Friday, May 24, 2013

Summer Bingo

Summer is officially here at the Stewart household.  We are one day into summer vacation and I have already heard the dreaded words, "I'm Bored".  Oh No...this Momma is not going there so soon into summer.

I remembered a past post by Stacy Julian about Summer Bingo.  At the time, Parker was too little to do that but I remembered thinking "Genius!"  So, I looked it up on-line last night, did a bit of quick research on Pinterest this morning and ta-da we have our own Summer Bingo here now.  Parker is super excited.  I can't wait to see how this works and I might have to change up the rules a bit as we move through the summer but I am going to kick this off on Sunday morning.

I first made a Bingo card in MS Word (5 columns up and down) with activities that encourage help around the house and keeping her school skills fresh.  I will make a new card each week and some weeks will be easier and more fun than others (like when we are at the beach).  

I then made up rules based off my research.  Our rules for the game are:

1.   Before playing bingo each day:
a.       Be clean and dressed
b.      Eat breakfast
c.       Clean up your breakfast mess
d.      Turn off the lights in your bedroom and bathroom
2.      You get a new card on each Sunday
3.      You get one free sticker-you can place it on any square (but once you use it one week, you can’t put on same square again)
4.      You have to tell Mom/Dad when you are working on a square-we give the stickers out
5.      Each time you complete 5 in a row, you receive a ticket

Ticket Redemption:
1 Ticket= 30 minutes of either: water play, computer time, or messy craft time
2 Tickets= Movie Night
3 Tickets= Trip to Dollar Store
4 Tickets= Ice Cream Night
5 Tickets= Play date or Sleepover
Blackout= Special event from bucket + $5
Blackout + 2 Bonus Tickets= Fun outing (CDM, Water Park, etc) + $5
Blackout every week during summer= Huge fun outing (TBD)

You can earn bonus tickets by:
1 Bonus Ticket-Completing a full week in your workbook
1 Bonus Ticket-Read for 50 minutes over the course of the week

We are still working out what the "huge fun outing" will be.  Perhaps a trip to the American Girl Doll store, an amusement park or some other really big motivating reward.  

I then created some special event tickets as the blackout rewards. Things like an ice cream date with Dad, pool time, baseball game, etc.

I also made up some tickets for when she gets a "Bingo".  I have placed these in jars up where little hands can't reach.  I'll keep the stickers there too for when she completes a square.  

Here's to summer and hoping this wards off boredom and helps encourage Parker to help around the house and work on summer activities to keep her fresh for first grade.  

Friday, April 12, 2013

Project Life Celebratory Blog Hop: 2013 25% Done!


Today I am part of a great line up for a Project Life 1st quarter blog hop.  A group of us is sharing where we are now that the year is (gasp) 25% complete.  Thanks to Michelle for sending folks my way.  I am excited to have some new faces come visit and appreciate Margie for hosting this wonderful blog hop!  After you leave me, please go on and visit Michelle Roger and our other wonderful blogs participating in this hop.

For those of you looking for some Project Life inspiration, I hope you leave my site today with some ideas and motivation.  And, for those of you not "caught up", do not get frustrated or feel inadequate about yourself.  This hop is meant to inspire and motivate.  This is a living process, be kind to yourself as you work through it. 

Real Life

Project Life is such a simple tool to collect our every day stories.  I am amazed that one quarter of 2013 has already flown by and I am so happy that, for right now, I am caught up with my PL album.  You see, we are in the midst of this at our house right now:

Even with a big move coming up next week, 2 kids ages 6 and 3, and finishing the process of building our dream home, I have managed to keep up with my album.  Friends, that is just how simple Project Life can be.  However, I won't lie--the pictures and stories don't just magically appear in my album.  I have albums for 2011 and 2012 and by no means were these albums even close to being complete.  I did manage to at least get every week in 2012 documented via photos but totally slacked in the journaling.  So, what is different this year, especially with all this chaos?

I have made Project Life a focus for this first quarter.  I know that the next several weeks are going to be CRAZY.  I am giving myself permission to document as I feel like it and to let go when I need to.  In other words, this year I am getting "real".

I also introduced more of a process this year and have some tools to help me stay on track.

My Process:

What's working so far:

1.  Batch my weeks together:
While I don't have it penciled in on my calendar, I generally try to reserve a Friday evening and Sunday afternoon about once every 3 weeks or so to  get my past weeks in order.  I don't like to get more than 3 weeks "behind" as then I don't remember things as clearly.  

2.  Keep my process simple:
I print my photos as home, round the corners, pop them in my album, embellish if I feel like it, and get the journaling down.  I usually only spend an hour or two tops on this each time I sit down to finish a couple of weeks.  

3.  Print my photos at home:
I upload my photos from my iPhone via Dropbox and from my camera via Eyefi.  Choose which photos I want to print and print right here at home.  This may not be the most cost effective method-but it keeps me up to date.  

4.  Organize my supplies:

I am sure most of you can commiserate but I have a ton of scrapbooking supplies.  However, for PL, I have kept my stash of goodies to a bare minimum so as to not get overwhelmed.  I have a few embellishments I have picked up here and there, I use the Studio Calico PL kits, and of course, my Becky Higgins PL Seafoam Kit.  I keep all of these together and out of my other scrapbooking supplies.  I use a basket from Target and the box my PL kit came in.  I also organized my page protectors in an album so that I could easily and quickly find what I needed.  When we move, I am looking forward to getting even more organized with all of this.

5.  Let go of perfection:
This by far is my biggest tip.  I knew this year would be crazy.  I knew I could not expect my album to look like a designer scrapbooker...just not going to happen right now.  I don't have the time or the money.  So I gave myself permission to just let my album take shape as I have time, to tell our stories as best I can, and it will be OK.  

