Her summer plans

Cathy ZielskeScrapbooking61 Comments


Last week, Aidan officially completed her first year of high school. Sigh. Where does the time go, people? Can you answer that question for me?

To celebrate, she said the following words that would warm any scrapbook-lovin', life-documentin', photo-takin' kind of mama: "Mom, I want to get some kind of cool scrapbook to document the next three months. Let's go to Archiver's!"

So off we went in search of a cool scrapbook, and lo and behold, right at the front of the store, they had a steadily dwindling supply of those uber-funky SmashBooks. We'll take one to go please!


She bought the Retro style (mostly because that was the only style left in stock), returned home and got down to business.

With her beloved Fuji Wide Format Instax 210 at the ready and the Smash Pen/Glue Stick in hand, she commenced the documenting.


(No, she's not smoking in that photo. Optical illusion. Believe me, this kid and that other one of mine have gotten more anti-smoking lectures than you can shake a pack of Marlboros at.)


She is so geeked out about this scrapbook. She's already planning how she'll do one every summer of her high school years. Some people have noted that SmashBooks are nothing new, and I agree. They're simply the old school version of a scrapbook. The only difference? Killer marketing and adorableness.


God knows I'm a sucker for killer marketing and adorableness.

And for this girl.


If you're curious to know some of her plans for the summer, I asked her if I could copy part of her list to use on a scrapbook page of my own.

She said yes. Of course my documenting is decidedly less Smash-y in style. (Click on the layout to see it larger in a new window.)


SUPPLIES: Layered Template No. 65 (Cathy Zielske) • Laurel Paper Pack (Michelle Martin) • Digital Dates Vol. 12 (Katie Pertiet) • Stitched No. 1 (Anna Aspnes) • Avenir font

Here's to documenting summer in whatever funky (or clean and simple) way you choose.


Interested in encouraging your kids to document their summers? Right now, Big Picture Classes is offering a workshop called Kidding Around (2), taught by Tami Morrison. For less than the price of summer camps, you get six weeks of playful prompts to entertain and engage your kids on long, hot summer days. Though not required, this class is designed around using a Smash Book as it's base for recording the memories. Check it out! Class begins June 23.


Cathy ZielskeHer summer plans

61 Comments on “Her summer plans”

  1. #1

    I love love this post and seeing Aidan. She looks so cute and grown-up. On a recent post I asked you what she would be doing this summer and it sounds like she has great plans. Those smash books are a big hit from what I see on some blogs. My girls would love those, even I would love one,lol….you do know there’s a class at BPS for kids and using a smash book. Then again Aidan is pretty crafty all on her own with your genes in her. Congrats on surviving the first year of HS, my daughter starts in the fall. So what kind of painting is she doing?? Thanks for sharing this story and beautiful girl with us.

  2. #3
    Kathy Jo Camacho

    I LOVE the Smash book that I got. It’s totally “free spirit” scrapbooking and such a place for a “brain dump”. Quotes, pictures, journalling. I just love mine and working on picking up accessories for it. Here to a Smashing summer.

  3. #4

    I hope that they come out with less vintage-y Smash books next year. It’s so not my style and I didn’t like any of them. But I do like the concept. My little girl and I made her a “Smash” book and she loves it!

  4. #6
    kelli johnson

    she’ll be driving…what what? wow. okay and I thought my almost 9 year overwhelmed me…. 🙂 She’s beautiful and so fun, and I adore the smashbook, particularly perfect for Aiden’s age group too 🙂

  5. #7

    What the heck is a smash book? And I love A’s list. Sounds a lot like mine. Except for the novel thing…

  6. #10
    Rachel B.

    I love Aidan’s ambitious list! And I always wanted to learn to speed read. There are so many books out there that I would love to devour if I just had more time. She is so smart and pretty and grounded. I know that you have got to be so proud and thankful to have the joy of parenting such a girl!

  7. #17

    Love Aidan’s summer plans—
    curious about the speed reading–would love to do that too–How do you get started learning how to speed read?

  8. #19

    i couldn’t resist the retro style (blue) smash book too and i am more of your vintage than aiden’s but i just thought it was all the way cool. i also love all the little clips and pockets and bands, etc. that go with it. here’s to summer!

  9. #20
    Sherry Eckblad

    I walked into that same Archivers a few days before when they still had a few choices to make in the Smash books and got the hot pink one for me, a retro one for my son and then went back on Saturday to pick up another retro one for my great niece who is 10 and is obsessed now with “smashing” as she calls it.

  10. #22

    You are so right about where does the time go? My “kids” are now 25 and 29. Unbelievable that we could be the parents of anyone that old. It’s fleeting, you are smart to savor every moment!

  11. #23

    Having worked at Archiver’s for a while I think it’s funny to think of you just walking in. I imagine it would be like The Beatles walking in to….well…where ever. 😉

  12. #31
    Shari Rohde

    Aiden is quite the young woman now. I feel like I have watched her grow up over the years. She is gorgeous, but then again, she came from good genes. : )
    Funny, I started a ‘Journal’ just a few weeks ago, it is much smaller than a Smashbook, but I am using it to put mini clippings in, draw, doodle, design card layouts and scrapbook layouts whenever they come to mind and I have been taking it with me to my scrapbook room and using up my stash of supplies in it. It is so liberating because I feel I am scrapbooking my thoughts and feelings, but I can do it anywhere at anytime. SO MUCH FUN!

