Thursday, March 19, 2020

How to Connect to Your Own Heart - an online retreat!

Today's world is so fast-paced that many people feel pulled in multiple directions--most of the time.

Does that describe you?  

Despite the idea that social media connects us, the common ills of our day are loneliness, stress, depression, and lowered self-esteem.

Unfortunately, what we lose most often these days is ourselves.

This has been on my heart and mind for a while, so I have been working on a solution--a small thing we can do to rediscover and connect with ourselves.  And today I'm so happy to introduce a new online retreat I'll be offering called "Connect to Your Heart through Your Photos and Your Stories."

In "Connect to Your Heart," you will learn the power of your photos and your stories (as shown in studies, actually!) and how to use these simple tools to increase your own peace, contentment, gratitude, happiness, and even relaxation.  Connecting with yourself has a grounding effect that can help you in your goals and everyday life.

Each of the four sessions will be part learning (information) and part practice (telling your story and connecting with your heart using your photos) as you create a beautiful heirloom-quality hardbound book about yourself.

It's a retreat like no other!

In fact, you can choose your own place of retreat during each of the four sessions.  What would be a retreat for you--a place you could go for an hour to be with yourself?  Retreat to your bedroom with your laptop.  Retreat to your favorite wifi-friendly cafe.  Retreat to a restaurant with friends.  Or retreat to your local library (I love the quiet there!), or even your kitchen table.

Here's what Connect to Your Own Heart is--in 1 minute:

Here's what you need to know about this wonderful online retreat:
  • "Connect to Your Heart" will be held via Zoom for four 1  1/2-hour sessions.
  • Cost for the 4-week retreat is just $45! 
  • Cost for the 8x8 hardbound book you'll be creating is $30+shipping and not included in the price of the retreat.  Payment for the book and shipping will be made at the end of the retreat.
  • Minimum number of people required to hold the retreat is 5; maximum number is 10.
Choose from the daytime Connect to Your Heart Retreat or the evening one:
  • 10:00-11:30am* on Fridays May 1-22
  • 7:00-8:30pm* on Tuesdays May 5-26
The Zoom sessions will be recorded and emailed to you if you need to miss a session.  (*And times shown are Mountain Time.)
You'll make a 21-page hardbound 8x8 book just like this.
To secure your spot in the Connect to Your Heart Retreat, the $45 payment must be received by April 27.  Email to request payment information and to specify whether you will be attending the daytime retreat or the evening retreat.  I'll reply to give you instructions on payment options, and then I'll use your email to send you the Zoom link to join the four Connect to Your Heart Retreat sessions.

And as a bonus:  Everyone who completes payment by April 20 will receive a swag bag in the mail!  That's right--I'll send you a little Connect to Your Heart gift bag.  So why not register a little early?!

Remember that each retreat (daytime/evening) is limited to only ten people, so don't delay.  

You need this.  You know you do.  I know you need it, too--because every one of us needs to find the power and peace that comes from connecting with ourselves.

Come see what a difference connecting with your own heart can make!

Bring a friend to the retreat!  Share this post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or your
favorite social media platform.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Personal Gifts for Moms, Dads, and Grads: an online workshop

It's that time of year--time to make someone special feel extra-special.  If you've ever walked around the mall for a couple of hours trying to find the perfect gift, you're in luck because you're about to spend less time than that on an absolutely impressive and unforgettable gift. 

Whether you're in need of something unique and heartfelt for a mom or grandma, a dad or grandpa, or a graduate you're proud of, this online workshop will be just the thing.

What's an online workshop?  It's the coolest thing ever in just two parts.
  1. First, you'll come to an online video call to see five personal and meaningful gift ideas that your recipients will adore and cherish.  (Spoiler:  I *have to* show you the playing card decks!!)  After the online video call showing gift ideas, you'll have a week to decide what you'd like to create, gather photos, set up the free online account where you'll do your creating, etc. It's easy.  I'll explain everything at this first video call. 
  2. Second, a week after the gift idea video call, we'll get together again--this time to actually create that amazing thing you chose.  (Isn't technology cool?  This second video call will be like we're sitting around my kitchen table, each of us with our own computers, creating our own unique gifts digitally--and I'm there to help out as needed--only in reality we may be in different states!)  We'll digitally create at this second video call, and then you'll be ready to submit your project for professional publishing on highest-quality products.  And if you've never done anything like this before, don't worry.  I help people like this all the time and you'll love it.

About 10 days after you've submitted your heartfelt gift for publishing, you'll get it in the mail!  Trust me when I say that waiting for that day is the hardest part of this whole process.  :)  (Note:  Some items from our specialty print partner can take up to 3 weeks to arrive at your door, so plan accordingly.)

And if I can add a little personal note here:  My mom passed away a few years ago, and events and advertising around this time of year can sometimes be hard for me since I'm no longer able to give her tangible gifts.  {The best gift I ever gave myself was a book about her life.}  Consider gifting yourself one of these items I'll share in this workshop in memory of the parent or grandparent or other special someone you miss on Mother's Day or Father's Day.  It can help the day be a happy one!  For me, it helps me focus on what I have (via legacy and other life gifts) instead of what I lost.

I'm in!  How does it work?

The Moms, Dad, & Grads Online Workshop will be held April 2, 2020, and April 9, 2020, from 12:00-1:00pm (Mountain Time).  If you can't attend live, I can send you video recordings!  The first video call will actually only be about 30-40 minutes, and then second one will be the full hour (so we have more work time).  Again, if you've ever walked around the mall for an hour or two trying to find just the right gift, this online workshop will actually be a time-saver for you!  

The price for this online workshop is only $5!  And you can make as many gifts as you'd like!  Price for the workshop does not include the price of whatever gifts you choose, but at the first video call all the prices will be shown, and there will be something fabulous in a variety of price ranges.  

To register, email before March 31, 2020.  That way, I'll have your email address and can send you the link to join both of the video calls, and I can give you payment information also.  Payment must be received by April 1, 2020, so if you don't use Venmo, be sure you give yourself enough time to have a check to me by then.

And then we're ready to play!  It's going to be so fun!  Guaranteed.

As I mentioned, there will be 5 super cool products in a variety of price ranges, and everything you'll see is 100% customizable so it's sure to be exactly the style you're looking for!

Giving personalized gifts like these has been something I have LOVED doing for over a dozen years.  I don't have to fight traffic or crowds, I don't have to settle for something average bought from Amazon, and I never even worry if the recipient will like it!  EVERY time, the recipient is duly impressed!  Always.

It's really the best gift-giving ever! So join me.  Be sure to register before March 31!  Invite a friend along, too.

Pin to Pinterest, or share this post on your favorite social media platform.
Everyone loves amazing gift ideas!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

The 2020 Vision: It's Time

Welcome to 2020!  Welcome to the future.  Can you believe it's right now?!

(And you know the internet:  everything stays here forever.  So if you find this post 3 years from now, keep reading.  It will still be applicable beyond 2020.)  :)

What are you excited for in 2020?  I'm excited for 2020 because it's the beginning of my 2020 Vision.  I'm so excited to tell you about it.

The theme for my 2020 Vision is:  It's Time. 
This year, I'm going to make things the best they've ever been.  I'd love you to join me.

(Keep reading, or skip down to the video version if you prefer.)

If you're like me, there are things you'd like to do, things you think about doing, and things you plan to do some day.  But it's 2020 now.  The future is here.  It's right now.  No more waiting for those things you want to do.  No more waiting for me, either!

If you know your photos and memories matter but you don't know how to move forward with them, you have come to the right place.  I can help!

The 2020 Vision is doing something you've never done before.  No, it's not just a resolution or goal that may or may not work out by April.  The 2020 Vision is making real changes that make a real difference.  

