Tag Archives: Scrapbooking

Annual Review of 2013 & Preview of 2014

There are only 4 days left in 2013! I downloaded the free Annual Review/Preview Guide from Rosetta Thurman of Happy Black Woman. Be sure to head on over to her site to get your free copy! It is truly eye opening: http://happyblackwoman.com/the-annual-reviewpreview-an-opportunity-for-intentional-reflection/

I wanted to share some of my responses to some of the questions.

1. What was the most valuable lesson I learned this year? 

The most valuable lesson I learned this year was that sometimes things take time. My new quote is “patience is a form of action.” Also, you ave to have multiple paths to reach one goal because the first option may not be the best. When we were searching for a community partner for Donda’s House, we went to two different institutions. Neither was a seamless fit. When we met with the third partner, EVERYTHING was right. I’m so happy that we didn’t settle with the first or second partner because we would have missed out on the third parter!

2. What was the biggest personal milestone I reached this year? 

My biggest personal milestone was creating my home office/scrapbook studio. There is nothing more precious than having my very own space that I created and that I can retreat to when I need to get things done.



3. What professional accomplishments (at work or in my business) am I most proud of this year? 


Caption: Che (my husband) and I co-taught the Creative Writing Class this past Fall 2013 Semester.

Launching Donda’s House, Inc. in August of this year is my proudest professional accomplishment ever in life. For Che and I, Donda’s House is truly “our baby.” Read more about my feelings on launching Donda’s House here: http://donnienicole.com/2013/07/17/introducing-dondas-house-inc/

Also, getting my first paid position as a blogger with Black and Married With Kids was HUGE for me. So thankful that they gave me a chance and another platform. Check out my articles here: http://www.blackandmarriedwithkids.com/author/donnies/

4. What do I deserve more of in 2014? 

I deserve more prayer (I plan to pray every morning). I deserve more travel (domestically and internationally).

5. What part of my life do I want to pay more attention to in 2014?

Definitely health & wellness and spirituality.

6. What will my ideal day look like next year?

  • Wake up, breakfast, read bible & pray:  8 am – 9 am
  • Exercise 9 am – 10 am
  • Writing (blog, books, journaling) 10 am – 12 noon
  • Donda’s House Work 12 noon – 5 pm
  • Scrapbooking 5 pm – 6 pm
  • Dinner Prep & sit down at table w/ entire family for meal 6 pm – 8 pm
  • TV/Reading/Social Time 8 pm – 10 pm
  • Bedtime 11 pm – 12 midnight

So thankful for Rosetta and all of her work with Happy Black Woman. I’m the proud owner of a new Smash Book and will be using that to track my goals, intentions, progress and inspiration over the next year.

Smash Cover

Smash Back Cover
I purchased my Smash Book from Target. Read more about K & Company’s Smash Book here: http://www.eksuccessbrands.com/kandcompany/smash/. I customized my cover with my initials using my Silhouette Cameo (a digital die-cutting machine).

I also invite you to check out this piece I wrote earlier this month if you’d like more tools to review your year and plan for next year: http://donnienicole.com/2013/12/02/tips-for-getting-yo-life-before-2013-ends/


Filed under Inspiration

Scrapbook Albums Need a New Home!



So at this point we’re in crisis mode because I literally do not have any more shelf space for any more albums and I will soon be completely done with the two “In Progress” albums. Albums

As you can see on the top row, my albums are complete and ready to move, not to mention I could use the shelf space for more storage supplies. I have 12 completed albums, and the two that are bursting at the seams will bring that total to 14!!! One of my summer projects is to move my albums downstairs to the dining room and put them in one of the cabinets below. I have to have a glass door because my cats have used the spines of the albums as scratching posts in the past! So here are my options:


Gotta love IKEA! This is a Billy Bookcase with a glass door for $159.99. I’d definitely hire a contractor to come and put it together. After working on the Porch Swing, I don’t want to put anything else together this summer lol.


This is the ideal option for my albums. It’s made by Ameriwood It is $126.95 and this could live in the dining room.


This Walmart Heirloom shelf could also work perfectly. It’s $139 Dollars. It actually matches the wood in my dining room perfectly!


