Best Photo Book Programs

By whitney | May 27, 2014

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Digital photo books are a great way to preserve and display memories. It gives us the ability to be creative, much like scrapbooking, without all the supplies, hard copies of photos and cost. Cool Mom Picks has put together a list of their favorite 11 Custom Photo Books and hit the nail on the head! Check out their best picks and wrap up National Photo Month on the up and up!

Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire | Tags: , , | no comments

Schools Out, Clean Out

By whitney | May 22, 2014

Photo via Simplify 101

Photo via Simplify 101

Through out the year, the kiddos school papers start to pile up. Although when you received the artwork and school work it all seemed  important, the end of year is a good time to look at it with a new set of eyes. Find a time for you and your child to sit down and look through their school work. Only keep work you deem as important or something you would enjoy looking at years from now. As the parent, it may be tough to choose but look for work that really sums up who they are at this point in their lives. Remember quality over quantity. Once you have chosen, select a binder, file or box to keep their work in for each year. If you’ve really culled down, you can keep one box for elementary, middle school and high school!

Categories: Bright Ideas, How To | Tags: , , , , | 2 comments

Store It Up

By whitney | May 21, 2014

Photo via Container Store

Photo via Container Store

Your photos are organized. Now what? If you don’t have the time to make albums, don’t just toss your photos in a shoebox. Dirt, humidity and acids (as well as light) can cause them to deteriorate, so you need a storage solution with built-in protection. Women’s Day suggests highly suggests these three:

1. Iris Photo Keeper: You can pack a ton of pictures in this handy little box. Pop the lid and inside you’ll find six photo cases that each hold 100 prints. ($16.99; SpaceSavers.com)

2.Container Store Large Archival Photo Storage Box: Want to categorize your images by date, event or theme? The 12 protective envelopes that come with this box make it easy—they’re specially designed for grouping and labeling sets of photos. ($21.99; ContainerStore.com)

3.Print File Drop-Front Metal Edge Box: Since it’s made for professional photographers, you know it’ll do the job. It comes in various sizes (the largest holds 450 photos), and the metal side pulls down flat for easy sorting and stacking. ($12–$23; PrintFile.com)

Categories: Bright Ideas, How To | Tags: , , , , | 3 comments

Inspiring Women: Laurie Grace

By catherine | May 18, 2014

Laurie

Searching for the right business coach is like looking for the golden egg on an Easter egg hunt. For the partnership, you have to have a strong connection, mutual respect, a desire to learn, and a willingness to trust.  After several unsuccessful attempts on my end to find a right fit, I was delighted and surprised to find Laurie Grace. She was speaking at a class I was taking and I was instantly hooked.  She was, and is, engaging, collaborative, and genuine.

She pushes when you need to be pushed, she encourages when you need encouragement, and her ideas and collaborative techniques are creative and practical. She has helped me gain clarity in my business and in my life.  See her answers below to our organizing/life balancing questions!

What inspired you to start your business?

Waking up one day and being 100% clear that I was not firing on all cylinders — ugh!  Instinctively, I just knew that I was created to make a difference, and I wasn’t doing it.  That was a true turning point for me.  It was like a splash of cold water in my face, and at that point, I was motivated to take action.  I knew that I could be a catalyst for the change I wanted to make, and so I put a new stake in the ground that day.  That was 5 years ago!

Biggest challenge you face as a woman owned business?

Hmm, I honestly don’t see that I’ve faced challenges that were/are unique to my being a woman owning my business. I see how it’s been an advantage much more so than a challenge.

Best piece of advice you ever received? From who?

The best of the best do more of what they’re already best at doing!  The StrengthsFinder gurus up at Gallup, Inc. unveiled that science-based nugget for me. That advice has changed the way I do everything and is now an integral part of the work I deliver to my clients.

What’s your morning routine?

I’m an early riser – always have been.  I’m up by 5:45am and spend about 1 ½ – 2 hours in the morning ritual I’ve had for about 7 years now:  writing, reading my bible, praying, and enjoying a nice pot of hot tea (my current favorite is Buttered Rum – a flavored black tea).  Everything about this ritual is special to me because it provides me with freedom, solitude, creativity and inspiration. I need all of those things fresh each day to make the difference I’m committed to making in this world.

Calendar: paper or electronic?

In the last couple of weeks I realized how much I missed seeing my calendar on paper as I had been managing everything electronically for years.  So, now I’ve got a nice blend of my electronic calendar plus an easy month-at-glance paper copy.  The paper copy has given me a much better birds-eye view which is helping me managing commitments smarter.

How do you find work/life balance?

Ha!  The short answer is that I don’t ever “find” it;  I have to create it.  Recently, I realized I was doing a pretty poor job in this department.  I’m a big believer in getting to the root cause of things, so once I started looking at what was going on, I realized that my electronic calendar wasn’t working for me.  Because it wasn’t giving me the broad view of all I had going on, I was either over-committing or not allowing myself the time I needed/wanted to do things how I like to do them. Now that I’ve started using a paper calendar, too, I’m experiencing greater awareness that’s leading to smarter planning (and better balance).

How do you tame your email inbox?

