Category Archives: Michelle

Week 26 | Short & Simple

My week 26 layout was really short and simple.  Not a whole lot of photos. Not any embellishments.  Some photos, some cute cards, and words.  And really that is all I need.  Times are busy.  The summer is super busy!  Sometimes my focus is less on making elaborate pages (ok that’s most of the time for me) and more time just getting the photos printed and memories written down and calling it good and done.  I rely on the cute journal cards for that creative edge! I am so glad I had the June Everyday Rituals kit  along with a couple of Becky Higgins Core Kits, and Studio Calico Kits,  to help my pages along in the “creative department”.

One trick I have learned along the way is to make collages! Collages help to simplify a weekly spread, especially for someone like me that takes a lot of photos!  It’s super easy to just make 2 8×10 collages and slip them into a 8×11.5 page protectors, and call it good!  I used the app Pic Stitch for the collages in my week 26.

(click on images to view larger) 

Project Life 2014 | Week 26Project Life 2014 | Week 26


credits // Michelle Bostinelos | Author 


Week 25 | Mixing and Matching

Everyone has their own style when it comes to pocket scrapbooking.  Some go digital. Some paper. Some are very neat and organized. Some like lots of white space. Some like lots of colors.  There is no right or wrong way.  You just get to find your style and go with it.

For me – my style is mix matched.  I have a random collection of kits that I mash-up into one of my weekly layouts, for a look that is very unique, a little messy and totally me.

For my week 25 I actually used SEVEN kits! I might have just one card from each one  – but a card was in the mix.

Here are the seven I used:

1  June Studio Calico Project Life Kit


2. G’Day add-on kit


3.  Everyday Rituals Real Life Kit 


4.   Everyday Rituals June Kit:

5. Project Life Midnight Core Kit


6. Project Life Honey Core Kit



7. Project Life Craft Core Kit



Two of my friends and I did a swap with the core kits. We each bought a different kits (for a total of 3 kits)  and then split them each in 1/3! Which is working out great! For my first two years of putting together a Project Life Album, I only had one core kit – and I got a bit bored with it after a while.  Having a subscription to Studio Calico helps diversify too!  And of course the wonderful Everyday Rituals kits add fun and variety into my weekly spreads!

Here is a look at my week 25:

(click on images to view larger) 

Project Life 2014 | Week 25Project Life 2014 | Week 25Project Life 2014 | Week 25Project Life 2014 | Week 25


What’s your Project Life Style? What kits are your favorite? Leave me a comment and let me know!


credits: Michelle Bostinelos/Author 

Top Ten Check List for Documenting the 4th of July

I loved Sarah’s Top Ten Check List for Documenting a Vacation so much that I am copying her!  🙂  Well more like borrowing her idea – but twisting it a bit…  my list is the Top Ten Check List for Documenting the 4th of July.

The 4th of July is coming up this weekend!! !  It’s time to think about what you want to capture in terms of the photos.  It’s always good to go in with a game plan..know what you are looking for before the event happens.

So here is my list:

1. Food and drink:  This goes for most holidays/vacations, food and drink photos are a must.  I  enjoy a nice cold beverage by the pool on the 4th! But maybe there is a special dessert you make on the 4th of July. Or you grill up some burgers?? Whatever it is you enjoy – snap a pic!

Why can't everyday be the 4th of July??? #pictapgo_app

2. Dressed-up for the occasion:  Around here the kids can be found wearing red, white and blue ( I might too!).  I always like to snap a photo or two of those who proudly display their American pride!

Ready to watch fireworks!! #pictapgo_app


(Me, below in my favorite star hat!)




Hey it's me in the hat!! #pictapgo_app

3. Pool photos (or other activities):   We spend a lot of time at the pool over the 4th of July. I like to have my camera ready for the action!  But maybe you do other events on the 4th? A picnic? camping? Whatever it is – snap away!
Busy day at the pool! Now we are ready for fireworks to start! I love the 4th of July! #pictapgo_appAnother day off and at the pool! Awesome! I could get used to this life.  #pictapgo_appThis is the life #pictapgo_appIMG_3045IMG_3052IMG_3364

4. Sparklers:  What’s the 4th of July without sparklers?  Maybe you have a different 4th of July tradition? Make sure you get a photo of it!
Fun with fire #pictapgo_appparty time #pictapgo_appIMG_3335

5. Parades:  Many towns and cities have 4th of July parades!  I love to capture all the excitement of the parade on my camera!

