XO Layout

Happy Heart Day Eve!

When it comes to memory keeping, make a lot of pages about my kiddos. With Valentine’s Day happening tomorrow, I was in the mood to scrapbook about the relationship between Aaron and I. I paired our wedding photo and wrote about what is real for us right now / our happily ever after. Spoiler alert: its not grand gestures or fancy trips, it’s the little things! Like when he tells me a joke, or texts me out of the blue for no reason or bringing me home mini eggs without even asking me. A package of mini eggs get me every single time!

Every once and I while I like to bust out of the pocket pages and create a traditional layout in an unconventional 6×8 size…...yes! I really love the smaller canvas. Super easy to create something meaningful. As you can tell from the full size layout, I am trying to channel my inner Cathy Zielske. Ha!  Supplies include: Bazzill Cardstock -White & Cotton Candy Plaid; Maggie Holmes Gather Pattern Paper; XO Digital Element, Ali Edwards February 2017 Digital kit; Simple Stories Enamel Dots; Studio Calico Heart Wood Veneers; Archer Font.

What little things mean the most to you?

A Love Layout

The many faces of Ro

In the latest roundtable episode of the Pocket Talk podcast, I mentioned that I am creating for Ali Edwards Design this year and I am pretty pumped to be included in that fabulous team of ladies. Here is a layout that I created over the weekend using Ali’s February Digital kit. Lots of great love themed journaling cards. And so, when your almost 5 year old decides to show you her many expressions, you make a page!

This 6 x 8 page came together quickly. I included my 4 favorite photos of Rowan in 6 x 8 canvas in photoshop elements. Any parents of girls will totally understand that moods can change quickly at this age. Heaven help me when she gets older…Ha! I created a simple 3×4 journaling card using the pink heart seen up top and mimicked the ombre colours in a 4×6 journaling card on the bottom. Journaling includes Rowan current loves. Fonts include: georgia & remington noiseless.

What love themed pages have you created lately?

Happy Monday!

WITL 2016: Saturday

SaturdaySign

Photo 2016-05-14, 1 55 27 PM

7:03 AM Today is cold and wet. Blergh. I have to turn on the heat and put on my socks. I refuse to put my winter jacket on. Winter I am so done with you.

Photo 2016-05-14, 7 50 36 AM

7:49 AM After breakfast, we have time to play. I love that we don’t have to rush out the door or get Sam dressed. Fun fact, I like to keep Sam in in his Pj’s until after his morning nap. This just makes life that much easier.

Saturdaydress

11:01 AM As Sam naps, I take maternity photos for friends who come over to the house. Out of privacy for them, I am not sharing a picture. I am excited and honoured that they let me photograph this special time in their lives. I also feel the pressure to take “good pictures”. I contemplate having a side photography business.  I may or may not explore this option in the future.

Photo 2016-05-14, 10 11 55 PM

11:31 AM Love that Aaron cooks lunch for us. Today, like most Saturdays we have fried eggs. Clearly both Sam and Charlie are happy.

Photo 2016-05-14, 1 56 25 PM

12:35 PM It’s a quick turn around from gymnastics, to lunch to dance class. We load up everyone, including Sam in the stroller and Charlie on leash and walk to the community centre which is two blocks from our house. Have I mentioned how much I love living in the city and being able to walk everywhere? Rowan poses with her pink dress on. She has being doing ballet for 1 year and it has helped her gross motor skills. She loves “dance class” and I like the family outing.

Photo 2016-05-14, 12 59 11 PM

1:03 PM As Rowan dances, we throw the green squeaky ball for Charlie. This guy will only chase balls if the make a sound. Funny eh? I can remember a time that it would just be the two of us at the school yard. Those days are long gone. However, it is nice to have a moment with just Sam and Charlie. Sam giggles as Charlie runs.

Photo 2016-05-07, 1 22 39 PM

1:34 PM We take a different route home. Everyone, including girlie, are enjoying the cherry blossoms.

SaturdayJessClean

2:42 PM As Sam naps and Aaron and Rowan watch the movie Tangled, I clean the kitchen. We have babysitters booked and I am pretty excited to have some adult along time together. I am helping to prep dinner so that the transition will be easy. There is nothing I love more than a clean kitchen.

Photo 2016-05-14, 5 47 54 PM

5:01 PM Fancied up, baby free and feeling relaxed!

