Friday, November 21, 2014

My absolute fav new app! KEEP


So with holiday shopping on the mind, and making my wishlists, checking them twice I discovered the most amazing app!

Guys, I think this app is the next big thing. This post is not sponsored or anything in any way but I  I think it is so simple but so smart and it is so addicting and dangerous!

The app is called KEEP. It is like Pinterest for shopping. Anything that is for sale anywhere on the internet can be on keep.  They have billions of items already on there but if you want something not already on keep, you can browse the web from within the app and add anything you want to the app! (Or from your desktop with the keep button)

You can browse, just like Pinterest the trending items and items people you follow 'keep'. If you click on something you like, it shows you where it's from and how much it is and the sizes/colors/options available.  Then you can KEEP it to one of your 'collections' like shoes, clothes etc. Or you can put it on your wishlist, or you can buy it! It notices what you like and keep and makes suggestions based on your style.

Here is the best part-the first ever universal shopping cart.  That means that I can buy everything on my wishlist or in my cart with only ONE CHECKOUT. I can but items from Gap, Nordstom, Etsy and some obscure swedish site in one transaction.  You only need to fill out all that annoying check out info once, you know exactly how much you are spending and it is so easy!

I am hooked.  You can follow me here

 ^^^You can add a Keep button to your desktop and keep anything you find on the web!

 ^^^My collections so far!


^^^^One Cart, one checkout!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Christmas Books for Kids

I love the idea of a book advent calendar.

25 wrapped Christmas books, one to open each night and read before bed every night leading up to Christmas. So when Ben and I got married, I asked him to get me a Christmas book each year. I dream of having a huge wonderful collection one day that I can pass down to my kids. I want everything from spiritual Christmas books and kids Christmas books and all the classics. Now that we have Everett, instead of Ben giving me a Christmas book, Ben and I both pick one or two out for Everett.  Last year, we got The Polar Express, and this year I have been pouring over Amazon and other lists to try and find the best ones.


Here are a few kids Christmas books that seem to be the best from every list out there!


1. The Polar Express: Can't go wrong. I had actually never read this book until last year, can you believe that! Then I saw the movie and I fell in love with the story, the book is even better.

2.The Night Before Christmas: Do you know you could probably have a huge collection of just variations of this book, there are so so many out there. I'm a sucker for the classic version.

3. The Worst Best Christmas Pageant Ever: I can remember our teachers reading this to us in Elementary school and loving it. "The Herdmans are the worst kids in the history of the world. ..." Oh I love it! The Herdmans learn the Christmas story for the first time!

4: A Charlie Brown Christmas: Ben got this one for me a couple years ago and it gets me in the Christmas spirit!

5: Snowmen at Christmas: I think this is the one we will get for Everett this year. It is a cute story of how snowmen roll of our lawns in the middle of the night and go have their own Christmas all in time to get back to our houses for our Christmas mornings.  The illustrations are so cute too!

6: A wish to be a Christmas Tree: A Tree in the woods is much too tall, so no one wants it as their Christmas tree, which is all this tree ever wanted to be.  So all the animals in the woods get together and give him the best surprise he could ask for.

7: The Mitten: The story of a boy who wants his grandma to knit him white mittens, she warns him that a white mitten will get lost in the snow, and it does. The woodland animals come upon it and take refuge in the soft, warm mitten. And the mitten keeps on stretching and stretching for a mole, a rabbit and even a bear. Such a cute little book! (Apparently there is an original story and a 20 year anniversary story by Jan Brett, people are very passionate about the versions and it seems the original is a better choice by Alvin Tresselt)

8: How the Grinch Stole Christmas: I don't really like Dr. Seuss books, but Christmas isn't Christmas without the Grinch.

9: Christmas in the Manger. A Little board book about the animals in the manger, very cute and simple for young toddlers.

10: The Christmas Train: A true story told by Thomas S. Monson and when he first learned the true meaning of Christmas and giving.

What are some of your favorite Christmas books?

Sunday, November 16, 2014

45/52 46/52

                          A Photo Series 'A picture of my child once a week, every week for a year'

45/52
Every time we go to eat anything, even if it is just a couple of raisins, Everett folds his arms and reminds us to say a prayer before we can touch anything. 

46/52
The first snow of the season. Are you kidding me with those rosy cheeks!?

