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I’m grateful to have this little place where I can share bits & pieces of home, organization, cultivating a good life, and inspiration for bringing it all together with Project Life.

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Friends!

We can hardly believe the day has come that we can finally reveal our shiny & new website and shop! I have so much to share, so many features I want to point out, and yet — wouldn’t you know it? Guess what’s ALSO happening today — the same day that we launch our site? We’re moving the business out of our home and into our first real commercial office space! How’s this for a memorable day? Ha! 

Want to catch behind-the-scenes glimpses of our move and the new office? Pick your favorite social media channel (our links are at the top of the website).

Okay — three quick things to point out, then I’m loading boxes on a moving truck (literally):


it takes a village

There are too many people to point out and certainly not enough time, but can I just say…? I feel tremendously blessed to be surrounded by — and working alongside — some of the most talented, hard-working people. It really did take a small village to get our newly-designed website and shop to this point. I’m so proud of my team, thankful for them, and elated that after many months of behind-the-scenes work, it’s here!


new shop!

Oh, you guys. The shop. When we first launched our online shop less than a year ago, it was an “out of the box” template set-up. It functioned, but we knew from the beginning that we needed to get it to look & feel more in line with our brand AND we wanted you – the customer – to have the best online shopping experience possible.

Better layout? Check. More aesthetically awesome? For sure - check! More products? Check. In fact, more than 300 Project Life® products can be found in our shop! Better backend system? Check? More organized? Check. Physical AND Digital Project Life products all on one site? Check. More product pictures so you can really see what you’re about to purchase? Check and check.


i am project life

As you browse the new site, please take a moment to check out our new video - I am Project Life. Without saying anything more, we hope you enjoy the message even though there are no actual words spoken. There’s more I want to share about this very special video project, but that’ll be for another day. In the meantime, we hope the message resonates with you. We hope you feel that you are Project Life — whatever that means to you personally.

PS – We even had some “I am Project Life” necklaces made for this special occasion and we have a limited quantity in the shop right here.


One last note: We are officially live, but surely there are little glitches here & there that we need to work out. Please be patient while we work through a few minor things. This is just the beginning of the new site. More features coming. Lots more, actually. Many things in the works and all in the name of providing the tools to help you with your scrapbooking goals and some inspiration as you strive to cultivate a good life.

Big hugs all around. More about all of this later. In the meantime — happy browsing, happy shopping, happy day! Please share what you’re loving and what you would love to see.

 

Today marks the last day of October, which means we are bringing our monthlong birthday celebration to an end (sad face). We have had such a blast sharing so many fun things with you — the invitation to be a part of our customer wall in the new office space, our first big update with the Project Life® App (including new collections!), a call for an all-new Creative Team (reminder: submissions are due today!), a couple of flash sales, some giveaways, and, of course, brand-new product releases! We’ve packed a lot into the month, there’s no question about that.

Today feels like a great day to go out with a bang… which means one more giveaway. We thought it would be fun for this giveaway that I gather up some of my favorite things, so here’s what one lucky winner is going to receive! It’s pretty random. And fun.

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I’m a notebook girl. I’m a pen-to-paper list maker and a note taker. Target is usually where I pick up my notebooks and that’s where this one is from. Plus, I wholeheartedly agree with this statement and love that this is so beautifully stated on the front. Life is indeed what you make it.

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Chocolate because … um, why not? Yep, I do love chocolate in many forms. These are among my favorite. Many of you know I’m a kitchen glove girl, possibly to the point of being a little obsessive since I don’t even wipe the counters without my gloves. Had to include those in this package… as well as my current favorite dish soap which I picked up at Target.

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Found this throw at Home Goods and I picked up one for you (random winner who will be selected) and one for my family. I love everything about it, but it’s worth mentioning that we’re pretty obsessed with the softness. You’re not going to want to get out from under it.

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It’s really hard to tell what that thing on the left is, but it’s a portable charger with the Becky Higgins® logo printed very subtly on it. This comes in handy for those of you who are loving the app because don’t you find that it’s so extremely easy to scrapbook on your phone? This will help you stay charged throughout the day. The photo on the right shows glimpses of two Project Life kits — one from Studio Calico and one from Stampin’ Up! — two of our partners to bring PL in different formats.

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More Project Life goodness directly from our shop (which is getting a major facelift very soon)! A Mini Album, a couple of Value Kits, some 6×6 Envelope Pages, a Travel pack of themed cards, and a box of classic 3×4 Grid Cards.

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Last but not least, a yellow purse (the happiest color and one of my absolute favorite accessory colors!) and this pretty looping / eternity / infinity scarf which is another one of my favorite accessories (and something I get really excited to wear since we live in Arizona where it’s still warm during the day right now).


Alright… those are a few of my favorite things and I’m ready to package it all up and ship this box of goodies to someone! Will it be you? Here’s how to have a chance at being randomly picked: leave your first name, city, state / country in the comments below. That’s it! Should you feel inclined, I’d love to hear what you’re loving the most about what our company has offered for the past 5 years so that as we continue planning great things, we will keep in mind what you want to continue seeing and experiencing from us. Please share with us what has been your favorite “thing” so far! Some examples…

  • new products
  • partnerships with companies like Stampin’ Up! and Studio Calico
  • home & lifestyle content on the blog
  • social media sharing
  • online education
  • the app
  • online shopping on our website

There is no doubt in my mind that the loyalty of our valued customers is one of the absolute biggest reasons we are still here, still in business, still carrying on with what we love to do. Thank you again and again, from the bottom of my heart, for being a part of our Project Life family, for your kind words (we never get tired of hearing from our happy customers!), for your feedback and suggestions, for your shopping (!), for sharing PL with your friends and family and co-workers, and most importantly for doing what you do as documenters of life. You are story-tellers and I am personally honored that you choose Project Life to help you pull those stories together.

