Photo Editing Tips to Take Your Photos from Drab to Fab

With all of the junk mail, overflow of catalogs and sales flyers, and those dreaded piles of bills – isn’t it nice to get a personalized card in the mail? It’s kind of a refreshing break to open a beautiful card, see your favorite smiling faces, and read their heartfelt messages, any time of year. But, one of the big reasons I hear people say that they don’t send cards is because it’s too much work, or they aren’t creative enough to create great holiday or event cards. So, I’m here to share a few of my favorite tips and tricks with you guys. These work perfectly for Christmas and New Year’s cards, but can work year-round too, for birthday invites, baby announcements, fun thank you cards, or other celebrations. Check ‘em out, then leave your own fave tips in the comments too – I love hearing from you guys!

How to create showstopping holiday cards using picmonkey and tiny prints

Obviously, the first step is to pick photos. You can go with one great family photo, feature just a new baby {or toddler, like I did this year} – or if you don’t have a good family photo this year, choose a card design that lets you upload several photos, and use individual pics of each family member. And remember that just a little bit of photo editing can make a drastic difference – and you don’t need expensive or complicated software. I use PicMonkey, and love how simple and intuitive it is.

Photo Editing Tips [Read more...]

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How to DIY Holiday Centerpieces Using Wine Bottles – Tutorial

I love DIY home decor. And I love it even more when you can personalize your home on a budget. So I am totally in love with the super fun ideas in this new video from Sabrina Soto, on ULive.com. She’s so fun to watch – really upbeat and bubbly, and just very real. She always has really good tips to share – but this is one of my favorites: It was originally filmed as tips for Thanksgiving, but all of the ideas totally work for any season or celebration. Check out this amazing centerpiece she made from super simple materials -

Simple DIY Centerpiece on a Budget - using wine bottles! Tutorial

DIY Holiday Centerpiece on a Budget [Read more...]

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How to Make Unique Family Movie Night Gift Baskets on a Budget

I love to give movies as gifts. One – you can always score amazing deals on Amazon, like the big list I have here for you today. And, there are so many fun ways to give movies as gifts… We have an Elf Magic doll that brings little random gifts for the kids during the month of December – things like a new movie to watch that night, candy and treats, or a new holiday story book. Or, they’re perfect for gift baskets – you can go basic and make a family movie night gift basket: Use a big popcorn bowl or bucket, add a movie or two, snacks and popcorn, maybe even send it with a big cozy blanket too. Or, get creative and build a basket around a favorite movie – I’ve added a bunch of ideas below each of these awesome movie deals. {But remember – prices flip fast at Amazon, especially this time of year. I’m posting this on 11/30/13 – the further away from this date, the more the prices may vary!} So whether you just want to buy some classic family favorites for yourself at a total steal of a price, or build some fun gifts, I hope you enjoy my ideas and deals!

The Goonies

Everyone loves The Goonies, right? It’s perfect for all ages – and you can get it right now for only $4. To build a gift around this, get those gold coin candies, candy rings and candy necklaces, Baby Ruth candy bars, truffles {ala the Truffle Shuffle}, pirate eye patches and accessories, a The Goonies T-shirt or two, and pack it all into a little $3 dollar Treasure Chest gift box. Fun, right?

Princess Bride

This is one of my favorite movies – I could never watch it enough times: The Princess Bride. Right now it’s on sale on Amazon for only $3 bucks! If you wanted to make this into a giftable basket, here are some ideas of things to add: Princess Bride pub glasses, cute little love notes – “I’d come from mostly dead for you,” a bottle of Princess Bride wine, some Reece’s Peanut “Butter cups”, Pirate Sword Picks with a little ham and cheese gift set, and this awesome Storming The Castle Card Game. And just for fun, add a set of “Hello, My Name Is” Labels that you can personalize to finish the phrase – “Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die…” [Read more...]

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These are a Few of My Favorite Things…. & I’m Giving them All to You!

Brown paper packages tied up with strings, these are a few of my favorite things…. Please tell me someone else is a fan of Sound of Music too? I’m not just old? If you don’t, well, please take a minute to educate and entertain yourself – My Favorite Things, Sound of Music. I’ve sang this song since I was a little girl, and love singing it to my own little girl now :) So, of course when I heard that some of my absolute best-est bloggy girlfriends wanted to get together and give away our own favorite things – I jumped in right away! We all went shopping and picked out some of our fave stuff, created prize packages, and are giving them away to you guys just in time for the holidays! You’ll see them all in the big gift collage below, then you can scroll down to see more about my prize up close and personal, enter to win my prize – then there are links to make it easy peasy to hop around and enter EVERYONE’S prizes too! Awesome, right?

My Favorite Things Holiday Gift Giveaway! [Read more...]

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Resolutions for the New Year – Without Taking Yourself Too Seriously #Humor

“Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” – Oprah Winfrey… Ok, it’s that time again. Time to say goodbye to the old year, and turn to look ahead to the new year. The world didn’t end, even though Snooki AND Kim Kardashian got pregnant, the Mayans predicted it, and Twinkie went bankrupt. Nope, we’re all still here, and if you’re anything like me, you’re probably excited for a fresh start, new possibilities, new adventures. So, I wanted to share a little bit of my plans for 2013 with you. Feel free to be wildly inspired…. Lol.

