week in the life 2015 // thoughts + photo wrap up

when the consideration to do this project became a commitment, i knew i was going to be working both sides of the week. meaning – we had very extraordinary plans on the 22nd and 23rd so i didn’t want to include them in the week’s details because they were their own ‘things’ and were going to be documented separately. so i technically started taking photos on the saturday and sunday before the week started but then still took some more normal photos at the end of the week.

i am still going to do the week in order of monday – sunday (i am pretty sure) but i am grouping typical saturday things together and any given sunday stuff together – if that makes any sense.

truth is – had we not had these other events happening, the photos i took the weekend before would have been dead on accurate so i can totally justify it. plus – it’s my book and i can do anything i want to! neener-neerer :) LOL!

as i wait for the week’s photos to arrive from persnicketyprints.com i will share a majority of my photos and thoughts with you today.



a screenshot of the weather for the week. i love weather summaries.

5:15am // my alarm goes off at this time monday thru friday.IMG_7320

6:30am // a little detail about sharing life with my guy.

6:35am // he gets me ice water every morning when i’m getting ready for work.

6:50am // my makeup drawer – of which i use about 6 things for my daily routine.

7:00am // my view when i come out to the kitchen to pack up food for the day. i want to remember that we fully use our countertops most of the time. 

7:25am // my goal was to take a “view” shot for each day that i could use for a title card. this is my view coming down the hill from dropping the boys off at school.


7:45am // desk shot with all my usual tools. to-do list, pen and highlighter, white out, my notepad and renewals.

1;50pm // and of course a selfie. IMG_7404

4:05pm // i haven’t pumped my own gas in over a year. matt usually makes sure i’m filled up but today it was so low and it made sense for me to get gas on my way home.

4:30pm // this kid loves his forts.
4:45pm // we recently moved his bed back up to the top of his bunk so he makes his space super cozy when he watches his favorite minecraft youtube videos.
8:00pm // getting a shot of the inside of the fridge was definitely on my shot list. it’s such a fun look into the details of what we ate, what the boys were obsessed with and how organized we can be.IMG_7408
8:50pm // this is something that was not in last year’s WITL. charlie is 7 months old now and i love having her as part of our everyday lives.

TUESDAY 8/18/2015
5:45am // morning snuggles. always.

7:05am // i had a little extra time before the boys were ready for school so charlie took advantage of an empty lap.

7:10am // a very typical day of food for me. my pre-made egg/potato scramble is at the bottom. for lunch it’s chicken + avocado, olives, carrots and a hard boiled egg. my snack was either a banana or apples + almond butter. i brought a cool mint clif bar because i was out of chocolate. i also brought a mason jar of raspberry lemon water for the afternoon. i usually bring more food than i need.

7:15am // i have a designated hook for his backpack and i ask him to keep his stuff there. but this is where he drops his stuff. right in the hub of a walkway. i pick my battles and rarely say anything because one day soon it won’t be here at all.

7:30am // the older boys (gibson and his best friend) aren’t too thrilled when i want to take pictures of them. so when they walked off i snapped this blurry photo – which wasn’t intentional but it ended up being a top 5 photo from the week.

8:15am // this is where i spend my days. always communicating, problem solving, using my brain and eating and drinking.  IMG_7508

9:40am // i cut my bangs this morning – on a whim – and i remembered how much a miss having bettie bangs.

11:00am // matt was so awesome – he took pictures throughout his day too. this is a typical lunch for him.

2:00pm // mr. minecraft.

3:58pm // on my way home i screenshot my lock screen.IMG_7509

4:00pm // everyday – this is my load to and from work. laptop , food and purse.


4:20pm // he can play the first few chords of come as you are by nirvana and free fallin’ by tom petty.

5:20pm // the second week of school brought homework. i am always happy to help guide him and keep him focused.
5:45pm // gibson thinks that homework means watching a youtube video, playing a game on his phone and eating while he knows he has something else more important to do.

6:00pm // power napping.

6:30pm // he asked me to buy him some balloons and he’s been blowing them up and having fun for days.


6:45pm // my favorite dance from this week’s episode of SYTYCD.


7:10am // on wednesday the boys get out early so they have to ride their bikes home. it’s always funny to watch them get their bikes in and out of the truck.

7:50am // breakfast and a lot of boxes to check off. i was suuuuper productive today.

4:30pm // gibson scored a beta code for the not-yet-released black ops 3 so he used his after school screen time on the PS4.

4:45pm // with a dog who loves to be loved, i wash my hands more that i ever have.ali inspired me to capture this shot.

