MANDA TOWNSEND » a personal blog

Masthead header

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”


Wyatt – You’re rarely in a bad mood. It happens though. Especially when your twin brother whacks you in the face with a stick (on accident).


Finn – Going outside always gets you motivated to get your homework done. The weather has been so nice the past few days so that’s just what we did.


Ansley – You romped around in this field with Garrison like you did when you were little. I just love this in-between stage you’re in right now.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”


Ansley - You came walking home from school one day this week with a tiny metal chair. You busted in the door. “MOM!! Look what someone just left on the side of the road!! I mean, this thing is adorable! I’m gonna clean it, maybe even paint it, and put it in my room. Why would someone throw this away!!???” You were so excited. You spent the next hour scrubbing the rust off, drying it, and tightening the screws. I mentioned it would make a great little plant stand, and that’s exactly what you did with it. It sits in your room holding a grassy plant in a bright pink pot. I love that you can see potential in things, and that you aren’t scared to walk all the way home in front of your friends carrying a piece of “junk”.


Wyatt – Your number one goal after school is to play with the neighborhood kids. My rule is you have to eat and get your homework done, then you’re free to go. Here you just polished off a giant smoothie and are writing your sentences. It’s funny how focused and committed you are when there’s something you REALLY want at the end.


Finn – You aren’t that fond of me taking pictures of you all the time. I’ve been having to sneak shots in whenever I can. Here you are brushing your teeth before school.


  • Roller skating photos are so fun!
  • Tail comparisons.
  • Ansley took this. We had a little nighttime photography lesson…learned about slow shutter speeds.
  • Taught my man to knit!
  • Sleepy Wyatt.
  • Ansley and her cousin Mia.
  • All the 52 project photos!
  • New Years Eve and shooting roman candles.
  • Serious cute. Just all around.
  • Jessica W - that roller skating photo is great! We go quite a bit and my two oldest got skates for Christmas, so we’ll probably be going even more, but I find it hard to get photos on the rink because I don’t have a phone and I’m worried if I take my big camera out there I’ll fall and hurt it…not me, but the camera!! It’s the only camera I have, so I worry about itReplyCancel

  • Brittany - Love these moments. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kaylan - David knits!!! That’s about as great as John making me three layer birthday cakes. Love it. Hope you are doing so well this new year, friend!ReplyCancel

  • julia - i haven’t been rollerskating in so long! looks so fun. :)

    and your husband knits!? that’s amazing!!!ReplyCancel

  • Cousin amber - Look at Dave knitting!! :) love that pic of Mia and ARTReplyCancel


This will be my fourth year doing Project Life. What in the world? I can’t even believe it. Have a look at my pages from 2012, 2013, and 2014. Things have changed so much over the years. I think, overall, my pages just get more and more photo heavy. More simple. Here is the BIG goal for 2015…..

I WILL NOT SKIP A SINGLE WEEK!! Even though this is my fourth year making these albums I have never ever accomplished this. Usually, I really start to fizzle either over the summer when my kids are home or towards the end of the year when I’m just feeling OVER it. Even if I have to hire a dang babysitter once a week to get it done, I will.

What will stay the same…

  • 12×12 format
  • mostly photos
  • by the week

What will change…

  • more photos of me and David and all of us together
  • monthly blogging
  • more quotes. not inspirational, just things we say.
  • more stories
  • more inserts and bonus spreads

I’m only going to be sharing my pages once a month. I sorta feel like I bombard this blog with pl stuff, and that is not what this space was ever supposed to be. I will still be completing weekly spreads, just sharing once a month from now on. It’s also to save time. That’s 40 less album photo shoots, 40 less uploading sessions, 40 less editing and cropping and exporting sessions, and 40 less blog posts to write. While I liked that these post were always “something” I could blog about. It’s just time to change it up. You’ll see weeks 1 – 4 on January 26th.

Anyway, I really want this to be my best album yet. I’ve even created a little incentive program for me to stick with it, which I’ll share with you soon. I (and you) can do this!

