Project Life Week 7

Let’s just jump right on in to it! Week 7 coming at ya!


Left Side:

Project Life week 7 spread, left side


Right Side:

Project Life week 7, right side


The whole shebang:

Full project Life week 7 spread


And some closeups:

Project Life valentine's day freebie

Project Life filler card that says "week at a glance"

Photo taken under a pier, processed in HDR

picture of a man standing on the beach at sunset

Project Life cards

project life cards

picture of barnacles


This week I tried something new. I did a photo-a-day, and placed an overlay on each one. I found the overlays at one of my favorite Project Life blogs to follow – Caylee Grey. You can find the link to her day of the week overlays here. She always has fun and inspiring Project Life layouts – definitely worth taking a look around, and adding her to your Bloglovin’ feed!

I’m still not 100% thrilled with the lack of cohesiveness (is that a word?!) with my spreads. From what I’ve seen in my intense Pinterest stalking, it seems to take people a few YEARS to figure out how they like their spreads. I’m just not in to waiting that long! 

I found a free printable planner over at Hello Forever that I want to test out this week. I’m also thinking maybe I’ll find the filler cards that I want to use, and place those in at the start of the week. That way I can decide on a theme or a look, and then plan pictures around that. Maybe I’m thinking too much about this – I know the whole idea is to just get pictures off the computer and in to a physical book – but I want it to be something I enjoy looking back at that makes me smile.

By the end of this year, I WILL have a spread that I  love! 🙂

Hope you have a great day!



Coming Back From the Worst Day of My Life

I wrote about what is arguably the worst, yet most inspiring, day of my life on an old blog of mine. In preparation for today’s post, I went back and re-read it, only to realize that I don’t want to rehash all of the details again. It just still hurts.

I will give you the bare bones details though, since that day has become such a huge part of who I am.

I am a runner. I have been running since I was in high school. Sometimes I run more than others, and now is one of those times.


I am a Masshole through and through. Sweet Caroline, Dirty Water, and Shipping Up To Boston are my theme songs.

Marathon Monday is my second Christmas. The only year I didn’t watch the Boston Marathon was the year I ran it (2009). For the past 4 years I have stood at the same spot on Boylston Street at Mile 26 to watch as my heroes run by me, and this past year, April 15, 2013, was no exception.


Looking away from the finish line.

My first instinct is still to take off sprinting when I hear loud noises. I still have nightmares -weekly- about the bombs going off. I will ALWAYS tense up when I hear sirens. And that break in my heart will never fully heal.

I was one of the luckiest. I was on the opposite side of the street, and less than half a block from the second explosion. I sprinted with everyone else to the Charles River – just to get away.

Ever since that day, I have run with more passion and determination than I have ever run with before. The move to California this fall, and being unable to secure a charity number, made it impossible for me to be in Boston on my second Christmas this year. Instead, I will be running the LA Marathon with “For Boston” on my bib on March 9th, followed a week later by running the first stage of the One Run For Boston – a 3300 mile relay from Santa Monica to Boston – on March 16th.

**Shameless self promotion: Please take a peek at my runner profile. My goal is to raise $250 for the One Fund, every little bit helps and goes to the victims of the Marathon bombings**

So, how’s that training for the LA Marathon going? Pretty darn well, I’d say!

I’m using the training plan from Marathon Rookie, and running a combination of trails, roads, and track workouts. Mixing up the surfaces I’ve run on has been amazing both mentally and physically, and I can seriously see a difference in my times.

Anyone can run a marathon. All it takes is the ability to make a plan and stick to it. Let me change that up a bit. All it takes is the ability to make a million plans that fall under one big plan. Like this:

Marathon Plan:
Follow 16 week Marathon Training Plan and complete the LA Marathon
Week 1: Run 3 miles x2, 4 miles x1, 5 miles x1
5 Miles plan: Keep 8:40 pace, rehydrate at mile 3, stretch before and after

So really, it’s like a tree of plans with all the branches connecting back to the trunk.

I’ve also found that being more flexible with my running plan has helped a LOT. I tend to be someone who fails miserably at getting things done on specific days (which is why I am in complete AWE that this blog is still going!) so I told myself that I just have to get my runs in during the week, but it doesn’t matter which days. This gives me the ability to not feel guilty if I miss a run, and lets me run based on how I am physically that day. Some days you just don’t feel up to an 8 mile run, so with my way of doing it, I can swap my 8 mile run for a 4 mile run, and that way I don’t skip running altogether.

