Happy Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving break at home is turning out to be a balance of getting a few projects done, time with family, and a couple Friendsgivings filling our grateful hearts!

I found time to finish our vacation video from the last trip we took this summer! I still have our spring break trip to document, but if I don’t get around to creating that video, I’m happy having printed photographs. Our kids love going through these videos, and it’s clear to us how much it helps retain their memories. I recently switched to youtube for sharing my videos because my Vimeo account is maxed out.

I hope you can find the time to choose one simple photo or video project to organize, print or create.

If you are looking to create a video, I’ve shared video tips here.

If you are looking for a much simpler project, I’ve shared my favorite way to create simple albums here.

Happy Thanksgiving! I so thankful for this space allowing me to share all that I love.

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Beach video

While visiting my Grandmother on her beach and vacationing in Gulf Shores with family, Kenny Chesney's new album came out.  I've been obsessing over several of the songs and the meaning behind them.  It's about the healing process and moving forward after the hurricane devastation.  The night I created the video of our travels I watch Kenny Chesney on the Tonight Show sing the song I used.  He talked about how this song is about finding the positive energies and loving on one another.  There I had confirmation on my song choice:

Get along, on down the road
We've got a long long way to go
Scared to live, scared to die
We ain't perfect but we try

Get along while we can
Always give love the upper hand
Paint a wall, learn to dance
Call your mom, buy a boat
Drink a beer, sing a song... just get along.

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Hawaii memories on video

I make it a goal to put together a short video from every trip we take.  What inspires me most is watching how these videos help our children retain their memories.  Our children can recall moments on vacation as young as 3 years old.  I believe occasionally looking over photos and video is partial to thank for this.  

I often hear people say they want to wait until their children get older to travel so their children can remember the vacation.  I respect this, however, my husband and I have always done the exact opposite, for many reasons. 

First, the only guarantee we have in life is our current moment.  Of course, we need to plan and budget, but make those memories you've been dreaming of happening sooner than later.  Don't wait for the perfect time, because there's really no "perfect time".  

Second, My husband and I believe that these adventures live inside of us and make us who we are, from the very youngest age.  I've watched my 1 year old fall in love with the Colorado Mountains and I've watched my 2 year old fall in love with dolphins.  And through their eyes, I've fallen in love with each and every adventure we've taken.  

Third, it doesn't matter that they won't remember, we will never forget.  There's value in any trip.  Like the closeness it brings, and the little moments my husband and I share adoring our children, and each other.  

Document your adventure.  Then take the time to watch and relive your adventures.  I'll be sharing details soon for those of you curious about our Hawaii itinerary.  

The water and zip line video was shot with my gopro and the rest with my iphone.  

If you are interested in my other short vacation videos you can see some favorites here and here.  

This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  Learn more here.  

 
 

Why I use Chatbooks

How I use chatbooks to retain our memories
 

Life moves fast.  Many people go from one thing to the next without taking a moment to live in the moment.  Chatbooks is, hands down, my favorite way to tell the story of our lives... and to live in that moment a little longer.  Several years ago I was feeling like I wasn't the family storyteller I once took pride in.  Moments were passing by and I wanted to do more to document our life.  I was sharing on social media but rarely printing images for my children to look back on.   I then decided that if I didn't start somewhere, the feeling of being behind would just get worse.  So I began by printing years of images with Chatbooks via my Instagram account.  I wrapped the series of books and placed under our Christmas tree.  I think it will forever be one of my favorite tangible gifts I've ever given.

Here are the top 5 reasons why I use Chatbooks:

Retains our memories.  This is the most important factor for me.  We all take so many images, but how often do we look back on our memories?  Especially tangibly in print?  I have witnessed through my own life that the more our family looks back on the photos of our life, the more the memories will be preserved.  Growing up, we always had family albums around.  There is a strong correlation for me of the memories that are most clear in my mind and the memories that were printed photographs to look back on.  This is the reason I keep my chatbooks in reach of even the smallest hands in our home.

simple.  Your book basically creates itself.  Each time you post a photo on social media or favorite one on your phone the app adds that image to your book.  The book has a timeless feel with its simple design.  

Affordable.  $8 including shipping (if you choose the snail mail option).  Seriously!  

Includes date and location.  Recently one of our children was recalling a road trip from a while back and I couldn't remember the exact details of our stops along the way.  Then we grabbed our nearby stack of chatbooks (kept on our mantle) and went down memory lane with the date and location recorded on each photograph.  The best part is I did nothing for that information to be there.  Again, basically creates itself.

Private and customizable.  I personally use Instagram to link the photos that go into my Chatbooks.  Then I customize from there to include more private details and additional photos.  I often use Chatbooks as a more personal journal of all the adorable things my children say.  If it's something I don't mind sharing publicly I will add the quote and an image to Instagram and this will automatically be added to my Chatbook app.  However, most of the time I'd like to keep these personal things personal.  To do this I immediately open my Chatbook app and add the photo and my kid's quote directly to the app.  When you reach 60 images you'll get an email telling you that you have two days before it goes to print.  This is when I review and delete any images I don't want and add all the images I do want.  

For a limited time, you can get your first 60-page Chatbook free!!!

 This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.

 

Dear daughter, my deer.

DYI Deer Halloween costume.

Here's an easy DIY Halloween costume that took me 5 minutes to make.  My daughter was in need of a last minute costume for dance class yesterday.  After pulling out my felt scraps all I had to purchase was the $3 faux fur square from Hobby Lobby.  The rest we already had and she picked up the twigs on the way home from school.  

When looking for a DIY costume the best place to start is your home.  Step into your closet and maybe you'll be inspired!  My daughter found the vest she's wearing in her closet and then decided not to wear the fabric piece I cut for the belly (see below).  I used the scraps left from the belly on the ears.  The belly would be cute if you had advance notice to find a brown fitted shirt.

DIY Halloween Deer costume

I especially love a DIY costume if there's no sewing involved.  I used over a stick of hot glue to keep the felt (notice tabs on ears so they easily wrapped around headband) and twigs in place (glued behind the ears for extra support), and the project was done.  

Halloween prep tip: always keep a quality face paint on hand - not a year goes by that someone's costume isn't in need of it.  The cheap ones not only have dangerous ingredients but are cakey and disappear quickly.

lifestyle blog: Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

Have you seen my dear daughter series on Instagram?  Someday I plan to print my daughter a book of the collection.  If you are my friend, you know I'm always referencing the "energy" within us.  My energy and my consciousness of other's energy is so often on my mind.   A lot more on this to come.