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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!

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


  • 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
  • Amanda Rose - I’m so feeling Finn’s words of wisdom. <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • julia - ah! growing out the bangs is such a pain!

    also, rain running is the best!ReplyCancel

  • Laura - Oh, so cute. :) Love the rain running pic and the words of wisdom! And yum, salad.ReplyCancel

I’m still plugging away on Ansley’s room! It’s really coming together. Below are two images which were my main inspiration. She requested her room be “all different colors” and “not too kiddish, but not too grown up”. She didn’t want any say-so in the process and wanted the whole thing to be a surprise. I guess she trusts me. :)

The room on the left (source) is just so super cute! I screams teen, yet still kid. I love that nothing matches, and it totally fits the bill on the “all different colors” request. The room on the right (source) is a little more grown up. What I love about this room is the vintage pieces and plants, which are missing from the room on the left. What you’ll expect to see in her room redo is sort of a mix of these two rooms. :)


If you’re interested I’m collecting ideas for her room over on Pinterest. Here are some really cute DIYs I want to do….

Cannot wait til this room is done!

Project life is about documenting your everyday life from week to week, yes. BUT when a major thing happens I feel like you gotta give it more real estate in your album. Like going to the beach or romping through the forest. There are several other “bonus” spreads I’ve completed, but haven’t blogged. Maybe I will get to that one day. For now here’s a little extra spread I created to document how Finn broke his arm and spent two days in the hospital for surgery.


Design F. It’s super busy, I know. The photos aren’t all that either, but this was about just “cramming it all in”. I want to remember each and every one of these moments. Hospital bracelet at the top. :)


I just love this picture so much. He is such a bad ass!


On the back of the insert I typed out the WHOLE story of how he broke his arm and what when on during our hospital say.


And this. Oh this. Right there is Finn jacked up on pain killers. Hahahahha. I love him. I think I love him even more when he’s on drugs.


AND here’s a video of my son being awesome. 10 minutes before this he was writhing in pain. Yay for painkillers!

Have you all done any bonus spreads? If so, I’d love to see. Send me a link in the comments section.

Products: We R Memory Keepers 3-Ring Album, Tiny Attacher, circle punch, date stamp, Design F, Design E, 12 x 12 page protector, Paper Source cover paper in slate, cement, and paper bag, and sewing machine + thread.

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.

  • Kathleen - Just have to say that he is SO adorable. But you know that. :)ReplyCancel

  • rachel del grosso - how freaking cute! and yes yes yes i agree that there are some moments that deserve their own spread. have i ever made one, is a good question….

    and what is it with that song and all kids LOVING it!! hahaReplyCancel

  • Marie - Oh he’s SO cute ! Love it ! And yes I definitely think that some good or bad moments do deserve a special spread in our Project Life. Hey, that’s life, isn’t it ? :-)ReplyCancel