Here’s to the next 5 years, and beyond.

PS – The winner will be chosen over the weekend and added here to the bottom of this post on Monday so be sure to check back!


 

Updated: 11.2.14

Congratulations to Maureen of Suwanee, Georgia! Please email toni@beckyhiggins.com to claim your prize!

 

Summer oftentimes = travel season. So in light of this, I am sharing this video with some photography tips to keep in mind the next time you hit the road, travel abroad, book a stay-cation, or enjoy a holiday away from home. These tips are applicable across the board, regardless of your next destination.

This is actually something I compiled last October when David and I traveled to Italy. We relaxed, we played, we walked (a lot), and as usual, I snapped pictures along the way – just like I usually do when we travel. But this time, I actually paid attention to what I was taking pictures of and how I was taking those pictures, and we filmed the tips right there in Italy – just for you guys. Sort of a last-minute thought, actually, so this isn’t exactly the most professional quality.

Any holy cow – don’t mind how my hair reacted to that humidity – oh my stars!

 

 

Hey guys! Happy Monday. So, I hear that today – Monday, June 30 – is Social Media Day. It’s an annual global event that recognizes the digital revolution happening right before our eyes.

Personally, I’m a fan of social media.

While there are plenty of awful things that happen with this modern technology, social media can and should be used – and is being used – as a powerful tool to CONNECT and SHARE and INSPIRE. I regularly and frequently use social media pretty much every single day for these very reasons. My goal in sharing on social media is to be an uplifting source of inspiration – same with my blog. Everything I put “out there” ties back to cultivating a good life and recording it – whether it be scrapbooking inspiration, organization tips, meaningful quotes, or personal anecdotes (and a hundred other things).

For those new to my brand / website / products, here’s where you can find me in the world of social media. NOTE: You’ll see daily activity from me on the first three. As for Pinterest and YouTube, you’ll be seeing more from us in the near future as we bump those up on the priority list.

Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  YouTube


Check out my short video message and then read below for the details.

We will select one of you to have a one-on-one Skype conversation with me!

Simply leave your first name + city + state / country in the Comments below this blog post. And … if you want, share one question that you’ll likely ask me when we have our live Skype chat. That’s not how we’ll choose someone. It really will be random. But it would be fun to see what kinds of questions you guys would ask me if we had a chance to talk in real life. You never know which of those topics will lead to a great blog post, right?!

We will announce the winner tomorrow morning – Tuesday, July 1, right here at the bottom of this post. So be sure to check back to find out if you’re the winner! Then I’ll be speaking with one of you face-to-face … in a virtual sense, of course.

Happy Social Media Day, friends. Stay in touch.


 

Added note:

Congratulations to Katie in Iowa City, Iowa! Please email Toni@beckyhiggins.com and she will get you in touch with Becky! 

David and I were able to spend some time jumping around to 5 different cities in Australia. We were on 11 planes in 11 days (whew!) and had quite the experience meeting phenomenal people and connecting with so many beloved customers down under. We were there to do a tour for Spotlight – and also to participate in a couple of events: Master Class in Melbourne and a Project Life® Party in Sydney. Both were so much fun and I was able to visit with almost every single attendee, one by one. Anytime we had a couple hours here or there, between our commitments, we were exploring just a tiny bit of Australia. What a beautiful country!

Oh, I have to share this. So at the Project Life Party, the nearly 100 attendees were able to sit and work on their Project Life albums for several hours after I addressed them and shared some thoughts and Project Life history and that sort of stuff. We tallied up at the end and guess what? There were 1,017 Project Life pages completed that day! The record was 64 by one attendee! Talk about power scrapbooking. I absolutely love that these women were able to come have a good time and they went home having also been productive. Because Project Life is that simple.

There are a few other things worth sharing:

1. I did not bring my dSLR.

I stopped traveling with my big camera quite a while ago, actually. I’m so pleased with how I can capture so well with my iPhone 5S … plus it fits in my pocket so you just can’t beat the convenience. I did share quite a bit on social media, so if you happen to be interested in seeing more glimpses of our adventure down under, scroll down a bit on my facebook, instagram, or twitter feed. As for my editing? You can read all about that in this post if you missed it.

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2. The kids’ journals stayed updated while we were gone.

Remember my post about how I keep up with the kids’ journals? Our friend Stephanie who stayed with the kids while we were gone had a few major tasks: Keep them alive + happy + fed + get them to where they needed to be. Oh, and … could you please keep up with their journals while they’re gone?

True story. I wrote a little note in each of the kids’ journals that mentioned about us being gone and that we’ve asked Steph to write some little anecdote about them each day so we can see those notes when we get back. Well … total success. It’s my favorite thing that she did while we were away and we read all of the notes aloud as a family and loved it. Some were so sweet, some super funny.

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3. Giveaway time!

Yes, of course, I picked something up in Australia to bring home for a blog giveaway! I was thinking of you guys – of course. These adorable Australian tea towels would be so fun in your kitchen, right?

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Leave your first name + city + state/country in the comments and we’ll randomly select someone to win. Check back on Monday and we’ll add the winner’s name at the bottom of this post. Then I’ll ship you the 2 tea towels AND some Project Life goodies, of course. AND I’ll even throw in some Vegemite (haha!).

Updated: 4.14.14

Congratulations to Susan of Elkhart, Indiana. Please email toni@beckyhiggins.com to claim your prize!

 

Yep – most of you know that this is a totally real and legit holiday. And it’s coming up on May 3rd. We at Becky Higgins LLC have something fun up our sleeve that you’ll be hearing about later. For now, I’m pleased to share something else that’s fun & exciting as we gear up for one of our favorite holidays!

