Your Stories Matter, Document Them.


(Cover of my 2018 Project Life Scrapbook)

"Owning our story and loving ourselves through that process is the bravest thing that we will ever do."-Brene Brown

It all started with a 35 mm Kodak camera that I had since I was about 4th grade. I remember bringing it with me everywhere and getting excited when I would get my rolls back from the photo lab at our local Longs Drugs. Then I would place them in those adhesive type albums, you know the ones where the entire page was adhesive and you would have to peel them back and be extra careful placing the plastic cover. But I would add magazine cut outs and even confetti, so it was always a challenge placing those plastic covers back over.  

 (Exhibit A & B, And I think I used puffy paint! WTH!) 

Growing up, I would document everything! I would fill my albums with stories, photos, magazine cut out as embellishments. Heck I would even cut out our photos and stick them on photos of cars to document our "travels" or "adventures." So choosing a career that resonated with my passion seemed only fitting. I always knew I enjoyed documenting, telling stories + photos. Magazine layouts, posters, typography and photography has always struck my heart strings and I simply love design. 

Looking back, I was at my most content when I was able to add a bit of creativity to my everyday. I started this blog 12 years ago with the intent of being able to write my stories as I did with my written journal entries as a child then copy & paste them to my albums. Scrolling back, I have been doing just that (just a few):

The Need To Create

In The Midst Of Chaos

Another Mini Album Done

There have been a few long breaks in between, especially when I decided to go back to school and get my degree in Communication Design. Although, higher education and my love for learning took the place of my need to create, I always missed it and see how many stories I missed documenting. I realize how quickly life changes without us even realizing it.  We are often great documenters when it comes to the big events like birthdays, or the trips we took, but we tend to miss all the daily details of our everyday life and I believe that it is those little details that make our story uniquely ours. My goal with this blog of over a decade has always been my place to capture my story, our families story, document the details of it, and share them with others. 

Back in 2012 I started this system of documenting the details of our everyday life, called Project Life.

Past Project Life Pages

It simplified the system of scrapbooking, and mind you I've been in this community for a LONG time, way before it hit digital. The best thing about this way of scrapbooking is the simplicity of it. In the beginning I felt that our everyday life wasn't really interesting, but as I scroll back at all the albums, I was moved by all the little stories that I've captured and realized our mundane life was our own authentic life. Life changes quickly without us really seeing it until years have passed and remembering all the little details encourage me to continue to preserve our stories. Project Life encourages me to print my photos and journal my everyday story, and I love keeping my albums in our family room so that they are easily accessible and ready to be enjoyed by all that flip through them. Believe me when I say that documenting your story is something you will never regret and if you aren't doing it already I hope you will feel inspired to start today!

"We take photos for a return ticket to moments otherwise gone." - Unkown



2017 December Daily | Day 03

Day 3 | Holoholo Often.

When I was a little girl, I would come home from school and I would see my father leaving the apartment and when I asked him, "Dey" (I never called him Dad or Daddy, it was always, Dey. My mom always called him that, but I think it was a combination of Dad and Teddy, his nickname.) Anyway, back to the story. My father would always reply, "I go Holoholo!" Holoholo is a term us locals from Hawaii used to describe to go out and enjoy the day, either for a walk, ride, or sail. In other words, to go out for pleasure. The more you holoholo , the easier it is for you to stay positive. I've realized when I compare the lifestyle and people here in San Antonio vs the locals in Hawaii. The people of Hawaii seem to be happier, more laid back, and generally more positive. In fact, Hawaii consistently ranks as one of the happiest states in the country. It literally stems from its unique mixture of culture, the authentic spirit of aloha, and our carp diem lifestyle.


So on my drive home today, I took a snap shot of the sun setting in the distance, and I remembered chasing the sunset in Ala Moana Blvd leaving us in awe of such beauty. Sure sunsets are not the same here and we at times we count the days till we can gather all our belongings and move back on the rock in the middle of the ocean. But for now, we need to embrace where I am, make the most of it, in other words, holoholo often and lasting happiness will follow. Today I stopped by Starbucks to grab one of my absolute favorite desserts of the season. But I didn't get a good pic, so that will be saved for another day in my December Daily. But I did manage to get a coffee sleeve (as I do every year) to put in my album. :)

