Adventure - eating my way through the day...

Last week I was supposed to have my 4th Chemo session but unfortunately they had to cancel it because one of my blood tests came back too high.  I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I was.  You get yourself ready for these sessions and when they don't happen it's such a let down.  It also puts everything back, everything has to be pushed back.  Ok, so it's only got to be pushed back a week but a week is a week when you are undergoing treatment for cancer, every day matters.

My dear friend Linda came with me to be my support buddy so I was also upset that she had to take a day off work for no reason.  But in true Linda style (she keeps me positive) she suggested that we go out for a coffee.  It was nice of her to try and cheer me up so I couldn't say no.  We headed off to our new favourite cafe "Panda & Co".  We ordered coffee but then decided that we should order a light snack.  
We ended up spending the rest of the day driving around Perth and eating.  It was the perfect way to spend the day.

I chose the document the day using the new Travelogue templates from Paislee Press which are becoming my absolute favourite of all time.  Documenting in my travelers notebook is such an easy way to document this tough time in my life and doing it digitally makes it even easier.

You can find the templates here.

Happy documenting
Love me :-)


Travelogue templates by Paislee Press...

Documenting in Travellers Notebooks have become my "go to" when it comes to documenting our/my life.  I love the feel of them, the look of them and I love that I can do anything with them.

Liz Tamanaha from Paislee Press has just released new templates that are perfect for documenting in your travellers notebooks.  Another thing that I am that I find with these templates is that it allows me to use "digital scrapbooking" in my TN.  I simply print them off then add to my TN.  This form of documenting also allows me to add embellishments giving me the feel of traditional scrapbooking.

Here is how I used two of the templates...

Another huge bonus with these templates is that you can customise them to suit your project.  The page on the left hand side looked quite different before I started (see picture #3 in the first photo to give you an idea of how the template originally looked).  I removed the "scenic route" wording and added one of the elements from the "tour guide" elements so that I could some journalling.  I also made the two photo templates at the top a little wider so that my photos would fit better.

When you purchase templates, you get more than just templates because you can alter them, add things to them and in some cases even change the colours.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them.  And, I would love to see your take on these templates, so please let me know so I can check them out.

Here are the links to the digital products that I have used:-
Travelogue 1
Tour Guide elements

Love me :-)


I needed to shift my thinking...

I am not going to lie, these past few weeks have been tough.  I was in a very negative state and I just couldn't seem to shift my thinking. It was awful.  I just seemed to sit around a lot, staring into space and didn't have any inkling to do anything.  Everything just seemed to hard, and what was the point anyway.  -  see bad head space.

Generally I am not a negative person, I always think that things are going to be okay, you just have to go through what ever it is that you need to go through and all will be good.  But, for some reason I lost this thought process and I desperately wanted it back.

During the week as I was sitting on the couch mindlessly thumbing through Instagram (which seems to be how I am spending way too many of my days) I cam across this quote:

 "shout-out to my past self
for putting in the work
to get me where I am 
right now.

And to my future self:
I'm working,
I'm grinding,
I got this,
I got you."

It stopped me instantly.  My first thought - I have put in the hard work to get us where we are right now, do you really want to throw it all away now.

I got off my chair, went to my craft room and did a page in my art journal (this is new, I have never done an art journal before) using this quote.  It also got me thinking, I needed to try and find a way to shift my thinking.  Last week I picked up a timetable from the hospital of different treatments that they offer to cancer patients and their carers.  The only one that I could get to was Reiki.  Now to be honest I really didn't know much about Reiki but I didn't really think it was for me anyway, but that's what I could get to so I booked in.

I wasn't really sure what to expect as I really didn't know anything about it.  And, maybe not knowing was a good thing because I had no expectations of how it would go.  Juanita- my therapist was lovely and took some time before treatment to chat with me about how I was feeling.  I loved that she took this time and she really did seem to care and was listening, really listening.  Then, my session started.

At first I laid there, thinking, well nothing is happening (although I am not sure what I thought should be happening) but after a few minutes I could feel this warm, fuzziness starting at my head and then moving down my body, out through my feet.  It was weird, I wasn't sure how I felt.  Is this how it was supposed to feel?  I decided to surrender to it, just let it do it's thing and see where it took me.  It didn't take me long to feel overcome by the feeling.  It was comforting and weird at the same time.  My eyes started to water, not crying but little tears, leaving my eyes one by one.  It felt good.  I could feel my brain starting to shift and I could feel hope coming back.

I guess my point to this blog post is that you are going to probably have days that suck, and that's ok. Sometimes trying something new is just what you need to change your thinking.  Alternative therapies, and there are so many out there, are definitely worth trying.  I am a true believe in "what ever works, do it."  It will be different for all us and that's ok.  I also truly believe that things come to us for a reason.  As I said the only therapy I could get to was Reiki... maybe I was meant to try it!

