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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Books to Make

As some of you know from my previous post (Family Photos), I'm a big
fan of Shutterfly! Lots of times they give out free codes for books or have
a Groupn deal. Use them up! Here's some ideas to make the most out of
them! Yes, the usual baby's belly-birth, all the big firsts, and birthdays are
great books. All and any idea you have will be cute and amazing, but this
is our new age of scrap-booking, so I have a few ideas that go beyond the

Learning is key in our house and this custom ABC book just for our Riley
was a great tool to grab her attention and be a little more to the Alphabet
then just a typical book could do. Even if you think you don't have a picture
for all 26 letters I bet there's at least something in your child's life that you
can take a quick snap shot and add in. The funny thing is when I was
searching through all our random pictures I almost wanted to give myself a
pat on the back when the image fit the letter in multiple ways, like A. A for
Art & Alligator. Hehe, sometimes it's the small things!

Photo books are the perfect gift for any occasion.

Another book I made especially for our little one was a family book. If your family is anything like ours more often then not the family is all over the continent if not the whole globe. It can make it really confusing, especially when she was younger and sadly we all don't get nearly as much Skype time as we all would like. This was just our little way to help reminder of who all loves her and that there is more beyond just Mom and Dad. We also had lost a love one from our book and this will always keep his place in her memory and heart.

Click here to create your own Shutterfly photo book.

One last idea! GIFTS! Books make GREAT GIFTS! Very sentimental and can hold more meaning on that random holiday then any flowers or a card could even begin. We've made a couple in this train of thought, but I'll just share the "Grammy & Me" book just to give you an idea.

Shutterfly photo books are the new way to preserve your memories. Create your own today.

Shutterfly has templates and more examples if you get stuck, but I hope this helps you cherish memories in a new fun way!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Valentine's From the Heart

So this was Riley's BIG first year in a real class and a chance to make Valentines. The more I thought about letting her get store bought, the more annoyed I got and less likely it seemed. I spoke with her teacher about how the class deal will go down on that day. I'm lucky she's in a school that gets to observe all holidays, so Valentine's Day would be a thing, but she said something else. I asked if she was passing out lists of all the kids' names so they can be addressed, and she said, "No. The kids will be passing them out themselves and it seems to take way too long when they have to find each kid's name." So true, it's only Preschool, seems kind of duh! It's cool that they all get to go around and pass them out themselves. I thought it would be a parents and cubies or goodie bag deal, so this is way better. With the no name thing, I also was thinking well if it's store bought how do I avoid the TO/FROM's? My all sooooo smart husband mentioned later "To- You, From- Me." He had a point, but oh well I still think our hand made touch will be better. I'm sure we have many years ahead of us for the pre-made character ones, so we're gonna enjoy this!

We ended up at the Dollar Store and I let Riley pick out her own choice things to make her Valentines. I must admit she did a good job. Stickers and some heart shaped dollies, and the best thing was it was a 24 pack (just the same number as her classmates).

Added to our store pick up's a pink bingo dobber, pink glitter glue, red glitter puffy glue, and a few sharpies of the Valentine color array.

Now the fun has begun. Obviously, Riley wasn't to the spelling "Valentine's" part yet, so I wrote out on her lined paper what to copy and she did, with a few variations here and there. She was good with the heart and the "Riley" part, but I didn't want her forgetting so I wrote it to.

I also let the decorating and exact styling completely up to her. We had a little assembly line going. I gave her one doilie at a time, would point to letters if she needed, removed the done, wiped the table and start over. I had little plastic table places covered in Valentines all over. Couldn't chance them not drying right.

Next day, all 24 done! Dry and made with LOVE! All we did in addition was tape to the back of each a heart lollipop. Now we just wait till the big day arrives to give out to the class.

Seriously the pride on her face, seeing that she made these was way better then any other thing a store bought could had ever been. She really can't wait to give them to all her friends! So adorable!