So far for Week in the Life (WITL), I am:
1) take photos: CHECK!
2) document words and stories: CHECK!
3) upload photos: CHECK!
4) blog about words + photos for the entire week: CHECK!
5) order products to help document WITL: CHECK!

The Week in the Life project is such a long, multi-task project, and so far I haven't finished one completely.  (I attempted only in 2014 and it was an epic fail and I haven't tried since).  But I think about what Ali said about finishing: it pays off the most when you are done and have all the Week in the Life documentations to look back on.

That is what I am really aiming for!  To finish this and be able to look back on this next year when I attempt WITL again...and in a few years when I have a collection of WITLs.  And I can see what has changed and what hasn't.

Today I am sharing the products I ordered to use to help me document WITL 2017.  I was very selective about what I ordered because one of my goals this year is to use lots of my stash.  I have lots of past Story kits that are perfect for everyday documenting.

1) Storytelling Stamp set.  I looked at a few different stamps from Ali Edwards and loved this one the most (hubby too!) because it had lots of different phrases + Mon-Fri stamps + would be the most versatile in re-using.  (This was originally from the Storytelling workshop and is now available for individual sale).

2) Acrylic paint.  I bought more paint because I have a handful of silk screens that I love but need more paints to use them with.  (Thanks Dad for getting them for me as my Secret Santa for Christmas!!)  The Pendleton + Black Butte + St. Helens came in a group you could purchase together (found in the Christmas products).  The Cascade was then purchased separately.  I can't wait to use these!!!

3) Color Theory Album - 9x12 Clean Slate.  After looking around for lots of album options, I decided to give the Sttudio Calico (SC) 9x12 album a try.  I've never purchased SC albums before + have never scrapbooked 9x12 before, so I'm excited for the challenge + to give their albums a try.  (I ended up with two, so I might use one to finally document our concerts + memorabilia!)

So that's all I ordered. I know it doesn't seem like a lot, but I definitely want to make a dent in the stash that I have.

My next steps are to start ordering some of my photos!  I think I'm going to order from Persnickety Prints versus the 1-hour Target photos I usually order, because I would like these to be a little better quality and I'll have more size options.


PS:  I've been sharing lots of videos and photos on my Instagram stories if you wanna check it out!  I shared details on all of the products above and even showed some of the silk screens I have.  (You can find me by clicking the icon above (if you're on a computer) or search my name @kelsterjean).  See ya there!
HIYA HIYA!!!  Happy weekend (and happy 3-day weekend to my readers in the states!)  It's a bummer that my hubby has to work this weekend, but it gives me llllotttsss of time to catch up on my To Dos...if I can just stay focused!  Anywho, just wanted to wish you guys a happy weekend.  I'm sharing this post and another post manana too!

Last weekend, I spent some time with my cousin Lexi so I could help her create some scrapbook pages!  I felt so honored and special that she wanted to use me as inspiration to help her create.  It's soooo crazy that at one point I was a beginner myself and now I am helping others document their memories!

Here's a peek at our super messy creating table!  (I took this with my wide angle lens standing on a that lens so much!)  I really enjoy using stuff from my stash and sharing it with friends.  I still feel like I have waaaayyyy too much stuff to ever use on my own.

In this photo and the photo above (bottom left corner) you can see sneeks of the pages Lexi created!  She finished two pockets AND one traditional layout by the time she left.  HAZZAAHHH!!!  I also sent her home with some goodies (page protectors, fun products to use, etc.) and she had some extras that she purchased when we went shopping while she was here.

She really ended up loving the pocket pages too, which made me sooo happy since they are my ultimate FAV and I think they're great for a beginning scrapbooking.

While she created her layout, I decided to have a little fun and create my own layout.  I can't even remember the last time I did a traditional 12x12 layout (it's probably been about a year at least!).  I used a layout from one of my FAV scrappers, Dear Lizzy, as inspiration.

Isn't it great when you use up your stash, especially old things you've had for a while?  The patterns (paper) are the only new things on my layout.  (Love that paper from Hobby Lobby that Lexi and I many fun patterns!)  All of the embellishments are older (mostly Freckled Fawn and Dear Lizzy for American Crafts, I believe) except for the flower pattern on the bottom, which was fussy-cut from the same paper pad.

