"be" ing

With the girls on Christmas break and Gordon home until next week on vacation, we've had some really good family time. Which means that I am already practicing one of my 2012 One Little Word goals...just "be"ing. Being in the moment and putting aside other things that are not nearly as important as family, hence my lack of blog updates.

Here's the OLW charm I made myself and the joy {my 2011 OLW} charm was a gift last year from Vicki of Joyful Whimsy. It brought me so much joy when I opened the charmingly packaged charm and still does to this day. I added my be charm to the joy charm and I think they make a perfect pair!

be | one little word

Having failed miserably at not fully living and implementing my One Little Word for 2011 {joy} I stand here before you, well actually I'm sitting, and tell you that the year of 2012 will be a year that I let life BE as it is. 

Yes, let it be. I am old enough now to have realized that there are things I cannot change. People who are who they are because that's who they are. Things that I should let it go. Relax. Live in the moment. And just BE.

You might have read in yesterday's post about a few of my blog posting plans for 2012. One Little Word will be a monthly feature on the 2nd Monday. I'll be using my OLW class from Ali Edwards over at Big Picture Classes {she's also doing a 2012 class and there's a giveaway open until December 29th for 2 seats in the class} and following along with all the prompts and exercises I missed in 2011 due to one thing or another. 

I have my new OLW art print all ready, but had to clip it to this little photo prop because the super cute frame I purchased and spray painted a fun aqua blue cannot be found. I'm sure once I finally put away all of the Christmas decor, I'll find it somewhere. When I do, I'll be sure to share. But, until then...

As a small little reminder, I'll be wearing the green BE necklace and the turquoise BE is for Andrea. She was my very first Etsy customer, by the way. She's going to venture along with her OLW, which also happens to be...BE and blog about her progress and projects living with her word. She loves turquoise, so I'll send the charm along to her to slip on a chain and wear as her own little reminder.

If you're playing along with Ali's One Little Word this year, visit with me every 2nd Monday {to keep me accountable} and leave a link to your blog post so that I can stop by for a visit with you and see how you're doing living your own OLW.

BONUS: This year, I had a little help painting my letters before I added the patterned paper!

Lucky me!

planning & plans for 2012

I love, love, love getting a new calendar. The methodical routine of transferring memorable dates, important notes and plans for the year makes me happy. Silly, right?

Calendar Planner Prep | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

I lucked out in finding this calendar at a local salvage store for just $2.00...last year I paid $15 at an office supply store. Keeping it simple, I added several strips of washi tape, stitched on the colored shipping tag on which I journaled:
i like to:
make messes
get dirtly
try new things
start over
be creative

I didn't want too many layers or embellishments on the cover as I plan to take this with me everywhere. I'm tired of being out {at the school, at the Doctor's office or at my Mom's house} and not knowing what's ahead and if I can actually make an appointment for that day. Yes, I know I can use the handy dandy calendar app on my iPhone, but I much prefer paper. I may have to try both, but for now, I'm sticking with paper only.

The inside front page that covers up the marketing message also shows how I added tabs for each month and for the month-at-a-glance calendar pages in the back.

Calendar Planner Prep | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

All the rub-ons I'm using were sent to me by my friend, Kate, who is also a Close To My Heart rep. Lovin' the quality of the rub-ons, wow, plus they're having a great promotion going on right now...check it out. For each birthday or holiday, I'm adding a small rub-on. Why hoard all my cute stuff, I need to use it and let it surprise me and make me smile as I turn the pages.

Calendar Planner Prep | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

My blogging plan as of this moment looks like this:


  • 1st                          Write.Click.Scrapbook. Gallery Layout
  • 6th                          5 on the 5th {more to come on this project}
  • 2nd Monday          One Little  Word
  • last day of Month   Month-In-Review {more to come on this project}
  • Pinterest                  Project inspired by a Pin from my Boards
  • Christmas               Create 12 handmade items {one each month} for Christmas giving 

+  I plan to update a few projects that I found were unfinished or I had not presented yet.
+  Complete some online courses that I've signed up for and have left unfinished and present here as 
+  Continue with free downloads.
+  Regularly send out newsletters with exclusive discounts and downloads.