I’m joining with Ali Edwards, Cathy Zielske, Stacy Julian, Heidi Swapp, Maggie Holmes, and other memory-keeping enthusiasts in the National Scrapbook Day “10k” eventRegistration is FREE and happening NOW.

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What is this 10k event about?

 

Big Picture Classes has partnered with Studio Calico for a one-day online event and the goal is to have 10,000 layouts shared on Instagram in one day. Okay – that’s pretty darn cool, right? The fun kicks off May 3rd at 9:00am PT in the BPC classroom and on Instagram. I can already see it … 10,000 scrapbook layouts from all over the world … on Instagram!

In the online classroom, there will be new videos, new page layout ideas, great tips shared from all 10 experts … every hour for 10 straight hours. They’re even doing fun giveaways for those use post on instagram using the #NSD10k hashtag that day.

But wait – there’s more. Studio Calico has deeply discounted ($10 each while supplies last) eight of their past kits that are available for you to purchase with unique codes you’ll receive once you register (found in the BPC classroom).

 

Register now and get excited.

We’re all pumped about this. Hope you have caught the vision as well! Register HERE and get ready for a flood of inspiration in the classroom and on Instagram on May 3rd. My personal favorite part about this is that it’s encouraging more scrapbooking to happen, more pages to be done, more celebration for this hobby we love. See you there.

Happy Monday! Can you believe we are in our last week of birthday celebrations? It has been a full month here on the blog as we’ve shared exciting announcements, guest posts from our team members, fabulous freebies, inspiring ideas, and giveaways galore. I’ve loved every bit of it and hope you’ve enjoyed all of the goodness we’ve had to share.

Last week I announced 2 classes that I will be teaching in the near future – Project Real Life is returning to Big Picture Classes in January and I’ll be teaching a live 3-day workshop with creativeLIVE next month. You can read a bit more about the similarities and differences in the format and content in the classes HERE.

{giveaway}

PRL_final_logoFollowing in our birthday tradition for the month, I’m thrilled to have 4 seats to my upcoming Project Real Life class available for anyone in the world to win. That’s right – anyone, anywhere will be able to sign up for this class (once registration opens on November 14th) and can follow along at their own pace once class starts in January.

To enter for a chance to win, simply leave your first name, city, state/country in the Comments section at the end of this blog post. The names of the lucky winners will be announced on Wednesday, October 30th.

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We occasionally get questions about how to create a photo book using our Digital Project Life products. Today I have a digital super star sharing some of her very best tips for those interested in trying this. If you don’t already know Laurie, you should totally know her. First of all, she’s darling. Second of all, we are beyond blessed to have her as a part of our Project Life family (she’s our Director of eCommerce), and … last but not least … she is our hero over at AC Digitals, where all digital Project Life products can be found.

I’m handing the rest of this blog post over to Laurie who will explain a little more about today’s very awesome topic. In her own words:

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Having a photo book printed is an awesome way to get your digital layouts off of your computer and into the hands of your family, but there are so many companies and so many rules that it can be overwhelming to try to figure out where to even begin. We are here to give you a few pointers to navigate the world of photo books and get you started. Our pointers will not walk you through the entire process, but will hopefully give you some tips up to the point where you are creating the book on the photo book company’s website. Please note: You will need to check the specifications of the company that you choose to have your photo book printed with before you have it printed. 

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Styles

Photo books come in all different sizes and styles. Here are just a few of the options you will need to take into account when creating your book:

  • Size – Are you looking for a square version like a 12×12 or an 8×8 book, or do you want a more rectangular album like an 8×10?
  • Hard Cover
  • Soft Cover
  • Personalized Cover – Some companies allow you to personalize your cover with a picture or even a full bleed cover of your own design.
  • Lay Flat Pages – Like the name indicates, when open, the pages inside the album lay completely flat.
  • Traditional Pages – This is the more well-known type of pages where they slightly round at the binding at do not lay completely flat.

Thinking about these options before you start will help you find a company that meets your needs and you will be able to get all of the specifications you need from that company before you even start designing your first page.

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Resolution

Resolution is an important part of getting quality prints in your photo book. As a rule of thumb, when you are creating your layouts, start with a resolution of 300 pixels per inch. If your layouts start with that resolution, then you can rest easy knowing that your layouts are the right resolution for printing. Below is a screen from Photoshop Elements 9 showing the new document dialogue box. The red rectangle is showing you were to find your resolution setting when you are creating a new document.

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Be careful when using photos downloaded from Facebook. Pictures uploaded to Facebook have been compressed so they are not at their full resolution. Different companies warn about using these photos and state that it is better for you to use the original photo files.

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Color Space

There is a lot we could say about color space. The main thing you need to know is that most companies want a color space of RGB. Again, check with the particular company you use, but the majority of them prefer RGB over CMYK. If you want to get into specifics of sRGB vs Adobe RGB, make sure to contact customer service for that company. If you aren’t sure where to set your color space for your new document, check the screen shot below. You will notice under the resolution box it says “color mode”. You can click on the dropdown box and choose RGB.

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Bleed & Trim

“Bleed and trim” can seem like tricky topics – and reading about them can make it seem like you are learning a foreign language. So what is bleed and trim and why should you care?

Bleed refers to the amount of printing that goes beyond the edge of the printed page. If you have a full bleed page, that means your printing will go from one edge to the other without a border. To illustrate what we mean by a border vs full bleed, compare the two images below. The image with the white border is not a full bleed page. The image that is completely gray with no border is a full bleed page. Look for a printer that has the ability to print full bleed pages.

