Sunday, January 13, 2013

Birthday Journal... For Adults!


This year I decided that I wanted to document my life more, especially holidays like birthdays and Christmases. I had come across children's birthday journals last year, but... I want one too! Most of the birthday journals I had seen had specific birthdays on it, like age 5 and 7. I wanted a fill-in book.

I finally found a birthday journal that can work for adults. I paid about $15 for it on Amazon and is called "Happy Birthday to Me" by Chronicle Books. It's a cute book! The design is fun, and the book is pretty thick-- it's at least one inch thick. It has space for 10 years worth of birthdays. The years are not labeled, so it's perfect for adults too! You can use it for an 8th birthday, or an 80th!


It has 10 pages (each a pocket page), with the front and back of each pocket giving you space to record the year. It has fill in the blanks for "how I celebrated," age, presents, one spot for a photo, and other memories. Each pocket can hold at least a greeting card and a few photos.


Wouldn't you love to have a birthday book of your childhood? Well, you can't... but a birthday book of your adult birthdays is the second best thing!

This book was larger than I expected, and it took a week to be back in stock on Amazon. It's pretty sturdy, and I'm happy with it. I'm not sure if they're still making the book, but I hope so!

You could easily use a blank journal, a composition book, or a SmashBook to store your memories in. Personally, I wanted a birthday book that had a festively decorated cover with birthday designs on it. Remember to include what you did, who you saw, you called or send you birthday cards, presents received, or even a summary of your favorite memories that year. You might think you'll remember all of the details later, but... when I was filling out last year's birthday for this journal, I had already forgotten some of the details. I had to go look through old journals to see what I did last birthday. I already can't remember very many of my childhood birthdays.

I'm not a child anymore, but I still love the idea of a birthday book! I just think this will be cool to have in, say, 50 years. I bet my potential grandkids would have fun looking at something like this! It's a neat keepsake at any age, and will help me remember my 20s better later on.

What do you do to document your birthdays? How do you celebrate?





Saturday, January 12, 2013

Journaling Prompts of the Day

It's school season! Maybe you're finishing school, or maybe your kids are growing up fast. Today we'll take time to reflect on back to school time.

Here are today's journaling prompts:

1) What is your favorite school memory? Is it a class, a friend from school, something you learned, or recess?Being a kid and the fewer responsibilities that go along with childhood?

2) School field trips are a big deal for kids. Describe your favorite field trip..
What made it so fun? Did you go on a class trip to another city, and it was your first time from home? Did your filed trip to the local museum get you out of a science test that day?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

"Our Family Is" Wall Art (Downloadable)

Earlier this year, I got to thinking about family and what I wanted my future family to be. I made the below wall art out of it. If you missed it, you can download the 8.5 x 11 wall art here.

My ideal family traits have remained more or less the same since then. I guess I had never really thought about what traits I wanted my future family to be.

As a teen, about as far as I got with that thought was telling my parents "I'm totally going to live with you forever... and my husband can just sleep on your couch."

In college, I just thought about where I wanted to raise my kids... city? suburb? rural area? (I seriously cannot say the word "rural"... Freudian slip?) I thought about if I wanted to stay at home, work... and just the basic roles my family would have. Did I want a husband? Did I want kids? Did I want to focus on my career?


I've since really thought about the actual traits I want my family- spouse, kids, or myself- to have. I want us to be fun, but responsible. I want us to be spontaneous enough to take a random adventure camping or to the lake. And, goofy enough to dress up for Halloween in matching outfits. Or, youthful enough to go the the zoo or event and really enjoy it. Maybe we'll play board games or make our own parade or make crafts.

I want us to help people and care for our friends, but have our family be the bottom line. "Family comes first." I want us to spend tranquil time alone together and to have fun together... with family being the priority, not friends... not jobs... not that sort of thing. I want friends and neighbors and a sense of community, but I don't want those things to trump family.

I want to welcome friends into our home... but not to the extent that our family can't spend intimate time together alone on holidays to celebrate as. a family. I want my kids, if I have any, to feel it's their home. Their haven. It's not the neighbor's home, or our office, or Grand Central for a constant stream of friends coming in and out for one thing or another. I want our home to be our own sanctuary.

