Monday, February 28, 2011

Don't Do This

In addition to my other house-wife mishaps, including shaking a tight plastic bottle full of hot chocolate as it exploded all over my kitchen and knocking the door handle off my bedroom door in the middle of the night rendering myself locked INSIDE my's another doozie:

Never leave a glass lid on top of a burner that's still on high. You may hear a loud POP sound as the glass explodes in your kitchen. If your dinner is on a burner near said explosion, you may find yourself not only eagerly praying before you ingest your meal, but also carefully examining it, to ensure that you don't cut up your mouth full of glass pieces.

Lesson learned. Wisdom shared.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

for those of you who like to read...a note from my journal

Becoming Mama…

There are crazy identity crises that I am going through right now. For one thing, I am not working. Although I never really thought my career mattered a ton to me, I have realized that after investing a whole decade of my life to education and the application of that knowledge, it really is important and central to who I am. When I meet someone at a party, they’ll always ask what I do for work. Having to answer that I am unemployed since we moved to London has been a change in how I see myself. I don’t want to be labeled as lazy or dumb; I want people to see me as a hardworking educated woman. But without a career in my lap, I have to find security in other ways.

Another way that my identity is changing is through my body. It’s no longer slim and slender. It’s got lumps and bumps and droops and marks all over it. I’m no longer attractive to the average guy – although I notice that women look at me with admiration. My body will forever be different; I don’t expect to ever be what I was. I am okay with that – it is for a purpose. And I am just thankful that I have a loving husband who always finds me to be the most beautiful woman in the world!

Emotionally, I cannot even comprehend the love that I have for you, my little unborn baby girl. And, yes I know that this love is only a tiny bit of what I will feel and experience once I meet you and get to know you. The emotional and hormonal swings during pregnancy have been strong – although not overwhelmingly so. I have felt fairly stable, and have enjoyed having time to process my “deep thoughts” about becoming a parent. I am guessing, though, that my emotions will certainly be stronger once you arrive in my arms!

Cognitively, my mind is filled with new information – things I never thought I would invest so much time in learning about: breastfeeding, healthy sleep for children, various aspects of my reproductive organs, how to keep marriage strong in parenthood. I’ve gone from reading highly educational textbook material to pop-psychology and medical advice. My brain doesn’t feel nearly stimulated enough, and I wonder if this reading material is making me smarter…or dumber. Nonetheless, I am desperate to be careful to not reinvent the wheel with parenting, so I long to gain any insight I can from the “experts.”

All of my relationships are also changing. My relationship with Daddy is about to go strictly from “couple” to parental. Friendships are different; I am drawn to other young moms going through similar stages in life. Everyone in the family has a new name – Auntie, Cousin, Nana, Granny…they all relate to you. I am concerned about my single girlfriends, and making sure that I nourish those relationships – I don’t want to be someone who just talks about baby stuff all the time and neglects the other aspects of life. I also find that I don’t have as much energy to waste on trying to people-please; my own family and home is more and more of a priority.

Yes, Momma-Bear is growing inside of me. I don’t care nearly as much as I used to about what people think. Despite all the changes going on, I am accepting them – not fighting them. I prioritize my space, my body, my marriage, my life. I feel like I have to – because no one else will. I know that I will be the protector, the safety net, the nourisher as you enter this world. It will be a huge responsibility and a tremendous privilege.

You will become the center of our universe – even more than you already are. The attention and questions and inquiries of everyone around us will revolve around you. My head will usually be cut off in pictures, I won’t get nearly as many Christmas presents as in the past, and David will likely greet you first when he comes home from work. But, I won’t care. I am happy to bring you into a family that’s filled with love and caring for you. Soon enough you’ll understand that the world doesn’t revolve around you in reality…but for now, it will seem like it does!

As I enter motherhood, I realize that I am stepping over a major threshold. My old life will be forever gone. I will never walk around this earth strictly concerned about my own needs; I will always be thinking about you. Parenthood is the most permanent of commitments, the most transforming of choices, and the most emotionally powerful of relationships. I always say that the most difficult aspect of parenthood is that the child doesn’t change to fit into relationship with the parent; the parent has to do the work of changing, growing, maturing to fit into a pleasant and influential relationship with their child. I hope that I will be flexible enough!

