****You can find the 2012 version, by clicking here****

Recently my husband needed a small gift to pass out to small group leaders at our church. Last year they did plastic footballs with logos on them. I made a few negative comments about the footballs and his response to me was instead of complaining I should come up with something better. Thank you Chris, point taken.

He needed something inexpensive and over 250 of them. The theme he was working with was regarding making the most of the time we’ve been given. I created a little daily calendar/notepad. The idea is simple: write down the best part of your day…each day. At the end of the day when I reflect on what was the best of my day, it is usually not “I answered all the emails in my inbox” or something of that nature. It usually involves still moments cuddling on the couch with a child or something related to relationships in my life.

(For sake of cuteness, I wrapped mine with ribbon, baker’s twine, paper doilies, fabric tape, & repurposed coffee sleeve)

The intention was for these to go to adults, but I wanted to my older two boys (4 & 6) to have one. I’ve started doing it with them at night. I want them to learn to think through how they spend their time each day and to continue to practice gratitude. As a mom, it has been good for me to hear each day was stood out to them as the best. It prompts them to share with me things they don’t always on their own.

I didn’t get the notepads made until after January started (it does drive me a bit crazy not to have the full month, but I am getting over it). The first day my boys did it they wrote “I love to play outside with Kennedi.” and “Getting to go to Target and get a slushie with Nana.”

I look forward to reading over their “bests” at the end of the year…and making sure I repeat their “bests” throughout this year.

I wanted to make the pdf files available for you to download to make your own. I wish I had done this before Christmas…they would have been great Christmas gifts. I’m pretty sure I’ll be on the ball with this for Christmas 2011. If you are like me and it bothers you that you can’t start this on January 1st…just make stuff up πŸ™‚

Because of recent server issues I am hosting the pdf file on Google Docs. Once you click on the link to open the file in Google Docs, you will need to select “File” on the top left of the screen and then “download original”. Enjoy!

Download Here


1. Print the 4 sheets onto white cardstock

2. Cut out each month (there is a faint grid background to help you see where to cut)

3. Punch a hole in the top corner

4. Combine using a small ring

5. Wrap cutely if giving as a gift

UPDATE: Despite my attempts to double check dates, I missed January 31st on the notepad. I apologize that you will have to write that date in. Next time I attempt a download I’ll have someone else double check it!


And it totally unrelated news…my bedroom subflooring is getting painted. Don’t be jealous my 1990s Umbros.


back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Shannon Phillips - Oh swoon! I love it!!! Thank you so much for sharing your download with all of us. We will be taking advantage of that for sure. I think it is so important to focus on the beautiful gifts that the Lord has given us.
    I can’t wait to see what you do with your floors.

  • Suzette Mahoney - Thank you! This is an adorable idea!

  • Deb @ PaperTurtle - Oh what a great idea! How wonderful to teach your children (and encourage adults) to take a few minutes to reflect on the blessings of the day. And your design is just adorable. Thanks for the free download! xo

  • amanda torres - Really cool idea. When I was a teacher, we would play High/Low at the end of the day. The kids would each share their high and low moment of the day. It was a great insight to what truly impacted their day.

    Now onto the real important part of my comment. You’ve got some really nice legs in those Umbro shorts. Must be from years and years of gymnastics. Too bad my legs didn’t hold onto that ‘gymnast’ shape. They kinda took on the cottage cheese shape instead. Don’t be jealous!

  • Anna Marie - How sweet of you to share with us! And seeing that floor being painting is super exciting to me for some reason.

  • Kristina - awesome…thanks for the download!

  • Amy Holgersen - Perfectly perfect, as always.

    Why is it that I am not you neighbor?! Boo.


  • emily anderson - your floor! chris finally gave in and is letting you paint it white? i remember you saying he wasn’t too fond of the idea πŸ™‚

  • Kelsey - LOVE the download. Starting this today! Thanks so much for all your DIY ideas πŸ™‚

  • tiffani - such a thoughtful idea/gift! I can’t wait to record my girls gratitudes at night onto that cute pad now! Thanks for the gift:)

  • Tess S - great gift idea! so genuine!

  • Kristin - Love the download. Thank you! We talk about the best and worst of our day around the dinner table, and I’ve been wanting to keep a record of them. This makes it so cute and fun. Can’t wait to see your room come together!

  • gina - Umbros. Awesome. I AM jealous. Thanks for sharing the project. You have had a hand in encouraging our family to be more grateful on a daily basis. Also, we did your stocking idea last week when putting away our Christmas stuff. Excited to open them up next year and see what all has happened!

  • Sarah S - Oh my goodness! I LOVE this! I had thought about making your cute perpetual calendar, but this is much easier (and still super cute!).

  • Tess S - this is so wonderful! what a beautiful gift idea. i love gifts that encourage happiness.

  • Jen - Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait to see what you do with your bedroom! I just love your style…

  • ashley jensen - Haha!! I just knew you were going to paint it!

  • maria - ashley this is so great thank you so much printing them off now!!!!

  • Lori - Love my little calendar…have already put down my best thing for the day…from yesterdays…it bothers me too that I didn’t have this since Jan. 1. I will make mine up as well. Perfect Polly would like me!!! (I think she is a card from Old Maid???)
    can’t wait to see the bedroom!!!!

  • Gevay - Can I just say you, you and your 90’s Umbros rock!

  • mrs.magoo - I love this. Thank you. What a great idea…

  • Jeannette - When I got mine, I said to myself…”looks like Ashley!” I love the idea of the kids having one. With a new baby coming, I thought it would be great to have one to make a note each day about the baby!! Thanks for being so awesome!

  • Lauren Klouda - What a beautiful idea. No matter how you decorate it… keeping track of the good moments of each day can make us grateful people. Love it!

  • mandi - YES!!! The 1990’s Umbros- making a comeback : )! I played soccer, so I was the queen of these.