Photo 2016-05-14, 5 05 51 PM

5:01 PM We arrive at Boxcar Social, a hipster independent coffee shop / bars that keep popping up over the city. I feel kind old but immediately don’t care….it’s date night! As I age, I realize I don’t take myself too serious – which is a good thing!

Photo 2016-05-14, 6 36 47 PM

6:02 PM He drinks a pint of Stella.

Photo 2016-05-14, 5 14 29 PM

While I work on my computer and drink an almond milk latte. I am trying to be diary free. I struggle with adult acne and I giving this as well as being gluten free / wheat free / sugar free a try. Three weeks in, my skin hasn’t had any crazy reactions and I feel pretty good. Also, my pants are kinda lose!

Photo 2016-05-14, 7 54 30 PM

7:42 PM We finish off the evening having dinner at our friends new home. We are excited to see their new house and talk parenthood / US election / summer plans / living in the east end of TO.  The night includes a delicious cheese tray, quiche and strawberry salad with rhubarb dressing from their new garden. I love having adult conversation and laughing. It feel so good to reconnect with M + K. This is exactly what the doctor ordered in order to hep me recharge my batteries.

Saturday Reflections

After a busy week, I am happy to have a slower paced day. Although Rowan has gymnastics and dance class scheduled in the day, it is nice to have Aaron at home to help out. Over the years, our routine has changed and instead of focusing on Rowan’s nap schedule we are know focused on Sam’s sleep and her activities. We still take Charlie for a long walk and play but these days it is between activities.

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful for a slower paced day
  2. I am thankful for a night out with Aaron
  3. I am thankful for time to reconnect with old friends

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: Enjoy coffee at Boxcar social as Aaron drank a beer.

WITL 2016: Thursday

ThursdaySign

ThursdayBreakfast

6:15 AM We are up and at it early today.

ThursdayBook

7:59 AM I remember that it’s library day at school. I feel like I am going to win mother of the year! Let’s be honest, I totally forgot about library day, most weeks. I put this book in Rowan’s back pack as soon as I remember and pat myself on the back.

Photo 2016-05-12, 8 41 33 AM

8:41 AM As we leave the house, Girlie asks if she can take “And then it is spring” book for show & tell. She is excited as the JK class is learning about spring & the seasons. In the evening, Rowan tells Aaron that teacher read the book to the class. She was so excited! I hope she always has a passion for stories & books.

Photo 2016-05-12, 9 55 18 AM

9:54 AM Oh hi! Feeling kinda like a rockstar. Sam plays in his stroller as Moni aka Ufirstwellness pushes on my feet to work my core / abs. It’s a beautiful day by the beach and I am feeling at ease mentally if my body isn’t. Ha! This was just another reminder to stay focused and present. Although I don’t have abs of steel yet, I am getting there!

Photo 2016-05-12, 10 07 13 AM

10:03 AM Cherry blossoms. They are a rare sighting in Toronto this year, given our long winter. I could take so many pictures of these trees…..

Photo 2016-05-12, 10 23 54 AM

10:15 AM …And I do take lots of photos! So gorgeous against the blue sky. There is something magical about springtime and being outside with the flowers. I feel so alive.

ThursdayLunch

12:02 PM Sam and I play until lunch. We have eggs again. I spice mine up with some “Mad Mexican” salsa, my favourite brand.

ThursdaySamNap

12:43 PM Our nap routine goes as follows: We read a few stories and sing a few songs. Today we read “Each Peach Pair Plum” & “Zingy”. After I sing “Twinkle, Twinkle”. Sam smiles and rubs his eyes. Although Tuesday and Wednesdays are busy with both kiddos, I appreciate the one on one time with my main little man today. Sam loves to sleep on his tummy. Although he looks like he’s having a meltdown in the crib, he is getting some much needed sleep.

Photo 2016-05-12, 3 18 30 PM

3:15 PM. School Pick up. I stand in the kindy yard, chatting / laughing / joking with other moms. I have met an incredible group of mama friends since September 2015. It is through these interactions that I am able to feel sane. It kinda awesome to hangout with your friends, 5 days a week!

Photo 2016-05-12, 3 38 48 PM

3:47 PM Rowan shows me her “rock collection”. Thanks to the Little Mermaid, we have learned about the concept of “collection”. Most days, Rowan loves run and a dig in the dirt. Her nose always has a little proof that she’s been outside. A real nature lover that one. Also – we are trying to teach her the difference between left and right. Here she is sporting “banana feet” as Auntie Megan likes to call it 🙂

ThursdayBubbles

5:30 PM After dinner we head outside to blow bubbles. I am relaxed know that I have the night off and appointment to have a facial. Hooray for Mother’s Day gifts! I may or may not be counting the minutes until Aaron gets home! Girlie plays in the yard while Charlie chews a stick. Sam and I hang out on the porch.

