Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All

Oh, how I hear you mama.  You feel like every minute of the day is planned and filled even before you step out of bed in the morning.  You feel like squeezing in a little time for yourself is a stretch, let alone making time for photography.  And while it seems like finding time for photography is a struggle, the idea of not photographing our kids and these little moments of our everyday is heartbreaking.  Our little ones are only little for a short while (a repetitive phrase we hear constantly) and it is more important than ever that we really implement ways for finding time for photography as much as we can.  The effort we put in today to photograph will make us so grateful in the years ahead, as we savor our everyday images.

But how on earth do we do that?  How do we make the time?  Lord knows it would be a blessing to add a 25th hour to the day, but I have been praying on that one for awhile now and…nope.  Finding time for photography starts with being intentional.

Last January we welcomed our second baby girl into our family, making me a mama to a 20 month old and a newborn.  The 12 months that made up 2018 were crazy, beautiful, stressful, irreplaceable, and busy!  And while most days found me feeling like I was eating oreos while brushing my teeth, I ended the year with over 1,100+ final edited images of my family.  I don’t tell you this to brag or to say, “Look what I did!  Cheer for me!”  I say this to tell you that, if you are intentional about finding time for photography, you can do it.  I promise you.  It is possible.  It’s not about praying for a 25th hour of the day, but it is about learning how to use the 24 that you already have and building photography into your everyday.

Do you set goals for yourself?  It could help you when finding time for photography!  See what goals I set daily, weekly and monthly to make time for myself, while being a mama!

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Build It Into Your Everyday

One of the biggest ways that I manage to still photograph my family while having two very young children is to simply build photography into my everyday.  If we are outside riding bikes, I will intentionally bring my camera.  I will bring my camera to the park with us or bring it into the girls playroom to photograph while they play.  My photography is very family based so I try to just incorporate my photography into whatever we are doing in the moment.

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Read The Everyday Photograph

The concept of everyday photography is a beast!  So much so that I wrote an entire book about how to photograph your everyday and create beautiful images out of ordinary events.  If you haven’t read The Everyday Photograph: The Art of Seeing Beauty In Ordinary Moments, it’s a must read for learning about everyday photography.  Not only does it help you to see your surroundings in a different way, but it helps you to capture them with your camera.  Plus, everyone is really excited to watch my editing videos and this includes a 1-hour video to see how I edit!

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Keep Your Camera Out

When finding time for photography, one of the most simple things you can do is make your camera available at all times.  Whether this is keeping it on the kitchen counter or on a coffee table, make sure that your camera has a home where it always sits.  This will help when spontaneous, photographable moments happen throughout your day.  Instead of stumbling over yourself, trying to find your camera, you can quickly grab it and snap a few pictures.  Like during lunchtime, when the light is just right and your little one has their oh so precious elbows propped on the table, enjoying a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  If my camera was stuck in a camera bag somewhere, I would have missed this simple everyday moment that takes me back to singing the peanut butter and jelly song with my toddler everyday during lunchtime.

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Aim for A Monthly Project

I definitely don’t pick up my camera every single day.  In fact, there are weeks that go by without picking it up because life can be busy.  To ensure that too much time doesn’t go by unphotographed, I make it a monthly goal to do one session with my girls each month.  Each month, I do a short sister session with them and use it as an opportunity to write a little monthly letter to them.  This accomplishes two things: documenting my kids through photography and documenting their childhood in writing.  And it also reduces the guilt, if I haven’t had time to photography lately.  No matter what happens throughout the month, I know that I at least have one session with my kids to photograph this chapter in their lives.  And once a month is super manageable, right!?

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Let Your Family See It’s Importance

Honestly, just be honest with your family.  You would be amazed with how much honesty brings results.  If you simply tell your family how much photography means to you, they can help you with finding time for photography.  Maybe this means reminding you to grab your camera when heading out on a family item, or maybe this means helping you scramble the kids together for a quick photo before church.  If your family knows how much your photography means to you, they can support and encourage you.

Finding time for photography can really seem like a struggle, with all of the hats we wear as mamas.  But remember, one of our most important hats is being a documentarian.  It’s important that we photograph these little moments with our family because, if we don’t do it, it will not get done.  Being really intentional about photography today will make you a very grateful mama tomorrow, as you look back on years of family yearbooks that contain irreplaceable candids of your everyday.

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

And to always be up to date with the latest photography tricks and inspiration, be sure to sign up for my free exclusive list!

Finding Time For Photography When You Feel You Have No Time At All | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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Monthly Goal Setting : Things I Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly To Create Balance

We have all heard of that magical word: BALANCE.  The concept of balance can be such a struggle that many have come to the opinion that balance doesn’t truly exist.  Can we really balance multiple things so that our heart feels fulfilled in all areas of our life?  While some question it’s possibility, I believe it is possible to create balance.  Notice how I say create, as I think balance is something we need to be intentional with and it will look different for each of us, since we all have different things we need to balance.  As a stay-at-home mom of a 2 year old and a 1 year old, who owns and runs a photography business from home, I have really studied and prayed about this concept of balance to make sure that my heart is at peace with how I handle all of my responsibilities and ensures that I go to sleep at night knowing I did my best.  It’s not to say that I have the perfect balance secret, but have learned that monthly goal setting is my biggest ticket to balancing home, work, motherhood, faith, me time, and photography.

So many have asked me how I manage to make time for photography, my business, publishing eBooks and personal projects, while staying home full time with two young children.  It is all about being really intentional with my time.  To give you a little glimpse at my approach to creating and feeling balanced and being intentional with my time, here are things that I do daily, weekly and monthly to create balance and make time for myself in the form of monthly goal setting.

Are you struggling with social media?  Be sure to read my 5 tips for balancing social media and family to give you a breather.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Monthly Goal Setting : Things I Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly To Create Balance

Monthly Goal Setting : Things I Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly To Create Balance | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

If you don’t have a goal planner, I urge you to get one.  This is my third year using a goal planner and it has honestly changed my life.  And I don’t say that lightly, I honest to goodness know that this planner has done amazing things for me.  I started using one right after my first baby was born, as I needed a little something to encourage me to continue creating personal goals to ensure that my business and self continued to thrive, while taking on the most beautiful job ever: being a mama.  I think goal setting is one thing that we, as mamas, can do for ourselves to ensure that we continue to balance our dreams and hobbies, while we pour our hearts into our babies.  And because goal setting is monthly, it really encourages us to check in with our goals every 30 days (and even daily) to see what we are achieving and what we need to be more intentional about.

I make goals every month for myself and, while some goals stay the same, others change from month to month.  I check in with my goals multiple times a day to make sure I am on track and to see how I need to plan my time for the day or week.  When creating my monthly goals, I usually sit down around the 25th of the month to really dive deep into the next month’s goals by seeing what new things I want to achieve the next month and to see what things I would like to continue from the previous month.

To give you a clear idea of how I do this, here is a real life look at my goals and what I do daily, weekly and monthly to create balance in my life and heart.

Encouraging Words & Top Priority

On top of each month, there is a space to write encouraging words to yourself and to declare your top priority.  Usually my words remind me of patience and to resist perfectionism.

Monthly Goals

When it comes to monthly goal setting, my monthly goals tend to change from month to month and are goals that usually take a little more time.  I usually take a photography class, complete a Bible study, having a photo session with my girls, and read at least two books for leisure each month, as a way of carving out time for myself.  Those four goals are consistent, but other goals change from month to month based on projects I am working on.  Things like planning birthday parties, putting together Easter baskets, or working on an eBook are other things that I would put in the monthly goal category.

Next to each goal is a progress bar, which is my favorite part.  My husband and I are both really motivated by progress bars so he understands my joy when I monitor my monthly progress with my monthly goal setting.   The progress bar is so encouraging because it is a visual way to see where you are spending your time and what areas could use a little more time, throughout the month.

