Last year I went to Florida over spring break, to visit my sisters, and to finally go to Harry Potter world for the first time ever. Today I'm sharing the Project Life pages I made to document my trip. I love how colorful and bold all these pages ended up being. I love them! Here's a bunch a gorgeous photos, or if you prefer, you can watch the YouTube flip through video of the album, here- https://youtu.be/uDalTPAM5Q4.
To start this section of my album, I made a really cool vellum divider that says "Florida" across it, with bold palm leaves and banana leaves around the boarder. I LOVE how it looks, in all of it's hand drawn imperfection. I just used Sharpie on my vellum to create that page.
The next thing I did was divide up my trip for each day I was there. I used a 3x8 pocket insert and alphabet stickers to write "Day 1," "Day 2," or "Day 3" on the front of the pocket, and then on the back of each pocket, I wrote some journaling about each of the things that happened that day. We were only in Florida for a couple of days so each day was packed with activities and catching up with old friends, and my family.
I used a lot of Project Life cards that I designed in this mini album. You can check those out in my etsy shop. I love how bold and graphic they are, they complimented my pages perfectly. I also did some stamping here, using Kelly Purkey stamps, and I love how that turned out in this part of my 2017 Project Life album.
I hope these pages leave you feeling inspired to document your own travels and vacations. Does anybody else love the 6x8 mini album size? I've loved using it! I'll share the rest of this trip (Visiting Harry Potter world,) next week!
Let's talk about something dramatic; like the dramatic hair change I went through a couple months ago. I cut 14 inches off my hair. One day I came home from work, tied my hair in a pony tail, and took scissors to it using my bathroom mirror to guide my cut. 14 inches in total.
What I looked like before....
I felt gorgeous with my long hair. Long and blonde. Totally meeting those American beauty standards. (rolls eyes, because you know how much I talk about body positivity and how much those standards suck. Yet, even I get caught falling for them and wanting to adhere to them.)
It was also like a shield. I felt like people noticed my hair before they noticed me. They commented on my hair before they asked anything about me. And most of all, I used it as a way to feel safe, protected, because I could hide behind it. Like Violet in The Incredibles, I experience social anxiety like crazy, and often hide behind my hair in the back of a room because talking to new people is scary. It's like this shield of safety, this shield of fitting it because I'm "pretty," and yet not standing out because people noticed the hair but often didn't care to notice or learn other things about me. (I'm talking about strangers here, like the hundreds I might walk past on campus or sit in a classroom with each day. I got comments about my hair all the time but few times did anyone introduce themselves or ask anything about me.) My hair felt pretty and it felt safe.
I had thought about cutting it for such a long time and always talked myself out of it. I would edit one of my YouTube videos and see myself on screen and think "But it's SO pretty, I can't get rid of it." Or I would dance and love the way it felt flowing around my body and over my face. Or I would like to hide behind it. It was safety, comfort, and beautiful, and I loved my hair. I really loved it.
And that thought alone was what did it. I LOVED my hair. I was attached to it. It meant so much to me and did so much for me to make me feel pretty, this long, blonde mane. I realized that my attachment to a meaningless object, my adherence to societal beauty standards, wasn't doing me any favors. Feeling safe and pretty doesn't make for progress, it makes for comfort. I didn't want to rely on this object to make me safe or pretty. I wanted to make waves in the world. I wanted to do cool stuff and make noise, take up space, and not apologize for it. I wanted to stand out and say important stuff. I wanted to leave my comfort zone and I wanted to stop feeling like my contribution to the world was "being pretty."
So I put on some Taylor Swift music ("I Did Something Bad," in case you're curious,) and took scissors to it in my bathroom one afternoon. After more than 6 months of thinking about it and being sick of all the money and maintenance my hair required. After more than 6 months of being tired of all the migraines I was getting from all the weight of my hair (seriously, this is something I notice whenever my hair gets crazy long, I get migraines way more often.) After more than 6 months of talking myself out of it because I liked being pretty, I finally grabbed the scissors.