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Senti-MENTAL: Picaboo Photo Book Review

I wrote this post two weeks ago about how much I love photo books, and a review of a new favorite company, Artifact Uprising. Today I have a review of my other long time favorite photo book site, Picaboo. They are really great quality, their book builder is so user friendly and they always have the most insane sales.

I have made a bunch of books using Picaboo, my three favorite are my wedding album, a cookbook for my mom and a book documenting my pregnancy (I just put all my preggo blog posts in a book). Here is a little review. (If you don't want to see all the pics of my life, there is a PRO/CONS list at the bottom of this post.

WEDDING ALBUM

It took me three years to finally make this and we got it as an anniversary gift to ourselves on our 3rd anni, because it was their Madison design, featuring thick lay flat pages, and bound in leather it was a little pricier but I love how it turned out and displaying it in our home.

^^^I know it doesn't look like it, but we both are in fact Caucasian
^^^Real leather binding, and thick lay-flat pages
 ^^^I love how you can extend one photo across multiple pages

PREGNANCY BOOK

This is their square 8x8 hardcover book and I just threw all my blogposts from when I was pregnant in it. So fun to look back on!

COOKBOOK

I made this cookbook for Mother's Day a few years ago for my mom. I tracked down all of our family's favorite recipes my mom made, she had them all over the place in differnt cookbooks and on random recipe cards or emails and put them all together in one book. I re-ordered a copy in this smaller 6x8 size for my little sister to have and it is the perfect size. Would be a great Christmas gift idea!


PROS

  • High quality photos and binding
  • So many different book type and style choices (hardcover, leather, linen, mini-books)
  • Very easy book-builder and all are saved online for later use and re-ordering
  • Very affordable and have great sales
  • So many layouts, fonts, color and design options and easy to add lots of text to pages, while other photobook sites are not.

CONS
  • Not as simple and clean minimilast design as Artifact Uprising
**Check out their sales this week and free shipping



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Currently...

^^^Picture from my nephew's baby blessing last weekend

Well first of all I am starting an organization, M.A.D.S: Mothers Against Daylight Savings! Who's with me? Seriously. This week I have been in a bit of a funk, also known as hormones, but things are looking up, Ben and I have a date tonight, the weekend is almost here and I've got a DVR with like 10 banked shows I have been saving for tomorrow night while Ben works. Here is the haps:

 "Where you lead, I will folllllow, anywhere that you. tell. me. to. If you need, need me to BE WITH YOU, I will follow where you lead..." Ringing any bells? YES-The Gilmore Girls! It recently came to Netflix, so me and every other twenty-something girl in the continental US seem to be reliving our high school days. It was never a show I watched super religiously until now and it is a comfort show to the max! I want to move to a small town immediately, find a diner to call my own and have multiple husbands consisting of Ben, Luke and Logan. Just kidding, but seriously, who else is watching? Do you crave pancakes and pizza each episode like I do?

It's November, let the FESTIVUS begin! That happy holiday joy is in the air, bells are ringing and those cheese and meat places are set up in the mall!  Although I am not one to start listening to Christmas music just yet, I have been burning my cranberry cider scent and looking up Thanksgiving Pie recipes, the holiday bug is nibbling. This year we are going to St. George for Thanksgiving with Ben's mom and siblings and I am looking forward to late night games, some St. George shopping and being on the cooking crew this year, I'll probably even wear an apron (I'm a real mom!) Followed closely by Christmas in Canada, which I am SO excited about! So excited that I am thinking Everett and I will make one of those countdown paper chains this week! 48 Days. IT'S THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR!

Sleep training, going at our own pace and the time I did have to rock my baby to sleep. At 20 months, Everett is finally sleeping through the night. Last week, I got my first 8 consecutive hours of sleep since he was born! We had done sleep training when he was 6 months old, and although it did get his night wakings from  4-5 to 2-3, it never seemed to get easier or 'click' with him. Everyone told us he would be trained in 3-4 days and two months later we were looking at each other thinking why isn't this working? So then he got sick and we went on vacations and we just kind of scrapped it. This summer we got in a really bad habit of him sleeping in our bed with us. So last week, we decided to sleep train again and get him back in his crib and not waking up still in the middle of the night and it was so easy, he surprised us again. The longest he ever cried was 7 minutes, he now goes into his crib completely awake and puts himself to sleep (where before we would rock him until he was in a deep sleep) and he even fell asleep in his car seat twice last week, which he has never ever done before since he was 11 days old. It was kind of sad one night when I went to go rock him a little and he pointed to his crib and wanted to just get to it. I am so happy I had the time to rock and sing him to sleep, I know that's not good child sleep etiquette but I liked it and I will miss it.  I know this was finally the right time for us, and I am so happy it worked!


