There’s something about letters on the wall that I just love.  It’s modern.  It’s simple.  It’s good.

It started with this letter G.  Beau and I were newly engaged, in college, and I worked at a craft store.  I found this letter G on clearance and painted it black once we moved into our first house.  Originally I kept it in the kitchen, but it’s moved 3 times since and now lives in the entryway.

typography-on-walls-05

Then came the letter E for my firstborn, Ephram.  E’s quickly caught my eye wherever I went and I picked up most of these before he was even born.  They still have a spot in his room and I have plans to add more.

typography-on-walls-02

EAT was next up in my growing collection.  We had just moved to Texas and it was the perfect addition to our bare, builders-beige kitchen.    I definitely copied this one from Pinterest and played around with black and silver paint to create a stainless steel look like the ones you can purchase at Anthro.  They sat on this shelf for about 18 months before being packed up and finding a spot on our wall in our new kitchen.  I took these photos around Christmas right before we moved.

typography-on-walls-04

Baby number 2 meant more letters.  I went with these adorable lower case letters from Land of Nod.  This time I wanted to go with a graduated dark to light tone of green, so I started with a green I loved and mixed in a little more white as I made my way through painting the letters.  Right now they are located above Alwyn’s crib.

typography-on-walls-01

And most recently, Home Sweet Home.  Another Pinterest find that I pinned during our move and new right away I needed to find a place for it in our new home.  I painted it the same color as the wall since I knew the shadows in this location would be plenty enough to show the letters off, but at the same time I wasn’t looking for something to make a big statement here.

typography-on-walls-03

Modern.  Simple.  Clean.  That’s what I love about this style of wall decor.

& it’s totally addicting. I’m sure more letters will be popping up on our walls in the future.

In other news, check out tons of Project Life inspiration being featured over on Becky’s blog today!

Show Comments (0)

Jumping back to my 2014 album today and sharing a couple spreads from early March.  These two weeks were when we had family visiting so they are super special pages in our album.  Since we live 1000 miles from both Beau and my own family it’s important to me to get these types of photos documented in a spot the boys can see.

So on to Week 10 (March 3rd through the 9th)!

DGjerdingenApr1

This week my mom was here for a visit for Ephram’s birthday. We also had a mini ice storm (the third icing event of the season for Houston this year!). Beau turned 29. And we planted our veggie/fruit garden.

DGjerdingenApr1detailA

Loved using the Plus One mini-kit for this spread.

Below, on the XOXO card, I added some thin scraps of green paper to the X’s just to add some color.  And the triangle patterned paper in the corner of the photo is from Kiwi Core Kit.

DGjerdingenApr1detailB

Of course I just *had* to include this moment in my album.

DGjerdingenApr1detailC

Okay, on to Week 11 (March 10th through the 16th).

This week we had more family visiting and we went to the Houston Rodeo.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-00

Here’s a look at the spread without the insert.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-001

Love using those plane wood veneers when we have family flying in for visits.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-03

donyaluana-pl14-week11-01

We listen to a lot of music in our house, and since music can bring back memories similar to the way a smell does,  I’ve been toying with the idea of including a card in each week’s spread about a favorite song. It worked out really well this week since we were going to see Keith Urban at the Houston Rodeo. & I love this song.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-02

Below is a close up on the insert. I cut off part of the Design B pocket page to make it since it worked well with the photos I had chosen to include.  Love the flexibility of creating your own inserts this way.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-05

This adorable ‘Captured’ die cut is from the Office Hours Studio Calico Project Life kit.  I finally decided to become a monthly subscriber recently and am not quite sure what took me so long.  I’m in love with the fun designs and colors they provide in each kit.  Though I still love my Becky Higgins kits, these provide some super fun embellishments for those weeks I have extra time to play.

donyaluana-pl14-week11-04

Supplies Used: Design A photo pocket pages, Design B photo pocket pages, Amy Tangerine Plus One Mini-kit, Becky Higgins arrow stickers, Studio Calico Office Hours monthly kit, Project Life Journaling Pens, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.

Project Life® is a simplified memory keeping system created by Becky Higgins. To see my previous posts, click here.  Have questions?  Leave a comment!

Show Comments (4)

donyaluana-home-office-green

At just 81 days since move in, we’ve officially painted the walls and trim of every room in the house except the kitchen and bathrooms (and tiny laundry/mud room). Phew! It’s been slightly exhausting, but a good exhausting. There is so much reward found in making a space better. Having plans and dreams for what you want a space to look like.

Yesterday I posted about how I feel like I have a ton of projects going on that are 90% finished. We’ve been so busy painting (much needed in this house), I haven’t had time to add final touches to the boys’ rooms. One whole wall in our bedroom is bookshelves that I’d like to fill but for now they sit somewhat bare. And my computer desk is currently sitting in the living room surrounded by toys while we finish up painting the office.

Then yesterday afternoon I read Elsie’s article on A Beautiful Mess about having a space to learn. It rang so true in my head. My house is always going to be a place of change. I may “finish” one room, but I’m always adjusting and learning my style. My taste. Even with Alwyn’s nursery, there were so many things I wanted to add/change to it, but never got around to it before we realized we were moving. His new room is a whole new style, new lighting, not to mention he’s transforming from a baby to a little boy.

While I know my home will be in a constant state of change, I want to feel less like it’s incomplete. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be enjoyed. The whole point of moving from a home built in 2013 to a home built in the 1970s was to have projects to work on and enjoy working on for years to come.

“Our home isn’t perfect, but it is our dream home.”

- Elsie, A Beautiful Mess

Show Comment (1)

Today I’m sharing my first video tutorial and it’s a fun little trick I like to perform with digital Project Life cards.

There are so many great Project Life kits these days that it’s hard to not purchase them all and drain your bank account. Instead of buying every single one, I like to purchase the digital versions of the ones I like and then only print what I need. And as a big bonus, if the kit colors don’t go with the spread I’m creating, I can alter them to match.

Gjerdingen2010Mar-01

This particular spread from my 2010 album I’m working on this year was created with a couple different kits: Polka Dot Mini Kit, Sunshine, and Seafoam.

Gjerdingen2010Mar-01a

If you’re interested in adjusting the colors of digital cards and don’t know how, here’s a short tutorial in Photoshop showing how I like do it.

As mentioned in the video, when I print journaling cards, I like to use Persnickety Prints because they offer a card stock paper option. If you have any questions about the video, I’ll be sure to respond to any in the comments below.

And since I’m a bit behind on sharing these, here are two more from my 2010 album. I’m having so much fun looking back at photos from 4 years ago and so incredibly happy to have them in an album with journaling along with it.

Gjerdingen2010Mar-02

Gjerdingen2010Mar-02a

Gjerdingen2010Mar-03

Gjerdingen2010Mar-03a

Supplies Used: Digital Project Life cards, Becky Higgins arrow stickers, Amy Tangerine Cut & Paste Mini-kit, Design A photo pocket pages, Project Life Journaling Pens, and Becky Higgins Corner Rounder.

PROJECT LIFE® is a simplified memory keeping system created by BECKY HIGGINS. To see my previous posts, click HERE.  Have questions?  Leave a comment!

Show Comment (1)

What do you get when you stick two silly boys in a small patch of Bluebonnets for 5 minutes?

I will admit that this is one Texas tradition that I’ve completely fallen for. I almost didn’t have the motivation to get the kids dressed yesterday morning (after a late night with Alwyn) and drive over for photos, but I knew I’d regret missing a year. And I’m so lucky we happened upon a great spot last weekend because I wasn’t about to drive 50 minutes back to last year’s spot.

I kept my expectations low since I knew neither of them would likely be in the mood to sit still and give me natural smiles. But I knew I’d at least come away with some beautiful flower shots. Luckily they surprised me with a few happy moments.

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-01

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-02

This kid and his eyes… my goodness.

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-03

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-04

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-05

Though most of the out takes did look like this.

