eBooks: a good deal or not worth the money?

eBooks have become increasingly popular over the past decade. But are eBooks really a good deal? Are they worth spending money on? Let’s take a look at the advantages and possible disadvantages of eBooks when compared to paper books and find out!

Advantages of eBooks compared to paper books:

  • eBooks take up less space. If your bookshelves are overflowing and there just isn’t room for any more books, you can still get your hands on new books regularly by purchasing eBooks!
  • eBooks do not use up resources like paper or ink. The production of eBooks also doesn’t require the same use of resources that the production of paper books does, such as oil and electricity. This in turn means less pollution. eBooks are very eco-friendly!
  • eBooks are usually cheaper to purchase than their paper counterparts. A lot of times you can even get quality eBooks for free! You still get the same information for less money!
  • The slim design of eBooks often seems less overwhelming than large paper books. This is a great benefit for people who can get overwhelmed at the thought of reading larger books!
  • eBooks are more portable than paper books. If you are going on vacation and can’t decide what books to take with you, why not take your entire library? With eBooks you can have your entire library at your fingertips wherever you go!
  • eBooks are (usually) delivered instantly. You don’t have to go to the store to purchase or wait for it to be delivered to your house. In most cases, you are able to instantly download your book immediately after purchasing.
  • eBooks are searchable. Whether you are reading an eBook as a PDF, on a Kindle, or on any other eReader, you can easily search for a word or phrase without having to skim through chapter after chapter. Let technology do the work for you!

Bonus: eBooks will never give you a papercut! [That one was from my hubby ;) ]

Possible disadvantages of eBooks compared to paper books:

  • eBooks are very easy to produce. Anybody with a computer can produce an eBook to sell. I actually see this as both an advantage and a dis-advantage. While this allows many quality books to be produced that otherwise never would be available, it also allows many low-quality books to be produced and sold. This means that sometimes you might spend money on an eBook and be sorely disappointed. However, I believe that this can happen with paper books as well. I think the best guard against this is to just read reviews before purchasing. I have seen some very poorly done eBooks, but for the most part I have been extremely pleased with any eBook purchase that I have made.
  • Some people just like to hold paper in their hands! For some, reading an eBook will never replace holding an actual paper book in their hands. I used to feel this way, but now I love reading eBooks (for most of the reasons mentioned above)!

Honestly, those are the only possible disadvantages that I can think of!

So…are eBooks a good deal or not worth the money?

In my opinion, eBooks are very much a good deal!

When I take into consideration all of the above points, I can’t help but absolutely LOVE eBooks. They are a win-win for everybody. Cheaper to produce, cheaper to buy, very accessible, easy to travel with, easy to use…okay, you get the point!

If you are interested in learning more about eBooks, check out the following helpful resources:
And speaking of eBooks…

Watch for a post on Monday about a very exciting bundle that is going to be available which will allow you to have a HUGE library of homemaking eBooks for a very, very low price. In addition to the eBooks that will be included with this bundle you will also get over $140 in Free products from 10 different companies. I’m really excited about this bundle of eBooks and products and I hope you are too. It truly is an opportunity and deal that you won’t want to miss. And I don’t say that about very many things! If you would like to be reminded of this great opportunity next week, you can subscribe here so you don’t miss the announcement post.

Do you like eBooks? Can you think of any advantages or disadvantages to add to the list?

 

Our Baby Girl’s Home Birth Story: Part 2

This is the second and final part of our baby girl’s home birth story. If you’re just joining us, you can read Part 1 here!

After much talking and convincing from my husband, I finally (reluctantly) agreed that he could call our midwife.

After getting off of the phone with her, he told me that she was going to start getting ready and would leave her house in about 30-40 minutes.  That meant that we still had a good solid hour (at least) before she would arrive.

The next hour went by very quickly for me.  My contractions were as intense as ever at this point, and I wasn’t getting much rest in between them at all, except for the occasional one that would give me a 5 minute break instead of 2.  I wasn’t focused on anything, but trying to manage the pain.

