Musings from a Memory Keeper | Thoughts behind my 2017 Memory Keeping Goals

With the fresh start of a new year, I established a rough outline of how I wanted to document the new year, but I never really established how I could carry that plan out, what I would document or even why I was documenting.  This bothered me because I'm the type of person who likes my plans laid out before I begin a project, with an end result in mind.  I was lacking the clear cut process...

Note: This blog post contains affiliate links.

Grab these new Paislee Press templates  here .  In addition, enjoy the Bright Ideas collection  here.

Grab these new Paislee Press templates here.  In addition, enjoy the Bright Ideas collection here.

I wish I could share a detailed step by step process of how I've come to a final conclusion, but really it's just been all these thoughts running around in my head and a ton of soul searching. In addition, I did take some time to go back review and flip through the projects I've done over the years - journals, annual pocket page albums, travelers notebooks, mini albums and photobooks.  

Five things stood out to me:

1.| The projects that I loved the most were printed photobooks. My photobooks visually appealed to me and incited joy.  They're so gorgeous. I love how they look when arranged on my shelf. I enjoy the mix of text and pictures and the coordinated feel of a finished product. I also felt there was more a focus on the stories with the simple, consolidated concept of a book. Blurb is one of my favorite places to print from.

2.| My journals really tugged at my heart strings.  I found a certain pride that I was able to digitally journal on a regular basis last year using Google Docs. That is the first full year I've keep a journal since I was in high school and it felt so good. I plan to print my journal through this company

3.| There was an over abundance of photos in my pocket page albums.  Don't get me wrong, I love that my albums are bursting at the seams... I don't not plan to take less photos, I just plan to take photos that tell better stories. I could easily have cut down some bulk by choosing key photos and telling stories with words instead of extra photos.   All those extras will be stored digitally. (Note:  Since I print through a lab, I also reviewed just how many EXTRA photos I had printed that never made it into albums because they were too similar or not the right "tone" to match my other photos.)  

4.| My style has evolved over the years. Obviously, that is so typical of anyone immersed in this creative community. We see things we like created by others that influence our style or we jump on a proverbial band wagon and adopt a new trend.  I feel like I've tried it all... And I don't necessarily love it all (for ex. traditional scrapbook pages or 12x12 pocket page spreads). I'm glad to have finally found what I like best and totally plan to stick with those tings for my main projects. I'll still try new things, just on a smaller scale.

5.| An annual video project was very gratifying.  On New Year's Eve, hubby and I stayed home, curled up in a blanket on the couch and watched nearly three hours of our annual video from 2016.  It brought us so much joy to experience the movement, sounds, sights and people of our year all over again. I promise, we laughed and we cried. 

With finally sitting down and thinking through the changes in the ways I've documented over the years and what really fits my personality, my schedule and my style - I've decided for 2017,  I'll be more intentional about what I photos I take and what photos I print.  I will take lots of videos and capture the sights, sounds and people in our lives. I will put our everyday photos in pocket pages but be careful not to overdo it. I will tell more stories. I will put my photography into photobooks to be displayed. I will create with the end result in mind.  I will focus on collections of stories. I will consolidate, simplify and spend more time making memories than documenting them. I will push my creativity in ways I haven't before by limiting myself. I will save more money by buying less product. I will create projects with depth and meaning. I will enjoy every moment of it. 

What are your thoughts for the year ahead? Is there anything new you'd like to focus on or try? What about how you can do things differently from before?  I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below...




Happy New Year | 2017 Memory Keeping Short Term and Long Term Goals

Goals. Resolutions. Plans. Intentions...

With the dawning of the new year, we are all focused on setting goals, making fresh plans and evaluating our processes. It's honestly one of my favorite things to do.  Perhaps it's a bit of my type-A (ish) personality or just my entrepreneurial spirit, but I really get excited about looking back over what has worked for me and what has not.  And while it seems like it was just yesterday that I blogged my 2016 goals, I'm here to share my thoughts and intentions for this beautiful brand new year. 

But first, I want to recap 2016:


Failed Attempts:

  • Taking more photos with my DSLR (let's face it, my iPhone is just more handy. However, to compensate, hubby and I did get some great shots with our new GoPro.)
  • Digital pages (There simply weren't enough hours in the day)
  • 2016 December Daily (lost my mojo but still have plans, keep reading)
  • 2016 Week in the Life or Day in the Life (I didn't even try!)

As the year was ending, I was feeling bummed because after my December album flopped, I really felt like I'd lost my creativity. I wasn't sure if it was burn out or just that my heart was in another place.  However, after listing out the things I did accomplish, over what I felt I failed at, 2016 turned out to be a pretty good year.  I am so grateful for the teaching opportunities and creative connections that this year brought about. I feel like I grew as a person and I gained so many new friendships with women who continually inspire me. 

So, for the year ahead, I'm looking forward to continuing to keep things simple. In fact, I'm considering simplifying things even more by keeping less projects on my mind (and desk), printing more photo/story focused photobooks and really, just going back to my roots and photographing more. I miss photography, I miss my camera in my hands. I am hopeful that this year will be one of beautiful photographs, rich stories and heartfelt memories. 



2017 Goals:

  • Take more photos and videos with my DSLR

  • Write more stories and continue keeping a digital journal (using Google Docs)

  • 9x12 annual pocket page album for daily photos

  • 6x8 pocket page personal album, documenting things I love

  • Continue capturing daily video clips for an annual family DVD

  • Print more photobooks


Short Term Goals:

  • Finish 2016 9x12 annual pocket page album

  • Share my printed 2016 December photo book (I totally quit on my December album but I didn't stop documenting! Instead I gathered all the photos from the last week of Christmas and ordered a softcover 6x8 book from Artifact Uprising which I hope to share soon!)

  • Create a 6x8 pocket page album for hubby using his childhood photos


Long Term Goals:

  • Insert 2005 - 2009 photos into pocket page albums

  • 2011 Honeymoon Album (6x8) and 2011 Wedding Album

  • Collect stories from my family and record them to use later


And there you have it!  I hope to be back here soon sharing a little bit more about what I want to cultivate in the upcoming year, but in the meantime I'd love to hear your thoughts and plans for the new year!  What will you be doing and how? Share with me in the comments below! 




Summer 2016 Goals | Memory Keeping Goals Designed to Keep Projects Organized and Current

Hey guys, can you believe it is already JUNE?  Yes June! Half way through the year!

The first half of this year has been a roller coaster for me both personally and professionally. I've had so much on my plate, I feel like I'm constantly juggling things just to get by. Maybe you can relate?!  I thought now might be a good time to review my goals for this year and establish what has been working, what has not and where I need to pick up the slack or make changes so I can be on track at the end of the year.

You can read my full list of goals here.

Polka Dot and Stripe Papers from Felicity Jane past kits. Bear Cork Sticker via  my shop .

Polka Dot and Stripe Papers from Felicity Jane past kits. Bear Cork Sticker via my shop.

Ok, so taking a quick look at my goals, I've made some notes on how things are progressing and any changes I plan to implement.

2016 Goals:

Take more photos and videos with the camera/less with iPhone | I am so happy to report both my husband and I have been continually recording little clips of video during our day to day life, trips, events and etc. I've been managing these clips in iMovie and we are really looking forward to putting these together at the end of the year for an annual home movie. You can read more about my process here.  Unfortunately, I haven't been doing that good of a job photographing with my camera. I really need to set it out in the main living parts of our home so it is more accessible.

Create a 2016 album for event/special occasion photos and create a 6x8 digital album for everyday photos and #hashtagthisweek | Wow has this changed! As a result of our personal life writing it's own story, my creative time has been limited. Instead, I have been keeping a 9x12 album for our everyday photos and I've created a few random digital scrapbook pages along the way. So far this is working well.

Continue keeping a digital journal|  Check and check! I've been doing great with keeping up this project. I open a quick Google doc and jot down what's been happening around here every few days. This has really helped as a quick reference or copy/paste for when I'm adding journaling into my pocket page album.

Short Term Goals:

Long Term Goals:

Over all, I'm pretty happy with the way things are turning out for this year.  At half way into the year, I was able to finish my projects from last year, I'm mostly current on my annual pocket page album, I've gotten a LOT accomplished when it comes to video memory keeping and I've even had time to sneak in a few photo books.  A couple of things I want to work on is taking more photos with my DSLR and our honeymoon album.



What about you? Where do you stand with your goals for this year? I'd love to hear from you and hear how things are going. Leave me a message in the comments or catch up with me on Instagram!


Happy New Year | 2016 Memory Keeping Goals + a Giveaway!


A brand new year and a fresh start... As much as I love Christmas and the holiday season, I'm always just as excited to start a new year, set new goals, and revel in that "clean slate" feeling.

For the past several years I've taken advantage of the week between Christmas and New Year's Day to set some new goals for myself - both personally and creatively.

First of all, I don't set New Year's Resolutions. If there's one thing I've learned in my adult life it is to not put self induced stress on myself! Life does enough of that on it's own and I prefer to allow myself flexibility to move through life with the freedom to adjust my goals to my circumstances.

With that being said, today I'm sharing my 2016 memory keeping goals. When I created this list of goals, I took a moment to jot additional notes next to the goal regarding my plans for accomplishing the goals.  My short and long term goals are on-going projects I've started and have yet to finish... I like being reminded they're something I need to tackle throughout the year.


2016 Goals:

  • Take more photos and videos with the camera/less with iPhone (Keep my DSLR readily available)
  • Create a 2016 album for event/special occasion photos (Only print special photos from trips or events, put in a 9x12 or 6x8, keeping printing costs down and using supplies I already have. )
  • Create a 2016 6x8 digital album for everyday photos and #hashtagthisweek
  • Continue keeping a digital journal (Journal when I can, copy to .doc and back up monthly)

Short Term Goals:

  • Finish 2015 12 x 12 and 6 x 8 albums
  • Finish 2015 December Daily album
  • Finish 2015 Love Where You Live (set aside one week to complete)
  • Participate 2016 Week In the Life
  • Participate 2016 December Daily (plan in advance, start supply gathering/planning in October)
  • Finish Digitizing Old Journals

Long Term Goals:

  • Create DVD’s of videos from each year (Dedicate one month to each past year that needs to be documented.)
  • Insert 2005 - 2010 Photos into 12x12 albums (Dedicate evenings one-two weeks putting photos into binders)
  • 2011 Honeymoon Album (6x8)
  • 2011 Wedding Album
  • Transfer videos from old VHS tapes to DVD
  • Create digital layouts for the old photos not printed that surround a specific memory or event

Some of you may be wondering about some of the projects I've mentioned above.  I've been doing Project Life for three years. This year however, was my first year really immersing myself into the online world of pocket page scrapbooking, learning about the various companies who offer products, playing along with Week in the Life and December Daily, as well as working on creative teams.

As a result, I've learned so much and created a list of memory keeping projects I want to tackle now that extend beyond my normal scrapbooks. Things like creating a DVD of all the iPhone/camera videos my husband and I record year in and year out. After all, those are important memories too (with sound!).  I'm also planning to work backwards using photos from our honeymoon, wedding, and years before marriage. I want to record those memories before time passes and I can't recall the important details surrounding that time.  Lastly, I kept several journals throughout middle school and high school and now I am nearly finished with a project of digitizing them - typing out the entries into a Word document so I can easily search them for names, dates, and specific memories when I'm creating scrapbook pages from that time.

Share your Memory Keeping Goals below and you could win a FREE SET OF JOURNAL CARDS FROM LITTLE LAMM & CO!


Enter to Win The Giveaway!

To celebrate the new year, I've teamed up with my sweet friend Amie over at Little Lamm &. Co for a giveaway to help get you started this year. You can win a free set of journaling cards from Little Lamm & Co.'s new "Start" collection!  Simply enter below.

Winner will be announced on this post 1/8/16 at 7PM EST. Check back then to claim your prize!


#HASHTAGTHISWEEK Returns January 10, 2016!

Mark your calendars! You won't want to miss out this free, fun and inspiring weekly challenge created by Mandy Elliott of Turquoise Avenue and shared in collaboration with other creatives!

Take a photo, write a blog post, create a scrapbook page, or make an entry in your journal, art journal or planner! Join in any time and participate in any way that best fits your schedule.