And after I chopped off those 14 inches of long, beautiful, blonde hair? I felt liberated.
My short hair felt great. I felt free, lightweight, and oh so happy for change. I felt bolder, and sassier, more myself. I loved my long hair, but I love my short hair too. The difference is, now I don't love it too much. It's not holding me back or making me feel physically bad (migraines.) It's not my safety net of pretty. Cutting off 14 inches of hair was a good way for me to practice non-attachment to meaningless beauty symbols and societal beauty standards.
And I have no doubt that I will at some point have long hair again. After all, I did love it and it was pretty. But it's always good to notice when we are placing too much value on meaningless objects or falling into society's expectations of us, especially as women, to look pretty.
My short hair feels amazing and I feel amazing with it. This has already started to change as my hair grows back out and has recently entered that awkward growing out length, no longer the cute, short hair but also not the long, pretty hair. But overall I am feeling great and wondering WHY DIDN'T I DO THIS SOONER?! I know why, but seriously. I am saving so much money and time not having all that hair to take care of. I was going through conditioner like crazy before haha.
Bonus points- I also felt great because I donated my hair, which I recommend to anyone wanting to cut off their hair. Different non-profits benefit different groups of people (women with cancer, vs children with cancer,) and they all have different rules (can it be colored, does it have to be virgin hair, how much is the minimum required to donate, etc.) Knowing that someone else somewhere will get to feel beautiful because they get to have any hair at all thanks in tiny part to my donation (it takes several donations and donors to make even one wig,) is incredible. I'm so happy to play a minuscule part in that.
My short hair feels great and I feel free with a fresh new start. Funny how a hair cut can do that!
Now here's my question to you: Are you holding on to anything that might be holding you back?
I would love to hear your experiences with your hair or holding on to things that shouldn't be important but somehow are. Leave me a comment down below and share one of your stories with me! xoxo, Laura
I've shared the latest of my 100 Days of Scrapbooking project on my YouTube channel, and here are the photos! If you want to hear about the new techniques I tried in these layouts and hear more details about how they came together, make sure to check out the video!
In these layouts, I documented so many memories. Some old (from 2013!) and some newer (from 2017.) This 100 day challenge has been great for getting me to document all my memories, old and new. I love that!
If you want to get started scrapbooking but don't know where to start, check out my e-course Minimalist Scrapbooking to learn how to make simple, gorgeous layouts in 5 minutes or less.
I love that my style started off simple and with this project, I've learned new techniques and tried new styles which are more intricate and busy. The mix of the two is gorgeous in my albums! Are you doing the 100 Day Project this year? I'm so glad I chose to do 100 Days of Scrapbooking and it's grown my skill so much in that time! Let me know if you're doing the project and what you think of these layouts in the comments below!
I recently launched my new Body Love Art Journal class and today I wanted to talk to you about what body positivity is and why it matters.
Body positivity is a topic near and dear to my heart because I struggled for years with my body image. When I was diagnosed with infertility, (you can read about that in the infertility archived blog posts,) it made me hate my body for the limitations it placed on me and my life. It took years for me to learn how to forgive my body and learn to love it and appreciate it.
Once I started studying the topic in university I realized how prevalent negative body image is. So many women struggle with loving their bodies. In recent years, social media campaigns to be body positive have started gaining massive followings because so many women want to slay cultural beauty norms and feel good about themselves when they look in the mirror. The popularity of these movements prove that this is something many of us are struggling with and we want a solution and a change!
All the negative feelings we harbor towards our bodies negatively impacts our quality of life in many ways. So today I'm giving you the low down on what body positivity is and why it matters.
Dove Real Beauty Campaign image
What is Body Positivity?