    I really like your best of days idea. I like to do this too- in journal form. But I like the ease of this- and it’s cute! Thanks for the download!

    Something else I like to do- that I think you’ll appreciate- is to write a journal to my children. When something happens- a little thing, like a flower picked and brought to me, a funny pronunciation of a word- or a big thing, like a lost tooth- I like to jot it down in their journal. I’ve been doing this since they were both born. I love these little journals. I look back over them and see how far we’ve come in such a short amount of time. Something else I like to add is bits of parenting advice. Like when my eldest finally became potty trained, I jotted down what worked for her. I can’t wait to give them their journals one day when they become parents. Here is a link from my blog on it if interested (please excuse the fact that it is pictureless!) :


    One thing I hope to do in the near future, once my Moonpie is a bit more proficient in her writing, is to start writing a journal back and forth to one another. I can’t wait to have our own little secrets and love letters shared back and forth!

  • Julie - Thanks for sharing! I cannot wait to do this! How great to do it with my kids too. And yes I will probably make stuff up, or write something silly in the first days of January.

  • Krista Lund - thank you for this sweet (and easy!) gift idea. you rock!

  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Craft-Ashley,
    I ADORE this idea… it works SO perfectly with my blogging challenge for this year!!! YOu must have read my mind!

    I’m doing Monthly love lists on my blog… just a little tidbit of a moment I loved for each day of the month — to be posted on the 1st Monday of each month…

    I was using sticky notes to keep track of my thoughts… but I’m happy to say that I have printed a new “best of my days” journal on lovely golden textured carstock for myself and one in each of my two older children’s favorite colors Blue for my six yr old daughter and “cream” for my four year old son…

    It’s his fave because, “Papa (my dad) puts cream in his coffee, an I love Papa!”

    Love and thanks,
    Raimie @ The Prairie Hen

  • giozi - It is a good idea, simple, nice, pretty, and cheap πŸ˜‰

  • meg duerksen - girl you have great legs!!!

    those are the coolest notebooks!
    i really love that.
    if i can figure out to download and print them…….
    i will do it.
    my three youngest would love it as much as i do.
    maybe i could even get craig to do it?!!
    i can dream.

  • caro - love, love, love your diy and love too the paints floor.

  • Laurie J - umbros are still cool, girl!

  • Liz R. - LOVE the best of my days idea… we just painted the subfloor in our dining room… what a HUGE difference it made. I’m sure yours will be even more amazing!

  • Chris Campbell - Meg, I agree. She has got some great legs! I also have to say I am always game for a little crazyness in the house whether it is with some painted floors or having our bedroom in our living room!!! It makes for some great wrestling with the kids! You know they love it.

  • Kate - Love your blog, the first one I’ve ever properly followed. You seem like a down-to-earth, making the most out of everyday kind of person (with photography skills I only aspire to!) – so this project seems spot on. Unfortunately I live within the great firewall of China and google aren’t their favourite people so the link is blocked but I reckon I can try and knock this up myself! Thanks for the inspiration.

  • trish - GREAT idea! i will for sure be doing this for my boys!!

  • Christy - L to the O to the L! My sister harassed me till I threw my umbros away! That snob.

  • Jen - Ashley I LOVE this… Thank you!

  • Lori - Love the list idea, thanks for sharing!

    PS. Great legs! πŸ™‚

  • Kelly - It’s really funny that you posted this. We do “best part/worst part” with our boys every night at dinner. Everyone shares the very best thing and the very worst things about their days. Most of the time, they have a really hard time coming up with a worst thing. It usually ends up being something like, “I only got to play video games for 10 minutes” and really if that’s the worst of it then that’s great! Sometimes it’s a real, bigger problem which is also totally great because then we can work through it together and we know what’s going on in their little heads. All of that to say, when you posted the last DIY journal thingy, the one featured on the Today Show, I thought it would be perfect to use for recording our best part/worst part. I have all the stuff to make it, I just haven’t done it yet. It’s on the list for this week! πŸ™‚ And I think the Umbros are awesome!

  • Aimee W. - Thank you so much for this fantastic download! I’m doing a gift exchange with a friend of mine and I was looking for the perfect gift for her and her soon to be fiance! This is just perfect!

  • Lindsey - Ashley – I recently found your blog off of a friends craft blog. I love your photography and projects! hope you don’t mind having another person stalk your life πŸ™‚ I’m so excited to try some of these crafts! I’m also getting more into photography so I love watching your photo style!

  • jessica h - how great! thanks!! I had begun 2011 writing down a short statement of “gratitude” from each day to remind myself how much I have to be thankful for (inspired by your journal DIY)….but I just didn’t have anywhere cute to keep my statements–now I do πŸ™‚ We also do this verbally with our boys at the dinner table; it would be neat to write theirs down for them too until they can write it down all cute-sy for themselves like your two big guys! oh, and the painting job looks so fun…is it gray? that will look nice…I LOVE painting!!! even moreso in comfy old school shorts, ha ha πŸ™‚

  • Jessica Egg - What a great idea! I’ll be making these tonight when the kids fall asleep πŸ™‚

  • amber - I would totally make up stuff just to fill in that calendar.
    Can’t wait to see the bedroom…so exciting:)!
    Thanks for sharing these…I think Christmas 2011 is just about right!!

  • christina larsen - LOVE this. Thanks for sharing.

  • Trinity - Ashley, I just printed the notebook and now I have to cut it…I am going to give them to our AWANA kids….great idea! LOVE it!!!

  • Courtney Henson - Ummmm…and just so you know – totally not jealous of the umbros but totally jealous of those legs! Love this little favorite moment list! You may just inspire me to go out and get some more printer ink so I can print these! Thanks for sharing!

  • Nicole - I love this idea!! Thanks for sharing it!

