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Organization Can Help You Be More Creative

Organization Can Help You Be More Creative | The Nerd Nest

A version of this post originally appeared in an issue of Nerd Nest News. Sign up for creative jumpstarts, exclusive first looks at projects, and special coupons.

I am not the most organized person. In fact, I might even win the messiest house award when stacked against my friends and family. But even though I’m a clutter bug and don’t exactly put dusting high on my list of priorities, I know that being organized is an important key in my creative work.

Having things organized helps me to know my options, helps me to work more efficiently because I don’t have to waste time looking for things, and it helps me to prioritize what I need to do. Organized doesn’t mean my spaces are going to be on a home decor site any time soon, but it does mean I can get creative work done.

Not all of us are wired to be nice and neat, but getting organized can help you create more effectively and efficiently.

Here’s an example: I will always always be a messy cook. I am an extremely clumsy person. I spill and splash and drop food all over the place and clean up is not the most fun (and it isn’t always prompt). BUT, having an organized kitchen helps me to cook efficiently. I have the tools I use most often visible and near the stove. I can get to spices in my cabinet in a flash because I can just spin around a turntable. My kitchen isn’t always spotless, but I know that I can make delicious meals in a short amount of time because I’m so efficient. Cutting down that cooking time means I have more time to be creative in the kitchen even when I’m pressed for time.

Having my workspace organized helps me to get more creative work done. Having my e-mail organized helps me to find information easily and keeps me from dropping the ball on collaborative projects. I recognize that without organization, I’d be unable to complete many of the creative projects want to do.

Organization Can Help You Be More Creative | The Nerd Nest

Am I always organized where I need to be? No. I’ve been looking through dozens of notebooks in hopes of finding the notes I took the last time Kristin and I had a video chat–notes that sketched out our next class. Yikes! Obviously I need to work on getting a system for my notes and lists. I’m also working on organizing the kids’ craft supplies. I’m looking forward to getting organized in more areas so I can create more!

What do you need to work on organizing so you can be more efficient in your creative work?

Pocket Your Year 31 Days of Challenges for pocket scrapbookers and Project Lifers!

If you want to get more organized for your pocket scrapbooking, there’s a whole self-paced Organization unit in Pocket Your Year!

You’ll also want to join in on this month’s special 31 Days of Challenges unit! Have fun catching up with a new challenge video each day.

Ready to get organized with Project Life? Join now and use the coupon code CHALLENGEADAY for $15 off now through August 31.

30 Days of Lists Blog Hop!

Use photos for 30 Days of Lists and make a minibook! | The Nerd Nest

September 2015 30 Days of Lists is just around the corner (just one week away!!!), and for those of us who just can’t wait for the daily challenge to start, we can get some listing in with the original lists from March 2011.

Join in 30 Days of Lists this September--a creative journaling challenge for people who love lists! | The Nerd Nest

For the past several lists, I’ve made lists in very simple pocket scrapbooking formats. This year, I was ready for a shift and a creative challenge. I decided that I’m going to try to include a small photo each day to go with my lists and opted to use the awesome exclusive rukristin 30 Days of Lists mini kit and a few basics, like lots of white journaling tags, this Basic Numbers stamp set, and plenty of Black StazOn and radiant neon ink.

I decided to put today’s hop list in my album as list “0″ on the first page of my album with a photo of a butterfly I saw on a walk in my neighborhood, which jumpstarted my journaling for my list!

Swing a tag from behind a photo using a brad to fit more journaling on your page | The Nerd Nest

Today I Saw… Butterflies & bumblebees on neighbor’s flowers / marble art in someone’s sidewalk / awesome art & music form other cultures

I used a brad through the hole in the tag so I can swing the list out from behind the journaling. The brad is from my stash and the 30 Lists clip is from Art and Whimsy. The mixed paper book, washi tape, stamp, clip, and resist die cut are all from the kit.

Please visit the other stops on the blog hop:

Want to join in too? Pick a list and share your take here!

Can't wait for 30 Days of Lists to start? Join in on the blog hop! | The Nerd Nest

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Week in the Life 2015 | Saturday

Document what's in your lap for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Photograph your favorite haunts for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I woke up before everyone else and was out of coffee, so I snuck out for some quiet time alone at one of my favorite coffee shops, Oddly Correct. They are very passionate about coffee, and everything made there is perfect, but it’s not a place I take the kids, because they are hardcore anti-flavoring and thus don’t have hot chocolate. So I try to grab a couple of weekend mornings a month there by myself.

