Saturday, January 2, 2016

Calendar Girls 2016

Every year, I create a photo calendar for all the grandmas. I made them again this year, and I put one together for us. 

This was a bittersweet thing, because it started out as an annual gift for Grandma Peppa, who got to wear she saved that gift for last because she knew it would make her cry to look through it and see all the people she loved. In true Grandma Peppa style, she displayed this calendar but she didn’t write on it—she wrote all her appointments and plans on a freebie calendar she kept on her desk. I always found this bizarre—it’s not like writing on the dates “ruins” the calendar—it’s literally going to expire anyway! But I think it fits the same idea of having a formal living room in her house that no one was allowed to enter or sit in. Some people (including myself) would consider that a waste of space, but I think that it gave her more pleasure to look at it in its pristine condition than it would have if she had actually “used” it. Different approach to enjoyment of the same thing.

I usually do collage layouts on the grandma-calendars, so I can feature all the grandkids every month. But I do our calendar a little differently. Yes, it features my Special Snowflakes, so it’s not exactly cool, but I like to use pictures that are maybe a little bit unexpected. Not necessarily the “best” or most posed photos, but the ones that recall a funny moment or capture a hilarious face, or sometimes the one that just has the prettiest background or colors.  I force myself to just choose one photo per month rather than do a collage. This means I have to be picky, which is hard, but ultimately I like the clean way it looks to just have one photo per month. 

This year I narrowed my choices further by selecting each month’s photo from that month in 2015 (I ended up fudging this twice--August's photo was taken earlier in the summer, and September's picture was actually taken in October).  I also decided that the photo had to feature both girls. Sometimes my favorite photo of the month was just of one of them, but the “sisters” theme of this calendar required that they were both in the picture. This meant that I had fewer pictures from which to choose, since getting a decent picture of both of them at the same time is not easy! It also left with me with a month (September!) where I had zero pictures of the two of them together that weren't blurry or awkward. I managed to make my selections and get my calendar ordered when everything on the site was 50% off, so here are the pictures of sisterhood in 2015 that will be illustrating our calendar in 2016.













Can you believe what a little nugget Coco was in the early months of this year? It's crazy to me that she wasn't walking until August--it feels like she has been running around forever. And 2015 was really the year for Zuzu's hair--the difference between January/February and May is amazing! 

One of my big goals for 2016 is to do a better job of staying on top of photo printing and organizing, so this calendar feels like a step in the right direction. 

Do you create a photo calendar? Do you think they are totally lame or cheesy? I buy a Paper Source calendar for my office (and I love it!), but the photo calendar hanging in the kitchen makes me really happy.


  1. Great shots that capture the silliness and beauty of the girls. Happy New Year!

  2. I totally do Chatbooks. So easy, just put the pics on instagram and I get a photo book with dates and captions every 60 photos, for only $6 a month. It changed my life!

  3. We do photo calendars each year as well. I really like Minted, but we've also used Artifact Uprising - I love the wood back with the clipboard. That worked well for us this year because we were short on time. You can create it directly from Instagram photos with no sorting or uploading required. Really made it easy. We have the same issue looking for photos of the girls together, but we balanced them out okay.

  4. They are adorable, (your girls, I mean!) and I think the calendars are awesome for family. That being said, I don't make them, lol. Thanks to you, my parents and grandmother get Chatbooks every month instead. Thanks for the hot tip!

  5. This is such a great idea Brooke! I have never heard of anyone doing this before, except my brother and sister-in-law who used it to brag about their "world adventures", (insert gag). I love reading your blog and looking at all of your beautiful photographs. Your blog gives me hope that me and my husband can be happy again, to have our rainbow baby someday. Thank you for sharing.

  6. I've never done one. This year, I won a free one from a blog giveaway, but it only had a 3-day turn around and I just couldn't make it. The selections you've made are spectacular and would make me smile daily.

  7. So cute! You picked some good pictures. WHY haven't we gotten more pictures and details on Zuzu's big girl room?! You're holding out.

  8. June and July...i can't even!

  9. Those are such cute pictures! :) I've never done a photo calendar myself, but then I don't have two cute little girls to feature. ;) However, the girl I refer to on my blog as "Parent's Neighbour's Daughter" is now in her 30s with two adorable daughters roughly the same ages as Zuzu & Coco (AKA "The Little Princesses"), and she has done a photo calendar for all of us, every Christmas for the past 3-4 years. I have saved all of them. :) She does customized versions for her family as well as her dh's. I think she uses Snapfish, and she uses multiple photos. Everyone LOVES them, including the girls. Dh spent many happy hours this Christmas in front of the fridge, flipping through the pages of my mom's 2014 calendar with Littlest Princess. ;)