What do you do with family photos?

Printed photos are a rarity for me. Lily & Cohen’s baby pictures aren’t in one of those frilly family photo albums. Well, a few of them are. And there are some in frames. But most of the pictures are on my phone and computer… and backed up on two separate external hard drives… and various online photo services. But printing them always seemed like such a hassle. Have to crop them, upload them to some wobbly local photo shop website (or through iPhoto, Flickr, Picasa, etc), select print sizes, glossy or matte finish, and on and on.  And, usually, you have to do that all from a computer.

Now, though, we have lots of pictures. A Ms. Single Mama/Beauty and the Biker reader, Julie, told us about an awesome photo app she’s been working on called Groovebook: a photo app for busy families. Groovebook prints a keepsake booklet of up to 100 pictures from your iOS (iPhone, iPod, etc) or Android device each month, sends it to you, and all they charge is $2.99 for shipping/handling. Seriously. So, when Julie asked if we wanted to try out this photo app for free (in exchange for sharing our thoughts about it), we said sure!

You can download Groovebook for free from the iTunes App Store or Google Play. Then, create a free account, and select the pictures you want this month. The pics go from your phone to your door with a few taps.

The kids love these little photo books. Each page is perforated, and tells the date, time, and location of each picture.

Lily tore out a bunch and put them on the pin board in her room.

groovebook photos on a pinboard Read More…

A surprise

He may have anticipated that one day he could love again. But I don’t think he ever expected to fall in love with her dog, too.

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They’re made for each other, these two. Just another piece of our serendipity falling into place.

Xoxo,

Alaina

I love…

How he leaves the fluffy towel for me and takes the stiff one for himself.

How he never, ever complains about all of the cleaning and housework and general maintenance and upkeep of a family of five.

How he listens to every detail of my day and then offers constructive, positive advice.

How he looks at me in the morning.

How he holds me in the morning (and at night).

How he tells me he loves me every single day, over and over again. Just because.

How it still feels like we just met.

How he loves my son as much as his own.

How I would still marry him in a heartbeat if the opportunity came again.

How I have zero regrets when I am with him, there is no doubt that we are meant to be.

How I dreamt of him before I even knew him.

How I knew, in my heart, I would be happy single unless I found him.

How I refused to settle for anything less.

xoxo,

Alaina

Spring

We can smell spring on the horizon, in spite of the four inches on the ground when we woke up to this morning.

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Spring is there, on the horizon, waiting to begin.

Thanks to Seth, I sleep in now more often than not. On one such morning I woke up feeling Read More…

Sunday cleaning

We are cleaning.

This weekend it is the basement’s turn. There are piles of toys in need of purging. Last weekend, with the kids all at grandparent’s houses, Seth and I worked around the clock and made major progress on our room and the main level.

We live in a 1600 square foot house.

That is being generous and including the basement. While it was a mansion to Benjamin and I, it is a bit of a squeeze for the five of us (and one Archer). But, thanks to Ikea, Seth’s design sense and some serious purging (two trucks full), the house feels better than it ever has.

We are impatiently awaiting Spring and its warm breezes, sandals, fire pits and back yard grilling.

Here is a shot of our redecorated living room.

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And now, I am off to the basement.

Any others have advice on blending households?

xoxo,

Alaina

Did you change your last name?

After 10 months of marriage, I am considering changing my last name to Gray.

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There are a few reasons I have not changed my name after re-marriage:

1. I never changed my name during my first marriage. Why? Honestly, after all of the green card and INS paper work I couldn’t bear the thought of more forms. And, as my long-time readers know, I realized only ten days in that my first marriage’s days were numbered. So why change my name?  Read More…

He’s making another bag.

hand making leather bag

And this one is for me. I can not wait.

I admit it.

I have been silently (and patiently) waiting for the work on this promised bag to begin. We had to survive back-to-back flus, Christmas and then more colds in the house. But now, he has the time and well, the bag has begun.

Or, I should say bags. Technically, he is making two identical bags. Cutting duplicate pieces as he goes. One is for me and the other will go up for sale in our Beauty and the Biker store.

I chose the design–a favorite featured in one of my fashion magazines last month and he’s duplicating it precisely, minus a few imperfections we have omitted.

Above is Phase II. He’s outlined the pieces, mapped out exactly how they will fall into place and now he’s about to cut that raw hide all up.

Yummy. Yummy.

xoxo

Alaina

If you missed Seth’s last handmade leather bag. Click here.

Maker Mondays – Smoking Goose Meatery

Maker Mondays is where I’ll show you some incredible people making even more incredible things, try to explain what makes their stuff so rad, and why you should care.

Today, meat… errr… meet Smoking Goose Meatery. We found Smoking Goose through Green Bean Delivery, the organic & local grocery delivery service we use. Side note: Green Bean Delivery is very competitively priced, sources locally wherever possible, and is ridiculously convenient. Check them out. Back to Smoking Goose Meatery: they had me at bacon.

Smoking Goose bacon

Then I found out they have Read More…

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