{and just because I like pictures more than words}:

The Day We Got Engaged (December 15, 2003)

And Now We're Expecting (January 2011)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011


Here are some Christmas pictures of my two sweet little nieces, Isabella Marie and Kalli Janae. ARE THEY NOT so super CUTE!? I can't wait for them to have another little playmate all dressed in pink :) Our three Melnychuk girls are going to have so much fun together!

Love you sweethearts!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Request GRANTED!

I was so flattered the other day when a friend of mine called and asked if I could post some handmade CARDS on my blog for inspiration. How nice is that?!

And, she was's been a LONG while since I had posted any cards! There are some other postings on here. I've finally figured out how to add labels to my posts (thanks Alyssa!!!) so if you look under "scrapbooking" then there are cards listed there too...hopefully these will get your creative juices flowing!

If I need inspiration:
- I call a friend and ask for ideas ;)
- I rarely go online for card inspiration. I find it helpful for layouts, but not as much for cards. I end up spending WAY too much time trying to search search search...and not enough time creating
- I have invested in purchasing a few expensive magazine/idea books with great card layouts. I find these books really get me going!
- "Cards" by Northridge Publishing (same makers as Scrapbook Trends)
- My Stampin Up catalogue (always a good one!)
- "Paper Crafts" magazine (I don't waste my money on the usual publications; I only splurge and get the special editions - such as the newest "Color Inspiration" idea book that they've published. I find that I would rather have just a FEW great mags instead of a bunch of ones filled with advertising that I am just going to recycle later anyway...ya know?!)

These three sizes of cards are my favourite:

1) traditional (which is 5.5"X4.25")
2) skinny (which is 3"X6" - use a quarter of a 12"x12" piece of cardstock)
3) mini (which is 3.5"x5" - LOVE this cute size!)

My favorite tools in cardmaking include:
- stamps and ink (hello Stampin UP!)
- PUNCHES - I love love love these and use them allllll the time!
- ribbon
- the rule of thirds (esp when I am adding patterned paper to a card)

You'll notice that I keep my cards pretty simple. I like to add dimension too, whether through buttons or ribbon. Making sure things are nicely edged is something that "anchors" my cards.

Don't be afraid to "scraplift" yourself! If I find a card or page layout that I really love, I will repeat it various times through different themes or albums.


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Brushes are my New BEST FRIEND

Ever since I met so many wonderful hybrid-scrapbookers (part digital scrapbooking and part traditional) in Greece, I have been hoping that I would be able to figure out how to use "brushes." Brushes are like the digital version of a rubber stamps...and I LOVE RUBBER STAMPS in real life.

What's cool about Brushes are that apparently they're easy to use. I have been sitting on a CD of PhotoShop Elements for a couple years...never even downloaded (way too intimidating!) But, finally I have gotten up the courage. It's taken me a few days, because I am just technically dumb...I think the motivation has come with this whole NESTING thing. I am worried if I don't figure out how to do this now, then with a crying baby in arms I DEFINITELY won't figure it out. Also, I want to be able to use some different date brushes (like these: when I print up pictures for Evalie's 365 album.

But, I AM SOOOOO EXCITED AND SOOOOO HAPPY WITH THESE RESULTS! This is from that photo shoot that David did with flippin awesome are these Ali Edwards brushes?! You can check them out here: They're only like $4 per package - and there are endless uses (you can even just print them onto paper anytime you want forever!).

On Ali's blog (, she also gives tutorials for how to do all this fun stuff. Oh, and any other suggestions from all my digi/hybrid scrappin friends on where to find good tutorials?!


Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Aaralyn Soleil

Met this baby's momma in prenatal aquafit class...and then I got the privilege of photographing her today (happy 2 month birthday baby girl!) Thank you Katrina for letting me practice on your beautiful baby!!! You are an INCREDIBLE mother, and it was a joy to be with the two of you :)

Here are some of my fav's...

Thanks for looking!!!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Kelly MacDonald is AMAZING!

Here's a sneak peek at some of Kelly's photos of us with our pregnancy photo shoot yesterday...I am in love!