ThursdayRowanPlay

ThursdayStick

ThursdaySamPlay

Photo 2016-05-12, 6 26 06 PM  Photo 2016-05-12, 8 07 14 PM

7:37 PM More lovely flowers to in the neighbourhood to admire as I walk around, enjoying my baby free alone time. It’s the little things, right people?

ThursdayAaronRead

8:41 PM When I arrive home, this is what I see. The books change often, but one thing is for sure, this man loves to read. I bring home take out for dinner. He has a chicken burrito and I have a southwestern quinoa salad. We chat about the day and plans for the weekend. Afterwards I go upstairs to blog and he sits at the kitchen table to work.

Thursday Reflections

Today felt like someone hit the refresh button. From the extra help in the morning with the kids, to working out after drop off to having a facial in the evening – I feel at ease. This is a stark contrast from Tuesday. Somedays I am able to go with flow, others not so much. Overall, I would like to be a more patient person. Sometimes I have a hard time balancing my kiddos wants and needs, with my own. What can I say, I am human. If I could, I would blog and scrapbook all day long – but that friends is a dream and not a reality. In the meantime, I am shooting for somewhere in between. I am just hoping to be “good enough” parent / wife / daughter / friend/ social worker / crafter /  human.

Gratitudes

  1. I am grateful for fresh air and playing outside after dinner.
  2. I am grateful for reminders to stay present & mantras to keep me focused.
  3.  I am grateful a little “me” time in the evening.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: Feeling generally well physically and emotionally.

Week in the Life Intention 2016:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.

WITL 2016: Wednesday

WednesdaySign

WednesdayBreakfast

4:30 AM My alarm goes off early. Last night, I was too tired to finish writing yesterday’s blog entry, so up and at it, I get. I wasn’t joking about being a morning person!

WednesdayCharlieBreakfast

6:00 AM Sam starts to stir in his crib and the pup is eager to go outside. I take both boys downstairs and start morning routine. After giving Sam a bottle, I let him crawl around as I prepare breakfast. Somedays we have hide Charlie’s dishes so that Sam doesn’t knock them over.

WednesdaySamFeet

7:21 AM Gah – I love baby onseies with cute feet! Sam has recently gone through a growth spurt. Currently wearing 12 – 18  month clothing. I picked this pair up on a luxurious trip to the grocery store by myself.

WednesdayRo&Mama

7:32 AM She wants to be picked up and cuddled more these days. This morning, after I picked her up, she told me that she loved me. It wasn’t until recently that girlie spontaneously told us that for the first time. If I knew then, what I know now, I wouldn’t have been as stressed.  She is coming out of her shell.

WednesdaySchool

8:41 AM …And we are out the door! On our walk to school, Rowan chooses to ride on the piggyback board that’s attached to Sam’s stroller this morning. “The board” has been the best baby gift we have received. So happy to have my maternity leave to walk Rowan to and from school.

Photo 2016-05-11, 10 13 16 AM

WednesdaySamPlay

10:30 AM After coffee and a quick trip to the grocery store, this little man and I are back home playing. Right now, he loves anythings with wheels on it.

WednesdayToys

11:41 AM  I hear Rowan playing with her Cinderella figurines. It follows the typical story except for one small detail.

WednesdayLunch

12:02 PM Lunch. More scrambled eggs.

Wednesdaynap

12:44 PM Beth arrives and read to Sam before nap time. Let’s do this kid!

WednesdaySmoothie copy

2:48 PM I lye down when Sam goes to bed. I wake up with a start. Clearly this mama needed the rest. Before Sam wakes up and Rowan is done, I start to prep snack. I make a peach coconut milk smoothie for myself.

WednesdayRoBeth

3:03 PM Rowan is finished and Beth reports the activities of the session. Beth is positive and comments that she has seen improvements in Rowan’s speech over the past three weeks.

WednesdayCollection

3:03 PM Rowan shows me her drawing and collection of items from her scavenger hunt.

