Photos, Life and Kids . . .

Okay, this might be a little nostalgic for a Friday, so fair warning. . .


This photo of Alex really is on my mind today . . . I took it several weeks ago at our Just Add Kids Expo where many, many vendors offered information, games and activities for stopping by at their booth. The annual JAK Expo, actually is my son’s favorite, non holiday, event of the year – he loves, loves going. . . And being involved with it is a family tradition now.

In the photo, Alex is standing next to a simple poster entitled the “Tree of Life” and all the children who walked by were able to pick a stamp color and put their thumbprint leaf on the tree. The booth we were at was Racine’s Wilson Funeral Home and owner Chris Chvilicek visited with us while we were there.  Having a conversation about that tree was interesting with Alex and Chris . . . and I loved watching Alex pick the color (which was a process of hemming and hawing!) and then adding his print to the tree.

What an amazing way for a funeral home to connect with families when so often their work comes at the end of a person’s life.

If you’ve read our blogs before, then you know how much we think photos matter in celebrating life. From photos like the one of Alex above, to the many others we collect over the years, each one tells a story.

Let us know if you need help with your photo collection!

Pixologie, helping get photos out of chaos and back into life to be celebrated and shared.

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Three Reasons Why You Should Make a Photo Slideshow

Here’s mine from Mother’s Day . . .Okay, now if you’ve watched the simple two minute video above, you have seen me, my sister, my dad and my mom in all our glory in our younger years! Well, we’ve had some rather dramatic changes in the thirty years since our childhood photos. (Let’s just say, I’m so not that thin anymore, and my sister who was thin, gained weight and now is thin again!)

Every family celebrates their moments in their own way. For my mom, just watching the video was all she could do, commenting upon the photos that played.

Photo slideshows are relatively easy today, especially if you simply use the digital photos you already have. Here’s three reasons why you should make a photo slideshow.

  1. You CAN do it yourself with a computer or smartphone – and the simple software is either free or inexpensive. (PC – Photo Gallery, Windows MovieMaker; Mac – Photos, iPhoto; Smartphones – search the App Store – there are lots of choices.)
  2. You ARE taking time to reminisce about the good times with your family and friends. We are so busy in the moment these days, sometimes we forget to celebrate days gone by . . . and those who are no longer with us. Yes, for some of us, kleenix is definitely recommended. When you add some music to the photo flow, its easy to become emotional.
  3. You DO see the world runs differently today than it did years ago. If we don’t reflect back on the years we grew up, where we experienced our family’s traditions and a society that seemed to get along better – it’s going to fade away. Who knows what our children’s children will have to look back at?
  4. BONUS Reason – other people enjoy watching your photo slideshows which can be shared in a whole number of places!

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Using Photos amazing slideshow feature, the video I made above, took me about fifteen minutes. (Yes, I waited til the last minute to put it together before going to my parent’s on Sunday!) Here’s our Challenge because we know you can do it too. Make a photo slideshow and post it to our Facebook update for this blog. We may use it in a future post!

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Phone: 414-731-1881

Three Fun Photo Ideas on a Family Road Trip


Pixologie is on the road this week . . . traveling down to Florida where the Association of Personal Photo Organizers is having their national conference. Ann flew while Rosie and I drove the 18+ hours down to Orlando. I love road trips . . . and will jump at the chance to hit the open road.

One of the road trips I went on was with my friend and our two 10 year old daughters . . . we drove for a week from Wisconsin all the way around the East Coast – with the goal of seeing twenty states and two provinces. Ask me to see the scrapbook sometime, 3300 miles in seven days . . . it was an unbelievable adventure (name the landmark, we most probably were there!)

There are three things that I love having photos of when I’ve been on a road trip.

ONE – Sleeping child – the stressors goes with taking children on a road trip are many (food, bathroom stops, “are we there yet,” and on). But there is something special about looking back at my kid sleeping that tugs at my heart strings and brings some peace. Definitely take a photo of that moment if possible – you’ll know what matters when you look back at the memories of the trip.


TWO – Unusual rest stops. . . You may not be lucky enough to find a rest stop that has something unique about it, so if another decidedly “different” stop catches your eye, snap a photo. You’ll better remember the story that goes along with it. I really wouldn’t have remembered this bathroom we stopped at in West Virginia – but the two toilets reminded me of the gas station. Not only could you stock up on snacks, bait, guns, ammo, camo and much more, there was a stuffed version of every type of animal that could be hunted mounted around the store. (Kind of like Cabela’s but in a rural, tiny town in the hills way.)


THREE – Take a photo where it looks like your son or daughter is holding the monument. Okay, it does take some manuevering to position your child’s hands right where they should be, but the fun of driving your kids nuts with something might be worth it. You can see I got better one year to the next, thank goodness, my daughter is a great sport!


Those are my thoughts about some photos to take on a road trip. I wonder what photos you might have from those vacations you took with your family on the road. If you haven’t looked in awhile, it is time to pull the photos out of boxes and off of memory cards and computers – and enjoy the memories!

Need help with sorting and saving your photos? Let us know!

The Secret to Organizing Your Photos While Exercising!

Oh the joy of killing two birds with one stone!

I really hate that analogy because I have never willingly killed a bird (just accidentally with the car.) Okay – on with what has to be one of the first times ever someone has organized her digital photos while exercising!


Seriously, this is me this morning with my iPhone 5 and my trusty elliptical. (Sorry you aren’t getting a photo of me running on the elliptical organizing my photos – lol – I have some dignity!)

About a month ago we started testing a new photo organizing solution called Mylio.

Mylio is a photo management software system that works both on the desktop and as an app on phones and tablets. Mylio helps you gather, organize and access all of your photos across all your devices, anytime, anywhere. Mylio is available via annual subscription

I have Mylio installed on several of my devices including my laptop and my iPhone with an account dedicated to our Pixologie photos from our studio and our events. This means all my Pixologie photos are synced between my devices. When I make a change on one, it will update on my other devices. I needed to do some catch up sorting photos from the last month which I hadn’t gotten to yet.

While I was running on my elliptical this morning and playing my Bonnie Tyler Pandora station, I thought, how am I going to get through the next half hour of boring exercise? Then it it hit me, I could organize those photos waiting for me. I picked up the iPhone started up my Mylio app and sorted over 200 photos and deleted ones I didn’t need. The time flew by!

Then, when I went to my laptop sitting on my kitchen table, I could see that my updates from my phone had already synced to my laptop. See the screenshot below.

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This is my Pixologie Mylio account with 1800 photos in it. My personal Mylio account has 17,000+ photos in it.

Unbelievable! Two tasks that sometimes seem like a chore (exercising and photo sorting) – when combined was amazing, beautiful, wonderful!

If you have photos on multiple computers, tablets and/or iPhones, you might want to learn more about Mylio. We are excited to be offering it in person at our studio and online at our Pixologie Store. For clients who purchase it through us, we offer a complimentary Open Studio Time to get you up and running comfortably with it!

Want to learn more about Mylio? Check out their website at

Happy exercising & photo sorting!

Three Photo Tactics to Get Through Your Daughter’s Teen Years


Wow. . . my thirteen year old (going on 30) daughter really has mastered the art of the attitude. It has been a real surprise for us because she literally reached 10 before she ever talked back to us. But, now the attitude is with our family every day, maybe not 100% of the time, but every day.

PLEASE NOTE: I love my daughter who is a straight A student and fantastic girl when the attitude is hiding!

Last night, my husband asked her to help make spaghetti so she sporadically stirred the noodles with her headphones on. When he realized the spaghetti sauce was sizzling, he asked her to turn the heat down. Hannah replied, “How many things do you expect me to do at once?” He asked what she meant and she said, “I’m stirring the noodles, listening to my music and daydreaming.” When he laughed, she was offended in the way a teen can only be.

Hannah told me this morning I was disrespecting her when I asked her about it, perceiving me to be teasing her. Sigh.

Here’s what I know, in order to get through these tough teen years, I am going to have to rely on cherishing the good moments, celebrating memories and planting seeds for her future.