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Trim refers to the amount that a page is cut down. Think about a hardback book. The cover is usually slightly larger than the inside pages. The pages inside have been cut down to fit inside of this cover. This will help you make sense of how photo books work. While you may be ordering a 12×12 book, your pages will, most likely, not be 12×12. They are trimmed down a certain amount to fit inside your cover.

Trim and bleed are important aspects to take into account as you are creating your layouts for your photo book. Essential elements and text should not be placed on the outer edges of your layout or they will get cut off.

So what are you supposed to do? How much space should you allow? This is where you really need to check with your particular company. Some companies have template guidelines that you can download and use as an overlay on your layout as you create it. These guidelines let you know what areas of your page are safe from being cut off and which areas to avoid placing crucial design elements. If your company does not have a template to download, they should give some information on how far from the edge to place design elements.

Below I have used a template for a 12×12 album at Shutterfly over a layout I created. The bright aqua lines around the edges are my critical lines that I do not want anything important crossing. You can see that all that will be cut off is my background.

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Auto Correct

Your layouts are all done and they are ready to upload to your printing company. You want to disable any auto correct features if your company uses them. Since we can’t walk you through every printer’s settings, we are going to use Shutterfly’s settings as an example.

1. Upload your picture to your album on Shutterfly.

2. View the pictures in your Shutterfly album. Select all of the pictures in the album.

3. Go to Edit > Apply Effect

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4. On the right hand side of the page, click on the check box next to “Don’t apply automatic to picture”.

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Now Create Your Book!

Your layouts are ready to add to your book. Most companies have some sort of online software or software you download to create your book. Look for tutorials on how to get started. You will want to look for a template theme that is called something like “Digi Scrapping” (Shutterfly) or blank (Persnickety Prints and various others). Their software should walk you through the rest of the creating process.

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Reviews

Awhile back, our friends at The Daily Digi did a massive review on companies who print photo books. We think it is a great resource for you and will give you information about the quality of the product and the ease of creating the book on the company’s site. If you are interested, you can find that amazing article here:

Photobook Reviews – 12 Companies Compared

The Daily Digi also linked to another review that tested a few companies that the Daily Digi did not. You can find that article here:

Digital Home Thoughts The Great Photo book Round-up Review

Hope that helps get you started in the world of photo books. It can seem overwhelming the first time you create one. Don’t hesitate to contact the customer service team of your particular printing company and ask them questions. Take the time to learn their specifications so that you can have a beautiful photo book arrive on your doorstep.

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To learn more about Digital Project Life and the options for going this route, visit our Digital Project Life page.

Feedback Friday

It’s time for another round of Q+A with my brother Kevin. He’s seriously smart, one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet, and he has a passion for helping people embrace and utilize technology to bless their lives (and their businesses). I asked you to submit any tech-related question, and these are his responses.

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Q: Where is the safest digital place to store photos? I have had two back up hard drives crash, but never my main one. Should I just copy everything to blu-rays?

A: Let me start by stating a fact (for those who don’t backup their data, this is meant to scare you into submission)… 20% of all consumer-grade hard drives fail in the first 12 months of its life. If you aren’t backing up, you need to… NOW. Fortunately, you are trying to, and that is commendable. If you’re serious about backing up precious data, you may want to look into a multi-drive storage system like a Drobo. Even if one drive fails, your data is still protected and accessible (you would need to replace the drive, of course). The downside, they can be pricey. For a more economical solution, a single external USB/FireWire hard drive would suffice as a primary backup, but I would also recommend a secondary backup as well. Carbonite, Crash Plan and Mozy are a few good online backup solutions worth looking at. I generally shy away from DVD or BlueRay just because they are cumbersome to work with and easy to misplace. That stinks that you’ve had such bad luck with external drives, but stick with them (and make sure you aren’t buying the ultra-cheap brands… you get what you pay for). If it makes you feel better, I’ve had drives in my Drobo fail on me. Unfortunately, it’s relatively common for hard drives.

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Q: What would you say is the simplest, straight forward photo editing program or app? I don’t do Photoshop or anything close to that…but I would really like to be able to set up two photos next to each other, do a little color correction and cropping and easily print onto a 4×6 photo paper.

A: I would take a serious look at PhotoShop Elements. It’s a great mid-range solution for those who want to do some of what PhotoShop does, but don’t want to spend that much money (PhotoShop gets very pricey).

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Q: Looking for a new laptop used mostly for pictures and family movies. Is a Mac really worth all that money or can I get what I need from a PC?  Any recommendations?

A: If you’re looking for a reason to not buy a Mac, you’re asking the wrong guy. I used to be a hard core PC guy, then saw the power of what Macs can do. As someone who knows both sides really well (and works on both all day, every day), I’m telling you… you really should do a Mac if you can. I could write a 10-page response to give you all the details, but I don’t want to bore everyone else. I’d be happy to walk you through some of that offline, if your interested (contact me).

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Q: Internet providers which do you prefer: Phone Companies offerings or Cable Companies offerings?

A: That’s a hard one to answer without knowing locale, but generally, you will have better luck with a cable company. Where I live, I wouldn’t even consider going with the phone company, so I chose Comcast. Some love them, and some hate them… as long as they are responsive and reliable, I’m good. Comcast has been great for me, and I use it for everything, including voice (Vonage), Internet and media consumption.

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Q: Would love to know how to get away from cable.

