hello 430am. didn’t really care to see you.

There’s something about getting up real early. About starting off on the right foot. Whether or not today’s early morning rise was due to the fact I was unable to sleep since 4am & decided I might as well get up and do something.. It was sure a great, productive, and ultimately a fulfilling day.

Started off getting all my reading done before getting ready this morning. That was nice, and more helpful than hitting the library after class. Also finished up my Excel Project which was sweet to check off my to do list. Taking my time & actually able to fully get ready was a definite change. Left for work way early, making it peaceful to not have to worry about traffic. Sweet sounds from my new Autumn playlist made the commute extra enjoyable. Got my favorite parking spot to back Sophia into. And scrolled on into work. Focusing more on work stuff since I didn’t have to worry about classwork on my break.

After work, I was able to snag a cute bench outside one of the school buildings and enjoy a little of the absolutely gorgeous day while finally getting to read in my ‘just for fun’ book [twyla tharp. the creative habit.]before class. Been struggling to find time to read in my personal reading, since I always feel like I should be reading or studying for classes. But man, let me tell you! Being all caught up and ahead of assignments for class sure makes them a lot less stressful ;) [I know common sense, but this semester is one of the first times that’s happened.] Makes a world of difference!!!

Then instead of picking up the dinner to go, as I hate eating in somewhere by myself. I decided that I wanted to eat in & was accompanied by awesome words of my book :) But a fun change. Was looking forward to popping out this blog every since I hopped in the car to leave campus! And now that I’ve written it, gotta fill out my answer for the ‘Q&A a day’ journal [Q&A Journal] and I am gonna throw in the towel on one successful day! :)

just for fun reading. the creative habit.

I can only hope that come tomorrow, at the crack of dawn… my love and joy of a proactive early starting day will win out over my love of staying all cuddled up in my amazing bed until…. the… last…. possible… minute…. ;)

guess we will see….

guilty balance issues.

I fear that my birthday and the start of new habits came at the worse time. I had just got myself into a good routine and now I feel like I’m already slipping off the bandwagon.

Charleston Bridge
With the start of classes infused with planning & taking a birthday vacation trip to Charleston totally has thrown my newfound semi-routine.
I haven’t been so behind on my Project Life binder as I am now. Not even sure how I’m gonna get caught up!! Not to mention its horribly sad because I had so many things planed for my birthday weekend spread.
The Creative Habit
Part of my 24 in 24 list was read 12 books. There’s so many new books ive wanted to read, not to mention the couple sitting on my bookshelf I’ve yet to dive into. And I had been doing really well with this one so far, but with the start of school. There’s always reading to do for classes and I feel guilty ‘pleasure reading’ when I should be doing class work.
Let’s not even get into working out. That ship sailed about 2 weeks before we left for Charleston. You know because of all the obviously important birthday shopping & outfit planning that needed to take place.
My attempt at collecting my thoughts and blogging more has fallen quite short as well. Although not due to the lack of blog ideas coming to mind.  And partially to do with the void of time and a lot to do with the fact I have to create a website for a class. Again the guilty feeling that I shouldn’t be contributing to my personal website with that due date creeping up.
It seems lack of time, guilt, and balance issues are the theme here.
Well, time to hop off the blog and try to conjure up a game plan.

and so the end has come…

Just like that I’m finished with all of the books!!

I’ve got to admit although the first book is a good read, semi-predictable but still keeps you interested, it wasn’t exactly my cup of tea. I enjoyed it greatly and fell in love with Katniss’s character, but I didn’t really feel strongly one way or the other about the book and that kinda left me feeling odd. That quickly changed once I finished the second book. And by the third I was completely obsessed. I wanted to finish to know what was going to happen, would Katniss make it? Would she end up with Gale? Would the capitol win? Would she die as a token of the war? Would district 13 turn out to be as devious as the capital had? Who was good? Who was evil? It brings so many questions.

I’m so sad to finally come to an end though. It feels so empty on my drive home now, without the audio book to keep me company :( hehe. I wish there was  more to the story! I always become so attached to the characters of books I read, hence my twilight obsession ;)

Although none of the events are directly related to anything happening in our world, there are hints of themes that make you relate to them. Make you question certain aspects.

I am in no way a good book reviewer, just my thoughts on finishing up! I’ll continue my obsession with watching the movie numerous times and putting the sweet soundtrack that I CAN NOT stop listening to on repeat!!



what project life means to me and my binder.

I have been meaning to write a more detailed post about how I go about my Project Life binder. A lot of my friends and other people have asked questions about it and I believe I finally got it all together and typed up for you. Hopefully I didn’t leave out any parts.

“ Project Life is a solution-based approach to scrapbooking that was created to simplify the process in order to allow you more time to enjoy life! It requires no glue, no scissors, no tools, and no skills of any kind. The design of our products takes the guess work out of layout design so that you can focus on recording your everyday moments through your photos and journaling. The simple design is stylish and makes it possible for you to complete more pages in less time.” via becky @ beckyhiggins.com

The beauty of it is that she provides the most basic form of scrapbooking out there. Which is amazing, it allowed me not to feel so overwhelmed when entering into my first attempt at any sort of scrapbooking. I loved her catch phrase of ‘cultivate a good life and record it‘. And that’s exactly what I wanted to do.

It was different from conventional scrapbooking where you usually start with a massive pile of old pictures and attempt to piece them together to remember the events that were taking place. Most of the time you forget what the pictures were even of, much less how you really thought or felt of at the time.

Going along with my feelings on the importance of the small things. I wanted to capture all the little moments in life, all the small progression points. When I saw the Project Life idea I instantly knew this was the project I was looking for! It definitely encompassed everything. The small things, the big things, documenting and recording life. Creating something. And let’s not forget the big point scrapbooking.

The flip side of that was  I needed more in this particular project than just a simplified collection of pictures & thoughts to look back on. I wanted a decent size project to tackle, to invest time in, to push myself out of my comfort zone and to learn new skills.

Yet another one of the beauties of Project Life is that it is completely customizable to what you want it to be. There is no wrong or right way to do it. You make your own rules!!!

So the rules or guidelines rather for my first Project Life binder are:

  • 1 spread a week for a year. I started on April 1st 2012, so my end date will be March 31st, 2013. Committing to this for one year was pretty huge, considering that’s quite a bit of time. But I finally came to believe that would be best. It would give me enough time to experiment & try a lot of new things.
  • Treat each little space as if it is it’s own little scrapbook section. Although the Core Kits w/the precut sheets are awesome & great for if you’re wanting quick scrapbooking, I do not use it. That’s more due to the fact that although I purchased a Core Kit, there was only one available at the time and it does not fit my taste at all [wish I would have saved $ and skipped on that]. Most all of the paper are cut out of regular scrapbook pages & I spend a lot of time using embellishments and trying out new techniques. I enjoy it because I get to put a lot more of my style and creativity into it [again it’s not needed, but what I wanted out of the project].
  • Use a combination of physical scrapbooking as well as digital.  The big reason to add the digital aspect was that I wanted to dabble and gain some knowledge into Photoshop. I am currently using Photoshop Elements [since it came with my Waccom Bamboo Tablet that I purchased]. It’s a great place to start! Elements is not so intense, although the basic knowledge you use of layers and the commands carry over into Photoshop when I decide to make that jump!
  • Things I wanted it to include will vary greatly based on what’s going on. I also want to document the bigger moments more in detail without giving up all the space of the normal documentation. So when that happens I will add an insert in between the week spread. It won’t be a full size page, but a cut down version of some sort. Here are some different ideas of what it’s included so far… random pictures. things i did. quotes/lyrics that rocked my world. a fun blog post i liked. what song i’m obsessed with. fun places i went. the weather that week. things i bought. and books i’m reading.

Although it doesn’t look like much! It’s amazing to pick up the book and flip through the pages that I’ve already finished and see how far it’s already come. I can’t imagine how great it’s going to feel once I finish a full year!!! I apologize for not having updated pictures of my current spreads! Those are definitely coming. There’s just been a lot going on lately, as well as me getting a few weeks behind. So the pressing task is to get myself all caught up and the pictures will follow! Any questions just leave comment or email me!

