By: Jennifer Murray

Don’t Blink: Q&A with Jessica Turner

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Today, I’m so excited to introduce you to my friend Jessica Turner.  Many of you may be familiar with her from The Mom Creative or from Bloom, but regardless, go give her some “bloggy hugs” today and thank her for hanging out here today.  She has been an encouragement and inspiration in my life and I look forward to getting to know her even better in the years to come. 

Jess is super talented chick.  Scrapbooking is one of her fortes, and way she captures her little guy, Elias, makes me want to pick up my camera more! How many times did you hear the words, “Don’t Blink!” used as advise for your first year of motherhood?  Jessica has found a way to capture the first year memories in a quick and affordable format.  She’ll explain more in this Q & A along with some of her insights on motherhood:

1. Jess, I’ve been devoted to your blog The Mom Creative for a while now. I also had the blessing of meeting you in person at BlissDom. But for those who might not be acquainted with you, tell us a little about your family and how you started blogging.

First off, thanks for inviting me to do this Q&A! I’m so happy to be here. I started my blog, The Mom Creative, in 2006 (though it was then called The Life, Faith and Creativity of Jessica Turner). My family lives in Wisconsin and my husband’s family lives in Maryland, so I thought it would be a fun way to stay connected. I also was really getting into scrapbooking and saw a lot of scrapbookers blogging, so I got on the bandwagon! 🙂

In the fall of 2007 I got pregnant and I guess became a "mommy blogger." My son, Elias, turns two on July 12.

The Mom Creative’s tagline is "a little bit of this and that", which accurately summarizes my blog. One day I blog about scrapbooking, the next day I blog about working motherhood and the next day I share a product giveaway. It really is a bit of everything!

2. You are one busy mama – working in the PR field, blogging, co-founder of Bloom, (in)courage contributor, wife to an author, mama to an active toddler – How do you find time for your "healthy obsession" of scrapbooking?  What’s your secret to striking a balance?

Balance is something we all strive for, isn’t it? I believe that you make time for what is important to you and chronicling my family’s stories is incredibly important to me. So, I sometimes (okay, often) forgo dusting or scrubbing my kitchen floor to scrapbook. When my son is grown, I believe that he will be more thankful for my scrapbooks than that the house he grew up in was spotless. I also hope that I am teaching him, through scrapbooking, that his life and story matters.

3. What advice would you give to a mom like me, who’s first year of motherhoood is starting to be a distant memory?  Where’s a good starting place? 

I would go through your photos from your boys’ first year. What are the 10-20 that you love the most? Why do you love them? What memories do they conjure up? What would you want them to know about those photos? Write those memories down and put your writings with the photos – maybe in a simple photo album. There! You have created a memory book your kids will love! Remember, your kids will not remember their baby years, making the memories you record even more valuable.

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4. Tell us about your scrapbooking class and inspiring resource "Don’t Blink" and why documenting Elias’ first year was so meaningful to you as a mother. 

I choose to chronicle memories through paper scrapbooking. When Elias was born, people told me, "Don’t blink! Elias is going to grow so fast!" I took that advice to heart and was constantly photographing the ordinary (diaper changes, sitting in the swing, playing on the floor) and the extraordinary (first bath, first tooth, first steps). I didn’t have time to make elaborate scrapbook pages (like you often see in magazines), but I did squeeze in 30 minutes here and there to create simple, classic pages that tell Elias’s story.

I created the Big Picture Scrapbooking class Don’t Blink as a resource for moms who want to scrapbook their child’s first year, but they don’t know quite where to begin. The class is self-paced and includes loads of tips for how to create simple, meaningful pages in 15-30 minutes, a large gallery, a list of layout ideas and more. Many moms have written that this class inspired them to get their child’s first year documented, which is so cool to me!

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5. Give us the details of how we can sign up for "Don’t Blink"….

To sign up for Don’t Blink, click here. The class is normally $10, but use the code blogblink to get 20% off. You will then be able to download all the class resources immediately, or refer back to the classroom whenever you have time. I really hope many of you will take the leap and sign up for the class. I believe you will enjoy it and your child will thank you.

*Disclaimer: This coupon only applies to the Don’t Blink Self-Paced class; coupon does not apply towards other Self-Paced Projects, Workshops or Gift Certificates. Good for one time use, per student. Expires December 20th, 2010 at 10pm PST. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Coupon must be entered in the “Promo Code” box during checkout and press “apply” button; discount will be applied immediately. Not applicable towards previous purchases. Other terms and restrictions may apply. (PS Jessica is a friend, and is not paying me to promote her class.  I love helpin’ another mama out!)

BONUS!

Jessica is offering two people the opportunity to take the class for FREE! To enter, simply leave a comment telling me your thoughts on scrapbooking the first year.

I will pick a winner randomly on Monday, July 12th.