A: Oh, this is one of my favorite topics, and I could go on and on and on about it (in a positive way, of course). I became a cord-cutter about 7 years ago. My setup is nearly complete, yet super simple (and super inexpensive). My total home setup includes the following: 3 LED TVs, 3 Apple TVs, 1 Mac mini. That’s it. As you can imagine, each TV has an Apple TV, and it acts as the multimedia receiver (much like a cable box for cable) to my Mac mini. The Mac mini is what stores all of our movies, TV shows, music, etc. You don’t have to use a Mac mini to do this (a PC would also work, as long as it has iTunes), but I chose to for reliability purposes (and I use it for others things as well). I get my movies from either iTunes or Netflix (in that order), and I get my TV shows from Hulu Plus, Netflix and iTunes (in that order). iTunes is great for newer movie content, Hulu Plus is great for newer TV shows, and Netflix is great for documentaries and older movies and TV shows. I believe that more people would be cord-cutters if it weren’t for the fact that it’s still hard to get live sporting events and news (CNN, CNBC, etc). I even get local channels and networks (like ABC, NBC, etc) using an HD receiver ($30 from Walmart) mounted to the back of one of my TVs, but I honestly rarely use it. The best part about all of this… you watch what you want to watch, when you want to watch it (and without commercials). If you want to talk more about this offline, I’m happy to answer your questions in more detail (contact me).

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Q: If I were to purchase a tablet for my 9 yr old son, who likes digital novels, games, puzzles, etc. what direction is the best to go that would allow me to have the most parental controls over approving downloads and web surfing?

A: Each of my children have iPads (that’s no surprise to anyone who knows me), so I know exactly where you’re coming from. The way that we decided to handle it was we control their iTunes account (they don’t know their password). If they want to purchase a game or book, they go looking for mom or dad to help out. Sounds a little restrictive and inconvenient, but we find that it works really well for us. As for the device… you really can’t go wrong with an iPad, and the iPad mini works great for our children (and they’re cheaper too).

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Q: We have a WordPress blog. This week I was trying to link to an old post and it seems to have just disappeared. Is this possible? Why would it happen?

A: The whole site is gone, or just the one post? This is a tough one to answer without much to go on, but I’m happy to help if you give me more information (contact me).

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Q: My question is about photo stream, photo album and camera roll on iPad and iPhone – I’m confused on how it all works. Do you need to have both going on? Does that take up twice the  memory? Also, is there a way to delete photos in bulk on iPhone and iPad if you do it later?

A: Photo Stream is a great service! I’m really glad that Apple released it. What’s really neat about it is that I can take a photo on one of my devices, and that photo is available on my other devices almost instantly (as long as they are connected to the Internet). A real world example (and a common one for me): I take a photo on my iPhone, then open that photo on my iPad where I then use Adobe PhotoShop Touch to edit and share with others (or post to a blog entry). I can do the same editing on my Mac, since it’s available there as well. It does take a little more storage, but it’s really not that much compared to other content on your devices. The key to making this all work… make sure you have Photo Stream enabled on all devices (and all devices are using the same Apple ID). You can fine more information here.

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Q: Is there a way to move you photos in your iPad to a new folder and have them disappear from your old folder without having to manually delete them?

A: Absolutely! Well, kind of. Yes, you can move (or rather add) photos you take to an existing or new album on your iPad, but doing that won’t remove the photo from your Camera Roll (at least not when you move the photo using your iPad). The Camera Roll is designed to be a rolling set of photos on your iPad, and the only way they will disappear from that is if you either delete it, or you sync your photos with a computer and then remove it from your iPad. If you want to add (copy) photos to an existing or new album on your iPad, go to your Camera Roll, tap “Edit”, select the photos, then tap “Add To”. If you want to move the photos to an album, then remove them from the Camera Roll, you will first need to sync the photos with your computer, put those photos into an album, then remove the photos from the iPad while then syncing the new album back to the iPad. Hopefully that makes some sense. You can learn more about sharing your photos here.

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Q: Do you recommend having an external hard drive or using an online back up service? Why?

A: Both. Here is Kevin’s rule of thumb when it comes to backups: if your data doesn’t exist in at least 3 different places (with two of those being different geographic locations), then your data doesn’t really exist (and you can’t be mad if you lose it). My backup strategy is this: I have my live data on my MacBook Pro, a complete backup (using Mac OS X Time Machine) at home on a Drobo, as well as a backup on Dropbox (in the cloud). I sleep well at night knowing that if my laptop were stolen, I could pick up a new one and restore my data without missing a beat.

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Q: Our family wants to purchase a new wireless printer. We would like one that can scan, prints color and can handle cardstock. Any suggestions?

A: I’ve said it before and I will say it again (and again and again)… you get what you pay for with tech. Seriously. With that in mind, I would recommend you look at the HP OfficeJet Pro 8600 Premium. It retails for about $400 (you can probably find it for cheaper), but it’s a great unit (fully functional and pretty quick).

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Q: I use Carbonite. How do I know if video files within iPhoto are being backed up? I know it does not happen automatically but I don’t know how to find them from Carbonite and select them for backup when they are in iPhoto. Any suggestions?

A: First of all, good job for actively backing up! You’re a rock star! OK, here’s the deal. Carbonite does automatically backup your iPhoto library UNLESS you chose to manually select the files you wanted backed up initially, or you specifically chose not to backup your Pictures folder (you should be able to go into your settings and verify that). As long as it is being backed up, you should be able to browse your backup files, dive into the Pictures folder and look for a huge fie called “iPhoto Library”.

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Q: I have just transferred from PC to Mac and am struggling with how to keep my photos organized/stored in iPhoto.  I would love to know how to do this with Project Life.  Are you creating an iPhoto album to copy your PL photos to?  I would like to transfer my older photos to an external hard drive.  Should I transfer the whole iPhoto library or just export my photos?

