Monday, January 30, 2017

Smash Book Inspiration

Can you believe Valentines Day is only fifteen days away?! These holidays just keep sneaking up on me, I swear! I love holidays with my whole heart, and Valentines Day is such a fun one- whether you're in a relationship or not! One of my most favorite things we've done in our relationship is keep a SmashBook. I've posted about my SmashBook here and here and that first post especially has been one of the most popular posts on the blog. 

To summarize Smash Books, they're basically notebooks following themes (the one I use is technically a wedding-themed book) All of the pages are pre-designed to compliment each other. Some are simple patterns, some have pre-assigned purposes, for example this book has a page dedicated to 'saving the date'. Either way, they're all cute and if a page doesn't work for your idea - just rip it out or cover it with something! It's really the simplest thing I've ever done! 

The best thing about Smash books is that it's not supposed to be well-laid out and beautiful like a scrapbook feels it should be. Your goal is to stuff as many things in those pages as possible, and after a while it gets addicting! This is one of the first pages I did - pictures of Ry and I hanging out in the beginning of our relationship. I doodled notes in the margins and pasted photos down. Easy as pie!

We also have an adventure list (a couples bucket list if you will) and have used the Smash book to document a lot of those things! This page is dedicated to a hike we went on in Honolulu when I went to Hawaii with my family and Ry for spring break a few months after we started dating. 

Something I've seen other smash bookers do is include ticket stubs/receipts from places they went. This must've been right after I saw that idea because when we went on a hike I took a photo of the map and saved the parking stub for posterity! In a normal scrapbook I feel like these things would be irrelevant, but in our smash book I feel like it helps save little moments from those days and the simplicity of the outing. Still one of our favorite days! 

As the smash book progressed I started including more things- different photo sizes to mix things up, black and white photos, Polaroids from the Instax Mini Ry got me for graduation (seriously so fun!) and even a postcard! The possibilities are endless! 

Our SmashBook is full of memories, literally all of the pages are now stuffed with two years of relationship milestones and we're looking into starting a second. I love being able to flip through our memories and see how we've changed, both individually and together over the days, months, and years. It's a fun things and really doesn't take as much thought, time, or effort as I'd assumed.

If you have questions or want to see more idea pages, let me know. This thing is my favorite possession to talk about! 

Monday, January 23, 2017

Valentines Day Gift Ideas for Men

| Ray Bans - $140  | Nike Janoskis - $110 | The North Face TriClimate Jacket -$290 |
| Hydroflask -$40 | Dollar Shave Club - $5-9/mo | Nixon Watch - $100 |
| Smoke Ash Candle - $75 | PowerBeats -$199 | Projector - $60 |

Disclaimer: I am a firm believer in the 'one big gift, several small gift' philosophy so please keep in mind that while I would gift something from above I would also include other smaller personal things. Think stocking stuffers, but don't give someone a stocking for Valentines Day. That'd probably be weird. A few small gift ideas are listed at the bottom of this post for inspiration!

Now that it's officially February that means we can talk about Valentines Day! 
I had this post scheduled to go live on February 1st, but then realized that the people of the world who are browsing for gift ideas will not be doing so with only thirteen days until Valentines Day, so I bumped it up a little. Sorry if this gives you pre-Valentine stress! :) 

We always do something fun together for Valentines Day, but we also choose to exchange gifts. I am a fan of every gift giving holiday, so why wouldn't we?! I love hanging out with people and listening for things they express interest in or seeing things they're eyeing in stores and then being able to get that for them. I love buying cute wrapping paper and pretty ribbon. I love giving gift wayyyy more than receiving gifts. Gifts are my jam. So why would Valentines Day be any different? 

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Snow Daze

Once again, the PNW was blasted with snow. This time it's okay though because Ry was here and we got to go out and do some fun stuff! We spent the day with his roommate, roommates girlfriend, and one of my roommates making snowmen (so exhausting) and drinking coffee. 

