New Year, New Project

Happy New Year!  Oh wait, it’s mid-February.  Oops!  I meant to share about my new years resolutions last month but time got away from me with a newborn to care for cuddle.  When I started really thinking about what I wanted to share I realized that my goals for the year look a lot different than in years past.  There’s a list of things I always strive for, such as kindness, compassion, patience, sharing, honing my listening skills, choosing happiness, and taking care of my body and soul, among other things, but I usually have a long list of more tangible goals as well.  I decided to scrap that this year and just focus on one tangible project as well as the bigger picture experience it represents.

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project life february 2016 kick-off

Enter Project Life!  Late last year I purchased an album and the Baby Girl Edition Core Kit after hearing so many of you rave about it as a baby book option.  I’m hoping to start working on it now that life as a new mommy is starting to settle down a bit.  Flipping through the cards and poking around online for inspiration led me to discover Ali Edwards.  I started reading her blog over the past month and decided to really take the Project Life plunge, not just for my daughter, CC’s baby book, but also as a way to dive back into scrapbooking.

I used to love memory keeping and put together many scrapbooks throughout high school, college, and my early twenties.  The hobby got away from me when I started my YouTube channel in 2010 and then my blog in late 2012 as I dedicated most all of my free time to creating online content.  I thought my scrapbooking days were behind me, even as recently as last spring when I did a major purge and donated a huge chunk of my supplies to charity.

I knew I would put together a baby book documenting the first year of CC’s life, but it never crossed my mind that I’d be interested in memory keeping again.  It’s not that I no longer enjoy the hobby, but I figured that between taking care of a baby and trying to keep up with posting I simply wouldn’t have time.  Well, that all changed once CC was born.  I knew within the first week just from scrolling through the photo gallery on my phone that I wanted to document way more than any baby book would be able to hold.

I need something that will fit into my busy life without feeling overwhelming.  Project Life (or pocket scrapbooking) seems like a much more approachable way to get back into my old hobby without being too time consuming.  I joined Ali Edwards’ Storytelling with Project Life class and watched the first series of videos over the course of last week while feeding CC (multi-tasking for the win!).  Ali’s class has given me the push I needed to feel confident embarking on a year long project.  Her week-by-week format suits my desire to document this new chapter in my life.

project life supplies 02-2016

What I like most about this way of scrapbooking using Ali’s methods for guidance is that it’s not about the craft, although I can certainly get crafty with it if I want to.  In the past I’ve let the crafty side and accumulating all of the stuff (read: product overwhelm) to get the best of me.  This ended up being a barrier for me to continue memory keeping as it got too time consuming to keep up with and follow other pursuits as well.  The Project Life method focuses on the story mainly through photos and journaling.  Embellishments are a nice extra touch, but not necessary to make for a complete project.

With Project Life you really only need a few products, including an album, page protectors, and some cards for journaling.  I’m actually really glad I purged as much of my craft stash as I did last year, because it leaves less choices to overwhelm me with when I want to embellish a bit in this project.

Here are the main supplies I purchased:

❊ Project Life Kiwi Edition Designer Album

❊ Project Life Strawberry Edition Core Kit

❊ Project Life Photo Pocket Pages (Big Pack of Design A)

❊ Uchida Rounded Corner Punch

And a few fun extras:

❊ Project Life Strawberry Edition Textured Cardstock for Scrapbooking (4 by 6-Inch and 3 by 4-Inch)

❊ Project Life Inspire Edition Overlays

Project Life Photo Overlays (Set 2)

freckled fawn 02-2016 overview

I also decided to try the monthly subscription embellishment kit by Freckled Fawn in the hopes that it is the right amount of product to add whimsy to my album with some continuity without falling down the rabbit hole of going crazy at the craft store as in years past.  I’m going to share an open box post about the February kit soon.

Thanks to a timely 20% off entire purchase coupon for Michael’s I was able to keep my project supply budget in a reasonable range.  I think I have the right amount of product to tackle this year long project without feeling overwhelmed by stuff.  This allows me to focus on sharing the story as opposed to showcasing the craft.  I don’t think there’s anything wrong with others who choose to focus on the craft and I’m sure I will from time to time too, but the main purpose of this project for me is about story telling.

I was able to put together my first spread (from last week) during two one-hour baby naps.  That seems like a doable amount of time for the long haul for me.  I expect some weeks will be quicker and some may take longer.  Here’s a look at my first ever Project Life spread:

project life 02-09-2016 page 1

I’m following Ali’s method of using Design A page protectors with the 4″x6″ slots dedicated to each day of the week. The left hand side of the spread (pictured above) includes a date card then goes in order from top and diagonally to bottom from Monday through Wednesday.

project life 02-09-2016 page 2

The righthand side (above) has Thursday and Friday in the top two slots and the weekend in the bottom two.  The 3″x4″ cards that span across the center of the spread are mostly for journaling, although I see myself using them for photos as well, as I have already done so in this spread.

