I visited Ali Edwards blog this weekend and came across her Project Life® 2019 | January post and swear: I caught the Holy Ghost. I saw her pages (that she’s completing monthly instead of weekly this year) and after not having a single clue as to how (or even if ) I wanted to document 2019, I said four words myself, “DO IT LIKE ALI.” No over-thinking. No panic. No care about how unimaginative that was, just: DO IT LIKE ALI…
…which, by the way, I’m going to start abbreviating as D’ALI! and shouting out in my apartment the EXACT same way Pitbull does (haa haa!) as way to just get it done each month the way Ali does it. Plain & simple.
Conveniently, I had this spare black & white album from A Beautiful Mess that I bought about 4 years ago, and coincidentally, it happened to be 9x12 and filled with tons of page protectors already! BOOM, baby! I plucked it off my shelf that it has been sitting on since I moved in (can you spy it in this post?) and got to friggin’ work!
The intro page? D’ALI! Did it just like Ali: photo-heavy, with digital pieces from her January Stories By The Month™ kit. Like Ali, I also looked back though 2018 (and 2017) and picked out a few of my favorite photos/memories.
I also used a 9x12 Page Protector with the 3x3 pockets and sized the digital ‘and now let’s begin again’ card from Ali’s January kit to fit the 3x3 pocket. D’ALI!
I DID IT LIKE ALI for my January spread as well, printing out 12 images from January to date stamp upon and stick behind the twelve I used for my intro page. My Heidi Swapp date stamp with the fun script months won out against the ‘normal’ date design, and that’s the one I’ll be using for the whole album.
To work opposite the twelve January memories, I followed Ali’s lead (because D’ALI!) and used her 6x12 Words + Photos Layered Template Vol. 2 for my journaling. I used the same simple list style journaling to cover my top ten things that happened in January. I also swapped out some fonts, and changed the bottom sentiment to something I came across in my reading that I wanted to remember.
I also DID LIKE ALI and replaced the original word art that was included on her layered template and replaced it with the Monthly Stories digital word art.
Here's what I added to Ali’s layered template in Photoshop for my journaling:
“Working on my December Daily last month definitly got me through one of the toughest, most grief-stricken holidays, but there was wonderful, beautiful strength in that too.
I arrived to January & this new year with a healing heart and a more-equipped tool kit than ever before. Here are some of the things that happened this month:
1. I started the book Simple Abundance that I found in my laundry room back in November. There’s a reading for every day of the year that is meant to coach you from a lack mindset to an abundance mindset by fully entering into the sacarament of the present moment.
2. Raelyn turned 2 years old! Mom, Ness, and me took a drive to cousin James’s upstate house for the family gathering. I enjoyed spending time with family, but my favorite parts were the car rides there & back. We listened to Lady Gaga’s I’ll Always Remember Us This Way on repeat, and I thought of when I was in the back seat with John on this very same drive. I felt a ping of sadness, but I also was able to let it go. I felt myself a bit healed, thanks to my Dec Daily.
3. I went to therapy in the city every Friday, and took on ERP like never before, trusting in Sam and sharing with group. The Empire State Building became a bit of a commrad, and I plan to ascend it one day in the warmer months as a marker of my progress and hard work.
4. I finished my second month with Mineola Fit Body Bootcamp. I’m grateful for the trainers and working this habit back into my routine.
5. I bought new sneakers. I said goodbye to my green sneakers and hello to a new pair of modern soft grey ones. I wrote a blog post about it and ‘stepping’ into my new year and new season and new self, and literally into new shoes.
6. Mom, Ness, Lauren, and I saw Sebastian Maniscalco in MSG. It was an Artic Blowout, but an adventure nonetheless. We ate at TGIFs, got to our seats right at the time he came on, and took the subways home. Poor mom‘s body couldn’t handle it, but it was fun.
7. It was Vanessa’s 30th Birthday. I took her out to dinner at Vincent’s and we got dressed up. It was the first time in a long time I saw myself look well with my mind, body, and soul connected in a way that ‘s been absent for a while now. That was my secret gift on my sis’s birthday. We had Kim serve us, and all my friends from the restaurant made me feel missed and loved: Freddy, Tynan, Doering, Conk, Carlito, Rachel, Jenny, Danny...and even Bobby picked up our check. It was my favorite night of the month.
8. I taught lessons that were fun to teach like materials & texture for science, and a week about Martin Luther King, Jr.
9. I joined Tinder and in the first 5 minutes ‘met’ Vinny, and to feel a spark of any kind again was so unexpected and thrilling. Grateful for it.
10. We had Career Day in school. Mr. Richard the musician played Turkish drums and the kids banging along & having fun was the best ever!”
If you are interested in learning more about using digital products for paper projects like this layered template, check out Ali’s Hybrid workshop.
Behind the 6x12 layered template I printed a 6x12 photo (actually the 6x6 top portion, then 6x6 bottom portion) of my sister out on the birthday dinner date I took her on. This was definitely one of my most favorite evenings from the month.
On top of the photo I added the moon/heart embellishment combo I’ve been waiting to use somewhere and an ‘I love you’ arrow. I also combined two mambi soft spoken™ stickers to create the ‘I have the very best sister’ sentiment.
…and one with an impactful quote I came across last month. I also altered one of Ali’s cards to talk about the first day of February (which is kind of a January story — the merging into a new month). I was home sick, and I love that quiet, cozy couch picture my sister captured of Alejandro wrapped in my arms.
To finish off the spread, I kept Ali’s currently card as is, but added my own journalling and ‘currently’ title and pink highlights. I also pulled two coordinating pocket cards from my stash in less than a minute, and there you have it!
I’m excited to have landed on a way I feel I can actually get this done. I’ll reflect on each month as a whole at the end of the month and pull out the stories that feel the most meaningful. I then plan to check on the format Ali used for that month and try to D’ALI it up, mimicking and pulling inspiration from the one & only.
Not bad, huh?
SIDE NOTE: I plan to get all of my past memory keeping on my website eventually, but it’s a BIG undertaking. I have three years of Happy Planner® memory albums completed start-to-finish, and I get so many questions and inquiries about 'em. They're what I’m known for — I get it — so I created an #ARZHappyPlannerMEMORIES hashtag where you can access the images from 2016 & '17 for now, if you so please.