The week of Thanksgiving

The Thanksgiving holiday is coming up this Thursday and most people in the United States will be celebrating with a big meal and a gathering of family and/or friends. Oh, and shopping. The long weekend is traditionally the biggest shopping weekend of the year and even lasts through Cyber Monday where the online deals are supposed to be fabulous.


We've already had our Thanksgiving and I'm excited that this can be a week of rest for me. In fact, I've decided to take the week off from blogging as well. I'll be back on November 30th with my roundup prompt and then it will be time to head into December. How crazy is that?!

So for now, I will leave you with a few Thanksgiving links:

Remember when...

I'm just a tad sentimental these days. I'm missing my daughter (who has been gone a month as of tomorrow), but I'm also happy for her and excited that she is having new adventures. Our family is evolving and embracing a new "normal". 

I've also been scrapbooking a lot lately and sometimes I get lost in the memories. It's so good to delve into all the photos and momentos that I've filed away and put them in a format that will enable them to live on. I truly believe in the power of scrapbooking!

This is an older video from 2011, but it still touches me. It's a great reminder to share our memories. You can watch it here on

Are you passing on your memories? No matter what format you use, put your photos with your words and gift them as a gift to those you love!

Coloring Folder

I'm so in love with these MochiThings pouches and I keep thinking of new uses for them! You might remember the letter writing kit I put together for my daughter? Well, I totally wanted one for myself, but I don't write a ton of letters except to her. I did like the idea of putting together a small assortment of cards and stamps and I decided to also use this folder to keep my coloring supplies all together. I rarely color when sitting at my desk (computer is too tempting!), but I like to be able to grab my folder and sit down in the kitchen or take it on a trip to enjoy some coloring time. It's so relaxing!


I prefer the Better Together Note Pouch v5. I do realize it's pretty expensive, but this is not just an ordinary folder. It is very sturdy and has many features. Some people use it for a macbook air cover. It's really nice!

I also am still loving my Faber-Castell set of pencils and I am especially pleased with the packaging on this set because it's very portable and easy to pack. I just slip it in the front pocket of the pouch to keep everything together.


Here's what I keep inside:

  • I have 2 sets of colored pens for fun doodling and writing notes and letters. I have a set of Staedtler pens which I really like and a set of Uchida LePen pens that for some reason are just my favorite pens to use. They don't take up much room so I keep both sets in the folder.
  • Under the flap, I also have some mechanical pencils and erasers.
  • A Katie Daisy notebook that I love. Such a pretty design and it's not too thick, but still sturdy.
  • Sticky note folder (checklist) from MochiThings. The notes are so cute and I love that the little folder keeps them neat and organized.
  • MAMBI happy planner stickers to decorate letters and envelopes to send to my daughter, or sometimes I just send her a sheet of stickers to use for her own planner or correspondence.
  • The office envelope behind the stickers has pre-printed address labels for my daughter and family members and return address stickers for us.
  • The manila pocket folder holds my coloring sheets that have all been photocopied onto white cardstock. I like the sturdier page because they are easier to color on and they don't get wrinkled. I don't like carrying full books around. You might think it's funny that I make copies of the pages, but then I don't feel so much pressure if I goof up on a page. That was keeping me from coloring for a long time because I didn't want to "ruin" the book.

Many of the coloring pages I use are from the books I blogged about from Skyhorse Publishing. I also have a few books from Paige Tate that I love as well. 


I also threw in some cards and stamps. I like to keep a supply of thank you cards in the folder as well. 


As you can probably tell, the organizing of the supplies is just as rewarding for me (maybe more?) than actually using them. I've always been that way for some reason. I think it's a good trait because I get to enjoy steps that some people dread.

Now I just want to put my coloring pouch into a backpack and head off somewhere to color for hours on end!

Answering a question about filing layouts

I get some great questions in the comments section and I usually try to answer them as soon as possible when they are posted. Sometimes it takes me a few days though, mostly because of lack of time. This is one that I had to think about a little bit so I thought it would be a good one to share with everyone.

Hi Katie, I'm finally trying to get all of my scrapbook layouts organized. I do have a semi-system, but I end up with ALL of my jpg (flattened) layouts in one big folder called "Pages Only." I'm getting so many (a good problem to have!) that I want to divide them up by year. Where I'm getting stuck is deciding what to do with layouts I've made about earlier years. File them under when I created them? Or file them under the year that the events/stories took place? Any suggestions?

