Template 108

Hello there.

Before my computer crashed I had just finished a new template to share with you. Luckily it was saved on my external hard drive. Phew. I’ll share it with you today.

If I hadn’t saved it there you’d be waited a bit longer. I’m still hoping to be able to retrieve all my 2013 photos that are stuck on the old laptop. They were not on my external hard drive nor any sort of cloud back up. I know, very unwise. Big frowny face!

I could take the old laptop in and pay someone to transfer the data for me since I’ve been told the hard drive is still good but I’m going to try to do it myself. Yikes! I’m hoping that learning to do it myself will be worth more in the long run. Ya know, empowering and all as well as saving money! My sweet brother has been holding my hand through the whole thing. He’s so great to have patience with my lack of computer knowledge. So far I’ve tried using the Target Disk Mode for Macs with a firewire and that was a fail. The next thing to try is to take the laptop’s hard drive out and stick it in a Hard Drive Enclosure Case. I’ll be completely stoked if it works!! The case is in the mail. Hurry up, please.

Ok, on to my new template.

It’s pretty basic guys but it sure gets the job done. If you like it then download it by clicking here.

Template 108 preview -Mandagirl

Here are my pages.

2 Feb snow b

2 Feb snow

That’s it for now. My next scrapbooking project is a vacation with 150+ pictures. Whoo, time to get busy.

Warming Up

The spring weathers has been just lovely around these parts. There has been a little bit of rain but for the most part it’s warming up and the blossoms are starting to come out. I can’t help but just go sit in the sunshine. We’ve been playing outside as much as possible. Sam is overly happy and content at the park. He points and says something like “pay” meaning he wants to go play.

He always wants to go “pay.” I can’t get anything done around here.

Park days

While I was fixing dinner one night Isaac and his friend were swinging spider style. I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos of them because I think days like this wont last forever. Such sweet happiness.

This past week we’ve been up and down with sickness. It’s run through most of the family but my little Leah isn’t bouncing back so well.

She’s been getting afternoon fevers for 5 days now. She’ll wake up feeling great and ready to go but later in the afternoon she heats up and lays around on the couch for the rest of the day. Weird. I haven’t dealt with this before. The internet didn’t seem to come up with much. I don’t think there is much call for worry unless it goes on for longer than a week. My mommy alarm isn’t going off quite yet. I could call the nurse. If it goes on for a couple more days I’ll have to take her in.

Hum. Any ideas?

How’s the weather in your parts? Anxious for spring?

Up and Running

Computer desk

Hello friends.

I’m typing away on my new computer and it’s sooo lovely. It took a few day to decide what we really wanted for our family. We did lots of research, talked to lots of people and browsed the web way to much. Making decisions in this household can take a while, especially when they involve a chunk of moolah, if you know what I mean. What my husband wanted and what I wanted was a little different which made the process a little longer but I think we found a nice comfortable compromise in the end.

We decided on on a refurbished Mac Mini. I surprised myself by picking a mac because I’ve been a PC girl up to this point but it came down to getting the best (meaning fastest, largest, awesomest etc.) computer at our price point. I didn’t even know the mini existed until we started searching around for options. I was really, really loathing the idea of a great big black menacing PC tower so when I found the mini I did a little jig of happiness. Whoo hoot!

Another factor that went into our decision was that we wanted the safest, most family friendly computer we could get and had hear really great things about macs outscoring PCs in this area. My brother and sister both swear by them and they are super computer nerds (wink, wink) with a lot of experience. I certainly trust them with my computer purchases. As my kiddos get older and learn to hop on the computer all by their wee little selves, I like the added safety that a mac can provide- less garbage to accidentally download and there are some awesome parental controls (if I can figure them out.)

Do any of you have add-ons or software you use for parental controls that you’ve liked? I’d love to hear some recommendations.

There is a little bit of a learning curve on macs but I’m already well on my way since I’ve been using Jeremy’s old Macbook for a few months now. With the mac mini being a desktop I think I will like it a lot better for digital scrapbooking than I did his laptop. I’m dreaming of a nicer screen but I’m going to have to make this acer monitor work for now. It certainly is better than the laptop. I’m still working on getting my photoshop set up and looking forward to diving back in.

I’m really hoping I end up loving it all.

Part of our lengthy decision had to do with where to put the computer. So far the computer has dwelt in the basement near the tv and my crafting corner but again, as the kids get older and use the computer more, I found myself having a hard monitoring their usage. I had tried passwords and time restrictions but different schedules everyday made it hard with our set up. Jeremy had the idea to move the computer upstairs where it is more public. It’s a super great idea and I completely 100% agree with it but… I didn’t love the idea for one vain reason. I don’t have anywhere to put a computer upstairs. There isn’t a cute little office anywhere to tuck it in. I hate all the cords (note the picture above) and dust computers create so I don’t really want it all up in my face all the time.

But alas. Here I sit in my kitchen. I do have this nice white desk I purchased a while back for this corner. (Seems like the builders forgot to add the last of the cabinets or something.) I’ve been using the desk for papers, school supplies and school clutter. It keeps every thing off of the kitchen counters. The bulletin above and the calendar to the side help keep family stuff sorted and on the the calendar. It really is the hub of the home. I guess it’s a logical place for a computer… I just. Dunno. I worry the kids will hop on it more then they usually do because it’s so out in the open. The Mac also has parental controls that allow you to set how much time a user can be on the computer, like 30 minutes throughout the day as opposed to a set time like 3:00 to 4:00.  So… we’ll see how it goes. Maybe it’ll work.

It’s a trial run, really. I could possibly move it to the front room. Where do you keep your computer?

I also worry about keeping it clutter free. Hello dumping zone! I don’t want my computer area to be cluttery. It makes my mind feel crazy and a Mommy with a crazy mind isn’t a good thing.

Plus where am I going to pile sort all my papers?

Computer problems, again!


Ugh! I can hardly believe that another computer has died on me. It really is so frustrating. The screen on the old Macbook that I have been using recently has gone completely black. It’s either the logic board or the graphics card or some other thing that isn’t worth fixing, said the men at the apple store.

I even had a template ready to share. How sad. I’ll have to get my data pulled off, again. The data that I just barely put on that computer, the data from my Asus laptop. When was that, December? Sigh. the bright side is that the hard drive on the Mac is still good.

So what to do? I’m not sure. I guess I’ll be shopping around for another computer. Do any of you have a computer that you love enough to recommend? I don’t know if I should go for a desk top or a laptop? PC or Mac? I’m not having too much luck with laptops. I don’t really need It to be portable.

This picture is curtesy of Jeremys iPad. That’s what I’m typing on. Do your devices have tons of crazy head shots of your kids? I added it just to make this post somewhat interesting. It is proving very difficult to type and edit on so please excuse my errors. I’m assuming its a wordpress issue but it doesn’t like to go back and change things. It’s like the cursor won’t work unless I refresh ss the page. Which means I have to save my draft after ever sentence because I’m making that many errors.

im going to give up now and hit publish. If you don’t hear from me for a few whiles, you’ll know I’m computer shopping or at least saving my pennies so I can go computer shopping. later skater.

February Highlights

I’m beginning to like February more and more these days. I used to lump it in with the cold miserable months of winter but this year… it just wasn’t cold nor miserable. In fact, I think I like it best because it’s short and before you know it… it’s over.


Being that I had a pretty decent February, I’ll share some of my highlights and pictures. I’m sorry if you follow me on instagram because much of these pics will be repeats. I’ll try to mix it up.

This little guy really keeps me on my toes. He’s latest favorite activity is cooking.

I call this “Sam Makes Toast”

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I went on my first ever getaway ALL BY MY SELF!! I left the hubby and kids home and hopped on a plane for Virginia.

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I met up with my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law and had a grand old party. It was so much fun that we hope to make it a tradition.

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We spent a lot of time eating lots of good food.

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We went shopping and got pedicures.

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We did a little bit of yard work to help one sister get ready for moving into a new (gorgeous!) house on Capital street in Washington DC. (swoon!)

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I eventually had to come home. My kids and husband survived without me just fine although I’m not sure what they ate. Nuggets, I guess.

I made it back in time to welcome a new little nephew into the world. He’s had to spend his first couple of weeks in the nicu. He was born with a tumor but he is doing well and should be able to come home soon. Ya for my sweet little sister and her amazing strength.

