February 2013

As some of you will already know, I am not much of a baker. Actually, that’s being generous. I am not a baker. I wish I were. But I’m not. And I’m okay with that. This, however, means that I haven’t actually baked a single birthday cake for any of our boys (shock, horror, I know!). With the exception of Angus’ 2nd birthday cake which Rick baked, all the boys’ cakes to date have been…’outsourced’ as I like to call it. Luckily, the boys do not seem bothered by this, and it’s definitely saved me a whole lot of stress leading up to their birthday celebrations.

This year, for Pete, I suggested to Rick that maybe we could bake cupcakes instead of having an actual cake. And so, wonderful husband that he is, he chose the perfect cupcake mix from the supermarkets and on the eve of the party, he set about mixing and baking the delicious cupcakes while I put together the party favours. I have to admit – I had a couple of mini panic attacks that evening as I began doubting (and therefore regretting) my decision to not do a proper birthday cake for Pete, and worrying about how it made me a terrible mother. But each time, my super-husband reassured me that it would be okay, and that the cupcakes would be fun.

On the day of the party, my wonder of a husband whipped up the topping as well, and I (finally) helped with icing the batch of vanilla cupcakes. If I’d had more time or headspace, I probably would’ve tried to research some creative way to decorate the cupcakes, but in the name of keeping it simple (and staying sane), we just went with the good old spatula and smeared the icing on using a method which I can only describe as being ‘freestyle’ or ‘that-looks-good-enough.’ Thankfully, I’d made some cupcake toppers the night before, so I was able to add these to make the cupcakes slightly more, um, special-looking.

All this to say that the cupcakes went down a treat with the kids – especially Pete! We gave them the chocolate ones and boy was it fun watching them get chocolate icing all over their faces and hands. Pete looked so happy and content as he took bites from his cupcake – something that I will surely remember for years to come. In fact, he ended up with a chocolate moustache and beard that had us in stitches – it was unquestionably the highlight of the party for me.

My conclusion? Simple is okay. Simple is still fun for the kids.

(Oh, and packet mix is wonderful.)

Happy birthday, Pete! We love you so much. Thank you for bringing us so much joy and laughter every single day. We are beyond blessed to have you.

Maternity series, 32 weeks

Thanks for all your kind words regarding my gestational diabetes. I guess the hardest part is the memories it brings back about Cameron, seeing as that was the most probable cause of his death. And of course, with that comes extra anxiety for Edward. When you have experienced the worst, hoping for the best is not always as easy as it sounds. I do have confidence, though, in my doctors. They looked after me so well with Angus, Peter and James. And it definitely gives me hope that we have had three healthy boys since…

The exciting news is that we have an induction date booked with our obstetrician: Monday the 15th of April! That’s exactly seven weeks from today. How surreal is that? It didn’t seem like that long ago that I was complaining about my first trimester nausea and now, all of a sudden, I have less than two months to prepare for Mr Edward Mason’s arrival. It’s incredibly exciting, though. From the way he constantly moves around, I have this feeling that he’s pretty keen to meet us too, especially these brothers of his.

I know I keep saying it, but I love this man so much. He’s been so gracious in giving up three-quarters of the bed every night so that his pregnant wife can have enough room to configure multiple pillows and to ‘pivot’ from one side of her belly to the other. At least so far in this pregnancy, I have yet to wake him up by screaming, “Leg cramp! Leg cramp! Leg cramp!” Let’s hope that remains the case. (I loathe leg cramps.)

(Top by Leah Goren; pants by Urban Outfitters; heart brooch by Bando.)

More from the maternity series here.

On the way to Gerroa, we drove through rain. On the way back, we drove through fog. It was invigorating to stand on the side of the road in the midst of it. The cold and wind didn’t bother me in the least. It’s not every day I get to photograph such ethereal beauty…

(Linking up with Em.)

Thanks for all your lovely comments on my time management post last week – I’m genuinely glad it was helpful for some of you. You might remember from that first post how I talked about dividing all my tasks and jobs into five different categories – the last of which was projects. This post, therefore, will be all about projects but never fear my friends, this will be a much shorter post!

Then and now

One of the things I loved the most about working for myself in those early years before kids was that I was the master of my own time. I had all day, every day to work on my business (my primary ‘project’ so to speak) and all the other projects that I wanted to do. Back then, I had a long list of things I needed/wanted to do and every day, and I just made my way through the list. I could work at my own pace, as there was no one else to make demands on my time. (Naturally, some days I procrastinated and would kick myself for getting nothing done and other days I would be the most productive person alive and crank through pages worth of tasks. )

Every mum/parent knows how demanding (and sometimes crazy) it can be to look after a young family. Little children constantly need attention and looking after, and there is virtually no time in the day to think about (much less do) much else when the little ones are awake and running around. As a result, in order to make time for projects these days, I have to be much more structured with my time – all day, every day. This is why my last post was all about habits, structure and routine.

My projects these days…

As I mentioned in that first post, the banner of ‘projects’ these days captures all the ‘big’ stuff in my life. These include:

  • big tasks that actually consist of multiple smaller tasks (e.g. upgrading a hard drive)
  • jobs that I know will take a bigger chunk of time than just 15 minutes (e.g. purging my closet, preparing and lodging tax returns, updating our wills)
  • household jobs that might take more than one day (e.g. setting up the boys’ room)
  • design jobs (when I was still working)
  • organising events (eg. birthday parties)
  • all my memory keeping projects outside of my weekly and monthly PL spreads

My monthly projects list

My main method for managing my projects is simply to keep a running projects list in my Simplenote to keep me on track as to what I need to get done or what I want to get done in a certain month. So for example, working on our family’s 2011 Project Life album was the main project for January. However, I’d also had written down purging my closet, upgrading my hard drive and organising my shoebox photos.

It’s a simple method for keeping track of my projects. I can easily add or subtract from my list, and I can easily shuffle projects around as circumstances change, or as I realise I’m running out of time in a certain month, I can simply ‘move stuff forward’ to another month. The vital key here for me is flexibility.

For some projects, I will use the Things‘ functionality of creating ‘projects’ and being able to create tasks within these projects. When I was still running my design business, I used this ‘projects’ function quite often as it was perfect for organising and scheduling client projects. Nowadays, I will typically use it to organise projects like the children’s parties.

My project time

My allocated time for working on my projects is primarily in the evenings, after I’ve ticked off my two daily habits of publishing that evening’s blog post and doing my physio exercises (though obviously things like re-organising the boys’ clothes needs to be done during the day while I have access to their rooms). This works well for me because I am, by nature, a big night owl, and I find it easiest to focus when I know that there are at least a few hours stretched before me of child-free time. Sometimes, a project might take one night to complete. Other times, a project might take up to a week from beginning to end. All this is taken into account when I create my monthly projects list.

Even though I mostly work on my projects in the evenings, being able to work on my projects starts at the beginning of each day when I start working my way through all the ‘routine’ stuff and all the other tasks I need to get done that day. Doing that means that I can sit down to my desk in the evening without clutter on my desk, in my inbox or on my to-do list. I can just dive straight into my project work.

My tips on managing projects

  • Set aside a daily block of time to work on your projects: It doesn’t have to be a huge block of time. As long as it’s regular so that you don’t lose momentum.
  • Break down each project into smaller tasks so that you can visually see the steps that will lead you to complete the project. Based on these smaller tasks, try to set a mini goal for yourself at the end of each block of project time.
  • Plan mini breaks from projects. if you find you are getting stuck in a rut and not going anywhere with a project, take a break, move onto your next project and come back to this one when you’re feeling more refreshed. This is what I had to do for our 2011 Project Life album. I was stressing myself out so much about not making enough progress on it, that I ended up getting nowhere with it. So I took a break over Christmas, worked on other projects, then came back to it during our recent holiday and finally finished it with a bang. The break was exactly what I needed.

A quick recap…

  • Differentiate between regular ‘tasks’ and ‘projects’.
  • Turn ‘tasks’ into ‘habits’ by developing a routine (and sticking to it).
  • Work out which habits are daily ones, and which habits are weekly ones.
  • Know when you have time: ie. Work out when you have ‘free’ time to do things in (e.g. when the children are asleep), allocate tasks to that time-slot and then do your best to stick to it.
  • Allow for monthly/quarterly jobs: set aside a block of time in the calendar for them.
  • Keep a running list of monthly projects. Review and update this list as circumstances change.
  • Allocate a regular amount of time each day to work on your projects, if possible. Don’t be overwhelmed by the immensity of any project by breaking it down and setting mini goals.

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And that’s it! (I did promise you this one would be much shorter.) If there’s anything I’ve missed or if you have any questions, simply leave a comment below.

8/52

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2013.”

