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Carefree Summer Frolic Scrapbook Layout

As I mentioned in this post  I’ve been working on creating Blurb Memory Books  for all of my family’s previous years’ worth of digital pictures. I got my first Digital SLR in 2004 and I have literally taken thousands and thousands of pictures of my kids since then so I have a lot of work to do. Needless to say it’s been a slow process.

That’s why I’m so excited that I got this layout done tonight. These pictures were taken on 7-12-13 which means they are only a week old.  That is RECORD time for me to have any pictures edited and put onto a layout!


For this layout, all of the elements that I used were premade from Paislee Press.

I used their Press Cards No. 25 for the blue “Summer” graphic & the Frolic Kit for the rest.

I absolutely love their products. Not only do they have great design taste but having these premade elements makes creating 10 years’ worth of albums that much quicker. I made this layout in less than 10 minutes!!


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Our Secret Garden

As a child growing up, one of my absolute favorite movies was “The Secret Garden”. I thought it was so exciting to see how these children transformed this overgrown garden into a beautiful sanctuary. I used to watch it over and over again and now, even as an adult, I enjoy watching this movie and in fact we are going to watch it tonight in our new sunroom and have a family movie night. I can’t wait!!

We moved into our house last fall so Peter and I have never actually seen our gardens in full bloom but we seem to have our own little “secret garden” project on our hands. We heard that the previous owner was known for her amazing gardens, but unfortunately the house sat vacant for a few years so the gardens and the trees were very overgrown and in pretty rough shape when we moved in.

Little by little we’ve managed to clean out the dead trees, debris and some weeds and are starting to see some progress as the flowers and trees are starting to come back to life.

Neither Pete nor myself have any gardening experience so to move into a house with a garden already established, even if it was a little buried, was actually a blessing for us.  I really don’t think we could have created something like this on our own. Now that the warm weather is finally here and we are starting to see a lot of new flowers and plants pop up and bloom and it makes us love our new house even more than we did when we moved in. I’m so excited to see how the gardens progress throughout the summer.

Here are a few pictures I snapped of our secret gardens coming to life this Spring. I was very excited to see all the tulips and lots of apple blossoms on our trees!

apple blossom


tulip red

tulip white

tulips yellow 2

tulip yellow

tulip yellow top

This picture below is of a tulip patch by our outdoor patio. The garden solar light was given to me by a dear friend after my brother passed away and I knew this was the perfect spot for it. We have yellow tulips here in reminder of the Yellow Ribbon and Shane’s favorite color was Pink so we have our pink tulips here. Shane always said only a real man could wear pink so it’s a beautiful place to put this solar light – it always makes me smile.

tulip memory garden

Another plant I was very excited to see was an established Sedum plant! I love how these look when dried in the fall!


We also have a TON of hostas. There are so many different kinds but these were one of my favorites…


We also decided we need to learn to made my family’s Rhubarb Wine recipe because we have 6 monster rhubarb plants that we’ve transplanted and a ton more little ones growing in again right in the middle of our lawn.


We also have plenty of Rose bushes. There are about five just along this fence alone and four other bushes in other areas of the back yard. I can’t wait to see these all in bloom!

rose bush

This is a Fern Leaf Peony that Pete says should do magic tricks because of how excited our mothers got when they both saw it. This little guy managed to come back even after we tilled this side of the lawn last fall after moving in! We are very curious to see what it looks like in full bloom. We’ve since transplanted it to a safer area of the garden as this was right by the walking path to the garage and it seems to be thriving?

fern leaf peony

Peter cut down three evergreen trees this Spring that were an eyesore and growing into our lilacs and our other trees. With the tree stumps I’d like to do a project with my kids I saw on Pinterest and paint a Tic Tac Toe board on here and use rocks as markers. If the weather is nice this weekend I’m hoping we can start on this…


And lastly I have a sneak peek of the Fountain that Peter built near our patio last fall. I absolutely love the old spicket he used. I’ll share a complete feature on this later this summer after all the plants grow in around the pond….



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Happy “May Day”

Was it really in the 60’s yesterday? When I came home over my lunch today I decided I wasn’t going to mope because winter has once again returned, with a forecast of more on the way. Instead I grabbed my camera and took some rare pictures of our new plants all covered in snow.





At least I haven’t planted my moonflowers yet. They are still safe and warm in the porch and growing taller everyday!!




Photograph the Details

A project I’ve been working on for a little over a year now is to get my family’s digital photographs organized and printed so we can get them off the computer and enjoy them!! I got my first digital camera in 2004 and I have only edited and printed a handful of those pictures so I literally have thousands and thousands of pictures to print – it can be quite overwhelming. I stumbled upon a few posts last year about Blurb Books ( and I loved this concept of being able to create my own layouts and have them all printed and bound together into a book. They do have easy to use software as well but I’ve choosen to upload my own layouts created in Photoshop.

I’ve been challenging myself to create at least two layouts a week and wanted to share this one from 2004. I took these pictures of my daughter’s room in 2004 and she would have been 2 years old. She’s 11 years old now and looking back I’m so very glad I took these pictures. It brings back so many great memories of her childhood – her favorite movies and favorite toys that I had forgotten about. And her adorable bunny towel! How could I forget that? LOL. So my photography tip of the week is to remember to photograph all the small details in your family’s life.

For this layout I used Cinzia Loosemore’s templates from O’Scraps but had to customize this one a little to fit the 8×10 size I’m using for my 2004 album. Thanks for looking! ~Jess