Lots of reasons to smile around here today. First, my mom came to town for the day which is always a treat. Also, I got to wake up to my freshly painted kitchen and redecorated office area. Love it. And last night as we were headed out to dinner to celebrate Pi’bear’s potty training successes we ran into the UPS man who delivered our blog book. And it’s stunning. Wouldn’t these things make you smile too?

First, the blog book. Seriously you guys, it’s so awesome. If you’re thinking about doing one definitely go for it. I ordered it from and they make it so easy. They “slurp” the info from your blog for you (their word, not mine) as long as you’re using one of the main blogging sites – blogger, typepad, wordpress, etc. They go ahead and format it for you but then you can tweak things to your liking which is what I ended up doing. Because all of my photos have been resized for the web I can’t get any images printed off of the blog larger than about 4 by 6 inches. For this reason I chose the 7 inch square blog book and it worked perfectly. I was a little worried that the type would be super small and hard to read but it’s really fine. I’ll be honest that I spent about three days getting everything just the way I wanted it but in the grand scheme of things that’s really not that long to get such a great hard copy of your memories. The hardcover version comes with a book jacket that you can design and you can even insert pictures and text into the flaps. So cool. My only complaint about the whole thing is that whenever you use italics or links (which you guys know I do a lot), blurb takes out the space between that word and the words on either size. It’s a weird annoying quirk but you can go back and fix it manually after the blog is slurped if you want to. I was too lazy and now it kind of annoys me but oh well. My book containing the first year of Princess Pigbear (2006) ended up being 258 pages. And it’s 258 pages of awesome.
eta: my book was around $60 with shipping. You can order multiple copies and share the link with other people who can order copies too. You can even hike the price up and sell your book to other people, netting the difference for yourself. πŸ™‚

And now, a little look at my new favorite spot in the house. I fell in love with this little kitchen office area when we first bought this house but the cold grey-khaki walls, the clutter atop the desk, the mismatch of colors scattered about and the wires and cords coming out everywhere left much to be desired. As always Brent was a sport and spent the last three nights helping me paint the kitchen, move shelving and hang things just so. I’m excited to show off the rest of the kitchen too (especially the orange we used in the tray ceiling!) but it’s still a few weeks or months from being how I want it. I’m lovin’ our new little corner though…
Check out the chalkboards from the store closing I mentioned on Monday…
I love them even more because they’re magnetic and I now have a place to play with my motherhood magnetic poetry. With words like “bootie”, “burp”, and “breast” in the mix you know it’s never dull!
I also love that I think I’ve found the perfect space for my poetry word cubes that I found at the now defunct Santa Cruzy flea market several years back.
And as long as I’m living up to my reputation and getting all crazy with the hyperlinking I might as well mention that the purty turquoise chalice is only there temporarily since the color isn’t quite right for the space but the sentiment behind it makes me smile everytime I see it. So for now it stays. It was a Christmas gift from my mom to go with a book she gave us called The Blessing Cup: Prayer Rituals for Families and Groups. If that piques your interest then you might also like The Family Cloister and The Christian Family Toolbox (both of which are books by David Robinson and previous gifts from my mom).

And the piece de resistance…the little half wall right inside the door that we painted with chalkboard paint for the kiddos!
confession time: “piece de resistance” is a phrase I’ve always wanted to use and was never quite sure what it meant. While typing this blog I thought it was the right thing to say if it meant what I thought it meant and after checking it out on wikipedia (don’t kill me Dad) I found out that it did! Hooray for my usually pitiful foreign lexicon! “French Mom”, I know you’re proud. If there was ever any question about how hopelessly dorky I am I’m sure I’ve now laid it to rest.
J.J. KillinsJanuary 18, 2008 - 6:59 pm

love it all! i have a little half wall that i’ve thought would be GREAT as a chalkboard area in the kitchen:) but wait, i thought you HATED chalk!

Susie PSUJanuary 18, 2008 - 7:11 pm

Cool blog book! Are they expensive? Perhaps I should look into one…

AnonymousJanuary 18, 2008 - 7:53 pm

I was also wondering how expensive it was for that many pages because I would love to make a big book like that of my wedding photos.


SharonJanuary 18, 2008 - 8:05 pm

Erin… You are so cool!

Your blog makes me smile…

DaphneJanuary 18, 2008 - 8:23 pm

Wow! The book looks totally awesome! I also love the kitchen area and the chalkboard wall! Very cool!

KristenJanuary 18, 2008 - 8:47 pm

Oh my gosh! That book is SO awesome, I have only been blogging for 7 months, but you better beleive Ill be doing one of these every year! YEah, thanks for sharing!!

ArianaJanuary 18, 2008 - 9:35 pm

You have no idea how excited I am that you posted the blog book information πŸ˜€

I seriously about jumped out of my chair. I’ve spent hours looking around and trying to find a good place to print my blog (to heck with scrapbooking! lol) but I was nervous about the quality of the pictures. I didn’t even consider a 7×7 book! Yay. Thanks so so much for the info and pictures πŸ™‚

I LOVE your kitchen. LOVE it.

SheenaJanuary 18, 2008 - 9:48 pm

OMG Erin!!!! I’m soooo glad you posted about the looks AWESOME!!! I’m starting on mine first thing in the morning! πŸ™‚

The kitchen area looks great….love the chalkboard ideas!

ellenJanuary 18, 2008 - 10:59 pm

I’ve been thinking about using Blurb to publish my blog; thanks for the information! Your book looks very cool. And I love the color of your wall!

erinJanuary 19, 2008 - 5:56 am

Hey guys…so glad you guys are all excited about the book! I’ll repost this in the body of the blog too but my book was around $60 with shipping. You can order multiple copies and share the link with other people who can order copies too. You can even hike the price up and sell your book to other people, netting the difference for yourself. πŸ™‚

JenniferJanuary 19, 2008 - 8:07 am

The book is awesome Erin – what a great tribute to Sarah’s first year!!

Love the new computer area too. I frequently head to the paint store to change things up a bit – ask Aunt Lu! It’s such an in expensive way to make something new again!!

KimberlyJanuary 19, 2008 - 10:53 am

Everything looks FAB! And I love the book. I’m so glad that you said it was easy to do. Now I can make that my next project!

Shana-LynnJanuary 19, 2008 - 12:22 pm

Everything looks great! But wherever do you find the time?

Holliday FamilyJanuary 19, 2008 - 12:27 pm

lovin it lovin it lovin it

DeniseJanuary 19, 2008 - 7:47 pm

All that made me smile!! I am inspired about your blog book and had been wanting to do that for a while. Thanks for the tips! You sound GREAT!!!! Just think, last year at this time (almost exactly) we had our big photo shoot. Maybe it’s this exact time that we were enjoying a night as grown-ups without our supermodels! πŸ˜‰

JeanelleJanuary 19, 2008 - 10:08 pm

The book is ADORABLE!
Great job on the painting, too.
And, what a cute idea for the chalk wall!

DebbieJanuary 20, 2008 - 1:08 am

Thank you so much for sharing about the book! I didn’t do much for my first year, but heck, I’m going to do one anyway. I can’t believe they make it so easy.

eJanuary 20, 2008 - 9:57 pm

LOVING the blurb book photos!
Thanks for posting those, I have been wondering about the final result of the book as I’m in the middle of mine. The 7×7 is a great idea/time saver. Do you sharpen your photos for the web? If so, did they look ok in print?


HeatherJanuary 23, 2008 - 6:50 am

I love the book. We’ll be doing one for sure! Thanks for posting the info for it:)

JenJanuary 25, 2008 - 1:27 pm

you are my hero. literally.

i have yet to totally unpack from our move (last month) and i can barely make time to shower (didn’t do it yet today and it is 3:24 pm!) or post new blogs of my own, and i only have a 14 month old little girl.
You have TWO munchkins, you blog like crazy, you look so put together, your kids are always adorable and put together, and you still have time to order blog books and paint?????

you amaze me. you need to write a HOW-TO book!!!

[…] to make story books for each big trip we take as a family.Β  I found out about Blurb books from The PigBear. Β It’s super easy to make and they have so many templates to use! Β There are several options […]

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