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30 Days of Lists March 2018 | Lists 21-30

Today I’m sharing my final batch of lists for the March 2018 round of 30 Days of Lists! I’m planning on printing the lists in a book, so I’ll be sure to share that once it is complete.

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 21

Back in my day…

*Smoking or non?
*Dial-up Internet
*Lead superheros are all white dudes
*Be kind, rewind
*You have died of dysentery
*Floppy disc
*Disc-man and HUGE CD case
*Pop punk fashion

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 22

My favorite plants

*Pineapple Sage
*Chocolate mint
*Thornless blackberries
*Itallian basil
*Burning bushes

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 23

Advice to ignore

*Anything involving essential oils for health
*Keep up the mystery to “keep the spark alive” in marriage
*Treat others how you’d want to be treated [treat them how they want to be treated instead]
*All of the little constant & conflicting parenting advice

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 24

Little things I am enjoying today

*Eliza’s style and self expression
*Hanging out with Jessica
*Playing outside with Ava and the babies
*Indian butter chicken
*Making progress cleaning out the game closet
*Jake & Paul’s facial expressions while playing video games

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 25

Best news this week

*Jessica is moving in!!! [I’ve been trying to get her to move back to KC for 13 years]
*Dogs are excellent at wearing out tiny people
*The Ikea last chance $14 slip cover fits the porch couch!
*There is a literal truckload less stuff in our house!
*Warm weather is here

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 26

I would like a refresh on:

*Organization for the kids’ stuff
*Our backyard landscaping [or lack thereof]
*Wall paint [bye, matte beige]
*Bookshelf arrangement
*My nighttime routine [I’m going to try to get a bit done each night before i fall into a lazy exhaustion pile]
*My work path for the year

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 27

Favorite movie lines

* “Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon.” -Hermione, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
* “Who knows where thoughts come from. They just appear.” -Lucas, Empire Records
* “Death by stereo.” -Sam, Lost Boys
* “Bangerang!” – Rufio, Hook
* “Why, you stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!” -Leia, Star Wars
* “You mind telling your subconscious to take it easy?” -Ariadne, Inception
* “Just keep swimming!” Dory, Finding Nemo
* “Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.” -Tyler Durden, Fight Club

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 28

I am saving for…

*A summer family road trip to Yellowstone National Park
*Backyard landscaping supplies [new privacy fence, patio stones]
*A light fixture for the kitchen [no more boob lights!]
*Eliza’s France trip
*The “In case of emergency” fund

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 29

Unfinished projects I want to complete this year

*Roof leak + exposed brick + drywall repair in my office
*Painting first floor rooms
*Replacing grout throughout the house

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 30

Before bed tonight, I will…

*Go on a hot date [to Home Depot and Fric and Frac, lol]
*Carry in all of the home improvement supplies we bought
*Enjoy the quiet of no kids in the house
*Brush my teeth
*Take medicine
*Snuggle up
*Read while Jake plays Far Cry 5
*Go to bed pretty early

Miss this round? Sign up for the #30Lists Newsletter so that you can keep up with #30Lists news.

This Time Last Year(s) | April Nerd Nest Challenge

April Nerd Nest Challenge 1

The April Nerd Nest Challenge is This Time Last Year(s).

Do you have any memory keeping you’d like to do about last April or Aprils past? What is your favorite thing about this month? Is there something you are looking forward to? You can also look backwards and use your anticipation as a way to fill in gaps in your past albums!

April Nerd Nest Challenge 2

For my take on the challenge, I’m sharing a layout about Jake and Eliza at Take Your Child to Work Day.

Eliza gets so excited about this every year (Jake even skipped out on traveling with me last year because it’s such a big deal to her) and they love getting to spend this time together.

Talk of this year’s event has started up, so it’s a great time for me to make projects with the past memories of these events that haven’t made their way into the books yet!

April Nerd Nest Challenge 3

This year will be the first time Jonas is old enough to join in the fun too!

April Nerd Nest Challenge 4

What were you up to this time last year?

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

100 Days of Project Progress

100 Days of Project Progress

The official The 100 Day Project starts next week on April 3 and I’m playing along! If you don’t know about the 100 Day Project, click that link and see what the founders have to say.

There are also some great podcast episodes to get your wheels turning:

Last year, I started a 100 days of poetry project on my own, but ended up hitting the pause button halfway through to do 100 Days of Memory Keeping along with The Scrap Gals community. That was an amazing experience and I got so much done in those 100 days. Choosing something loose worked really well for me: most anything beyond the sort of documenting I do daily anyway (like taking pictures) counted. This meant that I could print a few photos, make five layouts, or write out some long journaling (which is what I did while out of town). This got me in a great flow and helped me to make progress when I didn’t have a lot of spare time.

Right now, what I really want to accomplish is a whirlwind of home improvement projects. This is a little hard to do during the weekday right now with small children in my care during the day and a complete loss of energy by the time my kids are in bed at night, but I love that the mindset of doing something everyday will help me to do more during the week so I’m all prepped and ready to go when I have larger chunks of time on the weekends.

I decided to go with a more general “projects” rather than specifically home improvement so that I can count projects that travel well, like knitting, while out of town. This will also allow me to take a fun crafty project breather day as a reward when I cross a big home improvement thing off of the list. Finished building an attic closet? Go make a pillow cover Megan, you deserve it.

But mostly I’m wanting this to be about home improvement. I might scrape out old grout for 10 minutes a day during the week so I can add in new grout on a Saturday. I might clean out and organize what’s in a piece of furniture on Wednesday so I can move it to a new location in the house Sunday. Maybe a little bit of yard debris cleaning on Thursday will result in a Friday night fence building party. And I’ll be sharing what I’m doing as I go on Instagram with the hashtag #nerdnest100days.


I’m also technically doing two 100 Day Projects. My friend Kristin of The Awesome Ladies Project is hosting 100 Days of all About Me and I’m excited to play along with that as well! I’m planning on just jotting memory keeping ideas based on the prompts in my 100 Days of All About Me workbook daily, then I’ll batch the actual projects at a later time. I might be making some of them during the challenge, but because I’m planning on layouts and pocket pages with longer stories for a lot of them, I definitely won’t be making all 100 over the next few months.

I’ll be sharing with the #100DaysofAllAboutMe community hashtag on my Instagram and in the guided community as well.

Are you participating in the 100 Day Project? What’s your plan?

February Reads

February Reads | The Nerd Nest 1

Here are the books I read in February 2018:

February Reads | The Nerd Nest 2

An American Marriage (2018) by Tayari Jones

A young black couple faces unforeseen strains on their new marriage.

This was my Book of the Month pick for February and it was fantastic. I loved that it switched between characters’ perspectives—changing the reader’s perspective as well—and challenges ethical mores.

I like going into books not knowing much, so I don’t want to give spoilers. Most of the blurbs I’ve seen for this book tell you it’s main concerns, but I thought the author did a beautiful job misdirecting in the beginning, so I don’t want to take away from that. It’s so good and goes deep into problems disproportionately affecting black American families.

This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare (2017) by Gabourey Sidibe

Memoir by Oscar nominated actress Gabourey Sidibe.

This book was hilarious, even as it was heartbreaking. I absolutely loved Gabourey Sidibe’s voice and sharp wit. She covers her difficult childhood, her struggles with depression, and she claps back at the racists and fat shamers. She does a wonderful job calling out other’s assumptions. I also found the details her path to becoming an actress fascinating.

I picked this one up as a Book of the Month extra on recommendation from a friend in my IRL book club.

Selected Poems of Langston Hughes (1959) by Langston Hughes

A collection of poems chosen by the author, spanning his entire career.

I’ve always loved reading Hughes’s poems in school or in anthologies, but didn’t have any of his collections. Eliza memorized a few of his poems for her English class, so I was encouraged to start with this book with selections over the course of his work so I can pick which books of poetry to read from there. Some of them are light and funny, but the ones that center on racism are so powerful. Starting on his memoir now.

The Big Sea: An Autobiography (American Century Series) (1940) by Langston Hughes

The first of Langston Hughes’s two autobiographies.

The extent of his travel was really fascinating: growing up in the Midwest, staying with his dad on a ranch in Mexico, his time working on a ship and going to African ports, working in restaurants in Paris, getting stranded in Italy, going to a HBU in DC, and working during the Harlem Renaissance.

