Summertime Hybrid Layouts


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!

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!

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!!

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!

Day in the Life™ (Oct. 2016)

SZayas_DITL_Detail.jpgHello, Friends!

Today I’m excited to be sharing my third and final Day in the Life™ (DITL) documentation of 2016 with you!

My plan for this year was to take a different approach to documenting each DITL so that I could get a feel for which format worked best for me.  However, now that I’ve tested out all of these formats I actually can’t really say that I have a favorite.  I saw benefits to each one!

> My first day was done in a traveler’s notebook

What I loved about the traveler’s notebook was that it gave me the freedom to treat each page as a blank canvas.  There wasn’t anything formulated about it, which I loved!  I got to throw in random little embellishments and washi tape everywhere, and just play around with each page.

> My second day was made into a mini book

I think this mini came together the most quickly of the three projects.  Taking one or two photos each hour and then documenting it just like that definitely streamlined the process.  I stuck to the format I had selected pretty closely, which meant that it wasn’t quite as exciting when I was assembling everything together, but overall I love the look of this mini!

> And my final day was documented as a spread in my regular Project Life album, which I’m sharing here today.

I feel like this might be the most practical way for me to document DITL.  Having this page in my PL album means that it has a permanent home somewhere, and it just kind of makes sense to have a DITL recorded somewhere amongst one of my typical weeks.SZayas_DITL_FullLayout.jpg

In the video below I’m sharing a peek at the differences between the physical and digital versions of the latest Day in the Life Kits, showing the process of putting this spread together, as well as sharing a bit about each of my Day in the Life projects from this year.  Hope you enjoy!  You can also watch the video over on my YouTube channel.


Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

A special project for my 29th year

29album229album5Right around my birthday this year (in August) I started thinking about what kind of special project I could work on to help me capture this final year in my twenties.  I wanted to do something a little more personal than Project Life (PL), something that would capture my personal stories, feelings, and basically just record who I am at this time in my life.

Initially I had very little direction for this project.  I figured this would be a bit of an art journal and I’d just throw things in as I felt inspired.  Bad plan.  If I know one thing about myself its that if I don’t start with some kind of plan, the whole project just fades away.


I let this project sit for almost a month and then inspiration hit in the form of the latest Story Kit by Ali Edwards.  The ‘Me’ story kit is perfect for self-reflection! It was exactly what I needed to get this project going.

I started with the general “About Me” page which was easy enough to complete.  I’m generally not much of a journaler, so this was a good warm up :)


Next up, I created this fun 2×2 square pocket layout using some of the messy circles and sentiments that came in the digital kit along with some fun wood veneer shapes.  I don’t want this journal to only be about journaling and self-reflection.  I plan to throw in plenty of design/just for fun pages as well, because that’s where I feel that my personality has the most potential to shine through.


Okay, next for the journaling. I took my time filling out these “Facts About Me” and “This I Love” cards and then tucked them into a bag (hidden behind the photo), which acted as a little hidden pocket.  Not so practical, but how fun is a pocket that makes this journal a little more interactive. ;-)29album1I think one of the biggest helpers for someone like me who is always wondering, ‘what should I write?’ is the prompt stickers.  These prompts are hopefully going to keep me consistent with updating my journal over the next 10 months.  My plan is to take one prompt every couple of weeks or so and do some writing!  I’m thinking this will get me into a rhythm of not only updating my journal, but also adding in the other bits and pieces that I love so much.


I’m not quite sure how much of this journal I’ll be sharing here (we’ll see how personal it gets ;) but I’ll probably do a quick update in a few months and then again after my 30th birthday.

Have you ever attempted to make a personal journal?  What did this type of project look like for you?

2016 Project Life (Jan-June) Video


Hi friends!

Today I’m here to share a huge project life (PL) update!  In late August I worked hard on wrapping up all of my PL pages from January through June, and while I can’t say that I got every week into my album, I think I’ve captured everything that I’d like to in this project.

I’m still loving working on my album (even though I’m currently about 2 months behind, EEK!) so hopefully I can successfully finish all of my July-December pages and share another flip through video in January! :)

You can watch the video here or watch it over on my YouTube channel.

