DIY: Simple Friendsgiving Menu Cards

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This past weekend I had the fun opportunity of hosting what has become an annual Friendsgiving tradition with a small group of friends that I’ve known since Middle School.  It was a very low key evening with delicious food, games, and lots of laughter- basically the best kind of gathering :)

Friendsgiving3.jpgEven though we had a very simple menu I knew I wanted to make something special for each place setting, so when Ali Edwards released her November digitals last week I was happy to see a very cute Friendsgiving card!  The card originally said “Super Thankful for this Crew,” which actually would have been perfect, but I decided to keep things really simple by erasing that bit of text and adding in the date.  For the back I used pieces from a couple of other cards in the same collection to build a menu.  After printing out both sides on white cardstock I adhered them to a half sheet of kraft cardstock, tied some twine at the top, and voila! place setting menu cards made! Friendsgiving 2.jpgOf course these menu cards were totally unnecessary, but it’s these small details that I  always hope make each guest feel appreciated and loved.  Plus, they looked super cute and kind of distracted from the wrinkles on the tablecloth (#NoTimeForIroning).  Friendsgiving 5.jpgI failed at getting a whole group shot (or many photos at all for that matter) that night, but I did sneak this one at the very end.  I love these girls so much!Friendsgiving4.jpgWishing you the happiest of times in all of your family and friend gatherings this month!

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December Daily® 2017 | Video Overview of Foundation Pages

DDFoundationPages.jpgThe time is here!  We’ve finally reached November, when it’s considered totally acceptable and not weird to be discussing December Daily®! Although, to be transparent, I’ve been dropping December Daily photos on my Instagram since September. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with being a little weird ;)

Today I’m here to share my plan and foundation pages for my 2017 album. Let’s get started!

DD List and Calendar.jpgPlanning Ideas:

While foundation pages are totally new to me this year, my planning process still remains the same.  I hold strong to two things that have helped me most the last two years in completing my album by the end of December (or early January).

  1. List of Ideas: I cannot stress how helpful brainstorming a list like this has been in keeping me on track with my album the last two years.  When I start to create my list I already know that I may/may not document every single thing there, but it gives me a fallback for days that I’m struggling with ideas on what to document.
  2. December Calendar:  One of my favorite tools to use for setting up and working on my album is my December Calendar.  This calendar is strictly for December events that I know I want to record in my album (appointments and all other general activities are kept on a separate calendar).  I write down things such as Christmas parties, cookie baking gatherings, holiday plays, etc.  Knowing what’s going to be happening throughout the month not only helps as I’m building my foundation pages, but also reminds me to record those events in my album. Sometimes I record events in my album on the same day they occur in real life (for example, if a Christmas party happens on the 22nd, sometimes it will go on the 22nd day in my album), but this is not always the case.   I’m definitely not tied to doing things in chronological order because I know that in looking back on my albums, the date will be irrelevant while the activity itself will be what I want to remember. (P.s. the calendar in the photo above comes from Jasmine Jones’ 2016 digital mini kit)

DD3.jpgFoundation Pages:

As I mentioned before, building foundation pages is something that is new to me this year.  I’m always admiring other people’s foundation pages, but I’ve always worried that creating them would hinder my flexibility when I started to work on my album in December.  However, I wanted to try it this year.  Can’t knock it ’til you try it! Plus, the idea of getting a little more ahead this year and at least having all of my numbers in place sounded so appealing, so we’ll see how it goes!

In order to keep maximum flexibility I didn’t do anything too detailed to my pages, I didn’t adhere anything down, and I kept a very neutral color scheme.

Traveler’s Notebook Journal

This year I’ve decided to work on a traveler’s notebook in addition to my 6″x8″ album.  This notebook is mainly going to be for journaling to capture everyday stories, thoughts, feelings, basically all of the extra “stuff” that never makes it into my album.  I may do some stamping or embellishing inside, but my main focus for this notebook is on the words and I’m not going to worry about it looking (too) pretty.