The photos are leftovers from the last time I participated in Week in the Life (2014) and I thought I would never use them, so pretty exciting that I didn't just toss them!

Thanks for stopping by!


PS: I've been considering sharing some posts on beginning scrapbooking lately, so maybe I'll do that and share some of my own tips and experiences!

Week in the Life | Friday + Saturday + Sunday's photos and words.

I took the last week or two off from blogging because I was feeling sick and crappy thanks to an antibiotic I was on (my stomach is super sensitive so anytime I add anything new into the  mix, it goes chaotic).

I recently shared two Week in the Life posts.  You can check them out here: 
Today I'm sharing Friday + Saturday + Sunday's photos and words.  (This post is kinda long due to combining three days together).  (Also, a reminder that my photos don't always match my words because I wrote more versus taking more photos).

Friday, April 21st
For Friday's words, I used some of Ali's advice to inspire my journaling: document little details, tell me more.  Include the "why" of things.  Tell stories.

Hubby and I have separate alarms.  Mine sounds like what a princess would wake up to; his is a standard cell phone alarm.  I'm not sure why we use separate alarms when we get up together.

(I used to believe my days were all the same, but when I started paying more attention to details, I realized this was not the case at all.  They're generally the same but also definitely different).

This morning, I decide to forgo yoga for some light chores instead (not by choice...I hate folding laundry but there's a heaping pile staring me down).  While I make the bed, Cocoa rolls around on the floor like a feisty dog.  This is how an old dog with bad arthritis plays.

Today we get to wear jeans if we donated to charity.  I'm excited because jeans at my office is a rarity.  Jeans (and a screen tee) are my comfy clothes of choice, but lately I've been very self-conscious in them (due to what I believe is leftover bloating from our last IVF procedure).  (Also, the above photos reminds me of Alice in Wonderland because of how tiny my feet are-thanks to the wide angle lens).

So excited that as a result of donating to Soaring Eagle, we get to wear jeans AND we got these awesome re-usable bags.  I love donating to this charity because it hits so close to home and I really know my money helps make a difference.  (Thanks to my friend Terri for taking this photo of me!)

Our fav Chinese place for dinner because it's Friday + we eat out on Fridays to celebrate making it through another week.  We are regulars here and see the same ladies.  There's one in particular that's my FAV, and I hug her when I see her.  I finally ask her name after many many times here.  It's Michelle.  Ah, to know someone's name!

Stopped at Marshall's to walk off our dinner + pick up a new yoga mat for Cocoa (since I destroyed the other one cleaning it with dish soap...)  I almost bought that black coffee mug.  I end up in a complete bent-over-laughing fit after hearing a kid scream like a cat being scared.  (I'm even smiling now as I write this!)  Why screaming kids makes us laugh so hard I have no idea.

Saturday, April 22nd
For Saturday's words, I used actions to document my day.

  • Feeling blah as a wake up this morning at 6:30 much for sleeping in.
  • Watching hubby play his video game (Cast and Conquer) and get in his "dailies."  I love that he does this regularly and enjoys it thoroughly.
  • Went back to sleep for a bit and feel grateful that it actually helped a bit.
  • Seeing Cocoa on her new yoga mat makes me so happy!  Sometimes she doesn't like change, even subtle changes.
  • Reading Mom's happy text messages about seeing Bishop Briggs next Sunday.  YAH for pulling the trigger!
  • Making the bed because I enjoy it so much these days.
  • Eating for breakfast: his-leftover pizza, her-leftover egg and potato skillet.
  • Braiding my hair, or attempting anyways.  I need more practice.
  • Hubby driving because I'm still not feeling well and he loves to drive our new car every chance he can get.
  • Listening to screaming melodies (Beartooth).
  • Shopping for a bunch of random things, including vacuum filters.
  • Browsing frames and then looking into custom frames and realizing we have no idea what the heck we're doing.  (We managed to finally collect a photo of each of our grandparents on both sides that we want to hang up together).
  • Eating: his-wreck salad, her-meatball sub.  Both starving.
  • Trying really hard to be patient and not give attitude as we wander around looking at (what feels like) everything in the store.
  • Mall-ratting it.  (Hey, that can be a word!)  We finally have a day to ourselves to buy tapers for my ears.
  • Trying on lots and lots of clothes because when you go to The Buckle, they wait on you and make you try on lots of clothes.  Nothing for hubby which makes me sad, but I find a beautiful pink top and wonderful black pants.
  • Listening to one of our finds at FYE, Sempiternal by BMTH.
  • Grilling for the first time this year.  (Last year, some sort of animal lived in our grill through the winter.  Not this year!)  The pork chops hubby made were amazing with a sauce we got from our Mantry box.
  • Editing and uploading photos in anticipation of our craft date tomorrow.
  • Drinking tea because I'm freezing cold (I've had a chill on and off the last two days).  I'm in love with my new tea dispenser!  (from Teavana, along with tonight's tea, Caramel Almond Amaretti).
Sunday, April 23rd
For Sunday's words, I thought it was fitting to use the prompt "grateful for" to end this documenting process.

