2015: Soccer Golf

2015: Soccer Golf
One of the first activities that we did together was to try out a sport that was new to me – Soccer Golf.  Basically there are large holes in the ground that you are trying to kick your soccer ball into.  I took pictures while the boys played.

I used soccer background paper from an athletic stack that I have, which played beautifully with all of the green in the photographs.  I bordered the photographs in white to help the white from the net and the ball in the background paper to stand out, and with the white score card I used a green background.

Live Well Sports: Live More Active

2015: Exchange Student – Welcome

2015: Exchange Student - Welcome

It was different meeting our exchange student at the airport because we had already met him before when we were on vacation in Germany.  Instead of wondering if the person would work out, we already knew he was awesome and were meeting him again, instead of for the first time.

If you look closely at the left hand picture you will see the welcome sign that we made for Henry.  I used my Cricut machine to cut the letters for that sign, and used the same font, just smaller, to duplicate that sign on this spread.  The black, yellow, and red are the colors of the German flag, and are also used to border the pictures and the ephemera on these pages.  As you know I love ticket stubs, and so those, along with our parking receipt help to create date, time, and place for this spread without me having to journal about them.

2015: Exchange Student – New York – Ellis Island

2015: Exchange Student - New York - Ellis Island
Another day trip that Henry made was to Ellis Island.  I think that they wanted to go inside the Statue of Liberty, but that all of the tickets for that day had been sold.  I had a background page of the Statue of Liberty already left over from another trip and it worked great for this spread (left hand side).  On the right hand side I used some road background paper and put a paper cut (made with my Cricut machine) on top of it.  This bold piece helps to define the location of this adventure and makes a strong visual statement.  In order to fit all of the pictures without overpowering the paper cutout, I put a photograph behind the cutout.  I also used very thin borders around the pictures so as to not take away from the amazing New York skyline background paper.

As you know, ephemera is important to me in this work, and so the ticket for the trip is on the bottom right hand page.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in New-York

2015: Exchange Student – New York – Top of the Rock

2015: Exchange Student - New York - Top of the Rock

While in New York Henry visited “Top of the Rock” which is an observation deck on top of the Rockerfeller Center.

I had some leftover New York background paper from our short trip to New York (See page here), which fit perfectly for this spread. If you look closely at the right hand bottom picture you can see the Chrysler building which is the same building that is on the background paper to the right of the left hand page.

I then used brick paper to create the border for the pictures, postcard (top left), and to create a pocket to hold maps and other ephemera from this day trip.  The pocket allows the viewer to retrieve, open, and look at the items that are inside of the pocket.

I mounted the ticket on another New York Paper (if you look closely under the ticket you can see the word “Queens”), and double mounted the photo pass (bottom right hand corner) on both papers.


Top of the Rock Observation Deck, New York – $30.00

Daytime or night-time – anytime is the right time to visit the Top of the Rock Observation Deck. Perched 70 stories above the city at Rockefeller Plaza, the panoramic views of Manhattan are unequaled anywhere else in New York City. Breathtaking vistas stretch for miles in every direction. You’ll see New York’s famous landmarks, including the Chrysler Building, Times Square, the Hudson River, the East River, Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty. Plus, your view includes the Empire State Building! Quite simply, it is the most spectacular view in New York City.

2015: Flying to America

2015: Flying to America

Henry, our exchange student, had planned on creating his own scrapbook, but when he saw what I was creating for him he asked me if I could scrapbook parts of the trip that he had already collected ephemera and photographs for.  So this is the first page of his album, and it includes all of the tickets and boarding passes for his flights to get to the United States.  Henry landed in New York for a 3 day exchange student entry program.

I used a cloud background page and affixed a Cricut cutout of an airplane on it.  Since he was flying Lufthansa I made the airplane blue and yellow to match their colors and the tickets.  In order to help the tickets stand out a little more on the cloud background page I used the same blue paper that I cut the airplane out of, to border the tickets.

Sightseeing, Tours, Attractions and Things to do in New-York

2015-2016: Exchange Student – Henry

2015-2016: Exchange Student - Henry2015 was an exciting year for us.  During June and July of 2015 we took a trip to Europe to visit our two former exchange students – Jonathan, in Sweden, and Luca, in Germany. (See those pages HERE).

During Spring of 2015 we decided that we would host another exchange student, Henry, who was also from Germany, and we got to visit with him and his family for a few short days during this time as well.

The next set of pages that you will see over the next few posts are from the 4 scrapbooks that I made for Henry while he was visiting with us.  The picture to the left (Click on it if you want to see more detail) is of the cover pages for the first 3 albums.  I made a 4th album after he left and mailed it to him.  I had to do this because we had too many adventures right at the end of his time with us, and I did not have enough time to get them done to send them home with him.

I should point out that I actually made these pages last, after the first three albums were created.  I like to do this so that they can all have the same theme to tie the albums together.

I chose American patriotic themes for the cover pages because after all he did spend his exchange year in the USA!  The letters and numbers were all cut on my Cricut machine and carefully glued to the page.

For the first album I used Henry’s school picture to be part of the cover page.  When I am making albums for my son, the cover page is usually the school photo, and I decided to continue this tradition on the first album cover page.  All of the embellishments came from a 4th of July scrapbook pack.