So, are you a paper or digi calendar kind of gal?

my twenty12 resolutions | a journal

I'm not one to make resolutions for the New Year. Normally. There are a few areas, though, that I have meant to make a change in the right direction and just haven't. Yet. And if I take the time to write it down, mightn't that help me to be more accountable and perhaps achieve my goals? I'm hoping YES!

I began playing around with some colors and ideas sizes and this is the design I came up with for this mini. After I printed and trimmed the journal, I decided to add this little cutie to the shop as well.

  • I definitely need to drink more water...Dr. Pepper and coffee's all day do not a healthy Monika make.
  • I've had my camera for two years and still don't know all the bells and whistles. This MUST change and my plan is to make a concerted effort to learn, not just take the easy "click."
  • Enjoy the precious time we have together and make it count, make it special and make it good! Who says it has to be just Date Night to make it all about us?
  • Too often I am distracted by other things when I am approached by my girls or my Sweetie and I just need to let whatever it is that I think is more important {but probably not} go and be in the moment with my precious family.

You can see that I'm not changing the world with my resolutions, but I am changing a few things about me. To each page, I added a strip of washi tape across the top. No washi tape, add a small strip of patterned paper instead to cute it up. Each of your 5 pages will have this twenty12 graphic in the lower right hand corner.

Here's a close up of the cover:

All packaged and ready to ship! If you need more than the 5 blank pages that come with the front cover and ribbon tied binder ring for your twenty12 resolutions, let me know how many and I'll set up a custom listing for you in a jiffy.

recycled & manly | momenta

I have run out of cute boxes and I'm getting low on wrapping paper! NO FEAR, Momenta has come to my rescue!

After rescuing a box from the recycle stash in the garage, I pulled out my All Through The Year Super Paper Pad to see what Christmas patterned paper I still had left and Ta Da!, I had two sheets of this design just waiting for me to use it up! See...and you thought you would never be able to find a use for all your pretty patterned paper. You could even use a 12x12 sheet of paper to wrap a small gift up and sneak under the tree, too!

After trimming the paper to fit {I didn't mind the ruggedness of the corrugated box showing} and adhering, I made a handle out of the scraps for my Sweetie to lift the top and added some Crimped Red Alpha stickers to the top. Certainly makes that gift of cash for Gordon to pick out a new pair of Ariat boots look soooooo much better doesn't it? YES!

52Photos :: joy

my 52Photos capture

I'm not really sure if there was more JOY in my heart for seeing my girls meet Santa's helper for the very first time or in their heart for getting to experience this much anticipated trip. When we walked up to the are where Santa was holding court, he was up walking around and Victoria spotted him first and started waving excitedly and began exclaiming very excitedly, "There's Santa!" Isabella was happy as well, just a bit more reserved...in true form she was. 

While Victoria began her sweet little conversation with Santa, I took a mental picture of her looking up to Santa with such a priceless expression. Isabella sat patiently on Santa's lap, not uttering a word and later told me, "He had a real beard, Mommy, but I thinks Santa's eyes are blue, his were brown." 

Yes, I kicked myself that I did not take video of this adventure with my uber-cool iPhone4s. Didn't even think about it until Gordon asked me if I had. Grrr.

next week's theme


the wrap-up

I'm not going to say it's the end, because it's not! 52Photos will be new and exciting and rarin' to go with our first 2012 theme on January 5th!

let's try this again

Definitely need to re-think using the straight pins for this project and just pull out the E6000 for more than just attaching the super fun and colorful baker's twine from The Twinery.

What a darling project, pinned to my art projects Pinterest board, but our puffy, fluffy balls keep coming out...operator error I'm sure. The girls always call our crafting time "art projects" - hence the board name. And they always, ALWAYS, want to do art projects.

