Friday, August 18, 2017

Vegas 2017 [August Template freebie]

We went to Vegas last weekend. We went to celebrate a friends birthday. Both Barry and I have never been there before. It was HOT. Crazy hot. It took my breath away every time we left air conditioning. Barry was right, it was a 'dry' heat. In that, you didn't get completely saturated, as you would have had you walked out into hot and humid. We just walked out into hot.

But for this girl, for which 25 degrees Celsius is ideal... It was hot as balls. [Yes, I typed that]

I'm a fair weather girl. I don't like it too cold, and I don't like it too hot... 

I wanted to create a layout of our trip. A fun reminder of our weekend away. 

I ended up using Sahlin Studio - August template freebie. [Click here to find it] Available for the month of August only. 

This template is cool. It's got all sorts of layers and diagonal lines. 

At first, I tried very hard to get my photos into the diagonal spaces, but I wasn't happy at all with how that looked. It's nearly impossible not to cut photos off. 

I changed my strategy. I filled all the diagonal sections with paper, and then laid my photos on top.  At first I wasn't totally happy with that either. It looked a little bit chaotic. 

And then I thought, Yes. Chaotic. 

That totally goes with the theme of our first trip to Vegas. For me, it was absolutely a sensory overload. The sights, the sounds, the smells.... Everything was larger than life. People walking down the streets and in the casinos at all hours. Traffic noise on the streets. The blocks of walking between casinos. The noise inside the casinos [slot machines and the constant din of people hooting and hollering] The amount of people walking the streets. The shocking amount of children walking the streets and inside casinos. [This is absolutely not a stop I'd have on my family vacation destination, but that's just me] And the heat... Did I mention it took my breath away every time I stepped outside?

To be honest, I was really surprised that Vegas wasn't more volatile. With alcohol available EVERYWHERE, people drinking everywhere. It was surprisingly clean, and I didn't see anyone fighting. I did however, see a lot of stumbling... Very much out of my comfort zone for sure. 

Here is my layout:

We did have fun. We did gamble. We lost some money, won some money. I may have walked down the street with a gigantic beer. When in Rome, right? 

Would I go back? It's still too soon to say. I need more time to let it all sink in. I'm not saying never, but I'm not in a rush to find the next deal. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used:

PL2017 - Weeks 19 & 20

Here we are, nearing the end of August, only a couple more weeks left before the kids head back to school. Eeks. July always seems so dreamy. August seems to fly by. 

Here are my PL pages for weeks 19 & 20:

Week 19:

  • A fella and his dog...
  • Madelyn was asked to participate in the Maker Fair which was held at Telus Spark. She had a crystal growing exhibit. She worked on this project at lunch time and after school.
  • Graduating to Pathfinders. 
  • Silly post-it note on her cereal box. Warning her brother to stay away. 
  • Grade 9 portraits.
  • Playing a game, while his sister had friends over.
  • Amazing sunset. 

Week 20:

  • Walking Miss Libby, I found a cluster of crocuses. 
  • 51st Anniversary celebration.
  • Last ever elementary field trip. Too bad the weather was so dreadful.
  • Trip to Medicine Hat, to meet up with friends. So thankful for these friendships.
The following Sahlin Studio Product was used: 

Week 19:

Week 20: 

Roots [ release August 2015]

Friday, July 28, 2017

PL2017 - Week 18 and Random Movie Talk

So far, I haven't scrapped into the wee hours, as I'd expected to. 

I haven't quite caught up on projects I wanted to catch up on...

Our computer is in the same room as our big TV. And it would seem, that this is the summer that Mason is on a mission watch EVERY movie series possible. So far he's watched in there entirety:
  • Harry Potter [all]
  • Star Wars [all] for I'm sure, the thousandth time...
  • Jason Bourne [all]
  • Jurassic Park [all]
  • Every movie that has to do with a super hero [Thor/Spiderman/Iron Man/Avengers etc]
[I'm sure there are more movies than this, these are just the ones I know for sure he's watched]

It seems that the louder the movie is, the better the viewing experience. So, while he's watching movies until the wee hours, I go somewhere else, where it's quieter. Also, I'm  pretty big talker, but these days, I don't seem to be a 'up until the wee hours' kind a girl... 

