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If you’ve been following me for awhile, you will know that I typically go through a lot of technology upgrades around here. Both my husband and I love to keep up on new technology and we are suckers for new iPhones and iPads. My kids have no complaints because they often get our hand-me-downs. We also love that Apple has now made it so much easier to trade in old devices to get store credit. They also make it much smoother to transfer your old data to a new device now. I recently got a new Macbook Pro and it was so easy to switch.

I wasn’t planning to get a new Mac this soon, but I had my son try one and he didn’t like it (gasp!) because he is a gamer. Turns out that PCs are really better for gaming, especially if you use STEAM. So we remain a dual allegiance household. I’m the only Mac user and hubby and son are windows based on PC laptops. We all use iPhones and iPads. When I got thinking about all of this, I realized that I finally feel like I’m living my best digital life. It has taken me decades to reach this point so I figure it’s worth blogging about!

I use a 15-inch MacBook Pro - Space Gray laptop computer. I love that it can travel with me wherever I go. I have invested a lot into having a Mac laptop, but I used to burn through PC laptops about every two years and so I feel like I’m spending the same that I would have on multiple units of windows operating laptops. I just haven’t had great luck with them. I know some people don’t use laptops or desktop computers as much anymore, but I still use mine every single day. I use it for designing, scrapbooking, writing blog posts, editing photos, and more. I would be lost without it!

For my nerd friends, here are the specs of my machine:

Model Name: MacBook Pro

Model Identifier: MacBookPro15,3

Processor Name: Intel Core i9

Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 8

L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

L3 Cache: 16 MB

Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled

Memory: 32 GB

Capacity: 1 TB

When I’m at home, I keep my laptop connected to a beautiful 27 inch LG display screen. I just love the big view I get of everything and it’s especially nice for detail work when designing or working on photos. This is a newer model of the screen I currently have now.

When I’m plugged into my big screen, I use this wireless keyboard so I can just shut the lid of my laptop and act like I’m using a desktop computer. No need to bring it when I’m on the road because I just use the built-in keyboard of the laptop when I’m traveling.

I discovered this ergonomic Tecknet mouse a few years ago and I won’t ever switch back to a standard mouse now. This is so much more comfortable to work with and I don’t get the finger pain that I used to suffer from before. I bring this mouse along even when I travel because I have a hard time using the trackpad built-in to the actual laptop. I need an actual mouse.

I also need a wrist brace whenever I work on my laptop. I injured my wrist about 10 years ago when I was tearing fabric strips for a craft project, and have needed this extra support ever since that happened. I don’t have any problems with my wrist as long as I wear this when typing or doing mouse work.

When I’m transporting my laptop, I like to slip it into this felt pouch for extra protection. Then I don’t have to worry about it getting scratched while it’s in my backpack or bag. The smaller pouch that came with it is great storage protection for a mouse or external hard drive.

I love this G-technology external hard drive because it has a USB-C connection that works seamlessly with my Macbook. I’ve noticed that many newer PC laptops are also using USB-C connections. I have a 1TB version because I bought it 3 years ago. I am considering getting a 2TB or even a 4TB because prices have come down so much on them now. This is the first external hard drive I’ve had that has never given me any trouble at all. And yes, I still store everything on an EHD as one of my backup systems. To read more about my other backups, check out this post.

I’ll be sure to blog more about other parts of my “digital life” soon. It’s one of my favorite topics!

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If you’ve been following me for awhile, you will know that I typically go through a lot of technology upgrades around here. Both my husband and I love to keep up on new technology and we are suckers for new iPhones and iPads. My kids have no complaints because they often get our hand-me-downs. We also love that Apple has now made it so much easier to trade in old devices to get store credit. They also make it much smoother to transfer your old data to a new device now. I recently got a new Macbook Pro and it was so easy to switch.

I wasn’t planning to get a new Mac this soon, but I had my son try one and he didn’t like it (gasp!) because he is a gamer. Turns out that PCs are really better for gaming, especially if you use STEAM. So we remain a dual allegiance household. I’m the only Mac user and hubby and son are windows based on PC laptops. We all use iPhones and iPads. When I got thinking about all of this, I realized that I finally feel like I’m living my best digital life. It has taken me decades to reach this point so I figure it’s worth blogging about!