Around 2:00 a.m. things seemed to intensify a bit.  I told Husband that I really felt like I wanted to push.  He assuredly and calmly told me that our midwife should be there very soon, but I noticed that he started looking (somewhat nervously) out the window for her car in between every contraction.

2:15 rolled around, and I was having a bit of a hard time managing the pain at this point.  Husband kept telling me to breathe.  I was trying to, but I don’t think I was doing a very good job at it at this point!

“Should we call her again?” he asked.

“No,” I said, somewhat irritated, “I don’t even know if this is really labor or not!” (Ha! I don’t think I was in my right mind!)

After I said that, I remember thinking to myself that if this was false labor, then I wasn’t going to have a home birth after all.  I was having trouble getting through each contraction, and if real labor was going to be even more intense than this, then take me straight to the hospital and sign me up for an epidural!

Luckily for me, our midwife showed up shortly after what I thought was my breaking point. It was 2:30 a.m. when she knocked on the door and Husband went to let her in.

I had been pretty quiet during each contraction up to this point, but when he left our bedroom to go get the door I remember having such an intense contraction that I started crying out loud in prayer:

“Jesus, please help me to get through this! I can’t do this by myself and I need your strength to go on!”

As I was crying out loud, my husband and midwife came through the door to the bedroom, and I could tell immediately that my midwife knew I was in real, intense, and end stages of labor.

We went into the spare bedroom which we had set up for labor. We had cleared a spot in the room for the birthing tub, because that was the plan – to have a water-birth.

The next 20 minutes were pretty much a blur for me. All I really remember is my midwife hurrying as fast as she could to get all of her supplies set up, and apologizing to me that we probably were not going to have time to set the birth tub up.

I could have cared less about the birth tub at this point – I wanted to push!

Without even really comprehending what was going on, I told my husband and midwife that I really wanted to push. She was still setting up and getting her supplies out, but all I knew was that I needed to push and I needed to push now!

She checked me, and sure enough I was 10 cm dilated and 100% effaced. As I stood there in our spare bedroom, leaning over with my arms on the bed holding me up, she gave me some brief instructions for pushing. I remember pushing 1, 2, then 3 times…and the next thing I knew I was holding my sweet, precious, lovely baby girl in my arms.

I cannot explain the feelings that I had in that moment, but it was truly one of the most awesome moments of my whole entire life.

My husband and midwife helped me get into bed while I was holding our brand new baby girl. I remember I kept saying that I felt like I had just been through a whirlwind. My midwife kept smiling at me and saying,

“Well, you kind of were, sweetie!”

Our baby girl was born at 2:50 a.m. just 20 short minutes after our midwife arrived. It was a crazy 20 minutes, and I don’t think I even realized what was happening at the time until my sweet babe was in my arms.

After I was in bed for a while, and the baby had nursed and had some very sweet bonding time with us, my husband cut the cord and we weighed and measured the baby. She was 7 lbs 8 oz of perfection!

As my husband and I laid in bed with our new baby, our midwife went and fixed us a quick snack of peanut butter and apples. It tasted so yummy!

After everything was done, and my midwife had cleaned up, served us a snack, and made sure that everything with me and the baby were fine, it was time for her to go.

She hugged me, told me she loved me, and headed out the door leaving us in our quiet home as a newly formed family of four.

What a wonderful night that was. Words could never convey its beauty.

I will cherish its memory forever – the night our little baby girl was brought into this world.

Write it Down, Mama! {Keeping a Simple Journal to Intentionally Preserve Family Memories}

Welcome back to 5 Days of Intentional Living, a series that I’m participating in this week with 15 other bloggers. Head over to Intentional By Grace to see the full line up!

If you are just joining us in this series about preserving family memories, you might want to check out the other posts to get some more great ideas.

So far we have talked about

And today (which is the last day of the series) I want to talk to you about something that everyone can do and should do!

Keeping a Simple Journal to Intentionally Preserve Family Memories

You know all of those cute and funny things that your kids say? The ones that you think you will remember forever?

And you know that adorable thing your son did when he woke up the other day? Surely, you will never forget that, will you?

Well, I am here to tell you that more than likely you will forget these things, mama. Unless…

YOU WRITE THEM DOWN!

There are many ways that you could do this, but the simplest way is to just use a spiral bound notebook to write little things down in every day (or however often you want). You don’t have to spend hours of time journaling every day to have something special to look back on.

Tips for Keeping a Simple Journal to Preserve Family Memories

  • Make it a habit to always have your journal handy. Carry it in your purse when you leave the house.
  • When something cute or funny happens that you want to remember, get out your journal and write it down as soon as possible.
  • Each time you write something down, make sure you date the entry so you can always remember when it happened.

Some Examples of What is in my Simple Memory Journal:

  • Woke up to the sound of (son) singing Jesus Loves Me through the monitor this morning. What a sweet moment that warmed my heart and gave me such a happy start to my day!
  • When we went and got (baby girl) up from her nap this afternoon, (son) gave her a big hug and kiss and said, “Mommy, (baby girl) is soooo pitty!” (pretty!) First time I’ve ever heard him say something was pretty. What a good big brother!
  • I was going to make pancakes for breakfast this morning. I teasingly asked my son, “(Son), would you like to have pancakes or spinach for breakfast this morning?” He replied enthusiastically, “Spinach!” Haha! His dad said, “Son, your mama has you trained way too well.” :)

As you can see, these are just simple things that I write down, but things that I will love to go back and read over the years.

Do you keep any sort of a journal to remember simple things like this? I’d love to hear about it!

 

Be sure to check out the other ladies taking part in this series. There are some awesome topics being discussed in regard to living intentionally. You can see a list of blogs and post topics here: 5 Days of Living Intentionally.

Memory Jars {Intentionally Preserving Family Memories}

Welcome back to 5 Days of Intentional Living, a series that I’m participating in this week with 15 other bloggers. Head over to Intentional By Grace to see the full line up!

Just joining us? So far in this series about preserving family memories, we have talked about taking lots and lots of pictures, keeping them backed up and organized, and displaying them in creative ways throughout your home. We have also talked about making regular family update videos to capture precious memories.

Today, I have a simple idea to share with you that is a great alternative to scrap-booking.

As much as I would love to be a fancy scrap-booker, the reality is that I am not. I don’t have the time or patience at this point in my life to sit down and scrap book.

That’s why I love the idea of memory jars!

Going to the beach for a day? Of course you’ll probably find some awesome shells and take some beautiful pictures. To remember this day, put a little sand in the bottom of a jar, add your shells, a few pictures, and maybe a quick note with the date and the highlights of the day. Put a lid on the jar, and there you have it! A simple, easy, and beautiful way to capture the memories of your fun day.

You can use this idea for of memory jars for preserving any memory for any occasion. As you collect more and more jars, it would be awesome to store them all on a shelf or on a mantle, displayed for everyone to see. Not only are the jars beautiful and full of memories, but they are great conversation starters as well!

There are so many great examples of memory jars across the web. I want to share some of my favorites with you to give you inspiration to start making memory jars yourself!

Vacation Jar from Always Chasing Life

 

Beach Jar from Fiskars Craft

 

Beautiful and Unique Memory Jar from Aussie Scrap Source

Vacation Memory Jars from Martha Stewart

There you have it! Be inspired and make a memory jar to remember your next vacation or fun family outing!

Be sure to check out the other ladies taking part in this series. There are some awesome topics being discussed in regard to living intentionally. You can see a list of blogs and post topics here: 5 Days of Living Intentionally.

Make Regular Family Update Videos {Intentionally Preserving Family Memories}

Welcome back to 5 Days of Intentional Living, a series that I’m participating in this week with 15 other bloggers. Head over to Intentional By Grace to see the full line up!

So far in this series about preserving family memories, we have talked about taking lots and lots of pictures, keeping them backed up and organized, and displaying them in creative ways throughout your home.

Today I want to give you an idea for preserving your family memories beyond pictures: Schedule and record regular family update videos.

