Making Merry: Snowball Soup

Anna is full of Christmas magic.  She loves the tree, the sounds, the sights and of course, the presents.  I've really talked with her a lot this year about the real meaning of Christmas, and am trying to instill in her the feeling of "giving".  Giving our time to others, giving money to help out those who are less fortunate, donating gifts and picking Angels from the Angel tree....  She gets it.  She gets the reason behind this amazing season and I couldn't be more proud as a mama.

So when we were talking about gifts for her teachers at school, she immediately insisted that she give out gifts to her classmates, because "it's the season of giving, right momma" (I totally asked for that, right??).   With two days until she's out for Christmas break, I really had to scramble to figure out what we could do.  I mean, who has time to make/wrap/give 25 gifts????  :)

I spent (probably way to much time) on Pinterest and found these super cute little "snowball soup" gifts.  It's nothing more than hot chocolate, candy and a poem, but it's something and it's super cute!  And Anna couldn't have been more excited to put them together.  She stuffed each bag with a big smile on her face talking about how excited her friends were going to be....just the sweetest girl ever.

I know it's last minute, but I thought I would add the poem here just in case anyone else was looking for a quick, last minute gift!  Just right click, save to your desktop and print away!  I printed four to a sheet and then trimmed them out!  Easy peasy!!  

I think they would make great neighbor gifts, class gifts or even family gifts for the little ones!  Who doesn't like hot chocolate, right??  

Happy giving, friends!


Tis the Season for Wrapping

As much paper as I have in my house, I should totally be a skilled gift wrapper.  Unfortunately, I fall short in this area every single Christmas.  Most of the time, our presents are wrapped and slapped under the tree....no bow, no label, no pretty tag.

This year, I'm determined to pretty up our gifts and packages.  Apparently, if you start early enough you CAN make this happen.  Who knew??  :)

I found myself driving from store to store the other day in search of boxes.  I really need some smaller rectangular boxes for some clay bowls I made and I could not find anything close to what I needed!  Then, as I was standing in the middle of my craft room, I spotted a stack of Project Life boxes from Studio Calico.  Score.  

These little boxes are THE PERFECT boxes for wrapping!!  The pattern is so super neutral that you don't have to wrap the boxes and they already have an elastic band to keep them closed.  Super score!!

I jazzed them up a little by adding ribbon, tags, Christmas goodies and some Project Life cards!!!  There are so many Project Life cards from Studio Calico that would work for gift packaging!!  I love that!!  

I bet you have a zillion of these boxes hanging around, don't you???  Go get to wrapping!!  You're welcome!  Ha!  :)


25 Days Inspiration

The 25 Days class at Studio Calico is in full swing!  The class has been full of lessons, contributors, videos and more!  And it has truly been an honor to be the instructor for the class!!

The gallery is just overflowing with amazing pages and December Daily® spreads.  Every day new projects are added, so if you are looking for inspiration be sure to hop on over to the gallery, grab a cup of coffee and peruse for a little while!!  My favorite thing about the gallery is that everyone has a different approach!  There are so many fun and new ways to approach products, pages and the like!!  It's just amazing!!

Today I wanted to share some pages that have really caught my eye during the class!  I love how each artist takes a different approach.  Some use lots of photos, some lots of words....whatever works for this album, or even that particular day!  There is no right or wrong to memory keeping!  I always try to remind myself of that when I'm beating myself up for not adding as much journaling or stories....in the end, I'm still recording memories and that's all that really matters to me!

First up is the amazing, Carly !  Carly has such a beautiful, airy style about her pages.  I love how the white makes the photos pop from her page.  I also reeeeeally love the consistency in the number cards.  It really gives the book an awesome cohesive look!!  

Next up is Donya.  Donya's photos take center stage in her pages and they are divine.  She always has super creative ways for using journaling cards or digital brushes. She often lets her photos speak for themselves and I think the clean look is just beautiful!  

Annik's work jumped out at me right away!  She always has the most creative uses of paper and products!  This little tree is so delicate and amazing!  Her album is full of gold and white, two of my favorites!!

And last, but definitely not least is the amazing Tara Elias.  The first thing that popped out at me when looking at her book was all of her words!!!  I love the stories she tells and how each day is filled with memories!!  And her photos are just superb!

Such eye candy, right??
I hope these ladies have inspired you to work on your album!  They definitely inspire me every single day!!


Creative Jumpstarts 06

It's time for another Creative Jumpstarts challenge!!  This week is all about Project Life.  I'm really loving the rotation through the different areas.....scrapbook, pocket, photo.  It's nice to mix things up every once in a while and think outside of the box and try something new!

Today's pocket challenge is to add some type of HIDDEN JOURNALING to your Project Life spreads.  This was a no-brainer for me as I love to add hidden journaling throughout my albums.  Hidden journaling usually means that I'm telling more stories and that is exactly what my goal is for next year (why not start early, right???).  Telling stories seems to encompass the "whole picture" for me.  I've been super guilty of just sliding photos in pockets and calling it done, but I really do strive for more depth and emotion in my pages.

For the most part, this spread came together very easily and quickly.  I started by printing my eight photos and then selected a few journaling cards that correlated with the month and overall "theme" of my photos.

I slipped the photos into place and then began my journaling.  I created a flip up photo card in the top left hand pocket to add in some extra journaling about my new obsession with the Serial Podcast (if you aren't listening, you just haaaaaave to!).  For the rest of my photos, I typed in small details about what was happening on that particular day.

I continued the same process on this right hand spread.  Some photos require a sentence or two...others can stand alone on their own, I think.  I also included some hidden journaling on this page by adding in a trimmed journaling card in the kraft pocket.  It holds a few notes about a movie date with the kids, as well as the movie tickets. 

I used a small paperclip and a day of the week tab along the left side of my flip up photo to act as a tab.  I love the look of the tab sticking out from the side of the page!

My finishing touches were a few stitches here and there just to hold everything in place!

And that's it!!  Be sure to hop on over to Marcy's blog to check out her take on this challenge!!

So what do you think?? Are you up for a Project Life challenge??  We'd love for you to play along with us!  I know life is super busy now, but taking time out to create is so fun and relaxing!  It's a great day to spend a few hours of alone time, right??  If you get a chance to play along, be sure to link up your project here and tag us over on Instagram (#creativejumpstarts).  

Creative Jumpstarts were created by Marcy Penner and Stephanie Bryan to challenge each other with their paper endeavors. Delivered in the form of bimonthly challenges, they encourage us (and hopefully you too) to stretch supplies, think outside of the box and to remain intentional about the memories we capture.  Challenges are posted on the first and third Mondays of every month.  Projects are shared on our blogs and on Instagram using the hashtag #creativejumpstarts. We'd love it if you'd share along with us at either of those places and be sure to tag us (@helloforeverpaperco and @stephaniebryan) if you do!


12 on the Twelfth: December Pictures

I finished up my final month of 12 on the 12th yesterday and it was definitely a little bitter sweet.  I really loved taking pictures on the 12th each month and I know I snapped a lot of our lives that probably wouldn't have been documented otherwise.  I caught glimpses of our day that seem so ordinary as you are living them, but then become so extraordinary when you look back on them.  A lot happens in a year, and having so many sweet memories recorded is priceless.  I've added the majority of these photos to my Project Life album, but I'm still contemplating creating a book just for these photos (pretty sure that's my obsession with mini albums talking).

Our 12th was a busy day....cookie making, Christmas crafts, present wrapping, playground fun and Disney on Ice.  It was purely magical.