What I like most about this project is that after completing just one spread I can already see the story take shape.  The bigger picture behind my project goal is about experiencing and relishing the moments of life, both big and small.  For me it’s a focus on living in the moment especially as I watch CC grow and blossom every single day.  It’s about the extraordinary and the mundane and how it is all an important part of the journey.  Cherishing each moment and truly experiencing the time I am given feeds my soul and makes me feel whole.  This project is a reminder of that for me and I look forward to seeing how it unfolds with time.

I’d love to know if you scrapbook and what you like most about it if you care to share!
Here’s to making memories in 2016!


* Post contains affiliate links. This is not a sponsored post. All opinions are genuinely my own. *


64 thoughts on “New Year, New Project”

  1. Jen!!!!! I’m over the moon for you that you decide to go with Project Life! You picked out some beautiful products and you pages are already coming together!!!!! so very very excited for you.
    Thank you for sharing with your pages with is. I am also taking 2 of Ali’s class – One Little Word & Story Telling.
    I love Ali’s process and she really inspires me!!!!
    I have been doing project life like this years now and it is the only way I am able to keep up with Memory Keeping!!!!!

  2. Hi, Jen
    I love scrapbooking and making handmade cards too. I guess what I love about both if having an idea and watching it unfold also seeing what the wonderful project looks like completed. I enjoy watching Thescrapmaster on YouTube and she has made a baby project life album for her daughter and has a bunch or great layouts also her layouts are very simple and easy to make she also orders the freckle fawn kits too. Hope you enjoy and your layouts look great 🙂

  3. Love your project life spread, it came out beautiful. I have been doing project life since 2014. I didn’t want to leave the world of layouts, and albums, I was definitely resistant to the idea, even though, Becky Higgins is my all time favorite scrapbooker. Ali Edwards it amazing, as well. I had the privilege of taking some of Ali’s classes in person and getting the chance to meet her.

    I so glad you are enjoying documenting your family life.

    You might also enjoy doing Ali Edwards December Daily. I think it would be perfect for your family this year.

    I’m sorry I’m babbling too much.

  4. Beautiful job Jen! I am also using the strawberry core kit for my baby album (although my baby is a boy and he isn’t here yet :)) I am relatively new to Project life, having only done a few spreads so far, to practise as it were. I have always scrap booked but only occasionally as I have always been a full time shift worker. I am hoping that once the little one and I get settled in I will be able to keep up with a weekly spread also. Thank you for sharing your lovely pages, please continue to do so!

  5. Dear Jen,
    Thanks so much for sharing this project! I am going to become a grandmother for the first time this spring and i was wondering if there was a way to document without going full on scrapbook. I think your choice for Project Life might work just as well for me.
    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your lovely new daughter!

  6. I love this idea! Your spread looks awesome for your first go. What are you using to print the pictures? That same printer from your baby moon “scrapbooking”?

  7. Love project life so much! I’ll mention something that I had scrapped, and my kids will say they don’t remember it. That’s the beauty of it. All those little moments that we might otherwise forget. And fun things like, when she went into a bigger size diaper, or how much she’s eating or sleeping. I include it all!

  8. This is absolutely beautiful. I love seeing your posts. It is wonderful to see a happy family and a truly in love couple. <3 You have a beautiful little family congrats again on your bundle of joy.

  9. Hi Jen!!! I bought my first scrapbook in WDW last November I did not start working on it.. Im not sure where I should start how I should organize it.. lol Im quite lost.. Any suggestions? I know you did wdw scrapbook in the past… I really love the idea to document memories this way!! Beautiful post!! Love CC’s photos!!! She is so cute!!

    1. I’m certainly no memory keeping expert but what’s worked for me & my WDW scrapbooks in the past is working chronologically & incorporating bits of ephemera (like maps, tickets, etc) with my story. Most importantly go with what feels right & enjoy the process 🙂

      1. Awww Jen, thanks for your reply!!! I will take your advice and see how it goes.. I will let you know!!! XOXO from Uruguay!! 🙂

  10. I love this!

    I have been scrapbooking since I was 12 and am now 25. I have fallen behind in keeping up with my projects but my goal for this year is to catch up or mostly catch up. In January alone I completed my pages designated to my first trip to Washington DC (roughly 47 pages) and now I feel like I’m on a roll!

    One of my favorite things about catching up on my scrapbooking is looking back at all of the wonderful memories. It’s so much work but it is worth all of the time and effort.


  11. What a inspiring project!You’re spreads are lovely! I have been hearing about Project Life for a while, and i want to try it too but I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so i always get overwhelmed but this seems manageable! Thanks for the inspiration! Also, what kind of printer do you use for printing out your pictures?

