Hybrid Pocket Page Layout


I know I’ve said this so many times before, but as much as I love working with traditional paper products on layouts, there’s just something so clean and simple about going digital/hybrid.  The biggest perk (for me) is the ability to resize and customize colors.

SZayas_MayKit+Pets_Detail2_Project1.jpgFor this layout I used Ali Edwards’ May Digital Kit and the ‘Pets’ digital brush set that also released this month.  The colors in the kit were so bright and fun, but not everything coordinated with the colors in my photos.  That’s where a bit of customization came in handy.


I changed the color of the quote card (top right) to better match the ice cream cup in the photo below it, and also changed the colors of the “Love Us” and “Special Moment” embellishments to better math the colors on the page.  It’s amazing how the smallest changes can make a world of difference in the look and feel of a page!

Lens Story Kit Layout


I’m pretty sure I say this with just about every new Ali Edwards Story Kit release, but the new Lens Story Kit  has to be my favorites!  All of the icons and colors have me like, WOAH!  This kit is not only beautiful, but the ‘Lens’ theme is so versatile.  I can definitely see myself writing down some meaningful stories using this kit.SZayas_Lens_Detail1.jpg

This 2-page 6″ x 8″ layout was put together using mainly the digital kit.  In fact, the only piece that isn’t from the digital kit is the top right circle where I used my traditional stamps to stamp out ‘Lens’ in blue ink and ‘See the Good’ and ‘Today’s View’ in grey ink.

All of these photos are from my documentation of Week in the Life, which I captured last week, and I’m thinking I might actually use these as title pages when I start to put my album together.  I like the idea of having a page that provides an overview for the week before jumping into each day.  Plus, now I actually feel a bit ahead of the game having a page in my album done! It’s a win, win!

Elle’s Studio Guest Designer Project

SZayas_Elle'sStudio_Photo1.jpgI’m so excited and humbled that I was asked to be a guest designer for Elle’s Studio this month.  I’ve been a fan of Elle’s kits for so long!  Having the opportunity to play around with the April and Live Laugh Love kits and to share some projects this month was so much fun!  If you’re interested to read more about this project head on over to Elle’s blog.  More projects to come later this month!!

Pocket Prompts Class at Big Picture Classes!

BPC.pngTo say that I’m excited to share today’s news is a huge understatement, friends.  I’m in a bit of a “pinch me” state at the moment.  Next Monday, April 17, my very first class will be launching over at Big Picture Classes!! Hooray!!

Putting this class together has been a journey, and one that I am so grateful for.  Over the last 4 months I’ve been brainstorming, sketching, playing with paper, and reflecting on my process so that I could share some of my very favorite photo and journaling prompts and also do a complete walkthrough of how and why I do what I do in my pocket pages.

As I was working on this class I wanted to make sure that I was reaching both the crafters that have never done pocket page scrapbooking as well as those who have been doing it for a long time and are maybe looking for a fresh perspective to add life to their pages.

I hope that if you love pocket page scrapbooking or if you’re curious to try it out for the first time that you’ll consider this class!  You can sign up for a free two week trial over at Big Picture Classes today!

ALSO, later this week I’ll be doing a giveaway over on my Instagram for two people to win a free one month subscription!

All of the workshop details can be found here.

Hope to see you there!!

January-March Books Roundup

Books.jpgHappy Saturday, friends! It’s been quite awhile since I’ve chatted about books here on the blog, so I thought today would be a good day to recap what I’ve been reading over last few months!  These posts are always a bit out of the norm for me as most of my ramblings here center around all things crafty, but since I always LOVE reading about what everyone else is reading, I thought I’d share what I’ve been reading too!

In January I decided to subscribe to the Book of the Month club (BOTM). I had been debating a subscription for so long, trying to figure out if I could justify the purchase, but in the end I decided to just give it a try.  I’m so happy I did.  One of the biggest selling points for me was that the company allows you to skip months, so if you don’t see a book you like you won’t get charged for that month.   I’m not an affiliate, just a fan ;).

