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Vacation Season with Michelle | Nerd Nest Challenge

Today Pocket Your Year Creative Team member Michelle is here to share her take on October’s Nerd Nest Challenge, Document Your Favorite Season.

I’m thrilled to be able to share some Project Life App pages with everyone today! My favorite season is summer vacation! We travel to the Outer Banks every summer with friends. It’s a time for our kids to reconnect and for the adults to relax. This past summer, my family also spent a week at the beach with my mom, dad, sister and her family.

Two weeks at the beach resulted in lots of memories to preserve!! I had a lot of photos to scrapbook and most of my photos were on my phone, so I decided to try the app. I ended up with more than 60 pages for the 2 weeks. I typically shy away from bright colored cards on my pages. The beach pages allow me to branch out and use brighter colors. I also like the options and reduced cost of the kits in the app.


Some of my favorite photos and pages center around the kids in the water – at the edge of the ocean or in the pool. I love the pure joy on their faces as they splash in the water or jump the waves.



This year too, we had some excitement at the end of the week. Two snakes fell out of a tree and into the pool area. They struggled and fought – one trying to eat the other – for about 30 minutes. The girls watched and were fascinated. They cheered for the tiny green snake to get away from the black snake. We never saw which snake won. Somehow the green snake got away and they both escaped under the pool fence.



Thank you so much for sharing how you used the Project Life app to document your favorite season with us, Michelle!

Mix and Match Kit Leftovers | Pocket Scrapbooking


This month I’m challenging you to Document Your Favorite Season. Along with team takes for the challenge Mondays, I’ll be sharing extra takes on this month’s challenge every Wednesday (with a few extra challenges in my newsletter too)!

To document my favorite season, autumn, I’ve been going back and tackling spreads and pages for 2015. I do so much documenting in the autumn months, October especially, that I can get overwhelmed by it all and avoid making things! This month I set a goal to make a few pages per week to make a dent in my seasonal backlog.


For this spread, I used a lot of photos and added in an insert to document all of the stories I wanted to tell for the week of October 5-11. A lot of my photos had neutral colors and there wasn’t any one color scheme that jumped out from them. I also wanted to be sure that the spread looked coordinated with the insert flipped each way.


None of my kits worked on their own, so I went through my stash and pulled out products that might work on the page, discarding options as a color scheme started to emerge. I think this is a fun way to stash bust, and while it takes a little longer to complete a page, it’s something I love to do when I have extra time. If I wanted to hurry, I’d just go with something like a black / white color scheme that works for everything.

This spread started to come together when I found the title card, from an old We R Memory Keepers pack, which had multiple colors that I had chosen for a spread. Multi-colored patterns can help to pull together a wide color scheme if you have a variety of cards. I decided to include both faded and saturated versions of the colors, which made some cards stand out more than others.


When the insert is turned, there are more photos and not as many cards, but the photos are more colorful. I chose more neutral cards to calm down the photo-busy page a bit. I used embellishments–vellum circles from a Studio Calico kit attached with an old K & Company brad–to add in a bit more of the warm autumn colors to this side and to tie this page in with the title card.


All in all, there’s a lot of mixing and matching going on with this page! Cards and embellishments from multiple Studio Calico kits, cards and embellishments from Freckled Fawn, a card from Kelly Purkey, a We R Memory Keepers card, and a few scrap bits found their way onto the page. I love that I found a good use for cards that I had trouble fitting in when these kits were new.


I’d love to see how you mix and match your kit “leftovers” to make them work for you too!

Favorite People Season with Jen | Nerd Nest Challenge

Today Nerd Nest Challenges Creative Team member Jen is here to share her take on October’s Nerd Nest Challenge, Document Your Favorite Season.

Summer is not my favorite season, weather-wise. But it absolutely is my favorite, people-wise. It’s the season when we get to spend five awesome weeks with my stepson. It’s the season for swimming, traveling, theme parks, and seeing family.

It’s also my hardest to scrapbook. So. Many. Photos! It’s crazy how many photos Jason and I take. And this year Charles has joined in the picture taking so that means even more. I know I’ll never scrap them all, but I want to make sure I get some of my favorites documented while the memories are fresh.