Supplies I’ll be Using:

2017 Ali Edwards Main Kit  (note: physical kit is sold out, but the digital kit can be purchased here)

2016 Paislee Press Mini Kit (note: physical kit is sold out, but the digital kit can be purchased here)

This 6×8 album

Ali Edwards Black and White card set

(*Please note that the supplies listed above were graciously provided to me as being part of the Ali Edwards Creative Team, however, all opinions are my own. None of the links in this post are affiliate links)

Large Cork Numbers

Be Merry Kit by Kelly Purkey: I plan to use this mainly for my Traveler’s Notebook

*I’ll also be pulling in some other items from my general stash and leftovers from previous years’ kits.

In case you’re interested, I’ve also put together a video overview of all of my pages where you can hear me talk a little more about my process of setting up my album.

Leave me a comment if you have any questions at all! :)

 

2017 Gratitude Traveler’s Notebook

IMG-0027.JPGFor the last two years I’ve embarked on a little project gratitude journey in November.   I feel like every year this project becomes more and more meaningful as I contemplate each “thing” I’m thankful for in greater depth.

In 2015 and 2016, this project was a daily one where I shared one page per day on Instagram.  The experience was amazing and hearing feedback from some people that they felt inspired to make their own book this year is something that makes my heart so happy!

Given the busyness of this season of my life right now I know that keeping up with a daily project is probably not going to happen for me this month, but I’m still not giving up on this project!  This year I will still be working on a Traveler’s Notebook filled with many of the things that I’m thankful for.  I won’t be sharing pages daily, but the posts on my Instagram will still be regular and you can bet that even though I wont be making a page every day, the daily gratitude will still be happening.

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Today I wanted to take a minute to share the setup of my notebook and some of the supplies that I’m planning to use.  This year I decided to go with a hybrid scrapbooking approach in a Traveler’s Notebook, and so far I’m loving it!  I’ll be using papers from the Paislee Press Friendsgiving collection to dress up the look of each page.  Two things I love about using digital papers for a traveler’s notebook is that I can crop them to whatever size I need before printing (so there’s less waste!) and that I can print on regular printer paper, which is easier to adhere as it isn’t as bulky as cardstock.  I’ll also be typing my journaling and then cutting it down to fit perfectly in my notebook.

Below is a look at how I put together one of my pages over the weekend in preparation for this blog post.   My plan is to lay out all of my pages in Photoshop before printing.  It’s super simple, I’ll just have my patterned paper on the left and text on the right.  The guides that you see here are where I ended up cutting when the page was printed.Screen Shot 2017-10-31 at 8.36.25 AM.png

Here is a look at what my page looks like after adding in a few embellishments.

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In terms of embellishments so far I’ve only pulled these die cut shapes from Felicity Jane Studio to use along with some stamps from my collection.  I’ll probably add in other bits and pieces as I go along, but for the most part I’ll just be keeping every page really simple.

In terms of general supplies, here’s what I’m planning to use:

Tombow Mono permanent adhesive:  I don’t recommend this for adhering heavy cardstock into notebooks, but it works great for adhering the light weight printer paper..

Thermoweb Tape:  I use this to adhere my photos inside my notebooks since I haven’t found a regular tape adhesive that provides a good enough bond for photo paper or cardstock.

Glue Dots: I use this for adhering embellishments.

Stamp Sets used on Notebook Cover:

“Charles” alphabet stamp set by Kelly Purkey. This set is currently not available on Kelly’s site, but there are many other awesome alpha stamps to choose from :)  This is the one I used in my 2015 and 2016 books, and this is kind of a fun twist on that.

I also used the Time for Leaves set from Ali Edwards.

My traveler’s notebook is from Michaels and it’s actually really great quality.  I wish it had more pages, but for the quality at $3 I’m loving it!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask, and if you’re putting your own gratitude album together this year then I hope you enjoy the wonderful and fulfilling feelings the whole gratitude journey brings.

