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Friday Favorites

Here are some of the things I’m loving this week:

Friday Favorites 2

1. My hands, especially my knuckles, have been very dry recently, thanks to the drop in humidity and constant hand washing after changing baby diapers and cleaning. I tried out Trader Joe’s Ultra Moisturizing hand cream trio and it is fantastic–makes my hands feels soft but not greasy and I don’t need to re-apply every time I wash my hands. I think this might be a limited time item, so I’m going to stock up next time I go.

2. The kids have been obsessed with Sia music videos and we’ve been playing her new Christmas album. We especially love the claymation holiday music videos: Candy Cane Lane, Ho Ho Ho, Underneath the Mistletoe.

3. I am not good at being a person in the cold. I just want to lay underneath a bunch of blankets in a warm bubble and do pretty much nothing. Fuzzy socks have been helping me be a functional human as the weather gets colder.

4. I’ve been eyeing this Think Geek Solar Orbit Necklace for a long time and finally picked it up on sale. I love that it’s nice enough looking to wear when I dress up (I wore it to a wedding last weekend), but I have a little bit of nerd fun too. It makes me feel like Ms. Frizzle. The strands do get tangled easily, so I have to be careful how I store it.

5. Back to being cold, I’m really thankful for Dap Seal ‘N Peel Removable Caulk, which Jake used to seal our leaky old window frames. It isn’t super subtle, but it’s better than the plastic stuff over the windows that we were using. Its pulls off easily and doesn’t leave a trace too. It makes a huge difference.

6. One of the best articles I read this week was Wired’s How One Woman’s Digital Live was Weaponized Against Her. It really shows the depth of harassment achievable in the digital age, how difficult it is to persecute, the very real effects it can have on victim’s lives, and how vulnerable we really all are.

7. And to end on a fun note, song-ified I have six cats has been stuck in my head all days. This is totally Eliza, who wants to be a cat cafe owner when she grows up.

What are you into right now?

7 Tips for Letter Stickers | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Letter Stickers | #NNDailyTip

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips for using letter / alpha stickers:

Want to stretch an alpha sticker sheet? Cut out letter outlines and use those too! #nndailytip

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

What are your favorite tips for using alpha stickers?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

Hamilton Dance Party | Pocket Page

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 1

I’ve been working on the gaps in my “extras” pages for past years lately. Often, I’ll look through my photos for these stories when I’m deciding how to use kits or when I want to make sure I’m not wasting photo paper and need to add a few more photos to a page to make the most of it. That’s how I ended up deciding to tell this story!

I love these photos of Jake and the little kids having a Hamilton dance party in May 2016 This was a VERY common occurrence throughout that year, so I’m doubly glad to have it documented.

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 2

I checked to see what I had in my May album first before I decided what size to print the photos and what format to use. I had a blank Design A page protector, the back of a weekly pocket scrapbooking spread, so I decided to make my story fit into that! All three photos were vertical 3×4, so I chose my favorite to crop into a square for one of the 4×6 pockets.

Selected Supplies:

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 3

The colors and star theme in the Best Story Kit were great for this page, both because of the star on the cover of the Hamilton album and because little family moments like these when we’re all having a great time being silly at home are just the best.

The title card was created by taping two 3×4 cards together.

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 4

I don’t normally like repeating a single word this much on a project (once or twice drives the point home), but I really liked how the products were working together and didn’t want to spend the extra time looking through my stash for things that might match–so I got over it.

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 5

I can’t get enough of those thin paper stars.

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 6

The journaling reads:

“When the kids have pent-up energy, the best way to get it out is a dance party. It’s been all about Hamilton here for months, so the playlist is a no-brainer. I love how much energy Jake has with the kids–swinging them up and twisting them around. So much laughter.”

Hamilton Dance Party | The Nerd Nest 7

What’s your favorite way to wear out over-excited kids? I might need back-up methods as the winter sets in and running them around outside is an option less frequently.

December Memories with Michelle | Nerd Nest Challenge

Today Nerd Nest Creative Team member Michelle is here to share her take on this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge Document December.

Hello Nerd Nest Friends!

I’m recording my December memories this year by following Ali Edwards’ December Daily. I’ve done this project formally for the last 4 years. For this project to work for me, I have to start with a plan. I printed out Ali’s 6×8 design map PDF from 2015. I set up my album by adding page protectors to follow her suggestions in the PDF.

Then I made notes of what I have going on each day. Our December tends to be full of activity!! I use a spread sheet for that to record the date, activity or item to document and photo sizes (based on the design map / album set up. This sounds complicated but it takes about an hour to set up and make notes. I’m a planner by nature. If I don’t put thought into it beforehand it doesn’t get done!