  • Erin - Dear Ashley,
    I have been reading your blog for a while now and finally felt compelled to write and tell you how grateful I am that you share bits of yourself with the rest of us in such a positive way. I will be printing this list off for myself! I look forward to reading your blog each day–keep coming with the inspiration. May God bless you for spreading the Christ-light to all those who read your work.

    All the best to you and your family!

    P.S. What kind of paint are you using and how did you prep? How is the paint holding up in your other painted floors? We have some painted floors that are starting to look like a hot mess and any tips would be greatly appreciated!

  • Brooke Whitis - LOVE this idea!! I have a book of gratitude where I write down things I’m thankful for, but this is a great idea, especially for kids. I would even love to do it with my class at school!

    PS. I love the umbros. I probably used to have 100 pair. I remember all of them, but sadly, they are spending their time at the local goodwill.

    PPS. I have two carpeted bedrooms left in my home, and I believe before the end of this year, it is very possible they will be stripped and painted as well. Love that you have the guts to do this….one question (that you don’t have to respond to now..) about Baby sister’s room….

    How did you make the transition from room to hallway look natural, since the transition is from white floor to dark hardwood, or white floor to carpet? Just a question because my transition would be white floors to dark hardwood in the hallway.


  • Cottage Gal - Thank you for sharing this awesome idea! I’m going to start mine today πŸ™‚ Each year my sister has a hard time coming up with a cute gift idea for her employees that won’t break the bank – I’ve already passed this idea long to her – I think it will be perfect!

  • ashlee - I love that you are painting your subfloor. I CANNOT wait to see the finished product! I am totally doing the gratitude journal with my kids and myself. What a great idea and a great keepsake!

  • Kenna - This is a great idea! Thank you so much for posting this. I am also excited to see the progress of your room – I’m moving into a new house and will be decorating soon.

  • Paola - Hello! I am a big fan of your blog and I love all your projects. I just want to ask you about your photography wall. How you did it? Do you use something special so you pictures do not get ruin?

  • Holly - Just jealous that you can still fit in your 1990’s shorts!

  • Cottage Gal - Just wanted to let you know that I linked back to this post on my blog!

  • Rachel - No offense to the footballs but this blows them out of the water. Wow! Love, love, love, I’ll be linking.

  • georgia - Reading the word Umbros makes me laugh.

  • Andrea - Love this idea!

    You are so creative, it amazes me!

    Thanks for the download, I can’t wait to make this!

  • laura - this is BRILLIANT. and ADORABLE. and i love it. thank you so much for sharing! i am going to try to get my six year old on board with this each night!

  • Andrea Jett - Thank you for the download! Feel free to post freebies like that anytime you want! πŸ˜‰ So blessed by your creativity!

  • laura - what are you using to paint the floors? laytex? a special pain? anything going on top to protect it? i would luuuuuuuuuv to know:).

  • Jess - Love the notebooks…what a great gift idea! I can’t wait to see the “after” pictures of your bedroom. How exciting to see the floors painted white. I love white. Maybe someday I can talk my husband into letting me do that in our bedrooms. It would be a miracle…he loves carpet under his toes! πŸ™‚

  • Carolyn - I love the notepads – especially the doily and ribbon version! Such a great idea to do with kids.

  • Kristin S - I’m impressed you can fit in the Umbros!

  • Mariela - Ashley Ann, you’re so talented with your hands… i wish i could be more like you.. you’re very creative. Congratulations on your b-e-a-utiful family! I also love your pictures, they look great. Thank you for sharing your tips!! Keep it up, super mum! XOXO from Argentina!

  • eheddings - Great, thoughtful idea! Thank you, Ashley. Any chance that you will make a copy that says 2012? Not a high priority, I am sure. But it is never to early to start planning for next year.

  • Shannon - Great idea, thanks! And can I ask about the floor? It looks great, can you share the best paint, ect to use for that? Thanks!

  • ashley wise - OMG! these are so dang cute! Thank you SO much! I am over about 70 women in my church and next sunday I am totally going to give these to them! I love them so much! Keep up the good work and thanks again for sharing this with all your readers!

  • kim - My family does a “gratitude box”. It sits out on a counter in the kitchen every day along with a supply of little note sized papers /pens. Throughout the day we can write down things we’re grateful for – be it a favor someone did for you, or just whatever your little heart felt thankful for that day. We read them every night at dinner. I’ve found it’s really helpful in letting people feel appreciated for things you may not think to say thank you for.

  • Kelly - Why paint the subfloor?

    Anyway, I LOVE your ideas. I keep coming back to see what you post. Thanks for sharing so generously
    YES that would bug me to start now in January.
    This would be great to do with / for my students!


  • Melissa McClure - I love this Ashley! I wanted to make your index card journal calendar but can NOT get around to doing it. This download I just print off will let me make it and start it tonight! AND I’m going to do this with Lily Faye (I’ll do the writing of course). πŸ™‚ Also, LOVE the 90’s umbros. I have 2 black pairs myself; paint splatters and holes included. πŸ™‚

  • Chelle - i adore the concept and the design!!! thank you for sharing them as well as the file…can’t wait to make mine!!

    p.s. i will totally be making up the beginning of Jan!!!

  • tasha roe - love this idea.
    love that you are painting your floor. i’m trying to convince the hubster to let us do that on the second floor – reclaimed wood painted white….swoon.

  • Sharry Sullivan - Thank you for jump starting my tomorrow!

  • MGF - You crack me up with your umbros

  • Stacey - I miss my 1990’s Umbros!

    Super cute gift idea!

  • Felicia - I love this! I can’t wait to do it w/my 7 yr. old. We have been doing best & worst since he could talk.

    I am so making for a couple of my coworkers. It is will help reflect the good & less focus on the not as good.

    BTW – love the Design Sponge journal. I was a little late making it, but able to make up the few days that I missed.

  • Chelsea - I love this. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I will be printing it off and starting tomorrow. On another note, I actually am kind of envious of your umbros. I’d forgotten all about them, and now I am kind of nostalgic for my old pair. They were comfy…

  • Susie - You’re adorable. I love this daily positive at the end of the day- I think I’ll look forward to it all day long πŸ™‚ Thanks, Ashley!