Wildflower Hill by Kimberley Freeman: I picked this book up on a whim one afternoon while shopping at Target, and  I’m so happy I did!  I sailed through the pages in about a week.  It’s on the longer side for a novel, but it’s a really easy read.  I loved how this book spanned three generations.  In a brief summary, a 30-year-old woman travels across the world to discover a part of her grandmother’s life that no one really knew about.  You read about her courageous and loving grandmother who had some crazy obstacles to overcome at a very young age, and also get to see how her granddaughter is transformed as she is seeking the truth about her grandmother’s history. It’s a really beautiful story.  (4.5 stars)

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn: I was happily surprised when I saw that this short story was going to be shipped for free with my first Book of the Month club box.  I’m not one to purchase short stories and don’t really seek them out at the library either so it was fun changing things up with a book that could be finished in one sitting.  The plot gripped me enough to finish it, but I don’t know if it would have held my attention if it were a full novel . . .  (2.5 stars)

Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough:  This was my BOTM club pick for January.  It was a little eerie, very twisted, and there was no way I could have predicted the ending.  Still, I can’t tell if I loved it or hated it . . . it was just that strange.  I’ll base my review on the fact that the story has stayed with me for the last month (I’m still thinking about the crazy ending!).  I’d totally recommend it just so you can judge for yourself! (4 stars)

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero: This book is like one big pep talk from a no-nonsense caring friend. I didn’t find any of the advice in here to be earth shattering or something that I haven’t read in other motivational books, but I did find it to be uplifting, concise, and to be a good reminder to believe in myself and take action! (3.5 stars)

The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel: This was my BOTM club pick for February.  I can’t remember the last non-fiction book (other than motivational books) I’ve read, so this was a really nice change of pace.  The true story follows a man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for nearly 30 years by choice.  I found myself closing the book a lot and just thinking about the different circumstances he was in, wondering how someone could choose to live in negative 20 degree temperatures winter after winter to avoid human interaction when comfort was literally just a short walk away.  It got me thinking about how we all come from different walks of life and how we’re all just trying to figure out what works best for us.  (3.5 stars)

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge:  This book was recommended to me by my mom, so of course I was excited to jump into it!  I started this book on a weekend trip to Vegas and finished it shortly after we returned.  Parts of it reminded me so much of What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty, but I think I liked What Alice Forgot a bit more.  Overall, it was a quick and easy read and I liked the emotional ups and downs and how each character’s flaws were explored. (3.5 stars)

The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg: Confession: I only got about a third of the way through this before I had to return it to the library, but what I ready was completely fascinating!  If you’re interested in how habits are formed, this book is totally for you! (4 stars based on what I read :)

Currently on my nightstand: First Comes Love by Emily Griffin

What are you reading?  Any recommendations?

A Rainy Day Story

SZayas_March2017DigitalKit_FullLayout1.jpgOne story that I will always remember about my parents is the story of how they met and their first date.  While growing up I remember asking them to retell the story several times and I’ve sometimes caught myself wondering if that’s a question Omar and I will get from our kids one day.

Truth be told, the first part of our story probably isn’t that romantic- after very little luck with dating, my coworkers encouraged me to try online dating.  I’d heard mixed “reviews”, but decided to just give it a try and put myself out there.  I feel incredibly lucky that I only had one bad date before I met O, but that bad date was almost the reason we never met.  We now laugh about the fact that I didn’t respond to his sweet message for nearly 2 weeks and even considered closing my account before we ever got the chance to meet.  Looking back I can’t believe how close I came to never meeting my future husband.

We sent get-to-know-you emails back and forth for about 10 days before we decided to meet on what would end up being a very rainy St. Patrick’s Day in 2012.  It’s not that I don’t treasure all of those emails that we sent back and forth to each other (I really wish I had kept them!) but I’ll always feel like the first time we met in person is where the sweet part of this story starts.   AE_March2017DigitalKit_Detail1.jpg

To document this special story I used the newest March 2017 Digital Kit from Ali Edwards and paired them with stamps from last month’s Bond story theme.  It ended up being a rainy day story about a rainy day :)SZayas_Digital2017Kit_Detail3.jpg

I’m sure I’ve forgotten a lot of the little details from that day that happened nearly 5 years ago, but I’m so happy to have this story finally documented!

Nugget’s 1st Year Mini (using AE digitals)

20170205_121848.jpgIt’s crazy to think that we adopted Nugget almost 9 months ago.   When I look at him I can hardly believe how fast he’s grown from the little fluffball we picked up on a Friday afternoon last May into the 70 pound playful puppy he is today.  In some ways time has flown, but in other ways it has nearly stood still as we’ve tried to navigate our way through the challenges of figuring out life with our first puppy.20170205_122306.jpgTo help record some of the milestones of Nugget’s first year I decided to put together a hybrid mini book.  The new Week by Week digital stamps by Ali Edwards were so perfect to get the ball rolling, and sticking to a basic template for each page allowed me to complete this mini in just a couple of hours!Nugget 1.jpgNugget 2.jpgNugget 3.jpg20170205_121643.jpgThanks so much for stopping by!