When faced with an overwhelming amount of photos, I like to just scroll through and see what stories and pictures jump out at me. I especially look for personality stories, those little snippets of life that I know I’ll love being reminded of in 10 years.



I haven’t even begun to make a dent in my summer photos from this year. But I’m glad this challenge got me to scrap a couple of them. I’d love to see how you document your favorite season!

Jen Johnson is originally from Nashville, but ran away to South Florida to marry a boy she met on the Internet. She has always been a memory keeper, but never realized it until she discovered digital scrapbooking in 2009. Now she loves to document her life in SoFlo with her husband, stepson, and cat, cleverly named Miss Kitty. Her biggest scrapbook is the “All About Jen” book. She worries that might sound narcissistic, but who else is more qualified to tell her story? She loves to travel, read, eat good food, and watch bad TV. She has a blog, hclappy scraps, where she writes about digiscrapping, minimalist Project Life, (step)motherhood, and her search for that ever-elusive “healthy lifestyle” everyone talks about. She says Y’all and Yonder a lot, loves run-on sentences, and finds it a bit awkward talking about herself in third person.

Document Your Favorite Season | Nerd Nest Challenge


This month, I challenge you to document your favorite season!

You might want to go with a literal interpretation and document your favorite things about winter, spring, summer, or fall, or you might want to document something more specific like football season, monsoon season, or tourist season.

You can write about how you make things feel “seasonal” if you don’t live in a place where the weather changes much. Or you can use the prompt as an encouragement to do a group of projects for a specific season!


Autumn is my favorite season by far, but it’s also the time of year I’m most likely to leave unfinished in my scrapbooks. Because I do so much in fall (it seems there’s a festival to go to almost every weekend!), I usually take an overwhelming amount of photos. I’m using this challenge to immerse myself in fall and get through some of that autumn pages backlog!

I decided to start with the pocket scrapbooking weeks I skipped in my 2015 album. I’ll be sharing more on Wednesdays throughout the month!


I had so many photos I wanted to fit on this spread. I decided to stick with all of my everyday photos on one page and a trip to an apple orchard on the facing page. I took out photos from an event at my daughter’s school and photos from a haunted house to use on event specific pocket pages or traditional pages. To make weekly spreads work for last October, I’ll need to make a lot of end pages! (I shared two of them on Monday).


Documenting last year also gives me a chance to dip into my current autumn kits (I mainly used the September 2016 Studio Calico documenter kit for this spread.) I won’t start on my 2016 October spreads until later, so this gets me to use products I’m excited about now!


I used lots of collages with 2×2 photos to fit in all of the things I wanted represented in the spread. Using a title card with a lot of white space helped balance out the busy bottom on this page.


I love autumn colors, photos, and events, so I’m glad I chose to feature the apple orchard visit with a full page!


Its silly that I end up documenting my favorite season less because I feel overwhelmed by all of the photos and stories I have to work with! Setting a goal to make one or two pages a week will certainly help me to get motivated.


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

Remember that you can do anything you’d like for this challenge–it doesn’t just have to be scrapbooking!

Check back on Mondays to see takes from Nerd Nest Creative Team members and Wednesday to see additional takes from me this month!

Projects with Freckled Fawn’s Home Kit


Today I’m sharing my projects with Freckled Fawn’s Home Embellishment Kit (above) Planner Kit (below).


These kits got me excited to get right into documenting Autumn! I love the home theme–the houses are so very cute–and I decided to interpret it a little differently with home games!


I started by using the Home Embellishment Kit and Home Journal Cards to make a page about the Homecoming football game from my high school I took my family to last fall. The star sequins go with my alma mater’s colors, so I knew it would be a perfect fit!

I made a spread with a traditional 12×12 page on the left for the game and the band, then combined it with a pocket page on the right to document going out to eat beforehand (at a cool restaurant where your food is delivered by model train!) and my art hanging in the hallway at my school.


The home flair was a great way to go with the home game / homecoming theme and the acetate letters gave me a fun, bold title that stood out on the simple page. the star sequins balanced out these elements in the title.