Photo 2016-05-11, 5 05 57 PM

4:37 PM I take the kids out to get their passport photos taken. With our trip to Iceland booked we are running out of time to get everything in order. Afterwards we visit the toy store and head to the park. We run into Ro’s friend O. We chat with O’s family and make plans for a playdate in the weeks to come. I put Sammy in the swing and he immediately starts clapping.

Photo 2016-05-11, 5 19 42 PM

5:13 PM Rowan has noticed that I have taken lots of pictures lately and when I go to snap a picture of Kew Gardens, she run past and says, “Look at me Mommy! Take my picture!” This is every scrapbookers dream! Ha! Fly, girlie, fly!

Photo 2016-05-11, 5 20 28 PM

Photo 2016-05-11, 5 23 34 PM

5:23 PM Walking along Queen St, I am excited/relieved that Aaron will be arriving home soon. The kids are fascinated by all the traffic in the Beach.

Photo 2016-05-11, 5 35 18 PM

5:37 PM We arrive home later than expected. We arrive home later than expected. This guy is feeling better and is ready to play.

WednesdayAaronHome

6:52 PM And he is home. With gifts, no less! Aaron puts Rowan to bed, reading her stories. Afterwards we order sushi and talk about his trip.

Wednesday’s reflections

It’s the middle of the week and I am feeling like I am hitting a grove with my documentation. Given that it is my 6th time participating in this week long photo project, I know that if I don’t get my thoughts down somewhere, I will likely forget the specifics of the day, hence getting up early to write. They told me at the hospital, that they would FED ex my memory back to me after giving birth, but I am guessing it is lost in transit? Of interest, I am still fighting the gremlins in my head about needing more photos, or “good” photos. Down time makes all the difference to me. Sam had a 2.5 hour nap and I was able to rest too.  As such, I am patient with the kids and which is reflected how I parent them.

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful for sunny days & planes that arrive on time.
  2. I am thankful for playgrounds in walking distance of our house.
  3. I am thankful for afternoon naps.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: In addition to Aaron coming home, feeling at ease that I had “successfully” solo parented two kids and the dog by myself for three and a half days.

Rowan: “Daddy, came home! He’s here!”

Sam: “Gah Wa?…”

Week In the Life Intention 2016:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.

WITL 2016: Tuesday

TuesdaySign

Tuesdaylemonwater2

6:30 AM Everyone is up and we all head downstairs for breakfast. The sun is shinning and I feel more organized today vs yesterday. As part of my morning routine, I boil water and cut up lemon. I actually like the taste of this combination. I’ve limited my coffee intake and I am surprised that I don’t necessarily need my morning cup of joe first thing. Don’t get me wrong, I still love my overpriced espresso drinks!

TuesdayBreakfast

7:11 Making oatmeal in my housecoat. Although we have been experiencing springlike weather in Toronto, the mornings are still cold. Rowan is eating Shreddies & Cheerios at the counter, while Sam is holding and drinking a bottle.

TuesdayBed

7:45 AM After helping to get girlie dressed, Sam and I head upstairs so I can have a shower. I make the bed which is something Aaron usually does. Although I miss Aaron, I am not gonna lie, I like having the bed all to myself.

Tuesdaybluesteal

8:58 AM Someone is perfecting their “Blue Steal” look at school drop off.

TuesdayTulips

9:06 Admiring neighbourhood tulips as we walk down to Queen St to get coffee.

TuesdayBeach

9:46 AM The weather & and conversation is too good to stay inside. We walk along the boardwalk pushing strollers. Sam naps and I am in heaven.

Tuesdayvet

10:44 AM After running into more parent friends, walk back to home to pick up Charlie. The pup has seasonal allergies and ran out of medication. Charlie pants anxiously as we wait for the vet. We are “on the go” this morning and I am happy to have packed a bottle. Mama win!

TuesdaygArbage

11:34 AM Tuesday is garbage day. It is also one of the two days I pick Rowan up from school and bring her home for lunch and a therapy session. With everyone in tow, Rowan, Sam & Charlie, Girlie runs ahead picking up rocks and stones.

TuesdayRowanBoots

12:01 PM Yes kiddo, that’s exactly where I asked you to put your boots! All joking aside, I am so glad I bought these last fall. Rowan loves them and when he is older we will pass them on to Sam.

TuesdaySamPlay

12:22 PM Play time until lunch.

TuesdayLunch2

12:37 PM Kids have turkey, avocado, peppers and bread. I have a turkey quiona salad. Same ingredients different ways. I could totally eat avocados for every meal, in addition to eggs. Rowan eats the bread and a little avocado, while Sam eats everything.