If the mission, vision, and purpose I've shared here at LifeTales Books for over a decade now has resonated with you, you are my people!  In 2020, I'm creating a supportive community (one that's lots of fun) of memory-keepers, people who know the value of their photos and memories and are ready to do something real about it.

You can be a part of my 2020 Vision in three ways:  Personal, Social, and Financial.  Choose whichever one (or two or three) you will LOVE!

As you look at the whole of The 2020 Vision shown below, think about this:  What could The 2020 Vision do for you, your photos and memories, your family, your children, your friends, your social circle, or your finances?  Which area(s) need some attention in your life?  Where would you love to thrive, starting in 2020?

Or you can think of it this way: 
  1. Personal: Begin to begin.  If you've been meaning to get into the memory-keeping habit of preserving your photos and memories regularly (and giving meaningful gifts), it's time.  I'm looking for 6 people who are ready to set aside some time each month (or even weekly) who will be regular Club HM members to help them accomplish these goals (which includes discounts and full access to the unparalleled Digital Art Gallery).  And there's a bonus:  Youngevity Rewards.  If you're a Club HM member all year long, you'll earn enough Rewards Points to pay for a photo-storybook!  It's basically everything you could want.  Ask me for the details.
  2. Social: Make it your side gig.  If you have used and love Heritage Makers-YPhoto in the past and what it has done for you and your loved ones (or would like to start), it's time.  I'm looking for 6 people who are ready to share Heritage Makers-YPhoto with 6 friends by making it their side gig, which pays your Club each month.*  It's a great way to get your social "bucket" filled by being with friends while at the same time getting your photo-storybooks free!
  3. Financial: It's your business.  If you'd like to get your photo-storybooks free AND make extra cash each month to pay for piano lessons or soccer, it's time.  I'm looking for 6 people who are business-builder-minded who love Heritage Makers and want to share it and would also like to explore the {many Youngevity lines} (such as Jamberry nail wraps, mineral makeup, spice mixes, essential oils, health supplements, and more) and find their favorites to represent.**
*If you are a regular Heritage Makers user (i.e. a Club HM member) and you have 6 friends who will join you as Club HM members (it's so fun to get together and work on Heritage Makers projects with laptops), and this pattern is repeated with each of those 6, your Club HM pays for itself each month!
**Growth and income is unlimited with this approach!  In addition, I will never set your goals for you or pressure you into achievements or ranks.  I believe in merely supporting and helping you; because it's YOUR business.

I'd love to talk to you about The 2020 Vision, so I have.  :)  Take a few minutes and see what it can do for you, how it can be the catalyst for change for not only your photos and memories but your life!

And if you choose option 1, by itself or combined with one of the other options, you can get involved with my new online community right now!  I'm introducing the *brand new* Photos & Memories Matter Workshop Club.

To start, this will be a 3-month membership.  Your membership provides you

  • two online opportunities each month (for the 3 months) to meet other like-minded people and work together at online workshops (also called {Digi-Crops}) where you can work on your photos and memories--organization, creating digital pages with Heritage Makers-YPhoto, or whatever you need.  These 2 online workshops are exclusive to Photos & Memories Matter--this doesn't include the free {First Friday Digi-Crop} I already hold each month.  (So, technically you have 3 opportunities to get together with me and others to work.)
  • the option to attend any of my other online events (such as Connect to Your Heart coming this spring or Yearbook Boot Camp in the fall and again in the winter).  
  • And even though we connect online, you'll get a sweet little swag bag in your real-life mailbox, too.

The Photos & Memories Matter Workshop Club is the time in your schedule you're looking for!

As I begin the Photos & Memories Matter Workshop Club, there will only be one option:  a 3-month membership running March - May 2020.  In the future, the P&MM Workshop Club will be a 6-month membership that can begin on the first day of any month you want.  The 6-month Workshop Clubs will begin in August 2020, so you can join in August or any time after that.

For now, this first 3-month membership will begin March 1, so the payment deadline is February 28.  You can {contact me} for payment details.  

