My True Best 9 – 2017 in Review

Get ready for a long post! Like you might want to grab a snack and a drink before you start…

I recently found out about Amanda Rose Zampelli and Kristin Tweedale‘s concept of the true best 9 where instead of using the best 9 generator for your instagram account, you create your own based on what was important to you this year.  One of the things these ladies mention is that by generating our best 9, while fun, a lot of times gets us caught up in the social media game. We look at the images and say, I guess this type of photo gets the most likes, or this color scheme seems to work well, and it becomes more about playing into growing our following and getting more likes, rather than a true reflection on this year. I have to admit that like these ladies, I found myself having these thoughts too.

I think one of the biggest differences between the generated best 9 and the best 9 that I chose was what was behind the photos. Most of the photos in my generated best 9 were just pretty photos I took. While I do like all of the photos, they were more about me just capturing something nice I saw, and no real feeling was behind it. With my true best 9, I feel like more feelings and memories are represented. Although some of the photos do look like those “capturing something nice” moments, when I see them, I think about what happened that day or what was going on in my life at the time. I have to admit I cheated a little bit at this because a couple of the photos weren’t actually posted to my instagram. Again I feel like this works in showing the differences because these same days or memories are represented on my account, but I had chosen to post what I thought would be more aesthetically pleasing photos (again playing into the social media game). So let’s jump into what my true best 9 are.


  1. This photo is special for a few reasons to me. First, it is when I celebrated my birthday with two of my best friends and I love birthdays and I love my friends. Two, I think you can see the pure joy of me opening my gift from my bestie (which was Tina Belcher from Bob’s Burgers stuff- something that’s become a joke between us).
  2. Of course I had to add in something scrapbook related, which my original tip 9 didn’t include. This spread was a travelers notebook layout that I made shortly after booking my Disney World trip. This collection (maggie Holmes Carousel) is my absolute favorite, and I love that it reminds me of something that I’m so excited for, and that I’ve worked so hard to make happen.
  3. Our 4th of July tradition. This has been going for 10 years, I think (at least since I’ve been participating in it). It’s made the 4th become my favorite holiday. It’s a time when basically all of my friends are home and together. It’s just my favorite.
  4. The pink pumpkins. This one is more about what this picture represents versus the picture itself (though I do really love this pic). My mom and I have up until the last year worked pretty opposing shifts and really only saw each other in passing. Now that I have a more “normal” job, we actually have been able to spend some Saturdays together, getting breakfast and running errands. Its been nice. This photo is from one of those days.
  5. The Hello Kitty Cafe truck. This is the only photo that was part of my actual top 9. I’m guessing it was so popular because its bright, fun, has Hello Kitty, and is very pink. But I love this photo because I loved the experience of going to the Cafe Truck. It was something I had wanted to do since I found out it existed (and I found out I missed the first time it was in St, Louis). I talked my mom in to getting up early on a Saturday and going with me. It was special to me because loving Hello Kitty is something my mom and I have shared since I was very little. I’m really happy we got to do this together.
  6. Cinderella “Fall” Decor. This one represents a lot of things to me. This was part of the Disney Style fall photo challenge that I halfway participated in. This was my fall “shelfie”. I love that sign and I thought adding in Cinderella would be good because of the live-action’s message of “Have Courage and Be Kind” (which has also become my unofficial life motto). I also added pumpkins because fall and Cinderella. This photo was actually taken during a rough patch for me, so again keeping  kindness at the forefront was an important thing to remember.
  7. My first ever design team! I was so excited when I found out I made the Wild Whisper Designs team! I’ve followed Heather Ulmer’s youtube channel for a long time and I just love her style. I think the company is great because it is two friends who followed their dreams. This picture shows if you set your mind to it, you can achieve something you want!
  8. I got to spend the evening before Thanksgiving with my college best friend, Melissa. I only get to see her about once a year anymore because she lives a pretty good distance away now and we typically haven’t been able to meet up more than that (though I’m hoping to change that in 2018). We went to a favorite restaurant in our college town, had the best pizzas, and talked for probably a good 2-3 hours. She also brought her new born baby son with her who I was really excited to meet. Overall a great memory.
  9. Christmas. This photo of a couple of the gifts I received from my mom was one I posted to my instagram on Christmas Day. Its not really about the gifts to me (although I do love them) but again what this photo represents. I haven’t always had the best Decembers or Christmas seasons. I’ve lost people close to me around this time of year and never felt the holiday spirit that a lot of people feel. I also had kind of a rough December last year with just a lot of things going wrong. This year I set an intention of trying to have a more magical December. And I feel like I achieved that! In fact, later on Christmas night, I was driving to be with some friends and listening to Christmas music on the radio. And I got a little sad because it was all going to be over! I never usually feel that way!


If you made it through this novel, you are a champion!! Thanks to everyone who’s checked out this blog since I started it earlier this year!! I hope everyone has THE BEST 2018!!



