Blurb book is in!

For those who don't know, we tried to have our wedding on a pretty tight budget. We used a pretty inexpensive photographer who gave us the rights to our photos, all of which were given to us on a CD. We didn't bother ordering any prints or albums because we figured we could get what we wanted later, and hopefully cheaper. I did quite a bit of research on online photobook sites, and was able to make our own book for a fraction of the price. I looked into shutterfly, mypublisher, snapfish, mpix, picaboo, iphoto, kodak.... and blurb. I knew that I wanted our book to be large (in number of pages and dimensions). There was no way that 20 pages was going to cut it when we had almost 2,000 photos to choose from. Most books were priced based on 10-20 pages, then had a flat fee per additional page, ranging from $0.99-2.99. Most had relatively small page limits, around 50. Some got horrible reviews online. Some of the page-building software was so confusing that it required a PhD in god-knows-what to navigate. Some were just downright expensive ....and then there was blurb.

I spent some time reading user reviews and trolling their message boards, and it seemed like it would fit our needs well. Their software (Book Builder) was easy to use and had plenty of pre-done layouts. It was easy to build my own layouts when I wanted to... their edit screen is like graph paper, and all you have to do is click and drag image boxes where you want them (it is even kind enough to give the dimensions and values for x and y axis). Their books can accomodate up to 440 pages and come in a variety of finishes and sizes.  In comparison to the other photobook sites, they were much less expensive for larger books (but similarly priced for small page numbers). We decided to give it a shot, and are thrilled with the results!

We ordered a 13"x11" 160-page hardcover album with image wrap (where a picture is printed directly on the cover instead of using a dustjacket) on premium paper for $130 after shipping. The day after we received the album in the mail, I got an email from our photographer advertising a special she was running on photobooks... $275 for a 10-page 10"x10" album. I consider that quite the savings! It took me about a week to put together and edit our book, but it was definately worth it. You can view a preview of our book here.

New Purse

I admit it... I have a "thing" for etsy. You can find just about anything and the prices are usually pretty reasonable. I have been eyeballing a new purse since the beginning of July, but it was July. Daniel and I decided that we needed to implement a spending freeze for the month of July because between moving, the wedding, and the honeymoon... it was starting to add up. I have needed a new purse for ooooh, lets call it two years. My purse is a ratty, filthy bag that is falling apart, but I could never part with it because it was the perfect shape. I have been casually looking for a new one on and off since last winter. The criteria? No leather, no bling, no words all over it, less than $50, not too huge, not too small, and not ugly. The hubs took note when I first mentioned said etsy purse, and it arrived on our doorstep last week. *pause for awwwwwwww!* Here she is in all her glory...