*Both winners will receive a unique code to enter at checkout to receive the free class. The winners can sign up for the class until December 20, but once the class is in their account they can start it at any time.

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28 Responses to “Don’t Blink: Q&A with Jessica Turner”

  1. Erin
    July 8, 2010 at 8:23 am #

    my thoughts on scrapbooking the first year? intimidated!

  2. Michele
    July 8, 2010 at 8:35 am #

    I love to scrapbook but can never find the time! My son will be 3 in September and I am just finishing up his 1st year. Hopefully one day I can catch up.

  3. Dana
    July 8, 2010 at 8:38 am #

    I’ve recently discovered digital scrapbooking and I LOVE it! It is more suitable to me since there are many layouts already created and I just have to drag the pictures I want into the spots on the page (well there’s a little more to but you get the point!). I am not the most creative person in the world so this works for me and gives me a jumping point. I have completed my daughter’s first year book- she’ll be 3 next month! The problem is that I have started my son’s first year book using the traditional scrapping and I still haven’t finished it- he just turned 6! Sounds like this class is just the thing I need to help me complete his book 🙂

  4. Stacey
    July 8, 2010 at 9:36 am #

    My daughter is only 2 months old and feel like I could fill up multiple scrapbooks with memories. I don’t know how I’m going to choose what I want to include when she’s a year old.

  5. Ashley
    July 8, 2010 at 10:29 am #

    I have a hard time sitting down to scrapbook or even fill in the baby book. I’m so glad I have my blog as a reference for when my daughter hit all the big milestone and did all the little cute things.

  6. MH in OH
    July 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    My twins are about to turn 5 and I barely remember their first year! Starting when they were about 18 months old, my sister and I have gone on scrapbooking retreat weekends twice a year. My sister and I live 4.5 hrs apart so it’s a great chance for us to spend time together while getting a lot done on our books! I have finished books for each of my boys for their first and second years. The first year book is definitely thicker – there’s so much to record! I jotted notes about all the little things they did in a notebook – I would write in it while breastfeeding – and then used those notes in the scrapbook. I work on the same page in both boys’ books at the same time. Sometimes they are exactly the same and sometimes different based on the photos I have. I’m hoping to get to the point where I’m scrapbooking realtime instead of several years in the past. Jessica, I like your scrapbooking style!

  7. Melody
    July 8, 2010 at 12:36 pm #

    I LOVE scrapbooking! I think it is very important to keep a “record” of my son’s early years for him to look at when he gets older and also for my husband and I to look back on. He is 2 1/2 years old and I’m ready to start on book #3. You just have to MAKE time to do it. It’s also a nice “mommy time” activity. I find it very relaxing.

  8. Meridith Acosta
    July 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm #

    I am neurotic…My daughter turned 2 last week and we are 4 FULL scrapbooking albums in, plus a completed baby book (and a pregnancy scrapbook to boot). I try to squeeze in scrapping 3-4 days a week while she naps and my goals is 2 pages per day.
    My only regret? There is no way my future kids will get this kind of treatment! I would love to learn so simple pages and techniques from our Q and A buddy!

  9. Rachel E.
    July 8, 2010 at 12:57 pm #

    I think scrapbooking the first year is SO important! I make scrapbooks for the families I nanny for and can’t imagine how I’d have time to do this if I were the kids’ mom and with them all the time. I’d love to take Jessica’s class and learn how to do it even faster–then I can share what I learn with the moms I work for, who claim they just don’t have time to even start!

  10. Gette
    July 8, 2010 at 1:00 pm #

    I received a baby book gift from my friend. I stopped when my son was 3 months old and now he is 2 yrs old. A lot to catch up! I have trouble filling it up just sit down and concentration. It’s a lot of distractions around the house. I should make time doing it, hopefully. I used FB sometimes but it’s limited. Your blog really inspires me! Thanks

  11. Liz McGregor
    July 8, 2010 at 3:23 pm #

    My thoughts on scrapbooking are “HELP!!!!” I would absolutely love to take this class!!!

  12. Holly
    July 8, 2010 at 5:19 pm #

    I love the idea of scrapbooking but I’m terrible at sitting down and doing it – each page always seems so large and empty and intimidating! Jessica’s tips for simple pages and Dana’s suggestion about digital scrapbooking both sound perfect. Maybe I can do this after all!

  13. Norma
    July 8, 2010 at 6:10 pm #

    You’ve hit a sensitive spot…my children are now 10,almost 12,14, and almost 16 and I have barely begun the baby album on my oldest. Thought I’d concentrate on school albums since he was in Kindergarten when I was bitten by the scrapping bug but I’m hopelessly behind on those too! 🙁 !!! I’m afraid I won’t remember many details by the time I do the baby albums, but I do have tons of pics. At least I can honestly say I do have plenty of pictures of all- even of the youngest LOL! This class sounds like just what I need!

