Friday, February 24, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 4

Step Four of the Ten-Step Escape Plan:

Take it one step at a time.  Don't worry about EVERYTHING you have to do--just do one thing at a time.  Breathe.

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab in red along the top.)  

Monday, February 20, 2017

Mothers Day & Fathers Day gift ideas

I'm going to be teaching classes in March that focus on one specific aspect of Heritage Makers--truly personal, amazing gift-giving.

Raise your hand if you have a hard time shopping for your parents.  Raise them higher if you really want to do something special for them.

Hosting or attending a class is the best way to learn about Heritage Makers and see some specific, impressive gift-giving possibilities (and by hosting, you could even get those gifts free!).  Contact me to attend or host a class and #makesomethingmeaningful

Friday, February 17, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 3

Step Three of the Ten-Step Escape Plan:

This is such an important step in catching up on your photos:  STAY CAUGHT UP!  I've been told if you have an activity that takes longer than 15 minutes, it should be on your calendar.  Yup!  

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab in red along the top.)

Monday, February 13, 2017

When should I write my life story?

Many people don't even realize the benefits of a recorded life story, and most people think they'll have time to think about that later.  But here are some important things to consider, articulated so well in {this excellent article, "Define Your Dash"}.
  • At the very least, YOU benefit personally from reflecting on your life and recording it.  Writing things down can increase your gratitude, give you a stronger sense of self, and create a sense of purpose.
  • Teenagers who know more about their family history are more resilient and have a higher emotional well-being.
  • Children have a stronger self-confidence when they know they belong to something bigger.
  • “A life that is not documented is a life that within a generation or two will largely be lost to memory.  What a tragedy this can be in the history of a family. Knowledge of our ancestors shapes us and instills within us values that give direction and meaning to our lives.”  -Dennis B. Neuenschwander

So the answer to "when should I write my life story?" is NOW!

Have you seen the #52stories project from  It's a great way to leave a written legacy for your children and grandchildren in a do-able way.  {This blog post} describes the project, and at the bottom are links to 52 questions (or prompts) to help you write your story.

If you'd like to preserve your story in a special, professional way, you can write it in a Heritage Makers book.  This also gives you the advantage of being able to have multiple copies for family members.  If you'd like to see some examples, you can see some of the fully-editable templates at by clicking "template gallery," then the blue "browse the gallery."  Type the words "life storybook" into the search field.  Clicking each one will show you all the pages inside.

Or you can see a preview of a life storybook I created {by clicking right here}.  This particular one leads you right through with questions right in the book to answer.  Since it's not in the template gallery, you'd need to ask me to transfer it to you, which I'm more than happy to do.  I created the video tutorial below to show you how to use the template and create the book:
However you choose to write your life story, start now.

Winston Churchill said, "History will be kind to me because I intend to write it."  This is one reason that I personally am writing my own story and not leaving it to those who come after me.  It's MY story, so I'm the best one to write it for my children and grandchildren.  I need it now.  My children need it now.  And my grandchildren will need it later.  We all need the connection that comes from knowing our family stories.

Friday, February 10, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 2

Step Two of the Ten-Step Escape Plan.

Truth:  We take every photo for a reason. 

Sometimes we take multiple photos of the same reason.  It's okay to just choose your favorites.  In the "olden days" of photography, we used every photo because we just didn't have all that many to choose from.  Now it's easy to take 20 photos of your kids at the park and 400 on a vacation.  Don't feel like you have to use every photo you've taken.  Choose the best photos to preserve with their stories (memories).

(Did you miss the last Escape Plan Step?  Click the "how to catch up on your photos" tab in red along the top.)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Stories Not Forgotten

Telling your story is important.  No one else can give what you give to the world, and no one can tell your story quite like you can.  It's why I'm so passionate about Heritage Makers--because it gives you a high-quality, beautiful way to do just that.

A few months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Trish Tolentino.  After her grandmother's health was in danger, Trish felt impressed by the need to learn more about her grandma's life and experiences.  She borrowed a friend's camcorder and shot video for a couple of days.  Trish learned about her grandmother's amazing life, stories about the Japanese invading the Philippines during World War II, how she met Trish's grandpa, and more.  Following this experience, combining the urgency Trish felt about saving her grandma's stories with her degree in Media Communications, Trish's company, Stories Not Forgotten, was born.  You can read more about Trish and Stories Not Forgotten {right here.}

 Trish and I connected immediately because we know and believe the same things:  Everyone has a story.  Everyone's story needs to be told.  WE benefit from telling our stories and preserving our memories, and so does every person who loves us.  If we don't take advantage of the present, who knows what the future holds.  (I don't mean that from a doomsday perspective, I just mean that things change.  Because they do.  I took about 300 photos on the last family vacation we took with my mom, but she wasn't in many of them.  She was tired and exhausted from chemo, and although she really did look fantastic in hats, she didn't particularly look like HER.  Things changed.)  It's just important to do important things now.

If you're in the Denver or St. Louis areas, get in contact with Trish and get your loved one's story preserved in their own voice.  It's irreplaceable.

You can see some samples of what a Stories Not Forgotten video looks like at the website, but there's also one right here on my website!  Did you see the new "meet me" video in the sidebar?  That was done by Trish!  She was AMAZING to work with and so talented.  It was truly a pleasure.  I would absolutely recommend her to anyone!

Haven't seen my "meet me" video?  Here it is! 

Isn't that awesome?  It was such a great experience.  Here we are near the end of the shoot while she was capturing some of the product shots.
Trish is knowledgeable and an excellent videographer, but she also really has a talent for making people feel comfortable and at ease.  Which is exactly what you want from someone helping you tell your stories!

Everyone has a story.  What's yours?

Friday, February 3, 2017

catch up on your photos: step 1

Step One of the Ten-Step Escape Plan.

Organizing your photos has to come first.  You have to know what's there and what's worth saving or using before you can really make any progress.  And it makes the process of preserving your photos MUCH EASIER because you can find what you're looking for when you need it.  Don't worry if this organizing step takes you some time--it is OKAY to spend three hours or one week or two months doing this.  Just STAY ON IT until it's done.  Ask for help if you need to, and calendar some time for this important first step.

See you next Friday for Step Two!

Monday, January 30, 2017

catch up on your photos: the ten-step escape plan

Is this you?

photo courtesy TimThumb
Do you have so many photos that you feel like you're drowning?  Are you overwhelmed with the amount of photos you have that need homes?  Do you not even know where to start??

It sounds like you're in a frustrating place called Overwhelmville.  Let's get you outta there--with a ONE-WAY TICKET.

I recently came up with an Escape Plan to help people who are under a mountain of photos.

For the next 10 Fridays, I'll post one of the Escape Plan steps.  Some steps are things to do, others are things to remember.  All of them will help you get a handle on your photos, figure out where to start and how to move forward, and help you solve the problems you're having with your photos.

If you haven't already subscribed to this blog by e-mail, you'll want to hop over to the right sidebar and do that.  It's the easiest way to get the steps right into your inbox. 

I love helping people turn this
to this

Because memory-keeping MAKES A DIFFERENCE.  It's good for YOU when you do it, and it's good for the people who receive and enjoy what you've created.  It decreases stress and raises self-esteem.  Memory-keeping isn't for "creative" people or people who are into "scrapbooking."  It's for people with memories and photos.  And that's it.


See you on Friday!  :)  

P.S.  I'll be posting all these steps at the "how to catch up on your photos" tab at the top of the blog, too.