  • Grateful for both of us being able to sleep in late and hubby getting to sleep in extra late!
  • Grateful for showing up on my mat and doing yoga, even though I don't feel like it.
  • Grateful for longer hair to wear "messy buns" even if it is a strategic messy bun. 
  • Grateful for being a proud army sister and for my hubby's willingness to take photos of me and for me.
  • Grateful for remembering to laugh.
  • Grateful for Target one-hour photo and clothes I can feel comfortable in and remembering my green bag I got earlier in the week.
  •  Grateful for sunshine and outdoor sounds and Cocoa sitting in the grass.
  • Grateful for The Very Best of Johnny Cash CD now playing (found at FYE yesterday).
  • Grateful for having friends that want to come to crafting dates.
  • Grateful for time to work on my OLW and Memory Planner albums.  YAH creative time!!!
  • Grateful that hubby loves our new camera and is willing to pick it up and take photos for me.
  • Grateful for the AMAZING buffalo chicken dip that my friend Jenna brought.
  • Grateful for the relationship that my hubby has with my family.  It means so much to me that they get along and actually care for each other!
So there it is, in a nutshell! Wwww0000000ttttt!  I'm super proud of myself for taking the time to get this far.  Taking the photos + writing down the words + now blogging the words + photos.  My next WITL post will be related to the products and plan I'll use to get all of this into an album.
Thanks for taking the time to look at/read/stop by and see little glimpses of my real life!

return of the pears.

"Guess how much we love you?  Just a hare above the rest."
xoxo Tia Kelly and Wujek Alex

Our new niece Julia was christened last Sunday in a small family ceremony.  She looked so beautiful in her little white dress (that was made from her Grandma's wedding dress.  So sweet!)  We celebrated with a small lunch afterwards at my sister-in-law's family's house.

Alex and I were undecided on what to gift to her, so we decided to go with the book "Guess how much I love you?" which we have gifted to friends in the past.  The characters are bunnies (so naturally, it's our FAV) and it's really really sweet.  I hope to read this to our future children one day.  I also found a prayer card with her name on it at the local religious shop.

In the front cover of the book, we wrote the little message above (Tia is "aunt" in Spanish and Wujek is "uncle" in Polish.  Gotta include all the cultures in there!).

My craft stash doesn't contain any religious-based products, and since it was National Scrapbook Day (NSD) last weekend when I was creating these cards, I decided to play along with a challenge from Gossamer Blue and use three different stamps on a project.  (Such fun hanging out in their Facebook group and playing along with challenges and chatting with other crafters!)

I used to really love these pear stamps and use them all the time when I purchased them a bunch of years ago to make a wedding album.  (It's funny how we forget about products we own when new things come out, isn't it?)  They're so versatile and obviously look good in lots of different colors!  Definitely need to use them more!


PS: If you have any questions regarding any of the products used, please leave them in the comments and I will give you the info if I know it.  Thanks!!

love for all the mama's out there.

Happy Mother's Day!!!  Wishing a happy day to all of the mothers, moms, grandmas, aunts, dads who are like moms, fur moms, those hoping and praying to be moms, those struggling to become moms, and each and everyone in between!

