Momma Told Me: Chronicle Cherished Memories With A Handmade Keepsake Box This Valentine's Day

Friday, February 1, 2013

Chronicle Cherished Memories With A Handmade Keepsake Box This Valentine's Day

Momma Told Me: Memories are fleeting without history to record them.

It seems like, as soon as Christmas and New Years wrap, I begin preparing and brainstorming for Valentine's Day. This is one holiday, in particular, I prefer to spend more hands on time, over money and materials. Not only did everyone already receive the bulk of their personal 'wish list' during the holidays, but there is simply something much more meaningful in a personalized, hand-made gift. Momma taught me that there is never a reason someone should go unrecognized, even amidst a personal funds shortage. I made and gave gifts to all of my extended family for each and every holiday of note, right through my teenage years. I don't have a chance to craft as much these days, but I do like to make something for those closest to me, at least once a year. One of the biggest connections we humans posses in modern times is the constant stream of media creating a virtual timeline of our lives. Now, more than ever, we can truly preserve memories with visual cues; also more vulnerable to disappearance than ever before. That is to say we take thousands of pictures each year, and it seems so few exist in a tangible capacity. What if your SD card were to break, or a hard drive to crash? Having a physical record of these photos and mementos can be a valuable record of one's life or relationship.
When January rolled around this year I knew instantly that I wanted to create some sort of physical record of my relationship to give to Jeremy for Valentine's Day. Printing photos and photo gifts is always convenient and affordable, for me, at Walgreens; but I'd yet to experience the picture printing function of their new Mobile APP. Free for both of my primary digital devices, an Android phone and Apple iPad2, I already relied on the Walgreens App to keep track of my Balance Rewards and request prescription refills. Convenient one-stop shops such as Walgreens offer vital services such as an extended hour pharmacy and in house photo lab so I can shop while my prescriptions are filled and photos printed. But it's much more than a convenience, Balance Rewards add the extra element of loyalty rewards through discounts and cash back on purchases I had to make anyway keeping me #HappyHealthy and on time. Why wouldn't I save time and money while at Walgreens? While in the car waiting to pick Sabrina up from school the other day I had a chance to pull photos from my Facebook, Instagram, and iPad, and send them directly to the Walgreens photo department for prints.
Because my Walgreens App already has my rewards card linked to it, and my preferred (local) Walgreens on hand, placing the order was as easy as tapping my photos and choosing print sizes. I also had the option to order canvas or poster sized prints; though the extensive catalog of Walgreens photo gifts is primarily available online at this time. In fact, Walgreens.com shoppers can take advantage of The 14 Gifts of Valentine's Promotion, which features a different photo gift deal each day. At the time of this post the promotion was Buy One Get One Photo Mugs, though you'll need to log on each day to learn the next amazing deal. Ordering photo cards and prints through the Walgreens app will allow for in-store pick up as soon as within an hour, while online photo gifts can be picked up in store often within 3-4 days. This means an inspired photo gift can be put together, thanks to Walgreens, as soon as the day of, and before, Valentine's Day- don't let a time constraint crush your creativity!
After I'd placed my photo order through the Walgreens App I received an immediate confirmation email in my inbox, followed by printing notifications, and a pick-up reminder. We headed to our local Walgreens and had our prints, and photo card, in hand in just over an hour (though they were ready sooner). Picking up our photos was as easy as approaching the photo service counter and providing the name in which the order had been placed. Because I paid through the app, no other payment or confirmation was necessary, though we stuck around to pick up some additional Valentine's essentials to fill in my gift for Jeremy. Armed with my smartphone and the Walgreens App I could browse a digital version of the current promotional ad, and even directly scan and search for inventory sold online. This feature served as a great tool with some items missing prices, which pulled up on the website in a flash. I have to say the entire aisle of Valentine's gifts, packaging, and sweets was a bit overwhelming, but ensured we had the perfect selection for Jeremy- there was literally something for everyone.
For my (not so) Top Secret (now) gift, I had planned on taking a generic 'card box', and hand decorating it with memorable images and phrases. The ultimate intent being that this would be an ongoing time capsule of our relationship and the memories we've shared. Of course I planned on helping begin the Keepsake Memory Box with some letters from the infancy of our relationship, old cards, and my newly printed pictures. While any box really would do for this project, I find 'card boxes' often designated for weddings and receptions, to be quite suitable, as they already have a slot cut in the lid (which is entirely removable). The hexagonal box I'd selected easily popped together with peel off tape guides, and provided plenty of space for letters, cards, photos, and knick knacks of personal meaning- and, of course, my Valentine's goodies. When I was ordering my prints on the APP, I'd noticed that I could choose from several print sizes, including 'wallet,' which turned out to be 4 wallet sized shots on a 4"x6". I had a few of these printed so I could stash some of the extras in my own wallet, and use for additional projects at a later date.
To decorate my Keepsake Box I copied some of my favorite images, old concert stubs, a few Facebook screenshots, and photo strips, and cut them out. I then took these pieces and arranged them around the various panels, using a simple glue stick to fix them. Next I took some acrylic paint and outlined them with bold black borders, and personalized the top with our favorite quote and names. There truly is no limit to the amount of detail that can be added to this concept- but I kept things fairly clean and 'non-frilly,' since I was gifting this to a man, rather than my mother or girlfriend. While I was waiting for things to dry it was time to take my Walgreens prints and personalize the memories. On each of the photos I inscribed the occasion/memory, and date; adding a special note or thought as inspired. While so many people broadcast their lives on social media outlets, having a physical record that will withstand the internet and data capabilities is something I have found invaluable in every relationship.
While I still have a few finishing touches to put on the inside contents of my Keepsake and Memory Box, before the reveal on Valentine's Day, I feel confident this will be one gift Jeremy will treasure for years to come. Perhaps one of my favorite things about this gift is that it celebrates past memories and encourages us as a couple to get out and make new ones. It's my hope that this box will be a source of comfort to both of us in rough times, and an inspiration for future generations. As great as a never-ending, invisible, photo folder in cyberspace is, it can't compete to digging through a box of mementos and flipping through hand picked memories. How do you future-proof your memories with physical reminders? Learn more about my Walgreens Digital to Print experience  in my Google+ album.


What Daughter Says: Don't let those memories float helplessly in cyberspace, chronicle cherished moments with loved ones through printed photos.





I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias® and Walgreens.  #CBias #SocialFabric.

25 comments:

Mommy Testers said...

What a cute idea! It's nice that the photo printing is so convenient. With digital cameras and camera phones I always forget to actually print the photos!

Lelanie Denso said...

what a cute way to keep and cherish those memories! each of my kids have their own book which I fill and update with latest photos and important happenings in their lives.

Grace said...

I really love what you did. How creative and you have made some special memories and keepers.

Jenn Mitchell said...

What a great idea. I think my daughter would love to make one of these.

Shelley Zurek -- Still Blonde after all these YEARS said...

As you say this, I realize that all my memories for that last 10 years are digital and even though they can be shared with everyone, they haven't been. So scary. I think this Keepsake box is a perfect way to go.

Felissa Hadas said...

I always forget to print out photos. I think the last time I printed out anything was probably about 5 years ago. Having Digital pictures we take so many it is hard to decide the best ones so I just leave them on my computer collecting dust. I really should print them out a few at a time and create some sort of large memory box but that would probably sit and collect dust so many just put them in a zip lock bag that I can carry easily and share.

Melissa Pezza said...

What a neat idea. I love that you are preserving memories like this!

Melissa Pezza said...

What a neat idea. I love that you are preserving memories like this!

MommaWannabe said...

You know what, you have a very good point. I recently lost alot of photos, the ones we took last Christmas because my memory card got corrupted. I wish I have printed those pictures because they were really nice pictures.

Alicia said...

What an amazing idea! Your gift is so thoughtful, I'm sure he's going to love it!

Tonia L said...

What a sweet idea! My husband would love to receive a box like that!

Sara @ CleverPinkPirate.com said...

Great idea! I am guilty of not printing photos until I realize they are in the hundreds (if not thousands).

Home Cooking Memories said...

I love how this combines your past memories with the future...I bet he's going to love it!

Alyssa McVey said...

I love the idea of having a physical memory box for couples. I know that I have a few keepsakes that are strewn around somewhere. I should put them all together in a memory box.

Mel Lockcuff said...

This is such a meaningful idea for a gift; I love it. Thanks so much for linking up to Inspire Me Wednesday.

Susan Said What?! said...

I have been on a mission for 2 years to get all of our photos into acid free scrapbooks. I think I take too many pictures!!!

Larissa said...

This is a really sweet idea!

Naznin Azeez said...

Aww this is such a nice idea!. Seriously no one prints photos these days but that makes it even more special than digital pix. Excellent post!

Jennifer Hiles said...

This is so cute. I love that the photos can be ready in an hour. We just recently got a Walgreens in our town so I've yet to discover all the benefits.

Danielle Porter said...

What a great idea! It is true though, pictures do need to be printed and not only kept in cyberspace!

Holly Thomas said...

What a great non fattening Valentines Gift idea!

Alyshia said...

This is so very cute I would have loved something from my mother growing up and even now.

Sylvia Zajis said...

I like your take on a memory box. Very cute idea. I have always used Walgreens for quick photo processing.

tannawings said...

There is something special about 'real' picture you can hold in your hand with someones notes or writing on it. The digital era is going to miss this connection!

jenmalonee said...

Yes, great ideas. You are right too, there is something there for everyone!