Every year I create a photo book for each of my little monkeys summarizing the past year. It always seems to take me forever mainly because I have to sort through the hundreds of photos I have for each boy and choose which ones I like the best. I suppose I could make a photo book with every photo I have ever taken, but I can't even begin to imagine how many pages that book would have to be and how much that would cost me! I'm trying to save and budget for a minivan (that's right, I'm converting to a mommy-mobile and giving up the orange creamsicle, *sigh*).
I've explored various photo sites in the past and keep coming back to Shutterfly for my books (as well as holiday cards, birthday invitations, etc...). It seems to me that they have great prices and usually by far have the best selection of products and layouts. Shipping is fast and what you see on the computer is usually what you get in the mail (no worries about if the photos will look as good in print, are the colors to my backgrounds really that pretty, will I really be able to read that font, etc...). I'm always in love when it arrives (and my husband is always amazed and impressed as if I actually have some graphic talents - ha!). It never fails that Shutterfly usually has the best promotions too. Become a loyal customer and they will send you offer codes for free photobooks, picture prints, and cards! Follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest and more discounts and offers can be found (seriously, I rarely pay full price for things). Become a blogger and they'll even sponsor some of your posts (like this one) and offer you incentives as well. Another reason to love them as a company - they love me too (or at least act like they do). Every penny counts right? (and for those of you without kids - make a photobook of you cat, dog, trips, husband, crafts, etc...).
So anyway, now I've noticed that Shutterfly is offering a sort of "photobook" of a different style - a yearbook. I thought this could be of interest to some people who have chosen not to put their kids in traditional school as well as anyone else who might have connections within a traditional school system. When not bought in bulk the books start at $22.49, but if bought in bulk (say for a school or maybe even a homeschooling group?) they can be as low as $5. Neat! For some of you, sure you could just make a photobook, but I thought a yearbook style would be great for documenting a school year. Maybe you don't want to do a single school year - maybe a yearbook would be a good way to document a series of years of your child(ren). I just may do it once Big Monkey gets to kindergarten. Maybe I'll even make one for him compiling all his preschool years - hmm... guess we better start having "picture day" once a year, huh?
Ooooh, I've got a better idea! Use one of these yearbooks to create a collection of all your kids' artwork and school work that they bring home. I can't even count the number of people that I have recently heard ask what they should do with all the artwork. I say, take a picture of it (or 2), get rid of the actual clutter, and then put it into a book! Then you can look back on all the stuff they have done and it won't take up more room that a small book in your shelf. Genius, especially considering the amount of clutter I already have in my house! Yikes!
Anyway, I promise my blog won't turn into an ad fest. This will only happen from time to time, and only for things I really believe in and enjoy. Of course, I much like Jen from People I want to Punch in the Throat, I would very willingly whore my blog out for a free ride (i.e. minivan). If a car company ever offers me a chance to "spend some time" in a brand new minivan like they did Jen, then I hold the right to fully retract that no ad fest statement!
For good measure, here are the monkeys' having a grand ol' time learning about gardening: