Memory Keeping in 2013 :: Project Life

Today is the final day of 2013 and I can't believe we only have a few hours left of this year. Each New Year's Eve I like to take time to think about the year. I dedicate quite a bit of time to reflection and I really look forward to it. I use a couple of different ways to think about and review the year, and a number of ways of planning for what I hope to achieve in the new year. Over the next few days I'll share these with you.

My New Year's Eve ritual is all about reflecting on what I've done in the year. I really appreciate this time of year when I get to dedicate time to reflect on life, noticing how life changing moments and the decisions I've made determine the year I've experienced, and made me who I am. I think about key events from the year, holidays, projects made, things I've done, blog posts written, and who I've spent time with during the year. I usually go on our computer, click through the photos I've taken, sit and contemplate things over a cup of tea, review my diary, and write a brief summary of the year.

This year I decided to do things differently and take on a few life changing things for myself that have made my end of year reflection a little different. The projects I've taken on are simple but they have had a big impact on this year and have contributed in a very positive way. One of these projects was Project Life.

Project Life is a memory keeping system designed by Becky Higgins. Becky's website,, provides you with plenty of information about memory keeping and describes the system perfectly:

"Project Life provides an ultra-simple solution that helps us get those pictures into albums without draining our time, energy, and wallets. The idea is simple: Photos + memorabilia + journaling together in an album - everything slips into pockets. No requirement to cut or glue or embellish a thing. And yet - the results are stunning. Project Life is back-to-basics scrapbooking at its finest."

I have to agree! I think that the system has changed the way people experience memory keeping and has made scrapbooking less intimidating.

In 2012 I got really interested in scrapbooking and memory keeping. By mid-October that year I decided to invest in a Project Life core kit, binder and page protectors to enable me to have a simple way to scrapbook my memories. I'd love to be one of those very artistic scrapbookers but I'm a busy person and I wanted something simple to keep my memories in during the year. Project Life fitted me well, the easy system of printing photos, writing on journalling cards and slotting them into divided pocket page protectors suited me and my lifestyle perfectly.

I decided to start regular memory keeping using Project Life this year in January. I have a huge passion for photography and anyone who knows me will say that I take a camera where ever I go. I love to capture things that I want to remember or that inspire me. For years I thought about doing photo books but I wanted to include a bit more of 'me' in them. I wanted to add in my ticket stubs, leaflets and things I collected, as well as my thoughts and feelings.

Each week this year I have taken photos and noted down what I have been doing in my diary or on my phone, and have then taken time to assemble my photos and thoughts for the 52 weeks this year. Some weeks I have photos and memories over one page, most are over two, and many weeks involving big events, such as holidays, run over more.

Keeping up-to-date with my album has been a challenge, I will admit that. Sometimes I've managed to sit down at the end of a week, select the photos I want to use, and fill in my journalling cards. Other times I've caught up on the month using my notes. I have a few gaps that I have been trying hard to update this week and there are a few weeks of photos still to print and write about, but I'm nearly there. It has been easy to journal the great times of the year but harder to document the low parts of the year. In my own way I have tried to document these as I don't want to forget about what has happened. I've struggled to add these in full to my Project Life album so have added more details to my diary instead.

What I like about Project life is seeing how truly positive my everyday is. Each week I get to look back and think about how lucky I am...seeing beautiful sunrises, having a fantastic family, spending time with amazing friends, doing fun things at weekends and loving my daily routine. I can see how much the small simple things matter, such as stopping to relax for a cup of tea on our snuggler sofa, taking time to read a book or magazine, pottering in our garden and seeing what is growing, documenting the projects I have made, and trying new things. I love noticing how things change during the year, what our home and garden look like, the changing seasons, our clothes, and seeing what the small things were that I wanted to record at the time. I love that not every photo is perfectly composed or well lit. It's my life in the way I want to record it, it's raw and simple.

I'm so proud of what I've created this year. For the first time since university I have created a photo album, but this time it includes words, my memories and the memorabilia I want to keep. Oh how I wish I had done this years ago! Project Life has helped me document who I am, my life, and what Mr C and I do each week, I love it.

My review and reflection of this year has been a little different and much more fun. Rather than sitting in front of a computer or looking at my iPad to review my photos, I've flicked through and read my Project Life album. It has brought me so much pleasure. I'm certainly sticking with this project moving forwards and am looking forward to creating a great album for 2014. I know it sounds odd but memory keeping is now part of who I am. I love taking photos and documenting what I do.

If you are interested in memory keeping you can buy a Project Life core kit and supplies online. If you are in the UK I would highly recommend using a small online supplier, like Sarah's Cards, a super efficient UK business to buy your kit rather than a big retailer.

It is time to wave goodbye to 2013 and look forward to a fresh new year ahead. Wishing you all a very happy new year full of love and happiness. See you in 2014.