May 08, 2019

The Last Minute Meaningful Mother's Day Gift Mom Truly Wants

A more meaningful Mother's Day gift idea...

Giving Gifts that Matter

As I’ve mentioned, a few months ago, my house flooded. To this day, the house remains unlivable. Some of my belongings were lost, and most of my remaining belongs are in storage.

Do you know what I’ve learned crystal clearly? Stuff is just stuff. When water was raining down from my third floor to my second floor and my first floor, I didn’t run through the house grabbing for material possessions. My only goal was to salvage that which mattered: the irreplaceable, meaningful items like photos and art and such.

This whole chapter of life has made me much more cognizant of what matters most. Memorializing those special family memories in a photo album is a great way to relive those happy moments over and over! So, as a single mom, to celebrate Mother’s Day this year, I gave myself a gift — the gift of reliving some of the happiest memories I’ve had with my daughter Elle in the past almost two years.

Keep scrolling for photos of our book and step-by-step instructions on how to make your own in less than an our, plus an incredible offer for you all from my friends at Mixbook!

How to Create a Family Photo Album in Less than One Hour

Now, before I get into the DIY details of how to make a photo album, let’s just pause for a second… As a former scrapbooker, I can tell you that making a photo album the old school way (with paper and glue and all the other requisite supplies) could take me months! So, let’s just take a moment to give thanks to the technology gods that we now can create something beautiful and meaningful in a fraction of the time.

Now without further ado… Let me show you how to make a photo album in less than an hour!

Step 1: Decide on a theme

Decide what you want to document… Sure, you can do a birthday or a holiday or a vacation. But can I challenge you with a different theme idea?

Try documenting the everyday moments of life.

The unstaged, uneditered, unfiltered, real, raw moments of life. There is such beauty in the everyday, though often we overlook it.

I took myself up on this challenge… For this photo album, rather than documenting a beautifully photographed occasion, I decided to go with a super simple theme: selfies of Elle and me.

These photos aren’t fancy. They are just those real life moments when I held out my iPhone to capture us as we are. From her first day of life to last weekend, these are a few of our everyday moments.

Step 2: Pick out a template

Once you decide on what memories you are going to preserve, the next step is to pick out a photo album template. Mixbook has a ton of templates. In fact, you might remember me using a template by Amy Tan.

But this time, I wanted to try out one of the new Oh Joy! x Mixbook books. The Oh Joy! templates are filled with her signature pretty, colorful, whimsical style. I used the Color Block template option.

Step 3: Round up all your photos

This step sometimes intimidates people. But don’t make this step harder than it needs to be!

Did you know that your iPhone photo library has all sorts of search capabilities now? So, for my album, I just searched for selfies containing Elle and Carrie. Next, I simply put all those together in an album, and then uploaded that album to Mixbook. Voila!

Step 4: Drag and drop photos into the template

Really, this step couldn’t be any simpler. Mixbook even offers an auto-fill option. But in my case, I wanted to arrange photos in chronological order and group similar photos. Even with me picking and choosing what to put where, I was done in no time!

Step 5: Add some personalized text

With this template, there was basic cute word art included. But then I also had the flexibility to add a few details — dates, captions, a little journaling, and so on and so forth.

Step 6: Press order

Once you are happy with your book, just press order! Actually, you have a few more decisions to make — size, style of cover, style of pages, etc.

My advice: don’t cheap out on this step. If you’re going through all this effort, make it special. I opted for the 8.5 x 8.5 inch hardcover with the lay-flat pages. This is the first time I chose the lay-flat pages, and I couldn’t love them more! They are so durable. Plus, they just look “high-end”.

One more important note:

Mixbook is offering you all 50% off your first book with the code CARRIEC50.

Yes, you read that right — 50 percent off! 

Offer expires 6/30/19.

Step 7: Eagerly stalk your mailbox!

I’m not kidding — you will be so excited for your photo album to arrive that you’ll be tracking the shipping online and then waiting for your mailman. Ha. It’s that good.

The Ultimate Gift

Truly, the ultimate gift for this mom is watching my child flip through the pages of this book.Doing life with her is my favorite. We smile and laugh and cuddle and talk as we relive our memories. That, my friends, is priceless.

A Few Last Considerations

Have I convinced you to create your own photo book of family memories? Don’t forget…

Mixbook is offering you all 50% off your first book with the code CARRIEC50.

Offer expires 6/30/19.

Now, given that Mother’s Day is almost here, the ordering deadlines have passed to get your book in time to give Mom on Sunday. But don’t let that hold you back! Trust me – Mom will love this gift at any time. Or maybe you can even consider one for Father’s Day next month.

In any event, don’t delay! Spending one hour making a photo book will bring years of smiles to you and your family.

Special thanks to Mixbook for partnering with me on this post. My promise to you is that I only work with brands whom I truly admire and authentically love and use myself — and Mixbook is one of those outstanding companies! By supporting my partners like Mixbook, you help make creative, colorful content here possible. 

Style notes: On Carrie – Olivia Rubin Mila pink dress (c/o); on Elle – Mi Golondrina (c/o)

Photos shot by Traci Ling at Cafe Poetes



    1. Thanks a bunch, Amy! I know you share my love for Mixbook.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *