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When it comes to gift giving, I can't help but go all out! It has taken some growing up for me to realize that going all out doesn't necessarily mean spending a lot of money. To me, going all out means to take as much time that is needed in order to be as thoughtful as possible and choose a gift that really embodies the person that you are honoring. Naturally, there will be some much easier to brainstorm than others, but when my Mom's birthday came around I had no hesitation!
It will come as no surprise to you that the tradition of baking, cooking, and canning runs deep in our family. So deep, that my Great Grandmother's recipes are handled like little treasures! I found that the problem lied in the fact that there were many loose recipe cards and clippings, but none in one easy place to reference. Enter the light bulb moment! What if I could create a family cookbook?! Family is the most important thing in the world to my Mom and I knew how much those recipes mean to her. It was the perfect gift idea! I had the exact vision in my head, I just needed to find a way to execute it.
After some extensive research, I found Blurb! Blurb is an online company in which you can create, print, or sell professional-quality photo books, magazines, trade books, and e-books. Those who know me know, I don't do anything halfway! If I was going to make this cookbook for my Mom, I was going to make sure it matched my exact vision. When looking through the Blurb website and Instagram account, I was so impressed by the quality and variety that I knew that this was the way to go. So it began!
The next day, I went to my Grandma's house to pick her brain on which recipes were my Mom's favorites. Like many southern grandmothers, half of her signature dishes are made by memory so I needed her to talk me through them as I made vigorous notes! After a few precious hours with my Grandma and a sneaky text to my Mom trying to find where she stashed my Great Grandmother's recipes for "blog research purposes", I was ready for book creation.
Admittedly, I was a bit nervous about the amount of time that it would take to input all of these recipes, but the Blurb website is set up so efficiently that it was smooth sailing once I decided on the type of book I wanted to create! Here is a little break down of the process:
Hit the "Getting Started" link.
Choose your book type - size, color, and print options.
Download Blurb's free BookWright software onto your computer.
I chose to create an 8x10 inch, ImageWrap hardcover Trade Book with a standard colored print. Blurb's BookWright program was incredible to use. It downloaded in a matter of seconds and the customizable templates were a godsend for the recipe input. After only two late nights of creation, my vision had come to life. I couldn't believe how easy the process had been. In fact, it moved so quickly that I desperately wished I had the time to make every single recipe and photograph it! I pressed order and anxiously awaited the arrival of this special gift!
When the book arrived, I was giddy! At first sight I couldn't believe how beautiful the binding and cover photos had turned out. Once I opened to the pages, I teared up when I saw my precious family recipes perfectly aligned on each page. The recipes that I have watched my Grandma and Mom make for years were right there in one place! After flipping through each and every page about twenty times, I wrapped it up and couldn't wait to give it to my Mom! Needless to say, she absolutely loved it and there is no better feeling in the world than giving someone such a special gift.
With the holidays creeping upon us, I can't help but dream up all of the other gift options that Blurb could provide. My next project, a series of keepsake books starting from Michael and I's very first photo together! There are so many possibilities, such as:
Family photo albums, vacation albums, cookbooks, baby books, memory books, scrapbooks, wedding albums, anniversary books, a collection of Instagrams, family history, and so many more!
Now tell me, which book will you make?!