What is a family update video?

A family update video is simply a video that you take of your whole family together.

What do you include in a family update video?

Whatever you want!

Sit around the camera and chat about the latest happenings and what’s going on in your life. Have your kids show off their latest talents and accomplishments. Ask your kids questions about things that they are into and interested in.

The sky is the limit for what to include in your family update video and it will look different for every family!

How do you take a family update video?

If you don’t have a digital video recorder, most digital cameras have a simple video recording function on them. Just set the camera on a tripod or steady surface and record away.

Alternatively, most computers have webcams on them. You could sit in front of the computer and record your family updates that way. This probably wouldn’t work very well for larger families, but if you have a smaller family this would work just fine.

How often do you record a family update video?

As often as you like. You should try to schedule it for a regular time though or else it will never happen.

You could try to put it on the calendar once a month to get started. Some families might want to do it more often than that, and some families might want to do it less often than that. Whatever works for you and the rhythms of your family!

What do you do with family update videos?

Just like the pictures that you take, you want to keep these videos backed up and organized. At the end of each year you can make a dvd of all of the videos that you took. What an awesome keepsake! How much fun would it be to sit down once a year with the whole family and watch all of the family update videos that you’ve made!

When your children are grown and leave the house you will have a whole collection of memories to send with them as well as to keep and cherish yourself. What a priceless gift for everyone in the family!

We all know that time flies by and children grow up so quickly. How true the saying is that “the days are long but the years are short.” Scheduling regular family update videos is such an awesome idea, and will help you to capture those precious moments of your children growing up before our eyes!

I hope you are as excited about this as I am! Will you take the challenge to start recording a regular family update video?

Be sure to check out the other ladies taking part in this series. There are some awesome topics being discussed in regard to living intentionally. You can see a list of blogs and post topics here: 5 Days of Living Intentionally.

10 Creative Ways to Display Family Photos {Intentionally Preserving Family Memories}

Welcome back to 5 Days of Intentional Living, a series that I’m participating in this week with 15 other bloggers. Head over to Intentional By Grace to see the full line up!

Yesterday in part one of this series, I talked about taking lots and lots of pictures (even if you don’t have your dream camera!) and keeping them backed up and organized.

Today I want to motivate myself, er, I mean you to do something with all of those pictures that you are taking! I love each one of these ideas and several of them could be passed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms.

So let’s get our pictures printed out and do something awesome with them!

Here are 10 Creative Ways to Display Family Photos. Click on the link or the photo to read more about each idea.

1. Photo Wall Clock

2. Glass Jar Picture Frames

Photo and Idea by Creating Naturally

3. Modge Podge Photo Monogram

4. Family Tree Wreath

5. DIY Photo Pendants

6. Heart Shape Wall Collage

7. Chicken Wire Picture Board

8. Clothes Pin Picture Frame

9. Old Window Picture Frames

10. Photo Ladder Gallery

Be sure to check out the other ladies taking part in this series. There are some awesome topics being discussed in regard to living intentionally. You can see a list of blogs and post topics here: 5 Days of Living Intentionally.

What are some of your favorite ways to display your family photos?

Get out that Camera! {5 Days of Preserving Family Memories}

Welcome to 5 Days of Intentional Living, a series that I’m participating in this week with 15 other bloggers. I’m so honored and excited to be joining up with these awesome bloggers in this series and I can’t wait to read all of their posts about intentional living. Head over to Intentional By Grace to see the full line up!

The topic that I will be talking about this week is “Intentionally Preserving Family Memories”

Honestly, the reason that I chose this topic to blog about this week, is because this is something that I stink at! I want to be more intentional about documenting and preserving all of the memories of our family. So I figured that blogging about it for 5 days straight would be a great way to kick my booty in gear!

So to kick off the series today, let’s talk about something obvious when it comes to preserving those memories of your cute little family…

Take lots of pictures!

I have a tendency to always make excuses about not doing things because I don’t have this or I don’t have that. I am a bit of a perfectionist by nature, and I always think that if the circumstances were just a little bit different (i.e. perfect) then I would be better about doing certain things.