I loved his prose, his observations on race and respectability politics, the backstory on some of his poems, and his descriptions of people in these places, but the treatment of women and girls in many of these places was very disturbing. Trigger warnings.

Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race (2017) by Reni Eddo-Lodge

Eddo-Lodge examines structural racism in British society and shares about the emotional exhaustion that comes from white people denying black people’s experiences with racism.

The book is an excellent introduction to white privilege. I highly recommend it even if you are familiar with these topics, as it gives great tools for anti-racism tough conversations.

I appreciated reading an overview of the history of racial injustice in Britain (I have only read about the US and a bit about the rest of the Americas).

Rejected Princesses: Tales of History’s Boldest Heroines, Hellions, and Heretics (2016) by Jason Porath

An animator had a game going with colleagues where they’d come up with women from history and myths who would be the least likely to get the animated princess treatment. Then he rolled with it with stories about them, including animated princes style illustrations.

The author had a great sense of humor and did an excellent job not whitewashing these stories and including ambiguity when needed. I love that these include trigger warnings and maturity ratings, so Eliza (12) can choose what stories she’s ready for. It’s a great introduction to these stories and I’ll be digging into the book’s bibliography to learn more. This was a Galentines gift from my friend Emily and it was an excellent one.

A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Grim Grotto, The Penultimate Peril, The End (2004, 2005, 2006) by Lemony Snicket; illustrated by Brett Helquist

I’m glad to have finished up with this series! I found it delightful.

I also finished reading The Knight’s Code: A Training Guide (LEGO NEXO KNIGHTS) (2016) by John Derevlany to Jonas, which he picked out at a book fair.

February Reads | The Nerd Nest 3

You can follow along with what I’m reading weekly on my Instagram with the hashtag #weeklyreadsfriday.

Have you read any of these books? What did you think? Make sure to put a big SPOILERS warning in your comment to warn others if you have ‘em.

Reading anything good lately?

Affiliate and referral links in this post help support The Nerd Nest.

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | Lists 11-20

I’m having a great time playing along with this March’s 30 Days of Lists!

Here’s my second batch of lists for March 2018:

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 11

Things to do every weekend

*Dance class for Ava, me, + Eliza
*Visit family / friends
*Home improvement projects
*Sleep in
*Go on mini adventures
*Get outside

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 12

___ is my cardio

*Chasing kids
*Carrying kids
*Picking up after kids
*Kneading dough
*Home improvement
*Sometimes actually exercising

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 13

Things I believed as a child

*Dinosaurs are the coolest thing on the planet
*And obviously I’d grow up to be a paleontologist
*Or a vampire
*Poppy knows absolutely everything
*Recess sucks
*So does summer [I really liked school]

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 14

Home is where…

*My books are
*My family lives
*I’m most comfortable
*The good cookin’ happens
*Everything breaks and I have to fix it
*All of the fun happens
*We make wonderful memories [and then I document them]
*Did I mention the library?

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 15

Things I learned recently

*There are dinosaur fossil discovery areas in both Kansas and Missouri
*I should be really scared of a giant stinkbug invasion within the next few years
*A lot of things about cockroaches
*The hutch will fit in one other place in the house other than the breakfast room: Jonas’s room

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 16

Every time I go to the hardware store, I buy…

*Supplies for the next home improvement project
*A new plant baby
*Some cool cleaning supply
*Something for the pets
*Soil or gravel or mulch for the gardening projects

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 17

My freezer essentals

*Frozen peas
*Ground beef
*Ice cream
*Frozen pizza [back-up dinner plan]
*A few fun kid lunch things [like TJ’s frozen mac and cheese]

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 19

At the end of a long day, all I want is…

*Reading time with the kids
*A quiet bubble bath
*A good book before bed
*A back massage + snuggle time with jake
*An early bedtime

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 20

The best parts of Spring

*Getting to do all of the fun outdoors things again
*More sunlight
*Having to find less stuff before we can leave the house [Bye, coats! Bye, gloves!]
*Longer walks
*Open windows

*My list for #18 is on the private 30 Days of Lists blog.

