Project Life 2015: Details & April Photos.

I shared my minibook that covers the first three months of 2015. I had fun experimenting with my documentation method, but I realized that I didn’t love looking through memories in that format. I think minibooks are better, for me, for specific ideas or events.

Project Life is still my favorite way to capture the everyday details. And I love paging through my binders from 2013 and 2014.

So I knew I wanted to get back to it for 2015. I just didn’t want to feel stuck or limited. What I ended up changing doesn’t actually amount to much. But it feels fresh enough that I’m inspired by it again. And no more corner rounding! Thank goodness I gave that up.

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I dropped the 12×12 format. I already think I might go back to it next year. But for this year, I’m doing 9×12. I wanted to be able to use up some of the stash I collected, so real 9×12 binders were out. They all seem to be four-ring binders, and my page protectors all have three holes. So I’m customizing.

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I bought a 12×12 American Crafts album because I saw other people had luck just chopping it down to size (currently sold out but hopefully not forever). I plan to cover it with something so it doesn’t look so plain, but I haven’t decided what yet.

I took some of my Design A page protectors and chopped off three inches from each one. I’ve seen people make their own inserts by just running the pages through their sewing machine. But that sounded like zero fun for me. So I decided to go completely lazy and use a stapler. I’ve gotta keep some standards, though, and regular staples did look pretty bad. So I bought a Tiny Attacher, and I actually think three tiny staples closing up my pockets looks cute.

I’m really loving the 9×12 format. I think just because it’s something different.

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For this new, April start title page, I used a Midnight edition 3×4 journaling card to set up where I’m starting. The Midnight edition is the one I originally bought for 2015. I still love it, and it will be my main kit for the rest of the year. I cropped the date out of a page in my Stendig calendar. I found a quote that might sound a little negative for an intro page in a Project Life album, but that I think is perfect for where I am right now. And I printed out some digital Sunshine and Seafoam edition pieces.

I end up with four 4×6 photos and ten 3×4 spots in each spread. I use my iPhone to take a lot of my pictures, so the little vertical spots work well for that. I made a page of recent eats and some snapshots from the month.

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I love the square photos, but the fact that the page isn’t wide enough totally bugs me.

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I made a page for Easter at my parents’. I love the little title card.

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We took a trip to the Poconos, so that got a spread with just a few snapshots from the weekend. I stacked the journaling down the outside columns.

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And that’s it for April!


right now.

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I’m typing this on Sunday morning. P. headed out to watch a motorcycle race, so I have the apartment to myself and a relaxing day full of tiny things planned.

I’m on my second big mug of coffee and watching Brunch with Bobby on the Food Network. It makes me want to plan some poolside Sunday brunches at my parents’ this summer. He’s making homemade Pop Tarts and cocktails!

With my new laptop, I’m not sitting in our second room much anymore, and wanted a better place for my Stendig calendar so it would get some use. We hung it in the hallway this morning, and it basically takes up an entire wall. But I love it. We’re going to add sticky notes of fun events we have planned.

I just started another 30-day trial of Amazon Prime. This is probably my third or fourth one. Maybe they’re hoping that I’ll love it so much one of these times that I’ll “forget” to cancel the auto-enroll. And they just might be right. I placed an order Friday afternoon and it arrived today. Sort of sad that there are no “days of rest” for mail employees anymore… But I was still so excited when the package arrived.

I got some very florescent pens that I’m obviously smitten with, and a cheap set of watercolors. I keep seeing people writing and decorating in their planners with watercolor paint and I want to give it a try. And I picked up some chocolate protein powder. I think a chocolate banana smoothie will be calling my name this afternoon. But first, I think I’ll be making some kale and eggs for “breakfast.”

I signed up for a CSA this summer. It stands for Community Supported Agriculture. You pay in advance for a summer’s worth of produce, and then it depends on how well the farm is thriving what you receive each week. It isn’t very exciting so far. The first week was full of radishes (new, and I’m pretty sure my verdict is still “yuck”) and boy choy. The second week is promising a bit better. Still very green, but I got a bunch of kale and swiss chard and turnip greens, and I’m much more excited to play with them. I think I might start sharing my hauls throughout the summer.