  • Jenny - I have been doing this every night with my son as part of his tuck-in routine for two years. I just never thought of writing it down. However if there is one thing we do consistently (my son is adamant about it), it’s asking him to tell me the favorite part of his day.

  • anneke - I love this idea, I’m trying to make some. Today is a great start-day too: it’s 11-1-11 (for the Europeans) or for you Americans: 01-11-11…

  • Laura - Love this! I’m going to print it out now. And I will “back date” for the last 10 days. I think I can remember/make stuff up for all 10. πŸ™‚

  • Moni - Dear Ashley! I love your idea!
    And I love your blog & your photos!
    Greetings from Germany!

  • Candice Forte - Someday I think it would be fun to have a photojournalistic view of your whole day wake until sleep (if you even do that sleeping thing, which I doubt). How does one with 4 children and 2 who are not school age be so productive? You maybe can start teaching a time management and “how to interact with your kids and still love on them while being productive” seminar!

  • “The Best of My Days” « ….it's what we do - […] saw this idea over on AshleyAnn’s blog and I may just have to copy it. While I probably won’t make a cute little notebook like […]

  • Ginny - I’m printing these for my kids. My oldest tends to always be unhappy, so I am always telling her she needs to write something positive down every day. Now there is no excuse πŸ™‚

    I love the line about bothering you it didn’t start on the 1st, I was thinking the same thing myself, lol.

  • Reidunn - Love that your husband comments on your legs through your blog!
    Looking forward to see how your bedroom floor turns out.

  • Emily F - What a neat idea! I can’t wait to use these!

    Can’t wait to see the finished floors look like!

  • Julie Call - Thank you so much for sharing the download! I already ask each one of my children what the best part of their day was as I tuck them in. I am going to make one for each of them (and myself of course:o). This is also a great Valentine’s gift idea for friends and family! Thanks so much!

  • Karen - The timing on this was perfect. I downloaded these yesterday for my daughter’s Girl Scout troop. I had them scrapbooking yesterday so I made these and handed them out to all of them after as another fun memory idea. They love them and my daughter back filled them in. Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Franna Larsen - OH MY GOSH!!!! LOVE this idea…I can NOT wait to print these up and give them out! THANK YOU!

  • Anndee - I love this. Thank you!!!

  • Melissa Christensen - Love this idea!! But January has 31 days in it and the sheets only have 30 listed. I wouldn’t worry about it but it’s my Birthday!! I’m sure that would count as a BEST for the day! LOL

  • Francine - Thank you! This will be the perfect addition to my night pages journaling habit.

  • Sherry - What a great idea! Would it be possible for you to post a set for 2012 in the next few months so that we can assemble gifts for next year? Thank you for sharing with us!

  • Tweets that mention diy {the best of my days notepad- 2011} Β» ashleyannphotography.com -- Topsy.com - […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Trigger Memory , Nicola Noble and Courtney Christensen. Courtney Christensen said: I'm totally making these: http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2011/01/10/diy-the-best-of-my-days-notepad-2011/ […]

  • Ashley - Thank you Thank you Thank you! Especially for attaching the google doc. I am so excited to use this as a way to hold on to some great memories. Also, I’m a teacher and I’d love to make these as gifts for my students (or help them make some).

  • Getty Image Office Philippines - Great notepads, how creative. Thanks for sharing the procedure on how to make creative notepads.

  • Jen B - Hi! I’m new to your blog and just had to say how much I LOVE this idea! What a simple but effective way to focus on the positive. I sure could use more of that in my life. πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing!

  • Stuff I read this week in cyperspace β€” A Familiar Path - […] The Best of Days notepad by Ashleyann. I didn’t print one of these, but I started writing down one sentence from each day in my calendar that I wanted to remember. I love it. […]

  • Freebie: Daily Journaling Notepad · Scrapbooking | CraftGossip.com - […] simple daily journaling pad is meant to help you record the best part of each day for this year. Created by AshleyAnn over at Under the Sycamore Tree. This could make great […]

  • Julie - These are SO cute!!! Thanks so much for sharing! Think there’s anyway to make 2012 available so I can start on Christmas gifts for next year?? πŸ™‚ Just trying to stay true to my New Years Resolutions…staying organized (i.e. not waiting until the last minute to make Christmas gifts!).

  • Ashley Ann Notepad of Gratitude at Hey Little Birdie | Shopping Blog - […] Ann is one of my cherished daily blog reads. Earlier this month, she posted a DIY notepad that is true gift. The idea is simple – before bedtime, write down your favorite moment from […]

  • The Best of My Days « burlapandtwine - […] the second craft of the week with my friend Swan. We’d read about a great journaling idea here for capturing the best parts of each day and decided to replicate it for […]

  • Syndi - Love it! I copied your idea and worked mine in MS Word; I wanted an 5.5×8 page (two per legal size page) for my daughter (7y/o, 2nd grd) so she could have a little more space. I think it’s a great idea for her to jot down the little things that make her happy and be able to revisit them years from now. Her first entry: “Somebody peed in the hall! Awesome, right?!” …Not exactly what I had in mind πŸ™‚

  • patty - love this! visiting from miss melissa at familiar path… and um, surely you played soccer if you are in umbras, no? πŸ™‚

  • Next week roundup | False Dandelions - […] The best of my days notepad Since one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more optimistic, this notebook might be a valuable exercise for me. […]

  • Robin Gibson - THIS is an AMAZING idea, and LOVE LOVE LOVE how your made your book! THANKS for sharing! I am going to make one in the am, when I have some more time!
    LOVE IT!

  • Rebecca - Pure Awesomeness! Thanks for the download and thanks to Kolette Hall for sharing the link to your blog on her blog!