Body image is the way we perceive our bodies. It includes how we think about our bodies as well as how we think other people think about our bodies. In the United States, the rate of negative body image is a highly concerning manner because of the negative effects of having poor body image. Negative body image can be combated and prevented by teaching and practicing body positivity. Body positivity is the act of thinking kindly towards your body and others’ bodies. Essentially, it is the act of self-acceptance as well as being accepting of bodies in general, not just your own.
Why Body Positivity is Important
Body positivity is essential to self-acceptance and it helps us to live our best lives. If we are always dissatisfied with our bodies, we spend a lot of time, energy, and money thinking about our dissatisfaction and trying to change our bodies. That is time, energy, and money that could be used to live our best lives, chase our dreams, and contribute to the world in a meaningful way. Negative body image can also contribute to depression, self-harm, eating disorders and other harmful behaviors and thoughts. Obviously, practicing body positivity is an important skill when living in cultures which tend to idealize unachievable body types and associate happiness and success with achieving that body type.
"All bodies are beautiful and all bodies have value. Including Yours."
When we love our bodies, we take all that time, energy, and money spent on trying to change our bodies, and we use it in a better way. We use it to have experiences, to chase our dreams, and to make an impact on the world. Think about all the mental, emotional, and physical energy, time, or money you would save if you loved your body as it is right now. Would you give up money and time spent at the gym? Would you give up money, energy, and time spent on doing your makeup daily or trying to achieve the perfectly fashionable wardrobe? Would you have a kinder relationship with food and clothes if you loved your body as it already is in the world? Think about all the ways your life could improve if you loved your body.
Most of us struggle with body image issues. These issues can be based in how we look (thinking we need to lose or gain weight, or that our noses are too big or our acne looks bad, etc,) or they can be based on how our bodies function (having conditions like infertility or chronic illnesses can cause us to resent our bodies for all the ways we feel limited in life.) The good news is that we don't have to. Loving your body is an option, an achievable option. And your life will get so much sweeter when you live from that place of self-love and self-acceptance.
"Your life will get so much sweeter when you live from that place of self-love and self-acceptance."
That's why I created the Body Love Art Journal Class. Because I know how important body positivity is and how it can drastically improve our quality of life if we have a positive body image. Learn how to feel great about your body and yourself in my new class, the Body Love Art Journal Class.
As an added bonus, you get to make gorgeous art while working through these mind-set tips and techniques. I show you step-by-step, how to change your mind-set, learn to appreciate your body, and how to create a gorgeous art journal to document this process and record your journey towards loving your body.
I hope you join me in the class and on the journey to better loving ourselves, so we can live our best lives together. And remember, it's a perfect gift for practicing some self-love this Valentine's day! Happy early Valentine's day love!
I am so excited to share my newest class with you today! This class has been in my mind and on my heart for quite some time now. I believe my divine purpose in life is to help women live their best lives, and this class is living out that purpose in such a great and needed way.
All of us struggle with body image issues in some way. Often we don't feel beautiful or there are physical characteristics about ourselves that we are deeply dissatisfied with. Or struggles with any kind of condition or disability that inhibits us in any kind of way can cause us to harbor negative emotions about our bodies.
This doesn't have to be your story though. I'm here to help you make peace with your body and learn how to love it!
In my new class, Body Love Art Journal, you will learn how to accept and love your body through making art. You'll experience a major mind-set shift in this class as you make peace with your beautiful body and create a stunning art journal. You'll learn both art journaling techniques to make a gorgeous art journal and I'll also be teaching you important mind-set techniques so you can get past any negative feelings you may be harboring about your body. Learn what it feels like to love the body you have, because it deserves to be loved, and you deserve to feel complete and beautiful just as you are.
Because I'm super excited and I love to honor my most loyal students who enroll as soon as a launch a class, this class is on sale from Feb 1 to Feb 14th. Enroll in the class now for $25. After Feb 14th (Valentines Day 2018,) the class will forever go up to $35.
Go check it out and learn more about the class, why I created it, and how it can help you on your self-love journey. Learn how to practice body-positivity and get over any insecurities you have with your body. Your body is beautiful and you should feel that way about it!
Hey babes, today I'm sharing my process for catching up on months of Project Life in just a week. Make sure to catch the YouTube video for the full explanation. I can't wait to update you on how this goes. My goal is to finish my 2017 Project Life album before I start this year's memory keeping. So I am motivated to get it done and so far have used this process to catch up on several months of my 2017 album already.
The process for catching up on a lot of pages quickly is all about batch tasking. Contrary to popular belief, we humans are not very good at multi-tasking. In fact, we actually do something called task-switching in which we lose a fraction of a second every time we change focus or tasks because our brain cannot optimally focus on several things at once. (I had to write a paper about task-switching and it's inefficiency for my Cognitive Neuroscience class last semester and it really opened my eyes to how much time, energy, and focus I was wasting by "multi-tasking" instead of single tasking.) Single tasking and doing all of a single task at once before moving on to the next one is going to save you so much time while catching up on Project Life! Here's how it's done.
How to Catch Up on Months of Project Life in a Week
Single tasking in batches= accomplishing a whole lot in a short amount of time. Just try it and see how it works for you. Here's the steps I do, in the order I do them, and how much time it usually takes me to do them.
1. Edit and Print All Your Photos This first step is definitely the hardest/most time consuming for me. I hate having to use my computer to cull through photos, edit them to be bright the way I like them, and then printing them all off. I like edit and print about 4-6 weeks at a time (just around or a little over a month.) I usually end up with around 100 photos being edited and printed in about 1.5 hours. I am an excessive photo taker though and am hoping in the future, to really narrow down on how many photos I use in each month of Project Life haha. If you use or take less photos, this phase will go much quicker for you! The biggest tip I have here is to just do it. For me, this is my least favorite step, but I force myself to do it without distractions like the t.v. or music, and just get it done so I can move on to my favorite parts of memory keeping.
2. Cut All Your Photos If you watch the YouTube video above, I actually timed myself and it took me around 7 minutes to cut out over 100 photos. That's pretty darn fast! I use a paper trimmer and it saves so much time. I can do this step listening to music because it is a repetitive task that doesn't require a lot of mental energy (unlike editing photos where I have to think about the size, color, brightness and adjusting all of those things.) Trimming your photos is a repetitive, easy task that you can get done super quickly if you do it all at once.
3. Organize Your Photos According to Week or Month In the YouTube video I talk about how I switched to a weekly format of Project Life this year and so far I'm loving it. It makes organizing my photos super easy. I just lay out all my weekly Project Life cards from that time frame and then sort my photos into their proper weeks, referencing my dropbox folder on my computer to see when a photo was taken. This step also goes super quick (less than 10 minutes) and I show you how I do it in the video. Pro tip- have your photo or dropbox automatically name your photographs with the date it was taken. That way when all your photos from the month are sitting in their folder, you can easily see all of them at once and which week or day each photograph was taken. It makes printing and organizing much easier. I do this step silently so I can easily look from my computer to the photos and get them organized quickly without any distractions.
4. Memory Keeping Time! My favorite step in this process is actually getting to the memory keeping part and getting the photos into my Project Life album. This is my relaxation and creativity time. No rules here! I usually turn on a t.v. show or movie I've seen before and have it playing while I do my scrapbooking. I would certainly finish this step quicker without distractions, but because this step is the enjoyable, relaxing time, I allow myself to totally relax and go at my own pace and get distracted with t.v. or stickers haha. Because this is my favorite step, and I've done it so many times, I can usually get an entire month (remember, that's around 100 photos for me!) down in my Project Life album with cards, journaling, and embellishments, in one evening. I like to set aside 3-4 hours of just chillaxing down time to do this part because it is my favorite and I like to totally relax and dive into my creativity during it.