Also, I've been to see two movies in the theatre this summer! TWO TIMES! What?! Unheard of. Granted they've both been movies the boys wanted to see but they were above a G or Disney rating...

We saw Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2. It was okay. That's my rating. Okay. Let's face it, Chris Pratt is pretty easy on the eyes. I love Groot of course, he kind of steals the show. I constantly listened to Rocket, to try and hear Bradley Cooper... I had tried to encourage Madelyn to watch the first movie, so she could join us for the second, but she wouldn't budge. As it turned out,  I was glad Madelyn chose not to join us, it did get a little bit dark. [Remember, she likes Disney movies...] 
The movie soundtrack was pretty good. Especially the opening scenes, with Groot dancing around to Mr. Blue Sky [ELO] I challenge you to listen to that song without dancing... We've been listening to that soundtrack here, pretty much on repeat. It's Mason's new favourite. Which is pretty funny, because the majority of the songs on the soundtrack are from the 70's. Literally. 

We also saw Spiderman Homecoming. This was a movie I could get on board with. I really liked it. 
I have seen all the spiderman movies over the years. I watched Toby Maguire get bitten by a spider. I loved Kirsten Dunst at M.J. I enjoyed watching Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. Now, yet another version. This time, I loved Tom Holland as Peter Parker. He actually looked like a high school student. When we were driving home, I said the only thing I thought about the movie, was Peter seemed like a bit of a scaredy cat.. And Mason said "Mum...  He was a kid my age, don't you think I'd be scared?" Well played Mace, well played. 

Very exciting that we're in July, and I've been to the theatre two times already. I'd still like to see Wonder Woman. I need to make the boys come see that with me. 

Movies aside, here is week 18 of my project life album. 

The following Sahlin Studio products were used:

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Mara Lake

It should come as no surprised that I like multi picture layouts. I mention it quite a lot. I mean let's face it, Project Life is basically multi photo pages...

[To be honest, that ONLY just kind of came to me...]

The recently released Clean Lined Pocket Templates, Vol 2, has my heart soaring.  Sometimes I think too many pictures gets things a little bit cluttered. Multi picture templates totally gives me permission to use many pictures.

This release came at exactly the right time too, we had just returned from our summer get away. I had just the thing I wanted to capture. 

As usual, I like to tinker to make things my own. The templates [and there are 4 to choose from] are 12x12 size.

For me, it's way too costly to print 12x12 size, so I shrunk them down to 8x8.

I actually shrunk them down even a bit smaller than that, because I put them onto an 8x8 background. If I have a bit of a background, then I know I'm not going to lose any of my photos due to bleeding or cut-offs.

 This is template No.2

This is template No. 3

These are fast and easy. Just drag and drop the photos in. Add some embellishments and voila, you're done!  

Templates make it so easy to capture memories, right after they've happened.  

The following Sahlin Studio Product was used: 

Sunday, July 16, 2017

July Template Freebie

This months template, is such a cool design. 

I have come to love clean lines and a minimalistic approach. I laugh at how my likes have changed over the years. This template can be found by clicking here, through the month of July only, get it while you can.

I love the short bullet-like descriptions. This was the perfect layout to document a weekend camping trip we'd taken to Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park. 

This trip just ended up being the 3 of us. Barry, Mason and myself. Madelyn decided at the last minute to attend the last Girl Guide camp of the season. It was nice to spend quality time alone with Mace. We obviously don't get the chance to spend one-on-one time with our kids very often. 

We booked this campsite back in January. When I booked, this was the only weekend available, with two nights in a row. I'm not even kidding. Booking a campsite for June, in January. Who knows what you're going to get weather wise. 

As it turned out, we couldn't have been more lucky with the weather. Someone was obviously looking down on us kindly. 

I'd heard many things about Two Jack Lake. Seen so many pictures posted on different forms of social media. The location and lake itself, is absolutely stunning. How can it not be really, with the mountains in the background of every picture. 

The campground however... Well, it was like camping in a parking lot. Been there, done that.  We don't need to camp there again. I'm glad we went, but once is enough. 

The following Sahlin Studio Product was used: 

PL2017 - Week 17

Here is a look at week 17 of my project life album. 