I purchased the Elle’s Studio Document December kit this year and I have loved it! I attended a day crop in November and used the time to finish set up on my album. I set up the extra cards, embellishments and tools in my IKEA cart. It’s out in my living room with my Selphy printer. Everything is in easy reach so I can work on my album in the evenings.

December Memories with Michelle | The Nerd Nest 1

It also helps me to limit my supplies. These items are from Elle’s Studio, Freckled Fawn and the Target Dollar Spot!

December Memories with Michelle | The Nerd Nest 2

I have gotten a ton of ideas for pages from Ali’s Facebook group. (It is free and open to anyone.) Like my opening pages -

December Memories with Michelle | The Nerd Nest 3

Sometimes I print photos from the internet. It helps to have “filler” for slow days. Like for this Starbucks layout… I love adding a gift card each year. They’re always different

December Memories with Michelle | The Nerd Nest 4

I also signed up to do the 30 lists for December. But I’ve not made much progress yet!

I take some time in the evening to reflect on the day and document it. It only takes about 30 minutes. This type of documenting helps me slow down and savor the season.

Enjoy your December!

Michelle O has been on the Pocket Your Year Creative Team since 2016. She lives in the suburbs of Richmond, Virginia (USA) with her husband, two daughters and dog. She moved back to her hometown in 2010 when she got a job opportunity that she couldn’t pass up. You can follow her on Instagram – MOSCRAPPIN

Friday Favorites

I’m starting a new series around here! I needed to slow down on blogging for a long time there, but I’m back to it regularly enough now for a weekly something. There are lots of things I’ve been excited about, so a round up of favorite things I’ve been using, articles I’ve been reading, and all around cool internet stuff is just the ticket.

Here’s what I’m into right now:

Friday Favorites_1

1. We love board and card games around here and try to do a game night most Fridays, sometimes with just us and sometimes with friends or family over. The breakout winner of the year is without a doubt Letter Tycoon, which is like if Scrabble and Monopoly had an actually fun baby that does not take forever and take over your life. Our friends brought it over and we immediately bought one for ourselves and then just purchased another as a Christmas gift.

2. Ali Edwards just opened registration for next year’s One Little Word, her year-long workshop which invites you to choose a word to be a force for change or a lens for reflection throughout the year. I’ve been participating since 2013 and I really love how this workshop helps me think about the big picture of my life and what I want, so I can make better decisions for myself day-to-day. I’ve been sharing less of what I’ve been doing over the past few years because our family fostering situation meant that a lot of what I was focused on couldn’t be shared on the Internet, but I’m hoping to share a little more next year. (Not settled on 2018′s word just yet.)

3. Jake and I got sick of “non-stick” pans that are only non-stick for a few months and decided to try out a Lodge Seasoned Cast Iron Skillet. It works amazingly! It cooks evenly, cleans up super easily, and though it felt like it would be more work to upkeep because you have to rub it down with oil after cleaning it to prevent rust, the fast wash time makes this extra step totally worth it. We just throw a little grapeseed oil on a rag and rub it down after washing. I pretty much use this pan exclusively now. (The 10-1/4-Inch was WAY cheaper at the time of writing.)

4. Weird, confusing musicals are my love language. Can’t stop watching “Shia LaBeouf” Live. (Don’t worry, it’s short.)

5. Statistics can save lives! This article, The Serial Killer Detector, on a computer program that aims to find similarities between murders to figure out which ones are connected was fascinating.

6. I’m irrationally in love with Porgs from the new Star Wars movie. Even though you only see about one second of them in the trailer, they are so adorable that I’m involuntarily obsessed. After playing with the Porg Electronic Plush in a bunch of different stores while Christmas shopping, I bought one for myself (even though it’s silly). I do a little wiggle with it when I’m stressed out and it instantly improves my mood. Give me all of the very sad penguins with huge eyes.

7. I’m in new mom territory with a tween in the house, and I really enjoyed this article on raising a teenage daughter by Elizabeth Weil, with annotations by her daughter Hannah W Duane.

What are you loving right now?

Ava’s First Joke Layout

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

I’m working on using up my whole Freckled Fawn November kit! One thing I do to decide how to use the kit is go through my “extras” photos folders–folders with photos for stories I want to tell that are in addition to weekly pocket scrapbooking. It usually takes me much longer to get to these stories than weekly pocket pages, but that’s just fine with me. Kits help motivate me to fit projects to those stories!

I decided to look through my extras photos for 2015, since my first few albums for that year are almost complete, to see if any stories would work with the kit. I got exited to make a page with these photos of then-baby Ava making her first joke!