Want to see the start of my Project Life? Click here. First spread of my Project Life? Click here. And see all my other posts here. Interested in looking at sweet blogger’s binder who I adore? Check out Elsie Blaha here.


a week in review.

This week has been a lot of things to say the least, lots of things going on up inside the brain & lots of overwhelming feelings as well with random ones of course!

♥ I am in love with writing on this blog now. It’s so fun and such an outlet, every time I hit publish on a post I smile. It’s exciting to just get my thoughts down.


♥ After wearing a bow in my hair on sunday, I’m quite upset with myself for not wearing them more often. I forgot how much I adore them :)



♥ After awhile of being without any pets, we’ve finally gotten another kitten. It’s into everything, like really. I had to pop the hood & get it out from underneath that in my car yesterday :-\ Not the best place for it to hide.


Baseball season started. Woot Woot! I love baseball season. Getting a pop up on my phone about the home run Mr. Derek Jeter hit put lots of smiles on my face! Hopefully I’ll be able to make it to some local games this year :)


♥ Reading the blogs I follow in the am are the highlight of my day. They’re so inspiring, I learn so much from them, & sometimes I feel like they have typed exactly what I needed to hear.


♥ Shopping for scrapbook stuff for ProjectLife is now one of my favorite things to do.



♥ There’s been a lot to happen in the past month that has brought a lot of closure to things that felt like they were still effecting me. That’s felt good to not necessarily to let it go, but just let it be part of my past.

♥ I can’t go a day without listening to Lee Brice’s ‘A Woman Like You’ song… literally have listened to it multiple times a day since I fell in love with it a few weeks back! “You know I get sick deep-sea fish in’ and you make the best fried chicken. I got a hopeless golf game. I love the sound of your name. I might miss that old green ‘Nova, but I love watchin’ you do yoga. I’d take a gold band on my hand overbeing a single man..” Favoritepart :)

♥ I’m super duper, extremely, horrifically, upset about not going to the NHRA 4-wide race this weekend. Like sad. Really sad. I have been really looking forward to going for awhile now. Definitely sucks.




I WON!!!! A Project Life kit from this sweet blog !!! I never win anything hardly!!! But I won :) I’m still oh so super excited. Definitely made my friday, fo sho!



♥ I came across an awesome quote on Natalie’s sweet blog that hit home. ‘Strive for progress, not perfection.’ via I have been trying to go from 0 to 100 in one swoop. I need to step back & remember that you’ve got to start somewhere. And it’s not going to be perfect the first time around.



♥ Allergies. Allergies. Need I say more? It’s been one of the absolute worst years in a long time for mine. It  brings me back to my ridiculous childhood days of dealing with all this mess. And nothing helps. About to go get the shot that the father & brother got. #goawayplease

♥ Gorgeous afternoons spent sipping coffee, writing on here, and working on project life are the best days!! So relaxing and nice. And unlike last week where I stayed ahead during the week, I’ve got a lot to do today!!!






Hope everyone has an amazing saturday!!

project life : week 1

Its only the first week & I’ve already learned I’m a perfectionist. An over achiever. I want to know everything I can possibly do with a project. But once I do, I get so overwhelmed on the small choices I don’t know what I would rather do. And if I can’t give it my everything I choose to give it nothing. You can see the dilemma here….

I’m really trying to break that habit and this is looking like just the project to help with that. Which is one of the reasons why this project is amazing. Each week is going to be different. You’ve got a whole lot of flexibility. Some weeks you can go all out & embellish and add tons of details, and then other weeks when you don’t have much time you can just throw the basics in there. A few pictures, some journalling and ‘wha-lah!!!’ you’ve got that week done. Also what’s great with Project Life is that you can go back & add extra details to the pages later on. After one finished up the main thing I’ve been trying to focus in week number two is writting down more thoughts about things I do thoughout the days.

After trying to decide what’s the best way to keep track of those, I came across a great app that was recommended on one of the many blogs I follow. Momento [ it's $2.99 from the app store ]. The great thing about that app is that it keeps them organized by dates and you can put pictures on there & type up some notes about the photo which is exactly what I needed!! You can also tag people, places, events, & custom tags which gives a great way to search back through things!

I just downloaded the app & started using it today & I already love it. It takes a lot of stress of trying to keep all my pictures, descriptions, & thoughts organized. I can keep every thing nicely inside one app.

With all of the overwhelming feelings aside [which I'm working on ;) ], I have absolutely enjoyed every minute of working on Week 1. Im so excited about my spread that i’m showing & telling everyone. I cant remember thr last time i’ve been so excited about something like this. But It’s so fun & such a great creative outlet & not to mention it’s going to be so amazing to look back on!!

So here’s to one week down…. And 51 to go…. Such a fun journey I have embarked upon! As I had an inkling in the beginning, this is the perfect project for me right now.


It’s my first go at any sort of scrapbooking, and not 100% sure if I want to keep the whole project unified somehow or just go week by week with it.

Now that i’m obsessed with this project. I quickly became obsessed with shopping for craft supplies… and I may or may not have gone a little crazy in Michael’s…


okay… sssshhh!!!! I totally did :) but aren’t they totally fun looking?

new to project life? check out Becky Higgins

want a sweet lady who has given me lots of inspiration for this project? check out Elise Blaha


the start of something wonderful…

I’ve been wanting to blog. After a few initial posts, it seems I’ve kept waiting for the perfect thing to write about, or when I finally get everything on my page perfect then I’ll start. It doesn’t have to be perfect right at the start, but you’ve got to begin somewhere. So here’s to my work in progress :) as well as adapting that motto for my life. I need to stop waiting for the perfect time. Instead I need to little by little start working on the things I want to accomplish.

I wanted to start this blog as a project for me to focus on my life, all the big and small things, and a way to document the journey :) I’ve got a few projects I wanted to start and a lot of ideas floating around in my head and can’t wait to try them and get back to the fun silly crazy driven Samdann that I am!
project one.
Simplified scrapbooking. Which is exactly what I need, due to my tendency to get overwhelmed when presented with a million little options. This one takes the guess work out & allows you to focus on ‘cultivating a good life‘ as she says. I’m excited that out of all the projects I debated on doing or trying to figure out which one was what I was looking for I knew this one was perfect when I saw it :). If you’re not familiar with it, should definitely check it out!
Mine will include one spread for every week for a year. A little scared at the semi large commitment I am making… But I [adore] the basis of the project. Capturing the little moments in life, focusing on the small things that ultimately make up your days from:
❤ random pictures
❤ things i did
❤ quotes that rocked my world
❤ what song i’m obsessed with
❤ fun places i went
❤ the weather that week
❤ things i bought
and that goes on and on i’m sure. Yesterday I finished up the title page for it so I can be all ready to start this weeks spread! It’s my first scrapbooking experience & my first time using Photoshop Elements. So this will be an interesting & fun project to say the least!
[title page for Project Life]
[peak at week 1. the date card.]
project two.
I have always seen people do these and it’s such an interesting look into your life, randomness and all. Not sure why I never have yet, but with the onset of ProjectLife I figured it was a great compliment. So here goes! I will finally participate in PHOTO A DAY APRIL!
Excited to start these projects & post all of the progress!

one two three. here we go.

It’s amazing at what a long relaxing day and a hot shower can conjure up in one’s mind. I have never been big on new year’s resolutions. Mainly because a new year is not needed to make changes, if they are important they should be enforced reguardless. With that said 2011 in a whole, wasn’t exactly a great year for me. In fact I can go ahead and say it was the worst year. Not to sound dramatic or anything… heh. But after that I’ve sure got to hold some kind of hope that twenty-twelve has something better, or at least just not worst than it’s predecessor. The whole cliche’ looking and reflecting back on the year has made me come across somethings…

one. I have never been an overly emotional person before. Well… I am, however I have so many I just try to bundle them up inside.  I keep them inside myself, deal with them, and let them pass. I have done a ‘pretty’ good job at that up until this past year. Then life came and piled one thing, after another, after another at my door step. Of course in attempt to not be out-staged, topped itself off with an extremely upsetting event. After that I had no clue what to do or how to get up from everything. I never thought I could feel that much, then of course I felt bad for feeling everything, and tried to reach out. I didn’t find as much as I thought I would. I guess that’s where I’m getting with this… I need to accept that when I haven’t really asked for that kind of support before, it’s not their fault that some didn’t really know how to give it to me. I have been totally and extremely appreciative for the few that did, it really has meant everything. Really. Thank you. But I’ve kinda been angry with the couple that didn’t. I guess it’s because, although I have no idea why, I thought they would understand most. And I need to let go of that. That’s the key to getting through. The wonderful phrase that keeps coming up in my life, “it is what it is, and it ain’t what it ain’t.” I have to stop expecting things to change from what they’ve always been. I got through it then, and I am finally starting to realize I am going to get through it now.

two. I’ve always had a plan for life. Everything that was important to me and everything that I wanted to accomplish in the next five years. With everything changing and being shaken up so much lately I’m left with complete uncertainty. That’s terrifyingly hard for me to swallow. With where I am at now, there doesn’t really seem like there’s a path avaiable to take me where I want to go. So that’s what 2012 will be. A year to figure out another path. I need to accept that just because I’m not a hundred percent sure exactly where to go doesn’t mean I’ve failed. Things have changed. It didn’t feel like a good thing at the time. A terrible thing actually. But maybe I should start to look at it as if it is. It’s just put me in a difference place. I’ve just got to adapt. In the words of a great friend’s favorite quote, “Not all who wander are lost.” I’m not lost. I’ve just got to rebuild and restructure the path….

Whew. It already feels better and a huge relief to get that out. I’ll save number three for later ;) just kidding, there isn’t a number three. Boy, I love writing it all out. Sure puts it into perspective a little better.

Oh, and I know what you’re thinking…your disappointment…  a whole post and I didn’t mention anything about Sopiha. I know you are sad & I don’t want to upset. So i’ll go ahead and mention that Sophia turned 1 month old today :) hehe. You’re welcome.

2011 you are over with. 2012 you have just begun and you are a blank page… in the words of another good friend ” 2012 you better bring it!” and I mean it!

here's to the one thing I'm not sad to say goodbye to.

[ not to sound cliche' or anything & in a Mario voice ] “Here We Go..”

two weeks with miss sophia.

Last Friday marked two weeks with Miss Sophia. It still doesn’t feel like it’s mine. Every morning when I walk out to leave for work I’m like.. Hmmm Look at that car :) hehe. I’m a dork, I know. It’s probably because I always wanted an SUV and now I’ve finally got one! It’s awesome having more space & not being so little on the highway :)

Pretty sure I couldn’t have made a better choice for a vehicle. I absolutely am in love with everything about it. Obviously I love the way it looks, she’s gorgeous & unique looking inside and out. The features of the thing are great, couldn’t possibly ask for anything else. All I needed was the iPod cable to plug in so that I can control it through the stereo controls [I can pay more attention to the road ;) ]. It doesn’t quite get the gas mileage of the civic, but that’s obviously expected, its been steadily getting 25-27 MPG. Sadly I’ve already put 1,000 miles on her :-\. Kinda feels ridiculous, but that’s what a 48 mile commute one way will do. All in all, I can give myself a big pat on the back! “Job well done!” hehe.

I even decorated her for christmas!


And she got a sweet chandelier to spruce her up!


Meet Sophia The Kia

After a lot of time and research…. It’s finally paid off. I brought sweet sophie home last night. First time car buyer! Whew! Talk about a lot of stress, just glad it is finally over. Now I no longer feel like I’m going to vomit. But I’m happy with my decision, although I probably won’t be when the first payment comes in :) I got the beautiful car I wanted. All the features I needed. And at the cheapest price I could find for that vehicle & style in 500 miles. I’m pretty proud of myself. Needless to say I’m currently a happy camper on cloud nine.