around the table with GG

We got to see GG up in Poulsbo during our road trip. It was an emotional journey, as it's been years since I've made it up to the Washington place. Last time I was there, I got engaged. The smell of blackberries and the rustic red brick invaded my head as I approached the doorway – always entering through the garage, never the front, and I never even think to knock.

This used to be my home, after all.

I love this photo Nate snapped when we weren't looking: me and my sister leaning over the table, hanging on grandma's every word. Take away my own little ones and picture GG flipping peek-a-boo eggs on the electric stove…this is exactly how it looked 15 years ago. We've played Tripoly countless times at this table. This is where I had Thanksgiving dinner with cousins. Where I learned to multiply. Where my uncle cheered on his favorite football team using a generator to power the rabbit-eared TV during a snowstorm.

It's amazing the memories that a simple photograph can invoke.

holding a small photo book

GG has always cherished printed photographs. They line every spare corner of her home, and she likes to take guests on little photo tours to “catch up” with the family who couldn't make it out. She also taught me that polite visitors¬†never show up empty-handed. Considering her limited mobility lately, I knew that the perfect gift for me to bring along would be a photo book. A convenient one that she could flip through in her down time on the couch or if she has to go to the hospital again.

Keychain Books: Perfect for Busy Families

keychain books

One of the last photo books I printed was our wedding album, and it was quite a production. I had pages professionally laid out. I visited the print shop and picked it up in person. Times have changed a little bit. I'm too busy to be uploading and downloading and making complicated transactions (and truthfully, I know that those bulky books won't get read much in these minimalist times of ease and convenience).

So I was pretty excited when I found Photos2Books. They make it easy to create miniature keychain books on-the-go straight from your smartphone. They have that old school business printing background so the top-notch quality I want is there, but they've gone the extra mile and paired it with convenience that works for moms like myself. Their handy iPhone, iPad or iPod App (Android App coming soon) lets you upload pictures directly from your phone into mini albums or keychain books.

Best of all, Photos2Books is located right here in San Diego. You know we have ALL kinds of love for our local SoCal companies. They printed us up a keychain book and a slightly larger mini book (in case GG wanted to see the photos just a bit bigger) and shipped them to our home in record time. It was just $15.95 for the mini album and $9.95 for the smaller “micro” keychain books – a total steal for a personalized book of this quality. I was even able to customize the covers to be her favorite colors: green and blue.

tender toddler

And because my smart camera syncs up automatically with my phone, I have to say…there were some pretty dang awesome photos in there. It turned out really professional. And on my end, the whole thing took less than 10 minutes! This would make a fab holiday gift. Think ahead, guys, it's coming up!

grandma with her keychain book

GG loved it. It warmed my heart to see her smile so big and let out that familiar happy grandma chuckle.

Holiday gift idea: keychain books (great for grandma!)

Do you give your family special gifts like keychain books to let them know you're thinking of them? You can even have it shipped directly to relatives! Check out Photos2Books on their website, Facebook or Twitter for more fun photo ideas.