Monday, July 30, 2012

Keepsakes ~ Session Three

In session three I'll show you how I record memorable information about the children as well as how we store and organize our photos. 

I love baby books and have one for each of the kids.

They are such a fun way to log information that you may not remember as years go by.  
As the youngest of 4, my baby book is lacking some detail so I am a stickler for making sure each of my kids has a fully filled out book.

When Jake chopped Sofi's hair off.
Cate's hospital crib tag.

I also keep a journal for each child.  Periodically I write a note to tell them how much I enjoy their unique personalities or to record a fun story or even to jot down how they say certain words.

Photos are a challenge especially with four kids.  I have chosen to give them each a set of albums.  
Cate's Albums

When I develop pictures I order multiples of group shots and then I sort them amongst the albums.  If a pic is of only one child I put it in that person's album.  I order extras of my favourites for me.  When the kids are grown and leave home, they will take their own set of albums with them.

And so to ensure that I do not end up picture-less one day, I also have my own albums where I keep my very favourites.  As well, the photos that I display in my home end up in the favourites album after they've been replaced with updated shots. 

I have a special Christmas album where I keep Santa shots and our annual Christmas pic.

Now that everything is digital, there are so many ways to organize your photographs.  What works best in your family? 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Keepsakes ~ Session Two

Session Two is all about photo displays.  
I am the worst at remembering to take pictures of my kids, but I do try to hit all the big occasions.  My favourite pics are always of our travels.  

I created a collage for a wall in our stairway...a spot we all see multiple times a day.

In the four large frames, I used my favourite baby outfits as a background for each child.  Then I added a large initial, spelled out their name, and stuck on their ultrasound picture.  I bought the ultrasound shots of each of the kids but, as we discussed in Session One, they are not much use if they are hidden away, never to be seen again.
Sofi and Cate's frames have favourite blouses as the background.

Eli's is a diaper shirt that I can still picture him in, and Jake's was a 2 piece jammie set that I loved.

I hung smaller frames, one for each child.  All the photos are from a family vacation to Florida.  In June we took a trip to Victoria, so once I develop those pictures, I will update the collage.  

I also added a larger group shot.

I do the same thing in other areas of my home.  I hang or stand frames with my favourite shots of the kids.  Then as they grow, I update them.  It's nice to be able to walk around the house and be reminded of fun times we've had together.

This one is from a wedding a few years ago and it is sitting by our tub.

These ones are in a collage on my bedroom wall.

Some photos I will likely not update as they are extra special to me.  This one was taken on our first family vacation on an airplane.  You'd think they were on the plane by the looks on their faces, but this is how excited they were by the airport shuttle bus.  It was priceless and I will never forget their joy.

Here is another one that will never be updated.  It hangs in the kids' bathroom...first tub bath for each of them.

(If you are wondering how I remembered to take a picture of the first big bathtub experience for 4 children, I am guessing that it's possible that it was not the very first for a couple of them.  I also messed up on Cate's and took it vertically instead of horizontally so you can't see much of her, but we're not after perfection here...we are after memories.)

So start snapping, or frame what you already have.  Photos are an easy and inexpensive way to display your precious memories.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Keepsakes ~ Session One

 Generally speaking I am not a super sentimental saver of items.  
And here is the reason why.
Years ago my husband and I were robbed.  Much of what was stolen was gold jewellery that had belonged to my grandmother.  The pieces were beautiful but as I was asked to describe them in detail for the insurance company, I had a hard time remembering exactly what they looked like.  
You see, they had been sitting in a box, never worn or enjoyed. 

So after that experience I decided that if it's worth keeping then it should either be


What is the point of having wonderful memories boxed up where you will never see them?

And so when it comes to keepsakes from your children, session one is about displaying items that are special to you.

Growing up, my mom had my bronzed baby shoe book ends out on our bookcase, and now, they are out on mine.  

When my children learned to walk, my dad bought them each their first pair of "good" shoes.
So now in our bedroom, up on the top of the window closest to our bed, I keep the kids' shoes displayed.  I love them and they bring me joy daily.  
I added some wall words, "Be still and know that I am God".

I also set this quote up there.  I cry every single time I read it.
So you see, I am sentimental...just not an excessive saver.

There are a few items of clothing and 2 toys that I could not bear to give away.  I keep them in a basket on my office shelf.  
That little turtle's name is "Racer" and he laughs when you squeeze him.  My little Jake laughed like that when he was a baby and it always reminds me of his smiley face!

I could never part with Cate's cutie boots and Sofi's wee hat!!!

This decanter of shells I collected in Florida reminds me of the amazing time I had with the kids searching for treasures on the beach.

On our recent trip to Victoria I fell in love with the star fish at a Discovery Centre we visited.  This guy returned home with me and reminds me of the fun time I had there with the kids.

The cat card is the best Mother's Day card ever.  It has a recording of all the kids talking and it plays "A Bushel and a Peck" which is a song I used to sing to Eli every night.  Inside each kid signed it so it is also a record of all their sweet signatures.  

Oops...I nearly forgot about this little guy.  One day my baby girl picked me a "bouquet" like she sees her big sister doing.  
(Apparently there was some confusion between flowers and twigs.)
I thought it was so cute I sprayed it white and now it sits on my desk.

So by all means, save your most treasured items from your children's lives.  But display them in fun and functional ways so that you can enjoy them daily.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Weekend Thrift Finds

I lucked into some fun finds this weekend.  Normally I think antique stores are priced too high but I got 3 useful items for a good price at the Antique Store in Dugald on the way home from picking up my daughter at summer camp.

Check it out.  
2 metal baskets and a tray/picture frame.  I nearly left the frame but on second glance I decided I actually quite like the painting in it as well as the frame.

I love the look of metal baskets and can always find a use for here in my kitchen for storing tea towels and casserole dishes.  The one on top is for fruit (which apparently we are not eating this summer).

In my storage room I use one for holding projects and one for frames.

Trays are always useful and when they are also frames it is fun to switch up the inside to achieve different looks.
Here I have a photo in the left tray and fabric squares in the one on the right.

What fun stuff did you thrift this weekend??

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Storewatch: World Market

Welcome to World Market, Seattle.

(Visit their store locator to find a store in your own summer vacation destination.

I first heard of World Market here, in my June Country Living.

I have been having a hard time finding stools for our basement and I liked these ones from World Market.  I checked out their website but couldn't find the stools anywhere so I emailed to ask if they were available.  Within minutes, literally, I received a very helpful email from their customer service people to let me know that not all items are available online.  I was so impressed with their fantastic service that I decided to try to visit a store on a family trip through the States.

It was a good sign to find Mrs. Meyers soap when we arrived.  Love those refill bags!
The kids were all over the toy section.

There was a whole wine section as well as snacks and coffee and tea.  I admit I didn't really look too closely as it's the housewares that I enjoy the most.

I was particularly impressed by the curtain and basket selection.

And there were lots of fun summer items.

Prices were reasonable although I did not find any huge deals.
I DID find stools which will be revealed once the basement is done.
Overall, I'd go again.

Now I realize this is not a store that everyone can visit as it is only in select locations.  I am not trying to be cruel here, but I am hoping that you will be inspired to go into a store that you've never been in this summer.  One you pass by all the time perhaps, or somewhere you've heard about but never checked out.

It was not wise for me to review my first store whilst stool shopping with my husband and 4 kids after having driven for several hours.  I promise to take more pics next time and focus my attention better on the product!!