{DIY} Digital Project Life Wedding Album

One thing that has been on my to do list for far longer than it should be is my friend’s wedding album. They were married just over a year ago now and I’ve had the discs with all the professional photos for about 8-9 months maybe now. And I’m still working on the album.

I told her all along not to worry about getting an album through her photographer. Personally, while I love our wedding album, it was not worth the thousands of dollars it added onto our professional package. Especially for something I so rarely pull out of the ‘suitcase’.

Project life is such a perfect option for creating wedding, holiday and event albums so I tossed up whether to do their album traditional project life style, or digital. I decided on digital. It preserves better and you can always get it re-printed or make multiple copies if you decide to.

My friend still has no idea what I’m working on. She has been very patient though and my goal is to finish the album in the next week and send it to Blurb for printing into a 12 x 12 photo book that I can gift them as a very belated anniversary present.

You can check out the full album here, but here are a couple of layouts so far:

I love Project Life. Ever since I discovered it, it has become my preferred scrapbooking method. Why? Check out these previous posts for more detail:

Project Life

Digital Project Life

My Albums

I only share a few of my scrapbooking and project life creations here on the blog, but if you want to see more, you should follow me on Pinterest. I have a board dedicated to my own creations, along with lots of other boards to help you simplify, create and be inspired ūüėČ

Travel & Technology

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This weekend gone we spent the afternoon and evening with my husband’s parents on the eve of their latest European adventure.

In their planning for this trip, which will take them all over Italy, then for a cruise along to Greece and Turkey, they wanted to be up to date with all the latest mod cons and technology. With our encouragement, being that we are Apple users ourselves, we talked them into upgrading to a couple of iDevices. An iPhone for my mother in law and an iPad for my father in law.

Then comes the challenge of teaching them new technology. Their youngest son still lives at home, but gets frustrated with teaching them, and middle son used to work for Telstra, and tends to rush through the instructions. So I became their tech guru (scary!).

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Father in  law (FIL) wanted to copy a whole lot of text documents and PDF files onto the iPad for the trip.

There were many options for this but we went with DropBox, transferring the files from laptop to iPad. There were a couple of Gigabytes worth of documents so it was going to take 30+ hours to complete based on the size and their internet connection. FIL was getting a bit stressed it wasn’t a magical instant transfer.

As we were getting ready to leave, with him checking for the 287th time in the couple of hours we spent there, he informed us it would be okay as if they did not all transfer across before they left, as he could finish once in Rome. Great!

He then said, “And if that fails, at least I will still have everything on the laptop“. WHAT?!? Yes, he was taking both the iPad and his laptop with him for a 5 week holiday to Europe.

WHY? No clue! Overkill? YES!

But it reminded me of a previous family holiday to Europe in Christmas 08 when he planned our trip almost down to the exact minute. I remember his frustration clearly when we got lost in the cemetery in Paris searching for Jim Morrison’s headstone and thus wasting too much time and having to miss¬†visiting Versailles Palace.

So thinking back to that trip, I’m not really surprised he was taking both. He spent months researching this holiday ensuring he misses nothing.

Personally, I like to plan a bit, and it does all fall to me to do the research, planning and booking for our holidays as my husband is not a planner (unlike his dad). However, I like a bit of room to move too – Flexibility to be spontaneous and discover something unexpected. I also know sometimes you need a break from constant sight seeing and travel.

I hope they have a wonderful trip and manage to see all they want to… and relax a little bit also. Can’t wait to see the photos when they return.

What is your holiday planning style –¬†Do you like to organise down to the last detail? Do¬†you plan nothing and wing it completely?¬†Or are you somewhere in the middle like me?

That’s What Childhood Smells Like…

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Recently while sitting on the floor one night, playing with my daughter, I made an amazing, yet accidental discovery.

We were playing dolls… or at least she was… and I was doing the automatic parent thing where if a child hands you a doll, you hug it and pat it’s back like it’s a real baby.

My mind was elsewhere, enjoying a rare moment of doing virtually nothing… aside from hugging dolls of course. And then suddenly I got this waft of something wonderful

In the process of my dolly hug, my nostrils were suddenly filled with the heavenly scent of my childhood.

If I had to describe it, I would say it is a mix of vanilla and brand new.

I was holding her Cabbage Patch doll. The expensive custom named and designed Cabbage Patch doll we had ordered online straight after our daughter was born. Her name is also Lily and she shares my daughter’s birthdate. And suddenly that expensive doll was worth every cent!

While I never had a brand new Cabbage Patch as a kid, instead inheriting my sister’s much loved pair, this doll had the scent of something familiar.

I suppose it was the kid-safe (scented??) plastic commonly used in children’s toys, but it took me right back. Back to days of playing Barbie dolls and Lego, dress ups and board games. To the days when everything was easy and fun, and so much of my time was spent playing with my substantial collection of childhood toys.

Well before the days of bills and hardship, adult drama and cleaning. This doll took me to a time when everything was perfect in my world!

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So as I sat there with my nose stuffed firmly into the hair and neck of this doll, inhaling that scent like some sort of Cabbage Patch junkie, it reminded me just how wonderful childhood can be.

And while sometimes we all wish we could return to those days of innocence and no responsibility, I would still choose now. Now is when I get to be a mother and spend my days raising the most amazing person I have ever met, with the hope that she too will one day look back and reflect on how lucky she was to have had a childhood so full of joy and treasured memories.

What takes you back to childhood in an instant? A toy, a smell, a place?

 

Review – BabyButton Breastfeeding Cover & Giveaway

Recently I jumped at the opportunity to review a Breastfeeding cover from Australian company BabyButton. Yes, my daughter is nearing that 18 month mark and is coming towards the end of her breastfeeding days (not without protest) so I have had a bit of experience with breastfeeding covers.

What I personally want in a cover is something simple to use, that conceals all it is supposed to. A little bit of style doesn’t hurt either.

Since my daughters birth I have struggled with a cover I purchased from a baby store that did the job but was so awkward and not always great at the concealing.¬†It’s like a poncho with one arm hole. Even to this day I am still not entirely sure which arm I’m supposed to have in the hole when feeding on a certain side, and because it wraps right around, it could be really hard to get to business without potentially revealing more than I hoped to unsuspecting folk. Not only that but if my daughter fell asleep, I’d end up stuck wearing the cover half the time because it wrapped right around. So pretty much my old cover was frustrating and not so great at its job!

However, the BabyButton breastfeeding cover has none of these challenges. It is essentially styled like an apron with an adjustable neck strap. No arm holes required. Simply pop it over your head and you are pretty much ready to go.

The BabyButton cover is wide enough for good coverage and long enough also, keeping everything well concealed and discreet. And because it is in that apron style, you can adjust it to one side or the other with ease. This also means it pops straight up over your head once the baby is finished, asleep or not. You only need one hand to take it off, making that baby juggling/multi-tasking process a lot easier.

It’s cotton, so breathable. If it gets grubby, throw it in the washing machine. Easy. And if stuck for a change mat, it works for that too (a use I have already needed it for). And you can see your baby as they feed, due to the wide neck area where the strap attaches.

Not only that, but it comes in some fabulous prints just for fun!

Overall I highly recommend the BabyButton Breastfeeding Cover, as it is simple, effective and everything you need in a cover. I am happy to retire my old cover and keep this one in my nappy bag until my daughter is fully weaned (and will be well prepared for the next child or two when the time comes).

The covers are on sale right now over at the BabyButton website. I’m not sure when the sale ends but they would make fabulous gifts for mums-to-be, or nursing necessities for yourself. Or better yet, scroll down for your chance to WIN one!

Now for the exciting partBabyButton are kindly allowing me to giveaway one of these fabulous breastfeeding covers. For your chance to win, leave a comment on this blog post and click on the Rafflecopter link below to enter or click the giveaway tab on our Facebook  page.

 CLICK HERE TO ENTER РРР> a Rafflecopter giveaway

One lucky winner will receive a BabyButton Breastfeeding cover. The competition is open worldwide & the lucky winner will be contacted in June.

GOOD LUCK!

*Winning entry will be screened to ensure it meets entry requirements. * Entry is open worldwide. * The winner will be notified by email/Facebook and will need to respond within 48 hours. If no response in this time, a new winner will be drawn. * Simplify.Create.Inspire is not liable for prizes that are not delivered or damaged in the post.

UPDATED : winner is MELLIE JANE.

You Know You’re ‘Old’ When…

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Photo by Holly Connors

Recently I was on a night out. A rare one, since I am over 30, a parent and I like staying home. While it was nice to be out for a change, it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and resulted in my friends and I discussing exactly that… how times have changed. We simply put it down to being ‘old’ now and it made me realise sometime over the past couple of years, things have changed. Is it an age thing? A parent thing? We went with age. But it’s probably more a parent thing. Shifting responsibilities and priorities.