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

Selected Supplies:

This layout has a simple design, but it took me much longer to come up with it than I typically spend on scrapbook layouts. I set it aside and worked on other things, then came back to it, which helped me get unstuck. I knew that I wanted to use those big letters from the Fun Story Kit by Ali Edwards with the three photos lined up in a series, but because that took up an entire 12×12 column of my page, I had trouble figuring out how to add my journaling while still making the whole thing feel balanced. I tried to add patterned paper horizontally for the journaling spot, but it just wasn’t working.

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

Adding little strips of the yellow flower paper to either side of the photo block unlocked the rest of the design for me–I added strips of patterned paper to the right of the layout and left space for a journaling block in-between the strips.

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

This also gave me room to add a label sticker with the word “Ava’s” to complete the title.

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

Adding a banner phrase sticker with an enamel dot mirrored the first word in the title and helps to draw the eye across the page.

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

The journaling reads:

Ava made her first joke! I was holding her while she fed herself from her bottle, she turned it upside down, and started giggling. She gave me the bottom of the bottle to pretend to drink from and then pretended to drink from the bottom herself. She had us all laughing so hard–just because her joke was so unexpected!

For the journaling block, I printed the text onto white cardstock and framed it in a journaling card I’d cut into two pieces–also from the Fun Story Kit.

Ava's First Joke | The Nerd Nest

These photos and this story makes me so happy! Do you have a story of a funny thing your children (or children you are related to / know) have done? I’d love to hear it or see a project with it!

Document December | Nerd Nest Challenge

Show How You Are Documenting December | December Nerd Nest Challenge 1

The November Nerd Nest Challenge is to Document December.

It’s a busy season for documenting for so many of us, so I’m not adding onto that with a challenge that asks you to make more. Instead, I’d love to see your plan for documenting December! Hopefully hearing others’ process, methods, and ideas will help us all out. Share how you are documenting in the comments!

Here’s how I’m documenting:

Show How You Are Documenting December | December Nerd Nest Challenge 2

Since 2009, I’ve participated in Ali Edward’s December Daily, documenting each day in December in a mini album. I’ve done this different ways over the years (sometimes starting a few days before Thanksgiving). Often, I’ll start off the month making pages as I go, then I’ll finish the album months later.

2015 and 2016 were especially difficult years in December and I’m still working on those albums. (I used the December Daily excitement in November to motivate myself to work on those!)

It doesn’t really matter to me when they get done, but it really helps me to at least pick the stories as I go along in December, which makes it possible for me to finish the album much later if needed. Document Now, Make Later!

This year, I’ll be sharing as I go on my Instagram. I’ll blog about my finished pages once a week or so.

If you want to see my past December Daily albums, here’s 2009 (which I finished in 2012!), 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013.

Show How You Are Documenting December | December Nerd Nest Challenge 3

I’m participating in the December 2017 round of 30 Days of Lists! I’ll be sharing those as I go on Instagram too, and share round up posts here too. I love my fun, simple method for this year, which helps me to list daily, even if I don’t have much time. I love being able to get that daily creativity in when I don’t have time for my December Daily album.

Show How You Are Documenting December | December Nerd Nest Challenge 4

I’m also doing an Ornament a Day project with my kids again this year. This is something I used to do with Eliza, but suspended as our family grew. This year, to make it work, we’re counting it if ANY kid makes an ornament instead of trying to wait until all three of them can do something together, so the big kids can do crafts after Ava goes to bed, Ava can do one while the big kids are at school, and we can make ornaments that require different skill levels. To document this project, I’m just taking simple photos with my phone each day. I’ll make a collage of them when we’re through for my December Daily album!

I’ll also be doing my regular memory keeping for the month: I recorded Day in the Life on the 1st and will make a pocket spread for that. I’ll still make weekly pocket pages to capture everyday photos that didn’t make it into December Daily (though sometimes there’s a little bit of overlap).

How are you documenting December?

I want to see your take on the challenge! Share a link in the comments or use the hashtag #nerdnestchallenge on social media!

November 2016 Day in the Life

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 1

I’m working on projects with my Freckled Fawn November embellishment kit and one of the ideas I had for the kit, which has a lot of house icons, was to document “a day at home.” I looked through my backlog of my monthly Day in the Life photos to see if any were homebody days and found that the story from last November’s Day in the Life would work perfectly!

Here’s November 17, 2016:

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 2

Selected Supplies:

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Ava getting REALLY excited Lily is snuggling her, cleaning up Eliza’s room + the third floor hallway, Jake video chatting with his dad at his at-home desk.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 4

I decided to make the November word chip from the kit stand out by heat embossing it. I added copper ink, tapped on clear embossing powder, and heat set the powder with a Zap embossing heat gun. Heat embossing is a little messy and time consuming, so I don’t break it out often, but the shine and raised image really does make an impact!

