New PL kit

I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with project life. I love the concept, absolutely love the albums, colours, cards and all the great options. I hate when I fall behind far enough that it actually stresses me out. I spend way too much time in the ‘fallen behind beyond belief’ stage.

I go weeks without getting a chance to do anything at all, so when I get a chance I spend hours choosing, organising and printing photographs. That part is exhausting so I almost never get to the fun part with the beautifully designed kits and albums. Then weeks later I get another chance to look at it and the whole photograph process needs to happen again. Luckily I have weeks upon weeks off during the summer and I plan to dedicate a couple of weeks to catching up and hopefully staying up to date before I go back to work in the middle of September. I’ve already been off for 8 weeks but they’ve been pretty busy (sometimes they were just busy not living by a schedule) but I plan to have a couple of weeks at the start of September. So this is what I have to catch up on:

November & December 2014: complete spreads including photo printing which is quite time consuming because I was doing weekly spreads last year. Plus it’s the Christmas period which means much more to take photos of.

March – mid July 2015: photos are printed and in their places so I just need to add PL cards as well as stickers and embellishments etc. I decided to do monthly spreads this year and not to put too much pressure on it. Some months will have multiple spreads, depending on how much the month was, some will only have one spread. I feel much more relaxed about monthly spreads and it take a lot of the pressure off keeping the photos and dates in order.

Mid July – End of August: complete spreads including photo printing.

I’m really not sure how I’m going to go about it but one thing I know for sure, I have to go in chronological order. It’s the only thing that works for me. So does anyone have any tips for how to fit that into a couple of weeks? How do you catch up on Project Life?

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imageReading… The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith (a.k.a J.K. Rowling). It’s taking me an absolute lifetime to get through it because I seem to keep falling asleep after 3 pages.

Watching… 90210. I wanted something that was easy watching for a couple of weeks & now I’m kind of hooked.

Listening to… Some 90s cheese, The Beatles & The Riptide Movement.

Trying… Meditation. I went to a class for the first time last week and loved it. I’ll be signing up for more in September.

Drinking… Diet Coke as usual but I’ve been trying infused water lately. Next up…berry.

Scrapping… Catching up with my Project Life album. I was WAY behind. I’m getting there though.

Enjoying… Having the summer off work, bright warm days & and peony season.

Hating… The dog hair. My dogs are shedding like crazy with the warmer weather.

Going to… See Ed Sheeran in concert on Friday.

Looking forward to… New York in December.

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The home department of Penneys (Primark) is on fire right now. I’m so happy with the things I managed to pick up this week. At the minute my bedroom is white with a bright yellow Billy bookcase from IKEA (which they no longer stock) and a turquoise bedside table (which you can find here) so I was delighted to find the photo frame with grey and turquoise in it. I plan to paint one of the white frames yellow so I’ll share it here when I do. The grey and white cushion with yellow writing matches perfectly too. Finally, I’m excited about the weekly planner and I cant wait to use it in my craft room. Lord knows I need to be more organised so I’m hoping a planner will help. I’m pretty excited about some of the stuff coming up from Penneys.

 

OLW

I know I’m a little late to the party considering I think Ali Edwards started the concept of One Little Word in 2006 but I’m going to attempt my first OLW this year. I have no idea yet how I’m going to document it. I already do Project Life so I’m not sure if I will try to incorporate it into my monthly spreads or document it in some other way. 

I have, however, decided on my word. I went back and forward over a few different words but I’ve finally settled on ‘Stronger’. I’m aiming for 2015 to be a stronger year for me in many different areas. I wanted to pick a word that could transfer from personal life to work life to how I think.

My aim this year is to:

  • become mentally stronger. I want to be able to stay at home on my own at night without feeling terrified. That seems like a huge challenge but I did say strongER. 
  • become physically stronger and fitter and healthier.
  • become stronger as an individual person. Be stronger as a ‘me’ instead of a ‘we’.  I enjoy my own company but I’m learning how to live my life as a single person again after 6 years. Learning to rely on myself if I need to (not that I have to very often, I have amazing family & friends) and become stronger as a real grown-up person.
  • build a stronger, more organised blog and hopefully build a stronger following too. 
  • become a stronger friend/family member. Sometimes I have to be in the mood for people and if I’m not and it doesn’t suit me, I can flake on things.
  • have a stronger attitude. I’m not pushing the ‘Positive Mental Attitude’ but I’m trying to be less negative and more thankful for what I have. 
  • Stronger at my job. more patient, better time keeping skills, better organised. 

Is anyone else taking part in the One Little Word challenge this year? I’d love for people to share how they plan to document it?

If any of you are interested in taking part, you can check all Ali Edwards has to say about OLW here.

Phone case

A while ago I started a new mini series called look what I found and this week I want to share my new iPhone 6 Plus case. I bought it from Paperchase and it combines my favourite colours. I love anything black & white and I always love love love all things yellow.

It’s a little more expensive than what I would usually pay for a phone case (I’m normally a Penneys kinda girl) but it was totally worth it. If you would like to buy it, check it out here.

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Whose idea was it to start Create 52 right before silly season? Obviously I was ridiculously busy in the lead up to Christmas like everyone else and I’m back in work now & have things on 4 weekends out of 5 this month so I’m waaaay behind. There goes New Year’s Resolution number 1 – be better at organising blog posts and Project Life in advance. Must try harder.

So I’m kind of back on track with Create 52 as of week 2 of January and I’ve started off with something simple. I’d love to say I bought a blank pin board & went from there but that would be a complete lie. I bought the board, from Forever 21, with the black map already printed on it. I bought it last September so I’m not sure if it’s still available but I’ve seen some other options online. I’d also love to see some creative people adding their own maps to pin boards. I just picked up some pins (I couldn’t find a size I wanted so I had to buy dress making pins and cut them). I added a white pin to where I live (Ireland) and red pins to all of the places I’ve been up until now. I’m toying with the idea of adding another colour to places I plan to go but I’m not sure yet.

Finally I chose a quote I like that was short and simple and added it to the board using Amy Tangerine Thickers.


  

Gift bag

gift bag contents

My friends and I do Kris Kindle every year. We try to arrange a night in or out where we have some food, some drinks and swap presents. Last year I hosted a little pre-night out gathering and thought it would be a fun idea to make little gift bags for each of my friends. 

 

I bought plain black gift bags and made simple labels with each of my friends names and the year on them. The bag included some chocolate, a face mask, a set of false eyelashes, a mini notebook, a Yankee wax tart , a lollipop and a hangover kit I put together.

 

Do you have any fun ideas for gift bags?

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I’m excited to share my first project from my new Create 52 project. I bought this plain canvas really cheap in a chain shop (Euro Giant) and used a gold sharpie for the quote.

The quote is from the song Swinging on a Star by Bing Crosby. My grandad sang this song constantly and you would often hear him saying “or would you rather be a fish?” to himself.

It’s up on my wall now & I will think of him every time I see it.

A creepy doll - 2011

= A creepy doll – 2011

A black and white TV star - 2012

A black and white TV star – 2012

Jane from Twilight - 2013

Jane from Twilight – 2013

It’s that time of year again! I love love love Halloween. Whats not to love? Lots of sweets and treats and an excuse to dress up and wear what you want without worrying about how crazy you look. I don’t really understand store bought costumes. I think they usually look great and if you can buy something, wear it as it is and be satisfied with it then good for you but I prefer to make my costume and if it doesn’t involve something a bit crazy in the make-up department I’m a little disappointed. 

While I decide what to dress up as this year I thought I’d share some of my costumes from the last few years. I better get my thinking cap on.

What are you dressing up as this Halloween?

Google Search

I’m not going to pretend I know everything there is to know about ‘branding yourself’ but I will tell you the most important thing I’ve learned so far. Deciding on and sticking to an easy name for your blog or brand is the most important thing you can do. I have no experience or qualifications in marketing and this website is probably the nearest I’ll ever come to having to ‘brand’ anything but when I put ‘Paparali’ into a Google search, the first thing that appears is this blog. My Twitter account, my Instagram account and my photo website (alimccann.com) also appear on the first page of the search results. When you Google my name, you get similar results although they’re spread out a bit more over the first few pages.

 

This blog is not exactly where I want it to be and I have a long way to go to get it to a steady readership but the name ‘Paparali’ is on everything I own from my Instagram account to Twitter to Pinterest and I think that’s a pretty good place to start.

 

Do you have any branding tips?