Remember that the P&MM Workshop Club is exclusively for Club HM members, so be sure you {have a Heritage Makers-YPhoto account at my website} AND that you {join Club HM} there, too.  Club HM will benefit you a lot during your P&MM Workshop Club membership, so that's a big reason it's a requirement.  You'll love it!  I've been in Club HM *every single month* since January 2011 and haven't looked back for a second.  It's the best.

Make 2020 your year for change.  Your photos and memories need you.  Your heart will thank you.  And maybe even your wallet.

As you looked at the 3 ways you can make a difference with your photos and memories, what stood out to you the most?  Connect to your heart to know which of the three you need and which one(s) will serve you not only this year but beyond.

I want to help as many people as I can Catch the Vision in 2020.  Make sure I start with YOU.  {Contact me.}  (I'm really nice.)  :)

Catch the Vision.  It's Time. 

Pin this post to Pinterest using this image, or share it with someone whose photos and memories
matter to them, too.  Find other social media sharing buttons at the left of this page.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

How the Best Way to Appreciate Life is through Memory-Keeping

When people ask, "So, what do you do?" I generally have a hard time answering.  I try to focus so much on individual needs that I end up doing a variety of things that fall well outside the basic "Heritage Makers consultant" description.

I was asked this "So, what do you do?" question recently, and since my answer wasn't planned, I've thought about it a lot since it came out of my mouth.  Here's what I said:

I teach (free) classes on the importance of our photos and memories and then provide strategies and solutions to make high-quality memory-keeping doable.  It's less about "scrapbooking" and more about appreciating and cherishing life.

In the 14 1/2 years I've been sharing the Heritage Makers vision ("Everyone has a story.  Tell yours."), I've been met with surprising responses when I mention that one of the methods of telling your story is digital scrapbooking.  There are lots of methods, by the way:  {the Yearbook method}, {digital storybooking}, {pocket pages}, etc.  The word "scrapbooking," though, seems to get the most reaction.  People tend to either love it or hate it.  And people tend to mistakenly believe the {myth that if they don't scrapbook then they can't preserve their memories}.

So let me say this again.

Preserving photos and memories is less about scrapbooking and more about appreciating and cherishing life.

Doesn't it seem like depression, anxiety, fear of missing out, and a lack of real connection are prevalent these days?  

So doesn't it follow that happiness, security, joy, gratitude, and connection are needed right now more than ever?  

The good news is that these things are closer than we realize!

Let me be so bold as to suggest that the best way to appreciate your life is through memory-keeping.

Research going back over 25 years has concluded the following amazing (and very hopeful!) facts:
So don't you think it's time?  Don't you think it's time to stop worrying about "scrapbooking" or "not scrapbooking" and just be a memory-keeper?  Photos and memories do so many good things for us--so many things we NEED!  They aren't just "nice"--they're necessities.

{Memory-keeping} is nothing more than sitting down with your photos and memories--your life experience--and putting words to them.  It's organizing the things that happen in such a way that you can develop perspective and gratitude.  It's seeing {long-gone moments and long-gone faces in order to remember and appreciate}.

If I could share anything with you, it would be that!  So I've created this video for you to help you appreciate life, increase your happiness, make connections, and lower your stress.  I talk about WHY memory-keeping is so important, what it can really do for you, and how to actually DO THIS--how to make it a real, consistent part of your life.

(And because it's recorded, you can stop, start, and replay as needed!)

I'll end here with two personal examples.  

In 2012, my brother and sister-in-law were finally expecting a baby after years of trying, waiting, and trying new (expensive) options.  When my baby nephew died halfway through the pregnancy, the grief was unlike anything any of our family members had ever felt.  I couldn't do anything for them, so I made them a book.  (I discussed my experience {here} if you'd like to read it.)

Looking through pictures that were taken at the hospital 2,000 miles away from me helped me "be there."  Writing down the little miracles that happened along the way that my family had told me about over the phone helped me tell this little boy's story in a really beautiful way.  We grieved, yes, but putting those things to paper helped us through the grief AND helped us recognize blessings we might otherwise have missed.  And now that baby boy's 6-year-old sister gets to read about the big brother she never got to meet.  He is real to her, and it has created a connection for her.

