blurb giveaway

I am so so so excited about this October giveaway! As a recent bride and now a newlywed I understand the importance of preserving images and keeping all of your photos organized. I also love to blog and have considered putting all of my posts in a book. Someday we’ll have kids and I’ll want bound books of my photos of them. For our wedding, we created a guest book with our photos printed in it and left blank pages for our guests to sign. I wish we’d had a vendor that could print the photos on the page and create lines for our guests to sign the book.

I have found the perfect place to do all of these things; The folks at Blurb contacted me a few weeks ago and asked if I’d be willing to host a giveaway for their products. After looking through the website and creating a huge list of books I’d like to create for myself and for gifts, I immediately agreed!

Blurb is a creative book publishing platform that enables anyone to produce their own bookstore quality book. Blurb’s BookSmart software is free to download at and includes a huge variety of professionally designed layouts. Relatively new is the option to produce an ImageWrap hardcover book. This prints your cover image directly onto the book for a matte, sophisticated (and durable) finish. You can still have the options of softcover and hardcover with dust jacket. Books start at $12.95 for a 7×7” softcover book. Other sizes include 10×8”, 8×10” and 13×11”. Looking for some inspiration? Check out the books in Blurb’s Bookstore at

It’s free to create the book and the prices for the purchase of the book vary depending on your choice of size.

I’m so excited to be able to offer a giveaway for 5 readers! I will be giving away five (5) $54.95 bookmaking codes that will be redeemable for a book you produce using Blurb.

Here’s how it works:

Leave me a comment saying you’d like to be entered, then email me a photo that you would like to use as the cover of your book. I will simply select the five photos that I like best and award those five readers with bookmaking credits from Blurb. {This will definitely be hard for me!}

To announce the winners, I will share the five winning photos and runners up (with permission) on my blog. The photos do not have to be professional quality. They just have to be a photo that you took yourself.

I hope you’re all interested in playing! If you are a winner, I will email the code for Blurb to you. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, October 7, 2008.

Email your photos to me at erakin11 {at} hotmail {dot} com.

to sell or not to sell

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about selling my wedding dress. I love my dress and I’m definitely attached to it, but I will never wear it again. I’m not sure I could ever fit into it again! Mojito Maven posted today that she sold her dress and she told me the avenue she used to sell the dress. I’ve read about other bride bloggers who purchased a previously worn dress and some who sold their dress.

I paid a strong amount of money for the dress and think that I could get some of that back. It’s just a dress. I got my wear out of it. I’m not naive enough to think that my daughter (if I have a daughter) will wear it at her wedding. I would never ask my daughter to wear it at her wedding. I’m going to keep my veil. It’s so timeless and the lace is stunning. It could easily become an heirloom piece.

I have lots of wonderful pictures by Kelly Moore of me in the dress and the pictures capture every possible angle of the dress. It will be forever preserved in my memory and in photos.

The dress is a Carolina Herrera from the 2006 collection. It’s a size 4 and has been slightly taken in. I’m 5’8″, so it’s unlikely that the purchaser will be taller than 5’8″ and not have enough length on the dress.

My question for you, dear bloggers and readers, is, “will I regret selling my dress?” Did you sell your dress? Did you purchase a previously worn dress? Who is the best seller?

weekend update

I checked my Google Reader this morning and it said that I had 140 unread posts! Hello, overwhelming. So I’ve finally finished reading all of your updates and think I’ve done an adequate job of commenting. You all have so much to say over a two day period!

Our trip to DC was a lot of fun. Todd and I didn’t get to Fredericksburg until about 2:30 a.m. on Saturday morning. We spent the night and got up early to drive into the District. We checked into the Ritz, met my parents, had some lunch, and got dressed for the 4:00 ceremony.

There were about 20 of us there from my family, so that was a lot of fun. We always have a great time catching up. We’re all in our 20s now, so that really helps. Growing up, someone was always left out because they were too young to ride a rollercoaster, too young to drive, or too young to drink. Now we’re all in the same age group and it’s so much fun!

I didn’t take a single photo of the bride or of the wedding decorations, but I managed to get these photos after we walked through the rain to the reception. Pardon the frizz.

Todd and me

my dad and me

I’m not sure why my mom didn’t make it into any photos, but I promise she was there.

On Sunday morning we ate breakfast at The Front Page with the whole family and the bride and groom. Then we decided to go to the World War II Memorial since none of us had seen it yet. You just appreciate things a lot more when you get older. I hadn’t been to DC since high school and everything looked so different to me this time and I definitely appreciated things a lot more.

We drove back yesterday and the most eventful thing that happened on the drive was our fear of not finding a gas station that actually had gas when we needed it. We ended up finding gas in Florence, SC when we were just an hour from home. I can’t believe how bad things have gotten. I know Atlanta and Charlotte have it a lot worse, but I’m just conserving as much as I can. I’m hoping it will cool off soon and I can start walking to work.

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I’ve got so many things I want to talk about this week!

gone for the weekend

We’re leaving tonight after my last event and we’re driving to Fredericksburg, VA. We’ll stay the night there and drive the rest of the way to DC tomorrow morning. So excited to see my parents and all of my cousins at the wedding!

Have a great weekend! I’ll be back Monday with pictures and stories.

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