Insert caption, anyone?

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-06

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-07

Local friends, if you’re looking for a great Bluebonnet location, check out Mercer Arboretum. Their bluebonnet area has narrow stone paths allowing access into the middle of them without stepping on them.

This is a great spot to take a walk with the kids too. My kids love the fish pond at the front, but there are many trails to walk through while gazing at all the beautiful flowers.

donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-08donyaluana-2014-bluebonnets-spring-tx-09

Check out the archives for more fun family activites in Houston!

Show Comments (4)

I guess you could stay it’s been a very slow process, me coming to like gardening. Over the nearly nine years I’ve lived with Beau, he’s always been far more into plants than me. I’ve even joked on many occasions that he would appreciate a bouquet of flowers more than I would. I’ve always enjoyed the look of the plants he’s purchased, including the hibiscuses he cared for in our college apartment. I remember even giving one plant we had a name, but that was about as far as I came to really caring for them.

We moved to our first home shortly after college, and the summer before we moved to Texas, Beau built a nice garden/patio in our backyard. He begged for me to come up with a design. I think I helped a little, but mostly I just contributed a few yays/nays to his plans. But I loved the outcome! My appreciation was growing, that’s for sure.

Then we moved to Texas. Over the past two years and two different yards, we’ve gardened a ton.  Mostly Beau picks the plants and I weed the garden beds when needed.  Something about our current yard really has me excited though. It’s so established, yet there is so much room to grow. Once again Beau was begging me to come up with a design for a garden.  And one evening last week, when the light was coming through the trees in the most perfect way, I had a vision.  It sounds silly, but I wasn’t even brainstorming in my head about it.  It just came to me.  A garden design that would create a perfect backdrop in our backyard.  We spend the rest of the weekend creating it (which meant hauling around 60 bags of dirt and gravel – a good workout).

I’m really starting to understand the joy that comes with gardening. How embarrassing that it’s taken me so many years to discover this since I grew up surrounded gardeners – my mom, dad, & step-mom.  Just add this to the long list of things I wish I would have appreciated as a child.

2014selfportrait-mar

Anyways, March has been fabulous.

Here’s how I intend to make April great:

  • Fill the walls in the boys’ rooms.

  • Visit 3 new parks with Ephram & Alwyn.

  • Keep the gardens alive.

  • Organize & purge stuff in my office.

  • Slow down on the house projects and simply enjoy.

Show Comments (2)

While this house was begging for a few minor renovations when we moved in, it also had quite a bit of old home charm that we obviously wanted to keep.  This book shelf in the upstairs hallway was one of the first things that charmed me when we toured the home, but we used it to store tools for the first month or so while we renovated the boys’ rooms.

We finished up their rooms a few weeks ago and then quickly painted the hallway before we had guests arrive last week.  The tools are back in the garage and I finally had the opportunity to fill the shelves with something a little prettier.

upstairs-hallway-01

When I first saw this corner bookcase in the upstairs hallway, I immediately began imagining what I’d use it for. Since it’s located right outside the boys’ rooms, I had initially thought about keeping their books here. Maybe a place they could nicely choose a bedtime story to read together without any fighting.  A mother can dream, right?  But we recently purchased two Expedit bookcases for their rooms and have more than enough storage for their books right now.

The Before:

So a couple weeks ago, I was cleaning up the shelves and decided to see if my Project Life albums fit.  & they did!  Hurray!

upstairs-hallway-05

I only have two years (four full albums) currently finished, but by the end of this year I should have another 3 or 4 albums containing 2010 and 2014.