Example 2:  Mostly, though, life is great!  There are birthdays and graduations, new jobs and old friends.  I take pictures of all these things.  Because I don't let them sit on my phone or camera and forget about them, I get to re-live them!  I get to re-love them!  Experiences and sweet times don't fade and disappear.  I put pictures and memories in {digital scrap pages} and in {digital storybooks}.  That's how they stay in my memory and in my heart.  Good times are always close by.

So scroll back up and be sure to watch this video I made for you:  Why It's Time to be a Memory-Keeper with Heritage Makers!  From my heart to yours.

Share and save this blog post and video by Pinning, Tweeting, Emailing, or Facebook sharing.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Three Gift Ideas for Connecting Kids with Far-away Grandparents

Do you know or love a toddler?  You probably already know that little brains have a hard time with long-term memory until they get a little bigger.  So the three ideas I'm sharing with you today about helping toddlers connect with faraway family members are just perfect for that toddler you know and love.

Marissa at Just Simply Mom has two little ones and faraway family members.  I wrote a guest blog post for her in September about three of my favorite ideas for using pictures, books, and games to connect across the miles.

You can see pictures and descriptions and even directions on how to create these amazing products for your toddlers--and they make the perfect gifts for grandparents, too!  

And these are not your ordinary grandparent gift ideas.  Trust me!  In fact, just go look for yourself.  These are AMAZING gift ideas that grandparents will love and cherish always.

Click on over to Just Simply Mom to read

Don't forget to share the post with someone who will love it!

Pin this image to Pinterest, or Tweet, email, or share on Facebook

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Tiny Lay-Flat Nativities

I am a self-professed nativity addict, and I am always looking for just one more unique one to add to my collection.  Last year I came up with the idea of using {a deck of Heritage Makers playing cards to make multiple sets of tiny, lay-flat nativities}.  When I say "tiny," I mean 3.5" tall.  And when I say "lay-flat," I mean that these fold flat so that they take up almost no room to store!

These would make AMAZING little gifts for very little cost, so let me show you how I made them and how you can make them, too.

I'll show you how to DIY these sweet little nativities, but I have a handful already made that are for sale over at {My Heritage Makers Shop} (or just contact me) for a few dollars apiece if you'd rather not DIY.

STEP 1:  Publish this nativity playing card deck using your Heritage Makers account.
First, {open your Heritage Makers account} if you don't already have one.  Next, {contact me} and ask me to transfer this nativity playing card deck from my account to yours.  (I made this deck, so it's in my personal account.  But with Heritage Makers, you can transfer any project to another user!!  SO COOL.  I love sharing what I've spent the time to create!)
NOTE:  One deck of playing cards is $21 and contains 17 nativity sets.  
STEP 2:  Punch holes using a small hole punch (not a regular-sized one).
There are very small stars on the cards that show you where to punch.  They're a little hard to see, so if you can't see them, just punch holes in these general locations.  I like to hold one card on top of the other card, punching both at the same time, so that I am sure that the holes will line up perfectly.

Small hole punches can be purchased at craft stores.  Because these nativities are
tiny, a regular-sized hole punch would be too big.
STEP 3:  Tie the cards together with string, ribbon, or raffia (shown).
With the fronts of the cards facing each other, tie the cards together. Tie the shepherd card to the left side of the holy family card.  Tie the wisemen card to the right side of the holy family card.


This little nativity measures about 7" wide when open and 2.5" wide when folded flat.  Easy to store, easy to set up, easy to gift!

I absolutely love mine!

This is just one of MANY creative projects you can make and/or gift with a {Heritage Makers} product.  Explore this blog for lots more ideas!

