Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Telling and Recording Adoption Stories

Do you know someone with an adoption story to tell?  An adoptive child, an adoptive parent, and a parent who placed a child for adoption are all people with adoption stories.

There's a lovely article at {adoption.com} called 5 Creative Ways to Document an Adoption Visit.  It's written for those who have placed a child for adoption and visit, but the five suggestions given could be used for anyone telling an adoption story.  And guess what!  LifeTales Books powered by Heritage Makers was mentioned in the article!  Enjoy reading 5 creative ways to record adoption stories and experiences:


There are several Heritage Makers templates to help you tell your adoption story.

There's even {a story map at this link} to tell a baby's story.  It isn't specific to adoption but would be a good jumping off point.

All Heritage Makers storybooks are completely customizable--you can even change any element in a template.  So if you don't like the bow on the cover above, remove it.  If your photo is portrait orientation, rotate the frame.  You can get exactly what you want in a storybook that's one of the highest quality on the market, and the only one backed by {Heirloom Assurance}. 

To see more adoption storybook templates, go to {my website here}, click "template gallery" then "browse the gallery."  In the search field, type in "adoption" (without quotations).

And one of the best things about Heritage Makers is that you can use a pre-designed template OR you can create your own storybook from scratch.  There's lots of included digital art (you never buy it), and storybooks come in 7 sizes with 21 pages (expandable to 99).  So it's really YOUR STORY YOUR WAY!

{Click here to get started} and let me know if you have any questions!  There's a "contact me" tab in red at the upper left of this page.

"You always resemble the ones who love you most."  ~Scott Hamilton, former U.S. Olympian, adopted at six weeks old

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Dare to Find Your VOICE through the Power of Story

Stories are who we are.  We all have empowering stories, whether we see them or not.  Our stories are something we can stand on to become who we want to be.  Telling--especially writing--our own stories has tremendous power because knowing stories creates connections.  You can even get to {know yourself} better!

{Cary Mac Arthur} says, "Feeling is the secret.  If I want to feel empowered, going to a moment from my past or from my story brings the feeling back.  Then I can move forward. ...  That's what writing our story and having a picture does for us."

I was recently asked to be a guest on the Dare to Find Your Voice podcast with Cary Mac Arthur. Cary is an expert in teaching people how to discover their own voices.   She asked me to talk about the importance of finding your story, writing your story, and sharing your story.  We talked about how cathartic and powerful it is to go through your pictures and tell the story of your life experiences.

You can find the podcast here.  It's episode 19:

Are you ready to write your story?  You'll love the connections, sense of purpose, and even the therapeutic benefits that come from the simple act of organizing your life's experience and writing it down.  {This blog post} gives you some great resources for telling your story, and {this link} gives you some high-quality possibilities for publishing your story.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

The Secret Ingredient to Self-Care and Wellness

In a couple of weeks, I will arrive at my 13-year anniversary of being a memory-keeping consultant and storybooking coach.  Looking back on my journey, I'm surprised at how my passion about connections through photos and memories and stories has grown and intensified over the years--only because I didn't think it could be any stronger.  Memory-keeping is so much more powerful than most people realize, and people who sit on their photos and don't record their memories miss out on so much!

This inspired me to write a little book!  (And I do mean "little."  It's probably a 30-minute read.)  This book just poured out of me.  I think it's been waiting to be written for a while!

The words "wellness" and "self-care" are hot topics these days.  You can find pins on Pinterest and blog posts all over the internet about various kinds of diet and exercise.  There's clean eating, keto diets, spinning classes, and zumba.  We are inundated with information about the latest trends in taking care of our bodies and minds.

What about the heart and soul?

This short book (a "booklet," really) reveals what is missing in self-care and wellness and why it matters.  More importantly, there are chapters addressing solutions and myths, as well as two PLANS on how to make this important secret ingredient a part of your life and habits for real change!

The best part is that this secret ingredient isn't anything you don't already have!  The key is just making a few changes so you can actually benefit from it!  As I said in the book, "I don't want to be the squeaky wheel; I want to be the grease."  There's no point in talking in theory if it can't be made into action.

Not only is this secret ingredient something you already have, but what's almost magical about it is that is actually benefits you while at the same time benefiting your loved ones.  You can't really say that about many self-care strategies.