A: Managing photos is a hard one to tackle because everyone has different requirements and thinks differently about how to organize. What works great for me, may not work great for you (and may actually slow down your workflow). My organization is actually quite simple… let iPhoto do the work. By that, I mean iPhoto has some really, really great tools built-in (like face recognition, tags, albums, smart albums, etc). My advice is to use that technology as much as possible starting now, because it will make it much easier for you to be organized later on. As for creating albums and integrating with Project Life… again, that’s hard because it needs to match your personality and needs. The more you know about iPhoto’s capabilities, the easier it will be for you. If you’re close to an Apple store, they have lots of free workshops there to help you feel really comfortable with iPhoto (or any of their apps). Don’t hesitate to schedule some time with them. They are there to help.

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Q: I bought a MacBook Air last Christmas and am now putting my photos onto the mac book using iPhoto. Could we have a general explanation of iPhoto. I struggle a bit when I go to use the photos in Word documents or Publisher documents as insert, or want to send them to an online printing company. It seems I need to export them. It is very different from the folders which I had set up on my PC where the photos were all just saved as jpegs, and I would cut and paste or simply copy them.

A: iPhoto is a photo management system. One thing that’s important to understand is that the files are not stored in a normal file structure (like with other programs). Instead, it’s all stored nice and neat inside a huge library file. That can make it challenging when using it with Word, but some apps (like Apple’s Pages app) has built-in hooks so that you can just drag and drop from the Inspector (for the record, I much prefer Pages over Word anyway… it may be worth looking at). When you have time, here is a link you should really check out these iPhoto tutorials. And as I mentioned in the question above, Apple offers free workshops at their stores to help people feel comfortable with their apps. I would take advantage of them.

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Q: When I go to sync my iPhone and mac Book or iPod and MacBook, I am worried about losing contacts from the phone or music from the iPod as they are maybe not seen as the ‘primary’ source. Could you explain syncing to me.

A: Sure! Syncing is the process by which two (or more) sets of data (any type of data) is compared against each other to look for changes. Each time a change is made, the sync process begins. Each copy will look for differences between itself and the other copies, then make updates appropriately so that both copies are then current. For example, if I create a new Address Book entry on my MacBook Pro, that is automatically synced with my iCloud account in “the cloud”. That change is then synced with all my other devices (iPhone, iPad, etc) so that they, too, have that new entry. Likewise, if I add a new entry to my iPhone, that entry is automatically synced with my iCloud account, and then synced again with my other devices. All of this happens automatically without you doing a thing. You don’t have to use iCloud for all this syncing to take place. Lots of people use other services like Google, etc. However, my recommendation (especially if you are using iOS devices and Macs) is to use iCloud. I rely 100% on iCloud and it very rarely gives me issues. This may not be a very comprehensive answer to your question, but there’s a lot that could go into really answering it well for you. I’d be happy to take this one offline with you and dive into more detail (contact me).

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When Kevin says “contact me” … you can do that through his website – kevin.allgaier@icloud.com. He is genuinely happy to help. And he might even tell you what I was really like as a kid.  ; )

Thank you Kevin, for answering all these questions, and sharing your expertise, insight, and tech tips with us!

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Project Life is known for simplicity. Prima Marketing is known for gorgeous embellishments. Sometimes people have the urge to blend the two styles together – the simplicity of my pocket-based system of scrapbooking with darling embellishments that make one feel “creative”.

So today’s giveaway is from Prima Marketing. This is open to everyone and we will randomly select 3 winners that will receive the following: a coordinating embellishment pack full of flowers, crystals, washi tape, resist canvas, and more. There is a collection of embellishments for each of the featured Project Life editions: Turquoise, Seafoam and Olive. That’s $75 worth of product per collection!

Olive photo 1

This collection coordinates with the Olive Edition.

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seafoam photo1

This collection coordinates with the Seafoam Edition.

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Turquoise photo1

This collection coordinates with the Turquoise Edition.

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Just leave your first name + city + state/country and we’ll randomly select 3 winners from there and add those names to the bottom of this post on Friday. Be sure to tell us which edition you have so that if you win, the collection Prima sends you will coordinate with your Project Life!

Want a chance to win a coordinating album to put your embellishments to use? Head over to Prima Marketing for a chance to enter their giveaway today also!

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updated 5.10.13

Congratulations to the 3 following winners! Please email sharon@primamarketinginc.com to claim your prize!

Sandra – Hagatna, GUAM {Seafoam}

Ashley – Carlisle, Pennsylvania {Olive}

Cynde Thrasher – Naperville, Illinois {Turquoise}

 

blush is coming back to HSN

True story, friends. HSN was able to get a very limited supply of the Project Life Blush Edition back for Lisa Bearnson’s May 14th show. Be sure to tune in at 2pm EST (11am PST) so you can grab yours before it’s gone.This is happening one week from today. Get it on your calendar.  : )

As a reminder, the unique offering of the Blush Edition on HSN, is that it’s a full collection of the Core Kit, Album, Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages, and the Designer Dividers – all for $59.95. That’s it. No additional supplies or tools necessary to complete an entire album. Just add your photos!

Just to help you get your juices flowing on how the Blush Edition might work for your pictures … here are some everyday life pages by Elise Blaha Cripe.

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And here are some baby pages by Catherine Davis.

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higgins PLMapV3

Just seeing this map with locations across the country that will soon have Project Life, makes us feel pretty darn excited. This is really happening. We are just around the corner from Project Life landing in retail stores.

Hobby Lobby with its 500+ locations across the United States will receive the first arrivals. Those 10 locations pictured above? Just a teeny-tiny sampling of the awesome pictures you guys have submitted to us from 43 states! Thank you! Who knew empty space in a retail aisle could be so exciting?   : )

Hobby-Lobby-logo

{ answering a few FAQs }

Q: Which Hobby Lobby locations will carry Project Life?

