Chatbooks | The MVP of Instagram

Chatbooks: Saving each Instagram account, 60 photos at a time.

I was introduced to Chatbooks by a friend last Christmas and was instantly intrigued.

  1. IG photo preservation that isn’t virtual
  2. Two options of books to preserve IG photos
  3. Automatic shipping
  4. CHEAP
  5. Easy options to change/manipulate an order before its shipped

The question I asked myself was: Do I find my Instagram photos to be worth saving outside of the Instagram app?

The answer was a definite, YES.

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When sharing on Social Media I only share the photos that are most important to me and that (most often) have a story behind them.  Gone are my younger years when I shared every last photo I ever took of an occasion.  Nope. Not interested in that, at all.  I find it to be less authentic and feel a point can be made and a bigger impact felt by sharing a few meaningful photos, or photos that capture the eye, or photos that are telling of yourself and your own personal story, or of others, in a positive, heartfelt way.   The photos (and I take a lot) that aren’t shared on Social Media platforms are uploaded on a monthly basis to Snapfish for storage, print and photo album creation, for my own personal use.

But, Instagram?   That’s where I like to post my favorite photos.  The ones that encompass who I am, what I believe in, the friendships I cherish, the family moments, the vacations, the scenery.   My IG photos tell a story.  With Chatbooks I get to preserve that story in the form of a book, forever.

About Chatbooks

Chatbooks started in 2014 by a husband and wife duo looking to preserve memories with little time investment.   The company has grown to employ over 85 individuals across the country but remain “small” in nature to provide a foundation built on people and individuals.   Their motto:

“Chatbooks exists to help people hold on to what matters.”

What Options Are There?

With Chatbooks you have two options.  The Chatbook Series Option and the Custom Chatbooks option.

I use the Chatbook Series option.

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Series books are ongoing and linked to Instagram, Facebook or even your own camera roll favorites.  For every 60 photos uploaded, Chatbooks will create a new album, (or in their words, Volume) and send it to you for $8 Automatically.  Three days before shipment you get an email where you can manipulate some of the photos/captions by removing anything unnecessary.

 

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 Chatbooks also includes the accompanying caption and the date uploaded.

 

Questions

Chatbooks has an awesome support center where all your questions can be answered at the click of a button:

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I love my Chatbooks collection and I know I will love them even more as the years go by, their purpose evolves and the documentation becomes even more significant.

 

Life is big and beautiful and I ❤ to live it.

Ready to connect your IG, FB or personal photos for your own set?

Click here for quick access! (This link is tied to my account for referrals, but in no way is this post sponsored.  I love this product enough to shout it from the rooftops!)

Cheers!

 

Harvest 2017 | Goecker Farms

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Harvest 2017 is in full swing and as the long days and short nights are just gearing up for our farming families, I want to remind you to thank a farmer today.  And everyday.

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Saturday I headed down to Clarinda to spend a little time catching up and reminiscing with my own farming family.   Grandpa spared no time in reminding me of the many times I used to ride with him late into the evening as a young girl and serenade him with what I am sure were some of the BEST children’s Sunday School songs.

This Little Light of Mine, anyone?

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I spared all of them with the singing this go ’round.  Can’t imagine my song choices would interest him much these days. 🙂

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A few hours in the field and I had to be making my way back to the concrete city lights, but my heart was certainly filled to the brim with warmth and happiness.

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Best wishes to all our farmers on a successful harvest.

 

 

 

Life Lately – A Glimpse Back to August and September 2017

Summer 2017 flew by like all summers do.  But for those who liken summer to just the months of June, July and August are selling themselves short.   Why stop at August?  Because school starts up again?   Hellooooo… who lives for the week when there is always a weekend?   September is always an extended summer month for this girl and it’s been slammed full of awesome. Plus, let’s just note the horrid temps we’ve been having lately.   Mid-90’s at the end of September?

 WHAT WAS THAT?!

Let’s take a step back in time.

{August}

The first part of the month was Jessica’s annual girls trip to the Ozarks with a few newbies along for the ride but minus a few previous attendees who were unable to make it.  The Ozarks trip looked quite different than years prior (recap of previous years here and here), however, you can guarantee fun was had, drinks were ingested, a few belongings were lost at the bottom of the lake and a hangover or two may have happened.

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Thanks again, Jeff and Donna for opening up your home to us.

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August 11-12th

Clint officiated a wedding in Red Oak, IA the second weekend of August so we headed down on the bikes Friday the 11th to help with rehearsal.

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Added bonus: one of the best meals we have had in a long time courtesy of the Red Coach Inn Lounge.   Had NO IDEA their food was so legit.  I take back my Red Roach sentiments.  *shoulder shrug

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The wedding on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and everything went off without a hitch!

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And I, of course, loved every second I got to hang with Sara’s cute little fam.

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The entire month of August provided a lot of two-wheel time.   The number of sunsets captured was pretty spectacular.  This particular night we were just leaving The Twisted Tail after dinner and headed straight into the sunset.   I can’t get enough!

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Mid-August we had the opportunity to take my in-laws to dinner and we picked out the Driftwood Inn and Blair, NE.   The views during our pre-dinner drinks and appetizers were enough to make me want to go back for another evening cocktail anytime!   If you head that way, be sure to check their hours and give yourself plenty of time.  The seating is limited, the days and hours are limited and the wait time to get in is long, but clearly, worth it.  The place was packed!

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HOLD THE PHONE!

Did you know Clint has an award-winning truck?  At some point in August, we popped over to a car show with this man-manipulated beast I lovingly call Mater.   Listen, it’s apparently a thing because it was quite the conversation starter.  All I know is it’s a former dump truck (I think) that he put a box on.   It won best unfinished.

To me, it wins the title of “just another one of Clint’s unfinished projects”.

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And then around came my 37th birthday weekend.   Plans?  What plans?   Friends, let me tell you, August hit me like a ton of bricks!  I was out of the office traveling every day for over two weeks and facilitated 17 orientations where I was front facing students, parents, and administrators.  That’s a LOT of people and questions… and repeated answers.

So, I started to make plans, I didn’t like them, I changed them, I didn’t commit to anything, then I committed, people were busy, and then I uncommitted from it all because dang it… I just didn’t want plans.   None.  So, that’s what I did.  Whatever the hell I wanted on a schedule that didn’t matter if I was late or early too.

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And it was glorious.  

I got a solid long run in at my fave Zorinsky Lake and then we put some more miles in on the bikes.   Two-wheeled therapy, beers, dinner, and a nightcap to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at Tyree’s.   It was absolutely perfect and what I needed.

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And let’s not forget about this ooey gooey bowl of sweetness!  She makes every day a great day! ❤

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And then Tuesday the 29th hit and all of a sudden I’m 37.   THIRTY-SEVEN!   And super proud of it.   If you are one of those who keeps aging backwards… yo.   Stop it.  Own it!   Look at all the cool things you’ve experienced in your life to this point.  The things you’ve learned.   The mountains you’ve moved.   I proudly state my age.  Who gives a shit anyway?   Life friggin ROCKS!

The day started with getting absolutely SPOILED by my INSANIANCS and a 6 pack of beer from Jordan L.

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{Ok for real.  The number of people who actually thought I drank that bad boy at 5:30am after posting it on FB was a little ridic.   5:30am is a bit early don’t ya think?}

I mean clearly, I waited until the more respectable hour of 10:30am to crack it open.  #duh

 

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Thanks to Kelly for the extra steps in making my morning start off just right.  Look at that load of goodness.

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And the day of happiness continued with fresh out of the oven muffins from Bridgette, lunch with my mama, Dave and Gabe, goodies from some very special co-workers, flowers from the hubs, a hand-delivered cookie from Jess, love from the cat and sushi dinner to close out the night.

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37.  

You fine.

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{September}

I am still continuing working on my photo taking skills and fortunately for me had two more incredible test subjects.  Check out a few sneaks below!

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Pirtlefest Preps started happening on September 2nd and lasted through September 16th.   The weekends preps consisted of truck repairs, hole digging, pole barn cleaning, cabin sweep, human fooseball construction while also consuming a fair amount of food and booze.

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Friday, September 8th was Clarinda’s homecoming and my beautiful cousin was part of the Homecoming Court.  I made a last minute decision early that morning to take a 1/2 day off work and make my way to Clarinda to see her in action.  Fortunately for me, I caught a gorgeous sunrise on that two-wheeled beauty.

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And speaking of gorgeous!  Megan- red is your color!

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No trip to Clarinda would ever be complete without a stop to see Kayla and fortunately for us, Nicole stopped by and joined in on the fun as well!

An afternoon of beers and besties?  YES, PLEASE, ALWAYS!

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I timed my departure to coincide with the sunset.  The backroads of Iowa never disappoint, so there I sat, by myself, no traffic, the only sounds coming from the low grumble of my bike and the chirps of bugs, watching the sunset ever so softly until it disappeared.

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You all know how I feel about finding time to reset and self-reflect.   For me, the best time to do that is on the bike at sunset with nothing but miles ahead, miles behind and the only sounds heard are from the bike and my own thoughts.

Be comfortable being by yourself.  Get comfortable having hard conversations with yourself.   That’s where true growth begins.

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Saturday the 9th was the annual Scroggs memorial run out of Clarinda, so instead of heading to the farm to continue helping with the Pirtlefest shenanigans, I took off on the bike BACK to Clarinda to enjoy an afternoon of riding.

The weather was perfect, the miles long and the company a treat.

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Sunday, September 10th marked 6 years of marriage.

Killing it!

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Monday, September 11th marked my first day back as a playing member of the Nebraska Wind Symphony.   It had been 6 years since I had touched my clarinet and 11 years since I played repertoire that challenged me. I was a member of NWS from 2004-2006 while still living in Clarinda but left the group during a transition period in my life and then actually left music altogether in 2011 when I stepped away from teaching.  Joining the music world again had definitely been on my heart for the last year. In fact, my Christmas present to my Gr’pa Goecker last year was a written promise to see what I could do about becoming a playing NWS member again… and Monday the 11th I fulfilled that promise. He’s delighted as he’s certainly been the one to consistently bring up how he wishes I still played.  It’s been GREAT to be back… but I’ll admit the Monday evening 7:15-9:15pm rehearsals are an adjustment for my 4am Tuesday alarm clock.   Ouch!!

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Mid-September brought some changes at work.  The details are unnecessary, but the love I feel for my colleagues and the future of my position is promising.  Thanks to many special people for helping lead into that transition and through the changes yet to come.

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And with that, I’ll leave you be.   We’ve got Pirtlefest and an Arkansas trip to round out September, but those adventures certainly deserve their own post.

… Oh, the stories and photos to share!  🙂

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Biker Feature {Jenny}

An August evening in Emerson, IA served as the setting for my photo practice session #2 with none other then Jenny and her green machine.   Jenny lovingly called this session her “senior” photos, referencing more age then the traditional HS milestone.  We had a fun evening and I learned a lot about lighting and what the lack there-of does to photo quality.  Each session I learn something new, which is exactly my intention and purpose.

Thanks, Jenny!  Enjoy a few of my favorite photos from the night.

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Cheers!

Say No To Crack | A Gym Rats Must Do Test

In the fitness world belongs a peculiar little test that should always be administered before an individual steps foot into the gym.  This little test MUST be passed with flying colors as it is the best defense against the involuntary showing of one’s butt crack.

Legging wearing gym goer’s.  Come One, Come All!

This is for you, boo. 

Allow me to assist you in avoiding future and/or continued unplanned exposure of your derrière. The following is the greatest preventative measure against personal humiliation you could ever administer.

Are you ready for this?  It’s called…

The Squat Test 

 

booty courtesy of uber fit Lorna Jane girl

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Ya, you got it!  The simplest and most functional of exercises you can administer could actually help you avoid indecent exposure to the entire gym world.

Before you even think about walking out of that dressing room (or home if you are an online shopper) you MUST get comfortable staring at your back end in a mirror under bright lights.

Yep.  

Ya sure do, sweet-cheeks. 

WHY?

Because if you don’t, those sweet-cheeks are on full display for the world.

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I am talking to you Walmart, Target, Old Navy wearing legging friends.   Where’s my Nike PRO and Under Armour loving friends?  You raising your hands?   Guess what?

You aren’t exempt.

Nike has gotten pretty stingy on some of their material and styles of leggings.  One little squat test I recently did at Scheels proved to me that Nike’s weren’t going to be my friend during a good solid downward dog.

Are we having a break-through moment together right now?  Is your face red with heat and embarrassment thinking about what you wear to the gym?

As a fitness instructor and former fitness Master Trainer, I have seen more booties, thongs and granny panties than I ever imagined I would.  I mean, I teach fitness classes. What is this?!

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Now, I AM one of those people who tries to always let others know if they have something in their teeth, or if they have spilled food on their boob, etc.  My goodness, I’d want others to tell me!  How friggin’ embarrassing, yo!  Help a sista OUT!

Now with that said, I always try to cover my fitness peeps butts by letting you know I can see it, but I also don’t want to embarrass you, so I will wait until the end of class if no one is in your direct line of fire.  Here’s the second BUT — sadly I am also forgetful and at the end of class I just want to get everyone stretched and smiling again after the death that was bestowed on them and out the door, so, if you are in my classes you aren’t exempt.  Please resume squat test, immediately, in your own well lit bathroom mirror, k?

The How and What to the Squat Test

  • Turn around so your back is to the mirror.
  • Squat.
    • Deep and low as you can go.
  • Now, stick your booty out there, girl.
    • Give it a little smack if you feelin’ sassy.
  • And then LOOK.
    • Can you see your paisley printed thong through the material?  How about the outline?  HOW ABOUT SKIN?
  • Not seeing anything?
    • Put a light to it.  Natural light or flashlight.  Now whatcha got for me?

EEK!

Put those pants back on the hanger and

W.A.L.K.  A.W.A.Y!!!

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The Higher the Price – The More Dignity You Will Preserve

You cannot be afraid to spend a pretty penny on workout leggings.   Unless you are super eager to show off your scantily covered apple bottom, then there isn’t a price tag too high, in my opinion.   Below are my two favorites from ATHLETA to help you get started.  You can find in my closet two pairs of each of the below, because I believe in them that much.   I also LOVE the mid to high waist bands.  Zero roll down, zero pulling up pants every 5 seconds of a workout, complete coverage.   SOLD.

There are so many brands out there worth mentioning and exploring, so don’t limit yourself.  Lorna Jane, LuLuLemon, Fabletics, Carbon 38 and Victoria’s Secret PINK to name a few.   Heck, try Nike and Under Armour as well!  I have a few myself, but I was very careful with the squat test on those babies.  And, for the record, I love Nike.  I wear Nike Free RN shoes to the gym (Asics Gel Quantrums make a steady appearance as well) and nearly all my tops are also Nike.  Nike FREAK over here, but you just have to be careful on SOME of the legging styles.   They are made for certain workouts and the material is a good indicator of that.  Just didn’t want to hurt Nike’s feelings in case they want to sponsor me and my radness.  You know. 😉

 

Athleta Stealth TruCool Skulptek Capri. $98

 

Athleta Chaturanga Tight. $74

 

Happy Shopping and Mirror Squatting!

 

Cheers!