This time I bought beans to take home with me too.

Take photos of where you walk : your city or town for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I could have easily walked, but drove so that I wouldn’t be out for as long. I was also planning on hopping into Clint’s Comics across the street, but forgot they don’t open until 11.

Use a self timer to capture yourself shopping for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Everyone was up and moving by the time I was heading back home, and I stopped at the grocery store on the way to pick up milk, bananas, and biscuits and gravy ingredients.

Leaning your phone against items can give you an interesting foreground when you use the self-timer for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We’re trying to go to the farmer’s market every weekend this year, but for times when that’s not realistic (like this weekend), I stop for a few things at our neighborhood farmer’s stand instead.

Lay out purchased items to document them for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I grabbed peaches, cantaloupe, and some corn while catting about the owner’s new puppy and how my kids are doing.

Document putting things away or carrying shopping in for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Super strong Jonas helped carry groceries in and put them away. Jake was Facetiming with his parents and little brother when I got home.

If you have similar photos throughout the week, like of you working, trying different angles can add interest for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake woke the baby up–she slept in until 10:00, which is the latest she’s ever slept. The Ethnic Enrichment Festival the previous night wore her out! He fed everyone breakfast while I got some work in for Pocket Your Year. The 31 Days of Challenges unit this month (with videos each day) means that I’m always needing to work at least a little on weekends lately, but the outcome is so worth it.

Lost tooth showing off for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Eliza lost her tooth the night before and poses with her “Tooth Fairy” loot (she made a big deal of it for Jonas). That’s some mad inflation there, Tooth Fairy.

Capture the mess and the chaos for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

When I finished up what I was working on, I came down and snapped a quick picture of the mess and everyone lounging / climbing before I got them to work picking up.

Write down the things you have conversations about for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Eliza, the baby, and I snacked on the peaches from the farmer’s stand. Eliza and I had a long conversation, starting with a Rosie the Riveter-style Wonder Woman poster from last month’s Loot Crate box. (Really I was just asking her where she thought we should hang it.)

We talked about Rosie as a symbol, the changes WWII had on gender roles and the work force, gender role variations throughout different societies, female soldiers throughout history, American female soldiers now, how hard it is to get accurate information about pre-history, questions without answers, drafts, a bit more about Vietnam and the Cold War (which we were talking about in-depth a few weeks ago), and if the world will be better in her future (I said “The world is going to be so much better for you. And even better for your kids, if you have them.” She said, “Maybe equality-wise, but with pollution and everything, the environment definitely won’t be better.”)

I love these meandering conversations and her inquisitive nature so very much.

Capturing walking for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Then we all got dressed and ready to go to little Lydia’s first birthday party. In classic us style, we picked up the gift on the way and showed up late.

Capture the special moments too for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The kids had fun running around chasing each other, Jonas had a big spill, and everyone was very excited about cake. This little bug was adorable.

Take photos even if you need words to give context for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

There was an airshow in Kansas City over the weekend, and when we left the party, the Blue Angels were flying. (That bird-looking speck in this picture is one.)

We thought we’d go to a park and watch the last of the show.

Look for shadow patterns  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

But by the time we got to the park, the planes had landed. We took the opportunity to take a little walk on Riverfront Heritage Trail instead.

Don't just look for the pretty angles  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jonas approves of the canoes. We looked at the river and the Lewis and Clark info.

Get your city or town in the background  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake went back for the car and pulled it up for us, but Jonas really would have been fine staying in this rock.

Take photos while shopping for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We were still in an adventuring mood, and thought about stopping by Science City on the way home, but realized it closed in a half and hour, so it would be time to leave by the time we got everyone in. Eliza had a lot of points saved up (our allowance system), so we decided to stop into the Lego store instead.

Making decisions --good thing to document for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Everyone is very serious about Lego deliberation. Practically every box in the store must be considered.

When Eliza settled on trying out something from the new Elves line, she spent a lot of time trying to decide if it made more sense to get two smaller sets or the bigger set for the same price. They busted out math to figure out how much per brick the sets were to help her make an informed decision.

Eliza reminded us that it REALLY annoys her that there are “dolls” in the sets marketed to girls instead of minifigures, but it’s a little better now that she has a couple of Friends sets (they are also the same height as the Doctor Who blind box figures we have, so she can pretend the Lego dolls are companions). She was glad that there was a boy in the set she chose, and was excited about the animals and the interactive components.