New Year's Resolution Humor - Be more awesomeNew Year’s Resolution #1 – Be more awesome than last year. Lofty goal? Indeed. And it’s funny, because my “Blogging Resolutions” for last year also started with being more awesome, lol. When I go back and look at that post – 10 Blogging Goals for 2012: Starting with Be More Awesome – I’m super proud to say that I pretty much nailed them. Sure – some are still a work in progress, and I’m still working on building better routines into my daily life, since the new work-from-home lifestyle has been a HUGE adjustment. But in 2012 I built my blogging and freelance business into a real career, that allows me to work from home and spend my days with Abby. {Well, spend my days typing away for hours while a 2 year-old prances plastic dinosaurs across my keyboard. Not glamorous, but it’s much better than being away at an office all day!} I hit almost all of my major goals. And I can’t wait to see what I can accomplish in this new year!!

New year's resolution humor - Remember to write the right year!New Year’s Resolution #2 is a little bit less ambitious – Just remember to get the stinkin’ year right!! Lol. Thank goodness it’s not too hard to add a little loopy tail onto the bottom of a 2, and make it look like a weird, drunken 3. So I should be ok. Thank goodness no one writes checks anymore – remember how you’d CONSTANTLY mess that up all month in January?? Writing all of your checks in the past? {And then secretly hoping no one would be able to cash them because they were so old…. } So, this year I resolve to realize what year it is, from day 1.

Sticky note swagNew Year’s Resolution #3: Sticky note swagger. Yes – In this new year, I’m going to work on getting my swag on, every day. I mean this in a few different ways – One, I need to bust out of “Frump-Mom” territory. I recently ran into a really good friend of mine, who’s mid-pregnancy, super tired, still working full time, you know how it goes. And she looked awesome – cute outfit, fully accesorized, great hair. Me? I had a mess of a bun, sweat pants in public, and I’m not even sure that my shoes matched. Abby was just as bad – wild, no-brush hair, and a messy face. Yes, it was a last-minute Walmart run while she was sick. But still. I used to do fashion merchandising in retail stores, and was somewhat stylish. I used to have really good hair – I swear. So it’s time to get back to that. AND – it’s time to feel this way when it comes to blogging and business too. I’m definitely one of those chicks that have a hard time being firm, asking for what I want, insisting on what I know I deserve. I’m turning that swag on EVERY morning from now on. Oh yeah.

New year's resolution to eat healthierNew Year’s Resolution #4: Lose the rest of this damn toddler weight. Yes, I called it baby weight for a year. Everyone said, “It takes 9 months to put it on, it’ll take another 9 months to take it off. Don’t stress it.” Then it became, “It’s ok – it takes everyone about a year. That first birthday, you’ll be back in your old jeans again – no worries.” Now, they’ve probably given up, lol. I can’t call it “baby weight” when she’s 2 1/2. It’s now “toddler weight” which is not as socially acceptable. So, after I eat every single deliciously fattening after-Christmas morsel in my home, I’m starting fresh tomorrow morning and WILL lose this weight. {I’m doing a weight loss challenge too – and will be posting a photo of my weigh-in’s once a week. EEK! But watch for it. Tomorrow morning is post numero uno. Ghad.}

Promote what you love quoteNew Year’s Resolution #5: Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate. Oh maaaahn. I could go on about this for quite awhile. Whether it comes to religion, to politics, to society, to guns, to motherhood, to what people wear, to whatever – In life, this is the resolution I’d love to share with everyone, and hope more people pick up on. When you talk about your God, whoever He or She may be, do you think people listen when you’re supporting people, doing good works, spreading positivity? Or when you’re telling gays they’re going to hell, that kids are shot in school because we don’t teach your specific religious beliefs there, or whatever else it is that you want to be negative about? Your beliefs are yours. But remember that if you want support for them – In ANY part of life, on ANY topic – the way to go is by being positive and giving people a reason to feel good. Not telling a portion of people why they suck. No fun.

New years closing goalIn closing – here’s a thank you for listening to my goals, and not laughing at them. Most New Year’s Resolutions are easily forgotten in those first sober moments of the new year… Or at best, work as a “To-Do list for the first week of January” – lol. But, I’m a list maker. A goal checker. A get it done-er. I’m super excited to have had my business goals posted on this site, for last year, which help keep me accountable – and that I accomplished almost all of it. So, watch soon for more specific goals coming from me soon – to again, keep me accountable.

Share your New Year’s Resolutions with me in our Facebook community – Funny, sarcastic, serious, emotional, all of ‘em. I want to hear your realistic plans, and overly ambitious dreams. I don’t have mine all written down yet, so I’d love to be inspired by you guys too!!

Happy New Year’s! Be safe, drive safe, don’t say “I love you man” too many times tonight, and may the person you kiss at midnight – spouse, significant other, or random stranger – have nice breath and be non-regret-inducing tomorrow morning!

Cheers to 2013 – to the fresh start, new adventures, exciting and unexpected changes! 

 

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