This post is sponsored by Mixbook
Last year was the first year I’d made Year in Review photo books and all year, every time my girls looked through them, I was so glad I’d done it.
As 2017 wound down, I knew I wanted to do another one to add to our collection.
December, of course, was crazy busy, but once the new year rolled over, it was the perfect time to do it – there aren’t many holidays or events in January and February and with cooler weather and early darkness, it’s an ideal indoor activity.
Plus, the previous year is still fresh in your mind!
As soon as it arrived this year, I was delighted with the beautiful photo of my girls on the front and how crisp and sharp it looked. I love every detail about it, from their little eyelashes to their tiny painted nails and their chubby cheeks.
(I also sighed with relief that I’d put the correct year on it – I kept worrying it’d show up and I would have written 2016 or 2018 on the cover!)
This is the kind of project I’ve wanted to do for years and kept putting off because it seemed like too big of an undertaking.
But now that I’ve done it for a few years in a row, I’ve picked up some tips for making it as quick and easy as possible.
- Remember that ANY photo book is better than no photo book. Guaranteed, in 10 years, you won’t look back and think “I forgot to add this one photo. I wish I didn’t have this book at all.” You will be thrilled you did it and so will your family, so don’t stress yourself out about making it absolutely 100% perfect. Everyone loves looking through photos of people they love and great memories, and Mixbook makes beautiful books – so pretty much no matter what you put in, it’s going to be a hit!
- Stick with 20 pages. I mean, you can certainly add pages (it’s $1.29 for each extra page, so very reasonable), but I tend to feel overwhelmed, so knowing that I only have to do 20 pages made it feel super feasible. This doesn’t need to be an encyclopedia of your year.
- Use your social media feeds to remind you of the highlights. You can connect directly to your Instagram or Facebook feeds and it’ll show you all your photos. You can even just pull your own whole feed in and Mixbook will auto-populate your book. Because my Instagram feed has a bazillion book photos on it which I don’t necessarily want commemorated in my family photo album, I just browsed through, it selected the photos I wanted and let that remind me of the highlights of the year – Tally’s birth, a quiet spring mostly at home, my work travel, our family reunions, a Fourth of July in California, tons of swimming, the first day of school, Halloween, Christmas, then dropped those photos in.
- Don’t feel like you need to reinvent the wheel. Mixbook has really talented designers, so pick a style of book and use their templates. I tweaked a few things on mine or changed the layout, but mostly I just trusted them to have made it beautiful and didn’t waste tons of time starting from scratch. Plus, they have way better taste and a sense of style than I do.
- This is for you. After I added the photos from Instagram, I went back and found photos that Bart and I had texted to each other. They weren’t the kind of photos I’d post on Instagram, but they were fun and sweet and things I didn’t want to forget, like this completely goofy photo of Star at a Halloween party with the scariest panda eye makeup and a white dress-up dress from her cousin eating an entire plate of plain whipped cream. It wasn’t really an Instagram photo, but it was definitely a photo I knew we’d love seeing every time we looked through this for the next 50 years.
- Set a deadline. One thing I love about Mixbook is how simple the whole process is – you pick a Year in Review book, you import your photos, write a few captions and place your order. Done! But it’s easy to let it drag out forever or never quite click that order button. So set yourself a deadline and add it to your calendar with a reminder a few days before. Or decide to give it to your spouse or children or parents as a Valentine’s gift so you need to have it ordered in time for it to print and ship. You’ll be glad you made it happen.
I was so happy to have this done a second year in a row – my girls are just growing up so fast and I want to make sure I have a tangible record of our travel, our biggest events, and our quiet days at home.
I don’t want to miss a moment.