Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Lost and Found

I've got a little story to share with you today.

Once upon a time there was a woman who loved to hike (when it wasn't over 100 degrees!) and went as often as she could.  One lovely (and sort of warm) morning she hiked up her favorite trail keeping a good pace and working up a nice "glow" (ha!).  

When she arrived back home she realized with much distress that her Driver's License was missing out of her oh-so-fashionable CamelBak hiking fanny pack.  It must have slipped out one of them times she switched the music on her phone.  Sigh.

She immediately but somewhat reluctantly returned to the preserve to re-trace her steps.  Back up the steep trail she hiked, much slower this time since she was both tired and scanning all over for the ID.  She also asked every single hiker/biker that she passed if they'd seen her license.

Despite hiking the entire trail her license was not recovered.  So she returned back home even more tired, hot and downright smelly than before. She reported the license as lost to the police and drove very very carefully to pick up her kids from school.  Sigh.

Later that afternoon the most amazing thing happened.  

The doorbell rang and it was a family returning her license!  This family had seen the license on the neighborhood entry box and brought it to the house.  That means that there was another kind person that found her license on the trail and brought it as far as the neighborhood gate.

Kind people are still out there! Happy endings all around. 

The End.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Fisher Price Friday - Chatter Telephone Wireless Speaker

Does this look familiar?  The Chatter Telephone #747 you say?  

Look closer. 

What's that switch on the back?  Why yes, it's an On and Off switch!  This isn't just any Chatter Phone, it's a Wireless Speaker (bluetooth) Phone.  

It looks so much like the original phone (on the right) but is a little more boxy, larger and doesn't move or make clicking sounds.  Instead it plays the music of your choice via your Smartphone or other bluetooth playing device.  So cool.

I pair it with my iPhone to play music in the playroom when I'm hanging out with my girls.  Doesn't it fit right in on the top of our shelving? :)  

They also make a Record Player version but I thought the Chatter Phone was cuter (and smaller).  These players are not that easy to find unfortunately, and as of yet have not been carried widely.  I found my Chatter Phone with a Groupon.  I have seen them on other daily deal sites as well as Cracker Barrel stores.  They run about $30.

It's a super fun addition to our little Fisher Price collection and Christmas is coming so keep a look out to get one of your own!

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Digital Into Physical - Blog2Print Books

I shared the news a week ago that I will be closing down my blog at the end of this year.  One of my big concerns when I thought about ending Anne's Odd and Ends was the loss of all my content!  All those photos/stories of my girls growing up as well as recipes.  I use my own blog as a recipe resource almost every week, ha!  So I started researching ways to turn my digital words into a physical book.

My research lead me to select the company Blog2Print to make my memories a reality.  I had 5 (almost 6) years of blog entries so I had to make more than one volume. What I discovered is that the book size is limited by the amount of photos more than the amount of entries.  They could not put more than 2000 in one volume (and 430 pages).  That may sound like a lot but I quickly found that I had too many photos!  They have three photos options (small, medium, large) and I went with the medium choice.  

I ended up making three volumes and will do my last book after I finish out 2017.  Volume I is the biggest at 356 pages, Volume II: 269 and Volume III: 273.  I think that volume IV will be around the same range.  Remember my pages were limited by the number of photos I had which is why I never made it to 430!

So what did I think?

I was very pleased with the book outcome.  It is a big (8x11) hard bound book with professional looking pages, photos and printing.  It included a Contents section (needed to find all those different recipes!) and of course page numbers.  The books can be customized quite a bit, with font, color, cover colors, etc.  I was also able to make a different dedication page for each volume.  

Shipping/Creating took awhile, about 2 weeks from when I ordered the book till I received it.  The books all came VERY well packed, wrapped in bubble sleeves, surrounded by paper in a big box.  No damage there!

These books are definitely not cheap although the cost can be offset with coupons codes and by selecting a softbound cover instead of hard.  Another super budget option is to just buy the PDF version of your book.  Those only cost $8.95!  That way you would have a permanent copy that you could copy later.  My books cost about $120 each (that's with coupon codes).  Worth every penny!

Tips for making your own book cheaper and easier:
  1. Go through your blog ahead and remove all unneeded entries.  Fluff like product sales, promotions, etc.
  2. Go through each blog entry (tedious but worth it!) and remove extra photos.  For example, I didn't really need 5 photos of a soup recipe.  Removing them made my book smaller and easier to read.  I kept all the kid photos though!!
For more information on Blog2Print go here

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Balloons and Button

This week has had it's challenges but it has also been full of the life and beauty of our puppy Button and lots of hot air balloons!  We're coming into that sweet spot of balloon season where the launches/landings correspond with the same time we're headed to school in the morning.

It starts our day (or my morning hikes) off right to see these beauties floating beside, over and around us.  

Button is 13 weeks old now and she continues to be a sweet and time consuming fur-baby family member. :) She is especially fond of our 5 year old fur-baby Bella, and is constantly playing with, chasing and basically pestering her. 

Button is trying to make friends with our senior (13 year old) Dante, but they mostly only spend time together when they're taking naps.  Dante doesn't mind her so much then. 

In fact right now as I type this they are snuggled together next to me just like this photo. *love*

Thursday, October 5, 2017

How my oldest discovered the Tooth Fairy Isn't Real

My firstborn is quickly approaching age 10 (this month!!!) and she just discovered that the Tooth Fairy is Mom.  I was pretty sure she already knew this summer after she peppered me one morning with so so many questions...but she insisted that she believed until her Dad told her the truth.

Yes that's right, her father told her last weekend when she lost tooth #14 that the Tooth Fairy was Mom.  It was my fault because I fell asleep early that night and forgot to slip the note/money under her pillow.  The next morning she came out sad faced to her Dad and he decided it was time to tell her the truth (his response "she's almost 10").  

He sat her down and told her that it was Mom all these years and that she'll still get money even though she knows.  Also that we need to keep the secret from her sister for a few more years (she's only 6).  My daughter took it well and I showed her where I'd collected all her teeth (I know I know, it's weird) and she enjoyed looking them over.

So for now she only believes in Mermaids and Unicorns. Love my big girl!

Tooth #1

For more on how our family does  the Tooth Fairy check out: Tooth Fairy Traditions

Tooth #14