XO

 

Some very special news

2017-10-13 03.58.20 1.jpgI’m super excited to share this special news today! It’s hard to believe that we are more than halfway into this little peanut’s development.  She is already so loved and we can’t wait to meet her early next year! :)

Maroon Bells using October AE Digitals

I’m still determined to get some photos from our latest roadtrip to Aspen, CO up on the blog, but until then I have this layout to share! The Maroon Bells and surrounding area is seriously one of the prettiest places I’ve ever been to in my life.  Truly, photos can’t do this place justice.  I can’t speak to what this area looks like year-round, but I can vouch for the last couple weeks in September being gorgeous.

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SZayas_OctoberDigitals_DetailThis layout features the October digital release from Ali Edwards, which is perfect for any fall or halloween layout!

Love and Peace

VegasWhen I first started this post my intention was to share photos of the roadtrip O and I went on last week when we traveled to Aspen, CO.  However, sitting down and thinking about the last stop on our trip has me feeling so emotional and my heart feels like this post needs to go in a different direction.

Like everyone, I’m completely heartbroken about what happened in Vegas last weekend.  I can’t watch the news without tearing up, and knowing that O and I were eating dinner in the Mandalay Bay only 5 hours before this horrific event took place gives me a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach.   I can’t imagine what the victims and their families must be going through.

The importance of love, peace, and joy is needed now more than ever, and I do plan to share happy photos from our trip and lots more projects right here on the blog very soon, but at this moment I just needed to send this out into the world.  If you need a hug in light of all that has been going on in the world lately please know that I am sending you a virtual one right now.

I want to end this post with a song that I heard for the first time only a few days ago. It gave me peace in a moment when I was feeling pretty sad so I’d like to share it here.

Dear Hate by Maren Morris:

Dear Hate
I saw you on the news today
Like a shock that takes my breath away
You fall like rain, cover us in drops of pain
I’m afraid that we just might drown

Dear Hate
Well, you sure are colorblind
Your kiss is the cruelest kind
You could poison any mind
Just look at mine
Don’t know how this world keeps spinning ’round and ’round

Dear Hate
You were smiling from that Selma bridge
In Dallas, when that bullet hit and Jackie cried
You pulled those towers from the sky
But even on our darkest nights
The world keeps spinning ’round

Dear Love
Just when I think you’ve given up
You were there in the garden when I ran from your voice
I hear you every morning through the chaos and the noise
You still whisper down through history and echo through these halls
And tell me love’s gonna conquer all

September Hybrid Layouts

Happy Friday, friends!  And more importantly, happy almost Fall Season!  Soon that fresh, crisp air and pumpkin pie will be here and I can hardly wait.

In the last couple of days, the temperature in SoCal has started to shift, and something about the taste of seasonal change has reinvigorated my crafty spirit! So, with that, I was excited to jump into the projects I’m sharing today, #1 because the September Digital Kit by Ali Edwards is beautiful, and #2 because documenting this last quarter of the year is always my favorite and these projects mark the beginning of that process.

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First up I put together this super simple page for my Summer Traveler’s notebook (TN).  This was my first time doing a full page photo in my notebook, and now I’m obsessed!  I will definitely be using this format over and over in notebooks from now on. Also, just a tip if you’re afraid of the edges of your photo coming up on your notebook: use red line tape.  This tape is super strong. You have to be extra careful placing your photo, but once it’s down, it’s down for good!

SZayas_September2017Digitals_DetailProj2.jpgIn case you’re interested in seeing more pages out of my Summer Traveler’s notebook you can click on over to my Instagram to find them there.

