Thursday, December 1, 2011

DIY Photo Christmas Card

  (I know it's a card with trees on it, I am saving my family pics for later  :)

Earlier this year I won a HUGE Giveaway package from Jacob Dean Photography.  My head is still spinning!  I decided to be very patient and wait until Fall to have the shots done so I could use them for our Christmas cards.  A few weeks ago I started looking around online for some ideas to showcase my new family portraits.  I settled on a simple card design that looks very similar to the one above.  After checkout, envelopes, shipping and taxes  they came out to about $2.05 per card!  I want about 100 cards, so that's over $200 bucks for me -um, I'll pass.  I  looked at the cheaper options and they still priced for over $1.00 per card and they looked, well, cheaper.  Of course, because I have nothing else in my life to accomplish, I decided to figure out how to do it myself.  Now you too can have your cards printed,  for an average of .50 cents per card (including envelopes).

WARNING:  This is the longest post ever, but still these are so easy to make.  After figuring it out, I can now design a card in under 10 minutes. This will save me tons of trouble in the future!

1
Sign up for Picasa  (FREE) by going to here.  Picasa will automatically search for and upload all pictures found on your computer.
2
Sign up for picnik.com (FREE) by going here.  If you don't already know, picnik is an amazingly simple way to edit pictures
3
Go online and find a Christmas card design that you think you can take on, start simple.
4
Go into your Start menu/Programs and find Picasa
5
When in Picasa Click on Create

6
While under Create tab Click on Picture Collage.  (If pictures already appear on your work surface click select all and then remove).
7
Pull how ever many pictures you want for your card from the left.  Click on Get More if you need to search for more.

8
Once you are pleased with your picture combination, click on the Settings tab
9
follow a. - e. below







a. Choose 5x7 Large Print
b. You can choose picture pile, mosaics or grid. I choose picture pile so I can create a blank space between pics.
c. Play around with border options
d. If you want a color to your borders choose one here
e. UN-check Draw Shadows










10
Arrange your photos how you would like them in your lay out.
*TIP I made a space in between two pics so I can add a statement in. 
*Extend your pictures a little bit past the 5x7 edge so that they will print cleanly.
11
Click  Create Collage.



12
Click Edit in Picnik 


13
Now play around with stickers and text and colors
(I used geometric rectangles and a triangle, for for the banner, added a snowflake, then text.)

                           
                     
14
Save it to your pictures and upload it to your favorite photo developer.


**At SAMS they offer 5x7 prints for as low as .34 cents (.38 for in club pickup)
 ***You can find envelopes for around 7-15 cents a piece.  Look for size A7 envelopes (5 1/4 x 7 1/4). Try Amazon.com, Michaels and Hobby Lobby.

I hope this helps you  save a little extra jingle for the holidays!
I'd love to see what you come up with!


Friday, November 4, 2011

Fight for Your Right to Potty...and FREE Potty Training Printable














Sooo, it's about that time here over at The Family's house to talk about the P word.  In fact, there are tons of P words flying around here: potty, pee pee, poop, patience, progress, prizes, pleading, pick up poop, perseverance,  praying... you get the point.

I love this post over at Make It and Love It on how potty training almost sent Ashley to therapy.  It was pretty brave of her to share her methods and mishaps while training, especially when there is a plethora of opinions flying around out there!  I'm so glad she did!

I'm not going to get into all of the details of our proposed potty plan yet.  I am still so humbled by this whole Mom thing.  I can't even start to think I have any shred of competence in child rearing.  I still can't bring myself to talk about how I, I mean 'my friend' let 'her baby' fall on his little head once.  Thank goodness for the honest Moms out there and their similar stories that make me feel like I haven't ruined his life...yet.

One thing we are trying out is to follow a progress chart.  I made a trip over to The Dollar Tree and picked up 500 little stickers for $1.

























Then I grabbed a $1 tote and toy packages full of random things like dinosaurs, dump trucks, cars, balloons, glow sticks, play dough, and so on.  We decided not to reward with candy because A. We'd eat it, and B. Our relationship with food and candy has not been the best.  Maybe we can help break the vicious cycle?  Again flying by the seat of my pants on that one.


















We use a little chart and give out 2 stickers for pee and 3 stickers for poop.  When he fills up a row with stickers we let him pick a prize out of his cool new prize box.

You can print out your own Progress chart here:
Just be sure that your printer properties are set to landscape.




Be sure to share any progress you make using the chart!
Good luck to you and your toddler, bless your little hearts,

Sunday, October 16, 2011

New Favorite Kid's Tees

Check out these adorable shirts from Threadless.com
The have equally as cool shirts for adults too.  All of the Designs are submitted by various artists.  Most of the following shirts are $10.  Hurry though, they go quick!










And I hear they are amazingly comfortable too.  It's a win win.



Thursday, October 6, 2011

How Do You Top This?




