I keep up with my training in my planner like this:


I check off the box after the run, which gives me an instant sense of accomplishment. The color I check the box off with means nothing more than that was the pen I had handy at the time 🙂

I have a few things that I take with me when I run that I cannot live without:


1. My running shoes. Duh. 🙂
2. My Garmin. I have the Garmin Forerunner 110. Chris got it for me for my birthday last year when my beloved Garmin 305 finally died. It’s perfect for me since it’s pretty minimal in what it can do. I can see my time, pace, and distance. That’s all I need!
3. GU! I can’t run more than 7 miles without it. I love the GU Chomps (pictured behind the GU) since they are easier for me to eat on the run, and I can eat a few at a time.
4. My Christmas present from Chris this year – an iPod Nano and Jaybird Bluetooth headphones (you can kind of see them wrapped around the ipod). This is the BEST thing ever. No more cords to tuck away and hide! The headphones sync via bluetooth to the ipod, and off I go! I download audiobooks from my library on to my ipod for longer runs (like that 16 miler I did last weekend) and music for my shorter runs to help me run at a faster pace.
5. My custom Oakleys. Chris got me these the year I ran the Boston Marathon. I am kind of obsessed with the color pink, so he customized them to be pink and white, and my name is etched in the lens. Now that I’m running in California, I use them ever single day.

Ok- 2 things I noticed when I was making this list: first, most of my gear is from Chris over the years, and second, I need to add sunscreen to that list. ASAP.

So there you have it. The story of my running, the things I can’t live without, and my plan for running success. Feel free to shoot any questions about running my way – I’m no pro, but I’ve definitely run a race or two! Thanks for hanging out for such a long winded, and (for me) emotional, post – I’ll see you back here on Friday!

New Planner Reveal! (Paper addict alert!)

It’s FINALLY here!

It’s perfect. It’s bright, and bold, and stunning.

Am I awkwardly in love? You bet I am!

So without further ado- {drumrollplease….}




I don’t think obsession even begins to explain it. Seriously.

Before I get awkwardly lost in my love affair with a planner, let’s just dive in and see what it’s made of.

So first of all, I wanted a snap closure. This planner has one which I LOVE. It’s already made a big difference when it comes to me tossing it in my bag and then being able to find my cell phone quickly. 😉


The inside has a big pocket as well as smaller pockets. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with them yet. Probably just have them hold randoms like my old one did. Psssttt check out the pen holder.. loving it!



I made the dividers out of scrapbook paper I already had on hand. So far I only have 3 sections: Calendar, blog, and journal.


I found this adorable printable at BasicGrey, and had to use it right up front.


So here is my month at a glance view. When I printed them out I realized I didn’t really have any space to write the month. I solved that problem by using free printable card from Just Izzy Design. I decorated the front with washi tape, and the back with scrapbook paper to jazz it up a little.


I listed my goals for the month on the back. This way it is a constant visual reminder of what I’d like to accomplish.


Here is my weekly view. I used another one of Just Izzy Design’s free printable cards for a book mark that I can transfer from week to week to make it easy to find the current week’s schedule.


I broke my weekly view down into Morning, Afternoon, and Evening like in my old Martha Stewart planner.

Right now I have the bottom section as a menu planner, but we’ll see how that goes.


Man, if this isn’t true at least 3 times a day!

I found this lovely printable at Little Inspirations.


So here is my blog section. So far it’s pretty empty. Just some goals for the month. I’m going to use this monthly view to plot out blog posts, and then I’m planning on creating just plain old lined paper for the billions of ideas floating around in my brain!


I found this one at Little Inspirations as well. I think it’s so cute!


This is my “journal” section. By journal, I mean this is where I get a chance to write down what happened that day. I have a separate journal (more on that later, but hint hint! It’s the pretty yellow Moleskine pictured with my planner!) for longer writing, but this will help me come Project Life time. I’m trying to get in the habit of writing down a little something from each day so when I start putting together weekly spreads I can just pop open to this section, and everything will be set up by date. No scrambling to try and remember when something happened!


The back has another large pocket. This one I’m really not sure about because it is open at the top AND bottom.. I’ll get back to you on that one!

So there you have it!

A few key things I left out. I created all of the pages myself unless noted. It took FOREVER and I will be attempting to get printables up (when I figure out how to do that!) as well as a tutorial in case someone wants to make their own.

All of the pages I printed on my home computer in black and white and then decorated with Washi tape on the edges to strengthen where I punched the holes {andtomakeitpretty!}

All of the links to the blogs where I got my printables should work, but in case they don’t, check out my As Seen In board on my Pinterest (and please follow me while you’re there!)


Thanks for sticking it out! That was another long one. I hope you all have a great day!

The great planner obsession – Part 1

Grab your coffee.. This post is a doozy! {Ipromiseithaslotsofpictures}

Yesterday I was talking about all of the things I wanted to keep track of by posting on the blog. One of those was “Get more organized in 2014”. I think I want to revise that to be “Get more organized NOW”.

