One of the things I do now is buy the We R Memory Keepers photo sleeves which allow me to just put in a bunch of 4x6 photos and do only a limited amount of actual scrapbooking. By the way, Target carries a couple of these now, which makes life much easier than having to drive 30 minutes to get to Archivers like I was doing before.
Another thing I've started doing more is picking up scrapbook kits. I like these a lot because they are already color coordinated and have ready to go embellishments. There's just one problem I have with them. Often they only come with one sheet of a bunch of different papers. Since I like to do mostly 2 page layouts, this doesn't work for me.
So I came up with a practical solution for making one patterned page into a double page layout- split the papers! This is also a great way to use up those blank white 12x12 sheets that come in the regular scrapbooking page protectors. So here's what I do.
I pick out a cute patterned paper.
I find a coordinating paper. (I like to use something more subtle if the first is really busy.)
Cut them both into 6"x12" pieces. Find 2 pieces of white 12x12 paper or cardstock. (I save these from the 12x12 page protectors and use them this way.)
Glue one pattern to the top half and one pattern to the bottom.
Make the other page the opposite.
And now you have a workable 2 page layout! This is a great way to get more mileage out of a 12x12 sheet if you only have one, and does help break up those cute but busy paper backgrounds. Obviously you can do this either vertically or horizontally. I'm going to share a bunch of layouts this week that use this technique so you'll see more of it.