27 Aug 2014

Love Last Week #12

1// new haircuts for me and my big boy 2// this cheeky monkey is getting more and more full of energy as the days go on! 3// 3 years married and a cheeky mid-week date with hubby for a delish Indian meal 4// captured this cute moment between my dad and little man 5// a legoland surprise for the kids (well M more so!) 6// its my birthday...so we took back to the old skool with a night out.

linking up with @makedopush 

22 Aug 2014

Working Mummy Returns

Back in May I blogged about how I was looking forward to return to work - it is now the reality. Back in full effect. I am leaving breathing and thinking about the new routine we have in our lives. The summer is a little bit more complex - involving childcare and collecting / dropping of kids all over the place.

And I am enjoying it. I'm enjoying my actual job - it challenging, keeps my brain ticking over, keeps me interesting. I'm enjoying the meetings and the coffee breaks and the lunchtimes. The commute is not too bad. The dropping off kids is ok (if a little stressful) but they are also having fun. They have spent time with friends and family. Little one has really settled into nursery after a bit of rocky start.

I am happy and proud to be a working mummy. Sure at time its difficult and I am racked with guilt as my children are left without for the day. But they are being cared for, looked after and generally made a fuss of for the times they are out of my care. 

Its fun being a working mummy. I really enjoy it. Im sure if the job was not enjoyable or the commute hard or the people not nice it would change my view of things. Right now I am happy playing my role, doing what needs to be done and keeping everything ticking over in my head.

I feel a little guilty at times. but mostly I am happy, the boys are happy - that's what counts - right?

21 Aug 2014

Summer 2014 : Fruit picking

Our summer - which is very nearly at the end - started off super fun. Fruit picking at Garsons Farm. We have been there in the Autumn for pumpkin picking but this was our first summer experience. The boys love fruit so did have much fun sampling the berries! Whoops. M enjoyed being outside racing up and down the plants and finding the perfect raspberries. It was a glorious day and we stopped for a picnic there before heading home - in which both boys promptly fell fast asleep in the back of the car - sign of a fun morning I'd say.

We ending up with raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, broccoli and peas. Rather scrumptious selection.

20 Aug 2014

ProjectLife : ReThink

Way back when I first started blogging it was all about scrapbooking. (Hence the little in case you ever wondered) I was a prolific scrapbooker. Layouts and pages galore. sometime 5+ on one single event. I lived and breathed it. It was main hobby. It was what I enjoyed. Its where I have made so many friends.

Then came the document / projectlife element of my albums. Oh man did this make me happy. I completed about 4 years worth of yearly documentation of my family. Seeing it grow from 2 people to 3 people. Looking back at these albums I love seeing our year evolve, the daily snippets, the ever changing family life. I was able to keep up to date. It was a happy thing. But times I got behind was stressful, the planning took time and the creating near the end felt like a chore.

Recently I had been sorting through albums and M had taken to sitting there and looking at the albums. I realised something. Since 2014 began I had done no scrapbooking of any kind. 2013 was the last time I completed any 12x12. I have not completed a single 12x12 of N. Having two boys and busy life I felt I had not the time to spend planning projectlife layouts. Other hobbies excited me more. There is nothing wrong in admitting that. I should choose to spend my time on things I enjoyed.

But this past couple of weeks what made me sad is that I had no documentation of our year so far. Of my boys getting bigger, of cute photos of them in the bath or the million and one selfies I take monthly. I wanted that record. I wanted that in an album. I wanted to look through our year. But I did not want/have the time to spend going back and fully projectlifeing our year so far.

Instead I went through and selected photos on my phone in Months (thanks to great apps like momento, collect and sorting my photos using the album function) I was able to do this fairly quickly. I uploaded them straight to photobox and order like 200 prints. Now how best/ quickly to get these into an album.

I have already a ton of the projectlife dividers -which worked brilliantly. I did not limit myself to a minimum amount of sides per month. I looked at the photos sorted them and slotted them in. Nothing more just the photos into monthly organisation. I used a 4x6 card with the month written on to signal the changing months. I added inserts were needed. (I do have plans to add in some minimal journalling to some photos)

It makes me all kinds of happy to see our year like this. A kind of photo montage of our month. M is able to look at photos and remember where they were taken, what he was doing and re tell his story. One of my favourite things about scrapbooking.

So here I was in a happy place. Happy photos, photos in albums. But I felt I wanted more. I wanted more to be recorded, I wanted more of my writing, my personality and well lets be honest now, I wanted more pretty pretty paper. It all became more apprent when I was packing up some older albums for storage. There are some things I realised

  • I used to scrap way to much (6 layouts for one little trip to the park - this is not needed!)
  • I used to scrap some things that were pointless. (fact scrapping for scrappings sake)
  • I loved seeing our stories and my writing
  • I loved looking at pretty papers.
This then started a pinterest / google  search for some inspiration. I think I knew what I wanted - I didn't want a million albums (in the past some years have 4 albums!) we don't have the space and I don't have the time - but I wanted some kind of system of combining my photo montages and allow me to add in some 12x12. I read this article by Jennifer at SimpleScrapper - it was a lightbulb moment. Being able to combine a  Becky Higgins Projectlife approach with Stacy Julian Library of Memories/Photo Freedom approach in one album - yup count me in.

I set about planning what dividers I would like in my album - what memories do I want, what will inspire me.
  • OUR YEAR - this will be the photo montage. Quick highlights recorded in one place.
  • ABOUT US - layouts tailored to stories/memories about US as a family. KLMN.
  • PEOPLE - layouts about other special people in our lives.
  • PLACES - layouts about trips, days out etc that we have visited this year.
  • EVENTS - layouts about birthdays, Easter, christening, Christmas. (This is a bit lost in translation with the US wording as they would refer to this as Holidays, but I like Events more. Encompassing a broader spectrum of what makes up our lives)
I will be using these Becky Higgins scrapbook dividers to divide up the album. I think this will work (for this year at least) I am able to scrapbook photos from this current year. Record some bigger stories, and use some pretty paper. I am drawing a line under my other albums (apart from the wedding and honeymoon ones!) and looking to the right now. My kids are growing so quickly I want to get some of this down on paper before I forget.

Following this rethink - I jetted straight into creating some 12x12 to slot right in there. HAPPY.

My first 12x12 in forever. I was a little scared I would have forgotten how to scrap! - recording the little buddies these 3 are. (Plus I have been out of scrapbooking loop for so long this is all old stash! Stash busting for sure!) This fits into the PEOPLE section.

 And these sort of double page spread of our boys. What I love most about these two is that the photos are ones which have been taken months apart and in normal projectlife album they would not sit together, but seeing them together makes me smile. These are the first two in the ABOUT US section

At the moment I am happy to have found my creative groove back. I fully embrace hobbies ebb and flow through life and changing and switching things to work with your life right now is fine. Following your impulses or thoughts is fine. And embracing new styles or sticking to old ones is fine too.

Some more links on using projectlife or getting that spark back check these out from Shimelle Laine - who is making the most adorable baby book using projectlife supplies and Paperclipping round table had a lively discussion about keeping that spark alive.