With the holidays already upon us (seriously, when the HECK did that happen??) I wanted to make sure I was ready to send holiday cards, keep gift lists organized, remember parties or events, and in general keep my head on straight!

Enter, stage left: My obsession with paper planners.

I need to write things down with a pen, on a piece of paper. Being someone who thinks so quickly (seriously, thoughts are FLYING around up there!) I think it’s funny that I prefer pen and paper, but sometimes writing something down in a planner is faster than opening an app, clicking on the date, highlighting the time, typing in the appointment, setting the alarm (or not), unchecking the “repeat every week” box, and then closing the app to allow it to sync to my google calendar.

I also use my planner to write down things I need to remember later, since odds are pretty good that I will forget it in about 5 seconds. I have grocery lists, gift ideas, phone numbers, and to-do lists all over my planner.


So what do I look for in a planner?

My number one question when looking for a planner is simple.


This past year I used a Martha Stewart planner that I put together at Staples. I picked the size and type, and bought tabs and paper for inserts.


What I liked:

-The set up of the weekly calendar. It was a week on two pages, and each day was set up  with space for morning, afternoon, and evening. Since I’m not someone who ever has meetings, conferences or phone calls back to back to back, I didn’t need every hour listed out for me.




-Space for “Tasks” on each weekly layout. It’s how I manage my marathon training. I allow myself to be flexible with training, by writing what I need to complete in the task bar, and then just check it off as I get it done. This allows me the freedom to move workouts around as needed.


-The Monthly calendar. I like to be able to see birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays in advance.


-It was 3 ring. I could take out the paper and write on a flat surface without the rings or a spiral getting in the way.

-There were 2 spaces at the bottom of each day for me to use as I wanted. Some weeks it was meal plans, some weeks it was my workout, some weeks it was just reminders of things to do.

-The ability to have separate sections. I definitely did not use this to it’s full extent, and am planning on making much more use of it in my new planner!


-Pockets in the front and back. I like to put small things like business cards, receipts, or note cards from people in there.


What I didn’t like:

  • The size. It was just way too big! I always felt like it was taking up my whole bag. The insert pages were 5 1/2″ x 8 1/2″ and the binder was even bigger. It was just too much.
  • It doesn’t have a closure mechanism. Seems like an easy enough fix (use a big rubber band) but in my mind thats a hassle. I was always losing things in my bag because they would actually get lost in my planner. A simple snap closure would be amazing.
  • Lack of customization. I wanted some different types of inserts, and they just weren’t available in Maratha Stewart’s line. I’m just learning how to create my own {barebones} inserts – look for that post coming soon!

So what is my new plan?

A Franklin Covey. I had originally wanted a Filofax after stumbling on a pinterest board of them. Now I have to warn you, if you haven’t yet gone on pinterest and searched “Filofax love” prepare yourself. It’s a whole other crazy world! People have GIANT collections of Filofaxes with a million sections and tabs and spend as much time decorating them as some people do scrapbooks. They are amazing works of art and heart.

My only problem with them? The A5 size was too big, and the personal size was too small. Enter, my Franklin Covey. WIth insert pages at 4.25″ x 6.75″ I have enough space to write, but without too much added bulk from the binder itself. I ordered the binder last week and it is due to arrive today – I’m stalking the FedEx man!

My plan is to break my new planner down into a few different sections:

-Calendar: for work, appointments, birthdays, anniversaries, workouts, you name it. Preferably still in the morning, afternoon, evening set-up I have now.

-Journal: This is part of my plan to find me. I’m really bad at keeping things up every single day, so my goal is to get a different calendar layout, still 2 pages for a week, but without the day broken up at all, and then every day jot a few things down that happened in the space. I’m hoping it will create a habit which will eventually turn into longer journal entries, but I’m going to start small.

-Address Book: Since moving to California from Boston, I LOVE to send letters to people (more on that another time). I’ve found that having a physical address book is completely underrated. I refer to that thing at least 3 times a week, if not more often. The one I have now I put together quickly just to get all the information in, and I want to take time to make sure it’s updated and in alphabetical order.

-Perpetual Calendar: So that I always know who’s birthday and anniversary is when.

-Project Life: I’m still not 100% sure how I’m going to work this section. I was thinking grid paper maybe? Stay tuned.. we’ll work on that part!

-And last but certainly not least: Space for my beloved lists! It HAS to have an index section so I can find things, but again, stay tuned!

Whew!! That was SUPER long winded and VERY photo heavy.  Thanks for hanging in there! Hopefully soon I will have a new planner put together and will be able to show it off!

See you soon!