If you are looking for greater wellness in your life, you need this short read with great potential.  To order, contact me (via phone or e-mail at the "contact me" tab above) and we can arrange shipping and payment.  The cost is $12 (plus $4 shipping, if needed). 

PLUS I AM GIVING AWAY THREE COPIES!  All you need to do in order to win one is be one of the first three people to:
  1. Pin this post to Pinterest and/or share on Facebook.
  2. Leave a comment below about the current state of your photos and memories and what you hope to gain from this book.
  3. E-mail me your mailing address so I can get this book on its way to you.  jenniferwise4heritagemakers@gmail.com
UPDATE:  ALL THE GIVEAWAY COPIES ARE GONE.  YOU MAY STILL ORDER COPIES FOR $12 (+ $4 shipping, if needed) BY E-MAILING ME AT jenniferwise4heritagemakers@gmail.com and arranging shipping.  Thank you!


Friday, March 2, 2018

#friyay Night Lights

It's the first Friday of the month, so that means it's time to shine a light on what people are saying about Heritage Makers!  This month's #friyay is from Marcie.  We connected online several years ago and clicked right away.  She is a busy mom of 5 and is always thinking about how to make connections between generations.  Her passion is helping the elderly tell and record their life stories.  My goal is to someday meet my friend Marcie.  :)

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

The Life-Changing Power in Family Stories #tbt

Many parents are looking for ways to bring their families closer, to connect, and to create strengthening bonds.  One simple but powerful way to do this is through family stories.

There is life-changing power in family stories!  Telling and recording your family's stories allows you (and especially your children) to develop a stronger sense of self, purpose, and belonging.  Family stories have been shown to raise self-esteem in kids, too!

I have written about four ways to create connections using family stories, and one idea for finding family stories.  I'm sharing them for this month's Throw-Back Tuesday #tbt so you can see which ones can benefit your family and meet your family's needs:

{Making Connections Using Family Stories}
{Healing From Grief Through Family Stories}
{Preserving Celebrations with Family Stories}
{Building Self-Esteem through Family Stories and Personal Messages}
{Telling Family Stories Using Keepsakes

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How Creativity and Hobbies Make a Healthier You

"Health" trends and crazes today seem to focus on things like clean eating, keto, and paleo, or kettlebells, marathons, and spin class.  Health goes beyond the physical, however, and it's easy to overlook the health and wellness of the heart and soul.  Today we'll look at two ways to improve your health--hobbies and creativity--and a great way to incorporate both in a meaningful, lasting way.

You've probably been hit with a sickness during a stressful time.  According to {Dr. Chris Gilbert}, this is--as you may have already guessed--no coincidence.  She says a full 80% of visits to a primary care physician can be traced to emotional issues.  Aside from stress, this is due in large part to keeping emotions contained instead of expressing them or cognitively working through them (which, by the way, I'm the queen of).

Dr. Gilbert takes emotional expression even further!  She says, "When internal emotions are externalized as art, ... inner conflicts that suppressed these emotions are lessened, and physiological stress responses —such as chronic over-secretion of cortisol and adrenaline — are greatly reduced.” 

Think about that!  Creativity contributes to health and well-being in very real ways.  You can find a great list of ways to creatively express your emotions at BayArt's lovely article, {"How Creativity Can Help You Be Healthier."}

My friend Lori at Choosing Wisdom wrote recently about why {picking up new hobbies} is so good for you.  She explained that there are two kinds of stress:  bad stress (we all know what that is) and good stress called eustress which is the rush of excitement and joy when we're engaged in something new.  As Lori says, "Hobbies provide a break with a purpose.  ...When we get complacent in our routines, we are neglecting to challenge our brains."  She refers to research on the mental benefits of having hobbies, including lower depression, and the physical benefits, including lower blood pressure and cortisol.  So hobbies help with the bad stress, and with the good stress, too!

Many people have the mistaken belief that they are not creative.  In reality, though, {trying something new stimulates the brain}, so creativity is increased!  And literally, by definition, if you create something, you are creative.  If you have an idea, create a plan, make a cake, build a fence, take a photo, you are creating something.  As {Dina Tibbs} said, "As humans, we are, by our very nature, creative.  Our entire lives are nothing but creations."

Let me encourage you to start a creative hobby that will contribute to your physical health and the health of your heart and soul WHILE AT THE SAME TIME providing {lasting benefits to your loved ones}, such as an increased ability to cope, a decrease in stress and depression, and a greater sense of gratitude, purpose, and belonging.  Start memory-keeping.  Start preserving your photos and the stories that go with them in a tactile way--a book or page that can be seen, held, and loved.

