Thursday, December 15, 2011
If you haven't noticed, I've taken a bit of a hiatus lately. I was planning on being back after New Years, but this review just couldn't wait.
I. Love. Shutterfly. All things Shutterfly, but especially their photo books.
I'm a fairly regular customer of theirs, especially when there is a sale or promotion that I just can't pass up.
Like this one.
Shutterfly graciously allowed me the opportunity to make and review one of their 8x8 photo books. If you haven't stopped by Shutterfly recently, go. Now. They have a new custom path option with fabulous themes! And the best part? There are now embellishments with each theme! How cool is that? There are "stickers" and borders and phrases available to add to your pages anywhere and anyhow you want! It kind of gives your pages a scrapbook feel without looking like a scrapbook.
Seriously: go check it out! It's a lot of fun!
And, as always, Shutterfly's quality is wonderful. The pictures are crisp, the layouts are visually appealing, and the binding is very solid.
I've make photo books through several companies over the years, but Shutterfly is by far my favorite!
Here comes the best part: Shutterfly is offering one very fortunate person an 8x8 photo book, with free shipping!
It really doesn't get much better than free shipping, am I right?
To enter, please just leave a comment here. One comment per person, no extra entries. I'll put this up on my Facebook page, too, for those of you without a Blogger profile.
I'll pick a winner Monday evening sometime. Short and sweet.
Friday, September 9, 2011
For our first anniversary, Mr. Einstein and I celebrated at his parents' lake cabin. Our family and friends joined us for the weekend, and we boated and played and talked and ate. After evening fell, the neighbor's great brute of a dog ran by growling and barking in the middle of the night, chasing...something. The next day, we discovered what.
There were three of them, all grey, all with yellow eyes. All abandoned. The kittens were very affectionate, very hungry, and very well-behaved.
My brother-in-law took one, the biggest one, a female. Mr. Einstein and I took the other two--one boy, one girl--with the intention of dropping them off at an animal shelter.
They never made it to the shelter.
We kept them too long, fell in love with them, and bonded with them. So, we took them both home.
The girl we called Melody. She "sang" the entire four hour drive home.
The boy we called Sindar. He looked like one of Tolkien's grey elves with his pointy ears, sleek grey fur, and big yellow eyes.
We have had both of them ten years now. Through one move, three kids, and numerous neighborhood building projects, they have been here with us.
Until yesterday morning.
I let Sindar out two nights ago, as per usual. He's a moose of a cat, but a true fraidy cat. He loves the outdoors, but will only stay out at night for a few hours, and never during the day.
The next morning, I asked Mr. Einstein if he had let the cat in that night. Sindar eventually comes scratching at the door, usually around midnight. But, not that night.
That night, we slept.
And Sindar died.
Somehow. We don't know how. We found him in the middle of the road early yesterday morning, cold and stiff. There were no marks on his body, no blood, but we're assuming a car hit him.
It breaks my heart to know he died alone. To think he suffered and I didn't know.
And I know he's "just a cat," but he was my cat, our cat. And now he's gone.
Rest in peace, Sindar. We miss you.
Friday, September 2, 2011
Thursday, September 1, 2011
Well, we finally did it, cashed it in, took a trip, and celebrated our anniversary in style.
My in-laws very graciously came to spend the weekend with our kids two weeks ago, and Mr. Einstein and I took off. Alone. Just the two of us. *bliss*
Our gift certificate allowed us one night of accommodations, but we wanted to make a weekend of it. The Resort is a wee bit expensive, so we spent the first night at The Davenport Hotel in Spokane.
It's a completely remodeled hotel in downtown Spokane, and only one word can be used to describe it: luxurious.
Our room was small, but well-appointed. They even have their own exclusive line of mattresses made for the hotel. Everything was white and black and gilt and fluffy and expensive.
We lounged around for awhile and went downstairs for a cocktail (I seriously can't believe I just typed that. A cocktail. Me?) where I had my first-ever martini, key lime. Yum!
Then we went across the street to The Davenport Tower for dinner and, again, Yum!
Of course, I didn't take any pictures there. It just felt too touristy to do something like that amid all that luxury. I felt enough out of place as it was!
The next day, we headed on over to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, to The Coeur d'Alene Resort.
While we were waiting for our river cruise to begin, we saw (unexpectedly) the hydroplane races! Growing up in Seattle, we watched the hydroplanes on television every year during Seafair, so it was really cool to see them in person, and from so close! Oh Boy! Oberto was always my sister's and my favorite, so I snapped a few shots of it, just for her.
Our St. Joe River cruise was hot and breezy, and about 2+ hours too long. We were on the cruise for 6 hours total, and while it was nice, the scenery rarely changed and there were no extra seats up on the second level. Fortunately, we had a nice spot at a table next to an open window. We played cribbage and read and played around on the iPad. It was all stuff we would have just done in the hotel room, so it was nice to get a chance to at least get some fresh air.
Our room was a "lakeside" room, but it mostly overlooked an outdoor dining area and the marina. This is the entrance/exit of the marina from our room at night:
The Davenport was definitely my favorite of the entire trip, but I'm really glad Mr. Einstein won that gift package! The resort was an experience we might never have had otherwise. The whole weekend was something that we definitely needed, just the two of us.
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Saturday, July 9, 2011
One walk to feed the ducks.
One water fight.
One evening of fireworks.
One day of shopping.
One boat trip.
One day of sleeping in.
One lazy day.
One cold day.
One trip to eat ice cream before lunch.
One dinner out.
One carsick kid.
One visit to the zoo.
One stop at the outlet mall.
One return home.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Friday, June 10, 2011
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Thursday, May 5, 2011
Monday, May 2, 2011
LETTER BUDDIES ALPHABOOKS:
24 BOOKS IN ONE APP! The fun-loving Letter Buddies help children prepare for school. Simple
stories with striking photo-illustrations develop vocabulary and basic reading skills.
● One book for each letter of the alphabet (X, Y, Z combined in one book)
● Clear, bright photography introduces key foundational vocabulary
● Simple sentences combined with fantastic photo-illustrations put the vocabulary in
context and teach important school readiness sight words
● Cute and humorous, the Letter Buddies will entertain your children as they become
fluent readers and learners!
Letter Buddies materials were originally developed for early childhood education and are
currently being used in classrooms throughout North America! These popular teaching tools
have now been adapted into the Letter Buddies AlphaBooks app so your child can develop
valuable skills that will get them ready to enter Pre-Kindergarten or Kindergarten.
- Children 2-6
Two-ways to read each e-book:
- “Read to Me” - listen to the narrated story with words highlighted as they are read
- “Read it Myself” - read the book in its traditional form
- Learn early reading fundamentals
- Practice beginning letter sounds
- Acquire key foundational vocabulary
- Read along to vocabulary written in contextual sentences
- Expose children to important school readiness sight words
- Build awareness for simple sentence structures and basic punctuation
- Text is perfect for developing and beginning readers alike
- Fun and engaging artwork supports simple text
- Narration supports a range of reading abilities
- Repeat audio by double tapping screen
- Narration can be turned on and off
- Text highlighting can be turned on and off
This app really has it all for the beginning reader!