2017 December Daily (In Progress)

The last time I did this project was back in 2012! It's been a tradition since the kids were little (when Santa used to crawl to our chimney, or rather enter from the back door to drop off their presents). But things started getting busier for all of us (well mainly me, I let work and school take over) and I've been itching to get crafty ever since. One of my favorites was this:

December Daily 2010

Way back when we made an effort to do a family photoshoot and I actually sewed on my pages! Not only that, but check out the dimension in this layout with that button! This layout 6x12 was so much fun to work with! I loved the challenge of not doing the traditional 12x12, 8x8, or 6x6! But I do have to say, I do enjoy the concept of what the Project Life has introduced to us avid scrapbookers! Since the introduction to the simplicity of scrapbooking that way, it has reshaped the entire scrapbooking community. I'm quite excited that I've been attempting to keep up with this first love of mine. I'm starting to find that balance between what's important and what feeds my soul.

2013 Project Life OVERLOAD | Week(s) 15 - 42

So here it is..
(Prepare yourself for some serious scrolling)
I spent a week channeling my inner creativity. I left off at Week 21 when I "stopped" scrapbooking and let life's crazy schedule get in the way. But as soon as Fall break hit, I vouched that I would catch up no matter what. It was such a good release too, I needed this creative time to balance my sanity. 

But I realize I haven't taken any photos of layouts, so I started at Week 15.











I found an "Instagram" template online and just added the pic I took that day for IG along with the caption and hash tags. Thought it would be fun to look back at this years from now and realize how far social media has come.




This is where I left off, the beginning of summer and Caelan's graduation.

After uploading the pics I was afraid I skipped a week, but I just forgot to take a pic of week 22, but it's there.









Love that little "Selfie" titled photo... I think it's a word that's a part of the dictionary now.










I love using my poloroids in my album, but I admit, most of it is hanging up on the walls. A little washi tape on a patterned paper.. and there you have it!


I also love splitting the pics on those 2 (3x4) openings. I've seen it a few times and decided to try it out.










Added an extra 8.5x11 insert in this week because of all the cute artwork I got from Izzy and my neices.





I've also been printing on my 3x4 cards. I found a way to print them out and I just have to eye ball where the text may go.


I also love printing right on the photo (above half marathon photo). I also love printing "collage" photos on a 4x6 layout.







A closer look at the 8x6 layout of my "Insanity" page.




Been loving printing my weeks on these patterned 3x4 cards.


I have a 3.5x5 output in my printer so I use this as a guide to print my 3x4 cards. This has made it easier to print on these cards.






We are now on Week 43 and it won't be long before I have it here on the blog as well.



Fall Break = Project Life

Fall Break Is.. Officially Over.

And truth be told, the only thing I really wanted to accomplish (insert tunnel vision) was to catch up on Project Life.

So I did.. I left off at week 21 and currently at week 37. (Phew!) Granted we are currently on Week 42, but hey, that's closer than I was last week. I will take better pics tomorrow since it's already dark but I snapped a few iPhone pics:



So I did more than I thought I could do, but with the kids out of school and there was no need to stick to any routine, I was able to focus on catching up. I have to say I needed this creative outlet or creative release.

Among other things, I finally cut my hair. I did love it longer, but I got tired of seeing it in a pony-tail, day in and day out (like these):
(ooh I didn't blog about this amazing hike, The Kuli'ou'ou Ridge Hike. It took us almost 3 hours to complete but when we got to that top, it was amazing!) But there's my hair in a ponytail again.

So I hacked it off, believe me, this was long compared to what I was thinking, (I wanted a Miley Cyrus look, I kid not).


Now that it is hacked off, it makes working out tougher to get the hair out of my way.. now I CAN'T put it up at all!

Hubby took advantage of the kids being off from school too and took a few days off too.IMG_4387

Aside from scrapbooking for an entire week, I am in week 4 of Insanity and loving incorporating lap swimming to our workout regime.


After Izzy completed her swim class, she has become quite the swimmer too. She's got great form and freestyle's like a champ.



Well, it was a nice and relaxing Fall Break for all of us. (Although my college kid still had to go to school). I am ready to get back on our normal routine.

2013 Project Life | Week(s) 10 - 14

Why yes, I still scrapbook!! April has proven to be a "busy" month with tons of celebrations and I've been terrible about managing my time and trying to make time to get on the computer. My priorities shifted (when I'm in bed by 9pm every night). But I feel more refreshed than I've ever been during the day which makes for a busy-bee-mama. I feel like I'm always on the go!