We also had the chance to take some snow pictures with the Fujifilm Instax Ry got me for Graduation. We've taken pictures in the sun but never in snow. It was a fun time! Overall, an awesome snow day. 

How's the weather where you are? 

Monday, January 9, 2017

Currently: January 2017 Edition

I feel like I could sum up my 2017 so far by just saying I've been freezing to death and everyone in the PNW would nod in agreement (if they weren't too cold to do so). But, I figured I should dig a bit deeper than that and actually share some stuff that's been on ma' mind. So here goes!

Currently I Am...


I feel like this is more correctly labeled "wishing I was watching" since most of my shows are off season right now (but coming back so so soon!) Lately I've been straight up obsessed with both the usual shows and some new ones. Personal faves include Young & Hungry, Switched at Birth, Heartland (Canadian), Jane the Virgin and most recently This is Us. If you're not familiar with any of these I've attached short one-sentence blurbs below. I don't remember when episodes resume again but for all of these it's at least another week of wait and I'm frustrated. Snow days and no new shows = :(
Young & Hungry - Young chef (Emily Osment) who is on-again off-again in love with her boss, Josh. Lives with her crazy best friend, Sofia. It's light, easy, and silly. Plus Ry likes it too so that's great!
Switched at Birth - Two girls switched at hospital, Daphne is raised in a low-income family and due to a sickness as a child becomes deaf. Bay is raised in an affluent neighborhood and attends fancy shmancy school. Once discovering they are switched Daphne and her 'mom' move into Bay's family's guest house. Lots of drama llama, but it's good.
Heartland - Amy is a horse trainer who lives on her family farm with her grandpa, newly-reconnected dad, sister, nieces, and former-farmhand current husband, Ty (a vet). 
Jane the Virgin - Virgin and engaged to police officer Michael, Jane, goes in for routine appointment and is accidentally artificially inseminated with the sperm of a man (Rafael) who had cancer and froze sperm for future family planning. Jane agrees to deliver child so that Rafael can actually have a kid, they end up getting romantically involved, then break up, she marries Michael again. Crazy telenovela style, but it's fun!
This is Us - I can't even explain this show to you because it will ruin the first episode but it's so good. It follows the life of different members of a family through present-time shots and flashbacks to their earlier lives. So so good. I watched the first ten episodes in two days because I literally could not stop. New fave.

Listening To: 

I don't talk about it much on the blog but I am a major Ed Sheeran fan. I love his music and he hasn't released anything for a year. But on Friday he dropped two new singles, which I love, and so my Ed Sheeran shuffle game has been strong. 


I always tend to shop less after the holidays (which is good I guess) Buuuut I did go to a few local boutiques lately and got some leggings for my mom, chocolate (obviously a necessity), some cute Valentines Day towels from Target's dollar spot. 


ALL OF THE WINTER GEAR. I actually bought some more 'fall style' clothes right after Christmas from Loft and I'm surer bummed I haven't been able to wear them yet because of this darn ice storm. My uniform as of late (or always, really) is fuzzy socks, boots, Loft skinnies, a warm shirt, a jacket (or six...), a scarf, and a beanie. It's nuts. 


Seeing my kiddos again (and gaining two new students) I'm just so impressed by these little people and love seeing the growth that they're showing this year. I'm spending my snow day grading spelling tests and inwardly cheering over their successes. I am blessed with the most amazing little people in my classroom and I wouldn't trade any of them, ever. (Well,  until next year when half of them leave me :( )

Looking Forward To: 

Valentines Day! 

What're you up to currently? I'd love to hear!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

sNOw. WAY.

I think you'd only have to be here for about thirty seconds to know that I'm a nut about snowy weather. I've been analyzing the weather report like the finest weatherperson in the nation this past month and have celebrated every snow flurry that has graced God's green snow-covered Earth. 

Until today.