My excuse for not taking as many pictures as I should is that I don’t have the camera that I want.

Really? I feel so dumb writing that out, but it is true. I have a dream to own a nice camera that I can take stunning photos with of my beautiful children, but it just simply hasn’t been in our budget.

So I’ve had to take pictures of them instead with my plain digital camera and smart phone. Poor me, right?!

The truth is, my children look just as beautiful in the pictures that I take with my plain camera and phone as they would in the pictures that I would take if I had a nicer camera. Sure, the picture might not be quite as crisp, and the light balance might be off a little, but do you know what? It really doesn’t matter! Years from now I will just be happy that I have pictures of my children to look back on and reminiscence over.

I LOVE looking at old pictures that my mom and dad took of our family as we were growing up. Interestingly enough, none of those pictures were taken with a fancy camera. They are still so special though, and are full of so many wonderful memories that I am now able to cherish and remember just by looking back at those old pictures.

So if you are like me, and wish that you could have a nicer camera to take pictures of your family, I urge you to start taking lots and lots of pictures anyways! Trust me, you will be glad that you did!

No More Excuses!

We live in the digital age. You can literally take as many pictures as you want for basically free.

So get out that camera (or phone) and start shooting!

Backup and Organize

Please, please, please make sure to regularly put your pictures from your memory cards on your computer. And then after they are on your computer, back them up with some kind of external hard drive or flash drive.

Depending on the size, those little memory cards that you put in your camera can hold a LOT of pictures. Those little memory cards can also break or just stop working for unknown reasons.

Sadly, I lost almost 8GB worth of pictures a few years ago because I had not taken the time to put them on my computer. There were many pictures on that memory card from the first year of my son’s life that I can never get back now.

So please learn from my mistake and ALWAYS back your pictures up on a regular basis.

Once your pictures are on your computer, take the time to organize them as well. Delete the ones that you don’t want, and make folders to store and organize the ones that you do. This will help you to be able to find certain pictures in the future. Plus it’s a lot less overwhelming to open a folder called “Day at the Beach” with 30 pictures in it, than it is to open up a folder called “My Pictures” that contains over 2,000 pictures!

Here is an excellent article with some how-to advice for organizing those digital memories and preserving them for ourselves, our children, and future generations!

Be sure to check out the other ladies taking part in this series. There are some awesome topics being discussed in regard to living intentionally. You can see a list of blogs and post topics here: 5 Days of Living Intentionally.

Are you good about taking a lot of pictures? What are your best tips for taking pictures of your family?

Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert {The eBook launch you don’t want to miss!}

My friend Erin from The Humbled Homemaker has outdone herself!

She has written an AWESOME eBook all about cloth diapering that I would have done anything to have when I first started cloth diapering almost 3 years ago.

I spent hours and hours searching the web for reliable info on cloth diapers, only to still be confused and not totally sure of the process or what type of diapers I wanted.

If only I had had this amazing resource at my fingertips, I would have saved a lot of time, a lot of money and a lot of cloth diapering mistakes.

(Read my post 10 Reasons I Love My Cloth Diapers to see some of the benefits of cloth diapering.)

The thing is Erin has made cloth diapering mistakes too. A LOT of them, as she readily admits. Since she made these mistakes and learned from them, that means you don’t have to! You can simply buy this book, and save yourself a lot of cloth diapering frustration!

Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert is over 200 pages long, and in my opinion is an exhaustive resource on cloth diapering.

Cloth Diaper Guide

Now, for the best part and why I started out by saying that Erin has outdone herself…

For this week only (her launch week), when you buy Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert (for only $9.95) you will also get some amazing freebies and discount codes to natural living and cloth diapering stores.

Freebies included with the book purchase (through 3/31/13)

Yes, you really can get all these items for free when you purchase a copy of Confessions of a Cloth Diaper Convert!

(Please note that you do still have to pay shipping for these items to be sent to you.)