  • She still holds my hand, and still promises to never stop.
  • There are 3 houses for sale on our street right now. It's highly unusual.
  • LOVE the new Tim Horton's Canada 150 cups. They just make me happy.
  • Madelyn making her debut as 'Mrs Neumiller'. She knocked her role in the school performance out of the water.
  • Enjoying a nice spring evening, hanging out on the margarita patio with Barry. 
The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Monday, July 10, 2017

PL2017 - Week 16

This week happened to be Ali Edwards A week in the Life. Week in the life, is a project I've followed along with for the past 9 years. Week in the life goes very in-depth into each day, and it's a project I both love and dread. I love it because going back to look takes me right back to the every day things. 

Some have long since been forgotten. For example, when the kids were little, they both came and snuggled into bed with us, every morning. Every. Single. Morning. Now that they're 12 and 15, that doesn't happen. It hasn't happened for a very long time, and had I not captured it when I did, it would simply have been forgotten. 

Like December Daily, it's a project that you need to tackle head on. In comparison to December Daily, at least it's over in a week, rather than going on the entire month. 

I did create a 2017 WITL album, and will share it here when it's totally complete. I'm about 90% of the way there. [Shout out to summer vacation, where I'll be able to spend some late nights catching up!!]

I also like to capture the week in my PL album. Would hate for the week to stay blank.

Here is my layout for week 16:

  • Getting my day started.
  • Making an effort to walk Libby.
  • School day breakfast, he's up showered, fed and gone by 7:25 am.
  • Madelyn's booth at the school carnival, I was skeptical, and turns out I needn't be. 'Tape the Teacher to the Wall' was a huge success.
  • She loves that swing, still. 
  • The boys, doing some impromptu yard work after our neighbour went over our yard with an aerator he'd rented.  So thankful for good neighbours. 
I take hundreds of photos. Hundreds. I take pictures all time. I don't print them off very often. Before the days of digital cameras, I took a roll of 24 or 36 photos, and had them printed, put them in albums. Mason has several albums of random photos for his first few years. Madelyn does not. But both have albums and books, and can go back and watch themselves grow. 

I have been doing Project Life for 5 years. I have to say, I religiously print these photos all off and put them in my albums. I have 5 years of our every day stuff. I'm so thankful that I've kept up with this memory keeping or story telling. This continues to be important to me, year after year. I still love it. Not to say I am always motivated. I'm not. Sometimes a few weeks lapse here and there, but I have never stepped away for a very long time. I hope I never do. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

PL2017 - Week15

I just realized I'm a few posts behind. That seems to happen too easy.

Here is my layout for week 15:

  • I surprised Madelyn after school one day and took her to see Beauty and the Beast [note to self, there were no more than 20 of us in the theatre, 3:45 pm is the perfect time to see a movie]
  • Snow. Again. And it's not funny anymore.
  • Someone got hit in the face with a dodgeball... 
  • Easter fun with the back end of a bunny.
  • A trip to the garden centre reminds us, spring will eventually arrive. 
  • Family birthday celebration. 

The following Sahlin Studio Product was used:

Viewpoint - elements :

Viewpoint - papers:

Friday, June 9, 2017

T W E L V E...

It's happened. My baby has turned 12.

My little, who is not quite so little any longer. 

She's been waiting many years, for her friend sleep over birthday celebration. I, on the other hand, have been dreading it for the same amount of years...

My Mum hated me and my brother having sleep-overs. I couldn't understand it. They were SO FUN. That's what I thought when I was vying to have them and go to them. Now, I get her. I hate sleep overs...  The most obvious reason, my over-tired, cranky, unbearable the next day, kids... Hate that part. They deny it of course, but there are more often than not, epic meltdowns at some point the next day. I hate over tired cranky, crabby kids. Especially my own.

Having said that, we had a 'camp out' themed 12th birthday celebration.

She was allowed to invite 3 friends [my limit for kids sleeping over is 4; including my own] I haven't budged on the number of kids yet. The same rules apply to Mason and his friends. It was a tough decision, but she managed to narrow it down to 3 friends.

Thought I hate sleep overs, I do love planning a party.