6. Concerts:  Our city has a huge free concert every 4th of July weekend!  I like to get a few shots of all the fun!
Melissa Etheridge #sitp
7. Selfies:  You know I am a fan of the selfie! It turns out that last 4th of July I was also a big fan of this hat! 
My partner in crime at the pool the last 3 days #pictapgo_appSaturday in the Park  #pictapgo_appSaturday in the park @lisaannpeterson

8. Mishaps and things that happen: Sometimes things happen over the 4th of July. Hopefully nothing serious! But I always say it isn’t a holiday without some type of crazy mishap! Last year Ethan got chigger bites by rolling down the grass hill of the golf course! Poor kid!
Ethan got chigger bites on the golf course on the Night of the 4th. Eek! They are all over him!

9. The whole gang: Sometimes I am so busy taking photos of the kids, I forget to take photos of our entire group! This often is the grandparents watching from the sidelines.  Don’t forget to take photos of everyone that is part of your 4th of July – not just the kiddos.

10.Fireworks:  And of course the fireworks!! I don’t have any real tricks for taking photos of fireworks. I took these photos with my Canon 60D. I took these photos by setting my ISO low (100) and my shutter speed very slow (1/30).   IMG_3151IMG_3152

It should be noted that some of the images above were taken with my Canon 60D and others with my iPhone.

Here are my Project Life pages from last year (2013) 4th of July weekend:

(click on images to view larger) 

Project Life 2013 | Week 28Project Life 2013 | Week 28Project Life 2013 | Week 28Project Life 2013 | Week 28Project Life 2013 | Week 28Project Life 2013 | Week 28


I hope you have a wonderful 4th of July! Enjoy the holiday and don’t for get to document it!

credits// Michelle Bostinelos, Author 

Week 24 | The Layering Effect

One of my go-to techniques while working on my Project Life Album is layering of different sized page protectors. Since I do a weekly album, I like to start and end each week with a Design A (Project Life brand) page protector.   And since I take a ton of photos each week, I have several inserts in any given week.  What I like to do to create visual interest is to vary the size of those inserts. My only rule is that the inserts have to be smaller than then Design A page that start and end my week (Design A is 12×12).

My favorite package to use for page protectors is the Variety Pack 3 which includes:

I give myself a rule that besides the 2 Design A, I won’t use any size page protector twice in a given weekly spread.

The result… A lovely layering effect in my weekly Project Life album.

Project Life 2014 | Week 24Project Life 2014 | Week 24Project Life 2014 | Week 24Project Life 2014 | Week 24Project Life 2014 | Week 24


I did trade the 8.5 x 11 vertical for a 8.5 x 11 horizontal for the spread above.

What are some of your favorite techniques to keep things interesting in your Project Life Album? I would love to hear from you – leave a comment!


credits|| Michelle Bostinelos/Author 

Had a Bad Day? We can help you document it!

For over a month I’ve had the Everyday Rituals Real Life cards sitting on my desk, just waiting for me to have a crappy day.  How horrible does that sound??  But it’s true!


The truth is, life isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.  Perhaps you have already figured it out?? To help document those not so great moments in our life.  Sarah designed this set of Real Life cards.  I love them! Cute and functional.

But honestly they have been sitting on my desk. Just waiting for me to use them.  I wanted to use them – of course because they are too stinkin’ cute.  But of course I didn’t want to HAVE to use them, you know because I like happy. I try to ride on the unicorn and jump over rainbows sprinkling glitter around like the best of them.  But then it happened – a bummer, an oops, a ugh, a uh oh.   I sprained my knee!  No nothing serious but I was still bummed out about my lack of mobility and the throbbing pain in my leg.

