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“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.”


  1. She wanted to wear mascara for picture day. Oh my word I’m so not ready for this phase, but she does look beautiful.
  2. Finn man. So happy, always. He could care less about being handsome today, he just wants to get to school to see his friends.
  3. Since Wyatt was 3 years old he has absolutely loved clothes. Especially “handsome man” shirts as he calls them. He prefers button downs with a t-shirt underneath. Although his jacket is covering it up, that is what he wore for picture day.

Here are some more images from my 52 project…


“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.” This was a complete accident shot, but I thought itView full post »


“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014.” Finn – before and after haircut. A workingView full post »

38 + 39/52

AND with these I’m caught up to the current week! Yay! Now I’ll stop spamming you with so many pics of myView full post »


pretty much surviving off raw almond butter and apples from my dad’s csa

absolutely thriving using this planner

reading 100 Years of Solitude

running and going to early morning spin classes

really wanting to knit the City Cape by Purl Soho

finishing up my other original knit pattern for this month

placing a big order on Dharma Trading Company because I’ve been doing lots of this

prepping for week in the life – I’ve never done it before so I’m excited!

figuring out how to make this bat costume for Ansley

and trying to talk one of my boys into being this but they want this haha!

listening to Laura Veirs

read this and loved it

  • Carly (Zauberbear) - Yes yes yes apples and almond butter go SO good together! And Laura Veirs’s voice is beautiful. ♥ReplyCancel

  • Rachel Del Grosso - Oh how I love almond butter!

    And I don’t know what it is, but I always love when my favorite bloggers post simple lists like these. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m getting a glimpse into their everyday life, I don’t know.

    Still excited to see your week in the life :)ReplyCancel


I suck at time management. I really do. A couple months ago this is how a typical day for me went….

  • Get kids to school
  • Drink coffee and get sucked into the internet for several hours
  • Eat lunch maybe
  • Check email/IG/facebook
  • Get sucked into the internet some more
  • Maybe work on project life or knit or do some laundry
  • Look at the clock and realize it’s almost time for the kids to come home
  • Work like a crazy woman for an hour scrambling to get ALL the things done. All. The. Things.
  • Kids walk in the door and I wonder where the day went

That’s how it went for real. Ugggg. It was awful. There were so many things I wanted/needed to get done, but I would see something shiny and pretty on the internet, and I was done for. One link would lead me to another, then another, then another and my day would be wasted. It’s not always the internet though. It could be a project that I’m just taking way too long on, or I’d do too many “fun” projects and not enough family oriented ones (like letting the laundry sit and sit because I want to knit, ect). Can you all relate?!

I knew it was a time management issue, so I went to the App Store to see if there was an app to help me get things done (there always an app). That’s where I came across the Pomodoro Timer app, which led me to the Pomodoro Technique. It’s method of productivity developed in the 1980’s. Take a minute and watch this video…

The basics….

  1. Decide on the task to be done
  2. Set the Pomodoro timer to x minutes (traditionally 25)
  3. Work on the task until the timer rings
  4. Take a short break (3–5 minutes)
  5. After four Pomodoros, take a longer break (15–30 minutes)

That’s it! The idea is that taking breaks can improve mental agility. I think it does. It’s supposed to help you be more productive. It’s DOES! It’s supposed to help you not feel like a lazy ass. It most certainly does!!

Right at this moment, as I’m typing this blog post out, my Pomodoro timer is counting down to my first break. When the timer sounds that’s when I will check IG or facebook. When the timer sounds again I will start on my next task, which in this case is “finish the pomodoro blog post”. So, for example, here is what I did yesterday using the Pomodoro Technique. I try and complete 10 Pomodoros per day. Each numbered task was 25 minutes exactly.

1. Cleaned the kitchen

5 minute break – perused IG

2. Painted Ansley’s bookcase

5 minute break – knitted

3. Started a new art book

5 minute break –  Facebook

4. Folded laundry and cleaned up my closet a bit

15 minute break – ate something and had some coffee

5. Worked on a blog post

5 minute break – IG

6. Played around with double exposures on the Instax

5 minute break – IG

7. Sorted through a stack of mail and school papers

5 minute break – snuggled with Louie

8. Vacuumed and mopped my office

15 minute long break – ate more food and flipped through my planner

9. Cleaned the downstairs bathroom

5 minutes break – IG

10. Knit

When the timer goes off I stop what I’m doing completely and make myself take a break, even if I don’t want to. Apparently, that’s really important for your brain to function more efficiently. So on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays I do this technique (because Thursdays and Fridays I work at the yarn shop).

The kids leave at 8. I spend from 8 to 9 writing out that day’s tasks. This is also when I might read blogs, check our money and fidget with the budget, or check out Pinterest. That hour is free. Then I start my day at 9 and usually have enough time to finish all the Pomodoros before the kids get home from school.

Here are today’s Pomodoros…

  1. Write Pomodoro blog post
  2. Finish blog post, take a picture for it, and publish
  3. Knit (yes, for me knitting is a task and can also be a break)
  4. Work on art book
  5. Kitchen
  6. Fill Ansley’s bookcase
  7. Prep for this week’s album spread, upload photos to dropbox, prep for “week in the life”, etc
  8. Laundry
  9. Straighten up living room and set out kids’ tennis stuff
  10. Knit

That’s it! This is how I’ve been accomplishing things for the past 6 weeks or so, and I’m so incredibly pleased. I hope you try it!

  • andrea - Actually, I made something very similar in the past few weeks. I have toooo many old photos and my mac is almost out of space so I decided to go through my old photos and delete all the photos that aren’t good (and wow, there were so many bad photos – and with bad I mean like 10 blurry photos of an absolute boring thing or photos I never ever want anyone else see them). So I set the timer to 30 minutes and deleted and deleted and deleted (around 1000 photos per 30 minutes). It felt so good!ReplyCancel

  • Kathleen - This sounds really smart. What do you do if you don’t finish a task during the allotted time? Do you allow yourself to go back to it after your break?ReplyCancel

    • manda - That’s been the tricky part! You really have to guess as to how many pomodoros each task will take. But let’s say I set one pomodoro to “clean the bathroom”, but I don’t finish. I will either press “pause” on the whole system and finish it really quickly. OR I will still take my break and go back to it during the next pomodoro if it’s something I can finish in a couple minutes. If it’s something than could be a long time then I just stop and work on it again the next day. Like, “work on art book”. I didn’t finish it but that was enough time on that task for the day. Other things were the priority. Does that make sense?ReplyCancel

  • rachel del grosso - Um, this is awesome and something i could really use. Now that I’m back at home again with DJ I find that days just soar by and I get nothing done. The days that DJ is with my in laws I get even less done, can you believe it?!

    Also – I would LOVE to hear how you prep, and I’m oh so happy that you’re doing week in the life!!ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Wow..I really hate how much time I waste during the day being “sucked” into the internet or other distractions…and you said it…I feel like my day has been wasted. I will probably give this a go. Thanks for posting!ReplyCancel

Week 42!


Left side is Design E. Loved this little series of Wyatt and felt it needed to be big.


Right side is Design F. Took lots of photos this week and decided to just fit them all in.


No words. No journaling. No cardstock. Nothing fancy at all. It’s just what I felt like doing. :)

Products: We R Memory Keepers 3-Ring Album, Tiny Attacher, circle punch, date stamp, Design F, Design E, and paper source cardstock in gravel.

Project life is a cool and simple form of scrapbooking created by Becky Higgins. To learn more click here. I create one spread per week to document our life. Here are all my pages from 2012, 2013, and 2014.

  • rachel del grosso - Mine is all photographs this week too, no journaling! great minds think alike I guess :)ReplyCancel

  • Giada - Manda, your Project Life is such an inspiration for me! Your photos are so beautiful and your layouts are really great!ReplyCancel

  • andrea - Although there are only photos it still looks so good together.ReplyCancel


  • Big ole salad and planning sesh
  • Painting stick weapons
  • Louie goes to the vet
  • The kids’ first tennis lessons
  • Growing out my bangs
  • Garrison’s very very favorite thing in the whole world
  • Words of wisdom from Finn…

“Life is hard. You are cool some people are not cool but don’t tell people that if it might hurt their feelings. If you break your arm you go to the hospital please do not be afraid.”

  • Rain running
  • Awesome throw for A’s room