    1. I think this is a good project for someone with perfectionist tendencies because it can be so simple. The more basic you keep it, the easier it is to practice being ok with whatever it turns into.

      I use an Epson PictureMate (PM-400)

  12. Project Life is wonderful, you can make it as elaborate or simple as you desire. Ali is THE best. Love that she is all about the story. Documenting life — December Daily, One Little Word, Week in the Life, Day in the Life. Personally I’d rather see you spend time preserving your family’s memories than writing a blog post about the contents of a Pop Sugar box.

  13. You are doing such a beautiful job with your project life 🙂 I have never done project life but you have inspired me to try it out…

  14. I have the same album for my little baby boy!! I really love it!! Great job, I’m a little behind on documenting the first 9 months but I’m trying to be back on schedule!

  15. I am so glad you are showcasing your Project Life spreads. I’ve always been curious but always thought it was so overwhelming a task to take on. Hope you’ll share more in the future.

  16. Project Life is so much fun! I have always enjoyed memory keeping. With traditional scrapbooking I always struggled where to place the pictures and elements. Project Life I find so freeing with it’s little pockets. It gives me a simple framework to use when I just want to finish the page, but allows for creativity when I want to play a little. This is my 4th year doing Project Life. I have done my wedding album and now I am working on my childhood/teen years album!

    Welcome to Project Life, you’ll love!

  17. Jenn, I have been using an app called Lifecake to document my daughters life in pictures. I have wanted to do a baby book for her, but I didn’t like the complexity of the books that are out there. This option is wonderful and I am going to purchase what I need to get started. Thank you for sharing such thoughtful content. I have followed you for a long time and always look forward to your next post. One question I have is whether you print the pictures at home or order prints online? If you print at home to you use a general printer? I know you are busy with little Miss Charlotte, but it would be so helpful if you could do a quick tutorial of how you put a page together!

  18. Hi Jen! I have thought about starting a Project Life scrapbook for a while now and you’ve given me some new motivation (and you’ve also introduced me to a great new resource in Ali Edwards). I have a blog to document my photos from my time traveling and living abroad, but with a purely digital format I really miss the ability to incorporate physical mementos like ticket stubs, menus, programs. I am really attracted to the simplicity of Project Life. Thanks for sharing!

    1. You can buy different size page protectors to accommodate those kinds of things as well. Project Life can be quite versatile!

  19. So awesome! It turned out great!! Are you still planning on doing a separate baby album for Charlotte with the baby edition or did you decide to just do the planner for her? Either way, I’m so looking forward to seeing your journey! 💞

  20. What a great memory album you will have! I love to scrapbook! I am doing the pocket page style right now and have found I really enjoy it. I still love the traditional method for some things but, I am going into older pictures and the pocket page is the best for telling the story of long ago. I too did a huge purge (thanks for showing yours!) and I don’t feel so overwhelmed with all the stuff. I will be excited to see your Freckled Fawn monthly kit. I have thought about doing that also. You have a lovely little girl! Thanks for sharing her and I can’t wait to see more pocket pages!

  21. Thank you so much for sharing!
    My sister in law is pregnant with her 1st child and know this is up her ally! Would you think of doing a review once you finish the book?

  22. This was the kick in the butt that I needed. Thanks Jen! I love Project Life AND Ali Edwards already but I didn’t know about the class. I signed up! Thanks!

    Congrats on little CC – she’s adorbs!

  23. I’ve been intrigued by Project Life this past year. I, too, have done scrapbooking in the past, and unfortunately abandoned a lot of albums because I got overwhelmed with the amount of work. I don’t think Project Life is right for me right now, but I think in the future I will embrace it!

  24. Jen ~ I’m so excited to see that you have taken up PL. This is my 5th year doing PL and it is wonderful and so easy to stay on top of and manage. I discovered Ali Edwards in 2010 and she is just amazing! She provides awesome inspiration. Have you tried out the Project Life app for your iphone/ipad? It is great as well. And you can use it to make 4×6 collage prints, in case you ever want to make smaller photos. You should definitely check it out! I can’t wait to see how your PL evolves. 🙂

  25. Your Project looks great. It is hard not to start my own. But i don´t no where to start.No Kids and not a lot of fun stuff going on right now in my life.
    Please keep us updated on your Project. Youre a huge inspiration for me.
    Good luck and well wishes for you.

    1. In Ali’s class she speaks about the importance of sharing your story and how you don’t need kids or a crazy lifestyle to have a reason for memory keeping. It’s about you and your experiences. Even if you think there’s nothing interesting worth documenting, your story is always worth telling because it is uniquely your own.

