What Your Pictures Have to do With Self-Care

giveaways celebrating one year of photos, memories, stories, family, and connections at Evolve

For one year now (happy blogiversary to us!), I’ve been writing every #familyhistoryfriday about photos, memories, stories, family, and connections.  I’ve written about why we need them so much, and what they do for us.  I’ve written about how they affect self-esteem in kids, how they help kids cope with difficulty, and even how family stories are an antidote for teenage entitlement.  Last fall, I included some video tutorials, just for Evolve readers, about photo organization, plus how I stay caught up preserving my photos and memories, and why it’s so important to me.  I’ve shared my own experiences about how photos, memories, and stories help heal from grief.  These days, most of our “photos” are just digital files, so I’ve also given lots of tips for bringing your photos to life.

If you’re new here, welcome.  If you’ve been an Evolve reader for a while, thank you!!  Thank you!  I have a rather bold life goal to make a difference in as many lives as I can.  When you come here, read, get inspired, and then take action, you’ve helped me meet my goal.  I hope to reconnect as many people as I can to their photos and help them realize the importance of embracing their stories.  I want their lives to be richer because of it.

Preserving Pictures Using Paper Scrapbooking

giveaways celebrating one year of photos, memories, stories, family, and connections at Evolve

Did you know the first “scrapbook” was the family Bible?  Bibles quickly became family heirlooms, passed down from generation to generation.  People would record births and deaths in the front cover of their Bibles as early as the mid-1400s.  According to The History of Scrapbooking, by the mid-1800s, publishers started including extra pages in the fronts of Bibles for people to record family births, deaths, and marriages.  It became common around this time to also add newspaper clippings and other “scraps” (like crocheted bookmarks or even locks of hair) within the pages of the family Bible.  My father-in-law found a tintype photo in the family Bible he inherited!

During the 1800s, photographs came into being, and printed memorabilia increased in popularity.  People would save mementos and photos in “scrap books,” a word coined in the 1800s.  Family scrapbooks grew in popularity between about 1920-1970.  At that time, scrapbooks were books of blank pages, usually black or cream-colored, ready for photos, journaling, stories, and mementos to be kept.  ScrapbookING, though, is another story.

Preserving Pictures Using Digital Storybooking

giveaways celebrating one year of photos, memories, stories, family, and connections at Evolve

If you’ve never heard of storybooking, you’re not alone.  The most common ways to preserve pictures these days –getting them out of digital form and into your hands– is through photo books or scrapbooks.  Photo books are made digitally through online companies including big box stores.  You usually choose from a few pre-designed styles, plug in your pictures with a caption, and you’re done.  Scrapbooks are hand-made using papers, scissors, stickers, pens, and the like.  What, then, is digital storybooking, and how is it different from more well-known methods like photo books and scrapbooking?

This month’s #familyhistoryfriday posts showcase several different methods for preserving your photos and the stories that go with them, along with opportunities to win each one!  It’s a fun way to celebrate our one-year blogiversary!  Don’t miss the grand prize at the end of the month, too–it’s worth over $100 and comes with an extra special bonus.

What’s Your 30 Second Commercial?

(Elevator Pitch)

What’s one thing every human being on this Earth has in common? Our desire to communicate. Ideally to not only communicate but to make a connection with others. When we meet new people we often have only a very short period of time to make a connection. That initial connection is important because it will be the foundation for more communication (or the lack there of) in the future.

The Success Cycle

I think it’s a fair assumption that everyone has a desire to be successful. I’m pretty sure I’ve never met anyone who says, “you know, I don’t want to succeed”… So how do we get there? How can we become successful?

The first question is really, what is success?

“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.” – Earl Nightingale

Success then is really not a destination, it is working towards and bringing to pass a worthy goal. It is a person who says, “I am going to become this,” and then works to make it happen.

  • It’s a school teacher who teaches school because that’s what they want to do.
  • It’s a woman who is a wife and mother because she wanted to and is doing an amazing job of it.
  • It’s a man who runs a mechanic shop because that was his dream.
  • It’s an entrepreneur who starts their own company because that’s what they’ve always wanted to do.

A success is anyone who is intentionally pursuing a predetermined goal because they deliberately decided to do it.


Whether or not you are a goal setter, I cannot emphasize the importance of goals in the success cycle enough. A goal is a destination, without it, you don’t know where you are going.

Consider two ships leaving a harbor. The first ship has a destination and it’s voyage mapped out and planned. The captain and the crew know where the ship is going, how long it will take, and where it will be stopping along the way. It has a definitive destination and probably 999 times out of 1,000 it will arrive at it’s destination.

Now consider the second ship. Except this time it doesn’t have a captain, it doesn’t have a crew, and it doesn’t have an end goal in sight. We just start the engines and let it go. It may get out of the harbor, but most likely it will either sink or end up deserted on a beach somewhere because it was never given a destination or guidance.