5:15pm // he struggles with the idea of reading. he’s extremely good at it but it’s just not entertaining enough for him. but today i asked him to handle his reading for the day so he got his sleeping bag and read with no complaints.

6:00pm // a few weeks worth of print came today so i’m trimming and organizing with a little snack.

7:15pm // marsh loves having the wii setup in his little fort. he doesn’t even complain that we have a password on it so he can only play it if he has permission.

8:15pm // bedtime smiles.
8:15pm // he still loves his fluffy dog.


4:15am // it’s. too. early. but i have a 7:30am meeting in napa and have to leave town at 5:40.

5:30am // this is what my office door looks like at 5:30 in the morning.

6:15am // being a passenger rocks when it’s early and the caffeine hasn’t kicked in yet.

9:30am // we rocked that morning meeting and on our way back the sun is shining on my ring. it’s still my style and i love it so much – even after 15 years.

1:50pm // charlie and matt wait for marshall to come out of school.

4:30pm // best. gum. ever. it’s at target – get some!

5:45pm // picking up posters for the weekend festivities and also grabbing a rotisserie chicken because we’re starving and it’s getting late.

6:30pm // we may have just eaten it straight from the tub.IMG_7852

6:30pm // long day. heading to back to school night and i’m just running on the anticipation of sitting down tonight.

6:45pm // sitting at marshall’s 2nd grade desk for back to school night.

7:45pm // time to unwind.


7:15am // hazy morning because basically california is on fire.

10:43am // matt and i texting about fantasy football and the drawbacks of being an adult.

1:30pm // texted this to matt when he wasn’t feeling confident about getting into any film festivals.

3:30pm // matt texted back with his first acceptance notification!!

5:00pm // just hangin’ out in the men’s department.

7:30pm // my view as i tell marsh to hustle up in the shower.


7:30am // the light shining through my coke bottles is such a wonderful sight.

7:45am // cold brew tea and morning minecraft.

11:35am // a couple errands and a blue sky.

11:45am // library visit to see if we can get marsh a book he’ll enjoy.

12:00pm // wanted to capture the details of this car. i’m hoping that in a couple years it won’t belong to me anymore.IMG_7866

2:00pm // finally getting some scrap time and i’m struggling with this layout.

5:30pm // clean dishes.

5:35pm // it’s marshall’s day to put the dishes away.


8:45am // lazy mornings

10:15am // he has really taken to the checklist of chores.

6:20 // i literally wait until the end of sunday to fold the laundry. and this is my weekend t-shirt.

7:00pm // all small hangers for now. being prepared for monday makes the next week so easy.

what a week! so much has changed from last year’s project and I love being able to capture all the different details about our “right now”.

i’m so excited to start working on my pages this weekend! i sure hope you captured everything you wanted to!

until next time,
andrea =)


Gossamer Blue // August Inspiration Blog Hop



This month’s inspiration is derived from the idea that necessity is the mother of invention. Usually, when I cannot find what I need – I make my own!

Organization is an art and a necessity. Some of us can handle the chaos that life dishes out and others require the structure so we can control the chaos. I happen to be the latter.

So when my first 4 kits arrived as a new DT member for Gossamer Blue, I knew I needed some sort of order to control all those goodies. My first order of business: storage.

I needed to:
a) keep track of which supplies belonged with which kit;
b) write down what projects I wanted to work on;
c) keep everything together and easily accessible.

I really want the Alex cart from IKEA but I have to wait on that for now, so I found a solution that was less expensive and took up a lot less space. This wire/mesh file box from target fit the criteria perfectly!

It’s slightly wider than 12″ so storing full pages of cardstock is no problem. And it’s see-thru so it’s not hidden from my view.

The next thing to tackle was planning out projects. And this is where I had to veer out on my own because none of the planners out there were what I was looking for. So I created my own planner pages and tabs to fit inside the Heidi Swapp planner that I snagged for 50% off.IMG_6138

I will not be getting into the planner decorating thing, but I do like the idea of using some pieces from the kits to decorate and keep me inspired to work on projects each month.IMG_5112


I’ll be using the cute paper letters from the Life Pages Add-On #3 to note the month on my custom tabbed divider that I cut from this Simple Stories wood plank patterned paper using my silhouette.IMG_5110

The next step is to take photos of all the kit contents and print them as small images to add to my planner page.IMG_5113

This way I can always refer back to this page if I am unsure of which kit something belongs in. To the right of the photo boxes are lines so I can write in the supplies and manufacturers.IMG_5108

The opposite page is a project list, a brainstorming area and a perpetual calendar so I can write down the dates my blog posts are due and what projects I want to make and when they are complete.IMG_5109


The finished tab divider is so fun and summery – it’s kept me inspired all month while working on all my summer layouts.IMG_6139 IMG_6145 IMG_6140

On the flip-side of the divider I kept the small pocket inserts that came in the original planner and added a few little embellishments that popped off the pink stripe. IMG_6142

The first planner page I made will be so helpful each month – I can feel it!IMG_6143

And here is the reference page – not completed – but it gives you a better idea of the setup. IMG_6144

I hope you’ve enjoyed this little bit of extra inspiration!

