shutterfly photo booksOur recent learning photo book contest for our awesome sponsor Shutterfly, was one of the most fun contests we’ve ever done here. Our readers submitted so many inspiring ideas for turning the photo books into learning books, that we wanted to go back and create even more ourselves. (And actually, Liz did.)

So we’re excited to be working with them again and hosting another contest, so that all of you–clearly a very creative bunch– can share your best ideas for custom photo books, especially now that the holidays are approaching.

As for me, this time, I created a photo book as a welcome home gift for my husband who just returned from a two month deployment in Afghanistan.

I have to admit I was pretty proud of the fact that I came up with the idea for my five-year-old daughter to keep a journal while my husband was gone. And while on some nights she made it seem like writing in her journal was a form of torture, she (and I) kept up with it the entire time he was deployed, drawing pictures of her day and writing one-line descriptions to go with it.

shutterfly welcome home journal

Of course, handing him the bright yellow composition book upon his return was a complete thrill. But the prospect of trying to keep that thing in good condition for longer than a few months seemed pretty lousy. So when I found out we were working with Shutterfly again, I scanned and uploaded excerpts from her journal, added some photos of the kids from some of the moments he missed, and created a book with more longevity than that sorry three-subject notebook.

Plus it’ll always be nice to remember the first time my youngest daughter pooped in the tub.

The great thing is that there’s a new “simple path” on Shutterfly when you create the books, so if you’re a busy, exhausted mom who’s running on fumes like I am, it’s really a snap to navigate the templates and change styles. If you’ve got a few simple photos, some creativity and a little bit of time, then you’ve got the perfect material for a really special gift this year, whose worth is way more than its cost.

My very emotional husband will agree.  -Kristen

shutterfly logo

To see the all the amazing entrants in our Shutterfly contest, visit the Cool Mom Picks share page at Shutterfly and see the winners here.

And extra special thanks to our sponsor Shutterfly for supporting what we do and offering such nice prizes for our readers.