Taking one day at a time as my "side trip with cancer" continues
love me :-)


Hello Cancer...

I've gone to right this blog post a thousand times, but I could never figure out how to start it.  Being diagnosed with cancer is without a doubt the scariest thing that has ever happened to me.  You never think that you will get "the call" that says we need you to come in for further views...

I spent the first few weeks trying to get my head around it.  The first few days were just "numb."  I was participating in life but not really there in spirit.  I got up, got dressed, went about my days, seemingly as though life had not changed and "normal" was still a thing for me.

Yeah! that word "normal".  I really struggle with "normal" right now, because, in reality what is normal.  What I knew to be normal is no longer the same for me.  In fact "normal" is something that I don't even really know what it means.  When you are diagnosed with cancer, your world stops, comes to a grinding holt, almost like you have just run into a brick wall.  You want to move forward but something seems to stop your every step forward.  It's like life is playing a game and it 's not letting you have a turn.

Another thing that I have struggled with is the terms "fight", "battle", "war", and "journey".  Don't get me wrong, these are great words and I am certain for many people this has been what has got them through - and as I often say "what ever works for you is what you must do".  I am still trying to find words that I feel comfortable with, words that will help me stay strong, positive and focused.  Although this path I am on at the moment is a journey, I don't feel it fits me.  The definition for Journey is an act of travelling from one place to another.  I usually associate this word with something fun and exciting like a holiday or an exciting adventure.  You see my dilemma!  So while I continue to search for a word that is more fitting to me I thought I would share some of my thoughts so far:- 

There are a million articles to read on the internet about cancer and how to prepare/cope/handle what is happening to you.  Some are great and some are not so great but all played a part in getting my head around this thing... cancer.  When I started to read and gather information it wasn't so that I knew what to expect, it was more so that I had some understanding as to how this disease is different for everyone who has it.  There are no two people that seem to get/handle it in the same way.  Some symptoms are common, but most can be as different and as varied as the people who have to deal with it.  Reading lots of information gave me a sense of direction and a sense of control.  Knowledge is power and the more information I gathered the more knowledge I was gaining and the more I felt like I was not going under.

  • Don't be afraid to accept help.  Any help and all help.  There will be days when you just can't get up, let alone cook a meal or a load a laundry.  We have received so much support and help that at times it's been hard to know what to say to show how grateful we are. 
  • Rest and fluids are your greatest friend when going through chemo.  Instantly give up the idea of your "to do" list because the most important thing you need to do is rest.  Sleep when you can, whenever you can.
  • Be prepared... I don't think you can ever really be truly prepared for what you are about to go through but there are some things that will make life just a bit easier.  One of the things that we did straight away was to order "Lite n Easy" frozen meals.  My husband was happy to cook  a few nights a week but he couldn't do it every night.  He also works full time and he has taken up the care of our children and most of the household chores etc so having frozen meals ready to go when they were needed has been one of our best decisions.
  • Be prepared for lots of tests!  In the first three weeks of being diagnosed  I attended the hospital nearly everyday for tests.  So grab yourself a good diary and don't leave home without it.
  • If you are going to attend any appointments where important information is going to be shared make sure you take someone with you.  You may think you are all together but as soon as they start talking results etc you mind gets overwhelmed very quickly and you just shut off.  I have a notebook that I write down any questions that I have so that I don't forget.  But, if during the appointment I forget to ask my questions I get my support person to ask for me and write down the answers.  I also get them to write down any or all information that is told to me during the appointment.  That way I don't have to worry about trying to remember everything.
I am not sure if this is helpful to anyone or not, but I just thought I would share some of what has been going through my mind.  If you know anyone who is going through cancer please send them my love and let them know that I will be praying hard for them, for me.

Love me :-)


PL Week Four...

I am playing some serious catch up with Project Life, yes, again.

For some reason I just can't seem to keep up this year.  As you may know I had decided to tackle Project Life in digital form and then have it printed into a book.  While I still loved this idea and keeping up was way easier I found that I was missing the touch and feel of physical pages.  I spent weeks mulling over what to do, probably too much time really but in the end of have decided to go back to physical pages.

What am I going to do with my digital ones I hear your ask?  For most of the pages that I did I kept a digital copy of each 3x4 and 4x6 card/photos just in case I needed to make some changes.  So all I have to do is go back and print them out.  I am in no real hurry to do this as they are safe and sound in digital formal.  My main aim in to catch up on weeks that I have missed.

For Week four I used the new product from Paislee Press:

One week down only 10 weeks of catch up to go!
Love me :-)


Self portrait - layout...

Paislee Press has a new digital kit out called Memory Keeper and I love it.  Such a beautiful mix of navy blue, pinks and soft blue/greys.  I simply adore the element that I used above "I take pictures like it's my job", I could probably put this on everything I create LOL!

This kit was the perfect touch to help document a recent road trip, where as you can tell it needed a selfie.

Thanks for stopping by, have a wonderful week.
Love me :-)


NSD - Challenge two & three...

Welcome to Kellie Stamps Creative Team 2nd challenge - Use three different ink colours...

I have changed things up a bit for this challenge - 

What if you don't have three different ink colours or you don't have three colours that you think work well together?  The good thing is that you don't need lots of different ink colours you only need one.  On this project here I chose one colour ink (blue) and used a very simple but  effective technique called "stamping off".  It's simple, ink your stamp then stamp your image, then stamp your image again but don't re-ink you stamp.  For my title "May" I inked and stamped the letter M .  Then I inked the letter A, stamped it onto a scrap piece of paper, then stamped the letter A onto my cardstock.  This made the letter a lighter blue than the first letter.  I repeated the same for the letter Y only I stamped it twice onto scrap paper before stamping onto my cardstock.

I was having so much fun with this technique that I decided to create a pattern in a speak bubble using the same stamping off technique.

This is such a simple way to get more out of your stamps and inks.  Try doing this with other colours, have some fun and remember to share your project on Instagram using the hashtag #nsdkelliestamps to go into the running for some fun prizes.

Have fun
Love me :-)


NSD - Challenge One...

Welcome to (inter) National Scrapbooking Day and the first fun challenge from the Creative Team at Kellie Stamps.

The first challenge is to  combine two stamp sets.
I decided to not only combine two stamps sets but I also thought I would combine digital stamps with clear stamps.

I used the "Month" digital stamp set for the focal point of my layout and then used "my everything" clear stamp from the "cray cray" clear stamp set.

I used the digital stamp to create a mask for several photos  of my daughter and her new cat.  Getting a photo of our new kitten is quite difficult and at times very funny.  He will sit as still as anything right up until you "click", then he makes a run for it.

One of the things I love about Kellie Stamps is that you have the option of digital or physical stamps sets.  Combining the two just adds so many more options to my paper crafting.

I then added "my everything" stamped image to a tag to create a small embellishment that help to complete my layout.

All the details of this challenge and more can be found here on the Kellie Stamps Instagram feed. We would love for you to join in and share what you create.  Please use the hashtag #nsdkelliestamps to be in the running for some great prizes.

Happy stamping
love me :-)


Hello May...

Hello May
Hello to saying goodbye to April
Hello to saying goodbye to the dark cloud that has been hanging over us for some time
Hello to things getting back to normal
Hello to routine
Hello to normality
Hello to new adventures
Hello to being scared but embracing it anyway
Hello to letting go of negative thoughts
Hello to positive thoughts
Hello to getting back into the gym
Hello to eating right
Hello to alcohol free days (after the last few months I need a detox)
Hello to pushing through the last three months and getting to the other side
Hello to getting back into being creative
Hello to catching up on project life

Hello May - lets get it on baby!

At first glance this post may seem a bit of doom and gloom but without going into too many details, life around here has been pretty hard but I am glad to say that things are slowly, but surely, getting back to normal.  

On the bright side Big Picture Classes has asked me to teach a class so although I am feeling completely freaked out, I am also feeling very excited.  At first I was going to say no because of all the stress that has been going on lately, but, I am a firm believer in things happen for a reason and maybe putting myself out there and taking on a new adventure is exactly what I need.  So I am breaking free of the negative shackles that have held me down for the last few months and moving forward to new adventures.

Love me :-)


Smoothie life...

As I continue to enjoy my smoothie lifestyle I have also continued to enjoy different ways to document this journey.  I am surprised that after 6 weeks I am still enjoying a smoothie everyday and feeling better for it.  

The latest release from Kellie Stamps - digital "Good food" and "like a girl" gave me the inspiration I needed to create this fun page in my February 2017 travellers notebook.  Both these sets are also available in clear.

I used my silhouette cameo and the sketch pen to draw seven mason jars and to cut them out.  I then used watercolours to add the colour to each jar to match the smoothie that I had on that day.  I had some red/white striped pattern paper from Felicity Jane that was perfect to make the straws.  I then added strips of cardstock that I added the day of the week and what smoothie I had.  I finished off my page with a tag to add some extra details.

I think I might have to do this again, I just love those stickin cute masor jars.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you all have a wonderful week.

Love me :-)


Memories of Venice...

