How to Put Together a Project Life: Hello December 2016 Album

Hello December

Each year I take a few minutes to document December: the cool weather, Christmas lights, family traditions, favorite recipes, and how we remember Christmas.  Luckily, Stampin’ Up! makes this awesome set of Project Life cards (called Hello December) as well as a mini 6″ x 8″ album to put it all in one place.  I love this year’s colors and theme: Emerald Envy and Real Red are the highlighted colors and it has a light, fun wintery theme.  I am so excited to share this year’s project!

First, I want to give you some tips on how to get on board with Documenting December.  Then I’ll show you my album and notes on how I will to complete it.

Documenting December:

  1. Prepare the album ahead of time.  I prep mine in early November.  I place all of the cards in the order I want, as well as the photo pocket pages.
  2. Leave room to write down feelings, traditions, memories, and thoughts.
  3. Pick a theme for each day.  You can follow along with a photo a day challenge or come up with your own list of things to document.
  4. Put post it notes in the album to remind yourself what you will document.
  5. Take pictures throughout December and at the end of the month, print them out and pop them into the album.
  6. Share the album with family and friends and enjoy for years to come!!

Alright, are you ready to see my 2016 Hello December Album? [I’m going to leave some commentary in between the photos – mostly because you won’t be able to read my handwriting, but also to give you ideas of how to make your own.]

Page 1: Title Page

I like to use a 6 x 8″ title page. I will add this card to a White background with a red border and embellish the page. I am planning on snapping a photo of a wreath, or stamping one onto the white page as well.

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Page 1: Calendar

I like to start the December album with a calendar.  I will remember what days of the week things occurred and it helps me plan the album.

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Page 1 & 2 Spread

Part of my documenting December experience is reflecting on the year, the close of 2016 and the start of 2017.  I want to share a quick blurb on my 2016/2017 journaling.  I have chosen “In Love” to be my focus for 2017 because:

Matthew 22:37 says, “Jesus replied“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”  

With tensions being high in our Country, with this election season, within the Christian community, and with those around us, I have strong biblical convictions rooted in this verse that we must love our neighbors as ourselves.  We must first love God, but then we love our neighbors and if our focus shifts outwards from ourselves to Christ and those around us we can impact the communities around us in an amazing way.

I have journaled about this on my opening page for December.  I am also printing this passage out and placing it where I will see it every day in 2017 so that I will be intentional and prayerful about doing all things ‘In Love’.

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Page 3 & 4 spread

I haven’t decided what I will say on day 2, but I have room to write about things we do together as a family.  I want to add a photo of our weekly bonfire and my favorite Target shopping decor.

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Page 5 & 6 spread

Decorations!!  I’ll add a photo of our tree and tree skirt, the stockings hung from my newish stocking holders and the christmas lights on the house.  I’ll journal about my favorite Christmas decoration, my German Windmill (nativity pyramid).  I plan to finish off the bottom of the page with glitter and sequins.

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Page 7 & 8 spread

Baking.  Most of the year we eat clean, paleo, but I do love to bake Christmas cookies and make paleo truffles.  I will add a photo of me and the little one baking and the recipe for my favorite Buckeye Brownie Cookies will go into the full page sleeve.

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Page 9 & 10 I somehow missed.  Page 10 & 11:

Every Friday night we have family movie night.  I am sure we will watch a Christmas movie.  Also, mom and me like to knit so I would like to document that on day 10.

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Page 12 & 13 spread

By now the tree will be up (we put it up around Thanksgiving) and I’ll add photos of ornaments and journal about sentimental ones and traditions surrounding the ornaments we buy and give.

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Page 14 & 15 spread

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Page 16 & 17 spread

Starbucks.  Starbucks plays a huge role in my life.  I love coffee and I love the atmosphere of Starbucks.  It is my relaxing place.  So, I’ll document this year’s cup, the coffee sleeve and my favorite drink.

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Page 18 & 19 spread

In December we go to the local park and see a drive through light display.  I can’t wait to add a picture of this year’s lights.  Good wine and food are going on day 18 & 19.