TuesdayLunch

12:41 PM I would like to say that Charlie doesn’t beg, but I would be lying. This is typical behaviour from our pup. Two seconds later, Sam feed him a cracker. No one they are best buds. Sigh.

Tuesdayrowansilly

3:12 PM Sam didn’t nap and Rowan is done her session. The sillies are out and I can already tell it’s gonna be a long afternoon.

TuesdayDishwasher

4:32 PM Dinner prep. Someone is “helping” me unload the dishwasher. I can’t get over home much food I cook for our little people.

TuesdayChaos2

5:12 It’s the witching hour – for me or the kids, I am not sure. Just another relaxing dinner. Ha! Also – don’t everyone ride their scooter in their kitchen?

TuesdayChaos

Photo 2016-05-04, 5 26 23 PM

5:47 PM To burn off some energy we go scooting in the school yard. It helps to talk some of the edge off.

TuesdayRowan&Mamashow

6:58 PM Sam is in bed and I caved and let her watch a show. We are downstairs as to advert a meltdown. The iPad is not charged so we watch one episode of Peppa on our big TV in the basement. Rainbow Dash insists on sitting between us. After Rowan goes to bed, I clean the kitchen and go upstairs to fill out the Census. I enjoy the quiet time, alone.

Tuesday Reflections:

Generally I am a morning person. I don’t know if I get it from my dad, but I always have been that annoying person who has lots of energy when I first wake up. Today started off great. I felt organized and on top of things. Funny – by the evening my mantra was, “Just keep swimming”. Essentially I felt like trying to keep my head above water. Today was a busy day and parts of it were not typical.  Normally, I would play volleyball on Tuesdays nights. Usually Aaron comes home and relieves me of my parenting duties and puts the kids to bed. I get to relieve my frustrations on the court while also talking with other adults. Looking back, I can tell Sam napping is key to recharging making me feel more than just a mom. I guess this is the delicate balance of parenthood. I am thankful that I start fresh tomorrow.

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful that I have mama friends who make me laugh.
  2. I am thankful for podcasts & popcorn.
  3. I am thankful for both quiet and active moments of my day.

Favourite Moment of the Day

Jess: Walking along the beach with mama friends as Sam napped.

Aaron: “Seeing new landscapes from his work trip. ”

Rowan: “Playing outside”

Sam: “mmma ma….?”

Week In The Life 2016 Intention:

To capture how full life is right now.

WITL 2016: Monday

Photo 2016-05-09, 11 20 30 PMMondayMorning

6:30 AM With Sam in his sleep sack and in my arms we take Charlie outside for his morning bathroom break. I wish I could say that I woke up refreshed however, with  Aaron up at 4 am, leaving for a business trip, I had a hard time falling back asleep.

MondayKidsbreakfast

6:58 AM Rowan comes down for breakfast. I will often tell her to entertain her brother while I accomplish some goal like  cleaning up or getting ready to leave the house. You name it, girlie is a good sport and does it. Good thing Sammy loves  his big sister. This morning she is singing him the “bippity boppity bo” song from Cinderella.

MondayOatmeal

7:15 AM I am trying to form new habits, one of them is sitting down to eat with my kids, especially at breakfast. My favourite go to simple meal is oatmeal with banana, walnuts & maple syrup. No joke, I have ate this religiously for breakfast for the last four weeks. Yum!

Mondayschoolam

8:50 AM School drop off. It’s a gorgeous morning, but a little cold. Rowan does one lap around the playground before we head inside. This morning she take in her bike helmet for show and tell. The class is talking about all things spring. We practice what she is going to say as we walk up the steps. She is going to talk about riding her scooter in spring, when the temperature gets warm.

Mondaybeach

9:04 AM Walking down to the beach after school drop off for my workout with Monika. Hoping Sam will sleep in the stroller. It’s incredible how physical activity can change my mood & mindset. There were a few moments that I thought I couldn’t do anymore moutain climbers / squats but I tried to clear my mind and focus on being strong. I am super grateful for these sessions and for Moni for the guidance. When the session is over I feel peaceful. It’s amazing to do something for yourself especially first thing in the morning, in the busy season of raising small kiddos. I hope to keep investing in myself in the years to come.

