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favorite photo book

I used to LOVE scrapbooking but after I started having kids it because impractical real quick. All the mess was a problem first of all and I just never quite had the time to cut and paste and create and I got really tired of trying and always feeling behind.

I had been blogging for a few years and it was probably my sister who told me she was going to start printing off her blog into a book instead of scrapbooking. Perfect! That was in 2009 and I have not looked back. The very thought of scrapbooking now makes me want to puke. Blogging and printing is so much easier, faster, and I can stay current pretty easily.

I’m sharing this here because I have tried a few different photo book companies and have found my favorite! {This is not a sponsored post, btw…}


printing photo books


I use Shutterfly. I’ve tried both Winkflash and Blurb and Shutterfly is my favorite among the three.

What I Like:

  1. The Covers – they’re glossy and slightly padded. Winkflash had okay covers but I did not like Blurb’s covers at all – they are matte and just blah.
  2. The Interface – easy to use, lots of font, color, sticker, ribbon, frame, etc. options. Each layout is completely customizable.
  3. The Quality – pages are clear with good resolution and true colors. The pages are a good thickness and there are a few upgrades you can make to improve the quality even more (lay flat pages, glossy, etc.)
  4. The Service – Last year one of my books had a crushed corner. I sent a quick email and they refunded me the entire amount of the book! I kept the book (and the damage was unfortunate but not catastrophic so I didn’t re-order to get a better copy) and used the credit on my next book.

What I Don’t Like:

  1. The Price – they are twice as expensive as Blurb books but I think the quality better by enough that it’s worth it. I wish they were cheaper though…
  2. The Interface – you can’t create (or edit) and save custom layouts, you have to edit each layout every time you want to change it. If they would make this one change, my book creation time would be cut in half. I like their layouts but have a few of my own I would use just as much if I could do it more easily.
  3. The Page Limit – each book can have a maximum of 111 pages so I usually have to order two for a single year which means I’m paying over $200. If they would increase the page limit I could condense and fit it down into one book for hopefully just a little more than half the price of two books.

Here are some of my favorite pages – I love clean and simple layouts, lots of pictures (I have so many to include, I HAVE to pack them on each page), and mostly use color/design in the page titles. They have great fonts and colors and I love going back through and adding in all the special effects.

scrapbooking digital photo book
blog to book print

print blog

social media photo book



I like Shutterfly but I’m not married to it. What have you used and liked?? Or have you found an even better way to be a modern scrapbooker???

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wall history timeline

For the last few years I have wanted a timeline wall to keep track of what and who we’re learning about and where they fall in the “Story of the World.” History confuses me…I can’t keep dates straight but having a timeline on the wall in our play room has really helped me put and keep it all in order.

I wanted a customized size (about 10′ long) so I created my own and had it laminated and I love putting up all the little figures with my kids after we’ve read or talked about a historical event or figure. I love to see our timeline getting crowded in parts and am excited to fill in all those blank spaces.

wall chart for history

I broke the last 6000 years of history down into 4 time periods:

I linked each timeline to a PDF document that you can print out, tape together, laminate, and hang if you have the wall space and the motivation! I love it, I think you would too :)

timeline for history on the wall

We’ve been reading Our Island Story by H.E. Marshall so we’ve learned a lot about the history of Europe and all the Kings and Queens. We have a lot of figures up in that part of our timeline right now.

timeline figures

We’re also listening to Story of the World Volume 3 and so we’re learning about early American history also.
chart history

And more from the early European rulers.

We read a lot of non-fiction books about people too and I’m trying to create little timeline figures to put up about everyone we read about – Anne Frank, Walt Disney, etc. The more the better!

Most of my timeline figures are from a CD-Rom produced by Homeschool in the Woods. I bought the full edition with all the timeline figures on eBay for $12. What a steal! I love them so much I would be willing to pay full price.

Have you thought about timelining? It would be a great thing to start this summer!

Peg People

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My sister first introduced me to the “Peg Art” movement – at first I thought she was nutters…I thought they were cute but way not worth the effort. But she loves doing them so she brought me all the pegs for my family and a Christmas Nativity and painted them for me and… I’m officially on […]

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*REVIEW* Pediped Flex

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Spring means lots of different things at our house including NEW SANDALS! My boys’ feet grow so fast, every spring they’re all ready for a bigger size. For my older boys I always get good quality sandals so we can pass them down to the younger ones and Pediped is one of our most trusted, reliable, and […]

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*REVIEW* Pediped Spring Collection

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My all time favorite baby/toddler shoes are always Pediped shoes – this new style is a new favorite! So classic but trendy, such great quality, and the best colors. This spring, Pediped will debut over 70 new styles including fashion sandals with Memory Foam and new aquatic water-safe, machine-washable Adventure Line.  There are plenty of […]

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*TUTORIAL* Native American Dream Catcher Wall Decor

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I had a hard space on my wall to fill and one day, as I was thinking back to my elementary school days, I remembered making dream catchers. I don’t know what happened to mine, but I remember thinking it was the most beautiful thing I had ever made. It probably was… I was 8… I […]

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Getting and Staying on Track with Nature Made


“This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.” Every new year brings new challenges and one I’m focusing on this year is improving my overall health and wellness. I am in my early thirties and have always felt pretty healthy but in the last year or two […]

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*PRINTABLE* Christmas Cones


Have you seen these adorable printable Christmas cones? I found them on Pinterest and my kids LOVE them. They’ve each colored themselves an entire Christmas village. The cones are available pre-colored or black and white to color in yourself. I really like that you can print them either way – pre-colored is perfect for easy Christmas ornaments, […]

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Gift a Redbox Movie Night!

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“This post was sponsored by Redbox as part of a program with Influence Central. I received complimentary products to facilitate my review” With every passing year, so many more important people come into my life and around Christmas time I want to show everyone I love and appreciate how much I love and appreciate them! […]

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*TUTORIAL* Harry Potter Letterman’s Jacket

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My boys both wanted to be Harry Potter for Halloween this year and I wanted to make something they could wear for more than just one night so we thought of a Hogwarts Letterman’s type jacket for them. I used: A cricut to cut out the letters or scissors to do it by hand Freezer Paper […]

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