Love this idea?  Pin and share!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Stop Wishing Your Scrapbooking Was Done and Do It (with 3 options)

Are you one of the many people who WISHES your scrapbooking was done?  Would you really like to have your photos in a book instead of languishing on your phone?  Do your kids ask to see pictures of themselves, but you don't have anything significant to show them?  

You're in the right place!  Today I'll show you three completely do-able ways to stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and do it!


Before we get into the 3 options I have to share with you today (which, really, are about 7 or 8 methods), let me first share with you two videos which can help you get over some of the basic hurdles to memory-keeping or scrapbooking.  

Here's how to get your photos off your phone (5 minutes):

And here's one great way to organize your photos on your computer (19 minutes--I walk you through the whole process):

And now on to the 3 options I suggest to help you stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and do it!


It's very important to find a high-quality method to preserve your photos, but it's equally important to find something you love.  If you don't love it, it feels more like a chore instead of something to look forward to.  Putting your photos and memories into something you can hold and look back at for years and years to come is good for the heart and soul.  In fact, I've called it {The Secret Ingredient to Self-Care and Wellness}.  So you should find something do-able that fits your needs and preferences so that you can enjoy all the {personal benefits of memory-keeping}.

So let's explore!!  Let me help you find something top-quality that you will love to do!  In this 15-minute video I show you 4 different possibilities (2 for printed photos and 2 digital methods) that are fantastic.  See which one you like best: 

If you're looking for a digital method that's basic and simple but still higher quality than the average "online photo book" out there, here's another option to consider.  There's even an auto-fill option where you just push a button and all your photos go in the book!

There's a lot of flexibility in those methods under the "option 1" umbrella.  Think about what you would prefer.  Do you want something fast and easy?  Do you want something ultra creative?  

If one of your preferred methods is digital, be sure you check out the {how to get started} tab so you have access to video tutorials that walk you right through the Heritage Makers program, Studio. 


This is my *favorite* method to share with people who are overwhelmed with their photos, wishing their scrapbooking was done but not knowing how to just DO IT.  The yearbook is a product, yes, but the method itself has some valuable strategies that will really help you out of overwhelm and allow you to enjoy your photos by getting them in a book.

I made this video to introduce you to the method (giving you a lot of pointers for dealing with too many photos) and to show you step-by-step how to make your goal into reality.  You want to stop wishing your scrapbooking was done and actually have it done, right?  This is how!  

(Note:  I had a technical issue from 27:11-34:05 in the video, so skip that part.)

I just love the yearbook method!  I hope you will, too.  If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, I really believe this is a genius way to get up and going again, preserving your photos and memories.


If none of those possibilities seem to do it for you, you might need a memory-keeping partner to help.  

Whether you need photo organization help or someone to make your ideas into reality, your wish is my command.  You can e-mail me photos with a little something (memory/detail) about each one and I can do the work of creating a digital book or digital scrap pages for you.  You can choose a yearbook theme, a vacation theme, and more.  Truly, if you have an idea, we can make it reality.

I can do all or part of a project, help you start or help you finish.  You can find all the details and fees {right here} at the bottom.

I have clients who just needed to see their first book in their hands in order to get motivated to (and believe they could) continue and do more books on their own.  I also have clients who just like handing me everything and saying, "Work your magic.  Make this a book."  :)  Either way is fine.  My Digital Scrapbooking For Hire program is intended to be whatever YOU need it to be.

Share the love by sharing these helpful ideas on Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or
your favorite social media platform.  
What do you think?  Which method do you think would work best for you?  Which one will be THE ONE to let you stop wishing your scrapbooking was done?  Let me know in the comments below.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

The Best Thing You Can Do For Your Kids (really!)

It might seem a little suspicious that I could tell you THE BEST thing you can do for your kids, but--believe it or not--it's true!  Over the last few years, I've done a lot of reading about actual research that has been conducted about the family and what helps kids the most.  The findings are absolutely fascinating!

I've summarized these studies, my own experiences, and a lot of hope in a guest blog post I wrote for Confessions of Parenting earlier this year.  You'll learn what is the biggest contributor to kids' happiness, emotional well-being, coping skills, and ability to overcome hardship.  Even better, you don't have to do anything extraordinary.