Weekly Goals

My weekly goals actually tend to be the same each month, as I have found these weekly things have really created balance for me.  It’s important to understand that when you find something that works, it’s okay to repeat it!  Ride that train!  It took me awhile to really develop my system for weekly goals but they really work for me and make me feel balanced.

  • Dedicated time to myself: every week, I intentionally take some time to myself.  My husband knows of this weekly goal and encourages me every weekend to take some mama time, where I head out for a couple hours all on my own to do something completely for myself.  Whether it’s get a pedicure or browse Target aisles by myself, it’s a time to fill my cup.  No grocery shopping or errands, but something for me.
  • Blog: I like to be intentional about blogging once a week, as it encourages me to keep up with my editing and helps encourage me to keep my website active.
  • Clear email inbox by Friday: this is a huge business game changer for me, when balancing work and family.  I like to go into each weekend with a clear inbox so that I can truly be present with my family.  I like to make sure everything is buttoned up and responded to by Friday and literally delete everything in my inbox before going into my weekend.  It also ensures that my correspondence is always up to date with clients, collaborations, or bookkeeping.
  • Complete a nagging task: we all have those nagging tasks that we hate to do.  I like to pick one, each week, and tackle it.  Whether it is scheduling a doctor’s appointment, finishing an editing project, or writing a list of thank you notes, I make sure I tackle one dreaded task a week.  When nagging tasks linger, it can be really disruptive to long term progress so tackling them weekly really helps make time for the big stuff.
  • Purge and donate one area: I am big into organizing and maintaining order.  I like to pick one area of the house each week to tidy and, if necessary, purge.  Whether it is the mail station on the kitchen counter or the girls’ playroom, I pick something to organize and, if needed, donate or purge.  Keeping the house tidy and minimizing things really helps everything just run smoothly.

Daily Goals

Like my weekly goals, my daily goals have stayed the same for awhile now.  I have really found the perfect rhythm for myself that creates my version of balance.  Daily goals are meant to be completed and checked in on daily, allowing you to put a checkmark next to each goal/task in your goal planner.

  • Read Bible: I am a 5:00am riser and I love starting my day right, with coffee and my Bible.  Whether it is working on a Bible study or working on a daily reading (I am reading the Bible this year), I like to spend about 30 minutes to an hour with my Bible each morning, or day.  Faith is something that pours over into motherhood, being a wife and running a business and simply helps me.
  • Laundry: about 5-6 months ago I started doing one load of laundry a day to ensure laundry was never a stressor.  It works!  It usually takes me about 10 minutes a day and I have one load of laundry washed, dried, folded and put away usually before lunchtime.  This is a simple thing that ensures that our weekends aren’t full of chores and, instead, are full of meaningful family time.
  • Mama Prayer: making time daily to be grateful and pray has been really encouraging for me.  It also helps me manage my stress by literally giving worries to God.
  • Water: I drink 64 oz of water each day, simple as that.  At the New Year, I cut myself down to only one cup of coffee per day, and the rest of the day is water.
  • Patience: with a 1 year old and 2 year old, being intentional with patience really helps.

Monthly goal setting really helps me maintain balance in my life, and helps ensure that I take care of myself so that I can be the best mama and wife I can be.  When I am intentional with my own personal goals, it really helps me live my best life.  As mamas, we are always putting others before us.  We are the cooks, cleaners, carpoolers, boo-boo kissers, and comforters.  Monthly goal setting is a simple way that we can check in with ourselves and ensure that we are continuously thinking about our own personal goals.

Through the use of my goal planner, I have achieved so many goals that would have seemed nearly impossible for a mom of two little ones.  It is amazing how a goal planner can be so encouraging and powerful, allowing me to put my dreams on paper.  Little things like daily Bible readings turn into reading the entire Bible.  Little things like daily writing turn into published eBooks.  One thing that I have learned is that little things turn into big things, so small daily tasks are just as important as big goals.

Do yourself a favor and give monthly goal setting a chance.  I promise you that putting your goals on paper is so powerful in creating balance and making time in your life to do all the things that you love.

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

And to always be up to date with the latest photography tricks and inspiration, be sure to sign up for my free exclusive list!

Monthly Goal Setting : Things I Do Daily, Weekly and Monthly To Create Balance | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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  • Shauna | Linden & Lavender - This is quite a helpful post. 2019 is the first time that I have ever written down any goals (which are in a book in a drawer). But, I love the idea of revisiting them and having them broken down into monthly, weekly and daily goals. Thank you for providing your examples. ReplyCancel

    • {beth} a-dilly - That’s wonderful! Yes, I think having them out and visible is a really wonderful way to always check in with your goals.ReplyCancel

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes

When it comes to photo printing, I am asked repeatedly about my process.  And the fact that this question comes up so much is just a testament to how much everyone values the importance of printing their photos.  For this reason, I am more than happy to share my entire process to inspire you to finally get your family images off of your computer and into your hands.  Enjoy your memories, instead of ignoring them on a hard drive.  And one of the best ways to be intentional about printing your family memories is by creating family yearbooks.

Family yearbooks are like a year in review, spanning from January to December.  My family yearbooks all start with their first page in January and the last page is a family Christmas photo.  Because of the way I organize my family images in Lightroom, I can easily export my images in chronological order and create a photo book in no time at all.  In fact, I timed myself so that I could have an exact answer for you.  Once I selected my family images, it took me only 24 minutes to put them into the photo book.  Honest to goodness, it’s so easy!  And, for the many of you who find annual photo printing to be a daunting task, I am hear to tell you that it has never been easier.  I did mine before my girls woke up for the day, while leisurely sipping coffee.  If you are dreading the task of photo book printing, here are some actionable things you can do to make it so easy!

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

I collaborated with the wonderful Artifact Uprising to bring you this tutorial about photo book creation.

Only Export the Number of Images You Need

Trust me, this will make photo book making so much faster.  Once you decide on a photo book and the number of pages you want, only export enough images to fit the book.  I tell you this because if you export twice as many images as you need, then you are going to slow down your book making as you try to decide which images to use and which to cut.  Do the culling once and decide once!  For example, for my family yearbooks I decided to have 50 pages that contained a photo on each page.  This means I only needed 50 images.  As I was exporting in Lightroom, I made sure to only choose 50 images so that, once exported, all I had to do was put the images in the book and click Order!  For culling the 50 images, it probably took me about 25 minutes.  Add that to the 24 minutes it took me to make the photo book and I am still well under an hour in time!  Even though 50 images from an entire year doesn’t seem like much, it is surprisingly a lot of photos!  A friend once told me that it only takes one photo to take you back to a certain point in time, so I remember her wise words when I am culling my images for printing.

The reason why I chose this photo album was because I love how you can place the year in gold foil on the binding of each book.  When displayed, they look so beautiful and clean.  On the front of each album is our family name, which I find to be simple and classic.

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Think Joy

If you are having trouble culling your images, the faster the better.  As you go through your images, try to be quick about it and go with the images that immediately bring you joy or taking you back to a moment you really want to remember.  While I take a lot of photos of my girls (totaling over 1,000+ final images a year), there are always images that I love more than others.  For me, if I allow myself to overthink each photo…it can take me too long to cull.  Instead, I go through my Lightroom catalog fairly quickly and it helps me choose images with my heart.

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Hide Used Photos

Once you have uploaded your images and are making your family yearbook in Artifact Uprising, be sure to click “Hide Used Photos” in the bottom portion of the Editor screen.  Just check that box and I promise you it will save you so much time!  What this does is it removes images from your view once you have used them.  For me, working this way helps me to only focus on the images I still need to place in the book.  Instead of wasting time scrolling through what images I have and haven’t used, I am only looking at images that I still need to put into my family yearbook.