Last Mother's Day was a little tough for me because it came shortly after the news of our first failed IVF.  Not easy.  I have never felt like I didn't want to celebrate this Hallmark holiday until that day.  Major bummer.

This year, I am doing much better (yah!) and am celebrating Mother's Day with both of the Moms in my life.  Yesterday we went to a dance show that featured Irish dancers and other fun performances.  So cool and fun!  I feel so lucky that I can spend time with both of my Moms at the same time and they get along and enjoy each other's company and care for each other.  That's something so special right there.

I created these two cards last weekend during National Scrapbook Day (NSD).  Studio Calico had a bunch of fun challenges for NSD, including a card sketch.  It was so fun to just have some time to create and play with supplies!

I really enjoyed trying this watercolor technique too!  (Inspiration from the video related to the card sketch).  I was supposed to use a different sentiment for the card above (one I really liked too!) but unfortunately I splattered paint on it and it looked like crap after that.  Grrrr for accidents.  Oh well, still turned out nice I think!

I hope everyone is having/had a wonderful weekend and enjoyed some good mom time!


PS: If you have any questions about products used, please leave them in the comments and I will give you the info if I know it.  Thanks!!

Week in the Life | Wednesday + Thursday's photos and words.

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop in and check out my Week in the Life posts.  I sooo appreciate it!  Today I'm sharing Wednesday + Thursday's photos and words.

A few quick notes:
I loved that I tried some different angles to take photos.  This is one of the things Ali encourages to try, and I LOVED the result of some of the photos.
Also, the photos I'm sharing have very little editing and most were not edited at all.  I have a small obsession with editing photos, and at one point used to edit even the most "perfect" of photos, even if it meant adding a little brightness or contrast.  I'm trying to break this habit and just appreciate photos how they come out.

Wednesday, April 19th
For Wednesday's words, I used the prompt "around here..." to help tell my stories.

  • around here, alarms go off several times (several being a severe understatement).  Hubby has several that go off throughout the morning to get him up and out the door.  I have only one that gets snoozed a few times...
  • around here, our office on the 4th floor is pretty quiet today.  There are so many empty offices (empty of people, not stuff) and both of my attorneys are out.  Occasionally, someone will wander up here from our other offices to drop something off and grab some candy.
  •  around here, the weather has been so cattywampus (borrowing one of hubby's fav words).  Today it's pouring.  I think I remember April being like this (it snowed on our wedding day, April 1st).
  • around here, podcasts are usually playing on my drive home, and usually Lead Singer Syndrome.  I love music in the morning to pump me up for work, but love podcasts in the afternoon to help me unwind on the drive home.

  • around here, we sit down to dinner together, almost every night.  I make a mental note often of how much I appreciate this (as opposed to a few years ago when hubby was on 2nd shift and we rarely saw each other).
  • around here, we try to keep up.  It's a struggle.  For 2 people and 2 furry children, we sure create a lot of clutter.  Hubby washes/dries the laundry and I fold and we both put away.  I do dishes and he runs the dishwasher.  We both help with the furries.  I have always loved how much of a team we are.  Always.

Thursday, April 20th
For Thursday's words, I used the prompt "most days/some days."  (This is a prompt Ali has used before that I love!)

Most days there are alarms going off every couple minutes from the time we wake up through the time hubby leaves.  Some days we beat the alarms, but most days, we do not.

Most days I (and we) make it a point to say Good Morning and Goodbye to the bunny with a few snuggles so she doesn't feel left out.  Some days she doesn't get as much attention as the dog (who has needed alot more attention in the last few months).

Most days my job is a crazy whirlwind of too much work and not enough time.  Some days I'm in control of my To Dos and tasks; most days I'm not.  (And the reason for that face is because I was in mid-belting out tunes! :)

Most days I call hubby as soon as I get out of work and we great each other with "freeeedommm!!!"  Some days we talk all the way home and some days I call other people and sometimes I just don't want to talk to anyone and listen to things.

Most days when I pull in the garage and walk into the kitchen, hubby is finishing cooking dinner and playing some kind of music.  (We're all about that lately!  Today it's bands from the upcoming Warped Tour).

