Episode 35 – The December Daily Prep Party

Welcome back to season 3 of Pocket Talk! On today’s show, I speak with Ali Edwards and Katie Jaeger about documenting the holidays. Specifically, we chat about their upcoming in-person crop, the December Daily Prep Party. In our conversation, we discuss the motivation for organizing this type of event, how it differs from Story Camp and what to pack, if you are attending. If the December Daily Prep Party isn’t is the budget this year, don’t fret! Ali and I discuss some of our initial plans for our 2018 December Daily projects. Notably, the 2018 December Daily order period starts Thursday September 6th & the last day to register for the December Daily Prep Party is Monday September 20th. Enjoy the show!

Show Notes:

Ali Edwards

Katie Jaeger

December Daily Concept

December Daily Prep Party

Ali’s New York Entry from her 2012 December Daily

Elle’s Studio: Love This Adventure

“Let’s jump in muddle puddles!”

It’s the 10th meaning that Elle’s Studio August kit is now on sale and ready for purchase! This month I was immediately drawn to the blue journaling cards, the new blue Jane stickers as well as white acrylic piece that says “love this”. As soon as I saw that, I knew I wanted to document our recent camping trip on the beach.

Right now, my kids love Peppa Pig, especially the scenes where the family jumps in muddy puddles. I love that my daughter helped my son to sandbar so they could reenact this scene. I love this story and documenting these small every day moments!

Thanks for looking!

Elle’s Studio: Paradise

“Holiday! Celebrate!”

It’s the 10th of July meaning that it’s time for Elle’s Studio monthly kit release and some lovely add ons! I was a fan of the blue green dreamy hues in the kit. I create this 6×8 double page layout of our trip to the beach during the Canada Day long weekend.

A simple story told, embellished with the summer mix puffy hearts and the pool time wood veneer with this months add ons. I used these pieces so much and added them directly to my photos. I love how these pieces can help tell all you document your summer time adventures.

Thanks for looking!

Elle’s Studio: Fun in the Sun Layout

I can’t enough of little boys “driving plastic cars”!

It’s June 10th which means that the new monthly kit from Elle’s Studio is now on sale now! Inspired by the vibrant color in this month’s kit, I choose to use cobalt blue, green, yellow and orange for this layout of my son, driving his plastic car.

The color combo was inspired by top 3×4 journaling card. The “Fun in the Sun” card is from the printable collection which you can buy here. Both cards have a simple modern design and reflects Elle’s fun and play aesthetic, which I love!

Using the journaling card as inspiration, I mimicked the color in the tags, by clustering them together here…

And here! Placing tags on top of photos is one of my go to techniques these days!

Thanks for looking!

WITL 2018: Thursday Photos + Stories

2018 Week In the Life Intentions

To capture what is real, right now

Thursday Photos & Stories:

Thursday Present Participle List:

Loving the blue sky even when it’s cold.

Celebrating the fact that my kids will help the chores like laundry. We have always used a reward system with Ro and now that she is older we have implemented weekly chores. Including helping sort the laundry, we also ask her to make her bed, fill up Charlie’s water dish daily, put her dishes in the sink after a meal as well as tidy her backpack and shoes. We pay her $5 dollars ever week which she can use for whatever she likes. Sammy isn’t old enough yet for an allowance but he wants to do everything that Rowan does. It’s a win win for everyone.

Eating breakfast in my car. It’s not my first choice but I wasn’t as organized I could have been this morning and this is the end result.

Listening to the rain at 5:30 am. Since the warm weather has arrived in Toronto, I like sleeping with my bedroom windows open. I love the fresh air and the occasional sound of rain.

Reading texts from my mom as she updates me on their arrival. My parents live 3+ hours away and it is always a big trek to the city for them. Did I mention that I appreciate their help?

Thinking about summer vacation and how we want to fill out time as a family. We are a camping family and we are excited to use the new car for some adventures this summer. Today over lunch, I book us a camp site at Long Point on Lake Erie.

Feeling good as I eat gluten free the entire day. Specifically enjoyed the lemon blueberry paleo muffins for breakfast and haddock and kale for lunch.

Gratitude / Note To Self ( I want to remember):

I want to remember the feeling of ease knowing that my parents are looking after Sam as I take Rowan to her social skills group. I want to remember the joy in laughing and connecting with adults, specifically with other ASD parents, for my 45 minutes of free time.

Overheard on Thursday:

Rowan: “Can I buy a bike? I want to bike all around Toronto!”

