Parenting

Chatbooks: A Lazy Mom’s Best Friend

This is NOT  a sponsored post. I just love sharing awesome products and services with my readers!

Okay. Confession time. I am a terrible mother when it comes to recording memories and those magical “first” moments. My mom often says “Make sure you write that down in Squirt’s baby book” and I smile and nod. I don’t even have a baby book for Squirt. Seriously. Never went out to buy one, never even looked for one on Amazon. I know myself and I know I would never actually use it, so why waste the money. I know that I will remember the important details without a book to remind me, but I do feel like a pretty crappy mom when I think about all those lost little memories. Scratch that. I USED TO feel like a crappy mom. And then I discovered the beauty of Chatbooks. Chatbooks is an app for your phone that allows you to collect all of your Instagram photos in an actual real life printed book. I don’t have to write down Squirt’s reaction to his first taste of rice cereal because I (duh) photographed it and shared it on Insta. And now that moment will live on forever in my Chatbook. So all of the big moments–first steps, holidays, new experiences–are compiled all together with all of the everyday moments and I barely have to lift a finger.




Okay, so let’s walk through this so you can see just how easy it is. This is the home screen when I log onto my Chatbooks app. I have titled my book series The Three Bees, so this is automatically printed on all of my books. Each volume holds 60 photos, and you can check in on the progress of your book at any time.

When you click on the cover of the book in progress, you can scroll through all the photos that will be included in the volume. Your Instagram captions are automatically uploaded with your photos. This is great because it allows you to not only have the picture, but also whatever description you have already created. The date and the geotag location (if you used one) are also included on each page.

If you click on an individual photo, you can edit the caption (say if you wanted to get rid of the hashtags). You can also exclude a photo from your book if you don’t want it printed.

One of the best things about Chatbooks is that you can have more than one Instagram account linked to your book. Since the main purpose of the books for me is to record memories of Squirt, I also have my mom’s account and Matt’s account linked so that any photos they share of him are also included.

Once you have amassed 60 photos in your book volume, you have three days to edit and make changes if you want to. Your book is then printed and shipped to you and your account is charged. Softcover books are $8 per book and hardcover are $13. I typically fill one book every two months, so for $50 a year I have all my photos and memories printed and bound. You can’t beat that. The quality of the books is also really high. The covers are sturdy (and I have only gotten the softcover) and the printing beautiful.

These are some of our actual books so you can see what they look like in a real life setting. I am always so excited to receive a new book.

So I might be really crappy at writing down memories and special moments, but given that we capture everything on social media these days, I still have a full collection of all the important life moments. Really, for you moms out there, it is the best $8 you can spend. You literally have to do nothing other than share your photos on Instagram (which you are likely doing anyway) and check your mail. No arranging photos, no printing photos, no recording the dates of every picture. It is all done for you, and it is done beautifully.

I also want to add that the one time I had an issue with a delivery (it got caught in the middle of our two addresses when we moved), I sent customer service an email and they shipped me a new copy of my missing book within two days. That kind of customer service is becoming an endangered species. If you are a lazy/busy/not crafty/unorganized mom (and I’m gonna bet at least two of those adjectives apply to most of us!) Chatbooks can make your life so much easier. Seriously y’all. Check it out for yourselves. And you’re welcome ;o)




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Printable Toddler Travel Packing List

This post contains affiliate links.

By the time you read this, we will have returned from our first successful (hopefully) major trip with Squirt in tow. I will be sharing all the details of our trip up the coast to San Francisco in upcoming posts, but first, a wee bit about what it takes to pack for a toddler. Now, making the list for packing does seem daunting, but honestly, it doesn’t have to be. The most important thing to keep in mind is that while it is important to be prepared with irreplaceable items (like your kid’s favorite stuffed animal that he refuses to sleep without), you can be a little lax with your everyday items like diapers. Unless you are planning on traveling somewhere without a grocery store/Wal Mart/Target/drugstore, you have access to diapers, wipes, medicine, shampoo, food, milk, etc. if you really really need it. At the end of this post you’ll find a link to a printable version of my toddler travel packing list, but first here are some details on what I packed for Squirt on our travels:




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A Day at Americana at Brand with a Toddler

This is NOT a sponsored post. I love sharing my positive experiences with you, whether I am paid for them or not!

With my work schedule right now, I am home with Squirt two to three days a week. I love so many things about our days together, but as he has gotten older, it has become somewhat of a challenge to keep ourselves busy. Squirt wants to be out of the house all. day. long. With the exception of his morning viewing of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, he is begging me to go outside from morning until bedtime. So we try (and by we, I mean me) to find lots of fun things to do together. Obviously we spend quite a bit of time at Disneyland, probably two to three days a month, depending on how crowded the park is. But Disneyland is a long drive for us now and we have to time it just right to miss rush hour traffic in both directions, so I have been on the hunt for places a little closer to home.

Enter the Americana at Brand. If you’ve never been to Southern California, we love our outdoor malls and the Americana is one of the newer ones. It was built by the same people who designed The Grove, which is a pretty popular destination for both tourists and locals (it is attached to the original LA Farmer’s Market, which has some of the best food in Los Angeles, definitely go there if you are visiting Southern California). I have been taking Squirt to Americana sine he was just a little baby (back in those two to three months of hell sweet baby cuddles when he would only nap in the moving stroller), but now that he is old enough, we are starting to enjoy all the activities Americana has to offer.

Americana has a very accessible parking structure (gold in So Cal) and as soon as you step out onto the ground level, you see this beautiful fountain. They periodically have a water fountain show dealy with music and all kinds of cool water tricks, which Squirt is a huge fan of.

Americana at Brand

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