Thursday, May 23, 2019

How to Preserve All Those Baby Pictures (plus some encouragement for moms, too)

Oh, baby pictures!  There's nothing like them.  Chubby cheeks and sleeping smiles.  First steps and first foods.  If there's a baby in your life, your phone is probably full of pictures of him/her.  Digital images are easy to share, from texting to social media, but if you want those precious pictures to last, they need to have more to them than a jpeg file name.

You probably already know about the risks of anything digital, such as {hard drive crashes and stolen phones}.  So what is important to know about digital photos and preserving them?  What's the best way to store these cherished photos for years and years to come?  Shiree and Michele from {Confessions of Parenting} asked me delve into these questions and give some advice on what to do with baby pictures to make sure they are preserved.

Here at my guest blogger post you'll find answers to those questions, solutions to photo concerns, and four fantastic ideas for making those photos last.  And some encouragement for moms (of all ages), too!  Click and read:

By the way, if you don't know how to get your pictures off your phone and onto your computer, this quick video walks you right through it in about 5 minutes.

This post at Confessions of Parenting went viral, so it's clearly something a lot of people need to know about.  Be a pal and share this post by Pinning, Tweeting, e-mailing, or sharing on Facebook!  Then tell me in the comments below what your biggest takeaway was from my "What to Do With All the Baby Pictures You're Taking" post.
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Monday, May 13, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp ... is Moving!

Did you catch last week's linkup?  Did you find a new favorite blog post that's good for the heart and soul?  I find posts every week that inspire, educate, and make me smile.

We have some big news today!  But first:

Let's highlight the most-read posts from last week.  I'm including links to them, too, in case you missed them last time.  I personally loved each one of these posts.

from Flossie at Super Mom Hacks

from Maria at Krafty Planner

from Alicia at My Plant Strong Family

If you were a featured favorite today, you can celebrate by sharing on social media or your blog using this image:

I want to give a special thanks to each blogger who has participated in the Heart & Soul LinkUp!  If you've been a reader, you know what interesting, fun, and important things have been shared here at the linkup since November. If you found a new favorite blogger here, be sure to follow her/him on social media, or bookmark their blogs so you can always read those posts you love.

Thanks to:

We've had 6 lovely months of Heart & Soul linkups here at LifeTales Books and lots of great blog posts shared from some of my long-time blogger friends and a good handful of new ones.  More great things are in store as Heart & Soul moves from LifeTales Books over to Love My Little Cottage, hosted by Kristie!

That's right.  Heart & Soul LinkUp is moving.  With the move comes a name change, too.  Today, the Heart & Soul LinkUp becomes Little Cottage Link Party.

So instead of leaving links (if you're a blogger) and reading posts at Heart & Soul LinkUp today, head on over to to find the Little Cottage Link Party.   Kristie is leaving each weekly linkup open from 7:00am (Mountain) on Mondays until 7:00am (Mountain) on Wednesdays.  You can find rules for participating AND the very first Little Cottage Link Party right here at Love My Little Cottage.

I don't know about you, but I'm heading over there right now to leave my own links to some blog posts I'd love to share, and I'm looking forward to what others share, too.  See ya at Love My Little Cottage...

Thursday, May 9, 2019

How Heritage Makers Does Digital Scrapbooking Better (and how I know)

I have always been what I call a {memory-keeper}, but I wasn't a digital scrapbooker until the Perfect Storm of 2009.  Here's what happened and why I'll never go back.  

Before I tell my story, I want to make sure you know about my next online digital scrapbooking class.  It's just 4 weeks long but it will give you tools, tips, and strategies in addition to having some time to work together on your own photos and memories!  You can register for the class at this link.

And now for the scoop.  Here's the best digital scrapbooking I've ever found, and here's how I know it's the best.


