My Memories Suite - Review and Giveaway

Scrapbooking has always been something I loved - the idea, of it anyway. I have a dear friend who does amazing things with stamps and papers and brads and buttons... but I can never seem to reach the levels of creativity she does. I love the look of scrapbooks, and I've bought some supplies, but never seem to have the space, or time to do it. Or other things that prevent getting down to it, like little fingers that love to touch things that you're trying to use, or littles that need to sit on your lap just when you'd like to get started on a project.Recently I was asked to review My Memories Suite, a digital scrapbook program. I jumped at the chance, thinking that maybe I could finally get all our photos organized into pretty albums. I don't know anything about digital scrapbooking, so I was a little nervous about it. Once I opened the program, all the buttons and gadgets looked overwhelming, but I discovered that it is actually very easy to use. Most of the buttons are icons, so it's obvious what the application is. I was impressed with the amount of attention given to each item that could be added to the page - (I can bevel and shadow and fill AND shape my text?? Wow!!)

Here you can see a couple of pages I made with the software. The first page is made from scratch. I chose the corrugated background paper, then added the photos, then embellished with the flower, button, ribbon, staple, and text. Adding photos to a page is easy: you just drag pictures from a folder on your computer, and drop them onto the page. The second image here is from a template in an Autumn-themed album. I just dragged and dropped the images into the spaces for photos, then replaced sample text with my own.
LinkI'm excited to get to know more of the features in this program. For instance, you can add a video, or even background music to your album for a multimedia experience! I can see the albums made with all these features making great gifts for our boys' grandparents, who live far away. It's also nice to actually have a book in your hand to look at, so at My Memories you have the option of printing out a photobook as well, or even a calendar. Turn your pages into a jpg and get them printed as cards, photos, or put them on your blog, like I did!

Buy it!
My Memories has given me a special code for my readers to use towards their purchase of this software. Use the code STMMMS23143 at checkout to receive $10 off your purchase, plus a $10 coupon to use at the MyMemories.com store - a $20 value!

Win it!
One reader will receive My Memories Suite absolutely free! To enter, please go to www.MyMemories.com, choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, come back here and leave a comment below telling me what it is.

For extra entries, you may "like" My Memories on facebook, follow them on their blog, or on twitter. Leave a seperate comment below for each like or follow, telling me that you did.

The winner will be randomly chosen Monday, October 17th.

Thanks, My Memories, for giving me the opportunity to try your software for free! All the best, dear readers, with the contest!


Eighteen Months

A year and a half. He has his own will, and is not afraid to exert it. Demanding and grumpy if he doesn't get his way. Just the other day he actually stamped his foot when he was told "no." We love him though, and think we'll keep him. ;) He has the best giggles, and gets excited about pretty much everything. Always curious, wants to see everything that's going on. Climbs anything, as he is a little more adventurous than his brother. He loved slides before C-note ever did. He now uses two- and three-word sentences. Despite his independent nature, he doesn't like going to the nursery at church and clings tightly to Mommy, but is usually fine after a few minutes, as long as someone has attention engaged.


First Part of Our Trip

I'm finally posting the rest of the photos from our family trip to Jasper. Hope you enjoy them!
Two eager kids, ready to go! (I won't show you the pictures I took of them after a few hours of driving - don't want to embarrass them too much...)
After about four hours later, we arrived at Tekarra Lodge, where we had booked a tiny cabin for the night. Much to the boys' relief there was a little playground about ten steps away. Then we stretched our legs on a trail that ran along the river.

The view from the trail. With conveniently placed Adirondack chairs.After our walk, A-team went for a nap, and C-note and I climbed down to the milky-blue ice cold river and skipped stones, watching river rafters go by.It took some convincing to get this photo. He wasn't quite sure about these totem pole creatures at first.
Our little cabin. The inside.
Miette River
That afternoon we went to Athabasca Falls and Pyramid Island. We could walk to the island on a bridge constructed over the lake.
Sitting on a bench on Pyramid Island.
I thought the mountain framed in the mirror looked neat...
On the drive down
Imagine seeing mountains every day, like the people living here!
Some goats crossing the road.
On the other side.

More Canning

Apple Butter. After burning (scorching really badly because I was cooking a chicken dinner at the same time and forgot) the first batch on the stove I used a slow cooker another. For those of you without a Dutch background, it's basically applesauce that has been cooked down so it's nice and thick and spreadable. Flavoured with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg and brown sugar. Delicious on toast. And it got the C-note's stamp of approval. Bonus!
Peaches! 16 half-litre bottles from a 9kg box. I haven't canned them before but it was pretty easy once I got the hang of it. Time consuming, but worth it.
I have only done jam before, and I canned tomatoes once, so I thought I would try my hand at a couple of other things. It's always satisfying to see the results of all the cooking and preparing. We don't have a big freezer, so I have to can rather than preserving them that way. I don't even have a canner (I just use a big soup pot) so if canning intimidates you, don't let it! It's so easy! I use Bernardin's Guide to Home Preserving, and the instructions are simple.


Apple Picking and Saucing and Baking OH MY!

Me in a tree! Ah, just like the old days, when I was a young'un.
The kidlets "helping" pick apples.Pink! But it turned brown after canning.Apple crumble! A lot of it!
After all that cooking and mess-making, I am very thankful for my dishwasher. I LOVE YOU KEN(more)!