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I, of course, spend a lot of my mornings here at the climbing gym. It really is the most fun way to work out, if you ask me. I can’t wait until warmer weather when I can get out on the real rocks.

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It has been unseasonably warm after a bitter January. It’s been warm enough to have a few outdoor adventures with the family. Here’s Leah posing for me near Bell Canyon.

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Love, love, love this pic of Leah on the rock. I’ll gobble her up, that sweet innocent thing.

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My brother and his wife came to town for a short trip and some baby showers (another nephew on the way.) It was great to see him and remember just how tall he actually is. (You can’t tell when we’re sitting down. He’s a monstrous 6’5″.)

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For an activity I took him climbing. I couldn’t help it and I think he enjoyed himself.

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We also did some unexpected spring skiing in February. It was the most unbelievably, nicest day ever.

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I hope we can keep tearing it up on the slopes for a few more years to come. Big fun.

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We strapped some skis on Sammy but he really didn’t go anywhere other than getting pushed around on a flat section of snow. Still cute though. Oh wait, I’m totally biased.

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So that’s it. I’m looking forward to March and the grass greening up. How about you?

2014-02-28 12.06.06

Template 107

Hello there. I’m loving March so far. How about you? My daffodils are coming up and I can hardly wait!

I found some time to scrapbook today. Here’s my pages I made.

1 Jan pics

1 Jan pics b

I am really loving my monthly pages because I can sure get a lot of photos done in a short amount of time. Especially when they aren’t very exciting pictures. I’ll save more creative designs for vacations and amazing pictures that I want to high light. This way is so much easier and faster. I can’t help it. I know that it is really the lazy route to scrapbooking but that’s what is working for me right now. No fanciness here. Is it working for you? Don’t tell me if you think they’re boring. You can use them, I promise.

If you want this easy and fast scrapbooking template for your own photo albums download this template for free for a limited time by clicking here.

Template 107 preview -Mandagirl

Awesome, now on to playing in this early spring-ish weather.

A Cover Page Template just for you

Hi friends,

Do you ever feel completely and utterly bored? Do you stare at the walls of your house like it’s some sort of prison? Do you long for an errand to pop into your head? The phone to ring?

Is is really just me?

I have plenty of housework to do but nothing on the calendar today. I’m sure there are people that long for these sort of days but for me… they drive me crazy. I need to get out of the house at least once a day. If not… I go INSANE. You might think I’m joking or exaggerating but it’s true.

Ask my mom.

Yesterday was packed full of things to do. Boring days tend to follow right after busy ones. I wake up rearing to go but then I falter… There is nothing to rear for. (ok, I know that made no sense.)

I spent the morning on the computer but that drives Sammy mad. He must get bored like me. We are a terrible combination. He needed some entertainment too so I bucked up (what am I, a horse today?) and took the littles on a walk to the playground. We are enjoying a little bit of a warm snap. It’s one of those February days where you start singing that song As I Lay Me down to Sleep.

It felt like spring time
On this February morning
In the courtyard
Birds were singing your praise
I’m still recalling things you said
To make me feel alright
I carried them with me today

As I lay me down to sleep
This I pray
That you will hold me dear
Though I’m far away
I’ll whisper your name
Into the sky
And I will wake up happy

I remember telling my mom once a long, long time ago that for once- I wanted to wake up happy.

Anyhoo, I’ve really strayed from my topic.

I’m feeling a little better now that I’ve been out and I’ve put Sam down for a nap. Finally I have some quiet time to enjoy.

Guess what that means…

Template time!

I’m ready to dive into my 2012 pictures. I really want to crank them out and make some major head way. I’m starting off with my very first page as a cover page. Is that what you call it? Opening page? Title page? Well either way, here it is.

smiths coverpage

My last name really isn’t Smith. Did I fool you? If you know it for reals keep it to yourself, Okay? I’m trying to fool those creepy internet stockers that haunt blogging dreams and make us want to put masks on all of our faces.

Moving on… would you like a template just like this. It’s your lucky day. Here you go. Download it here for a limited time.

Cover-Page-Preview--Mandag copy

All of the fonts are editable. In case you would like to use the exact same fonts I’ll tell you what and where they are. I’ve downloaded them all for free. Hurray for free.

