My Favorite Products for Meaningful Gift-Giving

Yesterday I was talking to a mom who told me that she specifically adds “No Gifts Please” to all her sons’ birthday party invitations.  They are 9 and 7.  Invariably, she said, someone will call or text saying, “Are you sure?  Can’t I bring a little something?”  Her response is always, “No.  We have too many things.”

I am always on the lookout for meaningful gifts for this very reason.  Many people have too many things.  Gifts that are memorable, meaningful, and heartfelt are the very best kind, but they can sometimes be hard to come by.  For the last My Favorite Things post this month, I want to provide some fantastic gift options for you all in one place.  You can Bookmark or Pin this post to come back to for holidays, birthdays, graduations, milestones, anniversaries, thank-yous and other special occasions.

My Favorite Products for Family Connections

There are a whole wealth of products just waiting to be used to increase family connections!  Quality time, conversations, recreational activities, family dinners, and parent-child “dates” all contribute to family connections, but there are other subtle but meaningful ways to strengthen family ties.  The activities I mentioned need to be repeated– as well they should –to develop family connections, but it’s also helpful to scatter opportunities around your home and among family members that can be gone back to again and again.

My Favorite Story Products

There’s an old African saying that when a person dies it’s as if an entire library burned to the ground.  I actually think about that a lot when I encourage people to tell their stories and the stories of their loved ones.  Nobody thinks his or her story is all that important or special–but if you don’t take the time to tell it, you’re lost to the world within a couple of generations.  Your “library” of knowledge, experience, love, and lessons has essentially burned to the ground.

Tools for Conquering Your Photos

This month’s #familyhistoryfriday posts focus on that ever-elusive goal of catching up on preserving your photos.  It’s easy these days to take half a terabyte worth, but that leaves us with a big challenge.  When do we ever SEE them?  If we have so many, how can we find time to publish them so they can be seen and loved in a tactile form?  The good news is that there are several tools to help you conquer your photos.  The great news is that I shared them all in an online class!

Making a Plan to Catch Up on Your Photos

Like many things, catching up on your photos is just a worthy goal until you have an actual plan to do it.  If you have photos on phones, cameras, hard drives, and clouds, making time and making a plan to preserve them in a tangible form can be a little overwhelming.  Once you have a plan, though, you can move forward.  Even big tasks can be accomplished when you know how you’re going to do it.  So let’s get you on that road.

How to be Successful on Your Resolution to Catch Up Preserving Your Photos

Catching up on preserving photos is a common New Year’s Resolution.  Even when it’s not an official Resolution, it’s a common goal.  I quite often hear people talk about their need to catch up doing something with their photos.  This month on Evolve’s #familyhistoryfriday, we will focus on solutions for your resolutions.  We will learn the first steps you need to take to be successful, options for both digital and already-printed photos, and the Two-in-One plan.

Family Heirloom Recipe: Iranian Cucumber Salad

A recipe seems to be one of those things that families hang on to, not just because it’s traditional, but because it is tried and true.  One family recipe that is sure to become an heirloom recipe in our family is– believe it or not –Iranian Cucumber Salad.  (No, I’m not Iranian.)

When I was a baby, my father taught English as a Second Language at a university in Iran.  My mother learned to make several Iranian dishes during the two years we lived there.  For years and years when I was growing up, my parents would periodically invite friends over for Iranian Night.  They would show slides and talk about what it was like to live in Iran in the 1970s.  And my mom would make her Iranian dishes.  I loved Iranian Night!

One of my favorite dishes was, and continues to be, Iranian Cucumber Salad.  It’s very simple to make, although you need 24 hours to do it.  It’s healthy, and the cucumber-dill combination is absolutely delicious.  My kids LOVE it and always wish we had leftovers.

Guest Post from Life Tales Books: Why Your Family Needs its Stories

Family stories, family narrative, family history.  They exist when Mom tells you the story of how Grandma and Grandpa met.  They exist when you tell your kids, “My dad always said…”  Have you ever considered that family stories aren’t just warm fuzzies but necessities?  Did you know they can quite literally preserve memories?  Every family needs its stories because…

Continue reading at my post:   Why Your Family Needs its Stories