  • Angie F - LOVE that I can do this with my girls!! YEAH!!! Thanks so much! I’m here from Kolette’s blog.

  • Mary Ann - Thank you for the great best of my days download!

  • Cheri - Love this concept – thanks for sharing. I linked back to you over on my blog!

  • DIY – the best of my days notepad idea « 7 line photography - […] can create your own monthly pads or DOWNLOAD the FREE Design from Ashely Ann Photography. […]

  • Audre - Thank you so much for this! I totally LOVE it. Is there a way to change the year to 2012? I want to get an early start on Christmas gifts! Thanks again!!

  • Amy - I love this idea. I want to use it for teacher gifts for this year, but I need to know if there is a way to change Jan-May from 2011 to 2012. The sooner you let me know the better…we start school in one week and I need to make 70 of these by then. Thanks!

  • Sue - Hi Ashley, I have recently found your blog and I LOVE your crafts! Any chance you will post a 2012 google doc for this? I would love to make this for my moms group ladies for christmas (I know, I am waaaay ahead) and I was hoping you might be able to tweak the doc! Thanks so much!

  • Adriane - Hi, I just found your blog (it’s 10/2/11) and saw this. WOW! I want to do this for 2012! Will you be making one for the new year??? Thanks!

  • Aimee - I LOVE this project! What a meaningful keepsake! I would really like to have this for 2012. Before I try to recreate the wheel, are you going to make one for 2012?

  • Aimee - Are you going to post a 2012 edition? I love this! What a blessing

  • Leah - Any chance you will be making one for 2012. I would love to make these for my friends for Christmas. I’m in 7th grade and I love to craft. Thank you, Leah

  • Cloud9 Design - thank you so much!! this is such a wonderful idea!!! πŸ™‚


  • Mai Vacheresse - Keep it Undemanding, Laid-back to Follow and be Enormously CONSISTENT.

  • DIY-mas « The Wordy Thirties - […] of My Days Notebook – from Ashley Ann (includes downloadable […]

  • Tina - This is so adorable!! and nicely done!!! Awesome idea πŸ™‚

  • Louise - The download for the 2012 edition doesn’t work πŸ™
    creative idea!

  • Tara - Just discovered your site and I love it. Thank you for posting the best-of-my-days notepad download. I just tried the link for the 2012 version and it didn’t work. Any suggestions? Thanks!

  • Best of My Days « Karla M Curry - […] decorated hers with recycled cardboard coffee sleeves, doilies and colorful ribbon and yarn in her 2011 version.Β  I didn’t have all of these thingsΒ butΒ I did findΒ some of what I learnedΒ is upholstery […]

  • The Best of My Days {January} β€” Sacred Mundane - […] For Christmas a friend gave me a beautiful and unique hand-made gift: The Best of My Days. Twelve simple pages, labeled for each month, with long and narrow and numbered space for each day. Just enough room to write a few words for each day of the year — the best of my days. I hung it right above my kitchen sink, where I can see it all the time. And this simple exercise, of reflecting each day on one simple joy, has been a delightfulΒ and unexpected part of my 2012. I love the Week’s end with thanksΒ and will continue to do it, but thought at month’s end it’d be fun to just share the best of my days.Β (Make your own!) […]

  • Summer Valentine - I love this idea and would like to make it for teacher gifts. I cannot seem to change it to 2013. Any suggestions?


  • Stephanie - I know this is an old post but I’ve had it stored in my memory bank as a great little gift idea for our church staff. I was wondering how you made it? I looked at your download in hopes I could just change the year but I couldn’t figure out how!?! Of course I can just wing it πŸ™‚ and create my own, but yours is soooo cute. If you have a chance in your crazy busy life these days can you tell me how you created yours? Our staff party isn’t until Jan. 4th so I have a week to get it done. Thanks a bunch!

  • AshleyAnn - Stephanie – Here is a link to the 2013 one http://ashleyannphotography.com/blog/2012/10/08/diy-best-of-my-days-calendar-2013/

  • 2012 Best of My Days Notepad {free download} » ashleyannphotography.com - […] year I shared a little notepad for jotting down one thing that stood out as the best thing from that day. I use these with my […]

  • Today's Housewife : It’s beginning to sound a bit like…. - […] share the gratitude and stickΒ the best of my days notepadΒ in their […]

This post is really about the beginning of my bedroom makeover, but I remembered I never shared the final version of FireCracker’s Christmas gift. I posted sneak peeks at it before Christmas. She loves to carry bags around, so I made a special one for her Christmas present.Β  It is my normal wonky sewing skills, but it works. I was very much inspired by this one – if only I could sew like she does!


And now the start of the story of my bedroom….when I was trying to decide the colors for the room I kept coming back to these old tins.

Originally I was going to do a mural of that painting on the wall, but knowing my constant need to change things I decided it probably wasn’t the best use of my time right now. All those pretty paints will be popping up here for another project soon.

After painting several different colors on the wall I ended up with “muslin”….

Once the paint was up I started removing base boards and tearing out the carpet…(most would recommend painting after you take out the baseboards and carpet but I wasn’t ready to move out my bed). Tearing out carpet is one of the most gratifying things to me. It might be odd how much enjoyment I get out of pulling up tacking strips and taking my knife to the carpet.

Chicken wire….lots of chicken wire….

When looking for some new fabric to replace the previous pillows I couldn’t find anything affordable for the look I wanted. I decided to experiment bleaching and dyeing fabric (thank you Martha…tutorial here). Warning: the process of bleaching and dyeing fabrics is highly addictive. I now feel the need to experiment with all the 100% cotton fabrics I can find for $1.00 a yard.

I picked fabrics that reminded me of vintage linens…not ones that I would normally buy. I am not a fan of the original version of this fabric, but once it was bleached and they dyed…I like it. You’ll be seeing more of it.

A few more things to experiment with….new pillows coming!