As a bonus, you'll also learn what is statistically proven to make you happier than chocolate!  :)  Really!

If you're a mom like me who worries about too much screen time and not enough vegetables, this post will make you take heart! 

So without further ado, here is

with a huge thanks to Michele and Shiree at Confessions of Parenting for the opportunity to guest post over there.

Did you love the information and encouragement in that post as much as I did?
Share it by Pinning this image, by Tweeting, or by Facebook Sharing.  

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Digital Scrapbooking and Memory-Keeping For Hire

One of the casualties of the busy lifestyle so inherent in today's culture is our photos--and with them our memories.  Unfortunately, we're not just losing our photos and our memories.  We're {losing ourselves}. 

I believe strongly in the process--how sitting down with your own photos and memories is a great source of peace.  Taking the time to look through photos, choose your favorites, and preserve them in a hand-held way where you can write memories next to them is powerful.  There's actually a lot of perspective, gratitude, and connection to be had through it, too.  Studies even show that looking back on happy times (in a photo album, for example) actually increases happiness in the present.

I've been doing this myself for years, so I know all these things firsthand.  However, I also know that memory-keeping has become a lost art.  And, no, I'm not (necessarily) talking about scrapbooking.  I'm really just talking about the simple act of printing up a picture and writing down something about it.  People just don't do that any more.  Digital photo snapping is super cool and easy to share, but we have SO. MANY. PICTURES.  So many people I talk to are {overwhelmed}, and most people don't even know what they're supposed to do with all those pictures.  Or how.

an heirloom-quality book from Heritage Makers, plus
digital scrap pages of the same event
Because memory-keeping comes second-nature to me, I have--in recent years--begun digital scrapbooking and memory-keeping for others.  There's no way, of course, that I could do ALL that memory-keeping entails since they're not my pictures and not my memories, but it's really easy for me to be the boots on the ground, so to speak, making everything happen.  Your wish is my command.

So if you find yourself wanting to do something more with your photos than confining them to JPEG Jail, let me help you.

There are lots of options from digital hardbound books to digital scrap pages, and I can even do paper scrapbooking if you prefer (only it takes a lot longer).  If you'd like a cute scrapbook-y kind of look, I can do that.  If you'd like a clean look, I can do that.  One of my favorite things is showing you the immense {Heritage Makers template gallery} and letting you pick a specific template you like.  One of the best things about a Heritage Makers template is that it's fully editable, so you can tell me, "I like this one, but take off all the flowers," and I can do it!  Using a template ends up faster, too, since I don't have to design each page from scratch, and since I charge an hourly fee, you save a bit of money, too.

You can read {why I choose Heritage Makers and what makes it the best} there at that link, and you can see a simpler digital book option (still the same high quality) as well as a paper scrapbooking option {right here}.

I can make any project you have in mind, from baby books to family yearbooks to graduation sign-in books and wire-bound cookbooks.  In fact, because of the variety of Heritage Makers products, I can create wall canvases, playing card decks, and even labels to make adorable chocolate favors for events or holidays.  If you missed the {digital DIY wedding} posts from last year, check them out at that link {and this part 2 link} to get an idea of everything that's possible, from invitations and creative save-the-date ideas to table place cards and gifts.

Let me be your memory-keeping partner.  You take the pictures and make the memories, then you share with me your favorites (both pictures and a little blurb about each one) so I can make those pictures and memories last.  {Here is the basic information} about how Scrapbooking For Hire (or any project) works.  For more details how it works, just {contact me} and I'll e-mail you a document outlining everything.

If you need a memory-keeping partner, don't put it off!  Memories get dimmer all the time, and photos left in digital form are always at the mercy of technology.  Let's get your photos out of the cloud and your memories out of your head into something that will be seen, held, and loved for generations.