OUR is Perpetus Titling MT
FAMILY is Archistico
ADVENTURES is Admiration Pains
all dingbats including THE and the banner are Bergamot Ornaments
SMITHS is Desdemona

Happy scrapbooking.

Finally Finished -2011 Scrapbook Album


Hurray! I finally finished my 2011 album. I looovvee printing my pages!! and getting them tucked safely away in an album.

I’ved used these Pioneer books for a few years now.


They aren’t my absolute favorites but I can get them cheap at Joann’s with a coupon. I like that they have expandable spines and can fit an unlimited number of pages. Ya never know how many pages a year will make.



These albums have a 4×4 square on the front. I can take it or leave it, really, but since the square is there, I always whip up a little paper with the date on it to fill it in. I literally spend a couple minutes on it and just print it at home.


It makes grabbing the right year easy enough although I’d prefer something on the spine. Ideally, I’d like to figure out a good way to put the year on each spine like I did with 2007 (see below.) The paper-ish spine cover on the Pioneers seem flimsy to me. I wish they were a bit more substantial. I think what I hate most is the adjustable holes on the spine cover. You can see them in the picture below. Tacky! if you ask me. Overall, they are fine books and get the job done.


The 2007 book is a Colorbok and I like it a bit more than the Pioneer. The green leather album holds our 2008 pages and is a We R Memory Keepers album but this link is for a 12×12 postbound. It doesn’t look like they make 8x8s postbound anymore. Boo. Their 8x8s are only 3 ring binders. My 2009 book, which is black doesn’t have a brand on it anywhere but it feels very much like the Colorbok and I like it. The blue and small black are Pioneers. Can you see the expandable post holes on the spine cover… yuck. There must be a better way.

I print 8×8 pages instead of 12×12 even though I scrap on the computer in 12×12. I just figure I don’t need HUGE books or HUGE pictures. I’m really happy with 8x8s and plan to stick with it.

Here are some of my favorite pages from the year. I tend to gravitate to neutral backgrounds, simple layouts and tons of pictures.




When I can flip quickly through an album it’s easy to spot the highlights from that year.

From our beach trip…


From our spring break…

I even love the pages that I threw together super fast just to get photos quickly scrapbooked and done.

The month of December…


At the end of my books I always stick in my christmas cards from that year. They are overlapped and not even stuck down but I still love having them there. I can flip through and see all my darling loved ones at a glance.


So with 2011 done it’s time to get busy with 2012 photos. Are you caught up or behind just like me? Maybe you don’t scrapbook in order and just have fun doing what you want. Do you print out your pages? Do you stick them in an album or do you print a bound book? Do you have a favorite type of album?

Template 106 -A Year in Review

Hello Darlings,

Are you all ecstatic to see another post from me in such a short time? Heck yah! I am. And I even have a template to give away. Get excited! Whoot whoot!

I know January is coming to a close so I’m a month behind but I truly believe in the “better late than never” policy. I enjoy making Year in Review pages every year. I love putting them in my yearly scrapbooks and having that quick glance at what happened that past year and what I’ll find in that particular book.

Putting them together is pretty fun too. With my kids growing and changing so fast it is fun to compare January to December pictures. I alway exclaim “What! Look how they’ve grown!” When I start looking through pictures and picking my favs for the month I always feel like January was ages ago and December was yesterday. Oh wait. It pretty much was.

Here are my pages. Look at how they’ve grown!

2013 Year in Review

2013 Year in Review

I guess I’ve been doing these Year in Reviews for 4 years. I had to go look back at the other years I have made.

  • 2012- Here is the post for Template 98. It’s for sale in my shop here.
  • 2011- Template 83 is sold in a pack in my shop here.
  • 2010- Template 67 is found in a pack here.
  • 2009- My very first Year in Review Template 46 is found in a pack here. (I could find the original post for that one. It is a mystery.)

If you’d like to make your own Year in Review then you are in luck. I decided to make little Polaroid frames for my pictures and the square clipping masks worked perfect if I picked an Instagram to highlight that particular month.

Download Template 106 -2013 Year in Review here for a limited time.

2013 Year in Review

If you want to use it for a different year than go ahead and delete the year numbers and add your own (or don’t even use it for a Year in Review… it’s ok, I wont have my feelings hurt.)

Happy scrapbooking.