Jonas decided not to spend any points, because he’s saving up to replace the Playstation remote he spilled water on.

Document something that characterizes where you live  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Pull back to capture your family's environment  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jonas really wanted to spend some time looking at the fountains after we were out of the store. (Jake took the photo of Eliza.)

Find a shelf and use a self timer for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake surprised stopped at the comic book store on the way home for me. I hadn’t been in a month, so I had to prioritize the titles that I most wanted to read. He stayed in the car with the kids while I made some quick selections.

Take screenshots on yoru phone  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake was playing this Mortal Combat style Marvel heroes game, Marvel: Contest of Champions, on his phone in the car and showed me that Captain Marvel (my favorite) was in the game. I’ll have to download the app too.

Take pictures of signs and posters to give context to your other photos  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Afterwards, we settled in for a tiny bit at home. I planned on going to a concert at the Record Bar for our friend’s band The Sexy Accident’s 10th band anniversary show. Jake stayed home with the baby, Eliza opted to stay home and build her new Lego set, so Jonas and I walked to the show.

Blackbird Revue - Take photos of your weekend fun for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I hadn’t ever heard the opening band, Blackbird Revue. I really loved them (they’re folk-rock) and will search for more of their shows this fall.

When taking a photo of something lit up, use it to silhouette your subject for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Thankful that our friends had extra sound-blocking headphones for Jonas, for cash in my pocket that could be converted to pinball quarters, and for tiny friends for Jonas to play with.

There’s also a little video arcade game set, but it was turned off. Jonas asked our server if she could turn it on / fix it for him, and she let me know how polite and well spoken for his age he was afterwards. So proud of him. Also, it turns out I really suck at Pacman.

The Sexy Accident - Take photos of your weekend fun for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We ordered pizza and ate with friends, then watched the show. I loved the new Sexy Accident songs I hadn’t heard yet and am so excited for the next album. Jonas and I had fun dancing our tails off (he wanted to do a lot of fast spinning). I meant to get a picture of us dancing, but didn’t think about it until the last song and ran out of time.

Building together for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

On the walk back home, Jonas talked about how glad he was that we got to do something just me and him. We usually talk over experiences afterwards, and one question that usually gets asked is “What was your favorite part?” This time, he answered, “Dancing with you.”

When we got back, the baby was sleeping, Jake and Eliza had just finished making a frozen pizza, and Eliza was building. They were watching the movie Next.

Snuggles for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jonas hopped in on the building, but then decided to snuggle with Jake and fell promptly asleep. Jake told Jonas to get up so he could put the baby in bed, but he drifted over and crashed onto me instead.

Get in those glazed over TV eyes for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I played video games for a little bit while Eliza built more.

Eliza still building during Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

She wanted to stay up late and finish. She showed me cool parts periodically, like the draw bridge that raises and lowers.

Use mirrors for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake fell asleep before I got upstairs, and I read a bit before falling asleep too.

Those are the highlights of our Saturday! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

Week in the Life 2015 | Friday – Jake’s Day

Get photos of yourself or your partner outside of your place of work for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Friday was all about Jake.

Use mirrors to capture several angles of a moment  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake woke up before me and helped Eliza to get ready. He’s trying out a phone app that tracks his sleep quality and sets off an alarm in the light stages of sleep. It seemed to work great–he was way less groggy in the morning than usual.

After getting E onto the bus, he started getting ready.

Jonas wanted to help with Jake’s shaving. I love this photo because we have a similar one from when Eliza was little, and because Jonas is “shaving” with a pterodactyl wing and that’s something I did as a kid.

Sometimes you just have to include a photo bomb in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake checked on his applications before heading off to work to make sure that there was nothing he needed to take care of before hopping in the car. Jonas did a bit of adorable photo bombing.

The baby woke up just as Jake was about to leave, so he changed her and snuggled her a bit before heading off.

Take photos with your desk  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Take photos of your hands working  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake tracked his work routine for me to include in the documentation, but there’s not a whole lot I can share here. I love the photos he took–a selfie with his work building, him at his desk with his FOUR monitors (photo taken by a coworker), and he even took a picture of a bunch of his co-workers in a meeting (though lots of them were giggling about it).

He also had his annual performance review Friday, so it will be awesome to include those details as well!

Capture car photos  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

As soon as Jake got home a bit after 6:00 PM, we gathered the kids and headed to the Ethnic Enrichment Festival. Everyone started out in a good mood (that’s Jonas being “Super Color Human” in the back there), but a long stint in the car all pressed together ruined that.

We ended up in the wrong traffic line (there was a concert in the same park as the festival) and were waiting to park for 1 hour. There were also some awful protestors outside of the park (though Eliza is awesome and drew a quick rainbow on the back of an envelope to put in the window as we passed).

All that combined–everyone was not in the best mood when we finally parked and got inside the park at about 8:00 PM (which is generally when we start getting the kids ready for bed).

Photograph queueing up for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We visited stands representing different countries and cultures, the kids got stamps on their “passports,” and we grabbed food ASAP. We bought samosas, chicken curry, and a mango shake from the India stand and fried chicken and some heavenly macaroni and cheese from the African American stand.

Focus on what a person is watching for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We got to watch lots of awesome dances and musicians. The big kids were having a bit of trouble staying as close to us as they needed to and being as kind to each other as they should, so Jake was getting frustrated and close to being ready to go.

Include signage for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

But not without stopping at France for crêpe. Eliza loved getting to chat in French with the folks at the booth.

We ended up staying until right before the end of the festival at 10:00 PM. It was still a great experience even if it didn’t go as planned–three kids in such a crowded place can be a little frustrating and we didn’t get to visit as many booths as we’d have liked. But still, the food and art were fantastic.

All of the kids went straight to bed when we got home and Jake and I hopped in the shower. It’s a great time to talk as we orbit around each other getting clean, and this time we talked about our career goals and a few things I learned from this podcast.

Jake got in bed and watched Futurama, which is the show he likes to fall asleep to lately. I turned off the TV after he drifted off and read before falling asleep too.

Those are the highlights of Jake’s Friday! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

P.S. I’m sharing more shots on Instagram!

Week in the Life 2015 | Thursday – My Day

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Thursday was all about me.

Just showing glimpses of a person--a foot, a hand--can still tell a story for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake and I usually take turns waking up early to help Eliza get ready for school and today he woke up so I slept in a little later. He came and got back in bed with me after she left and we snuggled and shared news stories on our phones until the little kids woke up. I read him the Humans of New York stories about bonded labor in Pakistan (we donated–you can too).

Embrace the shadows for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

When Jake started getting ready for work, I looked through and chose photos of the baby for Wednesday’s Week in the Life. Soon after, I had tiny company. She loves playing with and stacking washi tape on my desk.

Include things in the foreground of self-timer stories that help tell the photo's story  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I fed the baby breakfast, made coffee, and started barbeque brisket going in the crock pot for dinner. Jonas joined in for breakfast too.

Document your chores for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The past few days were hectic, so Thursday was for catching up on house stuff. I did a lot of laundry, including folding all of the baby’s cute teeny clothes. I’m thankful for the mix of gifts and niece hand-me-downs. When I’m doing things like this, the kids are good about “helping” and playing near me.

Set your camera by your lunch for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Lunch was a mix of spaghetti-Os and canned ravioli with fruit. Usually lunch is leftovers or fresh food, but about once a week I go to childhood favorites instead. I ate at our island next to the baby in her high chair. She’s messy so most of the time she eats in the kitchen rather than the dining room.

Take a self-timer photo outside of a room looking in for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Not surprising that directly after lunch of red-sauced food comes a baby bath. I cleaned the bathroom while she played.

Show yourself in your work environment for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After that was a nap for the baby, Lego Batman for Jonas, and work time for me (made possible by Midol).

For the month of August, I’m posting daily Challenge videos (half with process videos) for Pocket Your Year. I was working several days ahead, but thanks to a series of unfortunate technical difficulties, I’m making the process video for the day’s challenge right here. Hoping to get back ahead of the game over the weekend.

Also: 1:43 and still in pajamas.

Everyday objects can tell the story of your day  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The baby wakes up and we all have snacks. Jonas ate cookies, the baby and I had these pineapple-tasting grapes from the farmer’s market.

I read a few pages while everyone was eating.

Take a selfie from above for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Then I read books to the little kids while we waited for Eliza to get home. Our doorbell doesn’t work and the door is sometimes hard to get open, so I like to keep in line of sight of the front door near the time she gets back.

When she got home, she read me a bookmark with the qualities of a good reader on it. It was her homework to share it with someone.

Try having a child take your photo  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

When Eliza got home, the kids all cracked open Jonas’s Kiwi Crate* and made a fish lantern. The baby mostly dumped out toys. I took it as an opportunity to get in a quick break and played a level of Katamari Damacy, which is an adorable video game. Lily wanted in on that action.