And even though the ornaments aren't perfect, the Pro's of this art project are:
  • that the girls had an absolute blast prowling the aisles of Hobby Lobby with me looking for styrofoam and puffy balls and even some multi-colored sequins
  • they had major fun choosing the colors and position of puffy, fluffy balls
  • they had minor disagreements with each other about who gets what particular color
  • they always find a way to make me smile in the midst of their arguments when I question why I even brought out all the supplies in the first place when one of them complements the other on their design, color choice or just overall goodness in handing out positive vibes

What? Sequins? Oh, yeah...rumor has it that the sequins and extra puffy, fluffy balls will appear on a headband made for Mommy fashioned after one seen in the Fancy Nancy book Isabella checked out of the school Library. Can't wait to share the photo of me modeling said headband on Christmas morning...ahem.

I'm thinking these ornaments are next on our list!


Today starts our first day of the Holiday Break for the girls and the rest of the week we hope to share with you the daily crafty art projects we'll be doing together. Until then...

Christmas Gift Tags | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Super simple gift wrapping for the Teacher Gifts this year...glassine bags, shipping tags, paper flowers and some red tulle at half price from Hobby Lobby. I embellished the tag with a bracket shaped stamp before adding the flower and then sewed across the shipping tag.

Christmas Gift Tags | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

After punching a hole where the hole in the shipping tag is, I threaded through the red tulle and tied a knot. The Scrabble Tile necklaces are from here.  Isabella's Teacher had been speaking of ribbon candy and we were lucky enough to find some so that Isabella could gift them to her. Makes me happy that she wanted her Teacher to be happy!

Christmas Gift Tags | iloveitallwithmonikawright.com

Hoping you'll join us as we try our hand at some of the fun art projects that I've been adding to my Pinterest board to try out this week.

sweet surprises

I found this under the tree when I woke up one morning last week and shared the photo on my Facebook page. It was taken with my new iPhone 4s using Instagram. Once I figure out how to add the link, I'll share my Instagram user profile if you'd like to see other photos I've uploaded.

52Photos :: anticipation :: perspective

my 52Photos capture :: anticipation

"Look Mommy, I look like a reindeer!" Yes, those are Isabella's feet standing in for reindeer antlers and yes, that is sock fuzz you see between those precious cheesy toes! Youngsters really do put a fresh perspective on most anything and everything and especially holidays. Gotta say, though, that the biggest kid in our house {aka Mr. wRight} can be kinda silly, too. What you can't see in this photo is that Victoria is sitting in a wicker trash basket and had a tough time getting out of it. Oh, and she's missing two of her bottom teeth...the Tooth Fairy has been very busy around here since August.

my 52Photos capture :: perspective

Lesson Learned: Going through the day wondering what it is that I will be most grateful for in that particular day has leant itself wonderful perspective to my life. When I have forgotten to record my thoughts, I can see a difference on how I approached the day. And now, others are liking the idea and have asked that I make them Gratitude Journals as well, and I'm grateful for that!

next week's theme


the wrap-up

I hear from Lisa that she has a wrap-up post planned, so I'll be sure to link you up to that soon. We also have a new blog button designed and ready for you to post in your blog sidebars, if you so wish. See ya next week!


merry & bright | momenta

During my last trip to the craft store, I stocked up on jar candles to embellish as gifts,  and I just couldn't give this candle away...so it's mine, all mine!

Guess what? There's not a single item I used to embellish this candle that is actually a holiday themed item. The green striped paper and the red star paper are the "B" sides to double-sided papers in the Family Outings Premium Paper Pad and I think they are just so fun, so bright and so perfect for our family room mantle. The white glitter puffy alphabet stickers have a sparkly shimmer to them with a fleck of red that complements the red star patterned paper so well!

Layering scallop and round punched shapes under the Flair button, which you know is one of my favorite embellishments, is a nice way to give the top of the jar candle a more finished look. You can see more of my projects using Flair buttons here.

And here's how this once plain candle looks on our mantle with a few other Christmas decorations. I'm kind of partial to the fingerprint snowman votive holder next to it that my now 20-year old son, Zach, made in elementary school. Why do they grow up so quickly?