(Please note that the photos below are only of pages that I have not shared on the blog previously.  All other pages can be found in the archives :)


Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mentioned in this Video:

Kelly Purkey’s 2015 Project Life Album

Paislee Press Monthly Calendar Cards

Gratitude Cards by Jen Schow

Story Kits by Ali Edwards

Heartbeat at My Feet by One Little Bird

We R Memory Keepers 6×12 Die Storage album



How I’ve been using Story Kits in my Project Life Album

SZayas_Stuff_FullLayout.jpgHi Friends!  It’s been quite awhile since I shared an update on my Project Life (PL) album.  I’m happy to say that I’ve completed all of my pages from January-June (hooray!) and can’t wait to share a little flip through of those pages soon.  Today, however, I wanted to focus on a couple of pages that were created specifically using two Story Kits by Ali Edwards: Drive and Stuff.  While you can no longer purchase the physical kits, the digital version of the Story Stamps are still available here. :)

I’ve loved incorporating the Story Kits into my PL album more this year as a way of getting myself to do more journaling.  So far it has been working!  My natural tendency is to usually go very photo heavy and light on the journaling in my PL album and use my Story Kits on full page layouts or mini books, but mixing things up has been fun!

SZayas_Stuff_Detail.jpgI paired my “Stuff” Story Kit with photos from a wedding I went to with my family.  All good stuff here- time with family, celebrating marriage, having fun exploring the Queen Mary.  I loved the sentiments in this kit, and the colors paired really well too!

SZayas_Drive_FullLayout.jpgI paired my “Drive” Story Kit with photos from a recent trip to Yosemite.  This super quick roadtrip reminded me that the journey can be equally as fun as arriving at the destination (as long as you don’t get car fever!).  I don’t mind spending hours on end in the car with O because its just a great time to catch up.  We laugh, find new little places to stop for coffee or food (thank you Yelp!) and sometimes just do our own thing (me reading my book while he listens to music or podcast).  It was fun spending a little more time with this story and getting it into my album.

SZayas_Drive_Detail(with.pocket.flap.down).jpgOccasionally I’ll find myself at a complete loss for journaling about a specific story prompt (“Believe” was totally one of those!), but that’s when the class has come in super handy.  You get lots of ideas to fuel some fun projects.  The great news is that it’s FREE when you get the kit, the stamp, the digital set (or all three!).  It’s a total win!


If you’d like more information about the monthly Story Kits you can find it here.

If you’re a Story Kit subscriber I’d love to know how you use your kits.  Are you a story teller through your traditional layouts, mini books, PL album, all 3, or some other awesomely creative form?



Project Life 2016 (May 23-29)

PL2016 May 23-29.jpgAnother week is in the books, and it feels good!  Nugget is officially taking over my album, but I’ve totally embraced the change since I don’t mind seeing his cute face on every page (who would?!).

This week’s pages are a mashup of cards, stamps, flair, and other embellishments.  It’s a busy layout for sure, but probably one of my favorites that I’ve put together recently.


Here’s how it came together:

IMG_6546.JPG(Left Side)

I kept the top left pocket pretty simple by just inserting a picture with a Kelly Purkey sticky note attached with the date.

IMG_6547.JPGIn the middle left pocket I inserted a photo of what I was currently reading and used the “coffee+books=love” stamp from this Kelly Purkey planner set to stamp directly on the image. I also added a little cork sticker from an old Studio Calico documenter kit.

In the middle right pocket I used a card from an old Studio Calico documenter kit to record a few things that I’m currently enjoying.  Anyone else into Bob’s Burgers?!  I can’t say that I’ve been watching a lot of TV lately (thanks to some really good books :)  but when I do sit down to watch something, that’s totally my show of choice!

IMG_6548.JPGIn the bottom left pocket I used a 4×6 Studio Calico card and adhered part of a different 3×4 into the corner (which I also did to the top pocket on the right side).  I’m definitely not opposed to cutting up cards and mixing them together to make my own!

IMG_6549.JPG(Right Side)

In the top right pocket I used 2 more 3×4 Studio Calico cards.  Whenever I put two cards into a 4×6 pocket I’ll either use my fuse tool to fuse the middle OR if I end up using a 4×6 card on the reverse side then I’ll just adhere my 3×4 cards onto the back of the 4×6 card/photo (hope that makes sense).   The main thing is that I don’t want my cards to slide around when turning the page.

That puppy love flair is from Feed Your Craft.  Ever since placing my first order with Feed Your Craft I’ve become addicted to flair and have started putting it on everything!!

IMG_6550.JPGIn the middle left pocket I kept things simple again by adding a little chipboard flair from Studio Calico, and in the middle right pocket I used a star stamp to embellish around the “Good Eats” sentiment on that card.

IMG_6551.JPGIn the bottom left pocket I stamped “date night” directly onto my photo and used another chipboard sticker from Studio Calico to finish it off.

Whew!  I told you there was a lot going on.  The little details are always my favorite. :)