Daily Archives: 10:51 pm

A Photo Favorite {Mixbook.com Giveaway} *Updated*

**This giveway is now closed.**

-Winner chosen with help by random.org.-
-Congrats to Punkinmama!  Birthday luck FTW!-


The very first Groupon I bought was for Mixbook.com.
It was a great deal and the reviews for the product looked great.
Aaaand…even though Asa was already 2 and baby #4 was about to make her debut, I still hadn’t made him a baby book.

Carter’s baby book is about 4 inches thick and was scrapbooked as we went along.
Lydia’s baby book is maybe 2 inches thick, with a lot less details because I didn’t do it as I went along.
(You think you’ll remember all that stuff, but when you sit down to write it down…you don’t.)

And poor Asa had nothing.
The week after Alden was born, my mother-in-law was here and I decided that it was a perfect time to get this book done!
(Besides…I couldn’t let the Groupon go to waste!)

I spent a lot of time gathering my photos and putting them in one easily accessible file.
I went to Mixbook.com and couldn’t believe how much fun it was.
I’ve always loved scrapbooking-the cutting, the pasting, the tactile part of it.
And I always thought that I wouldn’t like digital scrapbooking because it wouldn’t be hands-on.
But this site-unlike several other sites I’ve used before-gave me complete creative control.
(Don’t worry!  If you aren’t computer-savvy or creative, they have templates where you can just plug in pictures!)

I started Asa’s book by picking the “Scrapbook Baby” theme
(They have over 60 themes available!)
And started clicking away.

I downloaded my pictures directly from my computer,
but you can also upload pictures from places like Flickr, Facebook and Picasa.

You can either drag and drop your pictures into the pre-made template pages
OR you can move things around or design it yourself…even down to the tiniest details.
(They have “stickers” that you can use, but you can even upload your own if they don’t have what you want!)

Here’s the page I did for his 9 month pictures.
The top is the template,
the middle is the online preview of my page and
the bottom is a picture of the printed version.

You can see that I changed a few things:
I took out the bees, the bug sticker and I changed the words.
I also changed some of the frames and added a few pictures.

You think I was excited much when it came in the mail?

Another great feature?
You can add multiple contributors!
Think about all the possibilities there!
Siblings could work together on a Mother’s Day gift, even if they live miles apart.
Co-workers could all add their own touch to a retirement gift book.
You could even do a wedding gift that allowed people to add their own pictures of the couple and a note to them.

Something else I’m excited about is the save function.
In order to not do what I did with Lydia and Asa, I’m doing Alden’s book as we go along.
There is no time limit on how long you can save your projects!
So I’ve done her birth day and these first 2 months and at the end of the year, I’ll print it!

The best part is that it won’t break the bank!
They have a variety of sizes(hardback or soft cover) starting at only $6.99!
I’ll admit that for this price, I wasn’t expecting the print quality to be very high.
I was very impressed with how clear everything was and how true-to-color all the pictures were.

If you’re interested in seeing more sample books, check out the Mixbook Gallery.
They also have calendars and a wide variety of stationary options!

Have 30 more seconds?
Watch this and see how easy it is!

So are you excited yet?
Do you want to start your own Mixbook right now?
Well…I have a complimentary 20-page, 11×8.5 landscape, hardcover photo book for one of you!

There are 3 ways to enter, but you must leave a separate comment for each way:

1. Go to Mixbook.com’s theme selection page and tell me which theme is your favorite.

2. Post about this giveaway on Facebook and then let me know that you did in the comments section.

3. Tweet this giveaway and leave the link to your tweet in the comments section.

Giveaway closes at midnight(EST) on this Friday(March 25th).
Winner will be selected at random and contacted by email.
(That means I have to have a valid email address for you!)


Just can’t wait to see if you won?  You can use this 20% off coupon code: IVEYMIX20
(No expiration date, but it can only be used once per customer.)

I purchased my first Mixbook and fell in love with this product.
I was so excited when I had the opportunity to write a review for them!
As compensation for my review, I did receive a second Mixbook for free.
I can assure you, however, that I will be a long-time Mixbook customer.

Rose-Colored Glasses…or something like that.

Sometimes I think I paint this picture of motherhood that is light and airy and beautiful.
And it is…or at least it can be.

But there are times (like yesterday) when I just want to burst into tears and walk out the door.

Alden is a good baby.  She really is.
She sleeps well at night.
She doesn’t spit up nearly as much as the others did.
She (usually) doesn’t mind her carseat too much.
She (usually) doesn’t mind when the other kids get all in her face.
She is a very, very good baby.

But there are days that she does nothing but scream and cry.
No amount of milk or cuddles or soothing songs can calm her.
And I, unfortunately, don’t handle it as well as I used to.

I did not have a good experience with Lydia as a baby.
For a variety of reasons, I was not at my best.
And she, bless her heart, was simply a very colicky baby.
They kept telling me that she’d be better soon.
But at 4 months old, she was still crying.
And at 6 months…
And 7 months…
And 8 months…
And 9 months…
And finally around 10 months, the crying just stopped.

Those were the longest 10 months of my life.
Marshall was always working.
I was often alone with two small children.
And the crying just.wouldn’t.stop.

And, in some ways, I wish I could just erase over some of that.
Because now when Alden has a few fussy days in a row,
I’m catapulted back to those days when Lydia just.wouldn’t.stop.
And my heart races.
And I can feel it beating in my ears.
And despite trying to breathe deeply, my body involuntarily tenses up.

And so I place her in her car seat where I know she’ll be safe.
And I put her in her room and close the door
And I walk away.

Writing that makes me sound like such a horrible mother,
Like such a hypocrite.
The mean, nasty voices in my head echo with snarky comments like:
“I thought she was savoring the moments.”

But I put her down because I don’t know what else to do.
She is fed.  She is dry.  She is clean.
She is loved.  Oh, how she is loved.
And I want to make it better.
Oh, how I want to make it better.

But it’s like they say on a plane before take-off:
“Secure your own mask before helping others.”

In order to help her, I have to help me.
And while it may sound self-centered, it’s true.

Call it a mommy time-out.
Call it a breather.
Call it collecting your thoughts.
Call it what you will…but do it if you need to.
Take that moment.
Step just outside the door…
just barely beyond the sound of the cries…
and get it together.

As my pediatrician has been known to say before:
“No baby ever died from crying.”

And 9 times out of ten, when I step back inside she’s fast asleep.
And I look at the rise and fall of her chest.
And all those light, airy, beautiful feelings rush in.

She is loved.
Oh, how she is loved.