Thank you Kelly for your incredible talent! We had a WONDERFUL time with you :)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Evalie Rose's 365 Album

Before anyone gives me credit for this...just know that this idea was from my friend KRISTIN! She is the creative genious (along with Becky Higgins) behind this project ;) She's the one who suggested taking Becky's Project Life and making it into a baby's first year album.

Becky Higgins is a famous scrapper who invented what's called Project Life 365. You can hear all about it here: You can buy a kit for this project and literally just throw all the pieces in pockets, take a picture every day for a year, write about the pictures, and at the end of the year you're DONE!

BORING (to me).

I have a MILLION (well, thousands) pieces of cardstock and patterned paper. I also have a paper trimmer. Paper + trimmer = card that will fit into little pockets.

The one thing I did need to buy for this project was Becky's AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME pocket page protectors. You can buy them here if you're in Canada:

Well worth the $$$!!!! They are incredible! And, you can't buy them anywhere else...

In addition to Becky's basic layout, I did the following:

1) I have an intro 12X12 page for each month. This is a KI Memories Calendar (my sister picked them all out for me!)
2) An ending 12X12 layout for each "photo of the month." I'll use an 8X8 photo each month to show how Evalie has grown.
3) An intro and ending page for the entire album
4) Space for a two-page 12X24 layout at the end where I will either do something like a square-punch grid of a bunch of photos over the year, or some other way to quickly document the growth of Evalie over the whole year.

In Becky's album, the entire thing has a "theme." Meaning, there is one colour scheme, one kind of "look" to the whole thing.

Again, BORING. I couldn't scrap an entire 365 days looking the same! I like variety!

So, each month of my album has a different colour scheme, a different theme to it. The one thing that brings cohesiveness to the entire album is the colour PINK! How appropriate!


Here's a look at the album, all ready for our little beautiful baby girl! Now all I have to do for her first year of life is slip a picture in a pocket for each day (and who cares if I CHEAT?!) and by the time her first birthday rolls around, we'll be able to see how much she's grown! YAY!!!!!

April 2011 (the month we're expecting HER!!!):

May 2011 (has purple, because May is my birthday month and MY fav color is purple!):

Wasn't afraid to use some stickers on the outside of the pages.

Things I loved about doing this project:

1) Although it took quite a lot of time to put this together (mostly CHOOSING papers was time consuming), it is SO NICE to have this accomplished and ready for our baby!
2) Once I made the choices of papers/themes for each month, I was able get it done fairly fast (overall the whole thing probably took me about 25 hours total)
3) The coolest thing was USING UP MY STUFF!!!! I went through ENTIRE SHEETS of stickers and paper! NO LEFTOVERS!!!!!! Love doing that! Love the feeling of using something I have enjoyed seeing in my stash for a long putting it in an album where I will see it forever :)

June 2011 (love the soft grey/silver with the white and pink of this month):


July 2011 (bright for SUMMER!):

August 2011 (uses the new Hopscotch line by Basic Grey...a fav!):

September 2011:

October 2011 (isn't this Basic Grey line just YUMMY??):

November 2011 (simple in just pink and brown):

December 2011:

January 2012:

February 2012:

My plan for the year looks like this:

1) I will have NO PROBLEM taking pictures of my baby every day! I am sure of that!
2) If I forget a day, or a number of's OKAY! I can live with that
3) I'll order pictures online and upload them every week or two. Then, I can just walk to Costco with little Evalie in the stroller and pick them up (and get a hot dog!)
4) Some of the pictures will be vertical and some horizontal...some will be colour and some black and white...some will be 4X6 and some 3X4...I am flexible
5) I'll journal on the little slips whenever I want to. If time goes by and I haven't journaled, I will LET IT GO and keep moving on! NO PRESSURE!
6) I will ENJOY this project. I will not allow it to be on my "to do" list as a chore. IT IS FUN :) It's for the purpose of maintaining my sanity as I adjust to motherhood!

March 2012 (love the fresh green papers by October Afternoon in this one!):

April 2012:

Mission: ACCOMPLISHED. Ahhhh...feels good!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...