Sam: “I have a penis! Mommy and Rowan have gulgas! We all have heads!”


Morning Although I wake up to the sweet sound of gentle rain at 530 am, I am still late for work! Seriously I forgot how busy mornings are solo parenting two kids and a dog. This is a crazy thought given that I solo parented for a week only 10 days ago! Ugh! Needless to say, I am looking forward to Grandma and Grandpas arrival this afternoon and not eating breakfast in my car.

Midday During lunch I receive an email that Rowan got accepted to her schools day care. Aaron texts me his thoughts and sends me pictures of his vacation / I mean work trip- haha! We accept the spot and which means our before and after care location will change in the fall. For now, I can’t help but think of summer and where we would like to go camping as a family. It’s May and I am eager to finalize our summer plans.

Evening After picking up Sam from daycare, I drop him off at home with my parents. I then drive Rowan to her social skills group on the Danforth. I spend 45 minutes chatting with parents of the fellow attendees. We laugh and share stories. With activities 3/7 nights per week, I am beginning to have a glimpse of what life may be like in a few years. Evening activities makes my day just a little bit longer. 

How did your day go? Thanks for reading!

WITL 2018: Wednesday Photos + Stories

2018 Week In the Life Intentions

To capture what is real, right now

Wednesday Photos & Stories:

Wednesday Present Participle List:

Loving this WITL project and using my “big camera”. Wondering why I don’t pull it out more often. Consciously not taking lots of work pictures for confidentiality reasons, but also for the fact that I want to document my routine with my kiddos.

Celebrating the fact that Rowan completed a second booklet at Oxford Learning. Aaron and I decided to get her reading help after her last report card. In the six weeks that she has gone, Aaron and I have both noticed that she is more willing to try to read. Tonight she helps read “Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus” book to Sam during story time….and it was adorable!

Eating “breakfast for dinner”  aka waffles with bananas and strawberries. Embracing the “good enough” approach to feeding my kids when Aaron is on his business trip. Tonight, I order in food which will last me the next three days. Sometimes, I just don’t want to cook.

Watching Jerry Seinfeld’s, “I’m telling you for the last time” stand up from 1998 on Netflix while blogging, editing photos and making CT layouts for upcoming assignments. I am eager to watch the latest episodes of The Handmaid’s Tale but I am need to get into “the zone” when I create.

Reading an email from Sam’s daycare inviting me to a special mother’s day activity. Excited to see what his school has in store!

Thinking that technology is growing leaps and bounds as Sam picks up a telephone. Sam is fascinated with the new technology

Feeling tender hearted and vulnerable as my partner leaves on another work trip. I will always be supportive of Aaron as he always encourages me, but I have to admit it is hard to be the one left behind. The kids have been very good but Rowan is more aware of Aaron’s absences and as such she has a lot of separation anxiety. On nights that Aaron is away, she prefers to sleep in my bed. At this point, I am totally okay with that.

Gratitude / Note To Self ( I want to remember):

I want to remember the kindness and hospitality that Kelly show us when she invited us over for an impromptu play date after running into her on the street. The kids played well together while the mama’s caught up over lemonade. I love my friend. I love our neighbourhood.

Overheard on Wednesday:

Rowan: “Mommy, can I sleep with you tonight, while Daddy is away?”

Sam: “Can I hold your hand mommy?”


Morning This morning’s routine is a mixture of feeling sad and scattered. Kids are up early while Aaron is at the gym, meaning I am on full parent duty, getting breakfast, packing lunches and picking out clothes. Once Aaron arrives, home I race upstairs to hop in the shower. We switch up the routine as Aaron will walk Rowan to school, while I will take Sam to take care. We hug goodbye and I can’t help but feeling a little vulnerable.

Midday I leave the office on time and rush to the grocery store. I pick up a few “essential” items like milk, orange juice, strawberries, bananas, and waffles while Aaron is away. I rush to pick up Ro up early from after school and drop her off at Oxford Learning. I drive home, take Charlie out for a brief walk / bathroom break and then change into my gym clothes and running shoes. It is such a nice afternoon, I pick up Sam from daycare and walk along Queen street to meet Rowan at 5 pm.

Evening As we walk up our street, we run into a friend. As nice surprise, she invites us in for lemonade and a playdate. It is the perfect weather to hang out in the backyard to play with bubbles and throw the frisbee. The kids are dirty so we have another bath and face time with nanny. We read “Don’t let pigeon ride the bus”. Both kids laugh when I read, “Pigeon At the Wheel”.