Happy week, y’all. It’s time for breakfast. (And as I’m typing this, it’s 1:00 PM. What a perfect Sunday.)


Blackberry Mojitos

P. loves mojitos. He orders them out at restaurants constantly. And once I gave them a chance, I realized I loved them, too.

I usually order margaritas, but sometimes the tequila is just too much. Rum is my go to for summery tasting drinks. I’ve also been making amazing frozen strawberry daiquiris this year.

But this post is about our blackberry mojitos from last Friday.

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We wanted to have drinks to finish celebrating my birthday. So I gave P. a short grocery list and worked on the prep. It takes a little more work than using pre-packaged mixes, but the drinks taste so fresh and amazing.

BLACKBERRY MOJITOS
Adapted from Eat, Live, Run.

For the drinks:

  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) blackberry mint simple syrup
  • 2 oz (1/4 cup) light rum
  • juice of 1 lime
  • club soda

So, you could buy simple syrup, use any flavored sugar syrups, or customize it however you want. But I strongly suggest trying this syrup.

For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup fresh blackberries
  • 6 sprigs fresh mint

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To make the syrup: Combine water and sugar. Simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves (it should turn from white or cloudy to clear again). Take off heat. Add blackberries and mint, and steep for ten minutes. Smash with a spoon to break up blackberries, and strain the mixture through a sieve.

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You could swap the blackberries with any berries and have wild success. You could also probably swap in a lot of different fruits, but I can’t vouch for them. I also strongly recommend steeping the mint with the fruit, if you’re making your own syrup. The mint tastes exactly the same once you assemble the drinks, and you avoid drinking all the floating pieces of mint.

To prepare one drink, mix simple syrup, rum, and lime juice over ice. Top with club soda to taste. Garnish with more mint and blackberries, or just keep it simple (which is obviously what I did).

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This drink is pretty sweet, but I think it’s similar to flavored mojitos when you order them out. If you prefer less sweet drinks, try changing the ratio of the simple syrup — you could start with 1 oz and go from there.

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I could definitely see these being enjoyed on the balcony a few more times this summer.

What’s your favorite summery drink?



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2015 First Quarter Minibook

Let’s talk about documentation. At the beginning of 2015, Project Life was not working for me anymore. (Spoiler alert: It is now.) It seemed like everyone was moving away from weekly spreads and a bit tired of 12×12. But I decided it would work for me again. So I set up my album, and created…

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Summer Manifesto 2015

eat fresh veggies from my first-ever CSA box. drink coffee on the balcony. work on my step goal of 7,500. binge watch game of thrones, parenthood, and orange is the new black. stick my toes in the sand. read books by the pool. spend 30 minutes outside every day. have an outdoor movie night. experiment…

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Nutella Frosting

I got a KitchenAid stand mixer for Christmas, compliments of my mama. The first one was faulty. As antsy as I was to break it in, I didn’t want to start out with such a fancy gadget and be worried it would burn out. So, we went through the process of ordering a new one…

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On turning 30.

A letter to myself & anyone else struggling with birthdays and numbers and feeling ill-prepared. I wanted to write you a letter, but I’m having trouble with the words. I’m not sure what brilliant or witty 30 pieces of advice I can come up with. I feel a little unprepared for this. Turning 30 feels…

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Poconos: October 2014 (Part 2)

Part two of the trip, like most of my trip recaps, is all about the food. The bed and breakfast served incredible food. It was all healthy, but tasted incredible. I didn’t get enough photos! But I’m sure there will be a next time. At least I took photos of the view. After we went…

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Poconos: October 2014 (Part 1)

Last fall, P. and I took a trip to the Poconos for a few days. We didn’t go with a big purpose, didn’t have anything planned. We just needed to get away, see some beautiful things, and relax. We found an amazing bed and breakfast just browsing the area online. Our room, I believe, used…

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Easter 2015

Happy Easter! I hope everyone had an awesome weekend. Like I mentioned before, I had three pretty delightful days off. This year, I helped my mom decorate her egg cakes. We spent Saturday afternoon doing that instead of dyeing eggs like all of our other pre-Easter Saturdays. Still a good tradition. I also baked up…

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