It’s hot. I mean really hot, as in 116 degrees F hot (46 C). But we expected this when we decided to spend the summer in Phoenix, Arizona. Thank goodness for air conditioning. I literally look forward to those cold fronts rolling in when it’s only 96 degrees Fahrenheit, haha. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I signed up for this, but I do know, we’ll start feeling a slight reprieve in another month or so, and that can’t come soon enough.
In reality, I’m not complaining. Travel burnout is a real thing, and although a part of me wishes we were spending our summer back in northern Wisconsin, I find the mere thought of traveling between Arizona and Wisconsin to be exhausting let alone actually having to do the drive. Yep, I’ve totally embraced sitting on my a*s in one location and allowing dust to gather on the truck … for now, anyway.
This fall we will have lived in our house for exactly one year. Even though life has slowed down quite a bit, the time has still gone by quickly. We’ve accomplished some remodeling on the house but kept it simple with minor repairs, painting, and a little decorating here and there. We kept our promise to each other to push any major renovations down the road, and I am so grateful for that decision. Supply chain issues and a shortage of labor are just a couple of factors that were considered, but allowing ourselves time to decompress and start feeling bored was the main goal.
Without the everyday decision-making and stress surrounding RV travel, Al and I have been able to focus on our health. He and I are both dealing with some issues, fortunately very manageable and nothing life-threatening just things to be mindful of, seek treatment, focus on eating healthy, exercise regularly, and get a good night’s sleep … all easier said than done … sigh.
AND we are becoming first-time grandparents sometime in August. Our son and daughter-in-law live nearby and are expecting their first child. That alone was worth settling down in the Phoenix valley and enduring the summer heat.
Blog to Book
So being housebound in air conditioning, I found myself with a little extra time on my hands, thus I finally got around to printing Book One of some of my early blog posts. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out, but it did take a fair amount of trial and error. I had four platforms on my radar that specialize in turning blog posts into books.
First up was intorealpages.com I’d heard good things about this site from another blogger and therefore decided to start with this one. I uploaded my site with the appropriate range of blog post dates and after several minutes, I had the beginning of a book. How cool is that? But upon close inspection, I realized page after page was designed in a column-type of format. Meaning all the verbiage was in a column on the left side of the page along with a column of medium-sized images stacked along the right side of the page.
I hated it. Thus, deleted the project and started over. The second time, it loaded just like the first and again in a layout that just wasn’t what I was looking for. I acknowledge user error may have been involved, but I feel I did my due diligence and gave the site well over an hour of my time before moving on.
Second on the list; blog2print.com I was super happy with the way this site loaded and the way my images were displayed along with the text. The game changer for me was the inability to delete the date when the post went live. Last year (January-March), I stepped back in time and rewrote some of my earlier blog posts in preparation to turn posts into a physical book. Thus, the date of the post had nothing to do with the dates of my stories making this a no go for me.
Third on the list; blookup.com I couldn’t even get this site to load up. Although it tried. I gave this site a couple of attempts to no avail.
Ding, ding, ding! We have a winner! Pixxibook.com This site was easy to navigate and customize. It loaded quickly, and I was able to remove the posted date. The price seemed reasonable and less expensive than the other sites. I received my finished product less than two weeks after I placed the order. The book arrived in perfect condition. They did a great job packaging the book in such a manner to prevent any possible damage during shipping which was much appreciated.
The overall quality of the book and the paper used exceeded my expectations, so much so that I’m already planning on printing Book Two. If you too are considering a way to preserve your blog posts, I highly recommend trying Pixxibook.com (no affiliation or sponsorship, just a happy customer).
The only thing I’m not totally satisfied with is the quality of some of the images. I don’t blame Pixxibook for this though. I know some of the images weren’t great to begin with plus I also wonder if I should increase the resolution of the images uploaded to WordPress. I always shrink them to 800 pixels for quicker load times but feel that may be too low for printed images. I’m torn between image quality versus load times. Perhaps in a future blog post, I’ll upload some images with a higher resolution for comparison. 🤷♀️ I’d love to hear your thoughts on the subject.