Oh my gosh, I don’t.  This is a struggle for me.  I just checked, and today I have 1,296 messages in my inbox. This isn’t good, I know.  Beginning next week things will be looking up as I’ve hired an assistant, and she’s going to help me “tame the box”!

Favorite organizing tool/trick for business?

Two philosophies come to mind that drive my actions and decisions: (1) more no & less yes,   and   (2) less is typically more.  This helps me manage my calendar, it equips me to deliver the best &  most valuable work to my clients, and it supports me in staying focused on being the superhero I already am – and doing even more of that!

Words you live by?

I am a Christian, and everything I live, breathe and do is sourced from God and His word.  It impacts who I am, how I am and what I produce, create, innovate and deliver.  Because of this, my work and my impact are amplified, and I’m living with more joy and satisfaction than ever before. I’m grateful and blessed beyond measure.

Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire | Tags: , , , , | no comments

Nothing But The Best

By whitney | May 13, 2014

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

When making a photo album, photo book, or even storing hard copies of photos there are a few rules to follow that will make the memories much sweeter.

Let go of the following photos:

  1. Blurry or unrecognizable photos
  2. Landscape, buildings, scenery or people you don’t remember
  3. Doubles, triples or octuplets of the same photo. This also applies to #2 in that you only really need a few really cool pictures of the Grand Canyon, not 20:)
  4. People or places that bring up negative memories and emotions

Keep, chronicle, and display photos that tell a story, capture the memory and you love looking at. Five great photos tell much more than 30 repetitive ones. Quality over quantity is the name of the game!

Categories: Educate, How To | Tags: , , , | no comments

Give the Gift of Memories

By whitney | May 12, 2014

Photo via Web Coolness

Photo via Web Coolness

One of the best presents you can give Mom, is a trip down memory lane. Most of us have taken hundreds of pictures which are either stuck on our computers or stored in boxes we never look at. The same probably goes for Mom. Use your own pictures or secretly get ahold of Mom’s to make her a gift she will truly cherish. She probably has enough slippers anyways:)

The Generation Photo (above)- A visually creative way to display the generations of women in your family!

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Old Family Photos Collage- Find or print and frame old family photos to be displayed on a wall or shelves.

Photo via Skoolz Out

Photo via Skoolz Out

Digital Photo Book- Collect photos that tell a story- trips you’ve taken, holidays, their children from childhood to adulthood, any other theme they would find meaningful.

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Photo via Better Homes and Gardens

Initial Photo Collage- Use their first initial or “M” for Mom and collage with meaningful photos.

Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire | Tags: , , | Comments Off

Last Minute Fiesta

By whitney | May 5, 2014

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Happy Cinco De Mayo! Forget did we? Don’t fear, all in a row is here!

Check out these quick ideas to throw together a fun celebration:

Photo via Glitter Guide

Photo via Glitter Guide

Whip up some Margaritas

The Salty Kitchen

The Salty Kitchen

Easy Guac

Photo via Studio DIY

Photo via Studio DIY

Taco Piñata

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

Throw on a Dress and get Celebrating!!

Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire | Tags: , , | no comments

May Home Organizing To-Do List

By whitney | May 1, 2014

Photo via Pinterest

Photo via Pinterest

1. Refresh. Now that Spring is here to stay, open all the windows and air out the house. Also, check to see if any if your screens need replacing.

2. Celebrate. May 3rd is the Kentucky Derby, master the mint julep!

3. Clear. When school is out, have your children help you go through their homework stations, desks and backpacks to decide which art/schoolwork is keepers and what can be let go.

4. Reminisce. Look through hard copies of photos, let go of multiples, blurred photos, or pictures that no longer hold meaning.

5. Give. This Mother’s Day, May 11th, give your Mom what she wants most, time with you! Plan for a lunch, concert, or trip for you to spend time one on one.

Categories: Bright Ideas, Keep It Up, tips | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment

Product Love: Gabrielle Bernstein Meditations

By whitney | April 29, 2014

Photo via Elle

Photo via Elle

Gabrielle Bernstein is a energy and wellness guru. Inspired by A Course In Miracles, Gaby has created a movement to seek within to find true happiness. Through slowing down and knowing ourselves, we are able to be present and be our best versions. She believes meditation leads us to this connection. Meditation often sounds like a daunting task but it doesn’t need to be. Gaby simplifies the process by leading you step by step. In honor of Stress Awareness Month, I challenge you to give one of her guided mediations a shot!

http://gabbyb.tv/meditate

Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire | Tags: , , | 4 comments

Organized Gardening

By whitney | April 24, 2014

Now that Spring FINALLY seems to be here, it’s time to find your shovel and get your garden on! The always awesome Apartment Therapy had a great article on organizing gardening supplies and I thought i’d share a few of my favs:
Photo via Apartment Therapy
Photo via Apartment Therapy

Use an rolling cart to store supplies and wheels to take with you from bed to bed.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Repurpose on old dresser or decorative shelving.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Use a peg board to get items organized and in sight for quick access.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Photo via Apartment Therapy

An old mail box is great place to tuck the most used supplies in a convenient and discrete way.

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Photo via Apartment Therapy

Keep your tools in a pot filled with sand and a pinch of mineral oil or linseed; the mixture will clean tools and prevent rust.


Categories: Bright Ideas, Inspire, tips | Tags: , , , , | 1 comment