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Page 20 & 21 spread

These two boxed cards are going to be great for making lists.  I can’t wait to list my favorite things & traditions for December.

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Page 22 & 23 spread

This week in December is Christmas Eve dinner prep.  I clean, make a menu, shop and decorate the dining room.  That will all go here on page 22 & 23.

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Page 24 & 25 spread

Christmas Eve Dinner!  My favorite meal of the year. We host this every year and I can’t wait to fill the next three pages with photos of family, food and fun from our Eve festivities.

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December 25

Ive devoted 3 pages to the 25th to journal, add photos and make lists of favorite things from this 2016 December.

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I hope you found these notes helpful and encouraging for creating your very own December Album.  I really enjoy making this album each year and preparing it ahead of time relives the stress of putting it together during a busy season and it ensures I’ll actually get things finished and it won’t be another unfinished project.

You can see the list of supplies here.


Quick Project Life: Keeping Up with Your Memories

Quick and Easy Project Life:

Last week I told you how I was being intentional about sending out cards, mail, packages and to help with that I needed an address book. I checked my normal spots- Target, B&N, and etsy. I couldn’t find one hat had enough room for my large handwriting and enough pages to add things like return labels (I cut them out to keep addresses and paste them in the book) and additional info like birthdates.

Then I remembered, I ordered an Erin Condren planner last year and loved it so why not check for an EC address book and wow was I impressed! Now the price tag is around $45 which may sounds crazy, but in reality I will only ever need one address book in my lifetime and this one has more than enough pages to handle that. {backstory:  A long ago I learned that quality trumps price on most things that will last a lifetime. I needed a pair of cooking tongs but the silicon handle, stainless steel tongs were $15 which was basically what I was making an hour on a really tight after college budget. A good friend reminded me that the quality ones would last better than the cheapo tongs and I would spend more replacing them. True story. I saved and splurged on the quality tongs and would you guess 5 years later I use them alsmost every meal, 3 times a day, 365 days a year and they are still in great condition. Not to mention that I tell everyone how awesome they are and how much they help me in the kitchen.}

Erin Condren Address Book with $10 off coupon

I’m loving all the personalized products and organizational accessories I’ve found at! Check it out for yourself and you’ll receive $10 off your first purchase!

So you get it, this is an instance where quality will benefit me in the long run. An address book isn’t something you should have to replace (otherwise you’ve lost your addresses!). They had the perfect print for me- leopard. I’m on a huge leopard kick right now. It’s wild, but neutral colors. It’s perfect. And now I am adding addresses that were scattered around the house and getting on track for keep the mail going out. If you love this address book and are thinking about buying one, use this link and you’ll save yourself $10.

In addition to my new address book, I am in the middle of an office/craft studio makeover. I saw a Threshold cube organizer at Target and knew it would be perfect for my Project Life albums. The 13″ cubes were on sale and so was the cube system, so I bought two and started organizing.

I like a lot of white space in my Project Life albums so that the photos speak for themselves and the journaling cards stand out. I’ve been using the Collect iPhone app to record the dates and a quick message about each photo. I then use the bulk export feature to export the month’s photos and use them in the Project Life app to a) do a quick digital layout and print it or b) combine two 3×4 photos and print as 4×6 to cut to 3×4 for my PL layouts.

Here I added a photo of my coffee and a few simple cards and printed 8×8 to add to the 2016 album I’m working on.

Then I added a few photos of my renovation to the PL App and printed it to add to the album. Don’t judge my office “before” pictures. I’m a disorganized wreck and this is our catch all room. I quickly purged bags of scraps, old projects, unfinished ideas and put all of my craft supplies back in their place.  

Because the App is so easy to use, I have an easy time keeping up with weekly layouts. I’m not super strict on the days or when it gets done, but when I have a few minutes I add photos and my favorite Moments Like These- Stampin’ Up! Cards to the layouts and export them as 12 x 12 layouts.  Here’s a peek at the last few weeks.

You can see they are simple and clean. But that’s what I like. And I like that I can actually keep up with it because it doesn’t require a lot of time. They are also consistent. I use Snapseed, another iPhone app, to edit photos. I make sure they have good natural lighting and brighten them up a bit more with the photo editing app so that the layouts are light and the photos are visible.