A: From what I understand, all 500+ locations across the U.S. will being carrying Project Life. Check out their Store Locator to find the location nearest to you.

Q: When exactly will the product be hitting shelves?

A:  There is no “exact” date that applies to all Hobby Lobby locations. It’s all shipping around the same time but deliveries will arrive on different days, depending on how long it take the trucks to drive there. I am told that the product will be in some stores as early as this Friday May 10 and continue for a few days after that to the rest of the locations. Contact your local store to get a more accurate anticipated arrival, but keep in mind that employees don’t always know delivery information and what’s actually on the truck before it shows up.  : )

Keep in mind that Mother’s Day is May 12 – so many of you might be able to pick up the perfect Project Life gift just in time! Hooray!

Q: How will I know when product arrives at my local Hobby Lobby?

A: The most sure way is to call your local store and ask them if Project Life has arrived – but I absolutely, positively will keep you posted via facebook, twitter, and instagram as soon as I hear about products arriving anywhere this week.

Q: Why is Hobby Lobby getting Project Life before other retailers?

A: It’s simple: They placed their order first, so it’s being delivered to them first.

Q: What about other stores and local retailers?

A: Michaels (U.S. and Canada), Archivers (U.S.), Meijer (Midwest), Spotlight (Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore), HobbyCraft (United Kingdom), and lots of wonderful independent retailers and online shops will be carrying Project Life as well. And yes, we will continue to sell our products on Amazon – including all the new items. We encourage you to shop where you prefer to shop – and where it makes the most sense for you based on your life circumstances. We are thrilled to offer so many options, and now … in so many actual, real, physical locations!

We are honored that so many stores will carry our products. The Project Life Store Locator will soon be available right here on my website. In the meantime, if you have a favorite local shop that you think should carry Project Life, don’t be shy! Inquire directly with them to find out if they’re already on-board. Any retailer can place Project Life orders by contacting us HERE.

Q: What exactly will be available at Hobby Lobby?

A: The following Core Editions: Midnight, Honey, Blush, Cinnamon. And the following Mini Kits: Baby for Him, Baby for Her, Holidays, Seasons, Childhood (Wellington Edition), and Wedding.

In terms of “plastics”, Hobby Lobby will carry the Big Pack of Design A, Big Variety Pack 1, Big Variety Pack 2, the classic Scrapbook Dividers; and a couple editions of Designer Dividers (Honey + Blush).

They will also have some of the little boxes of Textured Cardstock: Midnight, Honey, Blush (3×4 size) + Honey, Blush (4×6 size). As well as the little box of 100 Grid Cards (3×4 size).

A couple more things: Hobby Lobby will carry the 3-pack of Project Life Journaling Pens and a couple Albums – Cinnamon + Honey – which will coordinate with many Project Life editions.

All of the above mentioned products can be found in our CHA-Winter 2013 Catalog on the Products page sidebar.

Q: What about the other Project Life items that will not be at Hobby Lobby?

A: To kick off the Project Life program at Hobby Lobby, it’s just a 2.5-foot section in the scrapbooking aisle. They’re cramming a lot in that section, but it’s not enough space for everything that we offer. See what I wrote 2 questions ago (about all the options for where to purchase Project Life).

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{ writer’s cramp }

David and I recently hopped over to California where we got to see pallets and pallets of Project Life that were being sorted out and shipped. Super exciting, and pretty surreal. But there wasn’t time to really soak it all in. I was there on a mission … a fast + furious mission to personally autograph nearly 700 Core Kits / Mini Kits.

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I shared this picture via social media and promised I would blog about it.

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There was a room all set up and ready for me to plop down at a table and get to work.

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These stacks can’t scare me. Let’s DO this.  ; )

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I had plenty of Medium point Slick Writers ready to go, and I made them work hard. Our packaging is definitely slick – and this ink dries before you can even try to smear it. Best pen ever for slick surfaces. Made by our friends at American Crafts and now branded with Project Life. Yippee!

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Hello, Cinnamon Edition. Yay, Kerri!

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The way-cute Blush Edition. Love those American Crafts designers!

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The super popular Honey Edition. Go, Lori!

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Oh, Liz. The gorgeousness of the Midnight Edition …

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After signing 400 Core Kits, I moved on to autograph the Mini Kits.

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Hobby Lobby is carrying these 6 Mini Kits (left to right, top then bottom): Childhood – Wellington Edition, Holidays, Baby for Him, Wedding, Seasons, Baby for Her.

Each Mini Kit has 100 cards (20 4×6 Title Cards + 80 3×4 Journaling Cards).

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Everything autographed was loaded right back into the cartons to be safely shipped to Hobby Lobby.

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{ Why? What’s this all about? }

Oh … you know. Just for fun, really! We have arranged for these autographed products to go out to pretty much every Hobby Lobby location across the country. We wanted to do something as an excuse to give away some prizes – to 10 lucky winners!

As soon as Project Life hits your local Hobby Lobby – run over there! Oooh + aaaah and look for a Core Kit or Mini Kit that has my autograph. As shown above, the signatures are right on the top lid of the box, so there is no “digging around” necessary. Make your purchase. There are no limits (except your budget of course)!

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{ contest details }

If you purchase an autographed Project Life Core Kit or Mini Kit from Hobby Lobby, submit your picture for a chance to win 1 of 10 exciting prizes!

10 winners, 10 prizes

1 Grand prize winner will win a lunch date with me (details forthcoming)

3 winners will win a full collection of any Project Life edition you choose (Core Kit, Album, Big Pack of Photo Pocket Pages, little boxes of Textured Cards, Designer 12×12 Paper, Designer Dividers)

3 winners will win a Project Life Mini Kit + Mini Album combo (you choose edition + color)

3 winners will win the big Project Life pen set (18-pack with a sweet case)

The photo must contain 3 elements

1. your cute face

2. the autographed Core Kit or Mini Kit that you purchased (with or without other Project Life items purchased at the same time … doesn’t matter)

3. your Hobby Lobby receipt – or at least part of it – for proof of purchase

To “submit” your photo, these are your options (choose any)

1. post on your facebook page + on my facebook page

2. post on your twitter account + tag #PLatHobbyLobby

3. post on your instagram account + tag #PLatHobbyLobby

4. email your photo to submissions@beckyhiggins.com

Important notes + rules

1. Hobby Lobby is a U.S. retailer. As such, this particular promotion is applicable to U.S. customers / Hobby Lobby purchases only.

2. Regardless of where you submit or post your photo, your first name + city + state MUST accompany your post or email.

3. The contest begins this week as soon as product hits Hobby Lobby shelves – and goes through May 31. That means May 31 is the last day to submit your photo.

4. The winners will be chosen at random from all the above avenues and announced on my blog the following Monday – June 3.

5. Hobby Lobby employees are not eligible to participate, in order to give customers a fair chance.

6. This contest is sponsored by American Crafts.

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{ everyone else }

If you’re one of the nearly 700 customers that will find an autographed + numbered product, woohoo! We can’t wait to see your submission! But what about the other thousands of customers? You may not be eligible for one of these 10 prizes, but we would still LOVE to see your pictures!

Anyone making Project Life purchases at Hobby Lobby in the next few weeks is invited to share those in any of the above-mentioned avenues (social media or email). Our favorite pictures are the ones with YOU in it! Be sure that we know WHERE (which city + state) you are spotting Project Life at Hobby Lobby! And don’t forget to add the hash tag to instagram and twitter posts – #PLatHobbyLobby

Project Life at Hobby Lobby. Seriously. So fun! Happy Shopping, everyone!

I invited you to ask your questions with the caveat that I would answer them in 5 words or less.

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Q: When journaling, which size pen tip do you like best, 0.2 mm, 0.5 mm, or 1.0 mm?

A: I’m an 03 girl.

photo 1

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Q: What core kits/mini kits are are you working on releasing next?

A: You’ll find out very soon.

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Q: What is the first item on your bucket list?

A: Serve a mission with David.

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Q: Can you make the pockets open on both side please?

A: Significantly more expensive.  : (

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Q: Pie or cake? What flavor?

A: Totally depends on my mood.

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Q: Pursuing your passion and growing such a successful business must be surreal. How do you remain grounded?

A: Family, faith, and immense gratitude.

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Q: Which corner rounder punch matches best with the Project Life corners?

A: Our corner rounder coming August!

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Q: Do you and David do a regular date night?

A: Heck yes – weekly.

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Q: Can you share tips on taking a good silhouette picture?

A: Blog post coming next week.

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Q: Any chance of 8.5×11 Project Life pages and album?

A: On the list of possibilities.

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Q: I have heard about Project Life but I’d like to know where can I go to see a tutorial about the whole concept?

A: Welcome! Please visit THIS page.

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Q: How do you feel about the “copy cat” products?

A: Flattered but protective.

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Q: How are you doing after the loss of your brother?

A: Full heart, reflective, miss him.

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Q: Will we be able to use store coupons to buy PL products at Hobby Lobby, Michaels, etc.?

A: As far as we know.

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Q: I just got my first non-digital core kit and have a question: How do I use the bi-fold cards? I’m at a loss what to do with them.

A: They’re for more journaling.

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Q: Lytro camera? Love or not?

A: Haven’t played with it enough.

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Q: Your home is so beautiful. Do you have an interior decorator or did you do it yourself?

A: Us + interior decorator friend helped.

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Q: When will we have a list of retailers who will carry Project Life?

A: Next week.

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Q: When starting – and being years behind – do you start with the current/last year and work back or start with the oldest year and work forward?

A: Read THIS post.

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Q: How many Project Life albums have you personally completed?

A: Four books are complete.

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Q: How will retail prices compare to Amazon prices?

A: Same.

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Q: How many rolls of washi tape do you own?

A: Like 2 or 3. Seriously.

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Q: What is your favorite tool to cut pictures down to fit in smaller Project Life pockets?

A: Still use old Genesis trimmer.

photo 2

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Q: How did you pick the name Crew for your son?

A: Friends mentioned; We loved it.

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Q: Do you re-do your kids scrapbooks with your newest products?

A: No re-do’s. Tempting – but no.

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Q: Where is your favorite place to vacation?

A: Truly couldn’t choose one place.

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Q: What is your favorite color? What colors do you gravitate to in your own Project Life books?

A: I can’t escape green.

This Saturday, May 4th, is National Scrapbooking Day!

I’ll be honest: In my nearly 20 years of being a part of this industry, I have no idea when this holiday was made up, or who started it, or if it’s supposed to be National Scrapbook (or Scrapbooking?) Day … or wouldn’t be International instead of just National? Oh, who knows? And really … it doesn’t matter! Right?  : )

This is what matters: A lot of us in this hobby – and in this industry – recognize the first Saturday in May as a holiday that we celebrate the hobby we LOVE! So in honor of National Scrapbooking Day we whipped up a little something special for you.

This video is a collection of favorite Project Life pages, photo tips, and organizational ideas from our very own 2013 Creative Team – who, as you may know, are scattered across the globe! The short video is missing just a few girls who were unable to participate because of various circumstances, but we love ALL of our Creative Team – and we think you’ll enjoy putting faces + names together … and being inspired by their tips.

NSD video

So … tell me … are you doing anything special for Scrapbooking Day? Do you have any favorite Project Life tips or organizational ideas to share?