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Record Bar | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

Record Bar | The Nerd Nest

This year, I’m making weekly pocket scrapbooking spreads in addition to other forms of memory keeping, like monthly spreads for Day in the Life and thematic pages. I include monthly breaks in my album for all of the extra documenting I like to include over and above weekly documenting.

Click the photos for a larger view.

This is one of those extra in-between monthly breaks thematic pages! This page is on the backside of the last weekly spread from January.

It documents the four of us going a friend’s concert. A few of Eliza’s and Jonas’s friends were there too (so cool that Eliza’s friends have little brothers and sisters Jonas’s age and they can all play together). I wanted to document how wonderful it was to hear our friend play (The Sexy Accident never disappoints), to see the kids get up and dance, and to watch our kids’ relationships with their friends blossom.

I wanted the photobooth strip photo of Eliza and her friend to be large, but I was locked in with the Design A from the previous week. I got around this by spreading the photo through three pockets. I printed the photo 6×8 and cropping it, which was the easiest way to get this outcome with the white borders.

Record Bar | The Nerd Nest 2

I had fun making my own stamped card for this page using the triangles stamp in the March Oh Deer Me kit. I repeated the stamp in red, then added another layer in black. This messy look added to the rock music theme and the movement reminds me of dancing. I have fun trying to convey environment or feeling visually with products like this.

Record Bar | The Nerd Nest 3

Selected Supplies: Freckled Fawn March Oh Deer Me kit // Studio Calico 4×6 paper pad // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A pocket protector, Midnight core kit, and journaling pens // StazOn black ink // Prima Ladybug ink.

30 Days of Lists 11-20

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest

This month, I’m doing 30 Days of Lists again! I’m sharing here in batches of 10 lists, which fills out one Design F page. These printable cards are designed by Megan of Marmalade Mementos and are free to #30Lists participants this round.

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 11

Signs I am Superwoman:

  • can survive on little sleep to rescue baby from sickness
  • can entertain masses of kids in a single bound

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 12

Stories I want to Tell / Document:

  • the places I lived during my childhood
  • the plays I went to last month
  • everything about the baby

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 13

Things I had to Learn to Love:

  • talking about my feelings
  • cooking (unexpected joy)
  • washi tape
  • post-baby bod

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 14

I want to be an Expert In:

  • memory keeping
  • social inequalities
  • English literature
  • let’s face it, I just want to know all of the things

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 15

Ways to be Neighborly:

  • stop to chat whenever you are both outside
  • swap home improvement tips
  • keep an eye out

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 16

The Worst Advice:

  • Don’t air your dirty laundry
  • Live for today
  • Live fast, die young

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 17

High Points of my Autobiography:

  • I feel like I’m still in the intro! Maybe Chapter 4.
  • my education
  • building my family

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 18

Things I need to Practice:

  • yoga
  • my French
  • always writing
  • patience
  • swimming
  • time management

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 19

Favorite Musicians / Bands from High School:

  • Rancid
  • Minor Threat
  • Taking Back Sunday
  • Jack Johnson
  • AFI
  • NOFX
  • The Clash
  • Sex Pistols

#30 Lists | The Nerd Nest 20

Big Purchases / Expenses that are Coming Up:

  • mortgage
  • student loans
  • utility bills
  • hopefully a van, if we can save enough!

I’m keeping it super simple this round, because life’s busy and I want to be sure I have time to dedicate to listing! I’ll slip these extra pages into the back of my pocket scrapbooking album, like a cool all-about-me addendum.

There’s still time to sign up for 30 Days of Lists and catch up! My first time listing (4 years ago!!!), I signed up at the tail end, did last few prompts daily, then started back at the beginning as soon as the challenge was over. But you could easily “catch up” in one sitting too!

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 supports the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Planet Comicon

Planet Comicon | The Nerd Nest 1

We recently attended what’s become one of our favorite nerd adventures of the year: Planet Comicon. This year was extra exhausting with three kids (our foster baby LOVED all of the stimulation), but it was so worth it.

