I make one for my grandmother each year. The main piece of advice I have is to use lightweight embellies, not things that can get heavy like lots of buttons. They are fun to make. I originally tried to use pics of people in the family that had birthdays in that particular month, but then I gave that up and just put the pics in wherever I felt like it. That's a lot easier!!!
I bought the Basic Grey one--very cute--but you have to have photos to finish it 100%. I made up 4x6 white mats to put down in place of the photo on all of the pages, and then I was able to do most of the layout, minus a couple of the embellies. However, I think there was one month where I couldn't do anything at all without the photo. Luckily I was just doing it for myself, but I didn't have immediate access to the printer to print out the photos.
Just something to think about if that is the direction you were thinking of going. Otherwise it was really nice to not have to cut anything!