But wait – there’s more! Check out all the girls’ blogs to gather oodles of inspiration!

Alex Hunter
Anabelle O’Malley
Andrea Gray  <<< you are here
Brenda Smith
Brenda Weaver
Diane Payne
Emily Spahn
Erin Taylor
Eyoung Lee
Felicitas Mayer
France Wisniewski
Heather Leopard
Jill Cornell
Jill Keller
Kasia Przybyt
Kathleen Graumuller
Kellie Winnell
Kelly Xenos
Laura Rahel Crosby
Michelle Wedertz
Michiko Kato
Olatz Garaiyurrebaso
Patricia Roebuck
Rebecca Luminarias
Sian Fair
Stephanie Buice
Yana Smakula

Happy creating,



week in the life 2015 // i’m in

#WEEKintheLIFE is a project that is super close to my heart. but one that i do only when i feel connected, committed and completely confident that i can handle it. to date, i’ve only participated in two – 2011 and 2014.

it truly is a labor of love. it is an in-depth peek into the nuances of life and that encompasses detailed documentation and creative photographer – at least it does for me. because the story matters and i never want to do a project like this just half-ass.

so – this year – i’m committed again to take one week and really dig down. really capture the details. document the routines. record the craziness along with the mundane. it’s just 7 days.

as i looked back at my previous projects, i was reminded about each section of time and it was a glorious realization as to how valuable this project is. it also helped me to make a list of the things i don’t want to miss about this specific time in our lives.
here are a few:
– open fridge
– kid faves (shows/songs/food/games)
– meals/snacks
– routines
– homework
– school drop-off
– weather
– calendar
– house details (outside/counter tops/hot spots/rooms
– the boys’ perspectives (have them take photos during the day)
– inside closets/cabinets
– current songs/playlists/podcasts

at the end of this i want to have a keepsake of these moments – even if they are ugly or messy. i just want it to be real.

to help me along the way – here are the supplies i’ll be counting on:
– my iphone 5. it is my only camera and it takes great photos. i can shoot, edit and upload with one device and it’s glorious.
– these kits from one little bird at the lily pad. i picked up some journal cards + paper & elements bundles for several kits that had sentiments i could use and that all coordinated in some way. i need bright colors and lots of options so this is why i usually bundle my kits from different sources.
onelittlebird-busyweek-preview onelittlebird-busyweek-JC-preview _onelittlebird-oneforthealbum-preview _onelittlebird-oneforthealbum-JC-preview _onelittlebird-hopscotch-preview _onelittlebird-aroundhere-preview _onelittlebird-aroundhere-JC-preview

the pages will be part of my normal 12×12 family album and i will use the same approach as i do with my regular weekly spreads – i will just have several spreads for the week instead. it’s worked out to be a spread per day in the past – which allows me so much room for all the details i capture!

i’m also taking the pressure off and not trying to work on this project as it happens. photos for this week will be printed 2-4 weeks later and it simply gets in line like all the other weeks that i have photos for. as i write this – i have completed week 28!

and that about covers it! in a couple weeks you’ll see my instagram account sprinkled with #weekintheGRAYlife2015 photos and i promise not to flood your feed with all my family secrets! ;)

so – i’m in. how ’bout you?im in photo

happy documenting,
andrea :)

the week in the life project was created by the lovely ali edwards. to learn more about this project and to get a ton of tips on getting started – check out her blog.

Gossamer Blue // Quick and Simple Pocket Layout

Hello Friends! Today I’m sharing a super quick and simple pocket layout over on the Gossamer Blue blog.

Scrapbooking is fun and important and necessary in our crafty world, but we can’t always spend two hours on one layout or spread. Sometimes we need to whip through layouts so we can either check it off the list or so we can play a bit of catch up.


I even made a little video to show how I assembled it…come check it out on the Gossamer Blue blog today!

I’ll see you there!