Strips of glitter washi and a line of star sequins frame the page.


For the pocket page, I used Home journal cards in three of the pockets and filled the fourth pocket with sequins to create a shaker packet. I sewed the pocket closed and then covered the stiching with glitter washi.


A home puffy sticker was a subtle addition to a journal card to tie in the theme on the accompanying page and the silicone “LOVE TODAY” shape is perfect on top of the salmon and red rectangle card!

Overall, this kit was fantastic to help me make a page routing for my home team.


Inspired to keep going documenting sports, I used the Home Planner Kit to make a page about a home game for my city’s soccer club, Sporting KC. My friend and I got to hold the Open Cup at the game, which is a once in a lifetime thing, so I wanted to go big documenting it!


I used a big photo of us holding the cup and balanced it out with a card from the Home Journal Cards for my title–I used a home puffy sticker and stamped the word game, then added sequins above and below the card.

A strip of glitter washi separated the break in patterned papers and a “details” planner cardstock sticker was a great way to start off my journaling!


Keeping with a grid-like arrangement on this layout, I drew rectangles around the photos on the bottom of the page and filled the blank spaces with embellishments, drawing rectangles around them too. The heart cardstock stickers happened to go right with the colors of my team, the opposing team, and the field!


In the other space I stacked an arrow cardstock sticker, sequins (obviously my favorite item from this kit), stamps, and a home cardstock sticker where I recorded the team names and final score.

It was so fun to get clever documenting home games with this Home kit and I’m excited to share more Autumn pages with this kit this month!

Like the kit too?

Embellishment Kit: Start a subscription or buy your Home kit here!

Planner Kit: Start a subscription or buy your Home kit here!

I’d love to see how you use yours! Leave a link in the comments!

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products.

Lists 20-30 | 30 Days of Lists September 2016


The September 2016 edition of 30 Days of Lists is all wrapped up! Here’s my last batch of lists from this round:

Where I do my best thinking

  • When I’m taking a walk
  • At coffeeshops
  • After yoga
  • During morning coffee
  • On paper
  • After I’m exposed to new ideas

Favorite things to make right now

  • Big knit blankets
  • Pocket scrapbooking pages
  • Fresh bread (that orange bread!)
  • Big stacks of “read” books


My kitchen essentials

  • Olive oil
  • Cheese variety
  • Bread flour
  • Easy back-up meals
  • Music or an audiobook
  • Lots of new recipes to try
  • Garlic press
  • Fresh fruit for snacks

Compliments I would like to receive

  • You are Wonder Woman
  • I can’t wait to read the rest!
  • You are my personal encyclopedia
  • You’re the best mom ever
  • You inspired me to tell my story
  • What a great idea!
  • You made me feel better!
  • That was delicious!
  • You totally get me
  • You’re one of the smartest people I know


My love language

  • Food together
  • Long conversations
  • Exploring / adventures
  • Help & support
  • Snuggles

Favorite things to add to my shopping list

  • Books
  • Books
  • Books
  • Nerd swag
  • Home improvement project supplies
  • Food ingredients for new recipes
  • Seasonal farmer’s market produce
  • Craft supplies for a new project
  • But mostly books


Signs the seasons are changing

  • All the pumpkin, butternut squash, chili, & soup
  • Hoodies & sweaters & cardigans
  • Leaves starting to turn
  • Festivals every weekend
  • Blankets everywhere
  • More knitting
  • Apples take over the farmer’s market
  • Open windows

I wish I had a photo of…

  • Jake & I studying / daily life stuff during college
  • Jake & I at the ITS banquet
  • Grammy teaching me to cook
  • Highschool club activities (plays, forensics, French Club, swim team, etc.)
  • More full family photos


Daily rituals

  • Make coffee
  • Feed the cats / Charcoal’s insulin shot
  • late morning walk
  • Work during nap time
  • Read before bed

Favorite childhood movies

  • The Little Mermaid
  • Hook
  • Willow
  • Oliver!
  • Newsies
  • Lost Boys
  • Charlie & the Chocolate Factory (which I called Willie Wonka)
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Clueless
  • Honey I Shrunk the Kids
  • Look Who’s Talking


What I want to finish before 2017

  • Adoption home study
  • Painting first floor
  • The Nerd Nest website redo
  • Getting the whole house deep cleaned
  • #52projects & #52recipes

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.

Projects with Freckled Fawn’s Black / White Kit


Today I’m sharing my projects with Freckled Fawn’s Black / White Embellishment Kit (above) Planner Kit (below).



The black and white color scheme of these kits is amazing! It’s no surprise that the kit reminded me of the black and white branding and fashion of the amazing Janelle Monáe. I knew right away that I wanted to use this kit to document a gift my friend Paul surprised me with a few Christmases ago–a signed Janelle Monáe poster!


For this spread, I combined a 12×12 pocket page and an 8.5×11 traditional page. I used the embellishment kit, along with white cardstock and a few black and white colored pocket cards from my stash.


For the title card, I used the printed wood chips bow (a perk for subscribers!) to cover up words on a card that weren’t relevant (and it reminds me of Janelle Monáe’s bow ties!). I used strips of washi tape on the bottom and top of the card, which helps to tie this page in with the 8.5×11 one.


I used some of the cardstock labels to add a bit of journaling to a black and white checked card.


Then I added embellishments to make stripes across my 8.5×11 page– I framed the photos in the chipboard phrases, alternating black and white, added strips of washi tape to the top and bottom, and used the printed wood chips across the top of the page. I love that there are a LOT of embellishments on this page, but because they are black and white, they not only help tell the story, but they also helped me to keep the focus on the fun photos.


Because the black and white kit is so versatile, I decided that I’d go ahead and use it on whatever project I happened to have slated to work on next–and that was my Michigan mini album! I made a bunch of new pages for the beginning of the album using Black / White embellishments throughout. I used things from both the planner and embellishment kit.


I wanted a full 6×8 photo of my daughter Eliza on the plane, because it was her first ever plane ride. I bordered it in washi tape. This 3 ring binder mini has pocket and 6×8 pages, but I also wanted to hole punch a few things directly in. This works great for memorabilia like this plane ticket.


I wanted to use 4×6 cards for journaling, but I was out of page protectors with 4×6 spots. So I added a transparency with gold foil throughout the album and adhered a card to the front and back with washi tape from my Freckled Fawn stash. This way I can see both sides of the card and get in journaling!


I used the black and glitter white enamel shapes to fill in the spaces in my title on the first journaling card.


Then I used letters from a past FF kit and the gold foil epoxy flowers to decorate the front of the other card.


Label stickers with chipboard phrases were a good way to add a bit to a page with two photos.


I used a sticky note from the planner kit to add journaling space to the photo on the bottom, then added a printed wood chip as a title.



I had a lot of fun with the page with all of the 2×2 pockets. I alternated photos and puffy camera sticker in each square on both sides.


I added another 4×6 card directly to the album by punching holes and added a resin flower with a gemstone to the corner to make the plain card a little more fun.


I love the look of layers when different sizes and transparencies are added in minibooks.


Another page of just photos, so this time I added one of the gold foil stickers from the planner kit to a photo.


I added a tiny bit of extra journaling with label stickers on these photos, but my favorite part is using back-to-back label stickers stuck partially on a journaling card to make it long enough to read the rings so I could add a horizontal 4×6 journaling card in. Think outside of the box to make your products work for you!


I’m having so much fun with this kit and I can’t wait to keep going.

Like the kit too?

Embellishment Kit: Start a subscription or buy your Black / White kit here!

Planner Kit: Start a subscription or buy your Black / White kit here!

I’d love to see how you use yours! Leave a link in the comments!

I’m on the Freckled Fawn Creative Team and thus receive free and discounted products.