Planet Comicon | The Nerd Nest 2

Here were a few highlights:

-We got in and oriented just in time to make Karen Gillan’s panel. Eliza was a little bummed that the question lines were too long for her to get a turn, but I think it’s so cool and brave that she loves to ask questions at these things in front of a room packed with people.

-There were some really excellent cosplayers! Gambit is my favorite comic book character, and there was a 100% on point Gambit. Jonas was so excited about Optimus Prime. Eliza loved a kid her age dressed as the 10th Doctor with a K9 robot. Good stuff.

-The giant Lego Gotham City.

-Nerding out with our friends Megan 2, Ryan, and their little baby Harley.

-Finding a Walking Dead Compendium 1 for 50% off! Those things are pricy. Otherwise we didn’t buy any other comics or graphic novels, because finding something well priced takes time and concentration and, again, three kids.

-Watching the kids make purchasing decisions. My dad gave them cash to spend here for their birthdays and they both cleaned up pretty well.

-Running into my uncle and his family.

Planet Comicon | The Nerd Nest 3

-Talking with artists and crafters.

-Seeing so many people interact with Jonas as Pikachu. He met and took pictures with other Pikachu lovers and got “caught” a few times when people grabbed his Pokéball and threw it to him to “catch” him. Adorable.

-Eliza dressed up as Peter Pan so that she’d go with the baby, who wore the Tinker Bell costume my mom made for Eliza when she was a baby. That thing is awesome, and I’m glad that it got another run.

Planet Comicon | The Nerd Nest 4

-Being with our people.

January Reads + Currently List

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 1

This month’s Nerd Nest challenge is to list it!

This week I’m sharing one of my favorite ways to incorporate listing into my memory keeping–rukristin’s Currently List challenge. If you are a long time reader, you’ve seen this before, but I couldn’t talk listing this month without sharing the challenge I’ve been using for years.

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 2

#CurrentlyList is a very simple challenge–just fill in the blanks to make a list! You can get the original download card for free or can buy Currently products if you want a wider range to use.

I love that these cards capture the things that my camera likely won’t.

I try to fill them out every week or so. Sometimes I’m better about it than others, but I’ve learned to not be too persnickety if I happen to miss out a bit–I just start up again and it’s fine. I just make sure to always include the date!

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 3

I really love looking back at these. Sometimes I think about how cool it would be to have some of these from when I was a teenager or, even better, from when my parents were teenagers. The cards are simple and in the moment, but they are a really telling piece of the time period in general and me specifically.

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 4

In my pocket scrapbooking albums, I make weekly spreads, but also include extra bits at the end of every month. A page with my currently cards and my reads pictures is one of the things I do consistently in that “monthly break” space in the album. It’s a single page, so it’s a great thing to include on the opposite side of the next month’s weekly pocket spread.

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 5

Sometimes I include more journaling about what I think of the books, too, but this month I kept it simple and just included how I came to those selections–book clubs.

January Reads + Currently List | The Nerd Nest 6

Selected Supplies: rukristin Teal Currently cards and Currently clear stamp set // Kelly Purkey February kit // Clearly Kelly Shadow Letters wood alpha stamp set // Studio Calico 4×6 paper pad, Project Life kit cards, and Purple Rain dye ink // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A pocket protector and journaling pens / Prima chalk ink: Moss Lawn, Vintage Pink, and Coltsfoot Stemens.

What’s your List It take? Share your take with a link in the comments below! You can also use the hashtag #NerdNestChallenge on social media.

Make sure to check back on Mondays throughout the month for other takes from me and guests. There are so many great ways to use lists in memory keeping.


I’ll be adding takes I find to the Nerd Nest Challenges Pinboard! Share your links to past challenges too so I can add them. You don’t have to be a memory keeper in the traditional sense–these are great prompts for blog posts too!


Spring Breaking

Planet Comicon | The Nerd Nest

I’m taking this week off to enjoy Spring Break! See you next week.

