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Gift Giving

Holiday Gift Guide – Blurb Books

If you’re like me, you like to get your Christmas shopping done early.  The fact that I’ve barely started at the beginning of October makes me a little itchy if I think about it….so I won’t.  But one thing that I’ve found to be a great gift for all ages is a homemade book.  Today, I’m teaming up with the folks at Blurb to share a little about how you can make a custom book for your family or friends.


In years past I’ve gifted copies of our One Tale a Day blog put into book form for the year.  I’ve also converted a friend’s blog to a book and gifted it.  And I’ve made family photo books to give as gifts.  They were all so well received and Blurb makes them very easy to make! (Although, be forewarned, they do take some time so be prepared to spend a few hours making your book!)

This year Blurb has put together a Gift Guide to make it even easier to create a book.  They show samples of types of books you can make (in addition to what I’ve already mentioned, think cookbooks, planners, personalized notebooks and journals) as well as a graphic showing you all the tools available in their software and instructions on how to make a book.

They are also offering a a 20% discount through October 7th if you use code EARLYBIRD20.

If you have any questions about making a Blurb book, I’d be glad to talk with you about it.  I have had nothing but good experiences with them and I cherish the books that I’ve made! Happy Creating!

*This post falls under my link/review disclosures and contains affiliate links.  However, all opinions and comments are strictly my own.


Blurb Books

Now that we’ve done Christmas with The Dixon’s I can tell you about probably my favorite Christmas present that we are giving this year.  I put together a Blurb blog book for Kelly for Christmas.  I had put together one of my previous blog in August and thought that it would be such a nice gift.  Hopefully, she was just as excited about it as I was!
Blurb makes it so easy to create a book from your blog entries.  They have software that you download on to your computer and with that you can make a book from your blog or just from pictures on your computer.  It is super easy to make a blog book if you have a Blogger account.  You enter your credentials that you use to sign in to Blogger and the software just “slurps” your blog over to their software and then you just re-format everything in the way that you would like. 
I have been so happy with my book!  It’s hard to find time to update an actual baby book when you have a baby around and so Charlotte’s is sadly missing a lot of information.  But, since I put so much on our blog it’s basically like her baby book!  So, by getting a hard copy of it it’s like I have a baby book anyway without having to write everything down multiple places.
Blurb also has great templates that you can use to make things like cookbooks!  I made a cookbook of my Recipe Wednesday posts for a wedding shower gift for a friend over the summer. 
And Blurb is the most affordable site for blog books that I’ve found.  Depending on the size and number of pages you have the price varies but overall I’ve found it to be a great price for a great, quality product!
I just wanted to show you one of the books that I’ve made and let you know about this great site.  I have not been compensated in any way for this recommendation, it’s just my honest opinion!  Hopefully it will be a great resource for you!
Gift Giving, Holidays, Shopping, TalesOfAPeanut

#CyberMonday Shopping Hints!

BOGO 50 Off Christmas 2014 Listing Image

I’ve got lots of fun deals going on in the shop through today, Cyber Monday! They include:

Bloomin Web

Buy One Get One 50% off Placemats – Choose any four designs!

Dizzy Dino 3 web

Buy One Get One 50% off Lunchboxes – Choose any four designs!

Ho Ho Ho Plate web

Buy One Get One 50% off Plates – Choose any two designs!

(PS TODAY is the last day to order plates with Christmas delivery without paying rush fees! The prices for plates will increase tomorrow!)

Tales of a Peanut_Acorn Tray2 web

Buy One Get One 50% off Trays – Choose any two designs!

Snowflake Web

10% off Christmas and Holiday cards! (Prices on all listings reflect 10% off of the regular price. Prices will go back to normal on Tuesday.)

Some other shopping suggestions to get great deals and support small businesses :

Mint Julep Monograms – last day for Christmas delivery is 12/1/14!

Three Bird Nest – use code CYBER30 for 30% until 8 PM PST!

Chloe + Isabel – some items 50-75% off today!

The Happy Cactus – save 30% off through 12/6/14 with code BLACKFRIDAY2014

Joy Merryman Store – use code FREESHIP for free US shipping!

GraceLaced – everything 25% off with code BLACKFRIDAY25

Lindsay Letters – everything 15% off today!

Hilary Butler Fine Art – 20% off all prints with code MONDAY20

Naptime Diaries – 30% off all prints and canvases with code BLACKFRIDAY14 as well as 12 Days of Christmas giveaways (you’re entered after any purchase of $25 or more)

The Canvas Shoppe (Paige Knudsen) – all canvases are 20% through midnight!

Shoppe Beloved

Red Clay and Cotton

And if you’re shopping big (which I do too, don’t worry):

(Please see link/review disclosures for more information on affiliate links which are below)

eBates is having double cash back shopping on Monday

Kiwi Crate has 60% off of your first month’s crate as well free shipping with code HOLIDAY60

Warby Parker has a free home try on program where you can try 5 pairs of glasses for 5 days 100% free

Blurb has deals for 30% off book orders $150+ (CYBER30) , 25% off book orders $100+ (CYBER25), and 20% off all book orders (CYBER20)

Crafts, Family

#ALWB – Memories

Technology seems like it changes almost daily. It’s unfathomable for my kids that I didn’t have a cell phone until I was 15. And I always shake my head when they pretend call someone. They hold their hand up flat and speak into their palm as opposed to holding their thumb and pinky out like I do when I play pretend phone.

There are many ways to take advantage of the many technological advances that have occurred since we grew up, but one that I especially love pertains to memory keeping. Like I’ve mentioned in my past posts, I am a sentimental person and maybe one of the most telling exhibits of that is my scrapbook collection. I started making a scrapbook in sixth grade and made at least one for each grade through my senior year of high school.


Read more on the Alabama Women Blogger’s Blog….

And if you’re interested in the rest of the post, here are links to my previous posts about Blurb.


Friday Peanuts – End of Summer Edition

Friday Peanuts

Well, it’s the last Friday before school starts.  I think this has been the longest summer for all of us since we’ve been homebound with an infant for most of it.  I’m not sure if I or the kids are more ready for school to start but we’re all definitely ready!  Despite my eagerness to have the kids in a structured environment in the morning’s I am pretty emotional already about Charlotte starting kindergarten.  I anticipate that next Tuesday is going to be a lot of tears kind of day.

In more interesting news, here’s what I’m thinking about and loving today.

#BecauseJesus – A very thought provoking piece on whether the Christian culture in America is selfish

A Love Letter to All the Daughters Everywhere – “You are loved because you are” Exactly what I want my girls to know.

What to Do About Tattling – Jason and I are thinking about instituting this method to curtail tattling in our house.  Any other ideas?

Beginning of Kindergarten Coloring Sheet – I think it’s a neat idea to have your child color this sheet at the beginning of kindergarten and the end to see how their coloring has progressed.

Free Back to School Printables – Last year I put together some free back to school printables to remind yourself in years to come what your child loved at the beginning of each year of school and how big their hand was.  (I also do this at the end of the year.)  I wanted to link to them in case you want to use them.  There’s also a teacher questionnaire if you want to know what you can do during the year to bless your child’s teacher in a way that they will really appreciate.

Christmas Stockings – I just ordered these as our forever after stockings and I can’t wait for them to come in! I think they’ll look beautiful hanging from our mantle.

Personalized Champagne Flutes – Saw these on Etsy and wish I had a need for them or a place to give them!

Comfort Colors Monogrammed T-Shirt – Seeing as I’m wearing t-shirts basically every day these days I think a monogrammed comfort colors shirt would break up my typical game t-shirts and various travel shirts.

bikn – I like the idea of this device that you can have your kids keep in their pocket and then you can track them with your phone.  Sounds like a great idea for trips to theme parks or other large crowds.  My only question is about the security and whether other people can track my kids too.  I guess that’s the computer scientist in me thinking but it’s a real concern.

Ebola patients brought back to the USA – While thinking that Ebola is on US soil is scary, this article by the lead nurse at Emory reminds me that the purpose of medicine is to help others.  And if I was in their position, I would surely want to be brought back to the US for treatment as opposed to staying in Africa!

Blurb – I’m still working on updating our memory books and in case you’re working on them too here are two coupon codes: Save 25% on print book orders of $75+ on 1st purchase only and Save 15% on all purchases.  Both are good through August 25. (These are affiliate links and I will receive a small commission if you make a purchase through them.  See my link/review disclosures for more information.)

Have a great weekend!


30by30 – The Final Update

I stopped updating my 30by30 list every month back in September — I guess that was when my pregnancy really kicked in and I started napping every day.  And, I have to say, that I’m rather disappointed with what I managed to accomplish on this list.  But I will blame my pregnancy which took over half of my 29th year for at least some of the lack of accomplishment.  I’ve worked over the past few weeks to finish up a few items and I still think that it was a good try at a very time intensive list!

30 by 30 Tales of a Peanut_edited_1

1. Go to Paris – went in April!
2. Implement a chore chart with the kids and myself – Didn’t implement a chart but did get the kids to start understanding the concept of chores and start helping around the house when asked.  I’ll call that a win.
3. Implement a menu schedule – I modified my Pinterest boards into Recipes I haven’t tried and Recipes that I have made and enjoyed which helps me remember our favorites.  And, for a while, I was trying new recipes to share in Recipe Wednesday posts but have been throwing together quick things for the past month or so due to tiredness.  Maybe actually implement a schedule once we get on one after Hadley arrives?
4. Get Supper Club going again – we did good in the fall but slacked in the spring, hoping to get one more dinner in before Hadley comes
5. Attend dotMom in the fall – hotel room was booked and is now cancelled since I’ve decided not to go
6. Throw a Christmas Party – we had a great one!
7. Plan a “Light ‘Em Up” program for us to do in the summer – neither the summer program nor the Christmas Light Em Up happened, I need to be more prepared in advance this year and blame our December Disney trip, my getting sick while Jason traveled, and our Christmas party for not getting to this.
8. Become more proficient with Photoshop & organize my pictures – I haven’t totally cleaned out all of my old pictures (i.e. deleting those that are out of focus, etc) but I did get everything more organized and feel like I’ve grown a lot in my Photoshop knowledge in the past year
9. Finish my 2011 One Tale a Day Blurb book – nope
10. Complete the 2012 OTAD pictures – Ha!
11. Make a 2012 OTAD Blurb book – Ha!
12. Complete the 2013 OTAD pictures – Ha!
13. Make a 2013 OTAD Blurb book – Ha!
14. Make blog books up to present day – Ha! I had way too high of ambitions for these.  Each book takes a really long time to prepare and I just am barely having time to keep up with the blog and my shop to work on books.  I really want to, but so far haven’t found time to work on them.
15. Start an Etsy shop – Yay, it’s open!
16. Go on a by-ourselves date with Jason every month – We were fairly regular with our dates this year and tried to make them a priority which was nice.  We even had a weekend to ourselves while the kids were at my in-laws the last weekend in March!
17. Re-vamp the blog design – DONE!
18. Re-learn all about my camera and start taking great pictures
19. Take pictures of and blog about the new house (complete all my unfinished projects!) – I did get some additional posts up but there are still things that I want to blog about.  And things are always changing so I want to update some posts already.  I think this will be a continuous goal.
20. Be more diligent about keeping up with friends – I think I did better at being more cognizant of checking on others and asking how I can pray or help.  At least I like to think I did!
21. Take kids to Disney World – Went in December
22. Cook at least two new recipes every month – I think I probably did this, see #3 for more details
23. Re-start and finish reading the Bible in a year – Completed it and it was so wonderful! I highly encourage you to give it a try even if it takes a couple years like it took me!
24. Get kids into doing Random Acts of Kindness together – kind of tied in to #7 and something that I didn’t get to but want to
25. Start learning Bible Verses with the kids – I made more of an effort to work on their school and Sunday School verses but we hadn’t started doing our ABC Scripture Cards like I want to
26. Write 30 letters to friends and family telling them what they mean to me
27. Start some type of exercise program – Jason and I were really close to finishing Couch to 5k when I started getting sick because of the pregnancy and couldn’t make myself get up at 5am to run.  I am really looking forward to restarting this at the end of the summer though and hope to run my first 5k sometime in the fall.  I enjoyed it MUCH more than I thought I would!
28. Get our family eating more whole/real foods – We’ve transitioned a lot of things to more whole foods but still have a long way to go.  Baby steps.
29. Learn something new (computer language, language, cooking style, way to fix my hair…..) – I’m going to count Illustrator even though I’m far from proficient yet
30. Spend more time in the moment, cherishing my family – If you’re going to be resting a lot that typically means you’re getting in lots of snuggles! One benefit to not feeling so great because you’re pregnant!