Do you have a High School Senior?

If so you are faced with a busy next couple of months! Making sure all the details are in place for caps, gowns, seats at Graduation…oh…and don’t forget the celebration! You probably already have an idea of what food you’ll serve…have you thought about showcasing the Graduate’s High School memories, or even his/her life so far?

I have helped so many families be able to capture the memories in a beautiful, presentable display that will turn into one or even TWO albums after the party! The really great thing is…if you had always meant to create photo albums of your child’s life…but haven’t gotten around to it…I can help you make this a VERY manageable project that will become a life treasure.

Let me know if I can help you create this Graduation Display board. For more information, see my website here.


Organizing my life so I can do something I love!

January and September are my favorite months!  Organizing products take center stage at stores and magazines!  I love to see ideas, become inspired and motivated.  I was SO excited when I noticed a very subtle mention on the website about a Martha Stewart line of products.  Lo and behold – they have a HUGE display of the products and they are BEAUTIFUL!  They are helping me overhaul my command center and household control journal.

Here are some pics I took of the display:

LOVE the binders!

Great desk items!LOVE the binders!I was just thinking how I need to label my MANY MANY cables between the kids and I! Woo-hoo!!










I was just thinking how I need to label my MANY MANY cables between the kids and I! Woo-hoo!!














The great thing about organizing is…the more organized we are – the more productive we are. When we’re productive, we can finish what we HAVE to do and then do the things we love. Like take more pictures. Or perhaps create fabulous scrapbook pages. Even digitally. Here’s my latest project – I created a custom cover for an album that will include a 2 page spread for each year of Christmas. SO easy – can even be a family Christmas Card picture and a couple of shots of Christmas celebrations.


Now that I have this custom cover created (this album can hold traditional scrapbook pages or digital 12×12 prints – so versatile!!), I will dive into my main January goal: Creating the Family Yearbook for the previous year. This is such a great way to preserve memories while the memories are fresh – and the Creative Memories sale of 20% off the albums through Jan.

26 is such a great motivator!! What I love about digital is that I am able to capture an entire year – and it is so doable. Last year, I started late and finished in a week. Hmm…let’s see…would’ve taken me SEVERAL WEEKS to complete a traditional album covering an entire year. Sliding pictures in on your computer screen with no setup or cleanup – a dream!! Plus I love the fact that the Creative Memories software allows me to work offline (on my laptop while waiting at a kid event) and completely customize the pages so I am not stuck with premade templates.

Off to begin my project :)! I would love to hear if you have any organizing goals for 2012!


We have been keeping busy with football, scouts, school and two birthdays – which means – 4 birthday parties.  My plan was to combine the family party but this didn’t happen since we had one early when John made his … Continue reading

First day of school pictures

We are already into the swing of things as far as school is concerned, but here are the ‘back to school’ photos.  So grateful that  all the boys seem to be settling in, liking their teachers and subjects.  Grateful that they have friends, for the teachers and staff, for buses ;), and for reconnecting when they get home!

Back to School Traditions

Back to school time!  It is tough for our boys to leave the carefree days of summer break and late bedtimes to the back to school routine.  I know some children love going back to school but not ours.  (They get it honestly – I never enjoyed going back to school either!!)  I try to make it at least somewhat special for them.

In addition to a larger than normal breakfast (eggs, bacon, pancakes) and a special afterschool snack (homemade cookies and lemonade), I also take their pictures in the same spot every year.   They are great about this tradition.

Last year I decided to go back and pull every ‘first day of school’ picture to see how our older three have grown.  Since we had been in this house for 6 years I could see them all in front of the door.  Here’s the comparison (you can click on each photo for a larger version):

John First Days of School

Nicholas First Days of School

Benjamin First Days of School










I love this way to see how they have grown up.  I am really enjoying each of them as they are growing up and each stage they are in – but of course it makes me sad to know they’re just not little any more.

Counting my blessings!


Here’s what is new from Creative Memories!

New products GALORE – it’s that time of year – the annual Creative Memories Convention.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Nancy O’Dell Mini Magnetic Everyday Display
Retails for $35

Reflections 12×12 Power Palette System
Includes 16 sheets 12×12 Tone-on-Tone Papers,16 sheets12x12 Designer-Print Papers,96-piece Storybox, 3 sheets of Title Stickers,2 sheets of Decorative ABCs,4 rolls of Paper Ribbon, 24 Paper Tags, 24 Paper Flowers$60.50

Reflections 12×12 Power Palette-Decorative Set$21

Reflections 12×12 Power Palette-Enhanced SetIncludes:  16 sheets 12×12 Designer-Print Papers2 sheets of Decorative ABC Stickers$14.50

Reflections 11×14 Expandable PicFolio Photo AlbumIncludes PicFolio Photo Album Coverholders and strapsLimited Lifetime guarantee4x6 photo window on front cover Expandable Durable, matte,leather-look cover material Canvas, stain-resistant liner in tanTan coverholders and strapsThe Creative Memories logo debossed on the back coverAssembly instructions Use with 11×14 Multi-Pocket orLarge-Pocket Pages (sold separately)Photo-safe. Not compatible with Persona TM  Imprinting.

Reflections 12×12 Coverset  Includes

Textured cover and spine material 2 straps 2 coverholders
Limited Lifetime guarantee


12×12 Photo-safe Embossed and foiled design on front cover
Durable textured material
Debossed Creative Memories logo on back cover
Expandable Packaging insert with album assembly instructions
Lies flat Lifetime guarantee Persona Imprinting available for spine only

Autumn 12×12 Additions
Includes 4 double-sided 12×12 papers 8 double-sided photo mats1 sheet of clear title stickers in color 1 sheet of icon sticker

Black 12×12 Expandable PicFolio Photo AlbumIncludes 1 PicFolio Photo Album Coverholders and strapsLimited Lifetime guaranteeFeatures  4×6 photo window on front coverExpandable Durable, matte,leather-look cover materialCanvas, stain-resistant liner in tanTan coverholders and strapsDebossed Creative Memories logoon the back cover Assembly instructionsUse with 12×12 Large-Pocket Pages (sold separately)

Persona Imprinting compatible on cover only Photo-safe


Black 13×9 Expandable PicFolio Photo Album
Includes 1 PicFolio Photo Album Coverholders and strapsLimited Lifetime guarantee
Features 4×6 photo window on front coverExpandable Durable, matte, leather-lookcover material Canvas, stain-resistant liner in tanTan coverholders and strapsThe Creative Memories logo debossed on the back coverAssembly instructionsUse with 13×9 Multi-Pocket Pages (sold separately)Persona Imprinting compatible on cover only. Photo-safe

13×9 Multi-Pocket Pages  Includes  10 Multi-Pocket PagesFeaturesEach side can hold up to three 4×6 photosTear-resistant Tested for durability Photo-safe  $12

Gratitude Mini Display Accents  Includes 2 sheets of 8.25×8.25 double-sided paperwith adhesive,8 die-cut shapesFeatures Die-cut shapes feature words on one side, designs on the otherUse with Mini Magnetic Display$8

Frightful Halloween Embellishment Pack

  • 1 sheet of epoxy stickers
  • 2 z-fold paper ribbons
  • 10 die-cut shapes


Frightful Halloween Specialty Paper Pack

  • 4 sheets of designer print papers
  • 1 12×12 sheet of die-cut frames
  • 1 large die cut
  • 2 sheets of 12×12 cardstock (one side features orange metallic shimmer)
  • 2 sheets of 12×12 cardstock (one side features dark purple metallic shimmer)

Think Pink Embellishment Pack
Includes  1 sheet of epoxy stickers 2 z-fold paper ribbons10 die-cut shapesFeatures  Embossed die cuts


Sleek Black Magnetic Everyday Display

Includes  16×18-inch frame 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 fabric-covered
magnetic board inside the frame Six black magnets
Two saw tooth hangers for horizontal or vertical display

Features Frame finished in sleek black

Hang horizontally or vertically

Sleek White Magnetic Everyday Display

Includes  16×18-inch frame 13 1/2 x 13 1/2 fabric-covered magnetic board
inside the frame Six white magnets
Two saw tooth hangers for horizontal or vertical display

Features  Frame finished in sleek white

Hang horizontally or vertically


Ribbon MakerCuts ribbons approximately 2 inches in length


Gratitude 11×14 Expandable PicFolio Photo Album

  • 1 PicFolio® Photo Album
  • Coverholders and straps
  • Lifetime guarantee


  • 4×6 photo window on front cover
  • Expandable
  • Durable, matte, leather-look cover material
  • Canvas, stain-resistant liner in tan
  • Tan coverholders and straps
  • The Creative Memories logo debossed on the back cover
  • Assembly instructions
  • Use with 11×14 Multi-Pocket or Large-Pocket Pages (sold separately)
  • Not compatible with Persona® Imprinting
  • Photo-safe
Reflections Photo Album Accents

  • 5-4.5×6.5 photo mats
  • 5-4.5×6.5 journaling cards
  • 5-4×6 journaling cards
  • 5-4×6 decorative fillers
  • 10 title bars
  • 1 sheet of stickers in color
  • All paper is double-sided
  • Photo safe

Reflections Power Sort Box


  • 1 Power Sort Box
  • 6 Compartment Boxes
  • 2 Compartment Box Covers
  • 6 Power Sort Dividers
  • Inside cover storage sleeve
  • Instruction booklet


  • Photo-safe
  • Holds up to 1,200 5×7 photos
  • Inside cover storage sleeve holds photos and memorabilia up to 12.75″x7″
  • Dimensions: 13″x7.75″x5.75″
  • Removable Compartments and Dividers
  • Compartment Box Covers allow you to transport up to 400 photos
  • ID Pocket on Front
  • Ships flat, assembly required
  • Additional Dividers sold separately



Reflections 12×12 Power Palette-Simple Set

Includes 16 sheets 12×12 Tone-on-Tone Papers, 96-piece Storybox

3 sheets of Title Stickers

Features All paper is double-sided Photo-safe components

Components also available individually


Reflections Designer-Print Paper


  • 16 sheets of 12×12 paper


  • All paper is double-sided
  • Silver foil accents
  • Photo-safe
Reflections Title Stickers

3 photo-safe sticker sheets, multi-color ink


A fun “Mom of Boys” blog hop!

I am so happy to participate in this mom of boys blog hop! I am a very new ‘blogger’ and am loving what I am learning about the blogging world. I have learned so much in the past few weeks I wish I would’ve started this years ago.

My husband and I have been blessed with four amazing sons. John will be 15 in about 6 weeks (really??? I have been a mom that long?!?!?), Nicholas is 11, Benjamin is 9 and Patrick is 6. I LOVE being a wife and mother and it is through the gift of motherhood that I have grown in my Faith.

I am a Catholic mom trying to build a strong foundation for these future Christian men! We send them to public school (we have a fantastic school district) but love our Parish and are very involved in our Church life.  I do feel like it’s a constant battle to emphasize our Faith, Values, Morals.  I know it’s worth the effort.

My passions are organizing and enjoying pictures! My goal with my blog and my website is to inspire and motivate others to take control of their pictures. My website has information about a free 5 week online photo organizing class that starts on August 1 (don’t worry you can start late if you missed 8/1). You work independently…I just send you instructions on what to do each week (or as you complete each week’s assignment).

As for books that my boys like (this may seem random to some of you but it is the question for the ‘blog hop’)…My oldest enjoys chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer, Angels and Demons and DaVinci Code by Dan Brown.  He also liked the Hunger Games series.

My 11 year old: the Last Shot and the whole series by John Feinstein, also Found, Sabotage, Lost by Margaret Peterson Haddix.

My nine year old…he loves biographies of famous sports players, as well as DK books on cars, history (mainly wars), etc..

My six year old…anything :)!

A fav of mine that I discovered this summer: 7 habits of Happy Kids…Sean Covey.  Adorable artwork (you have to find a worm on each page) and stories targeted to elementary age teaching the Covey Habits. I LOVE THIS BOOK!

See link to the right for more mom of boy blogs to hop!

Where is the summer going?

Nicholas Tackle Football

Football started this week.  How can that be?  Now I think about fall as they prepare for their games.   I think about needing meals planned because late afternoons are hectic especially once school starts (but we aren’t going to mention that yet).

I came across a tip this week on time management.  I just love reading something that seems to really click with me.  This one is to do the next action on your list of projects.  So, if your project list includes sorting out a child’s room, determine which picture project you’ll work on next, and get a handle on meal planning – break it down into ‘next actions’.   So, for my boys’ room my next action is to tackle the top shelf in their closet.  For my picture project, it’s to decide what I want to do then begin editing the photos for that project.  As for meal planning, the next action is look at my freezer inventory and create a meal list accordingly.  These next actions are SO much more doable than the vague project lists I mentioned!

If you’d like more information on this ‘next action’ tip, I found it on this website:  and if you join their site (free) you receive a free ebook entitled “Five Steps to Less Stress’.   I will give you a teaser.  They mention five things and one is email management.  I learned some things!!!  It will help me manage my 500+ emails sitting in my inbox!  Just a mental thing – I am not stressed about it but it IS cluttered, and I never know when I might miss something.

The more organized I can be, the more time I have for fun things with my family, trying a new recipe, or working on a picture project.

Off to get a kid ready for football :)!


A picture is worth a thousand words

This summer seems to be moving so quickly.  The older two are already home from summer camp, son #3 is well into the golf season, and our youngest graduated from ‘Safety City’ and is ‘all ready’ for Kindergarten.

While I cannot possibly remember everything that we do each day, I always plan to journal daily so I have a record of our summer fun. However, I end up falling into bed way too tired to record a single word.

I am so grateful for pictures to record what my pen does not.  This year, I have an iPhone and while I have kept a ‘pocket camera’ in my purse for years, now I have my iPhone camera pretty much ON ME at all times.  I am now photographing the every day, the mundane – which I know are the things I will miss the most when the boys are all grown up.

I hope you are capturing pictures of your summertime activities as well.