Filter Chronologically

Okay, here is the truth!  Making sure your images are in chronological order and hiding used photos are the two secrets to making a photo book in 24 minutes.  In the image above, make sure that the filter “Date taken, oldest first” is selected so that your images are in order.  For me, this means that my images start in January and end in December.  And just like that, you have taken all of the guess work and stress out of photo book making.  Because I like my family yearbooks to be in date order from the beginning of the year to the end, I simply start placing images into the book without having to guess which images go first.  Seriously, it’s a game changer.  And to be honest, I didn’t have to click this filter…it was already selected!

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Just Do It

I have just given you the secrets to creating a family yearbook in minutes, so just do it!  You know you’ve been wanting to and are tired of the task nagging at you.  And let me tell you, your family will thank you for it!  Honest to goodness, my husband is thrilled with our family yearbooks.  Our first family yearbook starts in 2016, when I was pregnant with our first and we have them yearly since then.  It is such a wonderful keepsake for your family and it is a testament to all of the time you put into photographing and editing your family images.

Please oh please, print your photos.  It breaks my heart to think about photos sitting, ignored on hard drives.  Your photos deserve so much more and Artifact Uprising not only makes photo book making so easy, but they create photo books that will stand the test of time.  I only use them to print my family yearbooks because they are classic and timeless, ensuring that I will love them just as much in 30 years as I do today.  And in 30 years, there will be a lot of beautiful photo books on my shelf with their corresponding year on the binding.  I can’t hardly wait to browse through years of images one day because I took the time today to preserve our family memories.

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

And to always be up to date with the latest photography tricks and inspiration, be sure to sign up for my free exclusive list!

Family Yearbooks: How I Make My Yearly Photo Books in 24 Minutes | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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  • Chasity - I will definitely be printing a family album now! I am a classic over-thinker and this post helped me realize how simple this task can be. Thanks!ReplyCancel

    • {beth} a-dilly - Yay! I am so glad that this inspired you to print! You will be so happy you did and there is no better time than now to start! And yes, so glad I am not the only over-thinker!ReplyCancel

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized

When it comes to organizing Lightroom, I do the same thing over and over again.  One thing to note about organization is that it looks different for everyone and everyone has a different system that works for them.  Some people love creating collections and folders within Lightroom, but that has never been my thing.  So if you have a system that works for you, that is so wonderful!  If you need a little inspiration for organizing Lightroom simply, I will share what I do for an idea of what to consider.  To keep my family photos organized so that I can quickly print, share, blog, and make photo books with my images, I do one thing religiously.  And I do it both for personal family images and for client work.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

This post contains some affiliate links, which means I get a commission for items purchased through the link.  Thank you in advance for supporting my blog so I can continue inspiring you with new content.

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Every year, on January 1st, I create a brand new Lightroom catalog.  To create a new catalog, you will simply open any catalog in Lightroom, click FILE, click NEW CATALOG, and there you go!  Once you do that you are prompted to name the catalog; I always name mine after the year, such as “2019.”  For me, this is how my brain works.  I think in terms of years.  When I need to locate a family photo, for some reason I always remember the year more than anything else, which makes it easy for me to quickly open the correct catalog and locate the desired image(s).  Yes, I totally know that Lightroom has a folder system that could make my organization even better, but I have never felt the need to utilize it.  In fact, I am going to try it out this year just to see how I like it…just so I can know if it could be worth the extra step.

So, why do I create a new catalog each year?  Aside from it being a simple way for me to locate images, there are many other reasons why I do this.

Makes Photo Book Making Effortless

At the end of each year, I make a family photo book and having separate Lightroom catalogs by year makes it really easy to choose images to place within the book.  Because my catalogs begin with January images and end with December images, it’s easy to export chronologically and quickly put them into a photo book to print.