How did your day go? Thanks for reading!

Elle’s Studio: Sunshine Girl

Is is popsicle season yet?

Here is a quick peek at the layout I created for Elle’s Studio using the May Monthly kit. The kit is now on sale and can be purchased here.

I wanted to document the story of my girl selling popsicles over the long weekend last August. I saw the yellow journaling cards and knew that I want to pair them with the photos of Rowan in her purple shirt. Its an unconventional colour combo but I like it! It use the “girl” stamp from the Title Builder Vol. 2 stamp set and those awesome spring puffy hearts, which are apart of this month’s add ons.

Looking forward to more popsicle stands this summer!

Thanks for looking!

WITL 2018: Tuesday Photos + Stories

2018 Week In the Life Intentions

To capture what is real, right now

Tuesday Photos & Stories:



Tuesday Present Participle List:

Loving the fact that I my work schedule has changed so I can the leave office earlier to come home to be with my girl. Ro needs the extra time to decompress from her day and in those moments where she wants her privacy, I catch up on housework. Today, I fold laundry and put dirty dishes from yesterday’s dinner and prep tonight’s dinner. This recent change of working 5 short work day vs 4 longer days makes me feel like I have some work life balance.

Celebrating the fact that my parent have offered to help while Aaron is away. Tomorrow Aaron leaves on a work trip, the 6th trip this year, and my mom and dad text me today to say they were coming for a visit. I accept and I am giddy to know that I will document my parents with my kids in this WITL album.

Eating paleo lemon blueberry pancakes for breakfast. This morning I woke up early so I could actually sit down to eat. Sam joins me at the table and wants to have a bite. I am always so impressed by his willingness to try new things. Two years, I ate a diet that was gluten free. I felt great and lost lots of weight. I am continually looking to improve my health.

Embracing unconventional workout times. With Aaron leaving tomorrow, I opt to run when Aaron and the kids have dinner.  Making time for myself and health is always a priority that juggle with the demands of raising young kiddos.

Listening to the kids watch “PJ Masks” after school / daycare. It’s rare that they will both watch a show together but this cartoon we have some common ground.

Watching John Mulaney’s stand up special, “Kid Goregous” on Netflix while I edit photos. Stand up comedy has been a source of relief and relaxation from work. Running also provides relief from the day to day grind. Tonight I go during dinner, so I can be back in time for bath and storytime. Tonight, I run a 3 km speed workout – thinking something is better than nothing.

Reading one chapter of Matlida to tonight, Aaron and Rowan have been on a real Roald Dahl kick. Aaron tells me latter that Rowan interrupts him by saying: “I just have two questions, 1. Where Matilda’s parents always mean to her and 2. Did you get a hair cut?”. Love there connection.

Thinking that the days of bathing two kids together maybe coming to an end in the near future. Both kiddos are getting too big for bath tub together

Feeling relieved that we didn’t have to go to Sparks tonight. Generally Rowan attends Sparks on Tuesday evenings but after attending camp over the weekend, the meeting was cancelled for this evening. I realize that I like having my own downtime at home at the end of the day.

Gratitude / Note To Self ( I want to remember):

I want to remember the gratitude I have for the people in my life, Aaron, the kids, and my coworkers who understand and put up with my desire to document my life right now. I know its not always easy to have a camera around but I am already thankful for participating in this project.

Overheard on Tuesday:

Rowan: “Daddy, I want to buy I whoopie cushion?’ Aaron: “Whoopie cushions aren’t appropriate in public, so no”; Rowan:  “I can I use a whoopie cushion in private?” (Aaron and I looking at each other and dying of laughter)

Sam: “Hi Mama! The birds are very loud! Why is it so cold? What is that noise? Can I see the garbage trucks?” (I love the toddler’s stream of consciousnesses)


Morning  At 6:30 am, I wake up with Sam rolling a bus on my arm and telling me that the birds are loud. Before going to bed last night, I had to return Rowan back to hers after she crawled with Aaron due to a nightmare. Yes, its musical beds here at our house. Today’s morning routine feels rushed as I focus on WITL documentation. I forget to back Rowan’s lunch and swimsuit for school and she reminds us. I appreciate girlie’s new level of awareness but make a mental note to put up our May activity calendar on the corkboard. Although I feel like I am running late, we make it to drop off and work on time. Win!