I use a 15-inch MacBook Pro - Space Gray laptop computer. I love that it can travel with me wherever I go. I have invested a lot into having a Mac laptop, but I used to burn through PC laptops about every two years and so I feel like I’m spending the same that I would have on multiple units of windows operating laptops. I just haven’t had great luck with them. I know some people don’t use laptops or desktop computers as much anymore, but I still use mine every single day. I use it for designing, scrapbooking, writing blog posts, editing photos, and more. I would be lost without it!

For my nerd friends, here are the specs of my machine:

Model Name: MacBook Pro

Model Identifier: MacBookPro15,3

Processor Name: Intel Core i9

Processor Speed: 2.4 GHz

Number of Processors: 1

Total Number of Cores: 8

L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

L3 Cache: 16 MB

Hyper-Threading Technology: Enabled

Memory: 32 GB

Capacity: 1 TB

When I’m at home, I keep my laptop connected to a beautiful 27 inch LG display screen. I just love the big view I get of everything and it’s especially nice for detail work when designing or working on photos. This is a newer model of the screen I currently have now.

When I’m plugged into my big screen, I use this wireless keyboard so I can just shut the lid of my laptop and act like I’m using a desktop computer. No need to bring it when I’m on the road because I just use the built-in keyboard of the laptop when I’m traveling.

I discovered this ergonomic Tecknet mouse a few years ago and I won’t ever switch back to a standard mouse now. This is so much more comfortable to work with and I don’t get the finger pain that I used to suffer from before. I bring this mouse along even when I travel because I have a hard time using the trackpad built-in to the actual laptop. I need an actual mouse.

I also need a wrist brace whenever I work on my laptop. I injured my wrist about 10 years ago when I was tearing fabric strips for a craft project, and have needed this extra support ever since that happened. I don’t have any problems with my wrist as long as I wear this when typing or doing mouse work.

When I’m transporting my laptop, I like to slip it into this felt pouch for extra protection. Then I don’t have to worry about it getting scratched while it’s in my backpack or bag. The smaller pouch that came with it is great storage protection for a mouse or external hard drive.

I love this G-technology external hard drive because it has a USB-C connection that works seamlessly with my Macbook. I’ve noticed that many newer PC laptops are also using USB-C connections. I have a 1TB version because I bought it 3 years ago. I am considering getting a 2TB or even a 4TB because prices have come down so much on them now. This is the first external hard drive I’ve had that has never given me any trouble at all. And yes, I still store everything on an EHD as one of my backup systems. To read more about my other backups, check out this post.

I’ll be sure to blog more about other parts of my “digital life” soon. It’s one of my favorite topics!

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When it comes to July layouts, I can’t help but think of patriotriotic pages. As I browsed through my files, I found a few fun scrapbook pages related to Independence Day.

This was my daughter’s very first 4th of July and she was only about 9 months old here. I remember being so excited to put her in that cute little swimsuit! That tiny wading pool was a big deal at the time. My son loved playing in it. These pictures were taken on July 4, 1997.

Template from Project Life app. Fine and Dandy edition in Project Life app.

Here’s a page with that same cute girl 18 years later in 2015 on the 4th of July again. These pictures were taken at our friend’s home. We have a group of friends that we get together with almost every year on the 4th. We all bring food, entertainment, and decorations. It’s quite the event!

Template from Project Life app. Americana Themed cards from Project Life app.

Here’s my page from this year. We didn’t get to celebrate with my daughter (and her husband) this year, but we did get together with our usual group of friends. We had a ton of food and visited for hours. This was the first year that my son really enjoyed the fireworks. He wore his noise-canceling Bose headphones and it made the whole experience so much more enjoyable. Wish we had thought of that years ago! He has autism and usually gets overwhelmed on a loud holiday like Independence Day. So glad he had fun this year!

Template from Project Life App. Cards from Studio Calico Penny Arcade. Border on the 4 card from Personal Yearbook frames in Project Life app.

I don’t have a ton of pictures to scrap from the years of patriotic celebrations, but I do feel inspired to go back and work on the ones that are in my files now. I also really glad I took a few minutes to get this year’s holiday documented!

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Katie the Scrapbook Lady by Katie Nelson - 1w ago

Here we sit in July and the year is now more than half over. I’m going through a bit of a blog slump right now and never did get up the energy to post during those few days around Independence Day. I need to remember that I go through this every July and do a better job of planning for it. How about I just tell you about a few things that are currently going on in my life?

At the moment:
  • I’m not feeling much like doing anything creative. Cooking? Nope! Writing? Not really. Designing? Only a little. Just barely chugging along. Scrapbooking? Not so much? I know this will pass, but it’s annoying when it’s the current situation.

  • I just finished binge watching Stranger Things season 3 with my hubby and parents. So good! I just love that show and especially love the great characters. And the music. The 80s decade had so much good music!

  • I’m currently reading this Globejotting book recommended by Simple Scrapper and I’m enjoying it. Nothing earth shattering, but lots of good ideas for journaling that apply to more than just travel journals.

  • Another book I just finished is Lessons From Lucy: The Simple Joys of an Old, Happy Dog by Dave Barry. It was such a fun book to read and I highly recommend it. Just a simple book, but very enjoyable.

  • My son and I just started a healthy eating and exercise program that we designed together (mostly me doing that, but he’s been on board with that approach). We created a weekly checklist to use in the Things app to help us stay on track with the limits we have set for ourselves. We are not calling it a diet, but we are focusing on it as a goal. We are going to go to Disneyland when we reach that goal. It will take us awhile to get there, but he’s so excited to see the new Star Wars area and we are both huge Disney fans.

  • We don’t have any BIG trips planned this summer because we already took our epic family vacation in May. We all went to Iowa (yes, Iowa!) and took Riley and her husband Ryan with us. Many of you will remember that is where she served her mission from 2015-2017 so we wanted to go back with her and see all the places she served. We met some wonderful people and had a great experience.

    What are you doing at the moment? I encourage you to take a few minutes and record a few thoughts that reflect your current life situation. You will be glad you did!

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Laughter is such a necessity in life! I have readers who have told me that these posts make them very happy and I will tell you that they do the same for me. I love finding these silly things on the internet and saving them to share here. Hope they give you a reason to smile!

                 
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When the last day of the month approaches, that means it’s roundup time!

JUNE MEMORIES:
  • What did you watch? TV, Movies, Netflix, Plays, etc.

  • What did you listen to? Podcasts, music, etc.

  • What did you read? Books, Kindle, online, etc.

  • What did you learn? Life lessons, classes, new skills and ideas, etc.

  • What did you celebrate? Birthdays, holidays, accomplishments, etc.

  • What was newsworthy? Personal and family news, world and nation news, etc.

HOW TO GATHER JUNE MEMORIES:
  • Review calendars, social media posts, journal entries, etc. - I use the Momento app to keep everything in one place and then look back through my online calendar.

  • Make sure all your photos are uploaded and backed up to at least 3 places. If you use Google Photos, your photos will already be sorted by date. I like to search the month (June 2019) and then select all of those photos and create an album for them in Google Photos called June 2019. It’s not necessary, but I find it useful.

  • Gather any memorabilia from the month such as ticket stubs, invitations, programs etc. Scan or photograph them if desired and then upload them with your photos for the month. And/or put them in a file marked June 2019 if you plan to save the physical copies for scrapbooking or memory boxes.

WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR ROUNDUP?
  • Make a list of your answers to the prompts.

  • Put them in a blog or social media post, in your journal, on the last day of the calendar for that month, or on a scrapbook or photobook page. You can even email them to yourself and keep them in a folder for later reference or use a notes app on your phone. Just find a routine that works for you.

  • If you share your roundup in any form on Instagram, use the hashtag #roundupyourmemories if you want to share with others.