Encourages Complete Editing

There is something to be said about a brand new, empty Lightroom catalog on January 1st.  It’s a chance to start over.  One thing I am really good at is keeping up with editing.  It’s not to say I have never fallen behind because Lord knows I have and will in the future.  But when I fall behind, I intentionally make time in my day to catch up.  It may take more than one sitting (more like a week’s worth), but I make sure to catch up.  I know this is a huge struggle for most and I totally understand.  Editing can be a stinker.  I think knowing how quickly editing can pile up has always encouraged me to stay on top of it and I always start the year off with the previous year’s images completely edited.

When color coding in Lightroom, I code my images PURPLE once they are completely edited, as it allows me to visually see what is edited and what still needs work.  (As you can see above, all the images are PURPLE, meaning they are in their final state and ready for print).  I think having a year’s worth of images at a time can encourage editing because it can help make editing a goal.  If you make it a goal to finish your previous year’s editing before starting the new year’s catalog, it’s amazing at how encouraging that can be.

Need help catching up with editing last year’s images or want to learn about how to be better with managing editing this year?  Be sure to read How To Catch Up On Editing Photos : 5 Habits That Make Editing Effortless.

It’s Just Safer

In my opinion, having a separate Lightroom catalog for each year is simply safer.  I am a firm believer in not putting all of my eggs in one basket, and the same goes with my images.  If the unimaginable happens and something happens to a Lightroom catalog, I would much rather lose one year’s worth of images than years and years worth.  Let’s be real, I would be devastated to lose even a single year, but it would truly be better than losing every single image I ever took.  For this reason, having several smaller Lightroom catalogs, organized by calendar year, makes more sense to me.

On a photography business note, I create a brand new Lightroom catalog for each session I take, naming the catalog the client’s last name, session type, month and year.  For example: Smith Newborn January 2019.  I start with the client’s last name so that I can easily locate the catalog in the future, should I need to use some of the images.  While I shared that I organize my personal images by year and my client images by last name, it’s because with clients I am more likely to remember their name than the year I photographed them.

If you are interested in taking clients and learning more about family photography, be sure to read The Family Photograph: Unlocking the Secrets To Successful Lifestyle Family Sessions.  And if you are interested in lifestyle newborn photography, you definitely need to check out The Ultimate Newborn Session Guide Bundle.

I know that organizing Lightroom can seem a little daunting and I know many have asked me to share my approach for image organization.  But that is truly it!  It is pretty simple and quick and I keep all of my images in Lightroom until I need to export them for a project.  If you are struggling with organizing Lightroom and keeping all of your photos edited, don’t stress about the past and just look forward.  It’s a new year and that means it is a great chance to start a new organization system that might work better this year.  Don’t let organizing Lightroom stress you out this year, you’ve got this!

To read more about our everyday to inspire your own everyday and photography, be sure to check out the posts that are trending below.

And to always be up to date with the latest photography tricks and inspiration, be sure to sign up for my free exclusive list!

Organizing Lightroom: How To Keep Family Photos Organized | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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  • Catherine - Thank you for explaining this:)  I also like to label things by year and then by month but I do it in folders rather than catalogues so I may have to change this since it means everything is in the one spot.  I really struggle with the fact that I have all of my photos on my computer and now no space to store any more:(  Do you export yours somewhere else also?  And when your computer is getting full do you delete photos?  I would be really interested in your approach to photo storage:)ReplyCancel

    • {beth} a-dilly - Hello Catherine! I am definitely trying out the labeling this year and, since my catalogs are organized by year, I am going to label by month: event. Such as FEBRUARY: VALENTINES. Can’t wait to see if I like it! When it comes to photo storage, I never delete files. Here is a post I wrote about how I store photos to keep them safe http://bethadilly.com/the-ultimate-photo-storage-solution/. Enjoy!ReplyCancel

      • Catherine - Thank you for explaining that for me I do appreciate it:)  I will most definitely be getting a new storage system for backing up but what to do with my computer…. I have no more room for all of my gorgeous family pics:(ReplyCancel

        • {beth} a-dilly - You are so welcome! Happy to inspire and help! And yes, make room for more photos of your beautiful family!ReplyCancel

Valentines For Toddler Girls

If you have been following me for more than 3 minutes, you know that I love holidays.  And Valentine’s Day is one of my favorites because it is when my love story with my husband truly began.  It’s a special day for us and I can’t wait for the girls to be old enough to here all about our beginning days.  When thinking about Valentines for toddler girls (I have two toddlers now!), I focused more on what they need right now.  To be honest, toddlers like opening just about anything at this age so I tried to think of a couple items that would make the holiday fun, but be practically used.  If you need some Valentines for toddler girls, try thinking of some things that they truly need.  Below are a few ideas to get you started.

For a complete guide on how I photograph my baby girl’s first year, be sure to read The First Twelve.  And to learn how I document our everyday moments between milestones, be sure to read The Everyday Photograph.

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Valentines For Toddler Girls

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Our Valentine’s month has been really special.  The girls and I pulled out our Valentine’s box and decorated the playroom with heart garland and my oldest had a lot of fun putting hearts on the windows all by herself.  Every day, she sees all of the hearts and says, “Valen-times Day!”  It’s been really fun bringing out all of our Valentine’s Day books and watching her understand more about the holiday this year.  Our littlest, being just one year old, doesn’t know what’s going on but is definitely feeding off all of her sister’s excitement, making this month really sweet.  At one point, I looked over and found the baby completely decorated with Valentine’s stickers all over her clothes…courtesy of her oldest sister.  And to be even sweeter, they have loved playing with their felt hearts and passing them back and forth to one another, “giving Valentines.”

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

As I do about every 3 months, I recently Marie Kondo’d the house.  One area that I really simplified was the girls’ kitchen cupboard that has all of their plates, cups, and bowls.  Everything in the cupboard had a really good run, and I decided it was time to simplify the space and replace their plates and bowls.  I got these plates and these bowls, that are easily stackable.  Plus, they look really nice and clean in the cupboard because everything matches.  I say all of this to say, in the girls’ Valentines boxes, they each got the matching spoons and forks that complete the place setting.  One got the spoons, the other the forks.  🙂

The girls can always use new pajamas, so I found some cute ballerina pajamas for my oldest who loves everything ballerina.  And for my littlest, I found some swan pajamas that were just too cute to leave at the store.  Pajamas are always a wonderful gift because they are something that are always being outgrown, especially when at the toddler age.  My goodness, it seems as if they grow during nap time!  Plus, introducing fun new prints is fun, as our oldest really likes making choices on what she wears and it’s a fun language building opportunity when she is picking out her pajamas.

To add a little more fun, we wear bows daily and we wear them hard!  Bows are always a good gift for the girls because they are used every day and it’s always fun to introduce new colors.  Our favorite bow shop sent the girls these bows for each of the girls’ Valentine boxes and they were the perfect item to complete their little gift.  Finally, a little stuffed unicorn for their playroom as a final bit of fun.

I like to keep Valentines simple, giving them enough to make it a fun day but not go too overboard.  I think focusing on needs really helped make their boxes practical, while making it a fun surprise for the girls.

Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

Valentines for Toddler Girls Source List

valentine boxes | can be purchased here

pink box filler | can be purchased here

ballerina pajamas  | can be purchased here

swan pajamas | can be purchased here

spoon set | can be purchased here

fork set | can be purchased here

matching plates | can be purchased here

matching bowls | can be purchased here

large hair bows | courtesy of cammi and co

small pigtail bow sets | courtesy of cammi and co

plush unicorn | similar item here

Putting together little Valentines for toddler girls has proven to be a lot of fun and I hope this helps inspire your gift giving in the future!  I hope your Valentine’s day is full of fun and love…and chocolate!

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Valentines For Toddler Girls | Bethadilly Photography | www.bethadilly.com

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