Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Make Your Own Memory Book

With the holidays coming up I wanted to share a gift idea you may be interested in.  My mom is an affiliate with Blurb books and they have a holiday special going on right now.  I'll let her tell you about it.

Make Your Own Memory Book

I recently made my own Memory Book and I can't believe how quick and easy it was.  The best part is - the possibilities are endless.  I made my book through Blurb Books, with their easy to follow on-line program.  I wanted to make a coffee table book for the lake house, so I made one depicting highlights of this years visits with family and friends.

 Here's the photo I took at the Lake house...

...and here it is on the front of my book.....

This is the photo on the rear of the book....

And this is one of the center pages....

The pages themselves are really good photo quality.  You can choose layouts of portrait, landscape or square and you can pick either hard or soft cover too.  Prices begin at $ 12.99 and go up from there, depending on what you choose to do and the number of pages and photos you want.

My book consisted of the Standard Portrait layout 7.75x9.75 inches (20x25 cm) , 20 pages Standard Mid-Grey End Sheet Standard Paper and cost me $ 31.99 plus shipping.  When I was creating my book I had a question, so I emailed their customer service department.  Within 2 hours I had a reply and precise instructions on how to do what I was trying to accomplish.  I placed my order and within 7 days I had my book in my hands and I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with the finished product.  When I gave it to my husband and kids to look at, they were so excited to see themselves featured in a book.  The book is now proudly displayed on the coffee table at the lake house and everyone who walks in the door wants to check it out.  And one more thing, I received a follow up email from customer service just to make sure they took care of my question and that I was happy.  It's rare to find that high level of customer service anymore.

The Blurb website is easy to maneuver around.  Blurb supplies tips and tutorials to get you started.  They have a wide variety of page layouts and you can get as extensive as you want with print.  You can choose from many different genres, such as:

  • photo books
  • yearbooks
  • wedding books
  • cookbooks
  • travel books
  • photography books
  • baby books
  • notebooks
  • you can even make e books for I pad
Some great options for the books you create, other than giving them as lasting memory gifts, is that you can also sell your books through Blurb's site.  They supply free desktop publishing tools, and can help you share and promote your book to your followers.  The Blurb website currently has over 1500 books that were created by people like you and are now listed for sale through Blurb.  How fun is that?  Do you harbor a secret desire to become a published author?  The tools are now at your fingertips.  Whether you create a keepsake for yourself or someone in your family, or publish that photography or cook book that is bottled up inside of you, Blurb has the tools and the affordability for you to do so.

Click on this link!    Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30    

Save 30% on Blurb print books until November 30th!The holiday shopping extravaganza has begun and family gatherings are going to create hundreds of moments to remember forever. So use the code: SAVE30 to save 30% on your next Blurb book order over $60. If you order a few printed books with all your fancy Thanksgiving pictures, you can have them in time for Christmas! Blurb even allows you to use your Facebook and Instagram pictures to help build up your books, which is bonus in my book! Let your creativity flow over to Blurb and see what masterpiece you can make! (You really will look like a professional book maker with their software and finished products!)

Save 30% on Blurb's Print Books with code: SAVE30

Dates: November 22nd – November 30th

Code: SAVE30

***Offer valid until November 30, 2013 (11:59 p.m. local time). Valid for print books only. A 30% discount is applied toward your product total with a minimum order of USD $60, CAD $60, GBP £60, EUR €60, or AUD $60. Maximum discount is USD $100, CAD $100, GBP £65, EUR €75, or AUD $100 off product total. This offer is good for one-time use, and cannot be combined with volume discounts, other promotional codes, gift cards, or used for adjustments on previous orders.
Go ahead, click on the link above and check them out.  Wait until you see how easy it is to create a memory book.  Blurb books make a wonderful keepsake that your family and friends will cherish forever.

This post contains affiliate links. Which means I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my links above.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving

If you  missed my mom's post about her special smoothie, then go back and read it here.  In anticipation of the upcoming holiday, mom has been making a blender full of this smoothie every morning and then drinking a glass of it before each meal.  She says it's helped her to curb her appetite a little.

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving holiday.  Remember to give thanks for what you have and to hug the ones you love.  Have a safe and blessed holiday.  See you next week!

Don't forget I have a bunch of videos.  See the video link TAB at the top of the page.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Holiday Eating Strategies

I know we've talked about this before, but I thought I'd list a few more tips and ideas for watching what you eat during the holidays.

  • Chew gum - preferably sugarless gum.  
  • Drink a smoothie with flax one hour before you leave for the party.
  • Drink sparkling water, not soda.
  • Eat more of the veggies and fruit.  Other good choices are whole grains and low fat dairy products.
  • Don't totally deny yourself.  Take something and nibble on it or take one or two small bites.  This way you indulge your craving but don't feel guilty.  Pay attention to what you're eating and enjoy the taste of the food.
  • Cut down on alcohol, which is usually loaded with calories
  • Do not skip meals - otherwise you'll get to the party and stuff your face because you're starving.
  • Eat until you're full and then stop.  Don't over eat.
  • After the holidays try to return to your regular exercise and eating habits.
You still have a week and a half until Thanksgiving.  Stick to your diet schedule and step up your exercise a little until the holiday.

See you next week.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Running Outside

Last week my mom took her running program out of doors.  Let's check in and see how she's doing....

As many of you know, I did the Couch to 5K program in the comfort of my own home, on my treadmill.  I talked about finally completing it here.  My friend Linda over at Linda's Lens has been encouraging me to take it outside and I finally took her advice.

Let me just say this - running on a treadmill and running outside are 2 completely different things.  First, when running on the treadmill I am parked in front of the television and I have my ear plugs attached to my I Pad music.  I usually run at a zero - 1 incline, which basically means flat ground!  Also, there is no terrain to stumble over and finally, no wind resistance.

Since we were recently at the lake house, I finally decided to try this outside running thing.  I got up bright and early, got into my jogging clothes, threw a baseball cap on my head and walked down the block and back to warm up.  Did I mention that I had to pick the coldest morning so far this fall to do  this?  It was a nice cold 30 degrees with a stiff wind blowing in from the lake.  Brrr......

After my warm up walk, I started off at an easy trot and was dismayed to discover that the run up our block is at a pretty good incline and more difficult to run than I anticipated.  I ran up the block and down the other end of the hill to the cross street, jogged about 2 more blocks and I felt like my lungs were going to blow out of my chest.  Plus, the cold air felt horrible on the back of my throat.  Crap on a cracker, 4 lousy blocks into my run and I was already slowed to a walk for about 300 feet.  This was not going so good.  I silently cursed Linda for her bright ideas, took a deep breath and pushed myself to start running again. 

The area where our lake house sits is quite hilly, so I found myself not only running up and down the hills, but dodging gravel, pine cones, puddles of water and the occasional turtle.  I ran through a neighboring campground, around a marina and then headed back towards the house.  I'll admit that the last incline was rough and I again slowed to a walk for about 200 feet, before finishing off my run huffing and puffing. 

After another walk up and down the block to cool down, I decided that I did better than I expected.  I ended up running 1.75 miles in about 28 minutes.  I apologized to Linda in my head for cursing at her earlier, and decided I was glad that she pushed me to try running outside.  Thanks Linda!

In fact, the next day I laced up my sneakers and headed out for another run.  The 2nd day was a little better because I knew what to expect, and it was about 20 degrees warmer, which I liked much better.  I ran the exact same route, only had to slow to a walk once for about 100 feet and ended up doing the 1.75 miles in 21 minutes.  I was really happy with that.

At the end of my run, I was greeted with this.....

Now when God gives you a reward like that, it just has to  make you smile and vow to go out and do it all over again the next day, right?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 46 Progress

The holidays are right around the corner and you know what that means - lots of parties, yummy food, drinking, baking.  You get the idea.

Start thinking and preparing now for how you will handle all the temptations of the season.  Here's a couple of ideas to get you going.

  • Step up your exercise program.  Work out an extra 15 minutes a day or increase your cardio if possible.
  • Add more fresh fruit and vegetables into your daily meals.
  • Add extra fiber and multi-grain products daily.
  • Practice portion control.
  • Eat breakfast.  I cannot stress this enough.  It's important to include protein and fiber to this meal to help fill you up for several hours.
  • Get lots of sleep.
  • Drink water.
For more help and tips, visit my Video Tab at the top of the page.  See you next week!