March Day in the Life

In 2013, I documented using Ali Edward’s Day in the Life concept monthly and it was one of my favorite projects ever. For the third year, I’m repeating the project. On the 4th of each month, I’m going to document my everyday life. I like having a set day because I won’t worry about finding a “representative” or “normal” day. Wherever the 4th falls, that’s what I’ll document. (In 2013 I documented the last day of the month, in 2014 I documented the 15th. This year, I let a random number generator decide.)

Here’s Wednesday, March 4:

Day in the Life March

I documented more of our morning this time: things like Eliza brushing her hair on a heat vent waiting for the bus, me reading before Jonas woke up, Jake checking his servers and applications for work before leaving home.

The rest of the day was a lot about visiting: hanging out with Poppy (my grandpa, who usually visits on Wednesdays), Jonas and Eliza playing with their friends after school, and a visit from our friend Virgil, who had dinner with us.

There was also a fair amount of playing with our new pets, games with Jonas, a bit of TV watching, reading, quad coptering, and playing dress up.

It was a very typical cold weekday around here–Jonas and I were hermity and didn’t leave the house, but lots of people came to us. Excited for the next Day in the Life which will be full of light and outdoors!

February 16-21 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 1

This year, I’m making weekly pocket scrapbooking spreads in addition to other forms of memory keeping, like monthly spreads for Day in the Life and thematic pages. I include monthly breaks in my album for all of the extra documenting I like to include over and above weekly documenting.

Click the photos for a larger view.

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 2

This week I challenged myself to use a few card kits that have been giving me trouble: Olive and Lucky Charm. The colors really worked for my layout, but I don’t love all of the patterns in these kits and have difficulty working with the directions of the designs (lots of kits have options on the back, but Lucky Charm has foil specialty papers and the reverse side of cards are blank). I also have trouble getting a good mix of journaling cards and the colors I want–lots of the journaling cards in both of these kits are just too plain for the amount that I use.

They are also both pretty flowery, and while I can appreciate a good flower now and then, flowery is not my go-to style.

But I think I made it work.

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: The kids’ and my comic selections from Clint’s Comics, coffee at Oddly Correct, me getting paint of the floor and Jake sanding so we could refinish our hardwood floor, Eliza reading and snuggling the cat, my #Thursday3 with tea, Jonas laying on a heat vent for warmth, his love for his “married” bears, and plants by the window.

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 4

Going on here: Eliza’s pretend restaurant (complete with illustrated menu), Jonas and his friend running around and causing a general ruckus, Eliza reading to Jonas and his friend.

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 6

I made the kits work for this layout by combining journaling cards with filler cards, layering other papers and embellishments onto filler cards, and stamping my own card to get in some needed lavender.

Have you ever bought a kit and found that it didn’t really fit your style? How did you make it work for you?

February 16-21 Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 5

Selected Supplies: Freckled Fawn January Oh Deer Me kit (resin clouds, puffy number stickers, cloud stamp, superhero wood chips), Very Merry Embellishment kit (star thin washi), and Puffy Pink Alpha Stickers// Studio Calico printable journaling cards and past Project Life kit // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A pocket protector, Lucky Charm value kit, Olive core kit, and journaling pens / Crate Maggie Holmes paper pad / retired rukristin stamp.

Pocket_Your_Year_Ad

Right now in Pocket Your Year we’re talking about Finding Your Style. Later today in class, you’ll find a video presentation all about the elements of pocket scrapbooking style and how to experiment to come up with a style you love as well as the process video for putting together this layout!
For the next two months, the class has bonus video presentations–every other week instead of one a month! Now’s a great time to hop on board.

Sign up now for year long pocket scrapbooking motivation!

30 Days of Lists 1-10

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 1-10

We’re in full swing with 30 Days of Lists! Now that I have my first full Design F page filled out, I’m sharing a listing update. These printable cards are designed by Megan of Marmalade Mementos and are free to #30Lists participants this round.