Ya see, today Ry is supposed to be flying into the airport after being in Hawaii for a month. But, today the PNW has been hit with its third snowpocoypse this month. Third. Three different times. So if you need me, I'll be pouting and waiting for this stuff to melt away, or at least pause and resume when he's a part of the continental US again. 

If all of you people out there doing your snow dance could hold off for a few, I'd appreciate it greatly. And would probably repay you in chocolate. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

5 Quick Ways... to be a rainbow in someone else's cloud

This Bag - Kate Spade ||| These Shoes - Born ||| Those Jeans - Loft (similar)

I'm toying with the idea of bringing new things to The Happy Chalkboard in 2017, and one of those things is a 'regular series' about 5 quick ways to do something.. decorate for a holiday, spread kindness, show gratefulness, etc. Eventually I would love for this to include links from other blogs and potentially a link up. If that sounds like something you'd be into, you should comment or contact me because I'm sure I love you and I'm sure I'd love to work with you! 

1. Pay for the person behind you

This almost seems ridiculous to use because everyone mentions this as an option for a kind gesture, but is that so bad? Also, who doesn't love not having to pay $4.85 for that latte you know you could make cheaper at home, but you really don't like the taste of when you compare it to your usual Starbucks. You love whatever you're getting, and I'm sure the person behind you does, too! It's a quick and easy way to make someone's day. Who in the world has ever said "UGH! I really am so angry that someone bought this for me! I really wanted to spend my own money instead! *dramatic sigh*" That's right, no one. 

2. Recognize someone who's working hard, and tell them thank you!

I saw this idea here and loved it. How often in our day do we visit people in a service environment? Our bus drivers, teachers, the secretary at the office, receptionist at the gym, hostess at the restaurant, grocery cashier, barista, etc? Many times! Often these people are working so hard! Maybe they're having a rough day, but they're still smiling. Maybe today has been hard and they're thinking about leaving the job. Maybe nobody has thanked them since 1839. You never know! Taking some time to show appreciation for the help they are in your day could really make theirs!

3. Give a surprise gift.

There really are only a few occasions in life when we receive gifts: our birthdays, Christmas, and maybe a few other holidays (Valentines Day, an anniversary, etc.) That's not a lot of gift giving folks! Why not put together a small gift for someone just-because! Grab a cute basket and a few of their favorite things (hand sanitizer, chocolate, gift cards, tickets to a movie/game, fuzzy socks, perfume, etc.) and leave it somewhere they'll find it (front door, car, desk, mailbox)

4. Clean up someone else's mess, without complaining

When I find myself cleaning up after someone usually in my mind (and occasionally, admittedly, out loud) I'm grumbling about it. "Why can't they just clean up their own things?" "Why would you take the lid off of this and leave it literally 27 centimeters from the trash can?" Petty little complaints that waste time and energy and bleck! Next time, really try to clean with a smile, and move on. 

Hopefully I don't leave messes that others have to clean up often, but if I flubbed and did I wouldn't want someone to be mentally grumbling about me! :) 

5. Write a sincere note to someone who's struggling

We all have off days, and sometimes it's nice to hear how wonderful we are from the people we love most! If you know that someone isn't having the best 2017 (or 2016's bummer side effects are still lingering... seriously so many people had a bad year it seems!) send a text, email, message, letter, postcard- whatever the cool kids are doing these days - to let them know you appreciate, recognize, and support them!

Any other ideas? Please feel free to share!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


I mentioned this goals list a while back, but have since altered it a little bit. So, without further ado- my 2017 goals! We'll see how it goes this year! I'm confident!

1. Read at least two books for fun

2. Leave gratitude notes at least once a month.

3. Pay for the person behind me once a month.

4. Blog regularly. I don't know what regularly means yet.

5. Put at least $100 into savings each month. 

6. Set a coffee budget. 

7. Bring a dessert/treat/something to leave in staff lounge once a month

8. Go to Seattle!