Preserving photos in print and writing down your memories and experiences is cathartic and grounding, but it also gives you the benefits of creativity (creating something) and a hobby that I just mentioned.  In addition, recording your own stories and the stories of your family has been {shown to influence children in profound ways}.

The best way I know to preserve photos and memories and stories is in digital storybooks and scrap pages by Heritage Makers.  There are lots of available templates (which are still completely editable--nothing is locked in place).  To me, creating a quality product is the most important thing, followed closely by the Heirloom Assurance guarantee (if anything happens to my books/scrap pages, I can get a replacement copy at half price).  You can get started at the {"How to Get Started"} tab at the top of this page in red.

Physical health is important, but don't forget how much your heart and soul contribute to your physical well-being, too.  Start your new creative hobby, memory-keeping, today, and find out just how good for you it is!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Business Products Class using Heritage Makers personal publishing

Heritage Makers is perfect for preserving a family story or a personal story or a life story.  I love it for digital scrapbooking.  I've given impressive gifts and thank-yous.  I could list lots of other ways I've used and loved Heritage Makers.

For the last few years I've also been using it to make business products in a cost-effective but stand-out way.  The last few months I've been teaching others how to do the same, from loyalty punch cards to car magnets and bags. 

This class introduces you to a handful of the business products you can make using Heritage Makers.  My favorite thing about this class is how impressed the attendees are.  That's so much fun!  This is a great way to get noticed, especially for direct sales and network marketing, too.

It's just 40 minutes long, and it's a GREAT investment in your business!  Enjoy and share!

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Dear Burned-Out Scrapbooker,

Dear Burned-Out Scrapbooker,

I know.  You're just so busy now.  You know how important your photos are.  You want your kids to have their memories.  You know how good it is for your own heart and soul to take the time to sit down with your life experiences and make something beautiful out of them.  But things have changed and you just don't have the time any more.

To make matters worse, you feel guilty that those pictures are just sitting there.  Waiting.

SOME DAY.  Some day you are going to get back to it, get caught up.  Why can't they come up with something simple and quick?  Why can't there be a faster way to make sweet records of photos and memories?  It's so important!

Welcome to 2018, the year your dreams come true.  

Are you a die-hard paper scrapbooker, or do you think you'd like to transition to being a digital scrapbooker?  Either way, I can help!   

Have you seen the paper scrapbooking kits from Anthology DIY by Lisa Bearnson?  The 2-page spreads are almost already done for you!  Just put the layouts together (everything is included!) and then add pictures and journaling.

There are several different kits to choose from.  

Find more at {this link} by clicking "products" at the upper right, then "Anthology DIY."  Scroll down to see "Kits."

While you're there, you might see {Pocket Pages}, too.  Those are even simpler and will be the fastest paper method for preserving your photos!  

They store so beautifully, too!  You don't need more space in your paper totes--everything goes inside the magnetic-closure case that looks like a book.  Just put it on a bookshelf!

If you're trying to phase out of paper and make the switch to digital, you need to see the Digital Scrap Pages from Heritage Makers.

This video shows just how quickly Heritage Makers Digital Scrap Pages come together--from someone who has been doing it for 10 years and is always caught up on digital scrapbooking!  Digital Scrap Pages come together quickly because Heritage Makers has a "copy page" feature so you can copy entire pages with the click of a button, then just change out photos and text without having to re-build each page!

This also means you can make multiple pages for multiple kids with just the click of a button!

Your multi-media scrapbooks will alternate as you use up papers, stickers, etc.--some will be digital pages and some will be traditional pages.  It's a great way to use up what you already have as you make the transition to digital. 

If you'd prefer leaving paper behind altogether and begin scrapbooking and memory-keeping just digitally, a Family Yearbook from Heritage Makers will make catching up a snap!

This article, {One Solution to Too Many Photos:  A Family Yearbook} explains the organization of Yearbooks, why Heritage Makers' Yearbooks are head-and-shoulders above the rest, and even gives a detailed plan for how to catch up preserving photos if you're behind!

Oh, burned-out scrapbooker, you're one of my favorite people.  You know the value of what you're creating for your family.  I especially love helping YOU find easier ways to do it because you already know it's one of the best things you can do.  

With Love and Well-Wishes,