...with melted butter, of course!

Looking back at those little chubby hands and cheeks, IN A POT! -oh it keels me!

Trying to top last year's costume is darn near impossible, but I think I have just about decided on one for little man this year.  I've been hanging on to this entry here by Oh Happy Day for a while.  Could you just die?! -I mean how cute is this?!  I think we have to go Lumberjack.  Given the position of the stars and the planets and Camden's willingness to wear a hat this month -the time feels right.  Should be an easy enough homemade project, I think... 
 Note to Self: Pick up baby axe. 

So, are you going store bought, handmade or a little bit of both this year?
I'd love to see what you come up with,

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

$5 Monogram Wreath


This year I am so determined to take small steps towards decorating.  Even though we move almost annually, I still feel bummed that I have never really nested.  The budget is tiiiight and It's been hard to justify any extra spending of home fluff.  I'm trying to portray to the Hubbs that decorating is part of my natural domestication process.  It's important to me -dang it! This happens to be a touchy subject for me.

I talked about starting with decorating my front porch in this post , and now I'm working on a few different ways to strectch a buck or five.  I've been looking for a way to use these leaves I picked up at the Dollar Tree:

 

Monogram Wreath
Materials:
A piece of cardboard big enough to cut your letter of choice (I had a cardboard box on hand) = FREE
Hot glue gun (already have) = FREE
5 packs of leaves from Dollar Tree (10 count per pack) = $5.00

Trace your letter onto cardboard and cut out

Get an idea of how you want to glue your leaves on and start gluing

.....and done.

When I showed it to Hubbs he giggled a little,  
I said "what", 
he said "it's a BIG D",
me: "Yes, our last name begins with a D, see it's customized",
He giggled, again, maybe not so much giggled as scoffed perhaps

So for some reason I let what he says get to me and my pretty little wreath lost it's home on the front porch and is now hanging on the back. But when walking up to it -it is so beautiful!  Even Mr. D is now loving the contrast.  Too late Mr. D. I already spent $15 bucks on the new wreath I'm making for the front porch.  Ha!  that'll teach you to giggle/scoff at my domestication process......





I linked this post up to these parties:




Tip Junkie handmade projectsFeatured On The  Crafty NestMaking Monday Marvelous Linky Party
























Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fall Front Door Before

Here is my front Door -blah, although the potential it has for fall dress up is great!
Please ignore the weeds, my imaginary gardener didn't show up this week. again.



I think decorating around your front door is the cheapest and easiest way to keep you inspired to tackle the rest of your home.  I'll have to be careful though, if I make it too pretty people will expect me to know what I'm doing inside the home.  I'm totally rocking the sheets-as-my-custom-drapery thing right now. I'm sooo Bohemian.  Good thing I don't have any judge-y friends. 

 My inspirations:

Thrifty Decor Chick
Thrify Decor Chick Made this wreath herself from Dollar Store leaves, and craft foam.  That's my girl! 

Party Wishes
I can't stand how much I love the yellow, red, orange and black combo here.  I think the Halloween bunting out of Burlap is so sweet.


BH&G
 This image out of BH&G has been plastered all over the internet this season! 
The earthy and approachable tones are just heavenly.
Take Heart
These handmade yarn wreaths are adorable!  Which would you pick?  I want all three together.

Craftaholics Anonymous
Wrap a craft ring with burlap?  Burlap comes in colors? Shut Up!

Tune in later for the reveal of my fall inspired front porch.
I guess I better go get started.....

Monday, September 12, 2011

Fall Recipes

Now that I'm getting the hang of cooking 30 meals ahead (using Once A Month Mom), the family is pretty well covered for meals.  I can now make some carb-packed things on the side that I want.  Bad words like 'quiche' and 'croissant' may be popping up in my kitchen.  The Hubbs thinks he doesn't like the taste of French sounding food.  The toddler is on the cheese and noodle train, so he could care less about any new cooking endeavors. 
 
Here are some fall recipes I've been daydreaming about, be sure to click under the pics to get the recipes:

Oven Baked Cinnamon Apple Doughnuts
via Chocolate Shavings
 Pumpkin Spiced Cream Cheese Breakfast Rolls
via Picky Palate
 Starbuck's Caramel Apple Spice
via A Law Student's Journey
Fall Leaves using pie crust cutters like these at Williams and Sonoma
via The Story of Kat
Fall Colored Cookies for the kiddies
via Country Living
Pumpkin Tiramisu
via Mrs Goldilocks
Apple Cider Caramels
via Blondie's Cakes and Things
Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes, graham cracker crust and all
via Une Duex Senses

Acorn Dough Nuts, I'd love to bring these to the next playgroup
via Family Fun
If I were fancy and had fancy parties I'd make Poached Pear Crumbles

via Sips and Spoonfuls

Don't these look amazing?  What are your go-to recipes when the air gets crisp?

I'd dove to hear about them,



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