So now the bedroom is emptied and my kids think having a bed in the living room is beyond exciting. I, on the other hand, hope the disarray in my house will be worth it in a few weeks. Clutter stresses me out.

I hope you have a great weekend!

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • laura - ooo….looking forward to the updates:). and can’t wait to try bleaching some cheap fabric! thanks!

  • Emily L. - Haven’t seen you since Mandy’s wedding, but wanted to say I love your blog. My favorite parts are when you post ideas about how you are trying to teach your kids compassion toward others. (Totally random sidenote, but the colors in the illustrations in “Caps For Sale” kind of remind me of the color combos you keep talking about.) My sister is going to take your next photography class… her husband got it for her for Christmas. She’s so excited. P.S. If you want an invite to our blog to learn about our adventures abroad, just send me an email.

  • amy - You’ve got me totally intrigued….and believe it or not…hubby just bought some fabric dye (He’s honestly trying to make baptismal robes that change from wed to white when dunked in water…i know…).

    Anyway…definitely going to steal some of his dye to work on some fabrics I’ve got lying around – thanks for the inspiration!

  • Lindsay - I have a feeling this is going to turn out really really cool. I wish I had your talent and mad skills!

  • Yanet - I’m so looking forward to seeing the outcome. I’m sure it’ll be fabulous. What will you do with all the chicken wire? Hmmm…

  • Karen Davis - LOVE the dye job…they’re gorgeous, and I will definitely have to try it out myself πŸ™‚

  • Danielle - We are in the midst of a redo here also! Bookshelves and toys all over my living room! Can’t wait to see!

  • Amy Holgersen - I needed this post. Makes me get my butt in gear on my own mbedroom makeover!

  • Jacquelyn - I am so jealous of your 4 poster bed! Love your use of color, it’s so refreshing!

  • Anna Marie - Oh wow, this is so exciting, Ashley. I would want to be spending every available second to get it finished. Have fun doing it! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE IT!!! Oh, and I had no clue you could do that with fabric…SWEET!

  • Jessica - wow, I can’t believe you are undertaking that on your own! “I am woman, hear me roar”, that is you!! Soo….I have to know where Firecracker got her shirt!!!! Please, do tell!

  • emily anderson - if only we could all be so inspired by salted cheese sticks. lol.

    can’t wait to see the finished product…

  • lesley graham - you are so inspiring! i get so comfortable with NOT changing anything because i hate the disarray too. i can’t wait to see what you come up with! you rock lady.

  • amanda torres - Hello, Ashley? Is there anything that you can’t do? Can’t wait to see the final product. AND, I can’t even comment on the purse. More thought on it would put me over the edge. Beyond precious!!!

  • Taylor - The tutorial linked doesn’t mention the process for bleaching. Did you still do the salt and everything for the bleach? I’ve never bleached anything, can you tell LOL.

  • Shannon - I can not wait to see the finished project!! Your bed is gorgeous and I love the colors!

  • andy - it’s so funny that you posted this about bleaching material. just yesterday i bleached a crib skirt for my daughter. my mom bought it a year ago and it was more purple than the pink in her room. i bleached it not sure what would happen but thinking that even if it went all the way white it would be better than the purple. it came out great. light pink.

  • Ruth - Clutter stresses me out too. We remodeled most of our house last year and it just about killed me. It is supposed to be fun and you almost feel guilty for complaining, but the end result IS worth it. Every day I look at the spaces we’ve finished and it makes me happy. Can’t wait to see the big reveal!

  • Seamingly Sarah - I can’t wait to see the final product! I also can’t believe the amount of work you are putting into this! My idea of redecorating is taking down all the frames in our house and making my husband repaint them. Tearing up carpet, painting…we did that when we first bought the house and I don’t think I can bring myself to do that again.

  • Jill E. - amazing what some dye can do. i love your inspirations. is there a name for that pattern? agree with everyone else look forward to the final product!

  • tiffani - Looks great! I am guessing you added lace to your little babe’s shirt?? If you didn’t-I would be surprised:) It is so cute-so I think I am going to try something like this to my little girls shirts! And I really can’t wait to see what you are doing with ‘lots’ of that chicken wire**:)

  • Green Gracie Home - amazing…I cannot wait to see the final transformation. I am fascinated by the dying/bleaching of the fabrics.

  • Jamie - I have never, ever thought about dying/bleaching fabric to get it “just right.” Genius! Once all my craft supplies are unpacked at my new house, I’m giving this a try. Your ideas are so cool.

  • anna - love the bag, how sweet. πŸ™‚ and the fabric dying looks amazing. never tried it, but now it kind of makes me want to give it a try. πŸ™‚ I wonder if the bleaching process weakens the fabric too much?

  • ashley jensen - I just know you will be doing something beautiful with those wood floors! The bleaching and dyeing of fabrics does look addicting. I really like the fabric and colors you have in there right now too!

  • Katie P. - The colors are all so pleasing! and the final product will be so rewarding! Also, I just keep thinking about how exciting my mom and dad’s bed in the living room would have been when I was a child. I still kinda think it would be fun now, in my own house, as a mom. I am sure my husband would disagree! πŸ™‚

  • Kristen Haufschild - Absolutely gorgeous and inspiring! I can’t wait to see the final product!!

  • Jen - I have nothing really to say, other than I totally covet your style.

  • Heather - i ADORE your style and can’t wait to see it when you’re finished!
    firecracker’s purse is so great!!!

  • Dacia - Oh I can’t wait to see how it comes out! I’m sure it will be awesome. Now you’ve got me curious about bleaching and dying fabrics… hmmm.

  • Jess - Oh my word you are so brave for starting a project like that – in the middle of your house with four kids! More power to ya!

  • Anna - loving the color palette you chose for your room! can’t wait to see the finish product!

  • christina larsen - Can’t wait to see the finished project.

  • allison - Wow, I love the colors you chose! That teal is just to die for. I’m in the middle of some home makeover stuff, too, so it’s inspiring to see yours coming together πŸ™‚

  • Laurie J - beds in the living room are TOTAL excitement for kiddos! πŸ™‚ thanks for the peek at the makeover–I love the dyeing and bleaching fabric tip. If it’s addictive maybe it will take over my addiction to chocolate. Maybe

  • AshleyAnn - here is a link with more info on bleaching fabric:


    I did not add the lace to her shirt…that was a gift from a friend.

    The wood flooring is the plywood subfloor…

    I don’t know the name of the fabric pattern…I got it at Hobby Lobby.

  • amber - That is SO smart. I’m about to take on the task of pillows for our living room…and now I’m even more excited:)!

    Clutter stresses me out too…but it keeps coming back to find me. Geez.

  • mandi - I checked that book out from the library- the idea of bleaching and dying fabric really sounded good to me too! Oh, and the tins! I was thinking how funny it would be to paint a mural of the salty cheese sticks on the wall!

    Your color scheme is the same scheme I just painted the exterior of my house. We did a taupe on the walls, that gold on the window trim and the teal for the doors. We have 2 front doors (80+ year old house). I love, love, love it!!!

  • Mary - I am addicted to dyeing fabric…it is so awesome!

  • Leanne - to bleach and dye or not? what fun!!

  • twirling betty - Firecracker’s bag is just utterly gorgeous. Those colours, blue yellow and grey have been turning over in my head lately – love that combination. And all the cute trimmings and embroidered personalisation. Such a special gift.
    And I look forward to seeing your bedroom as it progresses. I’ve no doubt it will be spectacular at the end. Spectacular in a subtle, cool way…not in a Liberace way, of course! Clutter stresses me out too but when it’s in pursuit of a greater good I can cope. Just. For a very limited time.

  • Katie - LOVE it – can’t wait to see more and wow your bed and the colour cushions really stand out now against the wall πŸ™‚

  • Lori - Okay – I love her purse- must make one or get one…:0)
    also – love the wall color, it looks so refreshing and I cannot wait to see the end result…so excited…also, I already bleach & dye my hair…soooo, why not try fabric?? good tips. thx. I love that tin with the repeated print on it…it is so pretty. love it.

  • Kim - What about the chicken wire???

  • giozi - wow wow wow you reall yare a super woman !!!
    My house need a paint right now, but nobody say anything, me neither my husband. ha ha ha.
    I like your tote more πŸ˜‰

  • jade - Awww Ashley I LOVE the sweet bag you made. Now I’m thinking I need to make another for Chloe.

  • Jackie - I love that you were inspired by a tin of “Salted Cheese Crackers!” The colors are great! Can’t wait to see the finished results!

  • Amanda - I love the inspiration tin on the right! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for the rest of your room.

  • sarah - Can’t wait to see the finished product! Ripping up carpet-my favorite activity! We don’t have one scrap of carpet left in our home due to my addiction!

  • the whyte house - i love the dresser color. very pretty. since you’re already sleeping in the living room, you guys should camp out there one night w the kids. we like to pitch a tent in the basement from time to time for the kids. πŸ™‚ haha.

  • Kim - Yes, I want to know about the chicken wire too! You have totally inspired me to do my bedroom , which has never been decorated since I moved in 7 years ago:(

  • spano - Hello, your website is very pretty !!!!!!
    just one question, I would like to know the exact color of the blue of the chest of drawers in the background of the photo….thank you very much !!!!!!!!!

  • Busy busy busy | OhSweetWhatever - […] – as well as a bit of Β ’bleach & dye’ experimentation (a little bit like this), I intend making a teething/nursing necklace (like this) And I stopped in at the greengrocer to […]

I was recently able to manage an hour for a private little session with my niece….it was peaceful, no distractions and I wasn’t rushed at all in getting photos. I even had time to set up a pretend studio to shoot in.

She is gorgeous. GORGEOUS….like her mommy.


She was fascinated with that side of the room…not so fascinated with my big black camera.


So fascinated with that side of the room she even laughed at it.


Back to my reality….30 minutes to get pictures, feed her, change her and get her ready for her mom’s return….with 2 little helpers. Though they shock her, hug her too tightly, leave wet marks in her hair from kisses and are all up in her business – she still seems to like them. At least she smiles at them when they are at a distance.


They love her so much. My daughter lets out an animal like squeal when she sees her cousin. Awesome.

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • amanda torres - Ahhhhh…so precious! It makes me want another sweet smelling newbie little baby. Then I think about waking up at night, and I’m cured. I’m sure Firecracker enjoys having one of her own around. My Little Miss flocks towards other little girls flies on a fresh pile of manure. I guess after playing with her bro and cousin, she likes the comradery that girls offer when she’s around them.

  • ria - Amazing pictures. She IS gorgeous!

  • Tess S - she’s a beauty.kids are the greatest.

  • Sadie - PRECIOUS! Love your b&ws! Do you use an action or do you do it on your own? I would love to know your steps! πŸ™‚ She is one precious loved little girl!

  • Deb - She IS gorgeous, and your photos are amazing. LOVE the black and whites especially. Well done!!!

  • Lindsay - ADorable! WOW~!

  • RachelC - Sweet P is beautiful. Love that picture with Firecracker kissing her and the one where littlest brother is trying to pull her legs off….er…..gently rubbing her feet.

  • andy - precious pics
    love the one of your daughter kissing her
    she will love them more and more
    my daughter is 7 months and is crazy about my son (3)
    and my niece and nephew
    she smiles so big for them and is crazy about the attention they give her

  • Anna - beautiful pictures…you’re niece is gorgeous! pretty little girl!

  • Emily Morrice - Beautiful pictures!
    I love how your kids love her πŸ™‚

    QUESTION: where did you get that headband? It’s so cute!

  • Yanet - She IS gorgeous! People pay big money to have those lashes!!

