Week In The Life Featured In Real Simple Magazine


A few months back I received an email from a writer who was working on a story for the April issue of Real Simple magazine about things readers can do to improve their lives that are actually worth their time. She was interested in the Week In The Life project and why it was a good idea.

I was really, really excited to get this email and even more excited to see it in print.

As many of you know this project has been a favorite of mine since I captured my first full week back in 2004-2005. The original project was for my album class at Creating Keepsakes University. I remember being so, so nervous before that first class. Since that time my love for this project has grown. These albums are awesome peeks into my life and the lives of my family at a particular point in time.

I love that anyone can do this project. Anyone can commit to one week of personal storytelling, of capturing what their life is all about at a particular moment in time...and then let the rest go. Documentation like this is made even easier these days with all the technology at our fingertips. No one needs to lug around a fancy camera - you can do the whole project with your smart phone. Snap photos with your camera and use a notes/document feature to jot down the details of the days. Pair that with one envelope per day for capturing receipts, handwritten notes, bits of life, etc. and that's really all you need for the gathering phase. 

I am getting really excited to do it again in just a couple of weeks.
You're invited to play along from April 19th through the 25th. During
the week I will post my daily photos, stories, and comments on the
process of documenting and gathering. The week after (April 26th through
the 20th) I'll showcase how the album comes together.

This year why not invite someone else to document a week in their life as well? Introduce a friend, family member (maybe a parent) or maybe one or more of your kids to the project. Consider creating a support network to encourage and share with each other over the seven days and then make a date to get together to organize your content into an album. Or just share stories and photos and bits of life you collected.

Thanks Real
for helping spread the message that documenting everyday life is definitely worth the time.

62 thoughts

  1. patty

    2010-04-02 01:37:21 -0400

    must not was...oops

  2. sarah

    2010-04-02 03:08:19 -0400

    I should really do this. I'm terrible with scrapbooking, but documenting a week would be interesting (wish I had done it before my son was born, too, though). That week won't be exactly normal, but what week is?

  3. J. Page

    2010-04-02 03:20:18 -0400

    Real Simple and Ali Edwards- What a great combo! You inspire me daily and Real Simple inspires me monthly. So excited to read the article! Congrats!

  4. Nicky from Canada

    2010-04-02 03:30:42 -0400

    Congrats - that is awesome

  5. Alyssa

    2010-04-02 03:33:10 -0400

    I am planning to participate this year for the first time. So very, very, very excited! Congrats on being featured in such a great magazine! :)

  6. young c-m

    2010-04-02 03:47:12 -0400

    Congratulations! Originally saw this on the Real Simple blog and was so pleased for you! Glad the concept is now spread more widely - yay!

  7. Sharon in TX

    2010-04-02 06:08:39 -0400

    That's great news! Can't wait to see it in Real Simple. I was in one of your WITL album classes in Stanford, CT. It's my very favorite album ... so fun to look back and see how things have changed, but also how things stay the same. That class was extra fun because your Mom was a student, too. So looking forward to seeing your album this year. They never fail to insprire me!

  8. Molly Irwin

    2010-04-02 08:18:53 -0400

    after much thought ... I'm ALL in.

  9. Cate

    2010-04-02 09:17:46 -0400

    Great news! Congratulations!! I've never done this project before but it sounds great. I'll have to get my girlfriends to play along too!

  10. Sara B.

    2010-04-02 13:55:41 -0400

    I love this magazine and was so pleased to see you in it! I'm all in for the week in the life in a few weeks.

  11. Danielle

    2010-04-02 14:16:03 -0400

    I am so eager for this project to start!!!

  12. Tammy

    2010-04-02 15:34:26 -0400

    Love this idea, and trying to think of a way to integrate it into my first grade classroom!

  13. dianna

    2010-04-02 18:17:25 -0400

    Would you have ever thought back when you were nervously teaching that first class that you would have SO many fans of this project AND that it would end up inspiring thousands more by being in Real Simple Magazine??
    I'm really hoping my best friend (who lives 950 miles away) and I can keep each other motivated and complete A Week In the Life together. Our first long distance project!
    Thanks Ali.

  14. Dawn

    2010-04-03 00:58:00 -0400

    Love that you've received national recognition from mainstream media. You so deserve it!! Next stop...Oprah!

  15. Melanie

    2010-04-03 02:00:56 -0400

    I have that magazine but haven't read it yet. It just moved up the list:)

  16. Jessie

    2010-04-03 03:23:32 -0400

    Hi Ali! Love your blog! I have put this on my calendar and let others know! I am really excited to do this! I am hoping it will jump start a few things I have been working on and thinking about starting!

  17. Jamie K

    2010-04-03 04:52:49 -0400

    Ali...I was in your very first CKU Week In The Life class. Besides being crazy fun and inspiring, the album I created there is one of my very favorites. Even now, at just a few years past, it is so much fun to look back at a week's snapshot of our lives. Our boys and our lives have changed so much in just those few years. I can't imagine how neat it will be to look through 10, 20, 30 years from now. It really is a treasure. And, absolutely worth the time. :) Congrats Ali!

  18. Melissa

    2010-04-03 11:51:39 -0400

    What an interesting product!

  19. EllenC

    2010-04-03 12:03:36 -0400

    Diana--such a lovely idea to do this with a best friend who lives 950 miles away.

  20. Lisa

    2010-04-04 00:29:24 -0400

    Congratulations, Ali. I've always known how special this project is. Glad to see that it (and you!) are getting the recognition.

  21. Sarah

    2010-04-06 07:45:06 -0400

    i went out and bought the Real Simple Magazine just to see this article, and although I was excited you were in there, I was disappointed that it was just a single column. I'm going through Ali full length magazine article withdrawals!!! Do you ever publish anywhere else....I was a faithful subscriber to CK until you pulled out.....I love reading you flesh out a full creative train of thought....

  22. Denise Coulter

    2010-04-06 17:03:37 -0400

    I would love to do this. A week straight is about what I can manage as a busy mom of two :) I've never done anything like this, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out. I love new scrapbooking projects!

  23. Marsaille

    2010-04-08 13:50:04 -0400

    I am going to give it a whirl! I am excited to try this. It will be the week before I become a mommy of two, so I think it is an excellent time to document for everyone. Anytime is a good one, I am sure, but this idea came at just the right time for me!

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