Here’s my mom advice on how to get through these teen years using your photos:

  1. Pull out the photos of when your daughter was younger and oh so adorable . . . and didn’t know what sarcasm was. Even better, share those photos with your daughter to laugh together about some of the things she did when she was young.
  2. Take a photo of your daughter or several – selfies do not count here. Really think about the background and enjoy a few moments with her. Then get that photo printed.
  3. Organize old photos and digital photos with your daughter. The time spent together accomplishes several things – memories are saved and celebrated, special moments without teenage friction are shared and generations are connected.
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Cute photo of Hannah on Thanksgiving Day – those years we fried a turkey in half an hour – so good. Maybe we’ll try that again this year!

And I am not alone in seeing the value of photos as a parenting tool. The Association of Personal Photo Organizers reports in their Insiders Guide to Photo Organizing:

Studies show that photos have a positive impact on families by connecting generations and reinforcing positive values. In fact, many experts agree that photos have a significant impact on the emotional wellbeing of children. Parenting and youth development expert, Doctor G (Deborah Gilboa, MD) says that “organizing and displaying photographs connects children to our families, our values and our life goals for them.”

Here’s some resources for you in this journey of watching our children grow up!

Doctor G – Parenting Expert – For parenting help!

Pixologie, Inc. – For help with photo organizing!

Growing Up Photos Will Be A Hit at Your Wedding Reception


When my husband and I got married back in 1996, digital photography was barely even hitting our radar. We had film cameras, our photographer had film cameras and we had some disposable cameras floating around. Funny to look back.

But I did know that I wanted to have some of our growing up photos on a board for people to look at and enjoy the memories. And, my friend, Jenny who was an engineer created the Precious Moments poster for us also – featuring both my husband and myself at the age of two – my husband in lederhosen and me with my hand knit hat from my Grandma Hartmann.

Here’s why you need to have your growing up photos at your wedding reception:

  1. Your guests will love looking at how little you both were – and possibly seeing some fun moments your families have had through the years.
  2. Family traditions will inevitably be captured in those photos – sharing and celebrating them helps ensure they will be passed down to next generations.
  3. Great conversations come out of looking back at memories, the joy and laughter will add to the blessings of your wedding day!

Whether playing in a dynamic photo slideshow or displayed on fun posters, your photos will be a hit!  At Pixologie, we have helped create poster boards and slideshows of photos and would love to help you with yours!

This Friday night, we will be at Elegance Salon & Spa for A Bridal Soiree and we are offering FREE SCANNING of your growing up photos for your wedding. One lucky couple will be drawn for a free photo slideshow (value of $300!)

Hope to see you there!!


A Bridal Soiree Details:

Or come and see us at Pixologie!

9803 South 13th Street, Oak Creek, WI  53154

414-731-1881 ~

A Running Photo that Inspired Me!

These photos are of David Hoffman, 80 years old, who just just returned from Bermuda after competing in the Bermuda Half Marathon and Bermuda Triangle Challenge – that is THREE races in one weekend! His wife, 72 years old, did the 10K! He sent me the photo taken of him running in one of the most beautiful places on the planet, in my opinion!


As an aside, I serve on the Wisconsin Senior Olympics (WSO) Board, have for the last three years and I hear about great benefits of well-being, fitness and being active. However, being fit is not what would be used to describe me. David brought his medals, t-shirts and other fun stuff to our last meeting and I snapped that photo at the top of this blog, thinking it would inspire our WSO athletes. (See a link below, David has run a marathon in every state and on every continent – his story is great!)

But it was me that was inspired by his photo to go look at my old photos. I have had athletic achievements and fun with races . . . and I pulled these photos out to look at them again. Here’s two photos of me after completing the Danskin Mini Triathlon in 2012 – one week before I turned 40. I really did work hard for a few months to do this race. And, then proceeded to return back to my normal level of inactivity – due to a busy career and family.

Looking back, I can see I really did it and my photos make me think I could do something like this again.

DSCN9018 finished my first triathlon!

I love sharing these photos with my children so they can see the rewards of hard work and perseverance – and maybe we’ll all build a little more character as I start up exercising again and being a better, healthier role model for my children. Stay tuned!

Blog by Mollie Bartelt

Do you have any photos from races you have completed? We’d love to see them – post them on our Facebook Page –

Want to know more about David’s experience with running?

Want to know more about the Wisconsin Senior Olympics?

Helping get photos back into life to be celebrated & shared

so stories, values and traditions can be passed down to the next generation.