Filed under Home, Scrapbooking

Keeping Track of Pages To Scrap…

To Scrap


Yesterday I submitted my final grades. I can’t tell you how much stress has been lifted off of my shoulders and how much time has opened up in my schedule!!! After Tuesday I will be off on summer vacay, which means a lot more scrapbooking.

Whether you’re new to scrapping or you’re a seasoned vet, sometimes you come across an awesome idea or you have soooo many photos that you just get overwhelmed and don’t feel motivated to craft at all.

The solution is to purchase a notebook (can be as simple as my mini legal pad) and create a list of pages  “To Scrap.” My list includes both events to scrap – my step son graduated from 8th grade this week, and stories to tell “Solomon Gets His First Bank Account.” Either way it goes, I have an ongoing list of projects and pages that I would like to complete.

Once something goes on my list it gets a folder, and I create a page kit. Whenever I’m ready to scrap, I grab my list and one of the page kits and I get busy. In the case of going out to scrapbook, I grab 10 – 15 kits which keeps me busy for most of the crop.


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Show & Tell: Baby Books & Poppas

Baby Books

Yesterday, I finished up a baby book for a dear friend and her sweet baby girl and I want to share some of my favorite pages:

The Womb Mate page is a staple in every baby book I create. It’s for the ultrasound pic.


This page is for pics and details about the baby from 0 – 3 months.


This page is for documenting 4 – 6 months.


The milestones page is one of the most important pages because you get to talk about when the baby does what and when the baby does it. From the first word to taking the first steps, the baby will be able to know EXACTLY when she did certain things.


I always include a Family Tree Page. Baby has to know that she has roots!


All of my baby books are customized. Not only do they incorporate the baby’s name, nickname(s), birth year and initials, but I also try to use favorite colors. If you’re interested in ordering a baby book please e-mail me: http://donnienicole.com/contact/. It takes about 4 weeks, but can be rushed for an additional fee. Although personalized I leave enough room for you to add lots of memorabilia and photos to truly make the baby book your own.



I had the opportunity to talk to my granny about her father, who she calls “Poppa.” I didn’t know anything about him as he passed away long before I was born. Please talk to the elders in your family about your family history! Ask lots of questions and document it. You may not be into scrapbooking, but even if you include the information in a journal or a typed document called “Family History” you will be able to pass along your legacy to your children.

Most families keep a family tree, but very few pass along stories. I’m going to continue to share information on how to document your history, but you can start with my free “How to Scrapbook” Guide. Simply subscribe to the blog on the home page by entering your e-mail and I will e-mail you the guide.

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Memorial Day… An Office Update

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you for taking a break from the barbecue to catch up with me! I’m actually spending the day scrapbooking.

Before I get into today’s topic, I have a 90s R & B/Hip Hop playlist to die for: http://open.spotify.com/user/1239525257/playlist/2kDHMBYeuyFgUpN9MRKvdb. My playlist includes “Don’t Walk Away” by Jade, “Hey Lover” by LL Cool J, “Candy Rain” by Soul For Real. My playlist has a total of 278 tracks and all you have to do is follow me on Spotify and subscribe to the list. It’s all free! Leave Pandora, iTunes & the other music players alone! Trust me, you won’t be sorry!

This past weekend I did some much needed organizing in my office. Here are the pics:


Caption: I’m still planning to find a new home for completed albums. I finally got the bottom two shelves in order. Everything has its own place!


 Caption: I still love my gallery wall. Next to the cabinet I have some stackable open storage. That is currently being used for my alphabet stickers and the basket on top has adhesive. Eventually it will ALL be uniform. 


Caption: This is my little technology table. I keep my printer, cameo & Xyron sticker maker on top. The inside of the cabinets still need some TLC. 


Caption: I made a little extra room on my desk to have a larger work area. Under my desk I keep my most frequently used Project boxes. 

Image Caption: Next to my desk is my vintage green file cabinet (found on Craigslist!). The side of it is magnetic so I can put inspirational & pretty things right next to me. 


Caption: My Srapbook friend made these cute magnets for me. We truly are “scrap sisters.” 


Caption: Last but not least is my Inspiration Board. I plan to update it at least once every 6 months. I would like to make collages of some sort out of the things that I take down that I really like, and then I will frame & hang the collages. 

I’m still in desperate need of some curtains, an IKEA Raskog Cart, and a cute area rug since I spend so much of my playtime on the floor. I hope you enjoy your memorial day!


Filed under Scrapbooking

Unhappy About My Happy Place…


Businesses come and go. Archivers is more than just a business. It is my “happy place.” The one place in my little world that is completely dedicated to memory keeping. If it were a grocery store or even a shoe store, I could easily find a replacement. This loss is personal.

I received an e-mail approximately one month ago that Archivers had filed for bankruptcy and although we were reassured that business was booming, the e-mail that I received this morning proved otherwise.

Archiver’s is the place that I can find periwinkle pink 12 x 12 paper. It always has my favorite adhesive (Scrapbook Adhesives Tape Runner) and it always has the latest designer line. More than anything the workroom is the place where I celebrated my 29th birthday, the place where my scrapbook buddies and I relive our old memories and create new ones.

6a00d8357de06869e2017c3573347a970b-500wiCaption: Designer Amy Tangerine’s “Yes Please” Line

I feel a heaviness on my heart that my Archivers – Orland Park is closing and can only hope that the other Illinois stores remain open no matter how far I have to travel…


Filed under Scrapbooking

Organizing My Scrapbook Studio/Home Office

Current State of Expedit Shelf in Office: 11e3b888c72c6d9110ed014c3ee0bd3a

My 12 x 12 paper trays are from Display Dynamics. You can read more about them here.

A lot of my scrapbook supplies live in portable bags because I do the majority of my scrapbooking at crops (read more about that here:  http://donnienicole.com/2013/03/06/how-to-pack-for-a-scrapbooking-crop/). After May, I will be doing the majority of my scrapbooking at home.

Current home (Victoria’s Secret Bag)
– Journaling Cards & Labels (3 zip lock bags) – solution: can go into a basket
– Flowers (solution: glass jar)
– Ribbon (solution: glass jar)
– Adhesive (including Washi Tape) (solution: credenza)
– Glitter (solution: credenza)
– Bling (solution: glass jar)
– Metal (eyelets, pearls, pins) (solution: glass jars or jewelry organizer)
– Buttons (solution: glass jar)
– Journaling Pens (solution: glass jar)
Current Home (Archivers Bag)
– Thickers & Letter Stickers (solution: basket)
– Scrap Paper (solution: boxes)
– 8 1/2 x 11 Cardstock (file holder)
I need more workspace. A bigger self healing mat. The mini organizer on my desk needs a new home, as does the white shelf thing.
I could use a tray to hold my tool box and current materials for a current page to make more desk space. I’d like the IKEA 3 tier solution (that rolls). It’s $49.99 and also comes in gray. It’s small enough to be able to roll out of the way and can hold things like my tool bag and whatever else I need next to me temporarily while scrapping:
My completed scrapbooks need a new home. I’d like either a book shelf, a china cabinet or display cabinet to put them in on the first floor. That will free up 2 – 3 cubes on my expedit.
The teaching files need to be digitized and moved away from the expedit (1 empty shelf), both “umm” shelves need to be cleared, as does the paperwork shelf.
The Expedit will be used for supplies that I use all the time. The credenza will be used for supplies I use less often and the closet will be used for items I rarely use.
I can add a magnetic basket to the side of my file cabinet to hold my paper cutter.
Printer paper can be added directly under the printer and moved off the expedit. 8 1/2 paper can be stored in it’s place.
Scraps should be sorted again to solids and patterns. I can use purple or lime green boxes or one purple and one line green. I’m considering this solution which retails at $57.95 for all three. I’d get the purple & lime green sets. The larger boxes are 17 x 13 (Perfect for scraps) & the smaller boxes can be used to hold other items around the office.
Read about what inspired this organization project here: http://donnienicole.com/2013/03/28/how-i-approach-a-blank-scrapbook-page/


Filed under Home, Scrapbooking