December 2017 Favorites

Hi everyone! Hope you had a wonderful December and holiday season! Today I’d like to share a few things I’ve been loving this month.


Smashbox lipstick in Legendary: I received this lipstick as part of my December Ipsy Glam Bag. I feel like it is the perfect red shade for me! I love that it’s a bit on the sheer side so it doesn’t seem like too much for daytime, but would still be really pretty with a night look as well. It also has a sheen which is a nice change from all of the matte shades out there. I will admit it’s not the longest wearing color, but it does leave a subtle rosy tone to your lips after it fades away.

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Cute but comfy (and warm) sweatshirts: For some reason in the St. Louis area, Christmas weekend hit and the weather decided to get COLD! As in, going from 40-50 degree weather on average to the 20s or less and snow. Well, it is winter. That’s why I’ve been loving sweatshirts, especially really cute ones. The polka dot one (have I mentioned I LOVE polka dots) I picked up at Old Navy on sale for I think around 15 dollars. The coral one was actually a Walmart find (Walmart, who knew?!) for around 5 or 6 dollars, and I just love the color!



Alex and Ani Harry Potter bracelet: I’ve been a long time fan of Alex and Ani bracelets, and I was super excited to see they were making a Harry Potter line. I already own the “Lumos” set but when I saw they released a 9 3/4 bracelet I had to have it! Because it was released fairly close to Christmas time, my mom offered to buy it for me as a Christmas gift. I’m very thankful for it and I just love it! I love getting to subtly add some of my favorite things into my wardrobe choices.

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The Last Jedi: So I loved this movie (clearly, as I’m putting in a favorites list) but I know its been super divisive and a lot of people hated it. I won’t give any spoilers away but just say I think its honestly one of my favorites of the Star Wars saga. If you haven’t seen it yet I would encourage you to, so you can make up your own opinion on the movie!

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So those are some of my favorite things this month! What have you been loving? Let me know in the comments!




What to document when you don’t know what to document

Hi everyone! Hope you had a wonderful Christmas if you celebrate! While working on my December Daily album, I figured I was going to have some days that were pretty average, ordinary days with not much to document. I had to get a bit creative on what to highlight on these days, so I thought I would share some tips on what to document when you’re not sure what to document.

In my case, I’m working in a December Daily album, but I think this can work for any documenting challenge (like day or week in the life) or even just a regular Project Life spread if its a slower time for you.


I decided to document when I really got into listening to holiday music this year and some of what I was listening to. I really rediscovered the N’sync Christmas album (which is 19 years old! How?!) so I chose to include a photo of the album cover. I’ve also taken screenshots of my phone in the past when I’ve been listening to my favorite song or album of the time. If you don’t have photos, you can also achieve this type of documenting by adding your favorite song lyrics onto your layout.



This works especially well when there is a bit of a weather change. In my December Daily I recorded a day that was rather cold, and the coldest it had been so far this season. This could also work well for documenting the first day of summer or winter or documenting the first snow fall.



I tend to take picture when I go to the movies. I like to take a picture of my ticket sub in front of the movie poster or a display for the movie. You can also keep the sub and add it into your documenting, which I’ve done as well. But I think its fun to also document a low key movie night at home. I’ve taken pictures of my tv or computer screen as I’ve watched a movie or used a picture of the movie poster to show what I watched.

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Hope this gives you some ideas for documenting if you’re feeling a bit stuck. What do you document during less busy or ordinary times? Let me know in the comments!




December Daily Days 2, 3, and 4

Hi everyone! Today I have a few pages in my December Daily to share. Let’s start with Day 2.


On this day I had taken several photos and done various things. I worked on this album, watched Brave for the first time, and went shopping in the evening with my mom. I decided the best way to use these photos was to use a grid page. Because I wanted to journal about everything I did this day, I used one of the cut-aparts from Crate Paper and added my journaling on the back.


As for my supplies, I used a variety of Crate Paper papers from Falala, Carousel, and even going all the way back to Bloom. I embellished with bits from Felicity Jane (the Sparkle chipboard), Feed Your Craft (the snowman die-cut), and the Target Dollar Spot (the little stars).


For day 3 I did a double page spread. This day I decorated the tree so I had a lot of photos again. I really didn’t journal at all, except for adding the “tree decorating” title, because I feel like the photos speak for themselves.


This page again used Crate Paper papers (they’re just the best!) and I embellished with Feed Your Craft puffy stickers and a mini flair button.


I took an Instax photo of the tree (which is terrible by the way, my film is old) and I decided to make it into its own little layout. This one has very similar supplies again: Crate Paper papers and Feed Your Craft die-cuts.


For Day 4 I used the back side of the layout from the 3rd. I documented a haircut, and commented on how every time I cut my hair there is so little difference that no one can ever tell its been cut.


I used my absolute favorite Thickers from Amy Tangerine and my favorite tiny alphas from Tim Holtz.


Finally I embellished with a few Crate Paper stickers.


And that’s it! How is December memory keeping going for you?