Never mind the spot we haven’t painted yet in the photo below…our staircase is in need of a very tall ladder to finish all the painting.

upstairs-hallway-02

To fill in the extra space I added a few frames to the shelves as well. The first holds the back of Ephram’s first birthday invitation in it.  I love all those photos from his first year and I really want to create one for Alwyn too.  Another is a photo of Alwyn that I had displayed in his old room.  And the third features a card from the Kiwi Edition which I had put in a frame for Valentine’s Day and just never ended up taking out.

upstairs-hallway-06

upstairs-hallway-07

On the opposing wall, in between the boys’ rooms and their bathroom, I have two frames hung – one for each of them – that I update every so often with what I’m currently loving about them.  This is entirely inspired by Becky Higgins (and I would link to her blog post about it but it seems to be missing currently).

upstairs-hallway-04

Overall, I just love that my Project Life albums are now displayed in a spot that the boys can see.

upstairs-hallway-03

Where do you keep your family photo albums? Safely tucked away? Out in the open? I’d love to know.

Show Comment (1)

A big reason I wanted to go back and create an album for 2010 and document the beginning of Ephram’s life was due to his heart surgery.  Ephram had surgery to repair his aorta when he was just 6 days old.  It was a dramatic beginning and as he grows up and asks more questions, I’d really like to have a book with the photos to show him, rather than searching the computer for them every time.  

Additionally, Ephram was born in Minnesota, but we moved to Texas the beginning of 2012. This was also the year I began documenting with Project Life.  He knows we live in Texas, and he knows our extended family all lives in Minnesota, but he doesn’t completely understand that we lived in Minnesota at one time.  I hope this book will help explain it better for him.

DGjerdingenApr3

This first spread features cards from the Kiwi Edition, Baby Edition, Jade Edition, & Sunshine Edition. Quite the variety, huh? I typically get super excited to *use* a new kit and since I had recently gotten my hands on many of them, I used a few cards from all of them.

For the Baby Edition and Sunshine Edition cards I started with the digital version of the card on my computer, slightly changed the color, & then printed them through Persnickety Prints on the Soft Texture Art Card Stock.

DGjerdingenApr3left

This was my first time using Design B page protector and I love how well it worked with the photos. The tricky part about using a different page protector design, for me at least, is that you have to use it for the following spread too. That’s usually where I get stuck.

DGjerdingenApr3right

DGjerdingenApr4

This second spread includes cards from the Midnight Edition, Plus One Edition, Personal Yearbook Edition, Baby Edition, & Jade Edition.

DGjerdingenApr4left

It’s always fun to change it up, but my head works so well with Design A, so I went right back to what works best on the right side of this spread.

DGjerdingenApr4right

So thankful that Ephram’s heart has been doing just fine for the past 4 years. Our 2 week experience at the Minnesota Children’s Hospital opened my eyes to the awful things some children have to go through. We were extremely lucky that his surgery was, as one of our nurses told us, “the best heart surgery to have” because it was an easy fix. Sometimes I almost forget we ever went through it.

PROJECT LIFE® is a simplified memory keeping system created by BECKY HIGGINS. To see my previous posts, click HERE.  Have questions?  Leave a comment!

Show Comments (4)

We inherited a small raised garden bed in our new backyard.  While my mom was in town last week she bought a few strawberry plants for it as part of Beau’s birthday present.  And on Friday evening Beau came home with a few more plants and seeds to finish it off.

Ephram & Alwyn were of course very willing to “help” plant everything.

gardening-02 gardening-03

This garden has quite a few advantages to our last yard.  Primarily the good, black dirt.  We had such poor soil in our previous backyard.

gardening-04 gardening-06 gardening-07 gardening-08

We also inherited a compost bin.  Conveniently located right next to the garden, so I suppose I should start saving things to put in it rather than tossing them in the garbage now.

gardening-09

Planting the bean and corn seeds was Ephram’s favorite part.

gardening-10 gardening-016

Meanwhile Alwyn was discovering new things to wear as hats.

gardening-11

And finding himself to be quite clever because of it.

gardening-12gardening-15

He appears to be applauding Beau & Ephram here, but I think he was just wiping the dirt off his hands.

gardening-13

The finished garden!  It looks sparse, but I know it will fill in quickly.

gardening-14

& hopefully we’ll be enjoying homegrown berries, peppers, corn, & beans some day soon!

Fun looking back at our Minnesota veggie garden beginnings three years ago. Ephram was so little!

Show Comments (0)