Make sure to watch the YouTube video to hear more about my process and batch tasking and how it allows me to catch up on months of Project Life in just one week. I also give a couple of tips for finding alone/free time to get your memory keeping done for those of us (most of us) who have busy lives!
I hope you enjoy the video and this post, I can't wait to update you when I finally finish this Project Life album! Happy crafting!
“A person cannot be comfortable without their own approval.” – Mark Twain
The concept of self-love is something most people don't think about until they are in adulthood. It's not something we are taught growing up. As children we are taught to meet other people's needs and expectations of us, without little regard to how we feel internally. (School is a primary example of this. It doesn't matter if we don't agree with our teachers, we are taught to listen and be obedient. Another example is when parents force us to apologize for something even when we aren't sorry or don't see what we did wrong.) From a very young age, we are taught that it's important to meet other's expectations of us. We are taught how to be quiet, how to follow instructions, and how to be "accepted" by other people.
Once we reach adulthood, it becomes clear that these expectations are way too heavy. Often, it feels like a burden. Constantly wondering if people like us, if they think we are successful, if we are "measuring up." It causes us to compare ourselves to others and the comparison is the root of all dissatisfaction we have in life.
When we start comparing ourselves to others and their lives, it becomes so damn easy to feel "less than." And this feeling of "less than" leads to existential crisis, depression, and less joy in our lives. At some point in our adult lives, each of us has felt this way.
It's only when our lives seem "less than" that we reflect inwards and question how we can make ourselves feel better. Cue self-love. Self-love is considered by some to be a woo-woo approach to life. To people who practice self-love, they know self-love is the only path to achieving total contentment with one's self and one's life.
Through self-love, we learn to accept ourselves fully, flaws included. We learn to stop comparing ourselves to others and celebrate ourselves and our lives, just the way they are. Through self-love, we achieve peace in a world that is constantly sending us messages that tell us we aren't enough or that we don't have enough. It's the only protection we have from the inevitable fact that we are different from others and sometimes, our lives look totally different than the lives we envisioned for ourselves or the lives our peers have.
Self-love is the act that instill us with the message that being different is okay. Different is good. In fact, it is in our differences that we find our magic.
Living from a place of self-love allows us to be more brave, take more chances, and live more vibrantly. We can live out our purpose with so much more intention and certainty when we live from a place of self-acceptance. It allows us to be easier on ourselves, to practice more grace with ourselves, and to be happier with ourselves and our lives. And that is an incredible gift.
In my next post I'll be sharing exactly what self-love is and how we can practice it. Knowing self-love is important won't get us anywhere if we don't know how to practice it. It's important that we first recognize how essential it is to us living our best lives. Now that you have that information, I hope you're feeling empowered and excited to be on this self-love journey with me.
It's a long road, but it is worthwhile and filled with tiny victories along the way. Leave a comment on this blog post and let me know the number 1 thing you hope to achieve through self-love. What difference do you want it to make in your life?
You are magic. I can't wait to share more self-love information and tips with you soon. Have a fabulous day.
Hey there! I've been sharing so much of my 2017 December Daily traveler's notebook on YouTube the last month. Today I going to show you the first part of my notebook in case you haven't been following the video series, and share the videos with you in case you want to watch those too!
There you have it! I hope you check out some of the videos linked above so you can see how my pages came together and some fun diys. This flip through shows my first December Daily traveler's notebook insert for the season, which covers days 1-12. I hope you're feeling inspired to do some memory keeping for yourself!
I would love to know if you do December Daily! Leave me a comment down below and let me know if you do this project.
I'm finally photographing and filming my 2017 album so I can share how I did memory keeping last year. I ended up being so focused on school (I'm a senior in University!) that I didn't do much sharing throughout last year. Today I'm sharing a look at my February and March 2017 project life pages. If you didn't check out my post on January's pages, you can see that here. (January's pages were so gorgeous! I don't think I topped them in these months!)
