Tuesday, March 27, 2018

My Secrets to Staying Caught Up Preserving My Pictures

When I tell people I'm pretty consistently caught up on preserving my pictures, their reactions are usually a mix of surprise and jealousy.  My real goal for a reaction, though, is hope.  I want people to feel hopeful.  Not being behind on your photos (i.e. not having them gathering virtual dust on your hard drive or phone) IS DO-ABLE!  It is attainable.

Given the number of photos we take and the general {lack of time} we have, there are some tricks to learn if you want to stay caught up preserving your photos.  And you do--trust me--because {it's so good for you}, not to mention for kids and families as a whole.

The common "I'm so behind on my photos" complaint prompted me to write a series of articles for a blog I am a contributor for.  I thought, "Why not share my own tips and strategies?  Why not share exactly what I do?"  The series ran in September, and I would like to share them with you today.

You can find the links to each of my articles below.  I hope they will be helpful.  I want them to give you HOPE as well as actual TOOLS so that you can join me in the minority of people who have actual photo albums and books and pages to show instead of empty hands full of good intentions.

{How I Stay Caught Up Preserving My Pictures and Memories}
{Staying Caught Up, Part 1:  Organizing My Photos (with video)}
{Staying Caught Up, Part 2:  Using Something Addictive (with video)}
{Staying Caught Up, Part 3:  What Works For Me (with video)}
{Why I Stay Caught Up Preserving My Pictures and Memories}


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.

UPDATE:  Here's the ebook version of  "The Secret Ingredient to Self-Care and Wellness"!!

ebook The Secret Ingredient by JWiseHeritageMakers

If you are looking for greater wellness in your life, you need this short read with great potential. 

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 $13 (+ $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.  :)