Tag Archives: Christmas

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards In 5 Easy Steps

How To Create a Digital Christmas Card-Freshtake5

Did you wait until the last minute to order Christmas cards because you wanted the perfect picture? Or maybe you just decided it wasn’t in the budget for Christmas this year. Either way, digital christmas cards are a great way to send holiday greetings to family and friends and save yourself the printing and mailing costs.

I tend to create digital Christmas cards even if I order a few paper ones. That way I can save money by just sending cards to grandparents and others who I know just don’t use the internet. And then I also have a digital Christmas card to send to international friends and family (hola to my Guatemalan family!).

How to Create Digital Christmas Cards in 5 Easy Steps

1. Choose a picture or pictures

Make sure you choose a picture that is in focus and that you love it. I recommend that you chose at least one picture that has the whole family (yes- people want to see you too, not just the kids).

For example, here is a cute one of my kids from last year.

digital christmas cards - original

2. Edit the picture to include your holiday greeting

I am a photoshop user, but it is an expensive editing software that not everyone needs. Try using a free service like PicMonkey to achieve the look you want.  (Hint: Click the “Edit for free” link in the upper right and you don’t even have to create a user.)

digital christmas cards - finsihed card

If you need some inspiration, check out our pinterest board of easy to recreate digital Christmas cards here.

3. Compile your recipient list

I like to send my digital Christmas cards via email. To me it just seems a little more personal than posting it to Facebook or Instagram, but don’t let that stop you if that is your prefered method of contacting friends and family.

4. Insert your edited photo

If you are a gmail user, here is a little trick to embed the photo rather than have it be an attachment. Choose the “Insert photo” button (looks like a mountain landscape) rather than “Attach files” button.

insert photo

5. Send!

Push send. You’re done. Pour a glass a wine and sit back and enjoy your holiday season! I usually get a few replies to my cards which is always a nice perk of digital Christmas cards over paper.

Are you a sender of digital Christmas cards? How do you create them?

The 4 Present Christmas: Limiting Christmas to Meaningful Gifts

Do you get overwhelmed by the idea of purchasing Christmas gifts for your family especially your kids and spouse? I do. Probably because I am inherently frugal and hate the idea of meaningless junk.

The 4 Present Christmas: Limiting Christmas to Meaningful Gifts

So how does one go about giving gifts that are both meaningful and worth the money you spend on them? Have you heard of the 4 Present Christmas? A friend of mine introduced me to the concept last year. It is based on the old saying for brides on their wedding day of wearing something old, new, borrowed, and blue. As it pertains to Christmas though you try to minimize the gifts you give (especially to your children, but can be to your spouse also) to something they wear, something they read, something they want, and something they need.

Wear

Let’s be honest here, kids grow out of clothes like it’s their job. This is always a smart way to gift to a child.

Read

I love buying books so this is always an easy one for me. I try to focus on a Christmas classic type book right now as my kids are young. I think as they get older and begin to understand more we’ll focus on making these a challenge book either for them to read themselves or comprehend as I read to them.

Want

This is the hardest one for me. I have a hard time not controlling the toys and other items that come into my house. I’m working on making this a sought after item, but hopefully also an educational or imaginative play-type toy.

Need

With toddlers, the “need” gift usually means another clothing or accessories type item. This year its is new sneakers. As they grow though I could see this evolving into something like a new graphing calculator for school-oh wait, our kids won’t use graphing calculators it’ll be iPads for everyone at that point, right? 😉

How do you do it in your family? Do you limit Christmas to the 4 gifts: wear, read, want, need? If so how does gifts from Santa work? Do they count in the 4 or outside of the 4?

2014 Best Subscription Box Gifts

One of the most fun gifts to give and receive are subscription boxes. For Christmas this year I would suggest getting a subscription box gift for a least one person on your list. They are a fun way to give a unique gift that most often has a greater value to it than what you pay for it. And often times these services offer specific subscription box gifts that don’t require a full year-long subscription.