For the rest of the title card, I used “a lovely day” patterned paper for the background and a strip of dark blue so the title would stand out. I framed the word November in two puffy house stickers and added a banner phrase sticker to the upper left corner.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 5

I filled in all of the 3×4 spaces without photos with November journaling cards, giving myself space for journaling on some of the filler cards. I added an Ali Edwards Story Kit embossed circle add-on to one card for journaling and a label sticker (plus a rubber house) to another for the date.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 6

To add a bit of fun to the circles filler card, I put enamel stickers on some of the circles. It’s fun to use embellishments that go with a patterned paper to give some spots on the pattern dimension. I also added a banner phrase sticker and label sticker to the corner.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 7

Adding a banner phrase sticker to the center of a collage always works for me. I repeated this look on the other page, which also helped to give me a visual triangle of white banner stickers.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 8

Going on here: The kids playing with friends in the backyard after the big kids got home from school, chatting with Kelly (who stopped by on her way home from work), Jonas drawing while I was making dinner, practicing a Smooth Criminal routine for Eliza’s hip hop class, reading books, putting together puzzles, sitting down for dinner, and the usual playing around shenanigans.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 9

I just love these photos so much.

November Day in the Life 2016 | The Nerd Nest 10

I’m so glad to have this one in the books! Starting with ideas from products helps me to fill in the gaps in my album without getting stressed out about being “behind.”

I’m off to finish recording my last Day in the Life for 2017–I’m doing them on the 1st this year. I need to use a random number generator soon to see what day I’ll be doing it monthly in 2018!

7 Tips for Thanksgiving | #NNDailyTip

7 Tips for Documenting Thanksgiving

On my Instagram I share a daily memory keeping tip with the hashtag #NNDailyTip, then collect them here so you can find them easily later!

Today I’m sharing tips for documenting Thanksgiving!

Don’t forget the Thanksgiving crafts! Today is totally hand turkey day. #nndailytip

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

Last #nndailytip for Thanksgiving: Be gentle with yourself if you need it. Most of what we see memory keepers share of holidays is the good times, but for many, holidays can be really hard. You may have very ill or recently deceased loved ones, people may be missing due to incarceration or estrangement, families may be broken, arguments might break out. You get to choose how you document these things. You might: skip recording it altogether because it is too painful, give yourself healing time before you try to record your memories, choose to focus on the positive, include acknowledgments that things were hard without going into detail, or include hidden journaling that explores and records your feelings. I use a combination of these things, depending on how I am handling things and what I think is important to remember.

A post shared by Megan Anderson (@megan_nerdnest) on

What are your favorite tips for documenting Thanksgiving?

Follow me on Instagram to see the tips in real time!

May 27-31 2017 | Pocket Scrapbooking

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 1

I’m working on making lots of projects with my Freckled Fawn November embellishment kit and this one is next up! Even though this kit is for November, the bright colors work just as well for Spring and Summer. I decided to look through my “gap photos” folders to find a weekly pocket spread I hadn’t finished yet that worked well with the kit’s color scheme, and this one was a winner! I loved the blues with the pool and sky photos and the pink with the hibiscus.

Here’s a pocket spread for May 27-31:

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 2

Selected Supplies:

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Waiting for Jonas to get off the bus while I feed my baby niece and Ava feeds her glowworm, swimming with Ava’s first parents and her cousins, going out to dinner with friends.

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 4

Loving my new go-to of combining the new Freckled Fawn 12×12 papers with a November journaling card for a title card!

I knew I wanted to work in one of the enamel flower charms from the kit on the title card. I tried attaching it with a brad first, but it looked silly because of the scale. I used embroidery floss instead and put the brad on a journaling card. If you want your charm to stay still, add a bit of adhesive on the back. I like mine swinging around!

I combined letter stickers for the title (a good way to use alphas without numbers) and framed the small stickers with a few enamel stickers.

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 5

There’s that brad that didn’t work out with the flower! Adding a colorful brad to the beginning of a journaling card is a simple way to get more color in.

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 6

Going on here: Exhibit at Liberty Memorial for Memorial Day, running around at the spray park, dyeing popsicle sticks in food coloring for a bird toy, new spot for my minibook collection, new hibiscus.

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 7

I had two 4×4 photos to go in 6×4 spots, so I decided to mirror the spots! I used both sides of the solid FF paper and added a double layer of washi tape and a rubber house to each.

May 27-31 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 8

I kept up the symmetry with similar journaling cards in the 3×4 spots too!

I love how this one turned out.

How can you use current products for a different season to do some gap filling of your own?