I'm not going to lie, Pinterest does make me feel inadequate at times. I mean there are some extremely crazy talented party planning mums.  Some of them go totally over the top.

And that's cool.

But it isn't for me. I do like to pick up my favourite tidbits, and put my own spin on things.

This year, I was feeling a substantial amount of guilt, because last year, she ended up not having an birthday party. I don't need to get into it, but having or not having a party, were on Madelyn. Having said that,  I am still plagued with mum guilt. [Last year she was going through a Wizard of Oz phase, and that would have been much fun to plan also...] Here is last years invite:

It never got finished, or sent out. Like I mentioned, in the end, the onus was on her, and she didn't follow through. But the guilt... Ay-yi-yi... When your kids says, "Yeah, I never even got a birthday party this year..." To friends, aunts and uncles, grandparents. To anyone that would listen actually. Well, it does have the desired effect.

It's obviously going to be long lasting. That guilt.  I digress.

At least I don't have the guilt for this years birthday celebration. This one, thank goodness, was successfully planned and executed.

Here is this years birthday invite:

This was her first sleep over with more than one friend. So we had the idea of putting the tent up in the basement for the girls to sleep in.

She thought it was an AWESOME IDEA, and so operation 'birthday campout' was in effect.

I helped set the stage of course:

The dinner menu was BBQ-ed dogs and veggies and dip. I was surprised at how much some of these kids could eat! I'm used to the teensy amount of food Madelyn eats. Grilled dogs were perfect camp out themed meal. 

I picked up a red and white checked table cloth from the dollar store [I'll be able to reuse it for this years Canada Day celebrations] From the neighbourhood, I picked up twigs and pinecones to decorate a vase on the table. Easy-peasy.

After dinner, the girls did an outdoor adventure hut. They went around the block as group, looking for what was on their lists.

Alyssa did find everything on the list [the feather being the toughest item to find] There were no prizes, they just did this for fun.

The red solo cup... With names, as to not confuse which cup belongs to who... 3 girls with  names that begin with the letter M...

Madelyn requested a cookie panookie for her birthday dessert. I turned it into a S'more Panookie. I melted a chocolate chips on top of the cookie, and broiled a layer of marshmallows to create the S'more look. Made a tent out of paper and campfire of candles. 

The happy birthday girl, making her wish.

 The highlight was undoubtably, the trail mix bar...

There was no rhyme nor reason to this, just a bunch of treats. They could choose from pretzels, hickory sticks, miniature marshmallows, gummy bears, M&M's, cheese its, pretzel chips, onion rings, nibs, cheddar popcorn and s'more teddy grahams, marshmallow cones. It was quite a combination.

I crossed my fingers that no one would eat so much, that they'd throw up.

In the basement. In our tent.

And thankfully, no one did.

The girls had a great time. They laughed and giggled and squealed. Madelyn made a point of coming upstairs to thank me and telling me "This is the best party I've ever had!"

So, Mum guilt for this year, isn't happening.

And to be totally honest, they kept themselves entertained better than I thought they would. They hung out in the tent, rather than watching movies. They played a little bit of video games. All of them were gone by 11:00 the next morning. There was however, the anticipated meltdown the next night, at 10:45 pm. Those are always expected though, so I wasn't at all surprised.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

June's Template Freebie

As you probably know by now, Sahlin Studio offers a template freebie each month. This is June's template. Click here to go to template download.

I'm always excited to see the newest template freebie.  I love working with templates. All I have to do is locate a photograph, and decide which kit I want to use. 

Looking through my photos, I found the photo I knew I wanted to document, but it wasn't in the right orientation. Easy-peasy... I turned the whole template around 90 degrees so it would better suit my needs. 

Here is my take on this months template: 

We had a great visit with friends. We look forward to it every year. The kids always seem to pick up where they left off, and for that we're all thankful. I think this might have been our best get together yet. I don't know how many more years, we'll be able to round these kids up and spend the weekend together, but we'll doing it as long as they're all still willing.

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

PL2017 - Week 14

Week 14 took place back in April. April 3rd-9th, to be exact. 