Hosting a Foreign Exchange Student

I just want to put a little plug here for serving as a host family for a Foreign Exchange student.  We had a wonderful time doing it – this was our third year – and we have had a great experience every time.  My son loved having a brother and learning about new places, and it makes our home a little more active🙂

We used International Student Exchange for our agency and we had a great experience.  I encourage you to go to their website (http://www.iseusa.com/) and consider serving in this way.

ISEC Learn More

2015: Mythbusters

2015: Mythbusters 1

My son and I love watching Mythbusters, and when we heard that they were coming to our area I  knew I had to buy tickets right away.  We started the evening eating at Mesh on Mass, a high end restaurant with very innovative food.  The meal was amazing and the desserts were scrumptious.   You can see our decant delicacies on the left hand page.  I also attached the business card to the page to remind me down the road of the restaurant.

The right hand page starts the adventure to see the Mythbusters with pictures outside of the venue, and the “curtain” that was on the stage before the show.  If you look carefully at the background pages of these two spreads you will notice that it is the same pattern, but in different colors.  This was how I was able to bring these two seemingly disparate events and color schemes together on one spread.  I chose brown for the restaurant to match the table top, and purple for the Mythbusters to complement the color scheme of the show, and the color of my son’s shirt.

2015: Mythbusters 2

This second spread shares our signed photograph of Adam and Jamie and some pictures I took during the show.  The guys did an amazing job of being entertaining, fun, and educational all at the same time – but what else would you expect from these two!?  For the background of this paper I chose an industrial themed blue background which complements the background of the autographed pictures, as well as the backdrop to the stage show.

I don’t know if the guys are going to continue to have tours – but if they do – it is an amazing experience for kids of all ages (and their parents too!).

And for your young ones that like building their own experiments and projects I would love to share Kiwi Crate!  They send you a new project every month for your child to work on.

2015: Trip to the Emergency room

2015: Trip to the Emergency room
I know that not every parent would create a scrapbook page of a trip to the emergency room – but I couldn’t resist.  This was the third time that we had been to the emergency room because of a finger cut playing with a knife.  Now, my son would say that he was not playing, but he doesn’t really have a good explanation of how he was using the knife as a tool!

This time the cut went deep enough that he needed stitches and so I put a few of my own on the page above the “Boys will be Boys” card.  I sued thick black thread and used a needle to push them through the paper.  For the theme of this page I used a lot of lined paper as it reminded my of the lines made by the stitches.

And for those of you wondering how to keep your kids from being bored and playing with knives, the Kiwi Crate ad below is a great way to receive monthly projects for your kids to keep them out of trouble!

2015: Basketball Season

2015: Basketball 1
This was my son’s second year of High School basketball so he played on JV and mostly watched the varsity games🙂 – but the Varsity team won the conference championship which was quite exciting.  There are three spreads in this post, all highlighting the basketball season.  For the spread above I chose pictures from a variety of games and put them all on the same page.  I used a yellow wood grained paper for the background reminiscent of the wooden basketball court floor.   The cutout was done on my Cricut machine, and very carefully glued to the page.

2015: Basketball 2
The next spread showcases pictures from the Conference championship game which we won, and includes a picture of my son cutting the net, and also showcases the pieces of the net that he cut down.  To secure these to the page I used a thick thread and tied them to the page by poking holes through the paper and tying them on the backside.  The right hand side of the spread has a pocket which holds all of the programs from the games, as well as ticket stubs from away games.

2015: Basketball 3

This last spread has a picture of my son and his letter jacket, as well as the official team photo from the season.  I chose yellow and blue colors for this scheme to match the school colors (which are really gold and blue!).  The top left hand photo I took using the panoramic feature of my phone and had my son slowly spin as I moved the camera.  It looks a little weird, but we were able to capture all of the awards on the jacket in one photograph.

Live Well Sports: Live More Active

Best ways to Save on College Text Books

textbooksI know that this doesn’t follow the theme of my blog, but I work at a University and often hear parents and students wondering how to save money on text books.  So I thought I would give some quick tips and links:

  1. Buy textbooks through online sellers – where you can normally get great prices.
  2. Rent your text books – Usually cheaper and they are always returnable.
  3. Buy e-texts – usually cheaper – but they may have only a 6 month life span

My Best Advice – Buy your texts online and sell them back online – this is usually how you end up getting the best deal for your money.  Lowest price to buy, and highest return when you sell them.

Here are a couple of college textbook online companies that are worth looking into:
Rent or Buy Textbooks at eCampus.com


This company is a one stop shop.  They sell textbooks (new and used), rent text books, rent etexts, and will buy back books as well.



Sell Your Books at SellBackBooks.com!This company buys your books back from you.  This company will pay the costs to ship your books to them.  You will know how much they are going to pay you before you ship them.


campusBookRentals-LogoCampus Book Rentals specializes in renting college text books.


Here are some more generic websites that sell textbooks to look for your books as well:

Amazon_Prime_logoA great place to find cheaper books.  College students get 6 months of free Amazon Prime which includes free shipping, and all kinds of electronic media.  If you click the logo to go to Amazon you will get a $5 credit as well.


halfcouponcodeHalf.com is an Ebay company for books.  You can buy and sell books on this site.  It looks like they are now renting texts as well.



As I discover more sites I will add them to this list.





%d bloggers like this: