It’s the smatterings of ordinary, extraordinary life. Messy and beautiful.

What’s your creative outlet? Do you like to play the guitar, paint, write, scrapbook, create home crafts? I never really considered myself truly creative, but I believe we all have a spark, we might just have to dig deep to find it. Part of that challenge is freeing your mind to find your sweet spot in between day to day to do lists and responsibilities.  

I’ve learned a lot these past few years of adulthood and one theory springs to the forefront of my mind as I think about experimenting with your creative side. The first step is the toughest. Where do you start? How do you start? With what? When? Blah Blah Blah. I’m familiar with that song and dance. We can’t let the questions in our heads hold us back from pushing ourselves to new heights. We have to be okay with not have all the answers in the beginning. We have to be okay with feeling our way around clumsily. Eventually, we have to dive in. Head first.

A few months ago I discovered a website and blog by Ali Edwards. I find her work and her words inspiring. She mainly does scrapbooking, but I take from her motivating words and translate them to fit my creative interests. My favorite part is that there are no rigid rules. Take a look at five things you should know about the the way Ali approaches scrapbooking (although you can apply to your own creative path):

  1. I believe that there are an infinite number of ways to tell any story: 12×12, 8.5×11, 4×6, 2×2, paper, digital, layouts, minibooks, divided page protectors, etc. There is no right or wrong way to document our memories.
  2. I have no intention of “keeping up” with my scrapbooking. I tell stories as I feel moved to tell them and don’t feel bound to chronology. Some days I’m creating a layout that tells a story from 1980 and other days I’m focused on a story from today.
  3. I believe that telling the stories of our lives can actually change our lives for the better.
  4. My daily mantra in memory keeping & in life: don’t make things more complicated than they need to be.
  5. The best way to begin scrapbooking is to simply begin. Start writing. Start photographing. Start bringing them together on your computer or with paper and glue. There is no better time than right now.

I’m no master scrapbooker. I’ve completed three in the past five years and I’d say I’m set for a while. So for all the other non-scapbookers out there, find another way to document life. I feel a major obligation to somehow document the ride I’m on- which was my motivation to start this blog. But I wanted more personal documentation as well. Introducing one of my newest favorite products: The Smash Pad.

I love to reminisce. There are nights I just explore old boxes, emails, college papers, pictures. Anything I can get my hands on. It’s a new experience each time, bringing with it an outpouring of many emotions. I learn something new with each old discovery. I totally agree with Ali that there is power in telling the story of our own lives. When I tell my story- through words, photos or images it brings the important things into focus. It sifts through the bad and it helps me appreciate the good.

When I discovered the Smash Pad I just had to give it a test run. I have so enjoyed filling the pages with random thoughts, sweet cards from my Alabama friends, cool websites I find, styles I like, motivational quotes, articles, receipts from evenings out, restaurants to try and the list goes on. No rules.  

The point of this is to relish life. Relish snippets of your everyday. Document what makes you happy. And down the road… reminisce.

It’s the smatterings of ordinary, extraordinary life. Messy and beautiful.



Ken Quattlebaum
06/10/2012 19:30

I'm enjoying your website/blog, Em. Great post for Mom's day! She is very special in so many ways and you highlighted some of them beautifully. God blessed you to have her as your mom and He blessed me, too. Love, Dad


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    My husband and I are on a new journey spurred by the creation of two self-started businesses.  I am a proud Auburn University 
    graduate who loves the beach, boating, running, traveling, and a challenge. I am a God fearing woman and my Christian faith is a part of my daily life. I hope that you can find laughter and enjoyment with me as I share these business and personal adventures with you!


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