Lists 8-19 | 30 Days of Lists September 2016


I’ve been loving the September 2016 edition of 30 Days of Lists! Today I’m sharing another batch of lists with you:

On My Camera Roll

  • Catch-up Reads photos
  • Picture of a drawing of our house Jonas’s “girlfriend” made
  • Photos of [our foster daughter] at the Filling Station with hot chocolate
  • Paint cans for reference
  • Robotics practice shots
  • Post-dentist full family selfie sans [our foster daughter]

This weekend’s plans

  • Jonas dance
  • Dance in the Park
  • Art Westport
  • Avery’s birthday party


When things don’t go my way

  • I try to convince others / get my way anyway
  • When it’s out of my control and I’m upset, I focus on self care
  • I make the best of it
  • I consider the benefits of the other person’s way

On my calendar this year

  • Planned blog posts & product releases
  • School info
  • Family appointments
  • Parties & events
  • Foster appointments
  • Birthdays
  • Holidays
  • Reminders
  • PYY Discussion Q’s


Things that didn’t seem like a good idea at the time

  • Getting a smart phone
  • Looking for a house when super pregnant
  • Spending money on a fancy camera
  • Switching majors
  • Blogging less

How I stay busy

  • I have 3 children
  • My extended family is huge
  • I have a wide range of hobbies & interests
  • Work


My favorite teams

  • #teamPeeta
  • team Mystic
  • Awesome Ladies
  • Freckled Fawn
  • My CTs
  • The She-Nerd Squad
  • the mastermind
  • X-men
  • Cat people
  • blue team

Pets I would like to have

  • Another Russian blue-ish cat
  • Foster kittens
  • Owl to bring my Hogwarts letter
  • Magic panther like Gwenhwyvar
  • Direwolf
  • Dragons. SoI&F ones, not HP or D&D ones.


Lies I tell myself

  • Scrapbooking supplies are a business expense
  • My house will eventually be clean if I just figure out how to organize it
  • I’ll figure out what I want to be when I grow up

My best tips for marriage

  • Don’t argue hungry
  • Let the other person know if you are having a bad day so they handle you with kid gloves / don’t misinterpret tones
  • Talk about what you are interested in & vice versa–you’ll learn about each other’s fields


[list 18 blurred--find my guest post in the 30 Days of Lists classroom!]

I feel in control of my life when

  • I make the schedule & have my calendar
  • I feel heard
  • I delegate
  • I can have some time alone
  • I have time to learn
  • I remind myself I’m really not

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.

Sneak Peek of Challenges 17-24 | Pocket Your Year


Almost all of the Daily Challenge unit challenges in Pocket Your Year are up!

Here’s a little sneak peek of what we’ve been up to lately. Here’s a look at projects by creative team members Tara, Emily, Kelly, Laura, Celena, Laura, Melody, and Michelle and me! I’m so amazed and proud of all of the projects everyone is making!

*We’re taking a break from Nerd Nest Challenges in August and September while everyone works on the Daily Challenges unit in Pocket Your Year!

Giant Knit Nebula Blanket


This week I finished a project I’ve been working on since April! The whole time I was making Eliza’s Twin Sized Blanket last year, Jonas was asking when his would be done. So after a bit of a break when I’d finished hers, I started on one for him!


For Jonas’s blanket, I decided to go with nebula colors inspired by his Guardians of the Galaxy poster. When I found yarn with silver and gold metallic running through black and white, I knew it would be perfect to represent stars.


I switched off colors every few lines, alternating between the neutral metallic yarns and the multi-colored yarns I’d chosen. I didn’t use a pattern or measurements: I just eyeballed it and garter stitched the whole way. This is my brainless keep my hands busy while watching TV project, so it’s important that I don’t need to do any counting or have to focus too much.


The almost twin size is great to cover him up while he’s sleeping and for him to wrap around his shoulders and drag around when it gets cold.


I’ve already started on my next one for our youngest, so I’ll see you again in a few months with another take!

This year it’s my goal to complete 52 projects. Projects can be art, crafts, home improvement, tech, gardening, or whatever else my brain ventures into. The point is to MAKE. This is project 18 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1 : Papier-mâché Death Star Piñata / 2: Toy Repair / 3: Painted Entryway / 4: March Gardening / 5: Recipe book shelf / 6: April Gardening / 7: Compost bin / 8: May Gardening / 9: Gutters / 10: Brick fire pit / 11: Shower favor tags / 12: Air grate fix / 13: June Gardening / 15: Wedding Fans / 16: Owl stepping stone / 17: August Gardening