Midday It’s a steady pace of rounds, charting and seeing clients. Today I meet with another new client at one and review the concepts of CBT. I feel comfortable in my role as a social worker and I am proud of how my skills have developed over the years. There is always an opportunity to learn and grow but for now I feel like I am in a groove. I leave the office on time (yay!) and I can’t help but feel good with the sunshine. On my commute home I opt to listen to some crafty podcasts which makes me want to get into my space play. Mental note, I need to clean said space before that happens.

Evening With our normal Tuesday evening activities (Sparks) are cancelled, I catch up on around the house activities. Laundry, unloading and loading the dishwasher are a few items to check off my to do list.  I prep dinner which includes, turkey meat balls, broccoli and pasta. While Aaron and the kids eat dinner, I take some alone time before Aaron leaves on his work trip. Tonight alone time = going for a 3 km run. The kids are happy that it is a bath night and Aaron plays a game with them. After the kids are in bed, Aaron and I chat about the day, the funny things the kids say and discuss the details of his work trip.

How did your day go? Thanks for reading!

WITL 2018 : Monday Photos + Stories

2018 Week In the Life Intention

To capture what is real, right now

Monday Photos & Stories:


Monday Present Participle List:

Loving the spring weather and how Toronto feels like it’s coming alive with colour. Yes to more 13 degree weather and sunshine! 

Celebrating no tears at drop off or pick up for Rowan. It’s been a while since my girl has been happy at before and after school care and I am proud that we made changes to my work schedule to accommodate her overall well-being. Parenting continues to be the hardest / best / rewarding / challenging thing I have ever done.

Eating breakfast standing up. Am I living my “best life” in this moment? No but the it’s reflective of what it’s like to be a working mom – doing soooo many things on the run.

Embracing the challenge of working with a client who has difficulty with eye contact and identifying emotions. I roll with resistance and walk around the hospital chatting with my client. It’s a gorgeous day and I am happy to try something different.

Listening (always) to podcasts on my commute to work. This morning I listen to “The Daily” which chronicles Rudy Gulianni’s career as NYC prosecutor, mayor and now Trump lawyer. This afternoon I listen to Dax Shepard interview Joel McHale on Armchair Expert. I am totally an auditory learner.

Reading over Rowan’s page of homework that was sent home today and making a plan on when we will complete it over the course of the week.

Thinking about all the changes coming in the days and months at work and trying to enjoy the moment that I am in.

Feeling content as I start this WITL project. This is my eighth year starting this project and I think I’ve finally internalized that I can’t document everything.

Gratitude / Note To Self ( I want to remember):

I want to remember the gratitude I felt when Aaron brought me coffee this after his workout. It’s a small gesture, but I totally appreciate his thoughtfulness. Coffee is still an important part of my morning routine especially in this stage of life of raising young kiddos and working. After 16 years together, he understands my need.

Overheard on Monday:

Rowan: “Daddy can you leave my door open?”

Sam: “That’s a very big tree! I can’t climb it, that’s for squirrels!”


Morning I feel a sense of relief as we return to weekday life. Having been away all weekend camping with Rowan’s Sparks troupe, which was awesome but so so tiring, I am ready to get back to my regular routine. Monday mornings are my jam (I know, I am annoying! Ha!) – I am energized to start the week and catch up with my coworkers.  It’s a race out of the house, to daycare drop off and into the office.

Midday After eating lunch during rounds, I have a moment to breathe, I check my texts, social media and email. I spend the next 2-3 hours writing assessments and treatment plans. I am watching the clock to make sure that I leave the office, “on time” to pick up Ro. I have made changes to my work schedule which means more 5 short days in the office vs. 4 longer days. After getting use to working through the week, I feel like I am coming close to “work / life” balance – or whatever that looks like! Ha!

Evening Tonight we have nothing on and I am little bit excited to chill. After dinner and playtime, Aaron and the kids go to bed just at 8 pm. I catch up on late night talk shows from last week. My current favourites include Late night with Stephen Colbert and Late Night with Seth Meyers. I clean the kitchen, tidy the toys and edit photos. As I write this, I am happy that there is still light out at 8:30 pm.

How did your day go? Thanks for reading!

Ali Edwards 2018 Week In the Life Unboxing Video


Happy Wednesday Folks! For those who are interested in completing Week in the Life kit, the new 2018 kit is now on sale on Ali Edwards Blog. Here is a quick unboxing video that includes my thoughts how I will be using some of the products in my upcoming album. Thanks for watching!