Some days we're exhausted after work and a drink is soooo necessary.  Most days, it's Shiner Boch (our ultimate fav) or hard cider.  Some days we remember that we have tons of cozies collected that we can use.  Today it's the Hawks jersey cozies because it's Game 4 of the playoffs against the Predators.

Some days we get a little hostile when watching hockey!

Some days, moods can change so quickly...
(this pertains to the Blackhawks losing + being swept by Nashville + the end of their season, and also because baby announcements always sting, at least a tiny bit, when you're dealing with infertility.)

I shared a few photos twice above to show the different angles I was able to capture.  The black + white photo of me and my hubby sleeping is one of my ultimate faves from this Week in the Life!

There will be one more post in a few days where I will share Friday + Saturday + Sunday.  As always, thanks for reading and keep documenting the memories that matter.


Week in the Life | Monday + Tuesday's photos and words.

Wahoo!  I made it through the entire week of Week in the Life, and am soooo happy I took the time out to document lots of little stories from our everyday life.  Similar to how Ali does, I am going to share my photos and words from our week on my blog, to use later in my album.

A quick note that my words don't always match up with the photos I'm sharing.  This is because I tried to focus more on the words during this WITL instead of taking tons of photos (and feeling overwhelmed.  I talked about this a bit in my last post).

Here's a look at Monday and Tuesday.

Monday April 17th


Mondays.  Ugh.  Trying to start off this week better than last.  No yoga this morning because my neck is still hurting a bit.

I like Monday mornings because everyone who works in an office hates Mondays and doesn't want to work and wants to be left alone.  So I have unbothered work time.

This morning, I replace my file folders with new plastic sturdier ones.  I consider this a project "for me" even though it's work-related.  I like when I do things "for me."

Walks and headphones in both ears at lunch.  I love being able to listen to both my headphones and turn my music up loud (as opposed to when I'm in the office, in which I can only listen with one ear).

Freedom at 5 is the bees knees!  I'm sooo happy I switched to this shift.  Love these big puffy white clouds.  On my drive home, me and the hubby discuss Warped Tour and what bands will be on what stages.  This is our year for music, something for us.

Easter dinner leftovers.  Cocoa gets dry food + people food (three rounds of ham!) for dinner.  She's having a good day today, which makes us have a good day too.

My goal for this week is to have patience + be kind + chill the eff out + have fun.  Try and make it a better week than last week.

Tuesday April 18th
For Tuesday's words, I wrote down things people said throughout the day to help tell my stories.

Me: Baby, can you turn on the Weather Channel?
Hubby: Sh*t, it's 5:12!  My alarm didn't go off!
This is how we start our Tuesday morning.  We were both up late watching the game (the Hawks...they lost).  Hubby jumps out of bed and I remind myself (once again) that I need to change the clock on my phone to match his.  (Mine is always off by 2 or 3 minutes.  Not sure why).

"Incidental or deliberate contact."  I listen to commentary about one of the goals against the Blackhawks.  No doubt this will be a big topic among Chicagoans today.

"A little bit of a waggie tail."  We ran into Don this morning (he's the guy that handles maintenance for our apartment and all other apartments on the property).  Sometimes he's early and sometimes we are.  We both love when we get to see him.

As I run out the door late, I stop for a second and linger by the back door, looking at Cocoa looking at me.  One day (maybe soon) I will leave and won't see her cute bear face.  The love we have for this girl...

"My desk is like the Bermuda Triangle."  Yep, it pretty much eat things, never to be seen again.  No matter how much I seem to organize it, it always gets covered again.

"We can always make time for a dinner or something after work."  Dinner @ Chili's with the girls.  I order a drink and then so do they.  We talk about their upcoming weddings and details and life.  I'm so grateful for these girlfriends of mine.

"I think I could use some liquid nighttime juice."  Hubby goes out for a drink after volleyball while I get home and head to bed.  There's crap everywhere but who cares?  I've always loved that our home looks "lived in."  Details.  Stories.

 I'll be back soon to share Wednesday + Thursday's photos and words.  And to start planning my scrapbooking of this week.  Yah!