Tis the season

Tis the season for hustle and bustle. Twinkles and merriment. Festivities galore. Tis the season for so many things to do on our lists that we often forget to enjoy it all. I'm hoping this fun little page will help me remember to take in the joy.

Ali Edwards Messy Little Christmas (no longer available) and Studio Rosey Posey Christmas to Remember {Santa}.

Hope you all enjoy December!

The end of November

It's the last day of the month and and that means it's the perfect time to take a few minutes and recap the events of the last 30 days!

Here are my roundup prompts in a written list if you want to copy and paste them into your own word document or blog post.

Here’s a written list of the Roundup Prompts:

  • List what you read and/or learned in the past month.
  • What fun things did you do with friends and/or family?
  • What milestones occurred? Any holidays or celebrations? How about special events?
  • What happened in the news and the world around you? What was the weather like?
  • Talk about the everyday and routine bits of life in the past month.
  • What tv shows did you watch? Did you go to any movies or live performances?
  • What and where did you eat?
  • What places did you visit? Did you travel or go anywhere out of the ordinary?
  • What good stuff happened? What were the hard things? Anything unusual?
  • Report on the progress you’ve made toward your goals or list any new goals you have set. What accomplishments did you make? What projects did you work on?

Remember, you don't have to answer ALL of these questions and prompts and you are free to add whatever else will help you get your month documented in a meaningful way. This is just meant to be a basic checklist to help you think about what you want to remember.

What's the best way to go about all of this? How do you remember what has happened in the past week, or thirty days, or even a year? Yes, you can apply the roundup technique to any period of time! Here are the tools that will help you Roundup Your Memories! I created this graphic to help you see this task list all in one place. It's a great one to pin to your Pinterest boards for a reminder!

Here's the list in written form if you prefer it that way:

How to Roundup Your Memories

•    Gather all photos taken during the month and be sure they are uploaded to a labeled file with month and year in the name. That file can be on your computer, and external hard drive, or in the cloud. Try to be consistent with file naming and structure.

•    Gather any papers, documents, awards, receipts, etc. that help you illustrate your month. Scan them or take photos. Include them with your monthly file.

•    If others have taken photos during the month that you want to include in your memory keeping, be sure to ask them for copies. Include them with your monthly file. You can name them differently if you want to remember who they are from.

•    Look through your social feeds like blogs, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to find information you can use for journaling. Copy it all to one place (Word, Evernote, Email, etc.) if possible. Put a copy of that file in the same folder of the month that you have everything else saved.

•    NOW back that monthly folder up to a few locations. Make sure at least one of them is offsite (Dropbox, Flickr, Google Drive, Evernote, etc.) Back up photos more often if possible.

Need a few more resources? Here are some helpful links:

Have fun roundup up your memories and documenting your month! I promise that it's worth taking a few minutes now to have those moments preserved for a lifetime!

Memory Monday 10 - Handwritten letters

I have a few boxes full of old letters. Most are handwritten, a few are typed (on a typewriter!), and a few were done on a word processor (like a hybrid between a typewriter and a computer). Almost all of them are from the 1980s. I'm not really sure what to do with them long term. I've put some of the letters my hubby and I wrote to each other in a binder. Most just sit in a box. I love to look at the envelopes and see the postage rates (25 cents delivered a letter back then!) I love all the different types of stationery and cards. I've always been helpless in a stationery store! I especially love the handwriting. As soon as I see the handwriting on each letter, I immediately think of the person who wrote it. There are some things a computer just can't duplicate!

Of course a computer might have helped with my brother's hand writing. He was only 8 when he wrote this letter and it's a little hard to read. How sweet is it though that he wrote me a letter? It's a treasure.

The pink letter is from a high school friend who always had very nice penmanship. She was a straight A student and now teaches math to kids in junior high school.
Here's a letter from my Mom. She has perfect handwriting (a trait that was not passed on to any of her children). She mailed this to me while I was away at school in Logan, Utah. I think everyone should go away to school just so their Mom will mail them handwritten letters.

The pink letter addressed to "Sweet Pea" is from my college roommate. She is one of the sweetest people I know so I feel pretty honored that she called me "Sweet Pea' as a silly nickname when we roomed together. The blue letter is from me to my family while I was on a study abroad program in Europe. I held my pencil incorrectly for years and my handwriting had an almost left handed slant to it.

I lived alone during my junior year in college so I decided to take some time to work on my handwriting without worrying about anyone thinking I had lost my mind. Every time I did my homework, I taped the pencil in the correct position to my hand. It took months before I had retrained myself to hold it correctly. My penmanship didn't improve a lot, but at least it doesn't slant the wrong way now.

Oh, the memories that come rushing back from just looking at a pile of letters! Of course, reading them again brought back so many thoughts and feelings - not to mention ideas for scrapbook pages!

Do you have written treasures filed away somewhere? Have you pulled them out to read them lately? Do you ever hand write letters these days? I rarely do as I mostly type my letters to my daughter. I do try to hand write a note or letter to her once in a while though so she can see my hand writing. I think it's important to do that!


Documenting Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a great day for making and recording memories! Family and friends gather together to share a meal, and cameras and group pictures are welcome and even encouraged. Make sure you have your camera and take photos of everyone at your celebration. Document where you ate the Thanksgiving feast and who was there to celebrate with you.

On this day, it is even possible to get even the most reluctant family members to open up and give you some journaling gems. Ask everyone at your Thanksgiving celebration to write down 3 things they are grateful for and share them at dinner. Or, a tradition in our own family is to go around the table and have each person name something they are grateful for about all the others at the table. We do this after we eat and while we are digesting and making room for pie. It seems that each year there are some “happy tears” as my daughter calls them, when we share our gratitude for each other at the Thanksgiving table. Be sure to jot down some of the thoughts shared later on that same day in a notebook, while they are still fresh in your mind.

Of course a big part of Thanksgiving is the food! Take pictures of the dinner table before and after the feast. Make a list of what was served and what your favorite dishes are. What do you “have” to eat to make it feel like Thanksgiving? Is it Grandma’s pumpkin pie? Or your Uncle’s special yams recipe? What does everyone request as their favorite Thanksgiving dish? Do you usually cook the feast, or is it a group effort?

It would be very special to use Thanksgiving as a “checkpoint” each year to document family changes and events. Create a Thanksgiving timeline layout with pictures of the family each year for as many Thanksgivings as possible.

Even if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you get a chance to document some things you are grateful for. It's a wonderful time of year to reflect upon on our blessings.

Adobe Premiere Elements 15

I would have to say that the area I'm most disorganized in when it comes to memory keeping is definitely in home videos. I have tapes from 20+ years ago that are no longer playable because I don't have a VCR. I did get them all transferred to DVD through Costco, but they are not in any order and there are bits and pieces of clips spread out through dozens of DVDs. It's all pretty daunting! One of my biggest goals for our family is to get these all sorted out and edited into nice movies that can be watched, shared, and enjoyed. That's why I've been really excited about delving into Photoshop Elements Premiere 15 from Adobe.

I like to get the bundle Adobe offers that includes both Photoshop Elements and Premiere Elements. You can read my review of PSE 15 here.  It's a fantastic program! So is Premiere Elements and it is a wonderful tool to turn videos into something worth sharing! I have found that not as many people are aware of this program so I think it's useful to share an introductory video that explains what you can do with Premiere Elements.

One of the most useful features I found right away is that Premiere Elements converted my video into files that could be edited. The Costco DVDs only opened up in a specific way and I really couldn't access each individual file. Once I added the media files to Premiere Elements, it was easy to rename them and open them again and again for tweaking and editing.

It might surprise you how easy it is to actually edit a video? You know all those great tools in Photoshop Elements like guided edits? Well, they have similar features in Premiere Elements!

Not sure where to start? I highly recommend the tutorial section from the Adobe website. Great information there! Here's a list of basics to get you going:

Essentials for beginners 

And you can do a lot more than just basic editing. Check out all of these features!





So if you are like me and have years of videos that are collecting dust somewhere on a shelf or wasting away on your computer, Adobe Premiere Elements is a the program I recommend to help turn these memories into accessible and enjoyable movies worth watching. Be sure to watch the Adobe website and Amazon.com over the coming weekend for great Black Friday deals!