Are you listing this round? Leave a comment with where I can find your lists–I’d love to see your take!

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge 1

The March Nerd Nest Challenge is to Frame it.

Adding a frame to your project is a great way to make an impact and put the focus where you want it to be. You can frame your photos, your journaling, your title or your whole project!

It can also be a great way to use up small embellishments or paper scraps. You can use a pre-made frame embellishment and size your focal point to fit inside, you can cut patterned paper or cardstock down to make a rectangular frame, or you can add lots of little bits around your focal point!

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge 4

For my take on the challenge, I used layers of frames: I framed my photo collage in a white border when I printed it, I mounted my collage on a blue patterned paper frame, then added lots of embellishments under and around the frame to finish if off.

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge 2

I spaced out similar embellishments around the frame to bring balance.

Using an odd number, like the five stars on my project, is always a good rule to use if you aren’t going for a perfectly symmetrical look.

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge 5

Ali Edwards’s Build Story Kit was perfect for telling this story about Eliza’s First Lego League Robotics competition. Try to think outside of the box with themed projects!

Frame It | March Nerd Nest Challenge3

I really love the framed look for this page. I’m excited to see what kind of frame you make!

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

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | Lists 1-9

We’re more than a third of the way through this round of 30 Days of Lists! I’m really enjoying doing a digital version this round–it makes it really to batch a few lists at a time every few days when I have a nice quiet block of time to myself.

Here’s my first batch of lists for March 2018:

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 1

I want to be

*an author
*a champion for truth

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 2

I see myself in these fictonal characters

*Hermione Granger
*Leia Organa
*Molly Weasley
*Willow Rosenberg
*Nancy Thompson
*Claire Dunphy
*Samwell Tarly
*Katarina Stratford

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 3

My anthems

*I Love Science by Hank Green & the Perfect Strangers
*Elastic Heart by sia
*Still a Stranger by AFI
*Q.U.E.E.N. by Janelle Monáe
*Straight Edge by Minor Threat
*The Schuyler Sisters from Hamilton
*Ho Hey by The Lumineers
*Carry On by Fun.

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 4

Tips for getting started with cooking with kids

*teach kitchen safety
*plan on taking twice as much time as your recipe calls for
*grab a good step-stool
*talk about what you are doing and why you are doing it
*let them pick recipes: it’s way more exciting for them
*plan on a lot of clean-up!

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 5

Ways in which I would like to grow this year

*embrace compassionate perspectives
*home improvement knowledge
*learn to let go of what is not serving me
*plants everywhere
*better emotional patience
*always keep learning

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 6

The emojis I use the most

*smily with rosy cheeks
*kissy face
*celebration popper
*frowny face
*wincy face
*heart eyes
*gasp horror face

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 7

I feel powerful when

*I take all of the kids somewhere (lots of carrying–it requires a lot of upper body strength)
*I do demolition on a home improvement project
*I change someone’s mind
*I write an amazing story
*I’m swimming
*I call my reps

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 8

Things other people love that I don’t get

*sweet coffee drinks
*gender roles
*most reality TV
*easy answers
*watching sports
*help from family & friends

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 9

Ways to nurture myself

*get out of town
*take a quiet bubble bath
*go on a walk
*do yoga
*make time for being creative
*eat healthy foods
*or dessert
*send the kids to grandparents or aunts & uncles for a bit

Are you listing this round? Leave a comment with where I can find your lists–I’d love to see your take!

March is for…

Happy March! I’m super excited that the hermit slump of winter is almost over and Spring is almost here. Here are a few things I have on the agenda for this month:

30 Days of Lists March 2018 | The Nerd Nest | List 1

  • The return of 30 Days of Lists! Listing starts today and I’m super excited about this round. You can see more about how I’m listing this time here.
  • A weekend trip to Colorado Jake and I are taking a much needed break (a preschooler, toddler, and baby here during the day is really taking a lot out of me) and going for a short trip in the mountains with friends. Looking forward to relaxing and taking in nature.
  • IMG_4613 (1)

  • Keeping house projects going. We have tons of in-progress projects going–it’s sort of a losing battle right now. Every time we go to fix something quick, we find the problem is much worse than expected. Next up is patching the roof around a chimney to fix a leak (that we thought we’d already fixed) so that we can finish our exposed brick / drywall repair project. (And I can have my office back!) Also going on right now: sealing tile / silicon caulking in a bathroom, patching painted trim around the house, painting the kitchen, making closets in our finished attic rooms, and general re-arranging. If you are interested in these projects, checking in on my Instagram Stories on weekends is a good place to keep up.
  • Going to the movies. I’m excited about Annihilation, Ready Player One, and especially A Wrinkle in Time!