Jamie, Pete and Angus: Drinking chocolate milk at church…

Sometimes when we set up church on Saturdays, I resort to bribing the boys to sit still by giving them chocolate milk and sultana buns. And it works. Every time. At least they’re getting their calcium, right?

You can see all the other posts here.

(Linking up with Jodi for The 52 Project.)

As of this moment…

…I am sitting here, in the heat, willing the cool change to breeze through our home.

…I am loving the quiet lull of our Friday afternoons at home.

…I am sipping home-made iced coffee.

…I am watching Jamie as he rolls around in delight on my sheepskin rug, whilst squealing, “Fluffy rug tickling me! Fluffy rug tickling me!”

…I am listening to Rick and Angus downstairs, working together to build a city out of wooden blocks. I am thankful for this one-on-one time that they are enjoying with each other.

…I am still getting used to the new rhythm of my week, now that both Angus and Pete both go to preschool (albeit on different days).

…I have come to terms with the fact that Pete is truly ‘a big boy’ now, and I think the big cry I had the other night probably helped.

…I am aware that Cameron would’ve started kindergarten this year, had he lived. All these milestones that could’ve been, should’ve been and would’ve been are simply a part of our story now.

…I am excited about Pete’s birthday party tomorrow. We’re not prepared yet, of course, but because we’re keeping it so simple, I’m actually not stressed for once.

…I am looking forward to our picnic dinner down at the beach later this evening.

…I am calmer than I was two weeks ago.

…I am disappointed that I have gestational diabetes again. We found out yesterday morning, and I spent the better half of the day feeling down and blue about it. But today

…I am ready to take it on once more. I know I can manage it, and manage it well as long as I remain disciplined. What’s more, I know Rick will help and support me in any way that he can.

…I am blessed to have all of you reading along and sharing in our journey.

From the bottom of my heart – thank you.

Despite the number of questions I’ve received about how I manage my time, I have to admit I’ve been putting this post off because there are so many aspects of time management that I could talk about, and in my opinion there are already so many great resources out there. Also, I always worry I’ll come across like I expect everyone else to function the way I do. For the record – I don’t. We are all different people, and I totally get that how I operate is very much tied to my personality type.

So what I’ve decided to do is to simply focus on how I manage my time right now. This is, of course, specific to my present stage in life: as a mum of three little kids at home (all of whom do one long midday nap at the same time) with no work/business responsibilities. As my circumstances continue to change (e.g. when baby Edward arrives), the way I manage my time will also change.

A time for everything

Unlike the toys in our house, or the things in our handbag, time is intangible. But I do believe that time can be organised much like anything else. In fact, my approach to time management is much the same as my approach to organising things in general: have a place for everything and put everything in its place. In other words, I treat the things I need or want to do in much the same way as I would treat tangible objects in our home: I identify what they all are, I discard the ones that aren’t important, I sort them out into different categories, and then I do my very best to stick to this system. I am also constantly reviewing my system to make sure it’s still relevant and efficient (It’s actually very similar to David Allen’s famous ‘Getting Things Done’ system: capture, discard, organise and maintain.)

One of the wonderful things about making a time for everything is that when I’m with the boys, I am much better at being ‘present’ with them because I know that all the other things will be taken care of at some other point in my day/week/month.

On the concept of ‘doing it all’

First up, I am not a believer in doing it all.

I believe in making choices that reflect my priorities in life, at any given stage. Right now, those priorities are supporting my husband in his ministry work, looking after our family and keeping up with our memory-keeping. Closing my business was a big decision I made last year (in consultation with Rick) as the business was, essentially, no longer a priority for me or my family.

I believe in investing time in what I truly enjoy doing. Blogging is something I truly love – my primary creativity outlet these days. I enjoy the writing aspect of it, and I enjoy the photography part of it. I also love the connections I’ve made with other bloggers. And so, blogging is a big part of my routine.

I believe in getting/receiving help, and ‘outsourcing’ where possible. Rick’s mum comes over once a week to look after the boys. This frees me up to do what I want for several hours, which is quite a golden treat when you are a mother. Lately I’ve been using this time to actually do my writing for the blog, to free up time on my weeknights. We also use an agency who sends someone out to clean our home once a fortnight. This saves both Rick and myself a lot of time and we honestly believe it’s worth the money we spend.