Mondaycoffeeselfie

10:25 AM After my workout, I walk back up to Queen St. I give Sam his bottle and head to Starbucks for a reward. This morning, like so many others, I am having a grande coconut milk latte! I see Kelly and Brenda and chat. I then head back home to shower, so I can run errands before naptime. Here is a no make up/ post workout selfie.

Mondaysamcrawl

10:53 AM Can you tell we are in the “into everything” phase? Hard to believe I use to shower by myself.

Mondaydrive

11:13 AM Driving to the camera store to pick up a lens that I am renting for this project. Being on maternity leave, I am use to walking everywhere. Driving is a novelty, so when I am stuck behind a streetcar, I don’t seem to mind. Sam is also fine as he is chatting away in the backseat. For the most part, Sam is pretty happy / ok with being schlepped from place to place.

Mondaysky

11:47 AM I don’t want to jinx it, but I think spring has finally arrived in Toronto.

MondaySamDish

12:06 PM We arrive home from our trip to Vistek. This boy loves Charlie and especially enjoys playing in the pup’s water dish. He is currently making a b-line for said dish. He does the best expressions! This open mouth gasp is his go to reaction for most things.

MondaySamBall

MondayEggs

12:15 PM Lunch. So happy that Sam is eating real food vs purees as it makes meal preparation much easier. On today’s menu: scrambled eggs with a tomato & avacodo salad. I think I could eat this for every meal.

Mondaylunch

12:34 PM We listen to CBC radio over lunch. I am eager to hear what is happening in Fort McMurray and somewhat relieved to find out that they have cooler weather and rain in the forecast. After we finish, I do a quick sweep of the floor and take Sam up for his afternoon nap. We are later than usual but better late than never!

MondayNuts

1:45 PM Although I am tired, I work over naptime photographing some special scrappy project. I have some spiced nuts and a apple for a snack. The time to myself always seems to go by quickly. I blink and realize we are running behind. Sam sleeps so well that we are almost late to pick up big sister at school.

MondayRowanRun

3:33 PM She’s covered in dirt from head to toe but loves running around outside after school. Here she is playing chase with her friend J. I like this time after pick up to socialize with my mama friends.

MondayRowanIpad

4:45 PM Someone needs some downtime. Girlie always chooses to watch the iPad at the counter vs something on tv, downstairs. Currently is watching Peppa Pig. Her favourites include Paw Patrol and Jack and the Neverland Pirates. Of course, she’s also into The Little Mermaid, Cinderella and Snow White.

Mondaykidsbath

6:22 PM A rare moment, when these two are sitting still trying to grab the water. We Facetime Daddy who has arrived safely at his destination. I am somewhat excited that it is the end of the day that I will soon have time to myself.

MondayJessparent

Mondayjessbath

9:15 PM When the kids go to bed, I listen to the WTF podcast while I clean the kitchen and take out the garbage. I head upstairs to work some more. My body is aching slightly from this mornings workout. It is also saying to go to bed. I have a bath and finish the day texting with Aaron.

Monday Reflections:

With Aaron traveling for work, I am solo parenting the kiddos for the next three days. Although I was feeling very discouraged and unprepared for the start of this photo project, as the day went on I became excited. Renting the 24-70 mm lens from Vistek has help to motivate me to take pictures. And that’s what this is really all about, isn’t it? Just taking photos & writing down some stories.

Typically – Monday’s are my jam. I like being organized and feeling like I am in control. However, during morning routine I kept thinking, “what do I need to do next?” Although we were up early, I felt like I was rushing every moment until we got out the door. I felt stressed which soon melted away after working out.  It is during these busy times, I often wonder to myself, what did I do with all my time when I had no children? How did I ever think having one kid was hard?

Gratitudes

  1. I am thankful for my body & for taking the time to workout this morning. As a mama of two, I don’t always put myself first. It is a real treat to be able to do something for me at this stage of the game.
  2. I am thankful for our neighbourhood and I get to live so close to the beach.
  3. I am thankful for new mama friends who continually make me laugh on a daily basis.

Favourite Moment of the Day:

Jess: Treating myself to a grand coconut milk latte after my workout with Monika.

Rowan: “Playing with Cole”

Sam: “Ah gah….!”

Aaron: “Facetiming with kids, having a nap & breathing the fresh air on his work trip”

Week In The Life 2016 Intention:

To capture the fullness of our lives right now.