Gossamer Blue // Say HELLO to the August Kits

August is here and that means pool parties, sprinkler sessions and ice cream every day! Okay, maybe not everyday – but a few times at least! And is also means that the Gossamer Blue Kits for August are PERFECT to document all your summer fun!



Here are some faves I’m loving and projects that I’m working on. Head over to the store to grab your kits and add-ons!

IMG_5074 IMG_5110IMG_5490


Oh, and be sure to stop back by on Monday – I’m sharing a super simple layout that requires no tools or adhesive. You can click here to go directly to it. (Link will be live on 8/3/15)

Happy scrapping!
Andrea :)


2015 pocket pages // weeks 15-21

guys, it’s been too long since i’ve shared a flip-thru and it’s a good one! lots to share! aaaand, you see my face this time – ya know – if ya wanna. i really want to get more comfortable doing personal intros to my videos so this is my first attempt and it’s basically just me talking myself into it. it’s only slightly embarrassing.

so here ya go. 6 weeks of pocket pages and then – as always – detailed photos are below.

have fun!

IMG_5826 IMG_5825 IMG_5824 IMG_5823


check out the process video for this half-page layout: https://youtu.be/Rrs13ef044Q


oh and there’s a process video for this one too! see, it really has been a while. watch it here: https://youtu.be/GIKhSah3guU

IMG_5821 IMG_5820 IMG_5819 IMG_5817 IMG_5816 IMG_5815 IMG_5814 IMG_5813 IMG_5812 IMG_5811 IMG_5810IMG_5809 IMG_5808 IMG_5807 IMG_5806 IMG_5805 IMG_5804 IMG_5803 IMG_5802IMG_5801 IMG_5800IMG_5799 IMG_5798 IMG_5797 IMG_5793 IMG_5795 IMG_5796 IMG_5794 IMG_5792 IMG_5791 IMG_5790 IMG_5789

IMG_5788 IMG_5787 IMG_5786 IMG_5785


IMG_5784 IMG_5783 IMG_5782 IMG_5781 IMG_5780

thanks for coming by! see ya next time!
andrea :)

Gossamer Blue // July Inspiration Blog Hop


Hello lovlies! Welcome to Gossamer Blue’s July Blog Hop! On the 15th of each month we hope to inspire you as you are working with the kits. I will share a project below and then will link up to the rest of the team so be sure to head to each DT blog to get a variety of ideas!

The July kits are PACKED with embellishments. Like, FULL. Ephemera, die cuts, flair, puffy stickers, chipboard stickers, cork words and big giant alphas! These kits do not disappoint!

 junemainaddon-332x215 juneaddon2-317x215

The sheer amount of embellishments I was left with after completing a few different projects inspired me to see how I could use them in a massive way. So I made a layout about my son’s friends whose family travels abroad for their church every summer. The kids spent the day together at our house before the girls left and I selected 1 photo as the starting point.

Then I gathered pieces from all the kits that were pick or blue (that matched the photo) and added yellow as an accent color.

The title went on after the photo and frame, and from there I just added pieces outward from the photo, like a puzzle.




I give you full permission to go wild with your embellishments! Have fun!

And don’t forget to check out what each of the other girls are up to today!

Alex Hunter
Andrea Gray <—–YOU ARE HERE
Brenda Smith
Brenda Weaver
Caylee Grey
Chantal Philippe
Diane Payne
Emily Spahn
Erin Taylor
Eunyoung Lee
Felicitas Mayer
Heather Leopard
Jill Keller
Joy Taylor
Katarzyna Przybyt
Kathleen Graumüller
Katie Ehmann
Kellie Winnell
Kelly Xenos
Michelle Wedertz
Patricia Roebuck
Rebecca Luminarias
Sandra Dietrich
Sian Fair
Stephanie Buice
Yana Smakula

Oh, and there are still a few kits available – click here to head to the store!

Have fun embellishing,
Andrea :)

documenting disneyland // tips + a flip-thru video

show of hands: who takes over 1000 photos when they go to disneyland? i can officially say that i did. and i’m not even a disney “lover”.

my 4 experiences at disneyland in my 35 years have been 1) when i was 4 and only remember thinking i was brave enough to put my hands in the air on big thunder mountain and then quickly clenched the shirt of my mother like i would have died if i hadn’t; 2) as a teenager when my sister and i were allowed to explore the park on our own. we explored for boys; 3) on our honeymoon at 21 years old when i was a little bit pregnant; and 4) june of this year when i was invited by my mother-in-law and took the kids without matt.