  13. #32

    She is so adorable! I love her fearless and unwavering uniqueness…she must have some cool parents.;) Must say that I just got the Fuji and can’t wait to play. Also bought the SMASH and where every other mini journal has failed me (just could not do it for some reason) this one has got me in the groove. They just make it too easy especially with the pen/glue stick. I’m whippin’ together a little travel scrapbook kit to keep at the ready using all their stuff and some of my own. Fits into a zip-lock baggie and I plan to live with this and my camera this for the remainder of the year. BTW, Cathy, I’ve not said this in awhile but THANK YOU AND GOD BLESS YOU FOREVER AND EVER for your own unwavering bravery and honesty in the eat less move more lifestyle. You have helped me so very much. I recently regained 8lbs of the 20 I lost but thanks to your postings I am back on track and have lost 5 of the 8lbs. I know it’s not only about the numbers but what can I say, I like to keep track. The honesty of the scale helps me to be accountable and when I don’t do that well let’s just say all heck breaks loose. I also finished Geneen Roth’s book this weekend and OH MY GOODNESS, what a soul support. I know you recommended the book awhile ago and wanted to thank you so much for that and everything. You are a super eat less move more super hero of mine! Big giant hugs to you sweet one.

  14. #34

    Yep, that’s what I was thinking too: “She’s the next gen.” 🙂

    I love how DOCUMENTING it just makes it more REAL, more IMPORTANT, more MEMORABLE.

    I LOVE our HOBBY!

  15. #35
    Jan from Canada

    Yah Aiden 🙂 Awesome summer plans! and I LOVE the camera in the wide format! I am thinking of getting one each for my teenagers for summer so they too can journal 🙂 So fun!

    A chip off the block eh Cathy 🙂

  16. #36

    P.S. Too bad I have 2 boys who don’t even care about the pages “I” do for them, much less have the desire to do any documenting themselves…sigh.

  17. #37
    Kimberley K

    Cathy….it has been so fun seeing Aidan grow through your blog. What a fantastic page you developed from her thoughts for a great summer and the picture you chose couldn’t be any greater. Fantastic job.

  18. #40

    AHHH, you are such an enabler! I just ordered a bunch of the SMASH products – can’t wait to get them, but I’m afraid I will have to. Not shipping until middle of July. Times does fly – mine is starting ninth grade this fall. I can’t imagine how fast the next four years will go by.

  19. #41

    I stalked Archiver’s waiting for mine to get the Smash books. I bought the same blue retro for my 11 year old daughter. I thought she would like to document her summer and first year in middle school. Of course, I couldn’t resist buying most of the fun accessories that go with it. I am such a sucker for adorableness too! They are spot on in their marketing for this product.

  20. #42
    Lisa VanderVeen

    My 8 year old daughter and I are embarking on a summer travel adventure later this week. We each have a Smash Book and all of the fun accompaniments. I even bought an Instax for the occasion (hopefully I can figure out how to use it – it intimidates me more than my 50D ;). I showed her your blog so she could see how much fun she’s going to have documenting her summer and she asked me to leave a comment telling you we’re doing the exact same thing!

  21. #43

    How fun! Tell her to fill it up with all her cool girlness. And you will get the hang of that Instax in no time!

  22. #44
    Lori P

    I am so glad she has so many summer plans!!! My daughter is in a darker place…not sure what they are called now, but she is emo like…into seclusion and black…..I hope she grows out of it!!

  23. #45

    Aidan rocks! Of course I feel decidedly cooler now that we have the same smash book. Love the list. Very cool. Now for that Instax… Oh, and Cathy Z you are the coolest. I had my mini MeTav tags hanging around and am doing mine A to Z style complete with an orientation almanac and a timeline of me. I just feel cool when I say “I’m so gonna smash this!”

  24. #47

    I’ve got my boys journaling/documenting this summer as well. Wish I would have thought of the Smash book idea! Looking forward to seeing more of Aidan’s summer journey!

  25. #48

    My 12 year old daughter is trying to get her hands on my smash book, they are super fun! Love that Aiden has her summer all planned out and your LO is fab as well!

    Cathy, I am thinking of splurging on just one cool font; I know you use Avenir a lot. What would your suggestion be if you could choose just one? Many thanks!

  26. #49

    I would love my teenager to take an interest in scrapbooking! Thanks for sharing the link to Smash books . I like what you guys have done with it sdofar

  27. #51

    meaning, a black Smash book! I was into seclusion and black and all things goth my freshman year of college. I grew out of it!

  28. #54

    Aiden is Awesome! GO Smash books! Her pages already look fun!! I can’t wait to see what the book will look like at the end of summer!

  29. #55

    so cool… does she need some cardstock to go with that project?? just asking, i would love to send her some 🙂

  30. #59

    Wow! I had no idea Smash books existed. I have GOT to find me one – what a cool way to keep a causual album/idea book. Thanks for the share, and glad to hear Aidan’s got the scrapping bug – she’ll appreciate those memories when she is older, no doubt. Wish I was a scrapbooker when I was her age.

  31. #60
    Chloe Neill

    OMG, I had the same thought yesterday!

    I went to Archivers yesterday to check on Smash books (they were sold out), and I thought, “When Cathy Z. walks into an Archivers, I wonder if the staff get all swoony and starstruck?”

  32. #61

    Nope. Im guessing most of them dont know me. Simple has been done for a few years now, and they dont carry my books there either. I get to be anonymous! woo hoo!

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