I love this quote by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland:

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?’
‘That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,’ said the Cat.
‘I don’t much care where -‘ said Alice.
‘Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,’ said the Cat.
‘- so long as I get SOMEWHERE,’ Alice added as an explanation.
‘Oh, you’re sure to do that,’ said the Cat, ‘if you only walk long enough.” – Lewis Carroll

Goals help us know where we are going. Otherwise we can spend a lot of time and effort working, but never really get anywhere.

The Success Cyle

This success cycle was shared by Paul Martinelli and John C. Maxwell. It is how successful people and organizations continually find success.

  1. Test
  2. Fail
  3. Learn
  4. Improve
  5. Re-enter


Successful people test more. If you have entrepreneurial tendencies like I do, then you probably have more than 50 ideas a day, and most of them will never go anywhere… But you will never know if you have a good idea unless you try it.

“The value of an idea comes in the using of it.” – Thomas Edison

Not every idea will be a good one, but successful people are willing to take risks. They are willing to test their ideas and make things happen.


Successful people also fail more. They test more, and because not all ideas are the best solutions, they also fail more. But failing isn’t a bad thing. In fact, failure can be our greatest teacher. We can learn not only what we did wrong, but also what we did right.

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

People who are afraid to fail, by default also let fear prevent them from being successful. Have courage to go to a daring destination, and know that you will fail along the way. It’s part of the process! It’s alright if you fail, as long as you learn something from it.


Many people stop when they fail. They don’t don’t take the time to learn from it, and many don’t try again. I can guarantee you that we will all fail at something in our lives. So, if it’s going to happen anyway, we mind as well keep an open mind and learn from it!

“Those things that hurt, instruct.” – Benjamin Franklin

In Live2Lead 2017, John Maxwell illustrates this point with an example. He talks about a person who tries and fails and gets back up and tries again. Then they get knocked down over and over and don’t let it stop them from getting back in the game over and over again. We think this is great. We love their tenacity, but we over look the problem. They are getting knocked back down by the same thing over and over again and aren’t learning from it.

When we get knocked down, we need to take the time to learn from it so that when we get back up we don’t get knocked back down by the same thing again.


After we’ve been knocked down and learned from our experience, then the next step is to improve. It does us very little good if we test, fail, then learn, but we don’t change our behavior.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always gotten.” – Jessie Potter

To advance in the success process step number four is critical, we have to improve.

“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

Learning from our experiences is very valuable, but if we don’t do anything different with that knowledge, it doesn’t do us much good. To continue being successful we need to continually improve.


The last step of the cycle is to re-enter. The success process is considered a cycle because it is ongoing. Success is not a single destination. Once you have achieved one goal, it becomes a baseline for the next. We have an entire lifetime to improve! We have an entire lifetime to be successful. And it can just keep on getting better and better.

Think how many major companies have failed because they neglected this last step. They were successful for years and years and then the market changed but they didn’t. They continued operating at a lower level which wasn’t good enough to stay competitive because everyone else was improving. They were left behind.

“Regardless of how good you are, you could be better.” – John C. Maxwell

Start the process again! Test, fail, learn, improve, re-enter. Test, fail, learn, improve, re-enter…

If you look at any successful person or organization, this is what they do. This is how they are continually successful, and I know that you can be too!

Test, Fail, Learn, Improve, Re-enter


  1. Maxwell, John C. (2018). Live2Lead. Retrieved from http://l2l.johnmaxwell.com/
  2. Nightingale, Earl. (2013). The Strangest Secret. Merchant Books.

4 Powerful Ways to Turn a Catastrophe into a Comeback

Whether it is a major catastrophe or a minor setback mentally working through your feelings and refusing to give up are essential in any comeback.

The 2018 Olympics offered one of the greatest comeback stories in history! It happened in the Men’s 30 Kilometer Cross-country Skiathlon when Simen Hegstad Krueger, from Norway, fell on the first lap. Seconds into the race, Krueger appeared to slip as his right ski came out from under him, pulling him to the ground. With two skiers directly behind, there was no time for a course correction. To any onlooker, it appeared his hopes at an Olympic medal were dashed.

Preserving Pictures Using Easy Paper Scrapbooking Kits

giveaways celebrating one year of photos, memories, stories, family, and connections at Evolve

Everyone has experiences they want to remember.  #FamilyHistoryFriday at Evolve is about preserving those experiences through pictures, memories, stories, and connections.  As we celebrate our one year blogiversary this month, that means you’ll not only find solutions for telling your personal and family stories and bringing your photos to life, but you’ll also have five chances to win some memory-keeping products and services at our giveaways!  Don’t miss the grand prize at the end of the month, too–it’s worth over $100 and comes with an extra special bonus.