Alright, that’s all I have for your today but tags a lot of layouts! And when I think about the amount of time it took me to create them, I’m thrilled. It’s encouraging.

Check out one last thing- you know I love blogging, so head over to my other blog, Things the Dog Ate and see my newest adventure: Stitch Fix

Hello December & Project Life: Documenting December Daily Guide

Documenting Dec_button-01

Hello December & Project Life: Documenting December Daily Guide

Hello December!  It’s here, it has arrived.  December is upon us.  Are you ready for Christmas?  This year we will be documenting our December favorites with a December Daily photo album using the Project Life Hello December 2015 kit of journaling cards & accessories.

To help you get started I came up with a list of 31 ideas for things you can document each day to share how you celebrate December. You can deviate from this list by all means, but it is a great starting point if this is your first round of December Daily.  I’ll give you the down low really quickly so that you know what it’s all about.

But first, I’ll show you my December Album and the first page.


December Daily 2015 Album Cover  at

For the cover, I stamped Flurry of Wishes in Versamark ink and heat embossed with White powder.  I added wood cut stars and framed a Journaling Card from Hello December Project Life cards.  I used the trio corner punch for detail.  After adding a few sequins, both gold and silver, I finished the album off with a gold cording bow and Red pom pom trim.  Love it!

For the inside cover, I used my Heidi Swapp Minc to gold foil a border around the 6×8 page and our name and date.

December Daily 2015 first page at

December Daily 2015 first page at

December Daily 2015 first page at

WHO?  You!  Document what YOU and your kids, grandkids, family, friends, & neighbors do throughout December.

WHAT?  What are your favorite things, what traditions do you have, what is your favorite Christmas movie, wrapping paper, Xmas eve routine, gift, decoration, coffee flavor?  Document it.  You will love looking back  and remembering the special things December holds.  And, the even bigger bonus is that your children and grandchildren will love looking at it too. My little is only 3 and he LOVES looking at my Project Life albums with photos of our family, vacations we took, his birthday, newborn photos- it’s so sweet to see the joy it brings!

WHERE & WHEN?  In a simple 6 x 8″ Project Life Album, right now.  Ok, I have to admit, we are really busy, so I don’t always document each day on that particular day, but each day I take time to check off a photo from the LIST I have made for what I will document.  Then when I get a chance (usually on the weekend), I can print the photo, journal on the card and slip it into the album.

WHY?  Why not! I absolutely love documenting our life.  The little things that mean so much will bring JOY for years to come.  Each time we look back we see how things have changed, how some things have stayed the same and become tradition.  For us, it is decorating the tree and house, cooking a Christmas Eve ham, and drinking fake sparking champagne. I want to remember that. I want to see it in color.  I want my little one to see it.  I want it to be a legacy after I am gone.

HOW?  It is so incredibly easy to document December.  Grab a Project Life album, journaling pens, page protectors & cards and you’re half way done. The other half is taking photos as you go and jotting down your thoughts, ideas, memories, funny quotes, favorites things and the things that make you smile.  You can follow along here for ideas.  My list of 31 things is a great place to start if you don’t know what specifically to document.  It may seem insignificant, but are memories insignificant?  No, they are priceless.


Supply list:

Supply List

Built for Free Using:My Stampin Blog

Here is your free December Daily 31 Prompts for 2015 printable.  To download it, right click and hit save.
This is an 8.5 x 11″ download which you can use to follow along and document December. Enjoy!
Documenting December Daily 2015 prompts at
One more printable for you:
Here is the 2015 December Daily printable that you can add to your Project Life album behind the title page so that you have a record of your daily prompts.  It is 6 x 8″ and fits perfectly into the 6×8 album for December Daily and color coordinates with the Hello December journaling cards.
Documenting December Daily 2015 prompts at
I hope you enjoyed todays post & I can’t wait to see what you make.  Tell me what you think- post a comment below and let me know if you are loving the Project Life blogs as much as I am!
Documenting December Daily 2015 prompts at

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