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I'm so glad you are here. I'm Elizabeth and this is the blog. This is the space I tend to. The place I share my heart and our stories. I pack these pages full of tips, stories, adventures, travels, outfits, and recipes. It's a little bit of everything and a whole lot of me. My hope is that these words & photos would encourage & inspire you. That being here will brighten things at least a little bit. Please stick around & explore. There is something here for everyone! Click through the categories below for more! 

A Yearbook for 2016

Thank you Mixbook for sponsoring this post.

When I started my blog 6.5 years ago, it was to document my life. I wanted a way to share pictures from studying in Northern Ireland with my mom and have a place I could look back on to remember. I’ve been a scrapbooker as long as I can remember (seriously, I’ve got some great ones I made in elementary school) and I’ve been obsessed with taking photos of the people I love and the places I go. I’ve got boxes upon boxes (ask Bruce) of photos I’ve taken on disposable cameras & ones I printed once I got my first ever digital camera my senior year of high school (it was a big deal people, big deal!) The point is, my photos are some of the most dear positions I own. They tell stories, evoke memories, and bring up all kinds of emotion and this blog has always been a place to let them live.

As I was looking back on my blog for my recap of 2016, I realized I had taken so many pictures. This blog has stretched me and pushed me toward better photography. Not just composition, manual camera settings, and editing but also the content and the moments I capture. I’ve wanted to grow in my photography skills so I’ve invested in better equipment (like my Nikon D700) and I’ve carried that camera around everywhere. I take photos at home, with friends, on trips, and to all the family events. I take pictures to remember – not just the selfies and the staged family photo on a timer – but everything & the in between. Our lives and how we live them.

Like I was saying, I have a 2016 folder on my computer divided up by months. A whole year of pictures that I’ve taken and shared – some on Instagram, some on my Facebook for family to see, and most on my blog. They live digitally – in folders and on servers. Which honestly is incredible but there is still something about those boxes of photos & that stack of old scrapbooks. They are physical and they are real.

I found the box of all my scrapbooks (majority unfinished – oops!) & yearbooks from highschool as Bruce and I were cleaning and organizing our office (just trying to make room for two desks, a photo studio, and an etsy store over here). I got lost in my memories of years past – the stack of yearbooks all at least a decade old. I flipped from page to page and laughed as I read the comments –  “I signed your crack,” “HAGS,” and funny stories from the year.  I wanted more of that.

So I took all those organized pictures on my computer and I set out to make a yearbook for us. A yearbook that wasn’t trying to fit the memories of 1200 kids in one book – but one centered around our family of two and the wonderful people we share life with. A Mayberry yearbook. A giant scrapbook of 2016 without having to print and scrapbook it all (praise!) I logged in Mixbook and set out to make one of my favorite ideas ever.

Using Mixbook to create my yearbook was not only easy but fun! I picked a layout and went to town, uploading a month of photos at a time. I even saved my project multiple times to come back later which is a HUGE plus to making a yearbook on Mixbook. When I finally got to the end of December, I sent it to be printed. I knew I was going to love it when it arrived in the mail but I didn’t know how much I would love it. As I started flipping page to page, my eyes filled up with tears. A whole year of our lives in my hands – the trips, the parties, the gatherings, and the everyday.

I picked the hardcover lay-flat style of photobook so that I could leave it on my coffee table as a book for friends to look through when they come over. Already so many friends and family have smiled, laughed, and teared up while looking through the yearbook. Photos in print evoke emotion. Photos in hand tell stories. And I started a new tradition for the Mayberry family – I’m now just debating on whether or not to have people sign it 😉

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  • I absolutely love this idea! One of my goals for 2017 is better photo organization, instead of leaving so many photos in my “instagram” google drive folder.. or worse yet still on the SD card! This is such great motivation.

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! I organize my photos by year 2017 then into the month January and then within that folder I label every thing in folders – Mixbook Post, Florida Trip (organized further), Snow Pics… etc. It is actually pretty simple and I LOVE it! hahah. So easy. You’ve got this!!! This is kind of like your one second video!! But in yearbook format!

  • Love this idea so much! Definitely going to check this site out and start one. Yay for the memories!

    • Oak & Oats

      Thanks so much!! I LOVE it and I am so glad I did it! I am seriously making one every year! I need to!

  • What an amazing idea! I want one! 🙂

    Katie | Willow and White

    • Oak & Oats

      Do it!!

  • This is such a great idea! I always loved getting my yearbooks from school and I treasure them. I may have to do this for 2017, which means I’ll have to actually take some pictures of my life, lol. I love the crisp easy-ness of your blog by the way!

    • Oak & Oats

      I know! I treasure my yearbooks too! You shoudl totally make it a goal for 2017!

  • LOVE this! and with my goal of wanting to photograph more of our life this year this will be great motivation!

    • Oak & Oats

      YAY! You should TOTALLY Do it!

  • I love Mixbook. I took advantage of their November sale to make a photobook of our Western vacation for my mom for Christmas. Everyone loved it. Now I need to make one for me. I definitely want to use Mixbooks instead of scrapbooks; I got overwhelmed with all the stuff. I’m going to have to go back and get all my old photos though.

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! Now that we don’t have to scrapbook to get our photos in a book, it is the best! You totally should make one for yourself!

  • What a meaningful book for you to have since you and Bruce love photography so much!! How fun! 🙂

    • Oak & Oats

      Yes! We love it so much!

  • Lesley

    May I ask how many pages your final book was? I have thousands of pictures – google photos is awesome but I have to remember to get the ones from my good camera uploaded to them.

    • Oak & Oats

      My book was 88 pages!! hahah! It was a lot but it’s also a yearbook – so they are supposed to be big &heavy 😉 HAHA! You should totally make one!

  • You’re such a good writer. 🙂 And I think you should have people sign it! (Especially the little ones, so you can see how their handwritings change!)

    http://www.madisontaylor.co

    • Oak & Oats

      Thank you so much Madison! I am totally having people sign it!! And yes, gah! That would be so sweet! Now I just need to get some nice pens in… off to Amazon to order some sharpies 😉

  • Stephanie Davis

    Beth!!! This is brilliant! I want to do one for my 30 before 30 bucket list, but I love the idea of a yearly one! I think you just inspired me!!! Love you, friend!

    • Oak & Oats

      I love that idea! How fun to do that for such a fun challenge! I know you will love looking back on that! I love doing a yearly book because it is fun to see all that happens in one year!!