it’s a bit of a love/hate relationship. i love the idea of the magic and photos and joy, but hate the reality of sore feet, crowds of people and not sleeping in my own bed. am i right?

but the MAGIC! it really was sweet to see how my kids took it all in. and that’s what i want to remember about our trip. but i also don’t want sugar coat it. you see, my oldest isn’t a roller coaster person. and my youngest doesn’t enjoy things that are unknown and out of his control. so i documented the magical stuff and the reality that we dealt with. but it’s all good. that was OUR trip and i never expected anything different. if marsh didn’t want to ride on space mountain, we adjusted and another adult took him on something he was comfortable with. we made it work and we had FUN!

okay okay – so enough about that – let’s talk about getting it scrapped and not getting overwhelmed!

not only will i take you through my completed album in the flip thru video below, but i will share tips on how to come home with less than a thousand pictures. let’s get to it, shall we?



to make this task tremendously easier, i edited my photos DURING my trip. my iPhone is my primary – well, the only – camera i use now. like, exclusively. having it in my pocket for quick shots is so easy – i will never lug around a DSLR camera again. :)

with a 7 year old and a teenager, we could not do all-day outings at the parks. my kids are not used to that amount of standing, walking, and it’s seriously draining. so we took at least 1 break during the day. when they were tired, we walked back to the hotel and rested.

i used this time to go through the photos i took and edited the keepers. i also did the same thing at night as we chilled before bed. by the time i got home, all my photos were edited and ready to be uploaded to persnicketyprints.com. the printing method i decided on was to assemble my 3x4s and 4x6s and larger prints onto 12×12 canvases and print/cut them to size. it took a little time up front, but i saved a TON of money doing it this way.




contemplating how i wanted to lay out my album was quick and easy. it simply HAD to be by “land”. there just wasn’t a logical way to assemble it chronologically; we hit too many different things during each day. so when i got my photos back, i cut them to size and used a full 12×12 page protector to temporarily store each grouping by land (tomorrowland, frontierland, etc.). and within each land, i had smaller groupings by ride or event and i put those in smaller baggies.


the other reason i decided to go by land was so that i could maintain a common theme for my pages. i couldn’t even think about mixing a picture of star tours on a page with the indiana jones ride! NO WAY!

i also decided to keep this vacation in a completely separate album. first of all, i didn’t know how many pages it would end up being and i didn’t want to take up too much space in my family albums. so i decided on the PL red and white polka dot album that was on clearance at michaels. it’s not overly disney but it reminds me of minnie mouse – and it’s red. and polka dots. it’s perfect!




the cards/kit i chose is from the project mouse collection (click on the photos for more info).

i wanted generic cards that could document our days at the park but that weren’t overly disney. the skies while we were there were a perfect blue and these cards matched wonderfully with the landscape and overall theme.

we also didn’t do any character stuff so i really didn’t need those items. but this collection has A TON of different themes. these are just the ones that worked for our trip.

Project Mouse:  BUNDLE No. 4 A Day in the Park

Project Mouse (No.2): Journal Cards


since tomorrowland was our favorite land and the one that has the least disney feel, i purchased the separate tomorrowland cards.

Project Mouse (Tomorrow): Journal Cards

i also used some goodies from the June and July Gossamer Blue kits. the travel theme of the kits were perfect for those parts of our vacation! check them out here and here. and the June Life Pages kit can be found here.

and now – the video flip-thru and detailed photos below. hope you enjoy and are inspired to approach your disneyland album (or ANY large event) with confidence and a little preparation!



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happy scrapping!



Gossamer Blue // Say HELLO to the July Kits

Have you looked at the calendar??? IT’S JULY! Guys, the year is officially half over! Whaaaaat?

But the start of a new month means that we get to shout about the new Gossamer Blue kits for the month!



Have you seen these tidbits? These were my #gbkitfaves from the 4 kits I got to play with. Of course I ended up with WAAAY more favorites than just this.


And I happen to be on the Gossamer Blue blog today with my very first post! Please come by and take a gander at this pocket spread I did using the Life Pages Kit. Oh, and there’s a video too – I walk through the kit contents and then you can see how I put it all together in a process video. :)

Here’s a little sneak at the layout!

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Seriously, you gotta check out this kit and all the add-ons this month – they are all so fab!

Happy scrapping,

the teenage life // a process video

happy monday! is anyone up for a quick process video?

i filmed this a couple months ago and finally got around to doing the voice over!

the layout is a tribute to my teenager and all the things he likes right now.

most of the pieces came from this kit by Tickled Pink Studio and were the base of the inspiration.




thanks for watching – happy scrapping!