For February and March, there were a lot of selfies (I was crushing on my tattoos hard core.) And also lots of photos with pets in them, per usual. If you want to see a flip through video of these pages and a little chit chat about them, you can watching the YouTube video!
As you can see, I used lots of colors in these pages! It's a fun and new thing for me to use such bright colors, usually I gravitate towards pastels in past project life albums. I'm so glad I got these months documents and that in 30 years from now I'll be able to look back and have all these memories in one place. Though, I obviously have a problem with taking way too many photos and not narrowing them down when I go to print. (Hello 30 selfies of me a month. I should work on that.) I'm excited to share more of this album with you soon, and I hope you enjoyed this peak into more of my 2017 Project Life album today!
Did you do any form of memory keeping last year? Leave me a comment down below and let me know what you think of these pages and if you did a form of memory keeping last year!
I love the magic that a New Year brings. Some people aren't big on resolutions or the power a new year can have, but I am all about it. I love setting goals that will help me live the next year as intentionally as I can. Because I get so geeked out talking about goals and planning for a new year, I thought it would be really fun to share with you some of my 2018 goals!
My 2018 GoalsBusiness/Blog Goals
Blog at least twice a week
Post a YouTube video at least twice a week
Keep my blogging and YouTube videos focused on creativity and/or self-love and things involving them in my life.
Show up to online space and share what I post on my blog and YouTube. This means Instagram stories, facebook scrapbooking groups, studio calico forum, etc.
Back to a consistent daily sharing on Instagram. I've already been slaying that the last two months but I'm still recovering from the last year and a half of no consistency, because college.
Finish creating the Body Love Art Journal Class and find beta testers for it.
Release and launch the Body Love Art Journal Class
Finally, for the love of God, start sending a consistent newsletter. Even if it's just sharing what I'm posting on my blog.
Outline and start creating my premium self-love course.
Continue pursuing minimalism and paying off debt which I did pretty good at in 2017.
Start a local art meet up that serves the refugee community. Charlotte has a big refugee community that I just learned about and I feel super called to help in some way. I would use my destash/extra craft supplies to supply the group whatever they didn't have and offer a place for them to come together, art journal, use planners, scrapbook, and most importantly, make new friends, and feel safe in the USA. I would also open it up to non refugee women interested in it because I was told the one thing that most local refugees want that they don't have a resource for is making American friends they can practice English with and learn the culture.
Really appreciate being a pet mama and be present with them. Give in to them being joyful, even if it takes up a lot of my time or comfort. (Like taking the dog to a dog park in 20 degree weather for an hour haha. Off to a good start!) My cat was diagnosed with kidney disease a couple months ago and taking care of him has required a lot of time and work. While I'm adjusting to this new more hands-on, care-giving role, I want to make sure that I'm also soaking up every minute I get to be a pet mama to my 3 beautiful pets (1 cat and 2 dogs.)
Spend more time with God. Devotionals, bible journaling, and studies and faith based books.
Be a light in this world. Encourage others with positivity.
And there you have it, those are my goals for the year! They are pretty lofty because there are quite a few of them. But the main idea is to show up and work consistently to achieve the vision I have for this space, the classes I want to offer, and the women I want to help.
My business and blog goals are from now-the end of May. I just applied to graduate school last month and I don't know if I'll be getting into grad school or not. (A heavy leaning towards getting in since I have the grades!) If I do get in, that starts in June and will take up a huge chunk of my time and energy and totally send me in a different direction than if I don't get in this summer semester. So I can't really plan for the second half of the year because I don't know if I'll be in grad school, or looking for a job with my bachelors degree, or whatevernot.
I would love to hear your 2018 goals if you're into goal planning like me! Leave a comment down below with your resolutions or goals this year. I'm excited to say that I'm already checking things off my list by making a monthly goal plan to meet my annual goals and sharing accountability with some of my crafty business bffs. <3 Happy New Year!
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