Subscription Box Gifts

For Women:

There are a lot of options of buying subscription box gifts for the women in your life this year.

PopSugar Must Have

PopSugar Must Have is offering 3 limited edition subscription box gifts this year. The Neiman Marcus box and the Special Edition Holiday box for Her are both curated to the female in your life. I have purchased the Special Edition box on a few occasions and have always been impressed with the value.

popsugar

Golden Tote

Golden Tote is a curated women’s clothing service. This holiday season they are offering a few extras to buyers on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. They are introducing gifts under $50 for Black Friday that will include curated gift sets for the woman in your life. On Cyber Monday they will include an additional item in each tote! This is a really great value.

GT

Birchbox

Birchbox has 9 limited edition holiday subscription box gifts available in addition to their fun monthly subscription service. Of those, 6 are female oriented with prices ranging from $18-$98.  The fun thing about these boxes is that you know what you are purchasing right away so if the box has perfume and you know your mother in law hated perfume you can move on to the next box.

Birchbox

Wantable

Wantable doesn’t offer any special edition boxes, but it is a great subscription box and would make a great gift for the woman in your life. Watch for Black Friday and Cyber Monday discounts too!

Wantable

 

 

Fabletics

Like Wantable, Fabletics doesn’t offer special edition boxes, but they have an awesome deal going for Black Friday. They are offering 2 tops for $19.95 and/ or 2 leggings for $49.95. This would make a great gift for the workout queen in your life.

fabletics

For Men:

There are a few great subscription box gifts available for men.

PopSugar Must Have

PopSugar Must Have’s third subscription box gift available is the Special Edition Holiday box for Him. I gifted this to my husband last year and he loved it. It had some really great luxury items that he never would have bought for himself, but has really enjoyed having.

popsugar

Birchbox Special Edition Boxes

Birchbox offers 3 options for subscription box gifts for the man in your life. There is a sporty one, a eco conscious one, and a grooming essentials one. These range from $39-$88.  You can view what is in each of these boxes on their site.

Birchbox

For Kids:

Fab Kids

Fab Kids has already kicked of a Black Friday sale off buy one get one free for new subscribers.

fabkids

 

Check out our other gift guides here: Tech For Dad, Tech For Mom, Wardrobe Essentials For Mom

Alternative to the Classic Barbie Doll

Are you like me and looking for an alternative to the classic Barbie doll for Christmas this year?

Alternative to the Classic Barbie Doll

My daughter is almost 3 and obsessed with babies, dolls, and the whole process of mothering. She has been pretending to dress her dolls in her own clothes for awhile now so I thought it would be a good time to get her a doll to dress.

Currently her “baby” is a plush doll that she uses as a comfort item which includes sleeping with it and hugging it when sad, upset, or just tired. Since I’d like to keep “baby” as this comfort item, I thought it would be fun to have a doll that is for pretending or make believe. When I was a child Barbie fulfilled this need, but I don’t like the idea of giving such a small child a doll that is so grown up. Barbie does not even look like a real woman let alone a girl.

So after some searching I found my alternative to the classic Barbie doll: the Lottie Doll.

Lottie

Lottie is a pro-girl, age-appropriate alternative to the classic Barbie doll. She has a child-like body and does not wear makeup, jewelry, or high heels. A variety of outfits are available to buy that all are easy to put on and take off her. They even have a Snow Queen version for the Frozen fans.

Since the Lottie doll was launched its been awarded 19 international awards. It was even in mentioned in a New York Times article on toys that encourage science and engineering.