December Daily 2015: Part 1

Opener

Hey-ho! Did you ever hear the story about the tortoise and the hare? Yes? Good! Apply the moral of that story to my December Daily album and you get the idea of my approach. Slow and steady wins the race! 

Okay, so here’s the backstory: I am the queen of too high expectations. I have never finished a December Daily album besides including Christmas photos in my Project Life album. Since I am on maternity leave, I thought I would give this project another go. Before the holiday season, I set some ground rules for myself. My only goal for the month of December was to take pictures and jot down some notes. In January and February, I would take some time to compile my album. Today, I share with you the first third, or roughly 8 stories of my album.

Title

For this page, I took frozen cranberries and placed them on my counter in a circle, to make them look like a wreath. After snapping a picture, I then uploaded the photo to PSE. I added the word “holiday” from Ali’s Noel digital brush kit and then added stories using the Remington Noiseless font. Finally I added the 25 wood veneer from the Simple Stories, Claus & Co line. Eh Viola – my own unique title page! I should note that my intention for this album is to tell 25 Christmas stories, including stories from the present and stories from the past.

Reason1

For this album, I purchased the Peppermint Granberg December Daily mini kit. There was something about the traditional colour scheme that was calling out to me. I love the colour of reds in this kit. The first page includes the reason why I decided to take on this project at this time.

Reason2

Essentially, 2015 was a really interesting year for the Forster Hunter household. It started off rough and I wanted to have a fun creative project to end the year off on a high note. I also love talking about the kind of traditions and memories, I want to create with Aaron and our wee family. Story one done and documented!

Recipe1

The next two pages showcase a new recipe I made: chocolate candy cane pretzel kisses. I am a fan of most holiday goodies and these did not disappoint! This page allowed me to play with Aaron’s 62 mm macro lens. So fun!

Recipe2

I typed up the recipe in PSE and printed on the back of a 4×6 journaling card. Although it takes a lot longer to journal using my computer, I love that I can match the red in the title to the red in the journaling card.

Recipe3

In addition to the recipe, I also included a story of who I gave these kisses to as well as my favourite memory of baking cookies with my mom when I was a kid. Both stories were typed up in PSE. On the top card I added, “good cheer” and a star sticker from the DD kit. For fun, I included the candy cane wrapper from the hershey kisses on the botton of the right 3×4 journaling card.

Tree1

Oh christmas tree, indeed! Since I love the previous 4×6 journaling card, I created my own  using one of the green striped 6×8 papers.

Tree2

The journaling was printing out on a piece of white card stock and I added the green stripes of paper. The story talks about how we bought our tree, it’s size and when we decorated it. Fun facts: Rowan named our Christmas tree “Fifi” and the man who sold us the tree said that it came from Nova Scotia and then joked with us that if you hold it close to you ear you can hear the sea gulls squawk! Lol!

DearSanta

Out of all the pages in the album thus far, this one feels not done, design wise. Rowan still needs to sign her name to the letter to Santa and I am just not sure about the red circles on the 4×6 journalling card. At this point, I am resigned to leave it be and move on!  Since we visited Santa at the Toronto Christmas market, I have left telling a longer story to a different page. Journaling wise, including Rowan’s letter to Santa was enough. As you can tell Christmas 2015 was all about the paw patrol!

SamSelfie1

Giving mad props to Cathy Z for the quote inspiration and Amie Lamm-Griffin for the idea of doing footprints on kraft paper. Like on previous spreads, I typed up “Selfie Christmas” the journaling in PSE on 6×8 canvas. Knowing that I wanted to have some of that classic green paper peeking through, I reduced the scale from 100% to 95%. The mistletoe wood veneer is also from the Simple Stories Claus and Co collection. The large sans serif “S” wood veneer is from a craft store in Guelph.

In terms of the story, I just want to capture what the kids look like right now. When I saw the through 3 x 4 pocket page, I knew I immediately wanted to use that for a series of photographs. The selfies were taken with my iPhone against the white wall in my kitchen. Oh man do I love that wall! Both kids are wearing their green Christmas outfits that I purchased here. Here is a look at Sam’s selfie page:

SamSelfie4

Here is a look at Rowan’s foot print & selfie page. The large sans serif “R” wood veneer is also from the same craft shop in Guelph.

RowanSelfie2

And finally, the last page is an Around Here post of everyday activities we did through the month of December. It was surprisingly easy to remember all the things were were up to!