I've always been a picture-taker and a picture-preserver.  By that I mean that I took pictures and then put them in a book (not a box) and wrote a little memory next to it.  I didn't even really realize that "scrapbookING" had become a thing until long after it had.  I was quite late to the {scrapbooking} party.  When I learned about fancy papers and shaped scissors, I joined the bandwagon but was never one to spend hours and hours on one page.  I would say my scrapbook pages were fairly cute, but they were also practical.

I'm one of those people who enjoys scrapbooking because it brings back good memories, both while I'm creating pages and when I look back at them later (especially with my kiddos or husband).  I always prioritized keeping up on my scrapbooking because it's more fun to preserve photos when memories are fresh than it is when it feels like a chore.  In addition, I had a good friend who was also a scrapbooker.  We had kids the same age, so we would get together for Scrapbook Days.  The kids would play together and we would work.  It was both fun and productive.

That worked for me for about 12 years.  The Perfect Storm of 2009 was three-fold.  First, I moved 2,700 miles away from my scrapbooking friend.  Second, I spent a lot of time that year preparing to move, moving out, house hunting, house buying, moving in, unpacking, getting kids registered for school/doctors appointments/play dates/etc.  (I took a lot of pictures but didn't touch them for months, which was highly unusual for me.)  Third, Heritage Makers, previously just offering high-quality hardbound books, came out with individual digital scrap pages.  It was the perfect storm--a perfect time for a change.
By the way, I'll talk about individual scrapbook pages here, but all of this holds true for hardbound books as well.


Because I'd been a traditional (paper) scrapbooker for years, I had a system.  I liked the loose-leaf system because I could add in my kids' schoolwork or class pictures, etc.  Although I'd been using Heritage Makers personal publishing for 4 years at that point for precious things like {family cookbooks} and {vacation books to give as gifts} to family members, I continued paper scrapbooking because it fit my system.

After the Perfect Storm, though, I was so excited to have the ease of working digitally and still being able to use my loose-leaf binder system.

Digital scrapbooking with Heritage Makers has been saving my bacon ever since.  It is very literally what is 100% responsible for me always being caught up on my scrapbooking.  I have 3 kids, so I always made 4 copies of the same page.  (Gosh, that sounds so onerous now, thinking back on making each paper page by hand, but I really did it.)  With digital scrapbooking, I now just click "copy" and then make adjustments for each kid.  That alone cuts my scrapbooking time--digital scrapbooking now takes me 1/4 of the time that paper scrapbooking used to take--not to mention the simplicity of just using the "copy" and "paste" functions instead of physically cutting out multiple borders and picture frames for multiple pages.  That makes it tons faster, too!


A year ago now, the print partner Heritage Makers had been using went out of business without any warning!  The home office went searching for a new print partner, but since quality is a high priority for Heritage Makers, and because they have such a wide variety of products, it took longer to find a partner than expected.  During that time, I became a little impatient.  I had a couple of projects I really wanted to do, and I'm the type of person who can't get something off my mind until I just do it already.  So I did something I had NEVER done in 13+ years of being a Heritage Makers consultant.  I looked elsewhere.  (*gasp*)  I just wanted to find something temporary, but I wanted it to be just as good.

I knew of several "digital photo book" companies that I did NOT want to use.  I've heard enough stories from my Heritage Makers clients about poor quality and {photo privacy issues} with certain popular digital photo book companies they used to use that I knew where not to look.  I wondered, though, if there was anything even similar to Heritage Makers out there.  I just wanted to print a few things until Heritage Makers got up and running again.  (It was only a matter of weeks, but I'll say again:  I was impatient.)  So I went looking.

In all my looking, I could not find anything as good as Heritage Makers.  Nothing.  

