Live More With Less: Wrap-up

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter! On Easter Sunday I gorged myself on M&Ms, my #1 chocolate vice. And I did the same Monday and Tuesday. And now chocolate makes me ill. My other Lenten resolution ended last night: to purge and clean my house so that I’m content with what I have and not so worried about our home’s shortcomings.

The final week of my challenge I decided to focus on the main floor of our house. My mom and I cleaned, reorganized and purged unnecessary items in both of our kitchens last Fall in preparation for Christmas – we gave each other replacement items we needed like new cookie sheets, etc and the first step was cleaning and organizing so we knew what we needed. So our kitchen was in good shape. And the rest of our house, with the exception of the office/playroom, remains pretty clean most days.


Well, Mr. B and I disagree about that. To me, clean is a vacuumed floor, dustless surfaces, and cobweb free corners. To Mr. B clean is tidy. It’s taken me 6 years of living with Mr. B to realize that instead of being offended when he comes home and “cleans” when I feel like the house is clean, I just need to accept that he and I define “clean” differently. Now, Thomas and I do a “10 minute tidy up” before he and Nell go down for their naps to get the toys off the floor so that Mr. B can walk into a house that’s tidy and not stressful to him. I do my cleaning – scrubbing the counters, swiffering and vacuuming the floors, before we go to bed at night. And we’re both happy.

So all of this is to say, the house is clean, but nothing really eventful happened downstairs. Except, I took a page from Claire’s book and decided to clean up our computer – namely our pictures. I ordered our 2012 family book, transferred all of those pictures to our external hard drive (after two computer crashes I keep our computer permanently backed up now with Apple Time Machine, but I still transfer pictures to the external hard drive for storage purposes. And I started making our 2013 album – my goal is to work on our 2013 family book each month so that I remember the events as they happen. So here are a few pictures of that:

Our 2012 album on its way to our house:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 8.03.17 AM

Our 2013 Album in progress:

Screen Shot 2013-04-03 at 8.01.44 AM

I switched services this year. I’ve used Blurb in the past and don’t love the quality, so this year I went with Shutterfly. I’ll let you all know how the quality compares when I get them, but price wise, for our 100 page book, Shutterfly (with a coupon code)  was the way to go.


  1. Photo books are on my list. I lost my 2011 book last year, so I’m behind two years. Yikes!

    Were you not happy with Blurb? Did I misread that? I was planning to use Blurb this year.

  2. Also – such a great idea to do the book throughout the year. It would be so much more manageable.

    • I wouldn’t say that I was unhappy with Blurb, but for the cost, didn’t think the quality was outstanding – I even paid for upgraded pages with Blurb and thought they were flimsy. I’ll let you know how Shutterfly compares to blurb when I get them!

  3. I’m definitely getting on the annual photobook train. I do enjoy scrapbooking, but I’m always so behind that it gets overwhelming and makes me dread starting.

  4. Girl, you are so organized! I am still trying to get my 2012 book printed! 🙂 We switched from Blurb to MyPublisher and couldn’t be happier. They have super sales all of the time and are a really nice quality!

    • MyPublisher is on my list if I don’t love the Shutterfly books – Shutterfly’s software is just so easy to use, so I figured I’d try that first.

  5. Can’t wait to see your feelings on shutterfly. I have used them before but find the photos print a bit dark so I try to remember to lighten them up first. But you are right for the price I keep using them and everyone that sees them love thm ad they don’t seem to notice the flaws Isee. What theme did you use here? I like the colors.

    • I’m a little anxious about the photo quality, Lesley – I’ll keep you posted! I’ve heard fabulous things about MyPublisher – maybe I’ll just go with a new publisher every year!

    • Oh, and the theme for the orange one (our 2013 album in progress) is Project Life: Clementine Edition and the 2012 Year in review is I think just called Year in Review.

  6. nice! yeah i love our yearly books. good idea to start working on it now – i feel like a little bit of the oomf is taken out of the details when i am trying to remember it all at the end of the year.
    (thanks for hosting this challenge – i totally failed towards the end, but it was great motivation!)

  7. Hmmm your the first person I’ve seen not be thrilled with blurb. I use my publisher and was going to switch to blurb. Now I’m wondering if I shouldn’t. My publisher is ok. Just dont pay for the upgrades the high gloss super quality print pages stick together. The higher quality normal paper makes your book buldge and the pages not lay well when open ( unless you pay for another upstage to make them). I just paid for the straight book this year and am happy with it. The cheapest you can get the 100 page book is $45 including shipping. And you have to pay shipping on each book. So if you order three different books it is $10 for each book in shipping. If you want multiple copies of one book though they combine shipping. I find that frustrating because I usually have a few to print at a time and if they would just package them together they would save me a lot of money.
    Hope you update on the shutter fly quality!

  8. Many thanks for sharing this very good piece. Very inspiring! (as always, btw)