My Album

You can see past weeks of my album here and here.

Below I have the last 3 weeks of my album that I just wrapped up this week:

March 17-23
 March 24-30
 March 31-April 6

What Works for You?

Feel free to share in the comments what your process is for staying up to date on your Project Life albums.  I know we could all use some inspiration and motivation. 

Thank You

Thanks for stopping by today.  Over the next several weeks I will be posting how my Project Life is evolving as we move to a new home and how we are decorating and organizing our new space.  Feel free to drop by from time to time.  I'd love to hear from you.

Next up on the hop is Michelle Roger.  Also, don't forget to visit our other blog hop participants and get some other great ideas and inspiration! 

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Project Life: Tuesday, March 19

All caught up again, finally.

I hate to get too far behind with Project Life because then I lose motivation to truly document our happenings and instead get too focused on getting pictures in the album.  The stories end up untold. Becky shared on her blog today correspondence from a fellow Project Lifer who is not caught up.  Brandi's response was a good one.  I encourage you to check it out.

I totally agree you have to have a time system that works for you.  Aby Garvy, of Simplify 101, found her system.  Check our her 3 post series on getting organized for Project Life.  Super helpful but find what works for you.

I have found a rhythm that works pretty well for me so I try my best to stick with it. On the weekend, usually Friday night after everyone has headed to bed, I print my photos, round the corners, and get them in the album.  Then over the course of the rest of the weekend, I add any fun stuff and get my journaling done. I print my photos at home so this makes it super easy.  When life gets crazy, I just go back to my system and get as much done as I can from past weeks but I always make sure to work on the most recent week too.

Here's a look at the Weeks 8 through 11:

Week 8

I love this card "To the moon and back" from Studio Calico.  Parker drew a photo at school and it matched almost perfectly for this week!

Week 9

Week 10

Love this wooden card from Studio Calico!

Week 11

 Love this transparency and the "This Week" card.


Supplies Used|Click on Links to view products:

Seafoam Binder
Seafoam Core Kit
Design A Page Protectors

Studio Calico Block Party Kit

Studio Calico Front Row Kit

Note: Some of these links are affiliate links (Amazon), which means that I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase these from my affiliate site on Amazon.  I only recommend products that I use and love myself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

{We Build}

We've gone from this to this:


We have been so blessed this past year!  We were given the opportunity to build our own home and the journey has been nothing short of amazing.

In October of 2011, we were leaving soccer and drove past a sign for a new neighborhood to be built.  We knew the builder and commented that the neighborhood would be a nice place.  Fast forward a couple of weeks and a dirt road pops up in the neighborhood.  We decide to take a look.  As luck would have it, one of the agents was there with a 4 wheeler/tractor thing.  He rides us to the back of the neighborhood and we walk around a few of the lots.  Then, every weekend for the next month, we go back out there and walk the lots.  We planned and we dreamed, and then, we made it a reality!

I'll lay the process out in a series of posts, along with my tips, but here is an overview to show just how far we have come.

So excited for the next round of changes over the next 5 weeks or so.....and then it is MOVE IN day!  And lots of posts about organizing and decorating.....can't wait!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Project Life Tuesday for 2013

If you have not seen Becky Higgins Project Life, you are missing out.  Here is a video by Becky that explains this system.  This is by far the easiest (and most fun) way to keep up with my scrapbooking that I have found.  I love the flexibility of the system and the fact that I can keep up with what is going on in our family.  But, I also need some accountability every now and then, so, each Tuesday I will post my latest Project Life spreads.  Perhaps you will find some inspiration too.

Catching Up:  Since it is March already, I'll quickly share my past weeks with you in a couple of posts and try to keep up with a weekly update after this.

Cover Page:

Week 1:

Week 2:

 Week 3:

Week 4

Week 5

Week 6

Week 6-right side

Close Up:

Week 7

Week 7-right side

Close Up:

Supplies Used|Click on Links to view products:

Seafoam Binder
Seafoam Core Kit

Studio Calico Block Party Kit
Studio Calico Front Row Kit


Note: Some of these links are affiliate links (Amazon), which means that I may get a small commission if you decide to purchase these from my affiliate site on Amazon.  I only recommend products that I use and love myself.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Then & Now

So, the last time I wrote on here it was 2011.  I've gone from this:

To this:

I now have a 3 1/2 year old who knows how to use an iPad, a 6 year old who started kindergarten this school year, and we ditched our old digs to build our current "dream" house.  Oh yeah--and I quit the corporate world for the stay at home mom world then on to the part-time working world.  That is a whole other post!

It has been an amazing couple of years.  If you asked me back in 2011 if I would have seen any of these changes coming (other than the kids growing up of course), I would have laughed.  Who quits their job AND builds a new house?  Certainly not this type A girl.  However, these changes have been so good for our family and honestly, for me.  I can't wait to share our journey to this point and forward.  Definitely lots of good material for my beloved "Project Life".  

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Well, Hello Again!

Where does the time go?  My blogging journey has spanned almost 7 years.  I have been on blogger, typepad, and now back to blogger.  I was looking through old posts on my blogs and am inspired again to keep going at this writing thing.  I love documenting our every day life.  When you get caught in the everyday chores, you can lose sight of what your whole life is about and feel like it is so, well, ordinary.  I've decided ordinary is good.  So good.

Who knew God could speak to you through Jiminy Cricket?  Who knew this type A, super control freak could take a huge leap of faith? And who knew that cozy cottages, trips to the fro yo place, the carpool line and thrifting would become part of my everyday?   So, sit back, relax, grab your favorite beverage of choice while I update you over the next couple of weeks at our oh so ordinary days and the major stories in-between.