I believe in working as a team with my awesome husband, and we both believe in working to our strengths. As such, we’ve each taken on rather ‘non-traditional’ roles in our family. While Rick looks after all the cooking and all the washing (I merely help with sorting out the clothes once they’re clean and dried), I’m responsible for all our finances, admin, tax and legal stuff. This has worked well for us for many years now, and I see it continuing into the future.

Lastly, I believe in not comparing myself to others. We’re all in different circumstances, with different time constraints, at different life stages, and with different interests and gifts. What someone else is able to accomplish in the course of their day or their week has no bearing on me. We are each our own person.

The ‘nuts and bolts’ of it all

Now we really get down to the specifics of how I manage my time on an everyday basis. To be completely honest, I feel a little vulnerable doing this (like I’m baring my soul or something like that), but I do hope it provides some helpful inspiration for those of you who are interested.

Essentially, I like to group all the things I have/want to do into a number of categories:

a) Daily habits
b) General tasks
c) Weekly jobs
d) Monthly/quarterly jobs
e) Projects

a) Daily habits

These are things that I would ideally like to do every day, which don’t necessarily come naturally to me. They include things like reading my bible, taking my tablets, replying emails, doing my physio exercises, eating fruit and writing down things that the boys say. They are things which I would probably not do automatically without a bit of prompting and reminding (unlike brushing my teeth or taking a shower). My daily blogging routine also forms part of this list.

These daily habits are written into a simple list in Simplenote, which I sync and access on my desktop using Notational Velocity. (Obviously, you do not need to use Simplenote to do something similar. A simple list on your phone or computer or paper would do the same trick.) They are then divided into the time of day in which I’m most likely to do them, or the time of day which I think would work best. For example, I’ve worked out that the boys’ nap time is the best window for me to pray, reply emails and finish prepping my blog posts as I know I’ll get at least a couple of hours of quiet time. On the other hand, late afternoon (when Play School is on the television for half an hour) is the perfect time to deal with incoming paperwork and review our family finances since I know that only takes about fifteen to twenty minutes (though when I was running the business, this would take a bit longer as I had to factor in business payments and entering journal entries into MYOB).

In my opinion, replying/filing emails and dealing with incoming paperwork are both important things to do on a daily basis, because they are critical to achieving an uncluttered inbox and a clean desk. Knowing that everything is dealt with and filed, with no loose ends to tie up, is one of the key to my being able to sit down at the end of the day and work on my projects, which I’ll talk about in my next post.

Obviously, there are other many other things that form part of my daily routine like getting dressed, spending time with the boys, feeding the boys, tidying the house, taking showers, etc. but because I automatically do them, I don’t put them on this list.

Tip: Don’t try to list too many daily tasks into the one time slot, as psychologically this can be quite intimidating and might actually encourage procrastination – especially if you are a mum with limited time throughout the day. Also, work out when you are most likely to do something; go with your natural rhythm throughout the day. (For example, if you are a morning person, then put more of your ‘thinking’ habits/tasks in the morning rather than the evening.)

b) General tasks

These are tasks which are not recurring in nature (at least not on a regular basis). For example, making a dental appointment, preparing for Sunday School, installing a piece of software or contacting someone from church. All my general tasks are entered into my Things app, which syncs across my iPhone and my laptop. Each task will land in one of four places:

  1. the Today list – These are tasks that I plan on completing the very same day.
  2. the Scheduled list – These are tasks that are less urgent but which I still want to get done on a certain date (usually in the same week); on the allocated date, the task will automatically appear on my Today list.
  3. the Errands list – These are tasks I need to complete when I’m out of the house. Most of the time, my errands are not time-sensitive (especially as I’m no longer running a business), so I simply move them to my Today list when I know that I’ll be out for certain period of time. As much as I can, I try to group my errands so that I’m not having to make multiple trips (or I ask Rick to complete them for me if I know he’s going to be passing the post office or the newsagent on his way home). (The Things app does not come with an automatic Errands list but you can easily set one up as an ‘area of responsibility’ and it appears as a list.)
  4. the Inbox – These are tasks which I know I need to get done but I haven’t quite worked out when I’m going to have time to do them, so they get ‘dumped’ into the Inbox to be re-sorted into one of the other lists later.

At the beginning of each day (usually when I’m still lying in bed), I review everything on the Today list, and then arrange them in either the order of priority and/or the order in which I’m most likely to complete them. If I think there are realistically too many things on the list, or if unforeseen circumstances have come up (e.g. someone waking up with a high temperature), then I will re-schedule some of the tasks to another day. If you don’t wish to pay for an app like Things, you might want to consider looking into Remember the Milk, which is free and has similar features.

