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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!


Spring Break Project Ideas

Spring Break Projects | The Nerd Nest

Spring Break is coming up, so we’re planning a week of awesomeness to keep the kids engaged. We’ll do plenty: our friends are coming from out of town to stay with us for Planet Comicon, Jake took Saint Patrick’s Day off so we can walk to the big parade, Eliza has a robotics competition and her first soccer game of the Spring season is that week too. We’ll also fill the time by going to some of our favorite places like Science City and The Nelson.

But it’s not really the going places and doing stuff that my kids love the most–it’s the extra time to do projects. Here are a few I’m considering tackling with the kids:

  • I think this yarn heart tutorial would translate well to shamrocks!

  • I have a project idea that uses friendship bracelets, and I’ll bet Eliza would like to make them with me. This heart friendship bracelet looks like it would be fun to try!

  • We’ve been saving up toilet paper rolls, and we’re planning on painting them into characters an gluing popsicle sticks onto them to make little puppets! These toilet roll cats will serve as inspiration.

  • Another fun toilet paper roll project: Japanese flying carp.

  • Pretty much all of these engineering projects look like they’d be a blast.

I’m looking forward to trying some of these with the kids! Of course, if we finally get it to be warm around here, I reserve the right to forgo everything and just go to the park all of the days.

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

February 22-28 | 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 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 2

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Eliza’s stamping and doodling as a title card, Jake in on my #Thursday3 selfie, the kids pretending to go to school in a bus tent, babysitting, and Eliza charming the cat.

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 4

Going on here: Staining the floor of the room we’re refinishing, playing in the backyard on a warm day, coffee + donuts + comics after parent teacher conferences because my friend watched the kids and is awesome, Jonas in his room, first signs of Spring, snuggling cats with a book and coffee (Eliza took that picture), and going to get hamburgers in the snow.

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 5

When I started choosing products for this spread, I began with the photo that jumped out at me the most. I decided to start the color scheme with a vibrant pink, jumping off from the cover of this Gambit comic. I chose some bright pinks from last month’s digital Studio Calico printable journaling cards (they are only available during the month of the kit from what I can tell).

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 6

Next, I thumbed through patterned papers until I found something that could bring together that bright pink with some other colors found in the spread.

I found a design in an old paper pad that was perfect. It mixed the pink from the comic with the blue in Jonas’s room and on the bus, the green from the plant and Jonas’s coat, and orange, which happened to match the card Eliza was stamping on and coloring in.

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 7

I mixed the other papers from the pad with partial Project Life cards and colorful labels. Most patterned paper pads don’t leave much room for journaling, so I love this method so I can have it both ways.

February 22-28 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015 | The Nerd Nest 8

I had a good time mixing old and new products on this spread to pull everything together!

Selected Supplies: Freckled Fawn March Oh Deer Me kit, Sarah Hurley labels, pink arrow clips, and Retro star clips // Studio Calico printable journaling cards and past Project Life kit // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A pocket protector, Design O from Variety pack 3 page protector, Jade core kit, Plus One mini kit and journaling pens // Heidi Swapp die cut // Dear Lizzy label // Garamond font.

Pocket_Your_Year_Ad

This month in Pocket Your Year we’re talking about Finding Your Style. This month’s video presentation is all about the elements of pocket scrapbooking style and how to experiment to come up with a style you love! Sign up now for year long pocket scrapbooking motivation!

Crabitat

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 1

My grandpa came back from Florida this weekend with three hermit crabs for us. He was thinking the hermies would be a bit easier than they happen to be, but after a day of obsessive research, I got them out of their sad teeny plastic carrying cases and into an awesome crabitat.

Here’s the new home Eliza and I put together for Herman, Horatio, and Henrietta:

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 2

I did my research first, because I knew if I walked into the pet store without figuring out what I could DIY first I’d drop an insane amount of money. We came out not too bad: we just needed to buy water drops to remove chlorine, salt water drops, a hygrometer, and a warmer.

But lots of things, we could do at home. Instead of sticking them in a tiny glass tank within our budget, I moved some Christmas decorations around and got out a big clear storage tub. I drilled air holes in the lid and it’ll be a great home until we can score a giant glass tank cheap on Craigslist. (Not sure if the plastic would be good for them over time and we can’t heat it.)

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 3

There was also no point in buying the super expensive aquarium sand–all purpose sand is great for them and we happened to already have a lot! I baked it in batches to sterilize it for them and got it to sandcastle consistency with dechlorinated water to get the humidity right.

I made sure it was deep enough for them to bury into.

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 4

Next Eliza and I got to decorating. We made sure there were plenty of things to climb on, grabbing rocks from Eliza’s collection and shells and coral from around the house.

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 5

They dig having places to climb.

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 6

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 7

But they like the places to hide even more. (They are hermit crabs, after all.)

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 8

Crabs in a tub might not look fancy from far away, but they sure look happy scuttling around in there! We’ve spend hours watching them when they are at their most active. I’m excited for when they’ve acclimated a bit more and I can handle them.

Crabitat | The Nerd Nest 9

Next we just need to find lots of shells for them to change into. It turns out that they don’t like the painted shells typically, so I’m on the lookout for a variety of natural ones. We’ve already watched Herman indecisively try out a few which was pretty entertaining. But not as entertaining as watching Horatio and Henrietta climb over each other and punch at each other when they first met. That was plain silly.

Update: We added a bunch of sand to one side so that it is deep enough for the crabs to molt! Good thing, too–Henrietta is under now.


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 3 of 52! Check out the other projects: 1: Class Quilt / 2: Valentines with Eliza.

February Day in the Life | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

February Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

On the 4th of each month in 2015, I’m documenting a Day in the Life, a concept originated by Ali Edwards. Each month, I’m adding a full spread for Day in the Life in between weekly spreads into my pocket scrapbooking album.

Here’s February Day in the Life:

Click the photos for a larger view.

February Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

February Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

February Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

February Day in the Life | The Nerd Nest

If you are playing along, charge your camera batteries for tomorrow!

Selected Supplies: Freckled Fawn March Oh Deer Me kit // Studio Calico 4×6 paper pads // Becky Higgins Project Life Design A pocket protector, Design N from Variety pack 3 page protector, Jade Core Kit // Color Box ink // Garamond font.

March Challenge | List It

Document with Lists | The Nerd Nest 3

Welcome to the monthly Nerd Nest Memory Keeping Challenge!

This month, your challenge is to List it.

I’m excited that 30 Days of Lists is underway for March, so since I’ve got lists on the brain, I decided that making listing this month’s Nerd Nest Challenge was the way to go!

Listing is a great journaling technique, because you can get a lot of information down in a concise way.

Document with Lists | The Nerd Nest 2

For my first take on the challenge, I made a spread with the check-in list I made for Eliza’s birthday. Check-in lists are a great way to document what you or someone you love is like at this moment in time. I like doing them on birthdays, because it’s a great reminder, but you can do them any time!

It’s fun to look back at the lists to see what’s changed and what has stayed the same over time.

Document with Lists | The Nerd Nest 4

Document with Lists | The Nerd Nest 5

I copied the journaling directly from the At 9 Eliza… post. It ended up being quite a lot! I didn’t want to cover up all of the “Nine” words I stenciled in using a number die cut card from the Freckled Fawn March 2015 Oh Deer Me kit and alternating Starlight Silver and Platinum Planet ink, so I made a little 6×8 page just for the journaling to go with the larger page with the title and photos of Eliza.

I love this check in list page! I’m excited to make them for myself and my other family members too–I’m glad I write blog posts for them so that information is ready and waiting for me.

Document with Lists | The Nerd Nest 6

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!


Supplies: Freckled Fawn March 2015 Oh Deer Me kit and Aqua puffy stickers // Amy Tangerine Stitched Garden paper // Basic Grey Aurora Hydra paper // Cosmo Cricket paper // Brilliance Dew Drop ink Starlight Silver and Platinum Planet // Garamond font.

Awesome Ladies Project

Sunburst Tutorial | The Nerd Nest for Rukristin 1

Awesome Ladies Project Community Workshop

It’s the last Friday of the month, and that means it’s Awesome Ladies day!

My friend Kristin challenges you to pledge two hours a month making something that makes you feel awesome.

In addition to an awesome community, this year Kristin has introduced a FREE classroom that includes a monthly sketch challenge and a place to share your awesome ladies projects. There’s also a chat tonight at 10PM EST!

Sunburst Tutorial | The Nerd Nest for Rukristin 8

You’ll also find a tutorial from me on how to make the sunbursts for the sketch on the rukristin blog today.

I hope you join in on the Awesome Ladies Project!

Don’t forget that everything is on sale at the rukristin shop for Awesome Ladies weekend! Get 10% off of your purchase Friday-Sunday evening.

I’m an rukristin affiliate, so purchases made through that link helps to support the Nerd Nest.

February 8-14 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2015

February 8-13 | Poket Scrapbooking | 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 on the photos for a larger view.

February 8-13 | Poket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 2

This week I challenged myself to use colors that clash. I loved the coral that went with the sunset photo and the reds and pinks from the clothing in other photos, so I decided to just go for it and try to make it work.

Lots of blurs this week because, you know, other people’s kids.

I also cut this week short so I can include an extra spread about my friends’ weekend visit.

February 8-13 | Poket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Sunset, Jonas and I made muffins, Jake put a tote over my head and said, “Are you mad? Now you’re super mad!” (goof), cooking together, Eliza painting a rock, Legos everywhere, Eliza doing homework on the computer, and coffee.

February 8-13 | Poket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 4

Going on here: Working on the class quilt with my mom and the finished product, the kids all passed out in the car after a busy day, Eliza’s class Valentine’s party.

Selected Supplies: Freckled Fawn February 2015 kit and rukristin labels // Studio Calico King’s Cross kit // Amy Tangerine Stitched Box Pleat and Scissors paper, and cards // My Mind’s Eye paper // Project Life Design A pocket pages, Live Brightly Value kit, and journaling pens // rukristin stamp.

Pocket_Your_Year_Ad

This month in Pocket Your Year we’re talking about Fitting it all in. This month’s video presentation is all about choosing page protector designs! The class also includes weekly spark posts. Today’s post is all about Fitting in Traditional Scrapbooking. Sign up for year long pocket scrapbooking motivation!