or for a gift. Come see this ornament made for the 2015 Pinterventures ornament exchange

This year I was honored to participate in the My Pinterventures 2015 Ornament Exchange.  Over 80 bloggers are exchanging ornaments they have either purchased or made and then they will share their shopping trip or DIY tutorial.

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I was matched with Michelle, the lady behind Weekend Craft who loves DIY and pallets.  I wanted to take her decor style into consideration when making her ornament so I went with a red, gold, and burlap theme.  I wanted to keep the ornament simple and elegant to match her decor style.  While looking around pinterest, I found a cool tutorial for filling the inside of a glass ornament with glitter.  I thought this was the coolest idea ever as it would give an awesome glitter effect without making a huge mess. I then added a simple burlap and red bow to give the ornament a little more personality.  That was it!  I considered adding a monogram or date with my silhouette, but as i mentioned, I wanted to keep it simple and classy so I left it plain.

Here is a tutorial if you want to make one as well.

 

supplies

Supplies:

Glass ornament- I got mine in a 4 pack from Michael’s.  If you have littles, they also sell plastic ones.

Glitter- I used what I had on hand.

Ribbon-  I used leftover red ribbon from my wedding and some burlap looking ribbon I grabbed at Walmart.

Floor cleaner-  This can be done with a floor cleaner or wax   I purchased Favor because it was the cheapest one at Walmart.  I don’t know much about floor cleaners as I use vinegar for my tile, but I’d say most would work, maybe not pine-sol though, I think it is different.

Adhesive- I used e600 to glue the ribbon to the ornament but you could also use superglue or hot glue

Scissors- to cut your ribbon

Scrapbook tape- I used this to adhere the red ribbon to the burlap.  If you’re better at bows you might not need this, or you may decide to use only one ribbon.

 

step 2

 

The first thing you are going to need to do is add a little floor cleaner into your ornament.  I used about half a tablespoon.  Swish it around in the ornament until the entire inside is coated and pour out the rest.

step 3

Next pour your glitter into your ornament.  I used a plastic cup as a holder to keep mine stable.  I added about 1.5 tablespoons glitter.  You can always add more later.

 

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More your ornament around so that the glitter touches all interior surfaces.  Move it around alot, but don’t be too vigorous or else it will come off before it dries.

 

step 4Once you’ve covered the entire interior set your ornament aside and we will work on the bow. I cut my ribbon into two long pieces.  I am not good at bows so I made mine extra long so that I can cut it down later.  Remember if you’re only using one ribbon you don’t need to cut two. I then glued the red ribbon onto the burlap and was good to go.

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Make a simple bow with your ribbon and tie it closed with another piece of ribbon.

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Then all you need to do is glue the ribbon onto the ornament and you’re good to go.  I used e600 glue, but you could use whatever strong glue you have on hand.

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Also, as an extra touch, I added a matching ribbon to the top to hang the ornament on the tree from.  2015 ornament

 

 

 

Check out these other awesome bloggers who posted their ornaments today!

 

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Garden Matter

Mama’s Journey

Recipe For a Sweet Life

Some of This and That

Toolbox Divas

 

Also don’t forget to check out Michelle’s post about what she made for me at Weekend Craft.

30 Days of Gratitude

November 7
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30 Days of Gratitude mini album and free printables! This was done using a 4x4 Project life album and page protectors. Great for 30 days of thanks or 30 days of gratitude or even December Daily!

 

If you’ve been on social media much the last few days you may have noticed 30 days of thanks or 30 days of gratitude.  These, like other monthly photo challenges are generally set up so that you have an assigned topic to photograph and write a few sentences about each day.  I love the idea of spending the month being thankful, however I didn’t feel the need to fill up my Instagram feed with the posts, and I wanted something that I can go back and look over throughout the year. I realized that the 4×4 mini photo albums made by Project Life, We R Memory Keepers, and others would be perfect for this.  I could add all my photos as well as journaling cards and have a nice compact album as a keepsake.  I will probably post some of the images on Instagram, and others I will keep just for myself.  I will update here on the blog as I progress.  Because I am making the album instead of daily posts I am not so concerned with it being a daily activity, but I at least want to sit down weekly and spend some time in thought about my gratitude.

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This is the Heidi Swapp for Project Life 4×4 album.  I ran across it on clearance at Michaels.

I went ahead and made some 4×4 cards to use in my album to denote the days/pages. I have shared the intro card and days 1-7 here.  I will update this post with days 8-30 in a few days.  You are welcome to use these cards if you’d like.

30 Days of Gratitude 4×4 cards day 0-7 (Free printable!)

 

Are you doing anything special this month to share your thankfulness?  What are you doing?  If you’re doing an album what are you using?  Share below!

See part two here!

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Project Life Organization (on a budget)

November 3
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Project Life Card Organization on a budget with free printable! amberdowns.net

So as you may gather by my last post, I am a big Project Life fan. I love collecting the little cards and using them for my albums as well as other craft/personal uses. However, as soon as I purchased more than one pack, I knew I was going to have an mess. I wanted a simple, organized system to keep them, and I didn’t want to spend an arm and a leg. (Really, I didn’t want to spend anything, I’d already spent enough on the project.)

I saw the cutest stuff on Pinterest with little carts, clear containers, wooden containers, so much stuff, but they were way over my non-existent budget so I started looking around at home.

 

 

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These are the lovely boxes in question.

I have an obsession with these $2 photo boxes from Michaels. OK. Technically they are $3.99, but they are on sale all the time for $2 or less. I find them at $1.67 and then sack a 20% off coupon! Anyways, I found one that I haven’t even used yet and went to work. One of the boxes we purchased had these cool little dividers in it. They were fairly flimsy and kinda ugly, but it gave me an idea.

I took the divider and made my own in my computer and printed them on card stock. I then added the titles of the categories to them and put them in the box. I considered decorating them with washi tape, but I wanted the tabs to be easy to find among the cards so I kept them the plain gray color of the card stock. You could of course decorate them if you wish.

 

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These are the categories I am starting with:
Title Cards
Fall
Spring
Summer
Winter
Christmas
Pinkish
Black and White
Wedding
Love and Valentines
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My camera really didn’t want to focus on this correctly. Sorry.

These categories work well based on the kits I have, but your categories may be entirely different. In making my categories I sat down in my living room and divided them up and made my selections as I went. This way I could really get a feel for what I needed and what would work well for my personal Project Life style. FYI I have the Seasons core kit so that definitely made dividing everything up easy, it also makes making my spreads easy as I have a place to start theme-wise.

I have attached the PDF file of the dividers to the bottom of this page if you would like to make your own. Print them out full size and cut along the lines. Its that easy! Also, I am pretty sure the boxes are on sale at Michaels this week.

Now to figure out how to organize the rest of my scrapbooking supplies…

Here is the PDF file of the template:

Photo box dividers template
Enjoy!

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