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Completion > Perfection {an honest video review of Chatbooks}

I’m aaaaaalive.  And by that I mean that I am finally taking the time to sit and write one of the many blog posts I’ve been composing in my head for, oh, several months now.  So here’s a quick review of the photo book company Chatbooks:

Since Hadden was born I’ve known that I needed to start collecting and printing our family photos.  I had this intense guilt over all the wonderful photos we had that were just hanging out in The Cloud.  I wanted to do something with them, but I was paralyzed by a need for them to be perfect.  As my reserve of pictures grew so did my guilt.

When I heard about Chatbooks I was skeptical as to whether I’d like it or not.  I still had the idea of an intricate scrapbook (a la Creative Memories) but with no desire or talent to actually MAKE that scrapbook.  So while I was waited for my first Chatbook to arrive, I had some serious reservations.

After several months of trying out their products I can now highly recommend Chatbooks.  The convenience and price simply cannot be beat.  And I’ve been happy with all the items I’ve received.

As I say in the video, I would NOT use Chatbooks for, say, your wedding album.  The quality just isn’t on par with other photo books I’ve made even on the pictures I’ve taken with my “good” camera.  I have liked the books I’ve received enough that I am working on six other books and plan to have all of them printed once I edit the captions and add Caleb’s photos.

I also love the fact that at any time I can go on and order another copy of a book.  If we ever lose them during a move or if we decided to print copies of our family albums for our kids, it will take me just a few clicks before a new album is on its way to our home.



A few additional things:

  1. Chatbooks contacted me in the spring and offered to send me a free book.  However there was no mention or obligation of writing a review in exchange for the product.  I had a frustrating experience at the beginning of working with them and the book that was offered never actually came.  Instead I was given a credit and with that I made my own book (again, .  Even after the rough start, I’ve since fallen in love with this company.  I chose to do a review on my own because I wanted to share it with people.  All opinions are my own.
  2. I am THE WORST on video.  And I know it.  So if it sounds awkward to you, don’t worry: I’m aware. But I wanted to actually show the products and knew that filming would be much faster than trying to describe each thing.
  3. What you can’t see in this picture is Adelaide sitting right next to me in her highchair trying to figure out what the heck I was doing!  I was waiting for her to make some noise, but she was perfectly quiet the whole time.

If you follow this link, you can get your first book FREE!  That is a referral link so if you follow it and make a Series book (rather than a Custom), I receive a small credit to my account.  If you’d prefer not to use the referral link, you can usually find other deals around the web!  Try it out!

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First Day of School Comparison

This year Hadden started preschool and Caleb started grad school (and I suppressed my jealousy at being the only member of my family who wasn’t in school!).  Here are their pictures from the first day of school.

First Day of School Comparison


See that cute little smile??  He might look shy, but he was THRILLED to be going.



Cheesing it up with mama…


…and with dada.

First Day of Grad School

Caleb wasn’t quite so enthusiastic about his first day of school, so when I took this picture I said, “Pose like you’re a kindergartener!!”


And then he insisted that I take one more to show his true feelings about starting grad school.  🙂

Let’s compare those two once more, shall we??

First Day of School ComparisonFirst Day of Grad School

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Frivolous Friday: Toddler v Taco

One day while Caleb was deployed, I wasn’t feeling up to cooking so I picked up Chipotle for dinner.  Hadden and I usually share a burrito bowl, but that day I’d ordered tacos.

Hadden was happily intrigued by the tacos and by the fact that he got his very own.  But, like a typical two-year-old, he didn’t want to take my suggestions on how to eat it.  He wanted to figure it out himself.

He picked up the taco to take a bite.

Everything inside fell out.


I pried the tortilla out of his hand, carefully scooping the toppings back inside.  When he calmed down, I convinced him to take another bite.

So once again he lifted the taco from the plate only to have gravity do it’s thing once again.


I think he thought that I was playing a cruel trick on him, like I was somehow manipulating the taco guts to rebel against him.  (I wasn’t.)

This happened two or three more times, each time ending in tears, until he finally got it figured out, got a few bites in and had his blood sugar stabilize.

This would just be a good story.  But I’ve got something even better.

Like the caring, nurturing, emotionally-supportive mother that I am, I snapped a picture.

And so, from the bowels of my phone’s memory, I give to you: Toddler v Taco.



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