  26. I’m so excited that you’re starting Project Life! I’ve been doing it for about a year now, and I’m so grateful for it. As a full-time working mom of two little boys, Project Life has been a life saver in helping me to document the memories we make. (I use a mix of the traditional Project Life kits and the app. Both are great options.) Looking forward to seeing what you do with it!

  27. Looks great! I have been flirting with trying project life but didn’t think I’d have time. Maybe it’s time to take the plunge and make the time. Your pages look so beautiful. Glad you and your family are well.

  28. Awww, I love that you are back into memory keeping and chose Project Life as your method. I too, use Project Life, in the digital format. I LOVE IT! I too, love Ali and also Cathy Zielske’s styles! I’m one of the Android phone users eagerly anticipating the arrival of the Android app version of PL so I can ‘scrap on the go!’ I’m sooo looking forward to seeing many more of your layouts! (and I’d love to see some of your older scrapbook pages too sometime!) You certainly rocked your first layout — perfect!!

  29. I have been loving Project Life for the past 2 years! It makes scrapbooking so easy! One year I did weekly spreads and that got a little overwhelming as I didn’t always have something to share. So last year, just focused on the big events. Haven’t decided how I will proceed with this year. I’m excited that the Project Life App is coming to Android in the very near future! I’m also working on some of my high school/college memories using Project Life as I feel that will be the easiest way!

  30. Awesome. I’ve never scrapbooked because it seems to be such an arduous process. I do have time for journaling/planning and this seems like a great “balance” of the two. So thanks for sharing THIS method. Are the photos placed on card stock? When you have the time will you be doing a more in-depth video about this? I hate to ask because I know how difficult it is to even watch videos, let alone create and edit them in this season of mommy life 🙂

    1. I just print the photos of photo paper and pop them in the pockets unless I cut one out in a smaller shape. It’s possible I’ll share a closer look in a video down the road, but if I do probably not until I’ve completed much more of the album and know more about my process and preferences.

  31. You have a lot to scrap book about! Your baby is no joke a model baby!! She is GORGEOUS!! 1 of the most beautiful babies I’ve ever seen in my life!

  32. I’ve been doing project life for 2 years. Sometimes for special events I slip in regular scrapbook pages in my album. Love documenting daily life. I regularity follow Becky Higgins and Ali Edwards blogs. Where was this when my babies were little. I love how you can go simple … Or fancy it up depending on your mood and it all looks good.

  33. I’m so excited to see that you are sharing your memory keeping with us. I have intermixed pocket pages with traditional scrapbooking pages in my albums in the past and have thought about trying PL. This spread may have pushed me to go for it. Looks great! Hopefully we’ll get to see your process in a video too. 😉

  34. I love this idea. Whenever I get into a crafty project I end up spending more time buying all the things I might possibly need and no time on the actual craft. I end up overwhelmed with ‘things’ and the project never sees completion. Project Life seems like such a quick and cute way to scrapbook! I would love to give it a go, the only issue is that I have nothing to print pictures on right now which is a shame! It’s something I will keep in mind though! Can’t wait to see what you do with future spreads and the subscription looks like a great way to get your hands on some new embellishments!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland

  35. As one of your MANY followers, I want to add my belated congratulations and Happy Birthday (to both of you). As someone who supports those who struggle with getting up and getting going (AD(h)D, EFD, TBI, anxiety/depression, etc.), I’m particularly amazed with how much you have always been able to squeeze into a day – and how quickly you are returning to your [apparently] native Energizer Bunny status.

    One comment I do want to make sure I add is about Don – specifically about the adoring look on his face when he looks at the two of you (obviously beyond thrilled to be a new Dad and the CC miracle). I hope you will get lots of pictures of him, especially, during this time – because it is absolutely adorable and likely to “tame” in months and years to come, as the experience becomes more “business as usual.” His “stepping up” at this time, as you call it in your videos, is heartwarming, tho’ not surprising — still worth a **GOOD JOB DON!** comment.

    As a Shih Tzu mom myself, I also loved the CC/Winnie-intro clip – and especially watching you take care of the feelings of “baby #1”, with the quiet comment that there was certainly enough love to go around. Again, no surprise, but wonderful to watch.

    Thank you so much for taking the time to continue to share a real-time look at a functional family that can serve as a positive model among so many that are not.

    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMore dot com)
    – ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder –
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

  36. Hi Jen, this is my first visit to your blog. I just watched your February favorites. This is also my first opportunity to congratulate you and Don on your beautiful baby girl! I love your project life pages, keep it up. Try not to fall behind in pictures seems hard to catch up when you do. Well I will definitely book mark your blog and will be back to visit soon. Take care, wish you all the best! Hugs 🙂 Karen

  37. Project Life is my favorite form of memory keeping for the simplicity! I have recently started using the app as well and it really makes it easy to scrap on the go.

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