  • Lesley - Thank you SO much for doing her pictures!! They are so good. It’s so fun to watch your youngest 2 with her. I think they’ll all be bffs!!

  • Allison - Love these pictures – Your niece is so beautiful!

  • Erin Lee - ugh that last picture KILLS me it’s so cute!!! you’re family just got good genes!!

  • amber - She is so beautiful.

    And baby cousins are awesome…our kids love theirs too much too;).

  • meg duerksen - i would like to kiss her neck. πŸ™‚

  • Lori - OH MY WORD. HER EYES ARE SO PRETTY!! cute cute cute…

  • Julie - Gorgeous baby, love your set up!

  • megan - Amazing shoot! Very much inspires me for my own littles.

  • Kim - Wow…if I don’t feel like I’m looking right into your sister’s eyes! So beautiful!!

  • jessica h - oh my! she truly is one gorgeous little baby girl! loved the black & whites–they bring out her eyes πŸ™‚ And that last shot of littlest bro and sweet P, too cute!!

  • kristiina - stunning photos….she’s gorgeous! the first one reminds me of the gerber baby πŸ˜‰ thanks for sharing her!!

  • nancy boothe - That last photo is to die for! The love… But all of them are beyond awesome.

    I’d like to know what Sadie asked also. Think you’d ever share your B&W conversion secrets in a post?

  • allison - beautiful pictures! those eyes…gorgeous.

  • Krista Lund - what sweet photos and i especially like the one with all the cousins.

  • Cate O'Malley - Too cute! Love the one of Firecracker kissing her, and the one where she’s laying on your son. Adorableness to the nth degree, all of them.

  • Stoich91 - Beautiful shots. I love how you perfectly capture their relationship. It’s just wrong how mad your photo skilz are and how CUTE (!) your babies/relatives/offspringingeneral are! πŸ˜€ Thanks for sharing!

  • christy stout - Love the last pic!!! So sweet :] And her eyes are beautiful!!!!

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Oh! Heaven help me… must find baby head to kiss right now πŸ™‚

  • christina larsen - Those eyes are amazing.

  • Jessamy - God has blessed you in so many ways!
    I love that you bless us by sharing the amazing creative talent He has given to you!
    Awesome, awesome pictures.

  • reyanna - Holy Cow! She’s one of the most gorgeous little girls I’ve ever SEEN! These photos are amazing. I’ll bet your sister was thrilled! πŸ™‚

  • Amy of WhisperWood Cottage & Junkologie - Stunning! They are all too wonderful!

  • Katie - Hey I love the photos…just wondering if you made the head band and if you have a tutorial for it??

  • Liz - I LOVE LOVE LOVE the last one!!! So adorable!!

  • Jen - Love all these photos. I’d make improving my photography one of my resolutions but I already have too many for this year. Maybe next year? πŸ™‚

  • Bonnie presley - Beatiful! Where is that precious bonnett from , I have all boys but my niece would be so cute in it:)

  • Ali Richardson - A-dorable! Such a beautiful baby. That last one of the hug is precious! Great shots πŸ™‚

  • PJ - OK… how do you make her eyes sparkle like that? Is there a trick?

  • Dana - What lens did you use for these photos? I’m trying to learn more about what kind of shots are possible with different lenses. Thanks!

  • Mary - She looks like an old fashioned hollywood star in the second black and white photo. Beautiful!

  • Amanda - too fricking cute. Love it!

  • Carolyn - Sweet P is so beautiful…so delicate and lovely! and the yellow hat is awesome..colour, style..perfect! Love the little helpers too πŸ™‚

  • Leanne - beautiful pictures and baby too!

  • Jovanna Gomez - Ashley! Hi, what settings did you shoot with? Her eyes look so bright. I want to learn πŸ™‚

  • Carissa Miller - What?!?! You are taking pictures for people again. I’d like to set up a session STAT. OK just kidding. You can’t blame a girl for trying. And on a side note, it really should be considered child abuse to put fake eyelashes on a child that small. Those are fake right? Surely no baby could ever, EVER have eyelashes that are that jet black and look like she has 5 coats of Loreal on them! Say it isn’t so! For real though. She is gorgeous. I am sure she has plenty of babysitters but if you ever need an extra one, C.C. volunteers!

  • Amy - love it, cousins are the best!

  • sarah j - in some of these she actually looks like a doll–so delicate and perfect! lovely photographs.

  • erin bourquin - she seriously is the most BEAUTIFUL baby i have ever laid eyes on!!!

  • Sara Beth Johnson - Amazing pics. She is SO cute. Would love to know where you got this hat and what lens use used for shooting these!

  • Kirsten - LOVELOVELOELOVELOVE that last pic!

  • Margie - She is so precious! What amazing pictures!

  • Carley - Um, I am not a super huge fan of any baby that is ever born in the world and I don’t typically see a random infant & melt but…this…child!!!!!!!!!!!! she is drop dead gorgeous. Seriously the prettiest little child I have ever seen.

  • tricia dunlap - gorgeous! where did you get the hair accessories? would love to know!

  • giozi - Beautiful pictures but the last one is the best. I love it.

  • Karen Aldrin - stunning photos.I bet her mum was very pleased

  • tiffany - First off, I love your blog. Second, thank you for providing such great projects and inspiration overall. This post is just so beautiful, your daughter, the love displayed between them all is just priceless. Those are wonderful timeless memories.

  • the whyte house - you should get a shot of just her eyes. in color. they are so magnificent!

  • Katie - What a lovely bunch of tiny people πŸ™‚

  • Emily - I agree! Great shoot of a beautiful girl! I would also love some details about what settings and the lens you used =) especially for the black and white photos. Did you use a photo editor? Our photographer has been sick and now our newborn has RSV, so we won’t be seeing anyone for a while and I would really like to take some better pictures of my girls myself. I have taken a couple of basic photography classes, so your past blogs on photography make sense. Any help is appreciated! Thanks Ashley!