A yearly tradition that B and I do is writing little notes down and placing them into our Memory Jar — but as I like to call it our “Every Day Moments Jar” because it’s more than just memories… we actually write down every day moments. Those moments that are easily forgotten or overlooked and don’t stack up to all of the other big memories throughout the year.
I first made the jar in 2012 as a Christmas gift for B — it was a year we were trying to be frugal with gifts and saving our pennies, so I created a decoupage jar with words, letters and phrases that make up B and I. This made our jar special and unique to us — a lot of memory jars on Pinterest are plain mason jars with a simple label stating ‘Memory Jar’ or ‘2020 Memories.’ Your memory jar is really whatever you want to make it, it could even be a wooden box, but I love making it a bit more special!
To create your own memory jar you could decoupage a mason jar or a jar similar to the one we have like this Libbey® cylinder jar from Michael’s – snag some old magazines, photos or notes and glue to cover the jar using modge podge.
So you have your memory jar, now what? It can be hard to keep up with this throughout the year — so B and I keep this on our dining room table where we eat each night and make it a habit of adding in a note or two every night or every other night. Next to the jar I keep a couple pens and a notepad that we tear pieces of paper from. Adding memories regularly, help capture those funny, thankful, or sweet moments. We even add in tickets, wrist bands or other fun keepsakes throughout the year in the jar as we go.
On New Year’s Day, B and I make time to dump out all our little notes and take turns reading them back and forth to each other. We laugh, try and guess who wrote the other’s note and reminisce on those ones that we forgot about. To keep these notes accessible, I tape them into a journal – filling the pages, so it’s easier to look back and we’ve added to the same journal year after year, with more memories captured in more years than others.
This would also be a great Valentine’s Day gift and won’t be too late to start writing down those memories with your family and loved ones.
When I decorate our home, I really try to incorporate personalized touches to each room vs. stock art or random pieces. Now don’t get me wrong, I love some good stock canvas from Marshall’s but they have their time and place! So if you’re working to figure out ways to incorporate some personal touches and sentimental pieces into your home, here are a few of my go-to pieces I like to decorate with.
1. A Love Letter. B purposed to be with a long two-page love letter – it was so thoughtful and special, I didn’t want to shove it into a box and find it years later. So I found these two great matted frames from Marshall’s and framed the love letter – it hangs next to our bed and is one of my favorite parts of our master.
2. Vintage Family Photos. We have these all around our house! From our gallery wall in our living room, to our built-in’s, dining room and even bedrooms, family photos are a great way to remember loved one’s past and hold onto family legacies’. I borrowed family albums and made my own copies so I could have my own keepsakes – it was quite the process, but so worth it! 3. Wedding Invitation or Keepsake. We had a special map made that we put in our hotel welcome bags for all of our guests – this was one of my favorite pieces so again, I didn’t want to put this in a box and forget about it. We have this framed in our bedroom as a fun keepsake – this would also be a fun idea for your wedding invites, save the date or other important announcements that are a little extra special!
4. Old House Numbers. Our house had ceramic house numbers that probably had some years with them, being our house is over a hundred years old. I loved the ceramic numbers, but they were small and hard to read from the road – wanting to keep this momentum around I did a DIY with some frames that were left at the house by spray painting the frame, used some scrapbook paper as a background and framed the numbers. This hangs in our entrance and I love it!
5. Vacation Photos. I love picking one or two of my favorite photos from a recent trip and working to incorporate those into the house in various spaces or switching out the previous trip picture. That way the memories are current, and when you go to switch out your picture you’ll see all the previous memories stacked (that’s one of my favorite parts!)
Since our house has a lot of character and charm, I like to add modern pieces while complimenting the modern touches with a little added complimentary charm by incorporating these more personalized pieces that happen to be keepsakes from our family and the history of our home. Depending on what keepsake you’re incorporating into your home, going the custom framing route is another way to really make this a show stopper and unique piece for your home!