According to their website, 18 months of research went in Lottie’s development:

“Arklu carried out 18 months of research working with girls, parents, retailers, industry experts, child psychologists and child nutrition experts, leading to the generation of over 100 action points which have been incorporated into Lottie’s development. The three points that resonated the most strongly were:

  • Girls being concerned by body image from a young age
  • Girls being prematurely sexualised
  • Girls missing out on their childhood

To address these issues, Lottie has been based on the scientific proportions of a 9 year old child, with the exception of her head (which has been increased to accommodate hair play). She does not wear jewellery, makeup or high heels. She can stand on her own two feet…… always a useful life skill for all girls, big and small!
Her clothes are vibrant in colour and have significant attention to detail. Lottie’s clothes are very much activity based, in line with those of a 9 year old instead of an adult. She wears pretty dresses, as well as hard-wearing clothes for muddy, outdoors play. Lottie allows girls to be girls and enjoy their childhood, in all its facets. Lottie’s motto is ‘Be bold, be brave, be you’.”

How cool is that? Lottie doll will be on my daughter’s Christmas list this year.

Gadget Gifts for Dad 2014

Are you looking for gadget gifts for dad for Christmas?

I’m sorry, but 99% of the “gadget gift guides” online contain nothing but useless iPhone accessories, headphones, and speakers. Here’s some other gadget gifts to get Dad in 2014:

2014 Christmas Gift List - Tech for Dad

1 – Arduino Kit

Don’t know what he’d do with this? It doesn’t matter. It’s like the science kit you got as a kid. Learn to design circuits, write code. Plenty of neat project ideas online as well.

2 – Tile

If he’s anything like me, he wishes the “Find my iPhone” app would work with everything he owns. Well, it can. Unfortunately, he will now be unable to keep track of anything without one of these attached to it.

3 – A good kitchen scale

A scale is an essential tool in the kitchen. From mixing drinks, baking, to brewing coffee, it’s a great time saver.

4 – Aeropress

Much discussed by all coffee snobs, some love it, some hate it. Honestly, if you have any desire to brew your coffee without a conventional brewer, this is the easiest (and arguably best) way.

5 – Raspberry Pi

Similar to the Arduino, but an entire Linux-based computer on a tiny circuit board. Build your own music server, tiny web browser, etc.

Did you like our Gadget Gifts for Dad 2014? Looking for technology gifts for mom? Check out our gift guide here.

2014 Christmas Gift Wish List – Wardrobe Essentials for Mom

Wardrobe Essentials for Mom

Golden Tote Gift Card

I love Golden Tote and it’s the perfect gift for the woman in your life who needs a little wardrobe refresh. Gift her the $150 tote and she gets to choose 2 items she loves and the designers pick 3-5 more items to go with it that match her style profile. It’s great way to quickly update her wardrobe with fashionable pieces that match her style.

GT

Woolrich Women’s Baltimore Harness Boot

These boots are not only super cute, they are super practical especially for mamas that chase after babies all day or mamas that work on their feet all day. Comfy meets stylish.

Nine West Double Vision Satchel Top Handle Bag

I love the idea of a stylish over the shoulder bag that can double as a diaper bag or a sipper cups and snacks bag, etc. This is the perfect combination of sleek, stylish, practical and efficient.

ZilverPassion Sterling Silver Stacking Ring

Stackable rings are definitely on trend right now and I love the idea of getting them in your child’s birthstone.

Kensie Women’s Short Sleeve Pajama Set

Okay, okay I admit to going to bed in old t-shirts purely because they are so dang comfy. Get the mama in your life some cute and comfy pj’s ASAP. Trust, it is worth it for all involved. 🙂

 

Mamas, what else are you dying to get this year for Christmas?

Christmas Wish List – Technology For Mom

It’s that time of the year to really start thinking about all the people you have to buy Christmas (or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa) presents for. Mom is always hard to buy for so here is a list of technology must haves for your Mama.

Tech for Mom

We have and love the Anker Portable Battery Charger, the Kindle Paperwhite and Apple TV. I highly recommend all these items.

I am dying to try out the new Go Pro Hero4 and  the FitBit Flex Activity Tracker is perfect for the upcoming New Year’s Resolutions.