Shutterfly Booked – Arrived

There was a bright orange box sitting by my front door today. It was from Shutterfly. It is always fun to have a book arrive and get to see the hard copy of what I created on the computer. I’m happy with the results. Since it is 8″ x 8″ inches it is bigger than Blurb‘s 7″ x 7″ book that is a favorite of mine. Another difference is the cover is glosses while the Blurb cover has a matte finish. I tend to lean to the matte but there isn’t anything wrong with the glossy. Overall the Shutterfly book seems to be of a good quality. So if having complete control of you design isn’t something you care about Shutterfly seems to be a good choice. But I’ll be sticking with Blurb and their PDF to book workflow because I didn’t like not having the control that I’m use to having when doing a Shutterfly book. I will keep them in mind for other projects though.


Shutterfly Book

my 50 for 50 book cover

I received a free 8×8 hardcover book coupon for Shutterfly recently and decided I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out. I’ve never even been the Shutterfly site before so things were a bit rough to start. After a few false starts I figured out how to get a book started and upload photos for the book. Even though I choose their customized book path I found myself wanting more control over what I could do. But then I’m used to have complete control over my projects in Adobe InDesign. I spent 4 or 5 hours putting together a 20 page book. Having done it once it would probably take about half that time the second time around.

I was able to export it to a pdf but as you can see from above (and below) it has a watermark on each page. The link below will take you to Shutterfly’s preview of the book.

I can see how Shutterfly would be a good option for many people. They have lots of ways to share your photos and they are geared to really put together projects without too much thought on the customer’s part. I can’t see me ever using them as my primary source for books though. I’m too picky about wanting things the way I want them. I’m looking forward to getting the book and see what it looks like. I’ll post again after in comes.

Click here to view this photo book larger


50 for 50 #50 – Time Capsule

inside my time capsule

The year has gone by so quickly. It has been lots of fun doing something almost every week to celebrate turning 50 years old. I think I will miss it. But I’m excited to been done – that I’ve accomplished the goal I set out to do a year ago. For my last thing I gathered together a bunch of small items I had kicking around and photos and images clipped from magazines over the last couple of years. I thought about getting a something fancy to put my time capsule in but a decided in the end on an empty peanut container. There is nothing archival about it but there isn’t anything of historical value in my time capsule either. My plan is to open it in 10 years. I guessing it will be very interesting to see this odd collection of items when I’m 60 years old.

my time capsule

outside of my time capsule

50 for 50 # 49 – Clam Chowder

My Clam Chowder

My Clam Chowder

I can’t believe the year is almost over and I’m down to my second to the last 50 for 50 to celebrate my 50th year. This week I made a batch of clam chowder in memory of the few months we lived in the Boston area. I made a healthier version than usual. My husband is working hard to lose some weight and so I cut back a lot of the fat and cream from the recipe. Plus the carrots I used came in several colors from yellow to orange and even a couple of purple carrots. Between not using cream and the colorful carrots it looks a bit different from your traditional clam chowder. But it still tasted good and we enjoyed it, just as we enjoyed our time in Boston.

My favorite memories of Boston include walks by the ocean. I love the ocean, that is the one bad thing about living in Utah, no ocean. I also loved the parks in the area we lived south of Boston. They were in a very natural state with lots of fun paths and the most interesting colors of mushrooms. I enjoyed the accent of the locals and all the wonderful trees. It is so green compared to the desert climate here. We had lots of fun going to antique auctions and came home with so much more stuff than we left with.

50 for 50 #48 – S.T.a.R. Party

Me and Shannon

This week I got to get together with two good friends, Shannon and Tricia. The three of us worked together for several years with they young women in our church. We made a great team. Though each of us is very different in our life paths we were all born in the same year. We use to live just a couple of blocks apart and we would get together regularly for a S.T.a.R. party (for Shannon Tricia and Raelyn) but now I live 30 minutes from Tricia and Shannon lives in the mid-west. Tricia and I get together about once a month without Shannon. I think the last time the three of us got together was two years ago. But this week Shannon was in town, so we got to have a real S.T.a.R. party with all three of us. It was so much fun to talk and catch up with each other. It was the perfect way to celebrate my 50th (and theirs) year this week.

(I’ve haven’t gotten a copy of the photo that Tricia took of Shannon and me. I’ll add as soon as I can.)