  • Snuggles on the couch with Miss Libby. 
  • A trip to the hardware store and office store. I talk in my journaling about how nice it is, for the two of to go out and run errands. Now the kids are old enough to stay home by themselves, and sometimes opt to do that. 
  • I never tire of the snapchat filters... So fun
  • Date lunch with my boy. Love to get to spend some time with my kids one-on-one. Also, love that he's found a new love of food, and will try things [and even discovers he likes things...]
  • Dinner out with the family.
  • Hockey wind up, paintball of course...
I would also like to mention in this post, that we got all the info from our PC back. Remember when it died last summer? I lost a lot of layouts that I hadn't saved anywhere. We got them ALL back, and I'm absolutely delighted. I'd also lost about 5 months worth of pictures, but got them back also. 

Note to self. Back things up. Will attempt to be better at this in the future. 

The following Sahlin Studio Products used: 

Photo Journal No. 2 Templates

Sunday, May 28, 2017

PL2016 is Complete

You guys, I did it. I'm finally finished my 2016 album...

What a relief. 

Here's my two page spread for December. 

There's not much to say about this month. Every December, I also do a December Daily album. This year, I did it in a 6x4 sized format. If you're interested in checking it out, it's here.

Knowing that I document the month, in a lot of detail, I still like to include pages in my project life album. Some of the photos over lap. Some of the photos are different. Here's a quick look:

  • A celebration for Gigi. She was 99, and she would have been pissed that it took this to get all her grandkids together. But we did all get together, and it was a nice visit. 
  • We were at a Christmas party out of town, and of course, it began snowing on our way home... Of course. An hour drive under normal conditions, took us 2 1/2 hours. The highways were treacherous.
  • Calvin returns.
  • Miss Libby, loves to romp in the snow.
  • My fav 9 photos on IG for 2016, of course I had to see what they would be.
  • These two goofs, sporting Christmas present items. 

  • Girl Guides went and sang carols at a senior residence. Their last meeting of the year. 
  • Xmas morning stocking reveal. 
  • I surprised Madelyn with tickets to the nutcracker. She was so pleased. The girls went. I even let her pick out a mask. I was 'fun mum' on this particular trip. 
  • Barry and the kids Xmas Eve, I was home sick with the flu...
  • TRUST, my one little word for 2017. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Monday, May 15, 2017

May's Template Freebie

For the month of may only, you can download this Sahlin Studio template for free! Check it out here. 

Here's my take on this months template:

Miss Madelyn just performed in The Show Must Go On. She was thrilled to get a pretty big role as one of the teachers at the school. She practiced for weeks. She had early morning rehearsals every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 8:10-8:45 am. The rehearsals began in February. 

The last 5 weeks or so, before the play, they also added an after school rehearsal, Wednesdays from 3:30-4:30. She didn't miss a single one. 

Her work definitely paid off. The day of the performance she absolutely nailed it. 

Of course, we all came and watched, as proud as proud can be, from the audience. 

Way to go Madelyn! Maybe you have the acting bug...

PL2017 - Weeks 12 & 13

Fell behind there again... 

Not my intention. But it seems to happen on a fairly regular basis.

I have a couple of layouts to share, so here they are:

Week 12:

  • I went on a Gr 9 field trip, to Telus Spark. I had to laugh, because when they had free time, the kids all wanted to go outside and check out the playground. 
  • Love the Snapchat filters. 
  • A dog and her rat.
  • The story of the 'readers'.
  • Celebrating my birthday at my Mum and Dad's.

Week 13:

This week happened to fall on spring break. I adore spring break... Days are getting longer, but not necessarily warmer. Or, warmer for a day or two, then cold again. 
  • We did manage a lovely afternoon up on Nose Hill. 
  • We went to Telus Spark, trying to get another couple of visits in before Madelyn's pass expires. 
  • A sleep over with a best friend, it f i n a l l y happened...
  • Barry's re-doing some plumbing to our master bath and kids bathroom. Needed access to the supply lines. Good news, our master shower seems to be working just fine now, with no leaks!!
  • Madelyn making drumsticks for dinner. It's one meal that she loves to plan and make. 
The following Sahlin Studio Products were used: 

Week 12

You Are Here Kit -
You Are Here Journal Cards -

Week 13 

For Real Journal Cards -
For Real Paper -

Saturday, April 29, 2017

PL2016 - November

This has taken a lot longer than it should have, but I'm glad that I didn't give up.

