Monday, June 19, 2017

My Social Book. Me. My friends. My life. My book.

With everyone and everything going digital in the world it means that most of us haven’t printed out photos in ages or have few pictures framed to show for all of the memories we’ve created.  I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to cherish family photos, vacations, holidays, and life events. And I’ve found the easiest, quickest, and perfect way to do it and it’s called My Social Book.

Everyone has a Facebook page or Instagram page (well most do), so it only makes sense to utilize this outlet to help us document memories for our family. My Social Book is a company that transforms your Instagram (or Facebook) timeline into a memory book. It’s completely customizable and you choose what types of posts you want included in the book. Don’t want to include posts others have shared on your page? No problem, you don’t have to! I decided to capture my Instagram page of shared family outings, life events, and silly snapshots of our daily lives.  Through My Social Book, I’ve been able to take those shared posts and create a memory book.

 And you want to know the best part of My Social Book? It's not time consuming like scrapbooking. Creating a My Social Book literally takes a few minutes, at most! If you are a busy person like me, this may be the answer to your prayers.  Pictured above are the two books that I’ve created so far. I began last year and have documented through 2013 so far. These books were kind of pricey, but can you really put a price on memories? 

I now pay more attention to the events and photos I share with my friends. I've always been big on capturing memories for my family and I am documenting our lives. My Social Book has been a true blessing for us and I’m so grateful to be able to capture and preserve memories in such an easy way. Also, they are completely customizable from the colors, to the styles and covers.

Below is a page documenting my time in Georgia with my cousins.

And here is the time Andrew's family was visiting and we took the kids to the Aquarium in New Orleans for the day.

Happy Documenting!

Until next time... 

Baby Shower.

A couple of weeks ago we celebrated Mama and Baby Levens with a baby shower brunch at The Chimney's. It was a lovely morning to get together and catch up also.  We all can't wait to meet the little girl (or boy)... since we don't know, but they'll soon be here to steal the show.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Feeling high tech.

I'm always looking for ways to spice up my blog and today I learned...

(photo credit to Carrie Loves)

I mean... c'mon.  Look how much better the before and after is when viewing from a mobile device.

Big thanks to Carrie Loves post with the coding on how to make your blog have a little more pop to it.  I love Carrie's blog! LOVE IT.  She designed the template for my website and helped with the coding to set me up.  I've used a few of her tips too along the way to add things here or there.  She makes it super simple to do yourself.  I hope everyone enjoys my changes as much as I do. 

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Life Lately.

I've been having one of those weeks. *coughmonthscough* Equal parts stress / exhaustion and gratefulness over here.  Emphasis on the grateful.  But... the week is half over!

Things have been hectic at work (no surprise there) and I had decided to take some time off of school, but then changed my mind.  I have four classes left... FOUR. I'm so close to the finish line I can taste it.  However, since I'm completely crazy I've decided to start looking into continuing my education in Network Security Technology once I complete my Bachelor's Degree in Marketing.  

You're probably thinking the same thing as me.  Why would you do this to yourself? You're close to the promise land. Well, I figure I needed a backup and technology seemed the right way to go since hey, that's my current career path. So let's have faith. I'll be sure to keep everyone updated since I'm sure I'll be having mini meltdowns while juggling school and work, but I'm determined to further my education. In the words of Rory Gilmore, "I'm going to kick butt."

Until next time...

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

One Month.

Honeymoon phase:
We've officially been in our new home for a month. ONE MONTH.  Moving from our tiny 700 sq. foot apartment to our 1,400 sq. foot house was more of an adjustment that I thought it would be.  The walls are still pretty bare. I have four items hung on the walls...tops.  Blank walls are a bit overwhelming (also, I don't want to put holes in the pretty painted walls).  By the time we left the apartment, I had decorated and organized nearly every inch of our space. I had routines and systems in place and felt like everything ran smoothly and efficiently.  Or as best as it could in such a confined space.
And then we moved.
I LOVE our new house! Love, love, LOVE it!! But like I said, there are a lot of unpainted walls, blank spaces, unorganized areas, undecorated rooms, routines that could use some work, etc. And I am so looking forward to working on all of those things as we continue to get settled in!! It just surprised me that I’ve kind of missed that “settled” feeling I had in the apartment.
Fighting the urge:
However, if I'm being honest, my OCD tendencies are struggling to fight the urge to get everything "done" right away.  I like order.  I like everything in its place.  So of course my first instinct when we moved in was to get everything done as quickly as possible. I wanted to organize and decorate all the things, and for some reason naive little me thought that I could do that in the first month we lived here. HA!
The truth is, it takes time to “get to know” a house. The space is laid out differently, the way you think you’ll use a room may end up being different from how you actually end up using it, the furniture arrangement you thought would be perfect actually isn’t ideal at all, etc. I am a planner for sure, but as much as I planned, there were things we learned from just living in our space that we wouldn’t have been able to figure out any other way.  

Because of this, I have tried to resist the urge to furnish and decorate every single room right away. Yes, there were some things that were necessities– we needed our bed, for example, and a new dryer, so we had to address those needs ASAP– but for the things that aren’t needed NOW, I’m trying not to make hasty decisions in the name of getting things “done” that I may regret later.
"Help me, I'm poor":
I knew that moving to a new house was going to involve some extra expenses, but I don’t think I anticipated exactly how many.  We had two sets of windows in our apartment... our new house has FIVE.  You're probably thinking three extra windows to cover, no biggie.  Well, blinds and curtains are expensive!  As I mentioned above, we also had to get a new dryer.  The one we got with the house needed to be replaced... which I quickly discovered after 4 loads of laundry.

Our new house has doors out to where a deck or patio could be, but no actual deck or patio, so we’ll need to add that ourselves, which will be a fairly large expense.  Also, we want to add some sort of fence... at some point.  We have barely done any painting yet, but when it comes time for that, that will be another expense. 
Little did I know:
Honestly, I thought organizing our new house would be a snap. I had good systems in place in our apartment, so I just thought that I’d do the exact same thing or similar in this house and we’d be good to go… not so much.
These cute baskets worked perfectly in our old apartment…not so much in the house!
There was little room under the sink in the bathroom vanity in the apartment, but we had a decent sized linen closet to store towels and other items. So while the under-the-sink space is larger in this house, it is set up differently. The apartment had six rows of shelves pictured above; the house has two sinks to store items under and also has a few drawers. As a result, the cute little drawer organizers that worked perfectly in the apartment, don’t work well at all here.
I could list several more examples, but all this to say, I’m ending up needing to rethink the pieces and systems I use to get organized, which isn’t something I expected to have to do.

I hope this post didn’t end up sounding like a rant. I’m so, so grateful for our house and am LOVING the process of figuring out the ways to make it work best for us! Just sharing some surprises that came my way. 
Until next time...