I've already decided to pull out my heritage/ancestry layouts into their own folder. But I have a lot of stories about when my older kids were younger, my parents, etc. and am stumped figuring out how to file them. :-/


At first glance, the answer seemed simple. I file my layouts in folders by year and for me that means the year that the layout is about. Here's a quick peek at my 2012 layouts 

All of those layouts are filled with photos and events that took place in the year 2012. Easy, right?

But I totally understand what Stacia is asking because it's not always that easy. If you create a page that has photos from multiple years (I love those kind of layouts) that can get tricky. In that case, I try to think of where it fits in the overall story of our lives. When I created a collage of pictures of my son over the years, I put it in our 2013 file because I used it as an illustration for a facebook post about him during that year. Also, the last photo in the collage is from 2013. Still pretty easy for me to decide on that one.

Now it gets a little trickier. This is a collage I created for a post I wrote for Capturing Magic a few years ago about Mad Hatter Day. I would like to include it in our albums and write about the hats of Disney. Where to put it? It goes with so many different years and trips. I have a few options:

  1. I can focus on the Mad Hatter Day theme of 10/6 which is the number on the Mad Hatter's hat and also October 6th. Any year I decide to include a layout about this date, I could put it in the October part of my book (I'm pretty chronological with my scrapping).
  2. I could file it with one of the trips that is pictured in the collage. I would probably choose the one with the most recent pictures which in this case would be our 2012 Disney trip. I'm fine to have layouts that look back mixed in with current events, but somehow it feels strange to look ahead in time. Like it would feel uncomfortable to me to have this page in my 2008 album even though some of the pictures are from a 2008 trip because there are also pictures from later dates. I guess that is just a personal preference thing. 

Now heritage and story pages are much trickier! Often, we don't know a specific date and sometimes we don't even know a year. I've created some heritage layouts like this and I would love to have them in chronological order, but the truth is that I have to guess on some of them. I don't have enough heritage layouts to be too worried about it yet and I just have put them all into the same album in the best order I could. This is the approach I've taken for filing them as well. 

This is my grandmother and her twin sister in the late 1920s. That's as close as I can get to pinpointing a time for this photo. Layout credits here. This page is filed under "heritage" in my system and that's it.

Now I'm definitely well versed in OCD tendencies and I'm all for finding an exact and orderly spot for every page. My filing system has served me well over the years, but it's not perfect and amazingly, I've come to terms with that. I try to fit the pieces into their proper slots, but I also recognize that there are times when I'm not entirely sure. 

Would it make you feel better if I admit that I have a folder for stuff I'm not sure which folder to file it in? lol!


There's great freedom in the "random layouts" or "to be sorted" label on a folder. Just don't let everything fall into that category. Everyone needs a junk drawer, but don't put things in the junk drawer that you know actually belong somewhere else.

I hope that helps a little. Bottom line is... I don't have all the answers, but I'll sure keep trying! 


My photo books

Yesterday, I blogged about getting your photo books printed early at AdoramaPix so you can get the best sale price. I'm going to be working on my own layouts over the next few days so I decided to take a look through the albums I've already completed. I thought you might enjoy a peek as well!


I've done two travel albums that cover all of our trips from the years 2010 through the end of October of 2014. My next album will start with our Dececember 2014 trip to Hawaii (I couldn't squeeze it into the other album) and will continue on until I've filled the book. 

I love using digital papers for the covers and I've added some fun word art from digital designers like Little Butterfly Wings (above) and Maya de Groot (below) to give the albums a travel theme.


The more recent years in our lives will probably each need an album. I had so many photos from 2012 that I kept the entire photo book focused on that year. I created a photo collage to use as the cover and I love that you can tell before you even open the album what it's all about.


They all look great in their own way and I am enjoying the custom look of each one. If you like uniformity, there are plenty of options to go with a leather or fabric cover as well. 


The real treats are inside though. I absolutely love the lay flat spreads that utilize every bit of page space.


I've filled my books with layouts created with the Project Life App, as well as my own templates.


Everything from that year goes into my album, except for our travels. I put all of those into our travel albums. Otherwise, each year's book contains all the events, holidays, and memories for that year. I always fill my books to the maximum 76 pages if possible.


I use digital layouts that I've already created and import them into AdoramaPix. If you aren't a digital scrapbooker, or you don't have pages already created, you can easily use their software and layouts to fill in your pages. I think that is what the majority of their customers do.

If you want more information on using digital scrapbooking layouts in an AdoramaPix album, check out these posts on The Daily Digi:

Be sure to check out yesterday's post for the current coupon codes and if you want to save an additional $5 off your order, you can use my referral link if you want to. Please know that I don't just recommend these books because I'm an affiliate. I used these books before that and only signed up for the referral link program since I blog about AdoramaPix so much!

Now is the time to print those photobooks!

I absolutely love AdoramaPix photobooks! I've created several albums using their service and I'm always blown away by the quality. Seriously, you have to see one in person to really understand how beautiful these books are! 

Well now is the time to get ordering! They like to reward those who are already prepared for the holidays (wishing this was me right now) by giving the best deal to those who order early. Even if you aren't ready by the 16th, you can still get almost as good of price ordering in the next few weeks.If you use my referral link, you will also get $5 off if you order, but there is no obligation to do this.

Here are all the details:

You also get free shipping on orders over $39. In case you are wondering, I really like the hardcover albums. It's fun to be able to customize your own cover. I also prefer the 10x10 size for my albums, but there are many great choices.

Time to get busy!


How to organize the past

I've had the past on my mind a lot lately and I've really been trying to figure out how to organize it. That's actually a big part of scrapbooking - organizing your memories! When you look at piles (or folders) of photos, it can be overwhelming. Top that all off with trying to figure out how to add in details of life + memorabilia + events and so on... well, it's too much to think about for most of us.


I have more than 40 years of my own life to sort through. I have a husband and two children as well. I won't even get into heritage scrapbooking at this point. I've been scrapping for a long time, but I don't feel like I am anywhere near to having an orderly record of my life or even one for my children. What I'm really longing for is an illustrated personal history. That's what I want my memory keeping to be at this point.

So where to start? Pick one year. Yes, just one year and focus on creating a list or timeline for what happened that year. I decided to pick 2005 to start with for many reasons:

  • My photos from 2005 are digital so I can automatically sort them by date and I can see the date in the metadata so I always know when they were taken.
  • Because my photos from 2005 are digital, I don't have to worry about scanning old photos, but I do have some other documents and memorabilia that I want to scan.
  • It's a better starting point than the beginning  of my life because I would have to ask my Mom for every detail regarding that year. Ten years ago is still somewhat close enough to the current day that I can remember some things. I can also ask those around me about some of the details.
  • I'm still sort of celebrating the fact that I've been blogging for ten years! 
  • You have to start somewhere! Why not 2005? I figure if I can get the ball rolling, I can get the last decade organized and documented. Even if I never get "caught up" on the scrapbook pages for 2005, at least I will have the memories written down.

Feel free to pick your own starting point!

I was not doing my monthly roundups back in 2005 so I don't have that as a resource. I'm tackling this from the same view that anyone out there should be able to duplicate.


  1. Gather all photos that you can find for that year (digital and/or paper) and put them in a central location. Don't worry if you can't locate them all right now.
  2. Mark that location! If it's a box, label it. If it's a folder on your computer, label it and then back up a duplicate copy! Read my advice on digital photos organization and review my general organization tips. 
  3. Create a document to keep with these things. It can be a piece of paper you keep in your box. It can be a WORD file you keep in your folder for the year you are working on.
  4. Utilize the internet! Get ready to search Wikipedia and use your search engine to find out the news and events for that particular year. If you type a year into your internet browser, you will find a list of sites with information relating to that year.
  5. Decide on a limited time frame to work on this project. It can be a day, a week, or even a month. You won't be able to possibly "finish" everything you really want to get done, but you will need to have an ending point or you will never move on to another year. 

Now it's time to get started!

Here are the prompts in list form if you want to copy and paste them into your own document:

Pick one year and record the following information for yourself (also for those in your immediate family if you choose):

• Family life events such as births, deaths, weddings, divorces, etc

• The address or addresses of where you lived

• Who you lived with

• Your age during that year

• Employment and/or education

• Holidays celebrated

• Popular movies, tv shows, books, music, etc.

• Favorite movies, tv shows, books, music, etc.

• Travel

• List of average prices for that year

• Amount of your mortgage/rent, car payments, tuition, etc.

• Goals set

• Goals accomplished

• Health concerns

• World and local news stories of interest

• Notable memories and event         

I'm off to do some 2005 detective work!