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My Introduction to Becky Higgins’ Project Life

Project Life Header

I ♥ photography, but my photos are largely an unorganized mess. I rarely print them; they live on random computers, random external hard drives, and random websites. So I thought I would give printing my photographs and memory keeping/journaling with them a try.

But this isn’t the first time I’ve tried making something of my pictures. I’ve had photo books created through sites like AdoramaPix. Such books are lovely but creating them wasn’t that much fun and they were difficult to customize with captions. I also briefly dabbled with typical photo albums, but mine tended to stay empty because organizing them seemed both slightly overwhelming and not particularly enjoyable.

Given all of that, I decided to give Becky Higgins’ Project Life a try. It’s a system of memory keeping that’s a pleasant blend of scrapbooking and simply dumping photos in an album. It generally requires an album, photos, pocket pages to slip the photos in, and journaling cards/paper memorabilia—for a detailed explanation watch this five minute “Welcome to Project Life” video.

Deciding to do Project Life was a risky move for me because sometimes I start projects only to immediately abandon them and this one required a significant financial investment (due to my location). The company is in the United States. I’m in Asia. Project Life has a flat rate international shipping fee of $100! It’s fair, but expensive. I thought of alternatives and considered my options for a while, but in the end I decided to just go big to make the shipping costs worth it and because I really wanted to try Project Life. (If you’re in the US, wanting to give it a go, there’s no need for you to make nearly so much of a financial investment.)

Project Life Album Cover

Normally, I like small things, but since I decided to go big, I went big~ and bought one of their standard 12 x 12 albums that’s too large to fit on most bookshelves, including mine. It’s pictured above. I wasn’t sure if I was going to like it, but luckily I really do. The size is surprisingly nice since it allows for several pictures and journaling cards to be included in each page.

My first completed pages are pictured below. They represent Week 39 (September 21 to 27). I’m not sure if I’m going to make the album a Jan-Dec 2015 album or from June/July 2015 until it’s full, but I’m hoping to have at least one page per week from now until the end of year.

For Week 39, I organized my photos in Adobe’s Lightroom (♥), printed them with my Canon Selphy, and typed short notes on a few journaling cards. I also embellished things slightly with some stamps, a tad bit of “washi” tape, and a handful of die cuts.

Project Life Week 39 part 1

The page for the first half of the week is simple. Going from top to bottom and left to right, the first slot is filled by a card with the date stamped on it and a star stapled to it. The next is a photograph of local children laughing and running to get home (or perhaps to their next class). It’s a happy photo of everyday life. Following that are pictures of the escalator in a subway, me studying in a cafe, and my planner.

Project Life Week 39 part 2

Everything on this second page, save one picture, is from a single day. Tara was kind enough to come down to my part of the country and we explored a new area and its brand new department store. We grabbed a meal at a very health-conscience restaurant (none of its dishes include salt, MSG, or sugar), went to a nice cafe (where I ate sugar and unleashed my DSLR), and briefly braved the crowds at the massive department store with its 10 above ground floors and two underneath. In it, I saw a toddler entranced by a giant bear, digital displays everywhere (like even on the ceiling), and Samsung enticing visitors to try its new virtual reality equipment.

I made mistakes while putting together both pages. Some of the stamping is wonky and the alignment of text on two of the journaling cards is off. I hardly care, though, because everything is legible ♥ and putting the pages together was fun. Attempting this project has encouraged me to capture my everyday life and organizing the pictures/cards helped me appreciate it.

I’ve started putting my pages together for July, but I haven’t finished any of them yet.

Project Life July 2015

Do you do Project Life or record memories in another way? I plan to do another entry on this in the future. I hope you’ll enjoy it and not mind. ^^ If you’re interested in learning more, you can check out my Pinterest and/or these videos (2015 Project Life Process Video: Week Twenty-Nine, Stephanie Bryan March Project Life Album and Project Life Process: Studio Calico Brimfield Kit).


My Favorite Things: August 2015


I’m participating in Eirene and Raisa’s “My Favorite Things” monthly blog linkup again this month, so here are five of my favorite things from July and the beginning of August.

My Favorite Things: A Blog Linkup


This month and the last and probably the one before that too, I spent a questionable amount of time and money at cafes—I’m at a cafe right now. This is all despite my indifference towards coffee. Anyway, Tara helped me up my cafe game by introducing me to Good Afternoon, a British tea room.

There we had afternoon tea. It was lovely.






I also blogged about my love for cafes here: Things I Like 002: Cafes (2012).

Super Junior’s Devil ♥

I like classical music, Korean traditional music, and boy bands. ♥ 10 years after debuting, my favorite boy band is still going strong. In July, they released an album, which of course I bought.

Below is the main music video for the album. If you like cliched action movies, watch it as the MV is fun and basically one cliched movie plot after another crammed into 5 minutes. ^^;

Being Valedictorian

I’m giving the valediction for my graduate school this month (lol wut?!?), which is a bit scary, but if academic street cred. exists, I think this gives me some. For 3 out of 4 semesters, I studied piano on the side and worked full time because I loved piano so much there was honestly no way I would have quit and my job was great too. Anyway, I’m contemplating doing a post of unconventional and perhaps dangerous (to students’ GPAs) academic advice. Interested? Regardless, feel free to check out what I’ve already written:

Mini Favorites

Samsung Laptop

First, there’s my computer. My incredibly portable half-tablet half-not Samsung Smart PC has been amazing. Unfortunately, my beastly Alienware is misbehaving. I’ve run everything (Premiere Pro, Photoshop, InDesign, Lightroom) on my little baby without any problems. I never expected this laptop to do such heavy work, but I’m so glad it can. Second, I’ve been listening to Harvard Business Review’s IdeaCast. Normally, I’m a big fan of Freakonomics, but this summer I’ve been loving HBR’s.

Harvard Business Review Press publishes the best thinking in the areas of business strategy, general management, technology, leadership, human resources and innovation. Intelligent business readers turn to us for answers to the questions they face every day, and for the guidance and debate that will have a profound impact on their lives — both personally and professionally.

I’m not a business person, but in the podcast they discuss fascinating things such as being digitally overloaded, employee perception, and social media. Anyone can listen to and enjoy it.

Cancer Research UK

I said that I would feature a different charity each month, so August’s charity is Cancer Research UK. I learned about this organization when Jem mentioned it in a post. Cancer research is obviously important. ^^

I also donated to Doctors Without Borders and, at least, for the rest of the year, I will continue doing so every month. While it’s fun to highlight a random charity, it’s also important to consistently donate. Charities have lots of expenses and in many ways dependable/steady streams of income are much better than random donations. It’s hard to plan ahead when your income is unpredictable.

That’s it for me. What have you been loving this month?


My Favorite Things: July 2015

My Favorite Things: A Blog Linkup

I’m participating in Eirene and Raisa’s “My Favorite Things” monthly blog linkup, so here are five of my favorite things from June.



2015 is the first year I’ve cared about candles, but they seem to be trending in Korea as several candle shops recently opened in my neighborhood. In June, I burned the candles in the picture: Woodwick’s Cafe Sweets Trilogy and Circa Home’s 1998 Mango and Papaya. I enjoyed both of them. Woodwick candles are fun because when the wick is lit, the candle crackles and sounds as if it were a log burning in a fireplace.

Even though I’ve used my Mango and Papaya candle several times for many hours, I’ve never actually lit it. I have a candle warmer that melts all of a candle’s wax without burning it, which also helps the candle last longer. Basically, despite being tiny and my having used it a ton, my Mango and Papaya candle looks flawless and has a lot of scent left.

I’m most fond of candles made with soy wax like Ecoya and Circa Home’s. I heard that those made of beeswax were the best because they cleaned the air and reduced allergies/asthma, so I got one, but I hate it. It’s too strong; it irritates my nose to the extent that I feel as though it’s going to bleed. How ironic.

Anyway, do you have any candle recommendations?



Summer is my least favorite season—it’s unbearably hot and humid. It also rains for a month straight. It’s just horrific. Regardless, dresses make summer tolerable and they’re fun. While I was “studying” for one of my finals, I picked up the four dresses in the image above for about $10 each at Top Ten and I love them. I wore each of them in June.

My Phone: Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge


My phone is beautiful. My phone’s case is purple, celestial ♥, and it holds my most important cards—it’s basically perfect. Sadly my phone isn’t perfect because of its questionable battery life. Still, it’s one of my favorite things. I miss some iOS apps, but I’m happy to be an Android user.

Doctors Without Borders

Unfortunately, I’m materialistic and my last few posts have been little more than celebrations of conspicuous consumption, so as a bit of a reality check, I’ve added Doctors Without Borders (Medecins sans Frontieres). They do amazing work all over the world. I donate to them every month. They’re just great.

If I continue participating in this linkup, which I hope I will, I’ll feature a different charity each month because if I have money for candles, clothes, and stationery, then I also have money for charity.

My Bike

I adore my bike even though it lacks a basket and a rear rack. If you haven’t seen my post about it, give it a look: My Bike and a GoPro.

That’s it! What were your favorite things in June?

*Photos (over)processed in—get ready for it—Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, Pixlr and Aviary. ^^


My Bike and a GoPro

Peanut Butter & Jelly. Reading & Writing. Umbrellas & Rain. Alexander Hamilton & the ten dollar bill.

Some things simply go together, like biking and photography.

As I mentioned in my last post, biking and photography were two hobbies I often combined. I would put my DSLR in my bike’s basket, creatively latch my tripod to the rear rack and explore the many trails in my area while stopping to take photographs along the way.

Bike Riding in Bundang Korea

But that beautiful bike—it’s in the image above—is gone (RIP) and it has been ages since I used my DSLR. Even though I love my camera, after long periods of not using it, I find that I have to ease myself back into things. It’s like an awkward reunion with a good friend I haven’t seen in a decade. I’m shy. I screw up my settings. It’s a mess.

Not wanting to deal with that, on my latest bike outing, I was DSLR-less, basket-less, selfie-stick-less, tripod-less &c. But I still tried to up my game in two substantial ways. First, I attached a GoPro. Second, I bothered to learn the very basics of Adobe Premier Pro. Thus, there’s the video ♥ Make sure you play it in HD.

I like my video because I think that what it shows is different from what most people picture when they think of Korea. At any rate, if you have any tips about filming or encoding, please let me know because I really want to learn.

Also, please let me know if you like video entries like this. Thanks!


Hello (Again) World!

Celebrate! School Is Over

There are lots of new things to celebrate. First, the new layout and the new post. I know—it’s been a while.

I also recently acquired a new phone. I switched from Apple to Android, because Samsung has been treating me beautifully and the Galaxy S6 Edge looked like a glorious smartphone.

Then, there’s my new bike. In the past, I combined bike riding with photography and even carried my tripod with me at times. But given that unlike my old bike (RIP), my current one lacks both a basket and a rear rack, I don’t know how or even if I’ll take my tripod on future outings. I bought a new backpack for my DSLR, so at least I’ll be able to comfortably carry it.  I also have a new-ish GoPro. Technically, I’ve had it for almost a year, but I only recently started using it. I hope to share some GoPro videos. I still like photography, obviously?

But perhaps the biggest thing is that soon, if nothing goes wrong, I should have a new degree, a Master’s in Korean Studies and International Law and Organizations. I’ve finished all of the work for it.

Here on, though, things are only half up. Slowly, it’ll come together. I will be updating with some new, some old (and some ancient, I mean 2001-2 ancient) posts. ♥

So, how have you been doing? Seriously, how are you? (Feel free to comment below.)


I’ll see you with a new post next week.

*The photo is a picture of my university. It was taken with my Samsung Galaxy S6 and processed in VSCO Cam/Pixlr.