Document conversations  for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The weather was lovely–it feels like autumn here all of a sudden–and I had planned a long walk. I ended up feeling too crummy for it (I have the period from hell), so I supervised back yard playing instead. We went in after a pretty short amount of time because the mosquitoes were terrible.

Don't be embarrassed--take a scarf photo for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake came home and took the kids over and I made dinner–imitation Z-man barbeque brisket sandwiches (inspired by our local Kansas City Joe’s) and onion rings. I fed the baby and talked on the phone with my step-mom while I cooked. We’ve been working on re-forging a relationship this year and it’s been amazing.

Everyone’s plates were ready at different times, so the kids ate at the table and Jake and I ate in the living room while we watched Sci Show episodes.

Embrace the mess for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We all cleaned up the kitchen while listening to music (also on You Tube–Eliza and Jonas picked a My Little Ponies song and I picked Another Day from Rent). Dancing and singing while cleaning up is better. The baby laughed and giggled at my terrible singing and wiggled along with us while we cleaned her and her surrounding area up.

It was after 8, so the baby went straight to bed and I read the big kids Star Wars Lego books in Jonas’s room.

Sneak peek of Challenge 20 in Pocket Your Year

Then Jake had the bedtime reigns and I worked on finishing the voice over for the day’s video for Pocket Your Year. I posted the video and then got a few more hours of work in while Jake watched Futurama in bed. I like that having my office in my bedroom means we can still spend time together even when I’m working extra hours.

Include your pets in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I took care of the fish and hermit crabs, then got into bed to read. I also ended up texting with a group of friends a lot about random things late into the night. Lily told me when she thought it was time for me to stop reading and texting by laying on my book and flopping all around to get me to pet her. I snuggled with her a bit, then read another 50 pages or so before getting tired enough to turn out the lights at around 2 AM.

Those are the highlights of my Thursday! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

P.S. I’m sharing more shots on Instagram!

*Affiliate link.

5 Ways to Document Now, Make Later

5 Ways to Document Now, Make Later | Scrapbooking Tips from The Nerd Nest

My memory keeping mantra is Document Now, Make Later. When I recently mentioned this as a guest on The Scrap Gals podcast, my scrapping philosophy really resonated with listeners. Hopefully this mindset will be helpful to you, too!

5 Ways to Document Now, Make Later | Scrapbooking Tips from The Nerd Nest

When you feel “behind” or get stuck, the guilt can start to roll in. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed. Stress over getting “behind” is a common problem for memory keepers, so I want to share how I scrap detail rich stories even when I’m not scrapping the right now.

My memory keeping philosophy? Document now, make stuff later.

5 Ways to Document Now, Make Later | Scrapbooking Tips from The Nerd Nest

Here are a few ways you can document right now so you can make stuff later:

  • Use social media. If you use Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, G+, or other social media sites, you’re already documenting in the now! Be mindful of what you’re recording there so you can go back and use what you’ve written when you are making stuff later. I pull up my social media for the date range I’m working on while I’m journaling for my Project Life!
  • Keep a journal or a calendar. If you want a more private avenue for recording things as they are happening, jot down notes in a journal or on a calendar! Because you’re just using this to jog your memory, don’t worry about complete sentences, correct grammar, or paragraphs. If you’d rather journal digitally, you can use apps on a smart phone or use a program like Evernote on your computer. Don’t forget to jot down dates to help yourself later!
  • Take “reminder” pictures. Sometimes I take pictures that I don’t intend to scrap simply as a reminder to myself. For example, I take pictures of plaques nest to art I’ve photographed so I can remember the name of the artist and title of the work. I’ll take pictures of signs so I can remember locations, or of memorabilia so I’m reminded to include it. Snapping a few extra photos can make your journaling easy later!
  • Write a blog post. Blog posts are a great way to house your photos and words together to tell a story. Bonus: it’s easy to search for the story you are looking for! You can even create a private blog if you want to record your photos and words without sharing them.
  • Use messages to others. Text messages, letters, notes, private messages, and e-mail are all amazing ways to capture what’s going on in your life right now. Many people have trouble sitting down and writing a paragraph to the void, but find telling a story to a friend easy. Save those communications and alter them to suit your memory keeping down the road!

5 Ways to Document Now, Make Later | Scrapbooking Tips from The Nerd Nest

It doesn’t matter when you are making spreads, because those memories are there. To be able to document more in-depth, take photos and jot down a few words now. If the photos and words are ready and waiting for you, it doesn’t matter when you put it all together and make it pretty!