But good news is… I got to break out my Everyday Rituals Real Life Kit. Score!Project Life 2014 | Week 23


And there it is… second row.  Ugh card.  I actually used it to document my hate for thunderstorms AND me sprained knee.  Two for one special.

So while it does stink that bad or annoying things happen.  (And they do)  It’s nice to know that I have a set of pocket scrapbooking cards that can express my feelings at least until the next flying unicorn comes around.

Get your Everyday Rituals Real Life Card Kit here.

credits || Michelle Bostinelos/Author 

Week 23 | Print them BIG

Just the other week I noted that I was missing my DSLR (BIG Camera – Canon 60D).  I have been using my iPhone exclusively for several months now. And no matter how much I love the convenience and ease of using my iPhone camera, I just can’t beat the quality of photos from my DSLR.

Last week I had a couple of opportunities use my DSLR – one being my daughter’s dance recital. I was so excited to use these photos in my weekly Project Life Album!

Just to give you some back story…there is a rule that no outside photography was allowed during the recital. So we planned a little photo session with Zooey and two of her dance friends before the big show.  I LOVED how the photos turned out.


So one of my favorite things to do with my weekly Project Life is to take a few of my favorite photos that I took using my DSLR and print them in 8×10 size.  I then use the 8x 10/11  Project Life Page protectors (vertical and horizontal) and slip the photos in as inserts.   I love the contrast of the big photo with the little photos! I did add a few stamps to the photos this time around, but in the past I have left them with no embellishments.  Or sometimes I will journal directly on the photo.

Here is how the pages turned out using the dance photos and the enlarged sizes (click on images to view larger)

Project Life 2014 | Week 23Project Life 2014 | Week 23Project Life 2014 | Week 23Project Life 2014 | Week 23


I am so thankful that I took the time and effort to use my DSLR and arrange this little photo session.  Without my DSLR I wouldn’t have been able to print the photo in 8×10.  (quality of printing large photos from mobile devices is lacking).   

So iPhone, yes I love you. You are my go-to camera these days.  But DSLR – I never stopped loving you and your ability to produce awesome photo quality.

(yes I am pretty sure that I just sent my cameras love notes! HA!!!) 

This week I challenge those with a DSLR that has been gathering dust to get it out and shoot some photos and then print them really BIG and include them in your pocket scrapbooking pages.

I will post a closer look at my Week 23 Project Life on my personal blog tomorrow – so make sure to stop by!

Credits: Author/Photographer | Michelle Bostinelos 

Sky Photos

One of my favorite things to photograph is the sky.  It’s always amazing to me how beautiful it can look and how different it looks each time I look up.  One thing that is for certain about living in Iowa, if you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes and it will probably change.  Last week was stormy around here and the sky wasn’t afraid to give a good show.  And I wasn’t afraid to get out my iPhone a few times and snap away.

I took this photo from my kitchen window. (no filter added!)From my kitchen window. #stormyskies #dayisdone #goodnight

Here is one I took on a date night with my hubby. (again no filter added!)
Tonight's sky #nofilter

And this one from my office window… a storm was moving in. (you guessed it – no filter added!)Storms heading this way. #tornadowatch #stormanxiety #stormyskies


I like the sky. It tells a story.  What was the day like..was it sunny, or big fluffy white clouds, was it clear and blue, or stormy like the photos above?  What was I doing when I saw the sky?  Where was I at? All questions you can use when documenting sky photos in scrapbooking journaling.

My favorite part about sky photos is that they help me to remember to slow down.   Every time I am rushing – trying to get from one place to the next as fast as possible, balancing three kids and two jobs, and LIFE – and I see this amazing sky in front of me, I stop for a second and breath. I stop and think WOW – life is pretty amazing. And I take a photo of the sky.  And for at least one second for that day I stopped and just was aware of the beauty around me.

My challenge for you this week is to take a photo of the sky and use it in your daily storytelling!

If you want to see how I am going to use these photos in my weekly Project Life album, stop by my personal blog on Tuesday where I will be posting my week 22!

Happy Monday!!

credits// Michelle Bostinelos, Author|Photographer