This is the two page spread I created for November, in my project life album:

November was a pretty eventful, busy month. However, once school/hockey/ringette starts, all our months are busy.

  • Grade 6 field trip to the Youth Link, part of the Calgary Police Service. This field trip was excellent. It focused on many things that are very important to this particular age group: Healthy relationships. Gangs. Drugs.  Bullying. A lot of good information shared.  
  • Grade 6's also ran the Remembrance Day Assembly at school. My last Remembrance Day Assembly... 
  • Sadly, there have been very few trips to the playground after school this year... So if she asks if we can go after school, I say "absolutely".
  • Ringette weekend in High River. Pool time = Awesome. In fact, they could just take the girls away and go to the hotel and the pool. That's really all they'd have to do. As long as there's a pool, all is good. Madelyn went with Kaelin and Kristina. We picked her up the next day. 
  • Mustangs finally won a game. It was a much needed, confidence building, win. 

  • Mason helping with yard work. If he had the choice, he absolutely would NOT help. But he doesn't have a choice. 
  • Date night, vehicle selfie. 
  • Last visit with Gigi. 
  • Trump wins the US Election... Still don't know what to say about this, and we're '100 days' in to his presidency. 
  • Grade 6 field trip to the Edmonton Legislature Buildings. Best. Field trip. Ever. Seriously, it was a whirlwind day, but it was awesome. The house was even in session, and we got to go in for a little while. 
  • Celebrating Chris' birthday. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used: 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

PL2017 - Week11

Week 11, focused on the story of provincials.

Madelyn's team made it to provincials, for the 2nd year in a row. Which is not usual. This year, the provincials were held in Calgary. [Last year we had to go to Medicine Hat] 

It was a tough go. We played against 3 northern Alberta teams, and they are always very strong. The girls played really well, and rallied, but in the end, we lost to all 3 northern teams. Having said that, the games were all very close. We gave them a run for their money. We also played against two southern teams, which just so happened to be Calgary teams. Teams that were in our division, and teams we have played throughout the season.  We won those games. 

Ringette could potentially be over by mid-February, and is for a lot of teams. Once they lose two games in city play-offs, their season is over. These girls played their hearts out at cities, and ended up with a silver medal. It was awesome to watch. The teams were all very evenly matched, and therefore, made the games very close, and very exciting. 

Because we played right to the end of cities, and we're headed to provincials, we had practices right through the middle of March. These girls got another month of ice time and games, because they made it as far as they did. 

All the girls from the team, were available and made it to the provincial weekend. They had to take Friday off school. They played twice Friday, twice Saturday and once Sunday. They attended an opening ceremony Friday morning. It was a pretty awesome experience for most of these young players. Madelyn moves up to U14 next year, this was such a special way to end the season. 

The following Sahlin Studio product was used:

Monday, April 17, 2017

December Daily 2016 - Better Late than Never

I have mostly been done this album for awhile. There were just a few last things to add, sometimes it's the smallest things, that seems to take forever... 

It's always so great to look back on projects. When you're right in the midst of them, they can seem overwhelming.

This project, in the heat of the moment, is overwhelming. The best thing to do, is take it one day at a time. Getting somewhat ready beforehand, is also helpful. 

I love to look back at my past December daily albums. I love to see what changes. See what remains the same. This is the first year ever, in 15 years, that we didn't make a trip to see Santa... While it saddens me, I also understand that it's the natural progression. Mason didn't go last year, so I thought I had a few more visits with Madelyn. But she announced that she was too old, to sit on Santa's knee. She told me that when she'd gone last year, she observed she as the oldest girl in the line... It's funny what kids see, and what we see... Obviously that's not something I picked up on. She felt uncomfortable enough, that she didn't want to do it again.

This is picture heavy, here's my 2016 Album:

I used a lot of different product for this . I used Sahlin Studio product, I used Ali Edwards product. I used a bit of physical product I've squired away over the years.  I did a little bit of stitching on the sewing machine. I used Madelyn's artwork. Everything and anything goes with these types of projects. There are no rules.

I love this project, and I love it even more when it's all done and on the shelf.