Once the day actually begins, I usually try to knock over my tasks at the earliest opportunity (after I’ve completed the daily habits assigned to that time of the day.)

c) Weekly jobs

These are tasks or jobs that get done (theoretically) on a weekly (or bi-weekly) basis, and I organise these using a combination of the Things app and iCal on my Mac. Some of these weekly tasks are household chores, some of these are memory-keeping jobs and some of these are related to blogging.

The wonderful thing about the Things app is that it allows you to not only schedule repeating tasks but you can also set what day of the week a task appears. This is really helpful because I like to organise out my weekly tasks so that they don’t all fall on the same day. It’s about spreading out the workload. Obviously, as you get used to your weekly task list, you automatically know what task will come up on what day, but I find it’s still helpful for me to see something tangible on my to-do list every day as a visual prompt.

As a general rule, I try to schedule the jobs which I know take a longer period of time – like writing blog posts and sorting photos – to days of the week when I know someone else is around to spend a bit of time with the boys.

Recently, I moved my weekly memory-keeping and blogging tasks to my iCal app (ie. the native calendar software on Macs) as recurring weekly events (instead of having them on Things) because they tend to require a slightly larger chunk of time than the other tasks, and I’m finding it helpful to be able to actually schedule the particular ‘job’ to a certain time of the day once that day has started. This works well alongside my Today list on Things.

Tip: Try to complete weekly jobs on the day they come up, rather than re-scheduling or delaying them, otherwise they build up.

d) Monthly and quarterly jobs

These are mainly administrative tasks that I’ve decided work best if I tackle them on a monthly or quarterly basis. Again, these are entered into Things and scheduled to appear on a particular date of the month or quarter. This is incredibly useful as my monthly and quarterly jobs usually need to be completed towards the end of the month or quarter. And again, I always try to make time to complete my monthly and quarterly tasks as soon as they come up, so that I can get on with the next month/quarter without accumulating a backlog of tasks.

Filing every quarter makes sense for me, even back when I was running a business, because we don’t have a huge amount of paperwork and it means I don’t have to worry about filing on a daily weekly or even monthly basis. Plus, I think it’s more efficient to file a larger amount of paperwork than a smaller amount. The same goes for bank reconciliation.

But as you can see, it’s not all about chores. Working on Project Life is included in my monthly (and weekly) routines, because it’s something that’s important to me, and I want it to be incorporated into my life so that it becomes second nature, rather than something that I have to stress about. Since each of the boys have their own Project Life album, what I do is I simply focus on one of their albums each week, and I generally do this in one go when my parents are over for their weekly visit.

What it comes down to (for me)

  • It’s all about working out what I need to get done. And what I want to get done.
  • It’s about breaking down my goals into small, actionable tasks and then allocating a time for these tasks during my day and/or week and doing my best to stick to it.
  • It’s about thinking big, but planning in small, achievable steps.
  • It’s about doing my best to not waste time.
  • It’s about setting up habits, establishing routines, creating structure and being organised & disciplined.

* * *

So far, all the above is about establishing and keeping up with a routine that:

a) supports good habits and my current priorities in life, and
b) gets things done in order for the course of every day family life to take place in a somewhat orderly fashion.

The final category, projects, therefore captures all the other ‘big’ stuff such as re-designing a website, birthday parties, additional memory keeping projects. As this has already been such a lengthy post, I’ll be posting about the way I manage my projects next week. (I know some of you said on Facebook that you’d prefer to read it all in one sitting, but trust me, it was becoming a book. Hope this is okay!)

I would love for you to share how you manage your time on a day-to-day basis! And as always, feel free to ask any questions.

Project Life, Weeks 1 to 3

Finally, I can start sharing my 2013 layouts! Goodness knows I’ve waited long enough for this. Like 2012, my weeks for 2013 begin on Mondays and end on Sunday (the only exception is Week 1, seeing as Monday was new year’s eve, which I included as the end page for 2012). Looking back, there was a sort of languid feel to the first few weeks of January as we prepared ourselves for our holiday, and I think this is reflected in the Project Life layouts. (Remember you can click on each image for a larger version.)