Here's what I was used to in Heritage Makers that I didn't want to give up and couldn't find anywhere else.
  1. Quality.  I know I already mentioned that, but it's a big deal.  If I'm going to spend my precious time and my precious money on something, I want it to last.  I don't want something as important as my photos and my memories to fall apart a few years from now.  I couldn't find a lot of information on other websites about quality, but I knew there are a lot of bargain-bin type companies out there, so I was wary.  
  2. Flexibility.  The templates I saw out there were not change-able.  I would be stuck with whatever pre-designed items that company offered.  I am so used to being able to create EXACTLY what I want to create in a book or scrap page that I just couldn't handle the idea of not doing that.  There's a build-pages-from-scratch option with Heritage Makers, but even templates are completely edit-able!
  3. Free photo storage.  Some companies these days really tout their photo storage (how you'll have digital photos stored forever), but that's a paid service!  I couldn't get over that.  I'm not going to pay someone to store my digital photos when Heritage Makers stores ALL the photos I publish in a book/scrap page/other project FOR FREE.  There's also no fee to download them from my Heritage Makers account back to my computer!  (Not always the case with other companies.)  
  4. Heirloom Assurance.  I couldn't find another company that offers Heirloom Assurance like Heritage Makers does.  In fairness, Heirloom Assurance is not posted on the Heritage Makers website, so maybe it's not posted on other companies' websites, either.  But I can't stand the thought of not having all my digital scrapbooks and scrap pages and other projects saved in my account forever with the option of getting a replacement at half price if those precious projects are ever damaged (fire, water, dog, toddler, etc.).
  5. Digital art.  I didn't realize how accustomed I was to (okay, spoiled by) the Heritage Makers digital art collection.  It is to die for.  I couldn't find anything out there that would hold a candle to it!  New collections are being added every month.  PLUS, IT'S FREE TO USE!!!  There is no way now that I would consider using any company that made me buy digital art.  (See?  Spoiled.)  Let me show you a few collections.  (Videos are about 1 minute and represent just the new art added that month.  There are over 200,000 pieces of digital art available in Heritage Makers creation program, Studio.)

I always thought Heritage Makers was the best, otherwise I wouldn't have become a Heritage Makers consultant back in 2005.  But after this experience of looking around for something I might actually want to use as a (temporary) substitute, I was convinced.  Heritage Makers just does digital scrapbooking better.

Are you ready to start digital scrapbooking?  Whether you're upgrading from your current digital scrapbooking method or you're looking to transition from paper to digital, Heritage Makers is your answer.  To help you get started, I made you a video myself to show you exactly how to scrapbook digitally with Heritage Makers.

If you'd like to learn more about digital scrapbooking, you can always host a class.  The way this is outlined, you also end up with a Tribe--a group of people to do your digital scrapbooking with. 

 I also host online scrapbooking work times (digi-crops) in my Facebook group, so {click here and ask to join} so you can find out about the next one(s).

Digital scrapbooking in general is faster and less expensive than traditional (paper) scrapbooking, but digital scrapbooking with Heritage Makers is the best there is.  Get started by following the instructions in the "HM Digital Scrapbooking" video above or contact me if you want to host a digital scrapbooking class and let me teach you and your friends more.  You'll thank yourself!

Who do you know who would love digital scrapbooking?  Share this post with her/him!
Love this post?  Pin this image to Pinterest or Tweet or share on Facebook.

Monday, May 6, 2019

Heart & Soul LinkUp #24

Happy Birthday to us!  Our LinkUp is now six months old!  Thanks to all the contributors who share their blog posts and all you readers who show them some love (and some comments!)  That makes a blogger's day.  :)

Bloggers can leave links to their blog posts all day today (Monday), so this collection might not be complete until tomorrow (Tuesday).  Before we get to those new posts to read and enjoy, let's first look at the most popular posts from last week.  I'm including links to them, too, in case you missed them last time.

from Pat at Mille Fiori Favoriti

from Maria at Krafty Planner

from Jennifer at LifeTales Books

Thanks to the bloggers who shared their links last time.  If you were a featured favorite today, share your excitement on social media and/or your blog using this image:

And now it's time for Heart & Soul LinkUp #24!  Enjoy.  :)

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter