Sunday, November 30, 2014

Have you sent your Christmas Card yet?

Thanksgiving is in the record books for 2014. Now begins the greatest competition among me and my friends. Who's Christmas Card will get here first! Didn't know you were competing? That's okay, I made this competition up but once Thanksgiving is over I am always eager to see who will send me their Christmas Card first. Will it be my CWA sister Lynn Figone? Maybe my friend Ellen Duerr? Michelle Hunter and Linnea Trujillo usually show up early enough to be on our card display for weeks. The challenge this year is that we moved - twice!  It's not a secret and we didn't move far but our Christmas card and annual letter apprising you of the new address is not going to win the competition. PLEASE e-mail me or comment below and I will share the info. I will be incredibly sad if I don't get your card this year.

Is this not the cutest little kid? Love that smile. I have no idea whose kid he is but he is cute. Wonder if my kids would look cute on this card? That is the big question.

Christmas cards have been revolutionized.  From the days of our parents handwriting a box of cards picked up at the stationary store to today where you can pick your favorite picture or pictures, upload them to one of many online stationary retailers and customize a card, the message and even have them addressed and mailed too. We are spoiled! With so many options, how is one to pick?

The folks over at Minted asked me to peruse their holiday card designs*. Why did they ask me? Maybe they know I have an affinity for paper - thick paper, soft paper, heavy paper, textured paper, linen, cotton, cardstock, glassy, matte - the list goes on and on. Truth be told, if I could do all my Christmas Shopping at a stationary store I would. I can make a trip to buy a ream of paper last 30 minutes. So many smooth writing pens and new office organizing gadgets to look over.  Ahhhh.

This post however is about Christmas Cards. Have you used Minted before for your holiday cards or custom invitations? I have not but maybe this will be the year? After all they asked for my two cents on their 690 holiday cards. Yes you read that correctly 690. The good news is they have a feature that allows you to mark the ones you might like, a "Favorite," and come back to it later. I'm also curious about their customer service, product quality and production time. These are usually the items that I take into consideration when choosing an online stationery retailer. What's important to you?

Enough about the details. Let's get to the cards. Here are a few of my favorites. (The links to these particulars cards are in the picture captions in case you are wondering.)

I have two boys, This card explains our life perfectly!
Wreck the Halls
This one gives you the opportunity to share multiple pictures. It also says "Merry Christmas" which is really important to me. After all it is Christmas. 
Merry Collage
For those that love this card, like me, but maybe want a different color banner, you are in luck! This one has LOTS of options for the front and the back. Truthfully all the cards have lots of options. Change the shape of the card, change the message, change the text, add something to the back, change the quality of paper, really the options are limitless.
Casual Christmas
 How cute is this one? All online stationary retailers, listen up. Here is the next big idea for your online service. Figure out a way for me to upload my picture to your website so it populates each of your designs - all 690 for Minted! Brilliant right? Sure would make it easier for me to pick a favorite if I could see my kids in the picture. Just a suggestion. You're welcome. 
Very Merry Flourish
 You will never miss with just simple. All picture and a just the perfect message. 
Classical Christmas
This one would be ideal for us given we have moved and need to update our family and friends. If I don't get the annual letter written, this would be a great replacement.  
Fun Facts
 This one got me with the clean text. Must be why it's called scripted elegance. So elegant. 
Scripted Elegance

How do you choose? I actually have 14 different styles in my "Favorites" bar at the moment. That number will probably increase before I start weeding them down. Which card will it be? Will I add a scalloped edge? I usually send a flat card but maybe I will send a folded card this year. Yep, you have that option too over at Minted.

The folks over at Minted told me that tomorrow, Cyber Monday, they will have their best prices and deals yet. They didn't tell me what they would be but they did say they would be good. So upload the family photo, grab a glass of wine and get to designing. 

There are lots of different retailers to choose from with lots of different designs, price points and crazy deals happening right now. 

I would love to hear from you so please tell me below in the comments what design you choose and from what retailer. 

Thanks for reading and if you are on our Christmas card mailing list, stay tuned. It will be in the mailbox soon. 

Merry Christmas! ~mrs. c

*Minted asked me to review their Holiday Card selections and offer my thoughts to my blog readers. In return they have offered me a credit towards product for a future purchase. The designs are theirs but the opinions and thoughts are all mine. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Being Thankful

It's hard to believe 2014 is almost over. Today we celebrate Thanksgiving. A time to pause and embrace what it is that one has that they are thankful for.

So what is it that I am thankful for?

Family that loves you unconditionally.

Laughter of my little boys.

Health of my family.

Agriculture and a table to gather around that always provides nourishment.

The ability to be the best person I can be. 

Simply put, I'm blessed and for that I am thankful. 

Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Halloween was a blur!

If you have young children I'm sure that most of your treasured photos are blurry. Not because you are a bad photographer but because your kids have a gene the does not allow them to sit still. Of course I have no scientific evidence to support that it is a gene but what else could it be? 

I have to tell you I almost forgot to take pictures of the boys in their costumes this year. Not because I don't think they are the most adorable superhero's ever but because they have been driving me crazy for a month over these costumes. In fact they have dressed up every night leading up to Halloween because they loved their costumes so much. We bought the costumes early. We knew they would be popular and the boys knew they wanted to be Superheros. (Of course I do have a Spider-Man costume in the closet too. Maybe we can save that for next year.) The problem with the early purchase was they wanted to wear them. So we let them. Each night they put them on and played. Each night I made them take them off before dinner and I hung them back up in my closet so as to not allow them to be torn or destroyed before Halloween.  See those cute Captain America Shields? That is the 2nd set. They broke the first two. But the costumes survived. I told Jake I could not wait till Halloween was over this year just so I would not have to worry about the costumes being destroyed. 

So it's over now. I took the pictures. Lots of blurry pictures. Everyone was happy. They have Captain America moves that would make Captain America himself jealous. They went door to door in our neighbor hood and collected candy. They are only 4 and 2 so they are still getting the hang of the "Trick or Treat" process but they figured it out.

We got home that night. I helped them take of their costumes and I slung them over the foot boards on their beds. I figured they could play dress up now all they wanted and I would not care one bit if a costume got dirty or ripped or simply lost in the mess of their room.

And that was it. The costumes are in the same place they were Friday night when I took them off. A month of "I must wear my costume moooooommy!" and all they want now is that damn Target toy catalog that came in the mail. All I can say is thank goodness we have two catalogs.

Bring on the Holidays!
Thanks for reading. ~mrs. c


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