To be honest, there are some weeks when I get to Saturday and I realise I’ve only taken half a dozen photos that week. I’m quite sure Week 1 was one of those weeks. Even so, I still have this semi-reluctance to take random photos of just anything, so I simply do my best over the course of the weekend to look for the little things and the little moments around me that move me in some way yet still captures our everyday life. Sometimes it’s as simple as the crinkle of our sheets, or the snacks on my desk, or the afternoon light that falls on my husband while we sit together in my studio.

I still love including an image sequence whenever I can, even if it’s only two photos side by side like the ones of Jamie here on the couch. And yes, that’s Pete in the top-right photo. I think he’d been pretending to drive a bus (ie. the couch) – Jamie was obviously the passenger – and he’d just gotten a bit tired from all the honking and steering that he’d been doing. Seriously, these boys make me laugh. Every. Single. Day.

Lots of light and shade on this page. Never under-estimate the power of the iPhone camera when it comes to capturing light in the most beautiful of ways. I am constantly surprised by what the device can do.

Week 3 marked the beginning of Rick’s time off, and boy was it good. It began with a late morning drive to La Perouse, which was simply breathtaking, after which we dropped the boys off at Rick’s parents’ for a two-night sleepover. One cannot ask for more generous in-laws than mine… (Seriously, they are the best.)

There are lots of things about this page that make me smile: seeing Rick actually relax and switch off; the head shot of us; my pregnant belly; and the photo of the boys with Pa & Nan the first night they dropped them back home to us. Pages like this remind me that so much of life is simply about the people in our family. I am truly blessed.

(Tomorrow I’ll finally be publishing my post on time management. I’ve been working on it for so long now, and am excited fo finally see it go live!)

* * *

Other posts you might be interested in reading:
My weekly Project Life process from beginning to end
Tips on taking photos for Project Life
What you need to get started with Project Life

You can read all my Project Life posts here.

Materials used: Becky Higgins Design A page protector; Kodak 210gsm glossy premium photo paper. All photos printed on the Canon MP630 Pixma.

(Linking up with The Mom Creative.)

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Project Life is a system created by Becky Higgins that is designed to simplify your efforts to document life and help get your photos into a book. To learn more about the product and how to get started, click here.

Today I want to share with you the birthday invitations I recently made for Pete’s upcoming birthday party. He’s turning three, that boy of mine, and part of me still can’t believe that my roly-poly baby has become such a big boy. In fact, I’m quite sure part of me is in denial. However, he’s so excited about starting preschool that I can’t help but share his bubbly enthusiasm. Anyway, when I asked him for ideas for his upcoming party, it was pretty clear what the theme was going to be.

Pete: “Cars.”
Me: “Not trucks?”
Pete: “No. Cars.”
Me: “What about planes?”
Pete: “Cars.”
Me: “Bikes?”
Pete: “No mummy! Cars.”

So cars it was. Seeing as I was only getting bigger and rounder every day, and less able to rush around without running out of breath (and experiencing what I can only describe as extremely painful contractions), I knew I would have to keep his party simple and easy. After a quick browse on Pinterest, I worked out that we could easily do a cars-themed party by building a race course/obstacle course of some sort, using the big cardboard boxes that Rick keeps stashed in our backyard. I’d seen Rick do something similar with our own boys on our days off, and we could easily add a cardboard petrol station and cardboard car wash if we wanted to. Naturally, Rick was completely on board with the idea.

With that in mind, the party invite itself was a no-brainer. I found a piece of thick A4 cardboard stashed away in my stationery box and asked Rick to cut it into four equal pieces for me. Because the material was so thick, the edges were left quite roughly sawn, but I didn’t mind that at all. Loved the effect of it, actually. On one side, I drew a car using a black Sharpie marker, and as an afterthought, I added the words “Party time!” which I thought worked well to balance out the simple illustration.

On the flip side, I decided to go with a simple postcard design. The ‘stamp’ in the top right-hand corner would also have a car in it, and the ‘address’ area would have our home address and party details like the time and date. Seeing as I only had to make four invites, it took me all of thirty minutes one morning whilst I watched the boys play and entertain themselves in the family room.

I just love how easy this paper project was to do, and definitely intend to recycle this idea in years to come (I didn’t even bother with envelopes as it was fun just handing out the cardboard ‘postcards’ as they were at church). The party favour bags I have in mind are also just as simple (and fun!) and I’ll share them here once I’ve had a chance to sit down and put them together.

Made me smile…

…quiet, creative play / an ocean view / the father of my boys / an evening tantrum

What are some things that are making you smile?

(Linking up with Em.)