//Justyna Palasiewicz, J.D.

Well, it's official--I'm a law school graduate! I graduated this past Saturday and it was such a magical experience. I was inundated with love, happy tears, and joy as many of my relatives (and soon-to-be relatives!!) joined me for the ceremony and then a dinner.

We were at the restaurant for two hours, sharing stories, laughing, and enjoying each other's company. It was truly a special time and something I will remember forever.

I didn't think I would cry, but once I spotted my mom, dad, and brother in the audience, I became teary. Then every time I looked in their direction, I began to cry. During the speeches, my eyes would well with tears. Honestly, guys, I was kind of a mess.

It's all so surreal that I now have a juris doctor. But now the next phase of the journey begins--studying for the bar exam! My bar review class has now begun and from now until the end of July I will be busy cramming my head full of information. Wish me luck and I'll see you all on the other side!

//2015 Scrapbook Album / March Edition

It's finally done! My March flip-through. 'Bout time, considering that it's mid-May. But hey, when you're a full-time law student in the midst of planning a wedding and arranging her life before the two-month hellfest that is bar prep...well, I don't think I've done too shabby a job ;)

But seriously, I'm sorry it took this long. The March album is the last month to fit into this beautiful wood grain-printed cloth album, but that's okay because the first three months of 2015 have been jam-packed! I've been able to include a TON in this album and it's been totally worth it. I will definitely be getting more of these albums for the remainder of the year because I am in loooove with how they worked for me thus far!

Here is the March video!

Not too many tips to add to this month. The only thing I notice I keep doing is layering paper and elements to create quick, cute pages, and also repeating the same embellishments or elements throughout the month. I literally take a package of something I like and spread it out through the whole month's worth of pages. That way, everything is instantly coordinated.

Also, if you continue to be organized throughout the month, your pages will come together really quickly and easily. For example, organize how you want your photos printed and make folders on your computer. Me, personally, I print my photos on either photo paper (for 4x6 photos), card stock (for larger photos), Instax wireless printer, or vellum. I have folders on my computer for each of those formats and it makes the process for sitting down and working on my album a breeze. When I sit down to work on a month, I like to have everything printed and selected ahead of time so I can just sit and make the actual pages. It's been my go-to system for the entire year thus far.

//DIY / Graduation Announcement Hack / Quick, Easy, and Cute!

Hi, there, guys and gals! So in about a week I am graduating from law school, and it's a bit surreal to be honest. All I've ever known these past two decades is school, homework, and exams. It's going to be weird being a "real adult." But hey, next chapter of my life and all that, right?

The law school gave us a bunch of free graduation announcements if we wanted them. Nothing terribly fancy, just the bare facts, but I knew I was going to use them because I didn't want to shell out a ton of bucks for graduation announcements--especially since I wasn't planning on having a party or inviting a ton of people. However, I wanted them to be a little more personalized so that when my family receives them they feel special. I was perusing some of my favorite stationary sites for inspiration but it was on Pinterest where I found an idea similar to my final product (Oh, Pinterest. You wild temptress.). There was a DIY about this, but the webpage no longer worked so I decided to figure out how to do it myself (thanks, Google!).

First, I uploaded a photo of myself into Photoshop. I stuck with dark, monochromatic tones so the text would be easier to read. There was a blank portion on the bottom of the document (which I sized to 4" x 6" since that's the size of the photo I ultimately wanted), so I filled it in with black using the paint tool in Photoshop. Then, I typed the title in a font called Lilly Belle (available here fo' freeeee!) and used a tutorial to create a gold glitter overlay for the text. While I can't locate the original tutorial I used, this one from Sweet C Designs also seems to be really good and should get the job done. I typed the remainder of my text in simple white (I used the same font). VOILA! That's it. This is the end result of the photoshop image.

//The text is in Polish and reads: "I invite you to my graduation. After the ceremony, we invite you to join us for dinner. All of the information is on the card underneath. Kisses, Justyna"//

After that, I simply uploaded the photo to my nearest Walgreens for one-hour printing and attached them to the free grad announcements with a jewel brad. This allows the photo to be attached to the announcement without impeding reading the announcement whatsoever. A bonus is that the 4x6 photo fit perfectly over the text of the announcement, though I was sure to measure beforehand to be certain that I didn't need to order the 5x7 size. I'm happy about that mostly because it's always far cheaper to purchase the 4x6 size and hey, I'm a thrifty (about-to-be-former) grad student.

I absolutely LOVE how they came out--and what I love even more is how simple they were to make! Once I designed the photo (which in all honesty, took only about ten minutes once I figured out the pattern overlay bit), they were a breeze! And everyone said how cute and fun they are, which is a plus in my book! The only bummer is that I did this in Photoshop and I don't know how to do it in a similar program (such as Gimp, which I understand is supposed to be a lot like Photoshop). However, I'm sure it can't be too different and when all else fails, GOOGLE YOUR TUSH OFF, amiright?

What do you guys think? Is anyone else also graduating or recently graduated?