Elsie’s Week In The Life Album

Elsie's week in the life album www.abeautifulmess.com A few weeks ago I took a challenge to photograph a week in our life and make an album out of it. The challenge was created by my pal, Ali Edwards, and you can read more about her thoughts on it here. I've read Ali's blog for, like, ten years (hers was the first blog I ever read actually, and an early inspiration for starting my own blog!), so I've seen her do this challenge year after year, and I've always loved the thought of it. But for whatever reason, I never joined in myself until this year. Today I'm here to show you my album and share my experience with documenting a week in my life through photographs and then an album. 

Like most people, I don't feel like my everyday life is all that interesting. For the most part my weekdays and weekends are pretty routine. I go to work at 8am. I sometimes take either a coffee or lunch break with Jeremy. I work till five-ish. We eat out a lot. And some nights we cook easy meals at home. We watch The Mindy Project and Scandal and The Biggest Loser. And on the weekends we do brunch and usually work a few hours in the afternoons (Jeremy loves working to break up a day, and I am always behind on my to-do list), and then go to a Mixtapes show or hang out with another couple. And to me, that pretty much sums it up! We have a happy life, but I didn't feel like I would have a lot of different things to take photos of. I was worried my album would be boring. 

Well, I was right, and I was wrong. 

My week wasn't perfect, and it wasn't always photogenic. It was boring at times. It was a stressful week at work, not one of my best. I didn't get tons of awesome photos every single day. But what I did get, I LOVE. Taking the photos and making the album made me realize how many special in between moments each week is filled with. 

Looking back through it now, I am so glad I took the challenge. I am so glad I didn't quit on Tuesday. I feel like the album accurately portrays the ups and downs that my real life is made of. The week happened to fall on Halloween (yay!), and there are some super special fun photos in there of our funny costumes and my niece's Disney princess moment. But there are also photos of the little things, like a cleaning day I had and some outtakes from a work shoot that I wouldn't have normally printed. 

All in all, I'm so happy I took this challenge. It inspires me to do more. Next up, December Daily! (Last year was my first year and it was totally worth the time invested.) 

Alright—enough talking. Here's a bunch of photos of my completed album—

Elsie's week in the life album- the inside cover Elsie's week in the life album- the inside cover (I used our Emoji Stamp Set and Jet ink to stamp the entire inside cover of my book. I love the pattern it adds as well as the sentiment of a very emotional week!)

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album

Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album     (Had to include a closeup of Penny's epic solo sword fight.)

Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album
Elsie's week in the life album          What do you think? Do you feel like everyday life is awkward or special to photograph? I think it's definitely both. 🙂 xx. Elsie 

Credits// Author and Photography: Elsie Larson. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess Actions.

  • Your album looks amazing. Would love to make me own. What size is your album? And what kit is it?

  • Hello!

    I just found your blog for the first time today and have enjoyed reading your scrapbooking posts. This year is the first year that I am going to do December Daily and I was looking for inspiration, which you have provided an abundance of! I look forward to reading more of your blog posts!


  • Elsie, you´re always so inspiring!! I´m so glad you came back to doing post on photography, scrapbook. etc.

  • Love this all, but I especially LOVE the faces stamped all on the inside, that just ROCKS!

  • Penny sure is one feisty mermaid! I did toy with the idea of scrapbooking when doing #100HappyDays and maybe 365 Project too. It didn’t happen yet because like you I feel it’s not that fantastic to do anything about. Hopefully next year!

  • Hi Amanda,
    This is the printed I use- http://shop.usa.canon.com/shop/en/catalog/printers-all-in-ones/photo-inkjet-printers/pixma-ip8720-wireless-inkjet-photo-printer?WT.mc_id=C206196 For what I use it for, it’s just as good as the $500 models I’ve used in the past! I highly recommend it! 🙂

  • Love, love, love that article! So inspiring!
    I want to do the same 🙂

    Have a nice day,

  • Love this and love that you follow Poppleton and Prissy Pig, too! I love what Ali does each year and really loved her supermarket floor shot this year. Thanks for sharing your album!

  • You have such an eye for making things look so visually appealing! Seriously everything you do look amazing!


  • I think this is beautiful, and I’m amazed that you have something so beautiful, I love it! You are an inspiration!

  • Which printer did you use to print your photos? I have been scouring the site trying to figure out which Canon printer to purchase and I just can’t decide. I’d love a post where you compared the models!

  • It’s called a Handbook- http://www.studiocalico.com/shop/albums-page-protectors
    xx! Elsie

  • Thanks so much Hannah! I totally relate to everything you are saying.
    xx- Elsie

  • Oh! I put them in because they’re my favorite instagram account! 🙂 @prissy_pig

  • It was a kit from Ali’s website. They have similar albums at Studio Calico. They’re called “Handbooks”.

  • This is so cute! Definitely makes me want to start a scrapbook today!

    Warm Regards,

  • I SEE PRISSY PIG AND POPPLETON! I instantly love you. These are my favorite pigs ever! And you have a pug. Love!
    Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

  • Great idea. I think I wil try a day for the month of December. That can be both a challenging and fun month.
    Enjoy your weekend.

  • What a fun post and I love how animated your album was. I think I would like to try a photo a day for December. Both a beautiful month and a challenging one. Thanks for the idea.

  • ohnom definitely not awkward! those little everyday moments are the ones you want to remember. 🙂
    lovely album!
    xo, cheyenne

  • Your album and scrapbook skills are amazing and really inspirational that I want to start making one of these too!


  • Elsie you should do this again, it was hilarious to see your week in such a creative way =)

  • When I’m having a tough day Prissy and Pop the pigs also bring me to my happy place!

  • So cute! I think the special parts of life are in between the big moments, so everyday life is for sure important to document and celebrate.

  • I haven’t been doing a week in the life for the same reasons as you! Working from home, I feel like my days tend to look identical – I get up, drink tea, go into the studio, eat lunch, feed the dog lunch, work until 3 or 4, take a break, work some more until 7 and then eat dinner, watch tv and knit, then bedtime. At least you work in an office with other people! And you have someone at home to keep things interesting there! (I am waiting for my boyfriend to finish school so we can move to Nashville together, so I’m in a holding pattern until May.)

    That said, it was really good to see a glance into your life for a week. A lot of things really stood out to me. One, it’s nice to see someone else who is as busy as I am. Sometimes I feel like work is taking over my life, but it’s what keeps me going, too. Those of us who make things and help other people feel confident about making things can often lose our ‘happy’ in the middle of it – while I understand how stressed you probably felt, it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels that way sometimes!

    Another thing I liked seeing was your handwriting. I have always admired your handwriting on the blog especially, and I get frustrated with my own when I see it in an album, like it’s too messy or whatever. Now that I see yours in an album, smaller and less ‘cleaned up for the web’, I feel a little better about my own! More practice will hopefully result in cleaner looking album lettering too.

    Thanks for keeping me inspired, Elsie, Emma and crew!

  • I love catching little, every day moments. They make up so much of our lives, and it’s nice to look back and see how even those little moments develop over time.

  • This is very cute! Although, you would end up with a ton of photo albums to store! But I’m sure you would then write blog post of album storage and figure it all out. It all works out in the end.
    xoxo, Laura

  • Hi Elsie, what a fun scrapbook! I’d be interested in learning how you organize all of your photo albums and scrapbooks in your home. Do you have an organization system, are they all in one place/one shelf, or are they scattered throughout your home? Thanks!

  • I saw Mixtapes named in this post and knew I needed to comment! I love that band! This is why I love this blog, you guys add in little slices of life that are unexpected, since you don’t usually talk about music. Love it!


  • I think it was absolutely adorable and I was literally lol’g at penny’s solo sword fight! (she looks just like you!) I really enjoyed this post and you have inspired me to do the same.
    I absolutely love your style of scrap booking and every scrap booking post motivates me to get started on my own.
    Thank you for sharing this with us!

  • This is adorable! I’d love to know where you bought the album and the pocket protectors 🙂

  • I no longer have a DSLR (I sold it, and now just use my phone) but when I did use one, I noticed that the more I pulled it out, the more people got comfortable with it. At first it was awkward, but eventually people got used to it and I became “the girl with the camera”. Your friends will probably be grateful that you’ve captured such special moments and start asking you to send them the photos!

  • This is absolutely beautiful! I am in love with your scrapbooking ability (and read all your posts about it religiously! so awesome!)! I think this is a wonderful idea, because when you look back one day it gives you a nice glimpse into times that you normally would just forget about 🙂

  • I don´t think it´s awkward at all. I document lot´s of my everyday moments and things I do with instagram. Each Sunday night do I sit down and make a blogpost on a more private blog from those snaps, for my friends and family to read and see how my week was.
    And most of the people the blog is meant for really enjoy that, most of them don´t live near me and it brings me into their lifes each week. I do enjoy looking at the pictures too, when I go back and look at those little things I already forgot again.

  • Would you share which album you used? I love the fact that the paper allows for stamps on the inside. The different page layouts are awesome, too. 🙂

  • This is such an adorable idea. I have been trying to up my photo game, and I think the only way to get better (as with everything) is to do it every single day. Your life seems anything but boring!


  • Aww, what a neat idea! I’m not much of a scrapbooker, but it’d be really fun to do a digital version of this. I’m definitely a bit self conscious about pulling my camera out around friends, though. Everyone suddenly gets so stiff an awkward (especially since it’s a DSLR!).


  • Love the emoticons background, perfect for everyday life emotions… and great shots, everyday life is definitely both mundane and special…


  • YES. THIS. I can document my coffee and the fall leaves like an Instagram pro, but I’ve started feeling super self-conscious pulling my DSLR out around family and friends for the very same reason. My “Week in the Life” album would be much more of a “Week in the Life of the Moments I was By Myself” album.

    Any tips, ABM team? Your candid people shots are always the greatest (especially in the Casual Friday posts), but what do you do when you’re not around lots of people who “get it”? (Or does that ever happen? Ha!)

  • I love this! What a wonderful idea — always a big fan of your scrapbooks. So intimidating to do one, but it seems like a lot of fun. Also, Penny has possibly THE most epic swordfighting face ever. Epic.

  • I love that album, where did you get the pages for it?! I love all the different sizes as well!

  • What a great idea!

    Love the Louise Belcher costume! I dress as her as well and made the comfiest pink fleece bunny hat. 🙂

  • I think this is adorable. Makes me wish I had done one. Still might have to work on one. I love the inside cover all stamped up like that. Super cute.

  • This is a great idea!
    Curious as to what size album you used. I love the mix of sizes and shapes of page protectors you used. Thanks for sharing!

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