  • Celebrating. Looking forward to my niece Aubrey’s first birthday, a giant extended family party on Jake’s side for his aunt’s birthday, and the Saint Patrick’s Day parade (Kansas City has one of the largest in the US).
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  • So much outside time. We’ve been taking advantage of the warmer weather with lots of long walks and playing in the backyard. I’m looking forward to adding the park,
    gardening, and zoo time (we have a membership) to the mix.
  • Creative writing. My daily practice this month for One Little Word is creative writing, so this month will be filled with fiction and poetry. I don’t have a lot of spare time right now, so adding something means giving something up. That probably means less reading time this month.
  • Spring Break! I’m planning a fun staycation line-up.

What are you looking forward to this month?

One Little Word Vision Board

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 1

Today I’m sharing my take on the February prompt for Ali Edwards’s One Little Word, which is all about making a vision board / collage. You can read about why I chose my word for this year, Elastic, here.

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 2

I chose images that represent the things I’m struggling with, things I’d like to work on, goals, and how I’m feeling.

It actually took me a long time to come up with an amount of images I was satisfied with. The magazines I subscribe to either aren’t very heavy on the visuals (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Poets & Writers) or have mostly fashion imagery that doesn’t resonate with me (Vanity Fair, Teen Vogue). The magazine that probably has the most things I’d want to cut out, Wired, is one I’m unwilling to cut into. We’ve been collecting them for years.

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 4

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 5

I loved the process of doing this prompt, even though I messed up a bit on the end result. I glued underneath with scrapbooking wet glue, then went over the top with ModPodge. This created a lot of wrinkles: I should have glued the bottom with ModPodge, then gone over the top, so everything would have moved more forgivingly until it dried. Lesson learned.

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 6

Eliza (12) also did one with me, and she asked me to share hers too. It’s mostly cats: her dream is to open up a cat cafe.

One Little Word Vision Board | The Nerd Nest 3

I’m planning on printing an 8.5 x 11 photo of the board to include in my album, along with a bit about the “one thing” I picked to accomplish this month: starting a more formal preschool routine with Ava at home.

Next month the prompt is to do something daily, and I’m planning on doing creative writing. I’ll oscillate between poetry and fiction word count goals.

Did you do a OLW vision board? Leave a link so I can see if you did! If you are doing OLW this year, what’s your plan for March?

February 1-3 | Pocket Scrapbooking 2018

February 1-3 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 1

This is the third spread I made for the February Nerd Nest Challenge Start in the Middle to get myself jumpstarted on 2018 pocket scrapbooking during the construction zone disaster that is currently my office.

I picked this spread because it covers only three days, so I knew that choosing photos for it and figuring out my pocket arrangement would be pretty simple.

February 1-3 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 2

I kept the spread super easy: just photos and two journaling cards. My printer was running out of ink and a few of my photos printed kind of muddy before I noticed, but I decided to roll with them anyway. I’m in get-it-done mode, not craft-and-create mode right now.

Selected products:

February 1-3 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 3

Going on here: Going to A Modern Night at the Folly by City in Motion (modern dance) with my mother-in-law and Eliza, my father-in-law and Jake installing a humidifier to our heater, cleaning the basement, and a sewing fix it blitz.

February 1-3 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 4

Going on here: Eliza and Jonas doing light cosplay for casual day at school (Harley Quinn and Indiana Jones), my Thursday 3 photo with frozen custard and a note about how tired I’ve been, getting the kids’ homework organized, and some of the new recipes I’d tried that week for 52 Recipes.

February 1-3 Pocket Scrapbooking | The Nerd Nest 5

Starting in the middle helped me to get going: now I’m off to fill in the gaps!