May Your Holidays be Merry & Bright!

crafting away

Even though I have been a little scarce here, I have been busy, promise!
  • Made several more Gratitude Journals, since you lovely people had been asking for them and there's just one left! They're a bit different than what his pictured, but still just as cute a way to journal in 2012. The cost is $45.00 and it will ship tomorrow. If you're interested, contact me and I'll set up a listing for you to purchase.
  • The school my two younger children attend is having a fundraiser and it's such a cute idea. The Library has not received funding to purchase new materials for several years now. Other than Book Fair proceeds, they have nothing. So, from Tuesday through Thursday, the kids will get to "shop" for items in the 50 cent to $5 range...most of it handmade items from the parents, grandparents, administration and teachers at the school. The first two days they get to shop for family and friends and then on the third day, they can make purchases of something they would like for themselves, if they so wish. I made about 20 of these, along with a few other items.
  • I decided to make another round of Gratitude Journals and list them in the shop since so many people have been interested in having a mini book to Journal their 2012 Gratitudes...it's been such a lovely experience to chat with people who have an interest in this little project book of mine. There are several of these for purchase, they would make lovely gifts, and they're ready to purchase AND ready to ship NOW...no wait! Here's a peek at what the cover looks like, there are 12 monthly tabbed patterned paper pages as well as a variety of inside pages to include lined notebook paper, legal pads, guest checks, library cards, graph paper and hand stamped pages.

And here's a shot of my computer desk this morning, before I sat down to write this post. And it still looks like it now, I'm just working in the 2.2 square inches of open space while I type this. Don't even ask what my craft desk that backs up to this desk looks like...my "studio" does not look so cute and pretty right now, but I have had fun making it look this way!

traditions | the album

Today I'll be sharing with you a few ideas that might help you to capture your family's memories that don't involve an intense month long commitment. Now, as much as I adore my 2009 December Daily, I will admit that it involved some time...preparing my pages ahead and then embellishing them further as I added my photos each day...and I didn't feel that I could dedicate those precious minutes this year but also didn't want to miss out on capturing some of our holiday traditions. And that's when I thought of using an 8x8 album in my stash as the home to Holiday Traditions. At least that's my working title, as I've not yet embellished the front cover...remember this was literally a last minute brainstorm.
Here are two pages that came together rather quickly for me because I used a template {which you can find in the Download section of my blog sidebar} and only had to add the photo and a strip of patterned paper. You could also add some letter stickers in that space instead, but I opted to add the title to my photo before printing. 

Wondering why the years begin with 1991? That's the year I became a Mommy!

The plan is to include Holiday Traditions in this album from all my Mommy years and from each and every holiday we celebrate. I look forward to browsing our photo archives, printing photos and journaling memories. So, no December Daily for me this year, but instead I've come up with a project that I'm really excited about. I hope it's so successful that I have to move on to a second and third album. If you happen to use the page template to begin your own Holiday Traditions album, upload them to the Write.Click.Scrapbook. Flickr group so we can all take a look!

Here's the page template download

Here are a few more ideas {just click on the links} that might help you to document your traditions:

grateful for you | 52Photos across the ocean

I think by now, after all we're 49 weeks into the 52Photos project, you know that Lisa and I have been taking our photos miles and miles apart, posting them to our blogs as well as to the Flickr group {along with the other 123 members of the group} and wondering all along how we're going to document our year's worth of photos. She's in Sweden and I'm in Tennessee, but that didn't stop us from forging ahead, sharing some wonderful e-mails and getting to know each other through our photos and the stories behind them.

I am grateful for you, dear Lisa, for the package that arrived last week. The "52" album full of our photos, side by side, means that I will end this year with a completed project, albeit by you. The thoughtfulness, the time, the care you put into this gift warms my heart and proves that virtual friends ARE real. It's as if you knew that I needed help and reached out your hand. Tack - that's thanks in Swedish in case you're wondering - Lisa for your friendship.

And this wasn't the first bit of goodness from Lisa, she also sent Isabella and Victoria each one of these and I have this in black - very chic, very unique and I'm so proud to wear it!