I want to be there for friends and help people, but not let it get in the way of our family being a family. If you know me, you know how I believe that private alone family time is super, super important... especially on holidays, days of mourning, hard times, and to reflect and plan and enjoy life as a family.

Your own family needs you too. And, friends being over is not private family time. It doesn't matter if they're your best friend and "feel" like family to you or not... they're not your family. Friends change the dynamic when visiting and are fun to be around, and a family can't bond like it can during special family time alone. I'll probably have holiday parties for friends when I'm older since I love seeing friends around the holidays, but schedule special family time where it's only our actual family. There's a fine line between family togetherness and maintaining a fun social life.

Setting boundaries with friends is super key. It's important to be their for friends, but not when that deters you from being there for your own family. Maybe your friend's career drama phone call seems more important than your son's losing a prized toy... but it's not. It's easy as an adult to forget how big a deal some things as a kid are... or seem. A kid losing a favorite toy might seem like an easy fix to us... "oh, we'll buy another." Or, "oh, it's just a toy." No, it's not just a toy to a kid. Your kid needs you at times like that... your response to them is up to you, but I think it should involve some sort of comforting. No matter how many people you're there for or help, you're making a huge oversight if you're not regularly there spending time with your own kid.

Kids need that regular time of bonding with their parents. ALONE.... as. a. family. Not friends. Not co-workers. Not family friends who feel like quasi-family. Not prom dates. Not on the phone with work. Not neighbors... just family. Friends have a special place in our lives... but not like family does. And, a home should reflect that. A home's key role is for the family, and kids should never, never feel like they're in the way of the parent's helping others/working/etc.... or that it's not their haven or a place they can always come home to for comfort. Kids coming home to yet another client, person you're helping, friend you're hanging out with, etc. every day is not kids coming to their home... it's kids coming home to Grand Center. Balance is key.


Anyway, here's the wall art I made.




Thursday, September 20, 2012

Quilts and Sewing Fun

 I got into sewing in college... after sewing little doll clothes or things like that as a kid. It's not that I even enjoy the process... I just like the outcome. I don't do patterns... I'm not patient enough. I rarely pin (I know, I know). I want to learn how to really quilt one day... but, I know that will take a lot of patience.

It all started when I decided I wanted some momento from college. I decided to make a crochet afghan.


Then, I found some old cut up t-shirts from high school. I had heard about t-shirt quilts in 11th or 12 grade and had wanted to make one back then, but never did. So, I made one now... it. took. forever. SO much cutting, ironing, fusing, sewing.


I was so excited to have a finished t-shirt quilt that I made another! I now have 3 of them...

I found an old felt patchwork quilt that I made in 4th or 5th grade. It wasn't exactly cozy being felt, so I decided to cut it up, add backing, and make it useable.


I had started on a yo-yo quilt a long time ago... maybe even a few years ago. I had gone to a local fair and had seen a pretty yo-yo quilt. I had never remembered seeing one of them before, and decided I had to have one. I started on it... and, finally, finished it this year! I made mine a flower design...


An old friend once had made a checker game board quilt. I decided I had to have one of those, too. So, I made a game board quilt. It was pretty quick to make... and it's fun to play on!





Friday, September 7, 2012

$40 Free Paper Coterie Credit for Everyone (New Customers)

Have you been wanting to try out Paper Coterie?

If so, here's a $40 FREE Paper Coterie credit coupon for everyone (new customers only).

Use the code "Welcome2012" in the Paper Coterie shop to get the $40 off. Their shipping rates apply.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Flashback Friday: '90s Notebooks


Ok, so I'm convinced that kids today are missing out on one of the best things in childhood.... fun notebooks!

I had all sorts of cute little notebooks as a kid. Sanrio notebooks in cool shapes were my favorite. And, of course those glittery spiral notebooks and opalescent notebooks. 










Am I the only person who actually enjoys shopping for school supplies?

Paper and pencils and erasers, oh my!


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Journaling Prompts of the Day

School is in season again, and students everywhere are missing summer vacation.


Here are today's journaling prompts:


1) What was your favorite summer memory? Was it a childhood family vacation, or a recent summer vacation? Did you have planned activities (piano lessons, church camp, summer school), or did you spend summers sleeping in and lounging by the swimming pool?

2) Why do adults not get a summer vacation? Do you think adults today don't get enough vacation time? What would you do all summer if you had time off?

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