So here’s a list of likely relatable hints that you might be ‘old’ too:

  • You wear pyjamas more than any other outfit
  • You love Friday and Saturday nights at home and actually look forward to them
  • Your preferred beverage is a cup of tea
  • It’s an effort to get dressed up for a night out… almost too much effort
  • Your back is starting to protest from overuse
  • You start sentences with ‘When I was younger…’ or ‘Kids these days’
  • One of your favourite past times is a solo activity like sewing, gardening or scrapbooking
  • You are passionate about home improvement
  • You no longer feel the need to have a big celebration for most birthdays (don’t want to highlight that big number anymore than necessary)
  • If someone phones you after 8PM, you assume there’s an emergency
  • Drinking in moderation is enjoyable
  • Early nights are welcomed
  • Early mornings are productive
  • Comfort over fashion suddenly seems okay
  • You like to be on time for everything
  • You no longer find it so easy to relate to ‘young’ people
  • Slippers are exciting
  • You hate missing the news
  • Young(er) people have referred to you as ‘old’
  • Parties and late nights have been replaced with brunch and afternoon tea
  • It’s not uncommon for you to fall asleep during a movie in the comfy chair
  • You feel OLD!

But it’s not all bad. I love my life of quiet nights, comfy pyjamas and a movie. It’s refreshing not to have to worry about doing my hair or getting dressed up. Plus it means plenty more cuddles with my little miss!

So if this is old, I’m okay with it!

Do you still do all the same things you did when you were 20-something?

{Recipe} Peanut Butter Choc Chip Cookies

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Lately I haven’t had a great deal of time to spend in the kitchen due to busy schedules and too many events. Luckily due to having a husband who works night shift we are in the practice of cooking and freezing bulk meals to ease the load of being just myself and my little miss home at night. This also gives the hubby something to take to work for dinner too.

This weekend we had the pleasure of an entire day at home on Sunday. This meant catching up on some housework, having some playtime in the backyard with our daughter and doing some cooking.

I hate a terrible habit of eating chocolate and sweets most days. Barely a day passes without me giving in to my sweet tooth, so little wonder I took this opportunity to do some indulgent baking.

And as a result, delicious peanut butter & oat chocolate chip cookies that are simply divine. We ate more than half the batch within 2 hours of them coming out of the oven, as they really are that good! Here’s the recipe:

PEANUT BUTTER CHOC CHIP COOKIES

Ingredients

1 Cup Peanut Butter

1 Cup Brown Sugar

1 Large Egg

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

¬Ĺ Cup Chocolate Chips

¬Ĺ Cup Rolled Oats

¬Ĺ Cup all purpose (plain) flour

Instructions
  1. 1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius
  2. 2.In a mixing bowl mix together peanut butter, flour, oats and brown sugar.
  3. On low speed, beat in egg and vanilla extract until well combined.
  4. Fold chocolate chips into mixture.
  5. Roll batter into 1-inch balls and place them on a lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until lightly browned.
  7. Allow to cool on baking sheet before serving.

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There you have it. Simple but delicious. Although you may want to flatten yours a little with a fork, as I forgot to do that so ended up with little fat cookies. You can make them bigger too if you like. DSC_0219

I also mixed mine by hand as I was too lazy to get out the mixer, but I have included instructions for using a mixer. Either way!

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Pretty happy with how this experiment turned out. I threw in the oats simply to make them seem a little less naughty ūüėČ

I encourage you to give this recipe a go and if you do, let me know what you think.

My Week in Stills

This week has gone in a flash with me spending 5 days in work-related training. By the time I got home every night I was completely exhausted and ready for bed, so there were not too many photos through the week. But of course I make up for it on the weekends…

A couple of favourites from the week that’s been (and yes I am well aware that there is a bit of a theme to most of my photos… her name is Lily):

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Even a photo of my creative process… although obviously this one was taken by someone else (my husband).

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The weather was great here in sunny Queensland this late in Autumn, so there was a lot of opportunities to spend some time outdoors enjoying the warm weather… before winter really does kick in.

In fact, I’ve been out there some more today despite feeling under the weather. Decided it was time to start tackling one of the projects that’s been dormant for about 2-3 years… my severely overgrown weed collection… which is actually meant to be a raised veggie patch. I spent an hour outside this afternoon and am maybe a 3rd of the way through. Yikes! There was one particularly crazy weed that was about the width of a carrot. I spent 10 minutes and still have not defeated this evil growth!

Any gardening tips are most welcome ūüėČ