There are going to be busy periods of your life when there isn’t much time for playing with paper (physical or digital). There are going to be times when you have practically a whole day ahead of you that you can use for scrapbooking. Stock up on memories during the busy times and scrap away during your free time!

How do you document now, make later?

*This post was originally written as a guest post for the Big Picture Classes blog in October 2014.

Week in the Life 2015 | Tuesday – Eliza’s Day

Week in the Life | Tuesday - Eliza's Day | The Nerd Nest

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Tuesday was all about Eliza.

Show where : how your subject sleeps for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I woke Eliza up around 6:30 to get ready for school. She is not a morning person, but she was excited so she was reasonably personable.

It’s really hot in her room on the third floor finished attic, so she’s been sleeping downstairs. She decided she prefers a million blankets on the floor to sleeping on the couch. (She also said, “Tell them not to judge me for sleeping on the floor!”)

Capture what your subject does in the waiting times for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After breakfast, showering, getting her lunch packed (she wants to go back to cold lunches this year), and making sure her stuff was all together, she read a bit of Hunger Games while waiting for Jake to take her first day of school pictures.

I also noticed that her shoes are falling apart–something I didn’t know because she’s been in flip flops lately (which she can’t wear to school). New shoes might be added to the agenda this week.

Show what your child is into with school supplies for Back to School photos | The Nerd Nest

She’s a forth grader now! I love that taking pictures with her stuff shows what she’s into right now. TARDIS backpack, superheros water bottle, Hunger Games to read on the bus.

Capture the range of your subject's facial expressions for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I also love that she was talking to us while Jake was taking pictures and he got some very “Eliza” facial expressions. This is her, “I mean, seriously?!?” face.

The bus picks her up at our front door (no bus stop).

Take dark, moody, backlit photos in front of windows or doors for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I watch our nieces for a few hours on Tuesdays, so there was an extra one year old and two year old waiting for Eliza when she got home. She was immediately swarmed with little kids when she walked in the door. She picked up our foster baby and played with everyone, which was so very helpful to me because they were all grumpy before she arrived. She helped keep some of them entertained while I fed other ones. Eliza is a toddler whisperer.

Don't forget to include technology in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

She needed a break after all of that, so she played a few games on her phone. The phone doesn’t have service and is a hand-me-down from an uncle. She uses it to take lots of pictures, record films she makes up and acts out with her toys, play games, watch You Tube videos, and for emergency call access.

Use lines to lead to your subject for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After the extra babies left, she did homework while I cleaned up the kitchen. She couldn’t believe she had homework on her first day after school, but seemed to like the assignment, which was just a quick letter to her English teacher. She wrote about how much she loves school and learning, asking for a little spelling assistance here and there.

She filled me in on her first day at school, telling me who is in her class, who she sits by, who she talked to on the bus, soccer at gym, that she was a little embarrassed that she didn’t have some of her supplies (a few things on the list were tricky and I’m going to have to try a few office supply stores to find them), and that the first day back was kind of boring because it was all about rules and expectations. She said that her teacher especially doesn’t like lying and really focused on that when she was telling them about the rules.

She also showed off her new file folder. They filled out the tabs in class (français, devoirs, maths, science, études sociales, English, art, etc.) and she’s hoping it will help her to be more organized this year.

Look for natural frames for your subject for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I took the kids on a quick walk to the hardware store to pick up more cat food. There was a cute succulent display, so each of them picked out one to take home. The little kids picked tiny colorful succulents, but Eliza wanted aloe vera because it has practical properties. She talked to me about how to take care of it and how to use it to treat minor burns on the way home. Her friend has one and she thinks it is super cool.

We got home just in time, because it started raining very heavily a few minutes before we got in.

Capture emotion, even if the photo isn't perfect for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

She was excited that her Tinker Crate* came in the mail and wanted to tear into it as soon as possible. While I was cooking dinner, she made a rocket and then set it off with Jake on the front porch when he got home from work. Blast off was too quick to capture, but I love that he got a photo of how excited she was.

She got into a little bit of trouble for not listening and starting in on the next project in the box when she was supposed to be clearing it up and emptying the dishwasher. Quick time-out and then dishwasher emptying.

Get behind your subject to capture what they're seeing for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We had paninis and strawberries for dinner. We watched an episode of Doctor Who during–Eliza wants to see the 12th Doctor episodes and there aren’t good times for family TV watching during the week. The kids have to eat at the table, but Jake and I eat in the living room.