I can’t wait to get my sling in the mail! Aren’t those so cute?!

Coupon Codes and Discounts included with the book purchase (through 3/31/13)

Wow! I think that this deal is amazing, and that’s why I am so excited to share it with you all!

If you have any interest in cloth diapering at all, I highly recommend this ebook. Even if it didn’t come with all of these awesome freebies and discounts, I would still recommend it to you. It truly is an invaluable resource for mamas who want to learn more about cloth diapering.

Click here to read more about the book and to purchase your copy (and get all the freebies and discounts!)

*I am an affiliate for this book. All opinions, as always, are 100% mine. I have personally purchased a copy of this book and would recommend it to you whether I was an affiliate or not. 

 


 

 

10 Tips for Transitioning to 2 Kids

Although I was beyond happy and excited, I will admit that I was a bit anxious about adding a second child to our household. I had heard from countless people that the hardest transition was going from one child to two.

Despite my anxiety, I was still so thrilled when we welcomed our baby girl into the world a few short weeks ago. We were blessed to have an awesome home birth, and I couldn’t have asked for anything more.

However, it definitely is a big transition to go from just having a toddler at home to having a toddler and a newborn. Join me over at Keeper of the Home today where I share 10 tips that have helped us and continue to help us as we make the transition to having two children.  See you there!

A Mother’s Prayer for Fruit

Dear Father,

I pray that You would guide each of my actions and thoughts today. Sometimes staying at home with our two little babes can be tiring and bring out the worst in me.

I love my family so much, and I don’t want this to be the case. It’s my human nature to be selfish and just think about myself all day long. But please give me the fruit of the Spirit. Let this fruit be evident in my life. These are not attributes of me. They are attributes of You, but I pray that You would let them shine through me.

Today I pray for…

love

Give me a love for people. For my son, for my daughter, for my husband, and for everyone that you put in my life.

You know I already love my family so much, but it’s my love not Yours. And Your love is so much better than mine. It’s pure, unselfish, and unconditional. Give me that same love to give to others.

joy

Today, as I’m feeding mouths, washing dishes, and wiping noses and bottoms, give me JOY in these tasks that can become so mundane to me! Help me to see the happiness that is all around me. Give me joy in caring for my family and my home.

peace

I am prone to worry and fear. You already know this. But fear is not from You, only peace is from You.

I pray that you would please give me the peace that only you can bring – sweet, sweet, peace.

patience

Lord, you know that I need patience. More and more of it every day, actually.

As I sit at the lunch table with my 2 year old who takes SO. LONG. to finish his meal, give me patience.

As I nurse my baby girl, and then change her diaper for what seems like the twenty-ninth time today, give me patience.

As I read the same book about trains over and over…and over, give me patience.

As I live this life of being a mom, give me patience.

kindness

While you give me patience, could I have a little kindness to go along with that?

When I’m disciplining my son for throwing his fork on the floor for the fifth time, please give me Your kindness. Help me not to be harsh. Help me to be kind.

When my husband comes home from work, and I’m rushing to get dinner finished and keep babies happy (why is right before dinner the crankiest time of the day, by the way?), please help me to be kind to him. It’s so easy for me to get frustrated at this time of day. I need Your kindness to rule my actions rather than my rushed, short, and cold attitude that I usually have.

goodness

You are good. I am not. I pray that the goodness that is You would shine through me. To my kids, to my husband, and to everyone else that my path crosses.

faithfulness

I’m unfaithful to spend time with You. I’m unfaithful to intentionally love my husband. I’m unfaithful to share my life with others. Basically, I’m just plain unfaithful.

But you are faithful in everything, day after day after day. I pray that your faithfulness would become a part of me.

gentleness

I rush. I push. I hurry.

Help me to slow down, and be gentle. Gentle with my kids, gentle with my husband, and even gentle with myself.

self-control

This is a big one for me, God. And I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I can’t control self. I need to rely on you for this.

I want what I want when I want it. Take this attitude from me, and give me an attitude of self-control. An attitude of service instead of selfishness.

In Your Name, Amen