PROJECT LIFE PLANS FOR 2017


As 2017 approaches I have been thinking about my fifth (!!!) year of documenting with Project Life. I begin every new year of PL with one simple desire: to complete it. Well, that and to please help me figure out how to keep my pages consistent throughout the year! Going into 2017, I’m not doing anything remarkably different from last year. I’m sticking with a single 9×12 page per week, using a Studio Calico 9×12 binder and clear dividers as usual. I like sticking to one album per year.

What I am switching up this year is my weekly date cards. Originally, I thought I might bring back the cards I used in 2014, but I’ve decided against it. Why? Because I have hundreds of cards from past kits that need to be used; I don’t want to be wasteful.

I’m still printing at home, because it’s just easier that way, even if it is a bit more expensive. I will continue to use minimal to no embellishments because after four full years of doing project life, I’ve learned that in order for it to work for me I need to keep it very simple.

Every December I say that next year I will include more from my husband’s perspective, but as usual, I was bad about it in 2016 and will probably be bad about it in 2017. What I do want to try, though, is putting my camera in DJ’s hands and seeing what he comes up with. Life from a three-almost-four-year-old’s perspective. Should make for some interesting stuff.

Every year, consistency is my biggest problem. Keeping my pages looking in sync throughout the album is something I strive for but have not yet mastered. So for 2017 I’m going to pick out particular cards to use throughout the year, and stick to only those!

And that’s pretty much it!

Tell me, what are you keeping the same or trying differently in your 2017 albums?

Excerpts from my Journal | 06

I spend a lot of time alone in my head, which I’m starting to think might not be all that good of an idea for someone like me. But, my god! this time of the year! I always feel as though I just lose the tiniest bit of footing on life, my thinking, my future.

++

This will be my sixth Christmas in Las Vegas. From the very beginning there has been a sort of quiet understanding that I’ll feel the first pangs of homesickness around the 20th, as Christmas looks closer. But it isn’t until Christmas Eve — when I’m surrounded by family who has only known me for these six years, with people I feel like I still know so little about, but who have welcomed me into their world with open arms — that the full weight of everything comes down on me.

I don’t feel as though Kitchener is home anymore, but on Christmas Eve, my heart forgets all that and aches in a way it never could the other three hundred and sixty-four days of the year.

It aches like it hasn’t forgotten how far I’ve come and all that I’ve left behind … even if I have.

++

Yesterday morning was one of those mornings you need to write about because it was perfect in its simplicity. There was sex and breakfast and reading and coffee enjoyed before going cold and I never wanted it to end.

++

I want to write so badly, can feel the itch in my fingers, but I worry that I have nothing left to say.

++

 

Thanks for reading,

rdg

THE BOOK LIST | #6

Here’s what I read in December:

 

AFTER I DO BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

 

“Ryan and I are two people who used to be in love.
What a beautiful thing to have been.
What a sad thing to be.”
Let me gush about the perfection of AFTER I DO for a moment. This book. This. Book. I felt as though I crawled into Ryan and Lauren’s life. I felt their pain. I felt their frustrations and indifference and joy. I laughed. I cried. Oh how I cried! This is my favorite TJR read yet, and she has cemented herself as one of my new favorite authors of all time.

TALKING AS FAST AS I CAN BY LAUREN GRAHAM

This book was exactly what I expected it to be. I could easily have glossed over some of it, but that’s okay, because really, I just wanted to hear about Gilmore Girls and her writing career. Done and done.

NAILED BY STACI HART

As a big fan of Staci Hart’s, I knew I would devour this little, sexy novella. Four stories. Four sets of strangers. Four sexual encounters. I mean, who hasn’t fantasized about such a thing before? These stories were short and delicious … just like I knew they’d be.

FOREVER, INTERRUPTED BY TAYLOR JENKINS REID

At the time of this review, I have read three of Reid’s novels, and I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that all three have made me cry. What a truly, truly wonderful story. And what an inspiring, yet heartbreaking ending.

MILK AND HONEY BY RUPI KAUR

I loved this collection of poetry, mainly because it is just how I like my poems; short, direct and powerful. This book is one I’m happy to own and will be reading over and over again.

SWEETBITTER BY STEPHANIE DANLER

Ok, where do I start? I was on the library waiting list for this book for MONTHS. When it finally came, I was so excited and read the first section with gusto. But then, despite the beautiful language and the intriguing cast of characters, I had to continually push myself to keep reading.