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 1

Why I Make Lists:

  • to remember
  • to organize
  • to brainstorm
  • to make content more concise
  • Because I <3 crossting things off

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 2

Resolutions That Never Stood a Chance:

  • daily anything
  • farmer’s market every week (after both kids were in soccer)
  • anything exercise

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 3

My Jams:

  • Taking Back Sunday
  • The Clash
  • Jack Johnson
  • Robert DeLong
  • Rancid
  • Fun.

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 4

Favorite Online Communities I am a Part Of:

  • Pocket Your Year
  • #30Lists
  • Novel Tea Book Club
  • Awesome Ladies Project / #Thursday3
  • my mastermind

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 5

Cures for the Winter Blues:

  • hot coffee & tea
  • a warm blanket & a good book
  • fantasy books & movies
  • knitting

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 6

Books I’d Like to Read for my Book Club:

  • Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
  • Tender is the Night by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • One Beauty by Zadie Smith

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 7

Inside Jokes:

  • Shut Your Whole Mouth
  • Slow blink
  • Eliza is a robot
  • [tally marks]
  • 15 minutes late

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 8

Favorite Trends Making a Comeback:

  • Friends (thanks, Netflix!)
  • 90′s cartoons & characters
  • local produce
  • letterpress

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 9

Advice I’d Give My Younger Self:

  • wait it out: you are crazy happy as an adult
  • do yoga & take outside walks
  • you can’t change a jerk

#30 Lists March 2015 | The Nerd Nest 10

Favorite Hashtags:

  • #Thursday3
  • #PocketSaturday
  • #30Lists
  • #CurrentlyList
  • #megandoes52projects

I’m keeping it super simple this round, because life’s busy and I want to be sure I have time to dedicate to listing! I’ll slip these extra pages into the back of my pocket scrapbooking album, like a cool all-about-me addendum.

There’s still time to sign up for 30 Days of Lists and catch up! My first time listing (4 years ago!!!), I signed up at the tail end, did last few prompts daily, then started back at the beginning as soon as the challenge was over. But you could easily “catch up” in one sitting too!

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 supports the Nerd Nest! Sign up for the #30Lists newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

Refinishing Our Hardwood Floor

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 1

We’re finally done refinishing the spare room! Jake and I have been working on it in our spare time for months, and it is finally livable! If you need a refresher, here’s the before.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 2

The most time consuming part of fixing up this room was paint removal. I’ve already talked about the back breaking horror that is removing paint from trim and getting the last sections of paint from the floor was no picnic either. It wouldn’t have been all that time consuming if I’d just used chemical stripper, but I was trying to figure out how to remove it without pulling up the finish on the floor.

So I scrubbed and scrubbed by hand using hot tea, then used a scrubber attachment for my hand drill for the really stubborn bits. Which ended up removing the finish anyway.

I could have saved myself a lot of time and aching shoulders if I hadn’t been trying to cut corners from the beginning.

I had an excuse: our house is over a hundred years old, and if the floor has been sanded too many times, the wood would have splintered. We wanted to avoid this if at all possible.

We finally faced the music and realized it was sanding time and decided that, if worst comes to worst, we’d have to put down new (cheaper, not as pretty) wood.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 3

So we rented a sander. Our budget wasn’t huge for this project, so we did the trick of renting it close to closing time so we’d get to keep it overnight and still get charged for only 4 hours.

Jake made sure to pick up lots of extra sandpaper, figuring he could return what we didn’t use. Good thing, too, because we ended up needing all of it. Jake and I took turns on the sander, and this was the result:

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 4

We messed it up. Turns out, we should have gotten a drum sander and not a square sander. Also turns out that, though everything we read said the direction you move the sander doesn’t really matter with this type, it does. When we moved across the grain, the result was those stripes you see.

We also should have watched how-to videos first instead of just reading, because it took us a long time to figure out that, for effective sanding, you have to move the sander back and forth quickly, rather than the slow snail pace we thought was correct. We also should have gotten a lot more of the coarsest grit of sandpaper. The finish it took off gummed it up and we weren’t able to get all of the finish off before switching to the next sandpaper level. (You use progressively less coarse sandpaper as you go.)

So totally not perfect. Not all down to bare wood. But the best we could do with our time frame and budget.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 5

Then it was staining time. For this step, we were smart enough to watch videos first. Jake laid it down and I went in behind him and wiped up the excess. Teamwork!

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 6

Last step was laying down several coats of polyurethane. (Jake did that part by himself.)

You can see the progression from bare wood to stained wood to finished wood in this picture.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 7

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 8

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 9

As a last step, I touched up all of the paint and got into the corners and by the ceiling.

Refinishing Hardwood Floors | The Nerd Nest 10

You can see all of our mistakes on the floor, but I don’t really care. This is the same character of the wood on all of our old wood doors anyway. It looks even better with furniture in it!

We’re fostering a baby right now, and this is currently her room. I’ll show off the decorated result soon: just have to make curtains and get a few things on the walls!

I love how this room turned out and am also grateful for all I’ve learned–refinishing other rooms in the house will be a breeze after this.


This year it’s my goal to complete 52 Projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain might venture into. They might be collaborative or independent. The point is to MAKE.

This is project 4-7 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1: Class Quilt / 2: Valentines with Eliza / 3: Crabitat.

New Pet Changes

New Pet Changes

This month’s Nerd Nest challenge is to list it! Memory keeping isn’t just about scrapbooking–blogging is memory keeping too. I personally like to use blogging as a placeholder for my stories so I can document now and make stuff with the memories later!

Today I’m encouraging you to list the changes that come with something new!

We recently were given three hermit crabs and also were given two betta fish on the same day! I wanted to record the changes that come with adding 5 new pets to the family.

  • Because the crabs and fish need heat and humidity, they’re all hanging out in the master bathroom.
  • That means that my bathroom is a major hangout zone.
  • Brushing teeth time is now also fish feeding time.
  • All of the animals are in temporary homes for now–we need a bigger tank with a partition for the betta fish (contrary to popular belief, they aren’t very happy in small containers) and a glass tank for the crabs so we can properly heat it. Temporary homes mean very frequent water changes for the fish and a space heater to keep it nice and tropical in there.
  • The kids and I made paintings to go behind the animal’s homes so they’d have a more interesting environment to look at than a beige wall.
  • I got a little obsessed with the animals and spent more time than I’d care to admit on the Internet learning how to properly take care of them.
  • Good thing I kept learning beyond the basics, because I would have probably killed two critters if I hadn’t kept reading up. I added more sand to the crabitat just in time for Henrietta to bury herself to molt and added water plants to the fishbowls so they could hide and to help keep the water clean. I bought these just as Beta Dude lost his color, and he’s got it back (whew!).
  • The fish names, Alpha Male and Beta Dude, are jokes due to this song.
  • The cats love the new animals, whether from fascination or a deep desire to make snacks of them, I don’t know. (Charcoal seams to be in the former camp and Lily tends toward the latter.)
  • We had to move the fishbowls to reduce the risk of Lily knocking them off of the counter. She also likes to sit on top of the lid to the crabitat and watch them scuttle around.
  • Dusk is crab watching time.
  • Horatio the crab is my favorite, hands down. Jake’s partial to Alpha Male.
  • I’ve added a lot of cleaning and feeding and dechlorinating water to my schedule, but it’s worth it because these animals are so fun to watch!

What’s your List It take? Share your take with a link in the comments below! You can also use the hashtag #NerdNestChallenge on social media.

Make sure to check back on Mondays throughout the month for other takes from me and guests. There are so many great ways to use lists in memory keeping.


I’ll be adding takes I find to the Nerd Nest Challenges Pinboard! Share your links to past challenges too so I can add them. You don’t have to be a memory keeper in the traditional sense–these are great prompts for blog posts too!