ABOUT NICOLE

 
Nicole_Reaves.jpg

Hey! I’m Nicole Reaves.
I'm a wife, a mama to one of each, and a life-long Michigander.


intentional memory keeping for women who crave less.


I've been a blogger for 10 years and a scrapbooker even longer. My obsession with paper actually began after college when my mom and I started making cards. In the years that followed, I transitioned into scrapbooking. Then creating weekly Project Life spreads, then more layouts, then mini books. Lots of mini books. I was making + buying all the things, and proud of it. But, it came with some consequences that I'll share in a moment.

Also, since 2012 I've had the honor of working for, collaborating with and teaching classes for many of the prominent scrapbooking companies we know + love today. I'm so grateful for those experiences as they've allowed me to stretch my creative wings, experiment with my style + explore the projects that define what I'm truly all about.

I originally created this blog as a place to share the memory keeping projects I was making + how I put them together. I still do that - to an extent - only with fewer projects and at a slower, more sustainable pace. 

What changed?

Near the end of 2015, I began experiencing some major ebbs and flows. Challenges in my personal life and in this creative hobby resulted in persistent burnout, overwhelm and comparison which caused me to second guess everything I was doing and making. During the years prior, I found myself :

  • making projects because my favorite scrapbookers were. They didn't feel like me at all.
  • buying kits for just 1-2 products I "had to have" while the rest sat, sadly, unused. There was way too much stuff.
  • signing up for classes because they'd never be available again, yet I never finished the lessons, or never touched them. Hello digital graveyard.

I had lost my self. My "why" in a hobby I once did just for fun. All in the name of more.

Often I carried a general feeling of blah and would battle with myself to either power through and just create something, or close the door and take a break. Ultimately the break won, and as I was figuring out what to do with myself, I stepped away from the blog, deleted Instagram off my phone and purged over half of my stash in hopes of rekindling my scrapbooking spark.

Then in 2016, my mom was diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer.
And I began dealing with my own health issues.

Priorities shifted and I wondered if I'd ever open that door and scrapbook again.
I questioned everything.

Why am I doing this?
Why do I have all of this stuff?
Does this even matter?

In the fall of 2017, I took a good hard look at what I loved about this hobby and what needed to change if I were to continue both making + sharing online again. What it boiled down to was that I wanted less, but better, in pretty much every area of my life. 

I’m still here and I’m still scrapbooking.

I am, however, much more intentional about the projects I start and the product I purchase these days. My focus is on the words + photos, and less on the stuff around them. I’m also not promoting any specific products or brands at this time. What I use here is from my well-loved stash, and likely several years old. I love it just the same.

Besides what I’m working on, I also love writing about organization, goals, habits and routines, so you'll see posts within those topics popping up here too. There are an abundance of books out there on focus and goal setting, creating habits and decluttering - but I like to share what I know and what’s working for me within the memory keeping world.

As for the why. Why did you purge so much of your stash? Why do you want less? Why aren't you making as much as you used to? Most of that I save for my email newsletter because I’ve found it to be a more intimate place to share personal stories. Consider each issue like a little letter from me, in your inbox, to read at your leisure, then delete or respond if you feel so inclined. I love hearing from my newsletter readers.

If you are craving less too, then welcome.
You are in the right place and I'm so happy you are here.

If you are overwhelmed, or burned out, or feeling less than awesome because life happens and you just can’t keep up with everyone else, then consider this your invitation to join me and slow down. It's really nice over here.

Because what I want for you is to feel nothing but joy in the projects you are creating + the products you are purchasing. Not guilt. Not FOMO. Just joy.

I want to see you make what is important to you. You and only you.

Maybe what you find here now, and in the coming months, will give you a gentle nudge to think about why you do what you do as well. Not just in your scrapbooking projects, but in life in general, because you have a life to live too! I’m learning what is important to me and I want to help you do the same. If you want to read more about what I’m all about right now, you may also enjoy the personal manifesto I wrote here.

Whether you just prefer simple projects focused on words + photos, or you are rethinking the projects on your table and products in your own stash, I hope you enjoy what I share here. Check out a few of my favorites below!


SOME OF MY FAVORITE BLOG POSTS :


SOME OF MY FAVORITE PROJECTS :


ELSEWHERE ON THE WEB :

classes // I teach two classes at Big Picture Classes - both focused on how to document your child's school life by creating simple, memorable and easy-to-maintain albums. You can check them out here - School Days and Catching Up with School Days

shop // I created the 20 Questions Birthday Interview Book for Kids and sell a softcover bound version, as well as DIY printables in my Etsy shop. If you have young children and very little time for traditional scrapbooking, you will love this tradition! Check it out here.

And if you ever want to say hi, share your story or ask me a question, please don't hesitate to contact me privately here.


photo by David Sherry of Death to the Stock Photo + Creative Caffeine