Capture taking care of pets for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After dinner, we get ready for bed. Eliza put on p.j.s, brushed her teeth, and did her before-bed chores. She helped feed the betta fish, we checked on the crabs and played with Hannah, who just came up from molting, and then fed the cats.

Take photos of family members helping each other for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake figured out that the Google Translate app will translate photos of text. It’s not completely accurate, but is pretty amazing. Eliza and Jake played around seeing what the app would do with Eliza’s French books.

Try setting the camera on a chair and useing a self timer for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Eliza accidentally left Hunger Games at school, so she asked for help deciding what to read. I found her Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book, which she was mid-way through before misplacing it at the beginning of the summer. She asked if I would read to her instead, so I read her a few chapters and she fell asleep almost immediately after lights out.

Those are the highlights of Eliza’s Tuesday! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

P.S. I’m sharing more shots on Instagram!

*Affiliate link.

Week in the Life 2015 | Monday – Jonas’s Day

Week in the Life | Monday - Jonas's Day | The Nerd Nest

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Monday was all about Jonas.

Photos in the car for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I love that Jonas wanted to wear this shirt of a dinosaur and the Kansas City skyline (by Two Tone Press) because we were planning on going to Union Station. He’s very particular about his clothes right now and mostly wants shirts with favorite characters.

We took Jake to work in the morning so we’d have the car for an end-of-summer adventure. (We are a one car family.) That was pretty early for Jonas, so he fell asleep in the car on the way back home.

Embrace the mess for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The kids all played together in Jonas’s room for awhile while I got a tiny bit of work done. They made a big mess in there–usually Jonas’s room is the tidy one. I love how encouraging he is teaching the baby.

Stand back to capture your surroundings for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After having his “Favorite Macaroni and Cheese” for lunch, we went to Science City. We have a membership and it is not only a great way to learn and have a lot of fun, but it’s also a good solution for days when outdoor activity is not so fun–it was way too hot for something like the park.

Look for lines when composing a shot for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jonas was really excited that the UFO slide that was new, but not opened yet, last time we went was ready. He went down it at least a dozen times.

Try different photo angles for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest
The kids took turns picking exhibits to go to. I love watching them experiment and work together to figure out how things work. The water table is a favorite.

Include signage in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Afterwards the kids each got to pick out something at Rocky Mountain Chocolate factory. They both went with ice cream–Jonas chose a bright blue bubble gum flavored scoop.

Photo watching TV for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We went straight from Science City to Jake’s parents’ house. Jonas tried to play outside, but lasted about 5 minutes because it was too hot. He and Eliza sat and watched some cartoons to relax for a bit.

Capture people watching others for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jonas and Eliza stayed there while the baby and I went to pick up Jake from work (his office is close by). When we got back Jonas was “working” hard with Grandpa Timmy.

Document relationships for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Aba (short for abuelita) made us dinner–fried rice with chicken and steak. She bribed him to eat with some chocolate and he chowed down.

Sometimes the blur tells a story for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Jake’s brother Corbin came home with his new puppy Frankie. Jonas was smitten. He had fun trying to pet him as the puppy wiggled all about and learned how to hold him gently while sitting down. Jonas followed the puppy the rest of the time we were there.

Jonas says, “He was a cute and adorable.”

Show what you are reading with a behind shot for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

When we got home, Eliza read Jonas a few bedtime books while I Facetimed in for a quick Periscope with Tracie Claiborne from Scrap Gals (you can watch it for up to 24 hours after it was posted, I think.)

Then I read bits of the Lego Harry Potter book with Jonas in my bed before tucking him in.

Outside looking in shot for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We weren’t home much today, so he didn’t have time to pick up his room from the playing earlier. He stripped down to underwear, I turned on his lava lamp, Jake and I gave him hugs and kisses, and he got ready for lights out.

Those are the highlights of Jonas’s Monday! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

P.S. I’m sharing more shots on Instagram!

Week in the Life 2015 | Sunday

Take a family selfie in the car for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

This week I’m participating in Ali Edwards’s Week in the Life. This time I’m sharing the highlights here on the blog and am journaling more fully in a notebook. Blurs are our foster baby.

You can read about my plan for the project here. I’m talking about Week in the Life on the ScrapGals podcast too!

Use a self timer to get yourself into the picture for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The baby, Jonas, and I were the first people up. Jonas wanted to get in some Lego Batman time before he had to compete for the television. I read a bit and drank coffee while the baby ate breakfast.

Include yourself working in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

When everyone was up and moving, Jake and the kids played downstairs for about an hour while I got some work done. I edited photos and recorded video voiceovers for Pocket Your Year. I’m working a lot more this month for the 31 Days of Challenges unit in class–I’m posting a video challenge each day and half of those days have process videos–so I’m sneaking in work here and there when I can.

Using a GoPro to capture action for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Document teaching moments to capture relationships for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Mix candid and posed photos in Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Try taking a photo from above for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

Take a photo through a window or doorway to frame your subjects for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After a lazy morning and frozen pizza for lunch, we headed to Jake’s work gym to swim and play a bit of racketball.

Look for mirrors to capture selfies for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We were planning on going to the farmer’s market, but it was closed by the time we were done at the gym. We stopped at Costco for a few things, dropped them off at home, then went grocery shopping all together.

Take a picture of your groceries for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

We bought WAY more than we usually do because there were some great sales. Lots of this is frozen or put high up in our pantry closet for later.

It takes some time, but I love laying out food like this because the brands and kind of food we eat will change over time.

Try experimenting with different angles to capture what you are doing for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

I made tequila lime chicken (without tequila) for dinner while Jake corralled the kids and they watched 13 Going on 30.

Take a photo of your family gathered around the table for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

The movie made for some interesting dinner conversation, because Eliza wanted to know what our lives would have been like if we got what we wished for at 13 and suddenly turned 30. I said I’d probably be married to my boyfriend at the time, going to a million concerts, and working as a theater director. Jake said his life would be pretty much like it is now.

When we asked the kids what they’d wish for if they were grown-ups now, Eliza said she’d live in a mansion with a butler and would have an adopted kid and no husband. Jonas said he’d have a shrink ray so he could turn himself right back into a kid.

Embrace the mess for Week in the Life | The Nerd Nest

After dinner (and putting the baby to bed), our friends Paul and Anne came over. We took turns playing video games together–Katamari Damacy at first and then 3 player Little Big Planet 2. The big kids got to stay up WAY past their bedtimes for this. Jonas is basically a video game prodigy.

Those are the highlights of Sunday’s documentation! Are you doing Week in the Life too? Leave a link–I’d love to see!

30 Days of Lists Registration is Open!

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Registration for September 2015 30 Days of Lists is now open!

#30Lists is a creative challenge for people who LOVE to make lists.

During the month of September, #30Lists posts a prompt daily to get you documenting yourself and your life! All you need is 5-10 minutes a day.

I’m obsessed with this project. This will be my ninth time listing, if I’m counting correctly, and I’m still as in love with it now as I was in the beginning!

I love looking back on my lists because they encourage me to document things about myself that I’d never be spurred to write by looking at a photograph. Sometimes they are silly and fun and sometimes more serious. Either way, when I’m looking at past lists (and thinking about how I’d answer differently now), I can see how much the way I think and the things I want have changed over time.

The challenge can be as simple or as involved as you want it to be. You can do anything from writing your lists in a plain old composition book to art journaling them each day, but however you want to approach the project, you CAN make a list each day!

The past several rounds, I’ve done my listing with pocket scrapbooking, but I need to switch it up this time around. I’m going to use the rukristin limited edition kit, which is available for purchase exclusively for listers, just because making a minibook sounds fun right now! To up my game, I’m also going to try to take a photo that represents each list in some way.

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Listing starts September 1, but there are plenty of reasons to register early.

Throughout the month of August, lots of things will be shared on the private blog, like plenty of giveaways, tutorials to get you started listing, and Amy’s and Kam’s #30Lists books. As soon as you register, you’ll have access to the private Facebook group so you can chat and share with other Listers, access to purchase rukristin’s exclusive kit, and printable downloads from My Life as a Teacup, Allie Scraps, Campfire Chic, and Yin Designs to get you started.

There are also discounts from many ambassadors and sponsors for Listers! I’m offering a 30% discount to Pocket Your Year, so if you’ve been thinking about signing, the discount Listers get for my course is more than the cost of #30Lists!

I’m excited for 30 Days of Lists in September–I’ll definitely need a fun and light project after semi-intense Week in the Life is over.

Are you joining in too? How are you listing this time around?

I’m an ambassador for 30 Days of Lists, so I spread my love of the challenge in an official manner. You can see why I love #30Lists here, and I’m an affiliate so any purchases you make through these links support the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.