Photos have such an amazing way to transport us back into a time that we had completely forgotton about.  Photos to me are everything because I love the feelings that they create when you look at them, especially old ones.

A few days ago I was doing a very long overdue clean up of my craft desk, filing things away, sorting stuff out etc etc.  When I picked up a stack of photos that I needed to sort through this one fell out onto my desk.  I was immediately transported back Venice.  I could remember every detail of this photo.  It felt just like yesterday.

It was so important to add journaling to this layout because it was more than just the photo that I wanted to record.  I wanted to record the story of how this particular moment came to be.

I also love that in this world that we live in, I could scan an old photo that had seen better days, be able to save it as a digital copy so that it would be saved forever and it allowed me to create a digital layout.

Man I love this craft of ours.

going back to think of Venice
Love me :-)

(digital products used - Is it Friday yet? scrapbook kit by Paislee Press)


Headspace - learning to meditate...

Recently while on IG a post came up about Headspace, an app for guided meditating.  I had seen this come up before but just swiped passed it.  When it came up again, I stopped, and thought about why this keeps coming up in my feed.  I am a great believer in that things happen for a reason,  so maybe I was supposed to check this app out.  

I headed over to check out the app and really liked what I was reading.  I even read the reviews (which is not me, I don't really like reviews as I believe them to be a personal account and what I like someone else may no and vice versa) and most of them seemed positive.  So I check it out further and decided to take up the free "take 10" challenge.  The idea is to do a short 10 minute guided meditation every day for 10 days.  This is to give you a sample of what the app is like and also to see if it is something you like before subscribing (yes, there is always a subscription LOL!).

This year my OLW or mantra as I like to call it is "365 new day, 365 new chances".  I wanted to have something to keep me focused for a whole year, something to encourage me to live life in a mindful and positive way.  I am always looking for new things to try, new things to experience and new things to make me appreciate this life.  I thought that learning (or re-learning) how to meditate might help me to achieve this.  I also wanted to document this new experience in my "April 2017" travellers notebook.

I took the theme from the app (the orange circle) as my design element.  I took some of the words from the app and added them to first page.  My thought then was to create a page with 10 orange circles on it and each day when I completed the 10 minute meditation I would tick it off by adding a day of the week tag.  The days of the week are digital stamps from Kellie Stamps called "today was".  I also wanted to add some information from the app about meditating but didn't have any more room left.  I decided to print the information onto vellum and attached it to my notebook with washi tape.

I am up to day four and still going strong.  I am meditating at night, just before going to bed and I must say it is helping me go to sleep straight away.  My initial thoughts is that I love it so far.  I like calming myself right down before going to bed.  The speaker on the app has the most wonderful tone and speaking voice, very soothing.  Lets see what the rest of the week brings.

love me :-)


Hello April...

Hello April

Hello April! where the hell did March go?
Hello to my gym opening and to me going regularly
Hello to saying goodbye to March.... it was a tough month and glad that it's left
Hello to moving forward
Hello to finding the courage to say goodbye to a loved one and knowing that he is now in a better place and free from pain RIP!
Hello to school holidays - woohoo! yep I'm excited
Hello to trying out some new food places
Hello to getting back into my craft room
Hello to my new addiction - Green Smoothies
Hello to slowing down and catching my breath
Hello to embracing "kitten duty"
Hello to my savings account growing slowly, but surely
Hello Easter and my favourite thing ever - Hot Cross Buns (binge eating here we come)
Hello to getting away down south 
Hello to Family arriving from Holland
Hello to welcoming back "normal"
Hello to changing my mind about how I want to document PL 
Hello to doing PL!
Hello to Alex hand raising kittens and watching her growth as a vet nurse
Hello to reading - finding the time
Hello to a clean craft room - Ok so this may be a little out of reach but one can dream.
Hello to football season and embracing losses (I think there are going to be alot)
Hello relaxation
Hello to anything positive
Hello April - bring it on!


March - Travellers notebook

It's a new month which means a new Travellers Notebook.  I love that I have a place to document and record all that motivates me, and those things that I struggle with.  Last month was a particularly hard month and documenting took a back seat.  But, I sometimes wonder that part of the reason thaty last month was so hard was because I stopped documenting.

I stopped writing down things that were happening.  I will admit that it was pretty hectic here, probably the main reason for no documenting but when I write things down its a way to debrief my brain.  It's a way to get things out of my head to free up space for other things.  I am going to make more effort this month to get things out of my head and onto paper.

Plus its always fun to play in a new notebook...

I loved the colours and papers from the new "High Five" kit from Paislee Press and added my favourite "monthly cards" from Kellie Stamps to my quotes page.

Hope you have had a good weekend.
Love me :-)

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