This board game my Brother and sister in law taught us last weekend, which is so addicting and I ordered off Amazon twenty minutes ago so we can teach it to friends this weekend.

This local shop I discovered.

This bag/purse/tote is on my wishlist (full wishlist coming soon to a blog near you)

This fall soup that I can't wait to make

This advent candle that I am going to try and DIY the crap out of


Monday, November 3, 2014

43/52 44/52 +This is Halloween

 A Photo Series 'A picture of my child once a week, every week for a year'

43/52
Absolutely everything is a game these days

44/52
Baby Einstein {Halloween 2014}

Seriously, we were dying over this costume!!! He also totally nailed the finger pondering 'hmmm' pose! His beautiful hair was the inspiration and focal point of this costume obviously. His hair is my everything, and really the rest of the costume is just old man church clothes (my favorite) and a lab coat I fashioned out of a men's dress shirt (yes I hand sewed it myself, it is a hack job on the inside, I was using binder clips as pins, but it did the trick!). 

Holidays with kids is magic!!! We went trick or treating with Everett's cousins and Ben's mom who was luckily in town and by about the 5th house, Everett started to get the hang of it and watching them run house to house and try their very hardest to say 'trick or treat' gave me goosebumps (not the spooky kind). We also had a great time at a friends party afterwards, which I for some reason have no pictures of, my memory card was probably full from the 198619846 pictures I took of my little genius!
Now, let me just empty that memory card a little, if you will:
 ^^^The process
 ^^^A rare photo of Albert Einstein as a young toddler.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Senti-MENTAL: Artifcact Uprising Review+SALE

I am kind of crazy about documenting things.  I used to have this 'crush box' filled to the brim with paraphernalia that signified something with all my loves in my life. A juice box a boy gave me in 7th grade, rocks from the park where we had our first kiss, movie tickets, notes etc. That was all until a crazy manipulative ex-boyfriend made me throw it all away. (Don't worry I picked everything out of the garbage after he left). Now I have a special BEN crush box and I would definitely grab it if the house was burning down, filled with EVERY movie ticket we have ever been to, the letter he wrote to me when he proposed (also petals from the flowers), the straw from the smoothie we went and got on one of our first dates etc. etc.-see I'm mental. ANYWAYS I tell you this to let you know I am a very sentimental person and have a need to keep everything

Que Photo Books!

I have made a lot of photo books in my day and kind of consider myself a connoisseur of all the different sites and models you can make. My top two are Artifact Uprising and Picaboo.  (I have also tried Blurb, Shutterfly, and blog2book but they paled in comparison).

Today I will give you my Artifact Uprising review, and then next week my review of Picaboo!

I made Everett a first year book on Artifact Uprising. (My photos of the book are not the greatest, I haven't done any macro or product pictures before. Also I'm really embarrassed my nails aren't painted ;))

^^^I love the linen covers
^^^I made all the circles myself in photoshop
 ^^^Clean, minimalist design

^^^I did a few pages for each month, putting the highlights in one of the circles as the first page, followed by a few pages of my favorite photos from that month.



 ^^^I made a 'Firsts' page with all of the dates of firsts for him.



^^^One of my favorite pages.

PROS
  • Very high quality printing and pages, photos looked amazing
  • Simple, clean design
  • Site and book builder was really easy to use, just drag and drop photos
  • linen hardcovers 
  • Other options-instagram books, softcover books
  • Beautiful design choices for covers
CONS
  • A little pricier than other photo books
  • Not as much customization with adding text, layouts etc.
  • No double page spreads or lay flat pages
Overall, it is probably my favorite book I have ever made, mostly because it is all of Everett and documents his first year, but also AU was awesome to use, yes they can be a little more expensive but the quality is impeccable. It is a treasure, also something I would grab in a raging fire.

RIGHT now they are having a fall sale for 10% their books until Tuesday, their sales are few and far between and are always 10% off so take advantage.  Use code FALLSALE at checkout.
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