Sketches are a great way to start! And they make putting a page together very easy! You can get a lot of pages done in a quick time. Not at first, but you will get faster as you get going on it.
Use a three ring album binder. This way, you don't have to mess with posts! I HATE post albums. If you mess up and place your photos out of order, you have to take the whole album apart to move one layout back a page or two. With the ring bingers, you open the rings, and move your pages around. When I start an album, I have a general idea of where or how I want my pictures to go, but there is always those layouts that I do that I want to add, or didn't find in time. No problems...just open it up and add it!!! I love the We R Memory Keepers ones.
Also, JOURNAl, JOURNAL, JOURNAL. This will mean more to her than anything else. Because it will be in YOUR words to her!!!!