  14. Sandy
    July 8, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    Dont worry, moms of young children…..I didn’t do my daughter’s baby scrapbook (who is now 19) until her senior year so that it was ready for her open house. Yeah, it was crazy getting everything done but it was fun and alot of joy to remember all of those baby days that disappeared so quickly. Just remember, there is no wrong way or right way in scrapping….it’s only the way that makes you smile!

  15. Ashton Beaver
    July 9, 2010 at 12:54 am #

    I love scrapbooking and my sister is about to have her first baby. My first nephew. 🙂 And I would love to scrapbook his first year since I do not have kids yet. I think it would be amazing to learn how to do it in 15-30mins because I always end up spending so much time on it that I do not scrapbook as much as I would love to because I am a full time student.

  16. Danielle Barton
    July 9, 2010 at 1:35 am #

    Reading this post made me sad. Today marks the 1 year anniversary of my 2 foster girls coming to live with us. We know now, that we will be adopting them – but we didn’t know for so many months of this first year. I’ve missed so many first and yet I want to go back and document their firsts – like I’ve done w/ my biological daughter. The task seems incredible daunting.

  17. Brodie
    July 9, 2010 at 9:07 am #

    With 4 children I can’t find the time to scrap any more. My first daughter has several books, the next child has one book, the third child has one page done and sadly child #4 has nothing- I haven’t even printed the pictures out they are all on disk- this make me sad for her and I would love to be able to go back and do some scrapbooks for the last couple of kids.

  18. Barbara Manatee
    July 9, 2010 at 12:04 pm #

    What a great idea! I started a scrapbook for our twins but I don’t think I ever got past the hospital photos! I enjoy working on the computer so my hubby got me digital scrapbooking software last year but I’ve barely used that. I’m almost relying on our blog to be our scrapbook but would like each child to have their own special book documenting their first year and childhood.

    I’ll definitely check out her site and maybe take the class to get me motivated! Maybe that’ll be my other goal before summer is up – get each child’s 1st year scrapbooked…

  19. Carole
    July 9, 2010 at 3:01 pm #

    My son is 2, and how I wish I would’ve scrapbooked his first year! Is it too late?!

  20. Debra @ A Frugal Friend
    July 10, 2010 at 3:48 am #

    Oh, this is for me. I have the scrapbook album bought….so adorably pink. I even have some supplies………but I can’t seem to get started on my little one’s first year. It’s overwhelming. She’s 2 1/2! The only scrapbook I’ve done since she’s born is a small 8×8 one of our Disney trip….that wasn’t too big or overwhelming!

    Thanks!!

  21. Angela
    July 10, 2010 at 9:22 am #

    I’m excited at the thought of scrapbooking my little guy’s first year. I would love a little guidance though!

  22. Kristen
    July 10, 2010 at 9:05 pm #

    This is such a great idea! I have an 8 month old precious little girl and piles and piles of pictures! Having some guidance about where to start and what to pick would be wonderful!

  23. April
    July 11, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    I have kept up my blog with all of my daughter’s milestones and continue to say that I am going to take the time to scrapbook everything. I just don’t know where to begin! I would love having some tips to motivate me to begin!

  24. Anne Blackburn
    July 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    With baby #3 due last Thursday (!!), I could use the help with scrapbooking the first year. I hope to scrapbook as much as I did for the first two kiddos, but not sure I’ll be able to keep up with it all! Thanks for a great give-away! 🙂 ~Anne

  25. becky
    July 12, 2010 at 11:22 am #

    scrapbooking the first year is HARD when you have older children. i have 2 year old twins (as well as a 4 and 5 year old) and would love some fresh ideas for working on their books – I ‘m a little behind and consumed with life!

    dbhowellfamily at gmail dot com

  26. Allison
    July 12, 2010 at 11:35 am #

    I love, love, love to scrapbook, but don’t make time for it. I still need to go back and complete the first year for both of my kids, who are 6 and 2. I have had my eye on Jessica’s class for a while, and would love to learn from her! Thanks for the great giveaway!

  27. Emily
    July 12, 2010 at 2:51 pm #

    My 2nd daughter will be born later this year and I’m excited about scrapping her first year (and beyond). I want her to have just as many memories scrapped as her older sister does. And I want to keep up with her scrapbook as much as I will be keeping up with her!

  28. Kevin
    July 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    For those with older kids (not babies), don’t forget to scan their artwork or take pictures of them w/their artwork. Once the artwork is scanned or photographed, you can file the original away someplace safe, like a plastic bin along with other keepsakes, such as report cards, medals, certificates etc.

    As for time, it can be very overwhelming to think about facing an entire year’s worth of photos/memories. Try to break it down into more manageable projects or like Meridith Acosta & Jess mentioned – set aside some time a few times/week with the goal of completing a few smaller projects. Before you know it, those small projects will add up and you’ll have the larger goal completed.

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