A Look Around My Office 

This morning I said that I’d go live on Instagram to do a tour of my office. My baby dog was spayed this morning, so I decided to spend the evening cuddling with her. I did want to share some of my favorite things from my office:

Above: My IKEA Expedit shelf holds so much. These large square bookcases can hold so much! 

I recently purchased some Philips HUE LED lights. I control them from an App in my phone. They can change colors, the bulb doesn’t get hot and they can work together to create scenes! 

Beyonce is my absolute favorite! I had one of my favorite posters framed. I also recently purchased the “What Would Beyonce Do” desk tag from Modcloth, which lives on my desk.

Peacocks are my favorite animals. These feathers were the first thing I purchased for my office and I designed the rest of the room around those colors.

My gallery wall. I’m thinking about adding another row of frames at the top. 

I save all of the cards that I receive. This one from my Aunt I turned into a piece of art because I love the words & the messenger!

Everyone I travel in the world, I always purchase art. This piece I purchase in Mumbai in India and its a silk painting.

Another piece of art I picked up from an artist in NOLA. I loved the rhinestones.

My Vision Board and a 3 month calendar that lives above my desk. I change it annually during my end of year, new year rituals.

I found this Vintage Olive Green file cabinet on Craigslist and it’s one of my favorite pieces.

This is my super fast and powerful Fujitsu Scansnap ix500. I’ve seen it used in Medical Facilities and it allows me to digitize all of my documents. I keep a digital file cabinet of everything in Dropbox.

I love words especially the words on this cup from Michaels.

My favorite scent is Pink Champagne from Pier 1. I have diffusers, candles and room spray. I initially purchased it immediately after New Years, and was told that it was seasonal. I’ve gone back every month and it’s been there. Maybe they will make it a permanent part of their collection.

Glitter is my favorite color, followed by gold, followed by pink. I had to have this lava lamp because it combined so many of my favorite things.

I try to find gold or metallic office supplies whenever possible. Here are a few of my favorite items.

These pens used to be my favorite back in the day! I use them now often for scrapbooking. I found this mega pack on Amazon.

My office is the place where I get my work done. I have a high capacity black and white printer/copier and a regular HP printer for color. I am able to get most of my work done on these two machines. For larger jobs I go to FedEx or order online. 

So these are some of my favorite things in my Office! I look forward to the day that I can decorate my DH Office!!!!

How I Store My Scrapbooks

One of my Instagram Followers asked me how do I display/store my Scrapbooks. I wanted to share with everyone.

These shelves are in my dining room. Most of my Scrapbooks are 12 inch x 12 inch so they take up a lot of real estate. 

The pink albums cover my personal history all the way back to my birth. They are written in chronological order. My favorite albums are the leather We R Memory Keepers Ring binders.

The black albums are our family albums. They begin with our dating story (we started dating in 2009) and they go through today. 

The red album is my husband’s Campaign Album when he ran for City Council.

The yellow covers my first pregnancy (which ended in my baby getting her wings). 

The brown albums cover our home from when we first moved in until we got it together. 

The green album covers my trips to Johannesburg & Mumbai.

The light blue is my showcase album. I take it when I’m going to speak to kids or another engagement to share with people. 

When I turned 30 I decided to change my album color to Turquoise, so pink actually covers birth – age 29. 

Each album is labeled so that we know what’s inside.

I also have some mini Scrapbooks like this one that covers our trip to Florida. 

 And this one which covers my crossing into Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. 

I also enjoy making collages that are basically big Scrapbook pages. This one is my fav:

Finally, I often make gift albums – baby books, Frames, and mini albums as gifts for people! 

I hope this was helpful and I hope that it inspires more people to start scrapbooking or return to the hobby. Feel free to search the tag “scrapbooking” on here to read more of my blogs about the craft! 

Capturing Memories… 

I spent my Christmas Eve & most of my Christmas Day scrapbooking. In the last 2 years, I haven’t spent as much time scrapbooking, so my “Stuff To Scrapbook” Pile is overflowing.

Last year I spent some time sorting through things & I was able to get things into folders: 

I usually toss all of the stuff I want to scrapbook into bins. I have two bins that are overflowing because I’m so behind:

My goal is to sort the two bins into either stories I want to share or areas of my life (family, work, friends, etc.) to make scrapbooking things easier since they will be clustered together.

I also have to find a solution for the larger magazines and other memorabilia that is too large to put into a scrapbook. Currently I keep them in plastic craft boxes:

These are also great to hold scrapbook paper & supplies. I’m not crazy about how they look on shelves with the albums. 

Here are some of the pages I completed this weekend:

I counted and I have 20 volumes of scrapbooks:

I finished up my Mumbai, India Trip adding that to the Johannesburg Album, making that Volume 21 on the shelf:

I’ll keep you posted on my progress this week!

Inside My South Africa Trip Scrapbook

I really wanted to finish up this scrapbook before Thanksgiving, so that I could take it with me to Kansas City to share with my family, but that didn’t happen.

I woke up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, with a strong desire to finish up the album and that’s exactly what I did. I had worked on it for about 2 hours before my trip home to Kansas City, and spent an additional 9 hours today to finish it up.

Here are some of my favorite pages (in no particular order).

Here is a video where I flip through the entire album:

We R Memory Keepers Albums: http://www.wermemorykeepers.com/

Becky Higgins Project Life: http://www.shopbeckyhiggins.com/

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: https://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: https://donnienicole.com/2013/12/02/tips-for-getting-yo-life-before-2013-ends/

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!

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.


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: https://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.

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!

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…