I have happily collected The Lilypad Blog Hop Freebie kit, shopped the discounts at their Store, and picked up their free with purchase Collab. I'm a happy scrapper today!
And yes I also completed my October Project Life pages!
(2 hours on Friday at the computer, 1.5 hours on Sun writing and adding physical elements) Woo Hoo!
First I listed down the stories I wanted to tell in this months' project life pages (on the left), then roughly sketched the layouts (yup, messy works)
Then I chose the photos and arranged them into 4x6 photo sizes, added digital elements, and printed them at my local photo lab.
Finally I choose a few physical journal cards, then handwrite everything, including writing on the photos. I like the informal, personal look of handwritten journaling.
Nowadays I also have fun adding a few physical elements, like letter stickers, the wood veneer elements (I bought a Studio Calico set with a coupon), and these emoticon stickers from a local stationary store!
In October we were very happy to celebrate my mom in law's birthday, and my niece's pre-wedding ceremonies. A few weeks before the actually wedding, our chinese tradition is for both families to exchange gifts (in the past they were considered dowry) and various items to signify good wishes for the couple, and their future children. A very happy time!
How we do Birthdays
October is also dh's birthday, and in recent years we have had more fun with each others' birthdays, planning surprises and the like (perks of having teens who don't need us so much now, ha!)
We have always felt that our modern lives are filled with too much 'stuff', and we generally don't give each other big gifts, nor do we do gifts for Valentines and Anniversaries. We do write each other long cards for each of these occasions, and sometimes go for a nice dinner:) There is of course the expensive bracelet dh got me for our twentieth anniversary, only to realise it was one year too early! It was a laugh, and so precious. On our actual twentieth anniversary I gave him the Twentieth Anniversary photobook :)
Similarly our boys are very good with not demanding or expecting presents. On their last two birthdays they have shared a present (their birthdays are 3 days apart), and many of their earlier presents were pre-owned Lego sets purchased over the internet! Still equally fun as new!
Also for Christmas, my husband's big family used to celebrate with every pair of aunts and uncles getting a present for each of the children. About ten years ago we all agreed it was too much, and a poor lesson to the children about wants, waste and indulgence, and now we only do a gift exchange for one family member each. We have the same arrangement with our friends, and we use the secret Santa online service like this one. Thank God for like-minded family and friends!
Better still, recently I've been inspired by the Non-Consumer Advocate's family tradition of doing a Birthday Day of Adventures where their family spends the entire day going from activity to activity that caters to the birthday person's specific tastes, all a surprise planned ahead of time! How cool is that?
So for dh this year, I planned a day of adventure - and how lucky is he that Singapore hosts it's first year of the WTA (Women's Tennis Association Tournament) the week of his birthday! DH loves tennis and the semi finals fell on his birthday! On top of that he received free tickets on the day before so we caught two matches. How cool to catch Serena Williams (including an episode of her smashing her racket) and Anna Ivanovic and Simona Halep fight it out on the court in person! Here is the page of the Birthday Day of Adventure :)
What are your thoughts and practices on Birthday and Christmas gift-giving and receiving?
Finally, as I almost always tend to include nowadays: a page of the anecdotes, fun moments, funny quotes, and the like, seen and heard in our family this month.