So up top there is my 2015 title page! Take note of the new background haha. Just some old barn wood. 2012 was white, 2013 was our coffee table, 2014 was some chippy white boards, and now this. I like that each year has a different background so I can quickly know what year a particular page was from if I ever come across my pages on Pinterest or on my site.

Happy memory keeping friends.

Products: We R Memory Keepers 3-Ring Album, scrapbook dividers, and 9 squares page.

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, 2014, and 2015.

  • Amanda Rose Zampelli - I’m excited for this! :)ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I really love this title page! I can’t wait to see some more pages.

  • Nat - LOVE this. I love the simplicity of it and how graphic the numbers are.ReplyCancel

  • Marie - Love it ! I will miss your weekly post on PL, but I totally understand the fact that you now prefer a monthly post. I have not started 2015 yet (catching up the last weeks of 2014 that I could not do at the end of my pregnancy). It will also be my fourth year of PL, and each year, I’m going more and more simple and kind of minimalist. So for 2015, I will not use a BH core kit. I decided to use some simple plain kraft (and maybe white) cardstock for journaling (yeah, I totally admit that I’m completely inspired by your albums !). Now, it’s time for me to improve my photos! Thanks a lot for all the inspiration Manda.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica W - I love seeing your pages, but totally get it on not sharing every week. And it does save you on photoshoots…I am doing a weekly setup this year for PL, but just can’t see sharing every single week on my blog.ReplyCancel

  • Azzari - Love your pages, and I really feel you on once a month sharing. I’m trying to figure out what is best for me as well. And loving the old barn wood!ReplyCancel

  • andrea - What a great title page Manda!
    I share my PL spreads as well once a month on my blog and I really like it that way. Especially because it saves time as well.

    To include more stories in my album is my number one priority for this year.ReplyCancel

Here we go again!! I really had a hard time deciding if I wanted to do something a little different for this years portrait series, but I chose to basically stick with what works. One individual photo of each of my children each week. They each have their own personalities and interests which I love to try and capture. BUT I want to incorporate photos of them WITH other relatives. Me. Dad. Grandparents. Or even a BFF. So not necessarily with their siblings but just other people in their lives who are significant. Last year when I would take photos I’d have this great shot of one of them with someone like that and I’d say. “Ok, now one alone for my project.” That seems totally ridiculous! This year, I’ll allow others in. Also, I love how Bethany writes her captions directed TO her children. I like that. I think I’ll do that too.

So yay! I’m designing my book right now for 52 Portraits 2014. Can’t wait to get it and show you guys! Thanks so much for following along last year, for your sweet comments and encouragement, and for not abandoning this blog when I got behind and bombarded you with images. I’m gonna try really hard and post these every Thursday from now on.

“A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.”


Ansley – You got your new room for Christmas. It’s magical. We both have admired how the combination of your new curtains and shutters make the coolest light patterns on the wall.


Wyatt – It was 9 degrees out this day, and you were blowing your breath. We were both excited to get a picture of it, but it didn’t show up. :(


Finn – Food. It’s your love language. A bowl of warm mac and cheese after school on a frigid day was right up your alley.

  • Nur - This is exciting, Thank you for sharing the memories, it was a joy following along last year, and your capture each week along with the short description is both beautiful and acts as a great reminder to appreciate the small moments (isn’t life more magical when we savor the small things?!) :)ReplyCancel

    • manda - Thanks for reading! Means so much to me seriously. Life IS about the small things. I’ve learned a lot doing this project and appreciating those small things is definitely one of them.ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I really love the light in that first photo! I also really like the idea of writing the captions directed at the children. I am going to incorporate that into mine some, but don’t know if I’ll do it every time..
    Do you use your DSLR camera for your 52 project or your phone? Or a mixture of both?ReplyCancel

    • manda - Thanks Jessica! I only use my dslr for my 52 photos.ReplyCancel

  • Laura - LOVE. I like the changes you plan to make this year. :)ReplyCancel