Tuesday, September 26, 2017

video tutorial: DIY chocolate label favors

If you are looking for an impressive, affordable, unique way to make a celebration spectacular, you have come to the right place.


Whether you have an upcoming wedding, baby shower, graduation, retirement, birthday, holiday, or thank you, creating PERSONALIZED labels for chocolates fits any occasion and makes it UNFORGETTABLE.

You'll see *exactly* what I mean at this tutorial!

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

why your family needs its stories


What is the story of your family?  How does the story line go?  Have you ever thought of life as a story?

If you were a historian, you could probably go through the year and summarize it in a story.  In fact, you probably already do that once a year if you do a {family letter at Christmastime}.

Did you know that our brains are actually wired for storytelling?  Our brains process facts, sure, but what they really love is STORIES.  Our brains want connections, and stories actually create them.

Rachel Gillette wrote an article for {Fast Company called "Why Our Brains Crave Storytelling in Marketing."}  Here's what she said about the difference between data and story:

"When reading straight data, only the language parts of our brains work to decode the meaning. But when we read a story, not only do the language parts of our brains light up, but any other part of the brain that we would use if we were actually experiencing what we’re reading about becomes activated as well."  (italics added)

Did you catch that?  We're talking about LITERALLY preserving memories!!  


Recording your story allows you to re-live experiences!  And I know from my own experience that if there's any part of the story you don't particularly want to remember, you won't remember it if you don't record it.  When we go on family vacations, I don't take pictures of meltdowns, so when we look back at the pictures and our story later, it's like it never happened!  ;)

And that "you won't remember it if you don't record it" truth is a double-edged sword.  It works out nicely if you don't want to remember the meltdown, but it should make you think twice if you're not recording your family's story and preserving your photos and memories.

Because, truthfully:  it's gone.


So much of what we take pictures of is part of our family story.  We take pictures of special events like first days of school and family vacations, of the new house or the new car.  This is what makes our story.

Rachel Trotter wrote a great article called {Family Vacations Create Great Family Stories} which emphasizes how many fantastic memories and bonding moments come out of vacations.  She lists 5 ways to make your vacations "storyful," from food to music, which you can find at the link.

I've experienced it, too--family vacations are some of the best sources for family stories.  They make some of the best memories!


Two years ago we went to Mexico as a family.  (Yes, the water really IS that color!)  As it turned out, my mom passed away two weeks before our trip.  When I got on the plane, it didn't feel like the time for a fun getaway, but it didn't take me long to realize that it was the perfect time for it.  Aside from the peace of sitting at the turquoise water's edge, we made lots of amazing memories that are part of our family's narrative.  Hilarious things happened.  Miraculous things happened.  Weird and therefore funny things happened.  Really, really cool things happened.  And we STILL talk about it.  We look back on that shared experience with great fondness.

And that's what a family story is:  a shared experience.

And that's why we need them. 

So when you make the memories and take the pictures, don't forget to record the story!  Your family needs its stories.  And the process of telling them--recording photos and memories--is cathartic!

If you need some helps in telling or recording your family stories, here are three:
Every family needs its stories because it needs the connections and the sense of belonging that come from them.  Family stories have a lot of power.  In a world struggling for connections these days, the solution is much closer than we think.
  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Heritage Makers Studio 101 - video tutorial for beginners

Heritage Makers digital personal publishing is a powerful tool for memory-keeping, creating high-quality family yearbooks, digital scrapbooking, giving unforgettable gifts, and even creating your own business products!  The program you use is called Studio.  It's similar to other drag-n-drop programs like Photoshop, Canva, or Publisher, only with many more tools and included (free) digital art.


Using Heritage Makers is a lot of fun!  A tour through Studio can be helpful as you create storybooks, scrap pages, cook books, playing cards, calendars, canvases, and all the rest of the products available at Heritage Makers.  I've created the video tutorial below for beginners who would like a tour of the website ("How do I find out when my publishing points expire?" or "How do I change my password?") as well as a guided walk through Studio itself ("How do I upload pictures to my account?" or "How do I rotate a photo?")

Happy Heritage Making!

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Be True To Yourself: podcast with Jennifer Wise


I was interviewed recently by Krista Palo of Evolve! for her Podcast series, "Real Life, Real Passion."  The series asks real people how they use their passion in real life.

We talked about the importance of being yourself, having courage to be yourself, and embracing that you are the expert.  We also talked about personalities, overcoming challenges, and how compassion for your own self is an important part of happiness. 

I hope you will enjoy this inspiring podcast!  Put in your earphones and listen as you're vacuuming or walking, and come away feeling better about yourself and life. 

https://www.livegrowgive.org/?powerpress_pinw=2445-podcast

The link to the podcast can also be found at Krista's written summary of the interview {here}.