BEAUTIFUL WORDS I’VE READ LATELY

You say you love me
with your shot of whiskey
you say I’m the one
with your glass of champagne
but then you don’t say a word
with your cup of coffee
Rania Naim
++
i do not want to have you
to fill the empty parts of me
i want to be full on my own
i want to be so complete
i could light a whole city
and then
i want to have you
cause the two of us combined
could set it on fire
– Rupi Kaur
++
Let’s reveal
and revel and rebel in our insanity, instead of
slathering on another coat of paint
as the veneer cracks
along the sides
++
You don’t deserve someone who comes back
you deserve someone who never leaves.
– Rania Naim
++
And let’s not forget, THIS.

MEETING SUZY

“I’m really nervous about meeting new people.”

She said it first, before I had the chance. I had definitely been thinking it.

On the drive over, I went from turning the heat on to warm my cold hands, to cracking the windows to cool myself off. I was cold, but on the verge of sweating through my clothes.

This is typical Rachel behavior when it comes to meeting someone new. So imagine the relief when we’d just sat down to lunch and she told me she was nervous!

“That’s funny, because earlier today I was telling Dom about how this should be interesting because we’re both introverted, shy people,” I said.

Suzy and I are friends in the sense that we’ve known each other online for some time, and have emailed back and forth for a while now. But getting to meet someone in person who you built a friendship with online is uniquely special. You feel as though you know them, know their family and what gets them out of bed in the morning, but getting to see them with your own eyes, getting to wrap your arms around them in a warm hug … it just can’t be beat.

We ordered the same meal for lunch. I pulled toy cars out of my purse for her son to play with. She finished off my sweet potato fries when I couldn’t eat them all. We talked about writing, about parenting, about where we live and what we do for fun. And I thought, here’s a girl I could spend the day with and never get bored.

Suzy has a contagious smile. I swear that just being in close proximity to her made me feel happy and relaxed.

After lunch, she asked me to go on the search for donuts with her, which I would surely have done had I not had piles of work to do (oh, that’s right, I have a full-time job….). We said our goodbyes and off I went towards the parking garage.

And then I remembered I had wanted to take a photo of Suzy and I.

Damn.

I turned on my heels, heading for the monorail. Out the door, around the corner, up the humorously tall escalator … but they were gone.

I turned the radio off in the car on the way home, wanting to be alone with my thoughts.

For two shy, young women, we did pretty well for ourselves.

++

Go check out these photos she took of Vegas. I told her at lunch that she has encouraged me to go out and see more of this city that I have lived in for nearly six (!!) years.

THAT DECEMBER THING

Two thousand and sixteen.

Phew! You have been a doozy of a year.

I know it’s all so terribly obvious of me to be talking about 2016 just as we’ve tiptoed into the final days, but this is who I am. I play and replay everything over in my head, trying to make sense of it all, trying to figure out where I went wrong, and what I can do better next year.

Back when I was in my early twenties and oh so lost as to who I was and where I was going, I would talk to older women (forties, fifties) who all said that their thirties were some of their best times. Their kids weren’t babies anymore, they were married, settled… but most importantly, they knew who they were.

I know a lot more now, at 32, than I ever did at 21. Like that I can socialize as well as anyone else, but I have to balance it out with alone time. Like that karma is a real thing. Like that if I stop creating, stop writing, I’ll cease to be myself. Like that I can’t eat the way I used to. Like that sometimes capturing a photo of that perfect moment where you see yourself in your kid is all it takes to turn a day around.

2016 has been a tough year, but those are the years that teach us the most, aren’t they. The days push our boundaries, teach us just how far we can go. And I like to think we’re better off for it. We’ve become stronger, smarter versions of ourselves.

I want to be a stronger, smarter version of myself. The kind of woman who is more patient and kind, who picks up her camera more and stays off her phone. The kind of woman who is engaged. The kind of woman who isn’t afraid to ask for what she wants. The kind of woman who enjoys the middle of things, not just the beginning or end. The kind of woman who isn’t constantly comparing herself to everyone else. The kind of woman who writes about her life, the real, the right now, instead of just fiction.

The kind of woman who knows she is not less than.

She is simply doing the best she can.

THE ANIMAL UNDER THE FUR BY E.J. MELLOW: LET US BOW DOWN TO THE GREATNESS THAT IS THIS COVER

Listen, I don’t do a lot of these cover reveals, but when it comes to books and authors that I love, I’m all about supporting them in any way I can. E.J. Mellow happens to be an author I absolutely adore, which means I’m more than willing to help spread the news about her new book, The Animal Under The fur.

On the count of three, let us all release a collective sigh in awe of the greatness of this book cover. Ready? 1… 2…. 3…

I’m going to need to buy this in paperback because … yeah … that cover will look amazing in person!