AroundHere

So roughly have 8 out of 25 stories documented from the month of December. In terms of next steps, I want to finish another 8 by February 2nd. So I need to decide what stories I want to tell and then edit and print my photos. Like I said, slow and steady wins the race! Haha!

Are you finishing your December Daily album? Are you taking a break? Id love to hear where you are at in your process!

His & Hers: January 2016

PicTapGo-Image

Two posts in a week! Can you tell that I love a new year and a fresh start?

I also love a good photo project. Why not combine the two? Yes, time moves a light speed when you have a second baby, folks. Although the sleepless nights are tough, I want to savour this time at home with my little people. I want to capture what are interested in, what are they wearing/eating/reading, and what makes them, them. So here goes nothing!

Right now: Rowan is 4 years and 1 month old and Sam is 5.5 months.

File 2016-01-07, 8 12 18 AM

She loves Star Wars thanks to Daddy. He loves drooling and putting things in his mouth. Both received these items as gifts for Christmas.

File 2016-01-07, 9 31 54 AM

She loves a good penguin story; he is learning about the little piggies.

File 2016-01-07, 9 33 01 AM

She requests “shreddies with ALOT of milk” for breakfast and still eats with her hands although we encourage her to use a spoon. He says “mmmm” and tries to grab the spoon whenever he eats.

His & Hers is a monthly year long photo project that showcases glimpses of my children’s lives through the lens of my camera. Currently, I am learning to shoot in manual mode on my Nikon D5000.

2015 Recap

2015-12-06 11.02.44-1

So…..how you doing? 

I realize that the crickets have been chirping in this space since October. Sorry about that! I took an unintended break from blogging because life is very full and good. Honestly, it never seemed like a good time to jump back in. However, as we start off a new year, I always get the urge to get back to a regular writing schedule. I guess, I am a sharer-er-er! I don’t know if how often I will be posting, but I do have some fun entries in the works. Before we move forward, let’s look back at the year that was twenty fifteen.

So Jess, what did you get up to this past year? Good question, my friend!

Aaron&Rowan

I took Rowan to lots of therapy appointments

Yeppers, my girlie was diagnosed with mild ASD and a whole world that I didn’t know existed, opened up. Twenty fifteen was an interesting year filled with a lot uncertainty. Honestly, I am finally feel like we are beginning to breathe and see all the benefits of our hard work payoff. More on Rowan and how she’s doing in another post. Although, twenty sixteen will be filled with more therapy appointments, I know where we are going and how we are going to get there. Hooray progress,  for a new year and a fresh start!

I recorded the first season of my podcast, Pocket Talk

Yes, I combined my love of pocket page scrapbooking + podcasts with my “can do” attitude. I recorded 13 interviews with some of the nicest and talented Project Life scrapbookers out there. As a really curious person with a microphone, I love to hear about others creative process. The ultimate goal for the show it to educate and inspire others to be successful in their own scrapbooks – whatever that looks like for the listener.  After taking a break since August, you should know that I am back  taping interviews!!! Look for season two to be released sometime in January!

2015-07-24 10.17.15-4

I had a baby!

Yes, little man Sam was born three weeks early via csection. Although he spent 12 days in the NICU due to a pnuemothorax, he is out of hospital, happy and healthy. He is growing like a weed! Just last week, he cut his first tooth and starting to sit up. What !?! He has been the best addition to our family and we are slowly, but surely finding our footing as a family of four.

imageI taught classes at Big Picture

Because I had a baby, I made a pregnancy album. I then, wrote about that album for class at Big Picture Classes. In fact, I created a few online courses this year. They include: Beyond the Pocket, Pocket Page Adventures and A Pocket Page Pregnancy. Check them out & let me know what you think! I love teaching; both online and in person. I am super thrilled to be teaching in person in 2016 at Crop and Create in Markham in March and Moncton in April!

2015-11-18 10.16.23

I collaborated with Scrapbook Cards Today and designed new the Life in Pocket quarterly kits

What can I say, I am BEYOND thrilled at the opportunity to work with Catherine and Scrapbook Cards today. This quarterly kit, which I hand picked all the items, gives you a chance to document three months out of your year. In addition to the products in the kit, you will receive a colourful handout with instructions on how to recreate the layouts. Super fun, I am excited to shake up my memory keeping process and intentionally choosing the stories I want to tell. For more information check it out here.

Whew! Twenty fifteen was a very productive year! No wonder, I am so tired – haha! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I am gonna have a nap! Happy 2016! I can’t wait to create more.