Know anyone else who needs memory-keeping help?  Share!
E-mail, share on Facebook, Tweet, or Pin to Pinterest.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

My Best Methods for Organizing and Storing Digital Photos

Are you in {my Heritage Makers Facebook group}?  It's a great place for information and inspiration, but I love it when people use it to share projects they've created and to ask questions.

A few months ago, Angela posted a great question.  Here's her post:
"Looking for some advice on best methods of organizing and storing photos.  Please share your methods!  Go!  Thanks!"
This is a great question!  This is such a common question and common need that I want to share the answer with you, too.  Here's what I told Angela that I hope will be helpful to you also.

There's so much talk today on photo organization and storage that it can feel overwhelming and even impossible.  Some people even pay to have their photos stored.  But the purpose of a photo isn't to store it.  It's to see it.

So here's how I make sure my photos are taken care of, all the way around:  I store them digitally and in print, which are the two suggested ways for storing them.  (Experts say not to put all your eggs in one basket and that the safest way to store photos is in print.)  Storing photos in multiple ways might seem overwhelming, but the way I do it is actually really convenient--I only use one website for multiple methods!  Here's what I do:

  1. I store my photos in print (which, if you Google, is one of the safest ways to store them).  By "store in print," I mean that I publish my photos and memories using Heritage Makers books and/or individual scrap pages.  I choose {Heritage Makers for many reasons, most of which I have listed out here.}
  2. Because I use Heritage Makers, my completed projects (not just my photos) are saved in my Heritage Makers account in case of disaster, from a house fire to a kiddo spilling milk on it.  So I not only have my photos saved in printed books and scrap pages like the ones shown below, but this second method of saving my photos is that I have a digital backup of those books and scrap pages, too!

  1. I'm already uploading all my photos to my Heritage Makers account to make books and individual scrap pages.  They stay there in my account forever (as long as my account is active by being used every 18 months, which I always do).  Here's another super cool thing about Heritage Makers:   You can store all the photos that you've used in a project (like the ones shown above) FOR FREE.  That means that since I started using Heritage Makers in 2005, I now have 14 years' worth of digital photo storage... for free!  And storing my photos in my Heritage Makers account isn't just free--it's private.  (If you haven't heard yet that other photo companies sell your photos, be sure to {read this article ASAP}!)
  2. I save my photos on my computer before I upload them to my Heritage Makers account.  Computers {aren't the safest places to store photos}, but since I also back up my computer to an external hard drive once a month, my Photo Eggs aren't all in my Computer Basket.
  3. Once a year I order {a Millenniata CD from Heritage Makers} with all the pictures from that year on it.  Technically, if my computer crashes or something, I could just download all my photos back from my Heritage Makers account since they are stored there indefinitely (with my active account), but I like having another non-online source to have my digital pictures saved.
Experts say to store your photos one way in print and two ways digitally, so this is probably overkill by a tad, but I know my photos are SAFE and secure, plus I get to actually LOOK AT THEM in printed pages any time!  Print is where photos actually get loved.  

And I've saved my photos a total of FIVE ways in TWO methods (print and digital files) with not a lot of effort and minimal cost.

I personally organize my photos this way.  This video is 19 minutes of you essentially looking over my shoulder while I organize photos and explain my system.

I think the video is the best way to see what I'm talking about, but here are some pointers in written form for both physical (already printed) and digital photos.  Just click here to read:

My niece was here visiting for my daughter's graduation in May.  We were really busy most of the week (especially me), but it was fun to see that during downtime, my niece would pull out the scrapbooks and photo books I've made.  She and my son are the same age (22), and they enjoyed looking at pictures of themselves when they were babies "meeting" for the first time and toddlers playing together.  

That just wouldn't have happened if I'd had a CD or a flash drive sitting on the shelf.  The printed version, complete with details and memories written out, is what means something.

It's what pictures are for.

Get started preserving them with Heritage Makers {by following these steps}.  Because it's the BEST!  Really.

Share this blog post by Pinning, Tweeting, emailing, or Facebook sharing.