The Animal Under The Fur
by E.J. Mellow
Publication date: 2017
Genres: Action, Adult, Romance

SYNOPSIS:

From award-winning author E. J. Mellow comes an action romance dripping with vengeful delight.Orphaned on the streets as a baby, Nashville Brown, a.k.a Kill Operative 3, knows better than to rely on anyone. With heightened senses and superhuman strength to survive, she’s been raised as the perfect assassin.The trick to her success? Keeping everyone, even her best friend, at arm’s length.Losing his entire family in the span of a year, Carter Smith left his ability to love buried deep in their graves. His only concerns now are completing his missions and effortlessly charming the next temptress to warm his bed.The key to his accomplishments? Working alone mixed with a Casanova smile.But when a deadly weapon needs to be stopped from falling into the wrong hands, the lone wolves find themselves thrown into an explosive partnership. Can Carter and 3 lower their guns aimed at one another long enough to succeed, or will their unwillingness to compromise end up destroying more than their perfect records? Whatever their differences, both agree on one thing—in the game of lies and deceit, the line between friend and foe is often blurred by blood splatter.The Animal Under The Fur is a hate-to-loath-to-love stand-alone novel filled with savagery, secrets, and enough angst to wrinkle the pages you’ll find gripped in your hands.Coming 2017Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32623625-the-animal-under-the-furAUTHOR BIO

E.J. Mellow is the Award Winning author behind the NA Contemporary Fantasy trilogy The Dreamland Series. With a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, E.J. Mellow splits her time between her two loves – visual design and writing. Residing in NYC, E.J. is a member of Romance Writers of America and their Fantasy, Futuristic & Paranormal Chapter. She has no animals but loves those who do.

 

REVIEW: A PLACE IN THE SUN BY R.S. GREY

SYNOPSIS

When her mother’s incessant matchmaking hits an all-time high, Georgie Archibald does what any sensible woman would do: she flees the country.
Seeking refuge in the picturesque seaside village of Vernazza, Italy, Georgie’s only plan is to lie low, gorge herself on gelato, and let the wine and waves wash her troubles away…that is until she wakes up in a bed that belongs to the most romantic-looking man she’s ever seen.
Gianluca.
After going out of his way to rescue her, the former London financier turned mysterious recluse makes it clear that despite acting as her white knight, he has no plans to co-star in her fairytale.
But Georgie isn’t asking for his heart—she’s merely intrigued.
After all, Gianluca isn’t just gorgeous—tall and tan from days spent in the sun—his touch sets her world on fire. With him, Georgie experiences the most intoxicating passion she’s ever known, and it only takes a few steamy nights for her to realize that sometimes running away from trouble is the best way to find it.

MY REVIEW

There is a moment, after I finish a book, where I sit back and take a deep breath. What comes after is completely dependent on how I felt about the book. I may sigh contentedly. I may frown. I may smile, or curse, or cheer. I finished A Place In The Sun just moments ago, and my reaction was exactly what I believed it would be: a deep sigh and a knowing smile.

A Place In The Sun was romantic in a way that I haven’t seen in quite some time. It wasn’t the fastest paced, nor did it give you emotional whiplash … but I was grateful for that. It was … exactly what I needed it to be. Light, funny, sweet and full of hope. R.S. Grey has out done herself.

4.5 stars.

BUY LINK

Amazon – http://amzn.to/2ewA8ID

REVIEW: A LOVE LETTER TO WHISKEY BY KANDI STEINER

SYNOPSIS

It’s crazy how fast the buzz comes back after you’ve been sober for so long.

Whiskey stood there, on my doorstep, just like he had one year before. Except this time, there was no rain, no anger, no wedding invitation — it was just us.

It was just him — the old friend, the easy smile, the twisted solace wrapped in a glittering bottle.

It was just me — the alcoholic, pretending like I didn’t want to taste him, realizing too quickly that months of being clean didn’t make me crave him any less.

But we can’t start here.

No, to tell this story right, we need to go back.

Back to the beginning.

Back to the very first drop.

This is my love letter to Whiskey. I only hope he reads it.

BUY LINKS

Amazon US – http://amzn.to/2dJrZl1
Amazon CA – http://amzn.to/2ers8Mj
Amazon UK – http://amzn.to/2e3gO5Z
Amazon AU – http://amzn.to/2dJ90Y

MY REVIEW

I honestly don’t know where to start, because this book broke me. It absolutely broke me. But in the best kind of way. A Love Letter to Whiskey is full of angst. It will stress you out. It will leave you laughing and crying and cringing and holding your breath … and shouting at the pages.

It will also leave you knowing you’ve just read something epic.”It turned out a Whiskey stain was just as permanent as ink, and I wondered If I would ever truly wash myself clean. Or if I even wanted to.”

ALLTW is Kandi Steiner’s best book yet. An absolute must-read.