  • The more roundups you do, the more you will appreciate this simple way to document your everyday life!

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Today is officially the first day of summer in the northern hemisphere. (Happy winter to those of you down under) I’ve been working on this list of fun ways to make summer memories and I’m really excited to share it with you. And it’s FREE!

FREE PRINTABLE - 50 Fun Ways to Make Summer Memories 0.00

Check out the free category in my shop for some other complimentary downloads and have fun browsing through all of my pocket card kits, printables, and templates as well.

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I recently watched an online lesson from Deepak Chopra about how to handle inner and external chaos. It was something that I wasn’t expecting to be so helpful and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how much I have used these 4 sentences to get myself through chaotic situations.

What am I observing? (Non judgmentally) It’s important to simply identify what is happening without placing judgment on it. This is harder than it seems.

What am I feeling?

What do I need?

What is the best way to fulfill this need?

I used this new learning as inspiration for a 2 page art journaling spread.

I used the May Mixed Media Monthly kit and this add-on from The LilyPad for most of the items on these 2 pages. I did add a piece from the August and April sets from 2015. For my journaling, I used the playlist script font (free). You can read about my size choices here. I spent a long time playing around to get the final results, but it was time that I enjoyed. That’s the interesting part of art journaling for me - I don’t feel rushed. I enjoy the process just as much (or maybe even more than?) finishing the actual creation.

Here’s a look at each individual page:

 

My mom and I were discussing art journaling the other day and she asked me if I use a template when I scrap this way. I don’t, but I do like to pick some great layered papers to give me a good base. I really appreciate when the designers include those.

As I’ve been evaluating my creative activities lately, I have been reminded that mixed media and art journaling are definitely bucket fillers for me. They make me happy!

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For more than 13 years, I’ve kept a private password-protected blog just for my family. It’s been a place to share photos of my children with my parents and siblings. We used it to document our homeschool years and even though it’s been more than 7 years since anybody in the house has been homeschooled, we still tend to refer to it as “the homeschool blog” for some reason.

It’s a place to record vacations, school and work information, missions and church stuff, health progress, holidays, special events and more. I use a very similar format to my Creative Lady blog.

I use Squarespace for this blog and for my family blog as well because I can choose to use password protection. It’s not free, but I love the privacy and I’m very familiar with how it works. I don’t want everyone in the world knowing our family’s daily routines. Alex is my most faithful reader and it’s important to him that I write our experiences down. My Mom is my other faithful reader. All my other family members are kind of hit and miss. I don’t blame them for that. It’s another website to remember and they sometimes forget the password if they haven’t visited in awhile.

I wanted to find a way to share these things in a way that was easier to access for most of our family members. I opened another private Instagram account that is strictly for family members. I also have another private account for close friends and family. Add that to my official katiethecreativelady and toytotheworld public accounts and that means I have 4 different Instagram feeds. I worried that might be confusing or overwhelming, but it’s totally easy to manage. Instagram makes it really smooth to access all of your accounts and to pick which one you want to post to. They will even let you have 5 accounts linked together. See this link for details.

Once I got that figured out, I started posting our personal pictures and memories to our family feed. It’s so easy because I just post as I go and I often use Siri to dictate the captions. I could even turn that feed into chatbooks if I wanted to simplify my memory keeping. I decided that I only want to use chatbooks for my Katie Creative Lady feed though. I love our family photobooks and want to keep those going. Now most of my family sees our posts through their regular Instagram visits. For those not on Instagram (like my son and husband), I update our private blog about once a week and copy all the photos and text straight from Instagram. It only takes a few minutes and it keeps our family documenting all in one place.

I’m not sure if this will be useful to any of my readers or not? I don’t know how many people keep a private family blog these days? But I know a lot of people use Instagram and like to share their photos with loved ones. I think it’s great to have a public account. It’s also nice to have an account where you can share things with close friends, neighbors, local groups, etc. I highly recommend keeping a private account for the purpose of documenting your everyday life. It has made my memory keeping so much easier and I have found it especially useful to document travels. My family is really happy that I am sharing more with them because of this new approach.


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