House Mix

Get photos off the computer with yearly albums and DVDs in back

I’ve always loved taking pictures, but now that we have two little ones my shutter is in overdrive.  I’m doing my best documenting their milestones, but that leaves me with A TON of photos. So what to do with all of them? Scrapbooking is fun and creative, but it’s hard to find the time now. The other problem is they are bulky and take up quite a bit of space on the bookshelf. My solution is photo books.

Seven years ago I started using MyPublisher to create a photo book for each year. It’s simple to use, fits hundreds of photos, and is very space-efficient! I like the uniformity, as well. (There are many photo book publishers out there. You download their free software, build your album, upload to their site, and get it in the mail.)

Photo books take up little space on the shelf

This is all the space seven years of photos takes up on my shelf! I chose the linen covers and use a different color for each year, keeping with my green and orange scheme. And if we go on a special vacation, I like to do a separate album in the same color.

Yearly photo albums keep photos organized

I put the year on the cover.

Putting world and pop culture events is a fun touch in a yearly photo book

On the first page inside I like to put events and trends of the year. It’s just a fun way to put the year in perspective in 15 years when you’re strolling down memory lane. On the following page, I use the whole space for text, summarizing the year, highs and low.

Yearly photo books

Then comes putting in photos! The hardest part is editing down all those precious, once in a life-time photos. I love all of them!

A few tips

  • Be a ruthless editor. If several photos look similar, only choose one.
  • Use one-photo pages throughout the book. They are dynamic and help break up the sea of photos.
  • Use captions. Tell that funny story about why everyone is laughing or that cute thing your toddler used to say. You probably won’t remember in 20 years!
  • Make your book as soon as possible after the year is over. That way you won’t forget all the little stories and won’t be overwhelmed when that next year rolls around already!

Put video and photo back up DVDs in plastic sleeves in the back of yearly photo book

To organize my digital files, I put the DVDs in adhesive plastic sleeves and attach them to the back cover. I’m crazy about printable DVDs that look so much cooler than permanent maker! (Most new printers have a DVD/CD tray that allow you to do this.)

Get a discount

  • You can register on MyPublisher for big discount emails. I love the free extra pages (up to 100) coupon for the biggest savings on a single book. They only have it a few times a year, so keep your eye out.
  • Or if your ready to do it now, go here for discount.

Download year images for your album
2010 printable for photo book | House Mix2011year2012201320142015

Yearly photo books take up little space on the shelf. Photos and video DVDS can go in the back

Happy album making!

This post contains affiliate links. This costs nothing extra to customers, and I earn only a tiny percentage. I do personally use this service/product, and all of the opinions expressed are my own. Thanks for supporting this blog!

follow house mix on pinterest

Outdoor plant shelves

Outdoor ikea lerberg shelves I looked a long time for some metal shelves to put in the entryway to our front door. The reason I looked so long is because I wanted a deal. I searched Craigslist, eBay, a couple garage sales, but people were asking quite a bit for their used shelves.

One day I drove past a house that had some shelves out by the curb for garbage pickup. Alright! They looked good from my drive by, so I asked my husband to go pick them up in the SUV. But we were too late! Someone else was looking for their own metal shelves and beat me to the punch. I was disappointed, but I finally came across these Lerberg shelves at Ikea for $19 a piece! They weren’t free, but I didn’t have to spray paint anything and they were easy to put together.

I like the idea of plants and gardening, but I haven’t put much effort into it as of yet. Half the pots here are empty, as you can see and, honestly, Marcello waters the plants more often than not. I do get my moments of inspiration, though. You see those three small insignificant sproutlets in the bottom right? Those are seeds from a lemon I bought at the grocery store. I thought it would be great to grow my own lemon trees! I painstakingly cut away the outer shells, grew them in a moist paper towel and then planted them. Then I read that they will produce lemons in about 11 years!

Outdoor metal shelves: Ikea, $19 each
Colorful pots: Clearance aisle at T.J. Maxx, $22

open kitchen shelving with subway tile and butcher block counter ikea catalog 2014Ikea malm occasional table dark blue library designed by Todd Alexander Romano

Also see room inspiration and Ikea finds >>

follow house mix on pinterest

Kid-friendly dance songs for kids (that Mom and Dad can get down to)

kid friendly dance songs

Let’s get this party started! No, my blog is not about music, but if I’m going to name it House Mix, I feel obligated to kick things off with some awesome dance music!

We love dancing at our house. Yes, this is a disco light in our living room that we pretty much just leave up all the time. It’s a small professional DJ light and I admit to owning it before our two little boys were even close to being around. But kids are an excellent excuse to leave the lights up and have impromptu dance parties!

I’m always looking for fun songs for the boys, but also songs that Mom and Dad (and friends) will want to cut a rug to also. That means no 10 kids singing at the same, clapping their hands along, but that also means no cussing or serious adult stuff. It can be a challenge!

These may not cutting edge, underground sort of jams, but trust me they’ll bring out the sprinkler and the running man.

  1. Yeah Yeah – Willy Moon
  2. Tongue Tied – Grouplove
  3. Sunday Morning – K-OS
  4. That’s Not My Name – The Ting Tings
  5. Canned Heat – Jamiroquai
  6. Float On – Modest Mouse
  7. Grace Kelly – Mika
  8. Sail Into the Sun – Gentlemen Hall
  9. Sandcastle Disco – Solange
  10. Are You Gonna Be My Girl – Jet

Hope you find a few new dance songs from my list. Please share you favorites too!

kid friendly dance music

Potty training 101

This post contains affiliate links. This costs nothing extra to customers, and I earn only a tiny percentage. I do personally use this service/product, and all of the opinions expressed are my own.