SZayas_September2017Digitals_FullLayoutProj1.jpgMy next project was an insert for my 6″ x 8″ binder.  This photo was taken last year because let’s be honest, its still waaaay too hot for boots and jackets, but I wanted to put together something to celebrate the coming season, and this felt like the perfect way to do that. SZayas_September2017Digitals_DetailProj1.jpgOkay, now I’m definitely ready for a chai latte :)

Summertime Hybrid Layouts

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Hi Friends!

Today I’m back to share a couple of layouts I put together using the June digital releases from Ali Edwards.  I absolutely loved working with this month’s kit, which was filled with fun summertime details as well as some Father’s Day elements.

SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_Detail_Project1.jpgFirst up is the layout I put together for Father’s Day.  When I first saw the card that said “So Thankful For You Dad.  Super Love You” I knew I had to do something special.  While I wanted to have a layout for myself, I also wanted to find a way to turn this into a card that I could give to my Dad.  In order to do that I took the “Dad Stories” 3″ x 8″ card and adhered a photo to the back to make it into a bookmark.  It was the perfect alternative to a card and I love that its handmade and extra special.  I love that my dad and I will both have a copy of the journaling and this great photo.

SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_FullLayoutProj.jpgNext up is a layout I put together using a lot of the summer-themed elements from the kit.  The colors worked perfectly with the photos from this celebratory weekend in May so I really didn’t have to do anything other than print everything out.  Love when that happens!SZayas_JuneDigitalKit_Detail_Proj2.jpg

I’m looking forward to making many more summer-themed layouts in the next couple of months!

Thoughts on Story Camp 2017

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Last weekend I had the incredible opportunity to attend the 2017 Ali Edwards Story Camp in Eugene, OR.  If you had told me even six months ago that I was going to have an opportunity to meet Ali, who has so heavily influenced the way I think about memory keeping, and in turn just thinking about everyday life, I probably would have brushed it off in disbelief.   So, as uber cliche as this is to say, going to this event was honestly a bit of a dream come true for me.StoryCamp1.jpg

Story Camp started on Friday (June 2) evening with a writing workshop.  Writing has always been my biggest challenge when it comes to memory keeping, so I was excited to dive into this portion.  Some prompts proved to be more challenging than others, but I was happy to stick with it.  The whole session felt therapeutic being surrounded by so many supportive friends who understand why this is important.

StoryCamp3.jpgSaturday was a very full day.  After breakfast and a quick walk to grab a chai latte, the day began. We finished up the writing portion of the workshop and then headed into the 4 projects Ali had planned for us.  It was so fun stretching myself with each project.  Each project got me out of my comfort zone in some way, and for that I’m grateful.2017-06-08 09.11.18 1.jpg

(Photo above by Laura Wosnik)

I’m so used to scrapping on my own, so to have the opportunity to walk around and see what others were working on, and to see their excitement about the projects, was so much fun.

In the evening I had dinner with 4 fellow creative team members, Brandi Kinkad, Jess Forster, Laura Wonsik, and Pam Baldwin.  It was seriously the best.  Each of them has inspired me so much, and to have the chance to talk to them (in real life!) was incredible.  Jess also recorded a bit of our conversation to go on her podcast (coming soon!), so you might want to check that out if you’re interested in hearing multiple perspectives on what people got out of the workshop.

StoryCamp4.jpgIf I were to plan my trip all over again I would have given myself 2 extra days- one to explore Portland and another to explore Eugene, but, in the few minutes that I did get to walk around, I tried to make the most of it.  I was super charmed by lovely Eugene.

The whole experience was pretty emotional for me, which definitely came out in a good cry on Sunday morning when I met up with Ali, Katie, and the other creative team member attendees for donuts and conversation . . . and inevitably, to say goodbye.

2017-06-08 09.11.12 1.jpgSo, here I am, one week later, still trying to process everything and how much it meant to me.  I will forever be grateful to Ali and Katie for their generosity, and to each and every person that attended who I got to know and hear their stories.StoryCamp6.jpgIMG_5826.jpg