50 for 50 #47 – Build a Snowman

Frosty looking out the Cold Stone window

When I made a list of things I might like to do to celebrate turning 50 years old this year, I didn’t think that “build a snowman” would be a snowman out of candy. But that is how it turned out. If you have followed my blog much you know that I’ve built Frosty for several months now. Well today he is official built! I finished installing him in the window at Cold Stone Creamery on Redwood Road in South Jordan. He looks good and I’m excited for the unveiling tomorrow night. I won’t be cold but they are forecasting some rain. Hopefully it won’t come until after the unveiling. The install went fairly smoothly. A few little glitches but nothing major. It is amazing how tired I feel now that it is all in. I’ll post some photos of the completed window after the unveiling tomorrow night.

some of the miniature figures in the Frosty window

50 for 50 #46 – Cutting Down Our Christmas Tree

Bill getting our tree back to the parking lot – 2012

Today we did one of my favorite Christmas traditions. We drove up into the mountains past Kamas, past Frances and past Woodland, to cut down our own Christmas tree. We have been doing this for something like 20 years so it makes a perfect way to celebrate my 50th year this week.We get up really early in the morning the first weekend in November to get a tree permit and then after Thanksgiving we gather with my sister and her family to get our trees. Some times we have had other family members join us but the two of us have always gone.

I remember the first year we got a permit to cut down our own tree, it was so cold and the wind was blowing and we hiked up a really steep hill through deep snow. When I remember that year, it amazes me that we ever did it again. It has never been that cold since. Plus a few year later they built a parking area that makes it easier.

Bill buried in snow – 2000

Some years we have no snow. Some years we have several feet of snow. A few years are extra memorable. One year Bill fell into a pocket in the snow over a ravine and was buried up to his head. Another year someone made a huge snowball and we took family photos on and around it.The Christmas we spent in Brooklyn, New York it worked out for us to come back and get a Christmas tree to take back with us. It was nice to have a bit of Utah with us in New York.

Bill, Shadow, Ginger, Danny, Kim, Jacob, Noreen & Eric – 2003

This year there was almost no snow at the parking lot but as we got up into the trees there was still several inches from the big storm we had a couple of weeks ago. It was extra warm today so we only needed sweat shirts or light jackets. After getting our trees we gather in the parking lot for backed potatoes and with hot chocolate and treats. We all enjoyed a lovely afternoon in the mountains that for me signals the real start of the Christmas season.

50 for 50 #45 – Juniors Cheesecake


(Photo credit: karendotcom127)

For Bill’s birthday we ordered a Juniors Cheesecake. When we were in Brooklyn we enjoyed Juniors Cheesecakes and we brought a couple back to Utah with us when we moved from Brooklyn so I thought it would be a fun way to also celebrate my 50th year. We have invited his mom and brothers over for a birthday dinner, so that will make it a fun day for him. I need to make some sort of fruit sauce for the cheesecake. We have a bunch of pomegranates so I might try that. But I should probably have a more traditional flavor too. I think I might pick up some birthday candles too. We haven’t had birthday candles recently and I think it would be fun.

50 for 50 #44 – Dark Shadows

One of my memories from my childhood when we lived in Ogden is watching Dark Shadows and eating chocolate frosting. It sounds a little crazy but me and my sister used to make frosting by taking Nestle’s Quick, some butter and a bit of milk and mix it up. It looked like frosty and it tasted yummy to my six-year-old sweet tooth. My mom was one to buy much in the way of candy but we usually hot chocolate milk mix, ice cream and graham crackers. I don’t know why we didn’t put our frosting on the graham crackers but I don’t remember it that way.

Anyway, for this weeks celebration of my 50th birthday I decided to get some of the old episodes of Dark Shadow’s from my childhood and eat chocolate frosting while eating some chocolate frosting. I checked out “Fan Favorites” and “The Best of Barnabas” Dark Shadows – The greatest Episodes Collections from our local library. But then Bill came home with the new Dark Shadows for Red Box, so we watched that. I should mention here that I’m not much of a fan of Johnny Depp or of Tim Burton so it wasn’t much of a surprise that I didn’t much like their version of Dark Shadows. It was interesting in some ways to see a modern interpretation of the story but one watching is enough for me. I definitely prefer the original even with its own short comings. It was a fun trip down memory lane though.

50 for 50 #43 – Utah Lake

This week a took a walk along Utah Lake to celebrate my 50th year. It reminded me of our pet dog Shadow and the many hours the two of us spent walking along the road that runs between the Lake the airport. For many years Utah Lake was our most common place to go for a walk. Most of the year we would walk the dirt road together, but in the cold winter, Shadow would trot along the road while I drove really slow in the warmth of the car.

It was here that Shadow took his first swim. He thought the reeds pushed up along the edge of the water were solid and he walked out on them. Of course they couldn’t hold his weight and he fell through to the water. It was here that we came to feel nature and expend his excess energy. It was here that we came late one summer when the lake was really low. The water was so far from the road that there was a huge expanse of sand. Bill was with us that day. The three of us walked for what seemed forever along the sand and out into the shallow water. It was one of those perfect kind of days that stick in your memory.

The fall is a lovely time to come to the lake. The trees looked so beautiful as I pulled off the main road. And I love the coppery color of the reeds in the fall colors. I felt close to Shadow today as a took a few minutes to come back to this favorite spot from my past and think about the future.