I think I left off at Week 10, when all was calm...


WEEK 10.



WEEK 11.
This is where it starts to throw me off, because I had that wonderful week with Keri, I debated a while wheter to use those photos and create an entire separate album or just stick in Project Life. But I realized.. those are the only photos I have that documented my week.. so I kept most of it in Project Life, making Week 11& 12 more than a 2 page spread.



Then it was Caelan's Senior Prom... So I had to add a few pages of his memorable night... (Notice blank spots..) I was hoping he would fill some thing in there...


These photos (below) I grabbed from his Instagram, great way to incorporate what my kids are doing..



WEEK 12IMG_9867















This also turned out to be a several page spread... It was a week of celebrations and remembering mom I wanted to all a lot of journaling and most of the photos for the week.







SO.. Not bad, I'm catching up. Luckily I have my photos organized and all I really need to do is print them and put them in these handy dandy page protectors. I do have another post lined up (if and when I hit "publish" we'll see). Till then Happy Scrappin!



2013 Project Life | Week 09


(left side)


To fill out some of the photo-less week, I (once again) have been enjoying quotes that I have pinned from Pinterest. This one stuck with me last week because I've been really trying to push myself to start everyday with a positive attitude and just making the most of it. I know we get so caught up in routine, picking up kids, track practice, volleyball practice, gym, dinner meals, dog walks, etc.. I always feel so exhausted by 7pm only to repeat the again the next day. Weekends have been far less than relaxing, we are always on the go as well. That in the midst of things I just want to be able to enjoy the day.

I also added a snapshot of a short run that I was so proud of. I kept a good pace and felt great running in the heat at 4pm. When we first moved here, I could not even stand jogging outside, let alone running through it. I'm getting used to this tropical heat, luckily I'm always blessed with some trade-winds to keep me cool.


Again, I've been loving quotes from that show "Touch" I just had to add that in.


(right side)


I've been loving adding more white space to my instagram photos. I've been loving the simplicity and the focus shifts to the photo itself.  So lately my Instagram feeds will be filled with lots of white space.


I'm still adding texts to my photos, makes for an easy photo + journaling layout.


Multi-page photos are still the way to go when you have quite a bit you wanna share. Just enough to tell a story without using words. This weekend Izzy's Girl Scouts Troop was at the local Safeway selling Girl Scouts Cookies.. And I'm sure she enjoyed our selling methods here :) We support our kids any way we can. (Can you tell?)

We are in March of this project and creating my pages have become a part of my weekend routine. We never have enough time do much of anything... but you always make time for the things that matter. That's the thing, when people always say "I don't have time to... workout, scrapbook, walk my dog, etc... that is because people do not want to take the time. If something is important to you.. you will make the time.

2013 Week 02 | Layout & Recap


So I'm scrapbooking faster than I can blog. That's a good sign, I guess. But it lacks journaling. I get it, I'm on fire, so excited, but I need to slow it down and remember the stories of the photos. 





Some highlights of last week:

Watching Izzy and her friends "ride" home from school. She now rides her bike to and from school, with the occasional scooter ride in between.

Last week, hubby got home a little early and I we both "scooter" rode our way to meet Izzy at school. I'm on the handy dandy electric scooter.."It's Electric" yes that song was stuck in my head the entire ride. Have you ever ridden one? These suckers are fast!!!

Playing out with the family, even the boys came outside to till the sun went down to ride around the block, play fetch with Kai, and just hang outside.


I titled this one on my layout, "Hello Monday". Cause no matter how crazy the day is.. he always puts a smile on my face.


On one of my runs in the morning, I looked out into the harbor to see this ship coming in and happened to bring out my phone as a plane flew over. Perfect timing.


I looked in my rear view mirror to see these two sitting patiently while we wait for the boys to finish school. I get a chuckle every time I see this, cause he loves his sissy so much!


On an evening drive to a photo shoot, I look out the passenger window and "snap" capture a beautiful silhouette against this golden sunset.


Hubby picked me up from the shoot in the Porsche with the top down, driving through the streets of Waikiki.


And a little self portrait.. I documented on PL that I'm finally feeling good about my workouts. They have become consistent and almost a part of my routine. There are a few days I have to fight with myself to get going. But for the most part, I'm finally enjoying the "pain".  I always say when it comes to the point where you "crave" the pain, the sweat" and the pain (I know, I said that twice, because getting back, hurts...) then you've definetly over that slump.

Geez.. one of my "thought" resolutions was to blog/write more... So far, not so good. And to be honest, I think about it, a lot... I even have my laptop propped open at bed side, staring at a blank page.  In my defense, remember how I said when I get into something I go all "gung-ho" ? Yeah, that running thing, I've been all over it like white on rice. And quite honestly it's leaving me eating dinner at 5:30pm and ready for bed by 9pm. So long late nights, this body is responding to sleep! 

So with all the hype about Project Life 2013, I've been so excited. It's like the I'm ready to go full force.. and I have yet to complete Week One. 

I've got some pretty awesome people doing Project Life this year and we chat back and forth via Instagram.. we really need to develop a Project Life support system, so we can send one another alerts via iPhone much like our alarms and it will say "Hey you working on Week Two?"

Now 2012 was my first year doing Project Life... and the verdict?  I am so HOOKED and I put way more stress on myself than need be. Sure time flies, but there is no rule that you can't go back. So the big question is "Am I done?" A big whopping "NO".. but almost. As you know, 2012 was a bit rough for me, I flew back home to Hawaii several times, leaving the entire April - June a little on the blank side. For me, it's an emotional journey to go back and rewrite and relive those months. So there is a few weeks where it will require me to print out some funeral photos and right now, I'm not quite prepared. I think I will have to mingle the new, 2013 and go back in between, to find a balance of some sort.

(BTW, I'm listening to Keith Sweat on Pandora at the moment as I type... Oh boy, throw back Friday).

So last year, I organized it by printing calendars off my iCal on my computer. That works, but the spaces to write info was to little (square boxes). So I bought myself a Binder and I found tabs numbered from 1-50. I figure I could live without the extra 2 weeks, and print out something else.


Inside of it, I printed out weekly calendars.. with tons of writing space! (Got it from HERE)


I also printed out the various Pocket Photo Pages I have so I know (minus the constant digging) what I have available to me.


And I find it easier for me, cause it's all visual to me.. to map out the layout I picked and write down which photos goes where, where the journaling goes, right to an embellishment..


On the photo organizing part.
When I plug  my iPhone in (Most of my photos are from my iPhone) it goes straight to my iPhoto.
I download it, but then I drag them to my
--- 2013 PROJECT LIFE folder
------ (subfolder) WEEK 01 , 02, 03 etc.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 11.34.41 AM

Now in my notes I will write according to Photo (So Monday would have Scooter Riding with Izzy) So I know where it goes. You can always arrange your folder by date photos were added and it will know which photos were uploaded first to last :)

I really meant to take photo of these "rough drafts" and then show you the final product, but I toss the scratch paper when I'm done :)


IMG_9141 IMG_9143





Back tracking a little bit.. but I actually found it challenging to do Project Life and the December Daily together. I may have to try Cathy Z's approach on her December Daily, she and Ali Edwards did a ONE photo in 4x6 albums... and leave the rest to the Project Life. But yes, for the month of December I was kind of stumped on how to separate the two.

And last but not least who ever said an artist has a tidy workspace.. pretty much lied... 

IMG_9136 copy

2012 December Daily | 05


It's been a bit cloudy lately, but only for part of the day, then that sun always manages to find it's way through those clouds. But for a brief moment when those clouds hovered over me, I enjoyed the not-so-shiny day... and it almost felt like a "winter day,"  almost.

Funny how I miss the "cold" the "overcast" and an actual "winter" during this time of year. But it's all I knew for a while so even though I grew up here, it's been a while since I've had a "blue" Christmas.

I love this photo, cleverly titled on my Instagram "He's More of A Stick Dog."

He doesn't get much excitiment from chasing tennis balls as much as other dogs. But wave a stick at him and he could fetch forever.

On the way home from meeting a childhood friend, I looked out the window and saw the sky was on fire!  This photo definelty needs the hashtag #dontblink   It stayed this beautiful hue of pink, red, and purple for a few minutes. But like most people who were to caught up in their day to day, missed it.


December Daily Album is coming together. I'm just waiting for some things I ordered online (Oh Mr. UPS guy, please hurry!)



Af first I wasn't to fond of a this 6x8 Album.. I've never worked with this size before. But so far, I have to say I'm having fun. Especially since I got these page protectors with various sizes.

Looking forward to somewhat of a relaxing weekend, catching up on Project Life and hopefully my papers will come in!!!