May 4, 2015
by Sara
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Thank you notes for graduation: Turn your photo into a special thanks.

 

An essential part of the graduation invitation process is the thank you note writing and thank you gift giving. Instead of being a tedious activity, it can be creative and fun to let your friends and family know how happy you are that they thought to send you a gift or throw you a party during such an important time in your life. Try these ideas for your thank you notes for graduation.

Take a special photo just for the thank you notes.  It’s easy!  A simple hand made sign makes an excellent prop.  After that head over to Photo Card Cafe’ and create your unique graduation thank you notes.  Photo by D.W. Johnson Studio, photographed by Lauren Vitiello.

thank you note for graduate

double-arrows

thank you notes for graduate

What a great way for kids to say “thanks!” I’m going to steal this one. Best. Thank you. Ever.  Just cut a slim strip of paper to write your graduation thank you message.  Put that in the balloon, blow it up, and boom (no pun intended)….easy thank you note.

creative graduation thank you notes

An easy thank you note, folded, from Photo Card Cafe’. Just add your great photo and name to create a classic graduation photo thank you note.

thank you notes for graduation

We love creativity! Use these inexpensive ways to say “thank you” for graduation gifts or parties. From Crazy Little Projects.  My favorite is the “Thanks a Latte” one.  Check it out.

25 Creative Ways to Say Thank You

And more from Photo Card Cafe’ – flat thank you notes for graduation to save a bit of cash.  Many styles to choose from.  This note can be personalized with your favorite graduation quote or other message then you can hand write a special thanks to each recipient.

graduation photo thank you note

 

Have fun! And congrats!

April 23, 2015
by Sara
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Spring means, get those teacher gift ideas going!

 

The end is coming … The end of the school year, that is! Are you wondering, what gift should I get a teacher?  It’s time to get those teacher gift ideas squared away. From our research online and on Pinterest, you definitely don’t have to spend a ton to make a big impact with your fave teacher.

I’m going to do this one, for sure. All teachers (and most people) love Sharpies. I may add a gift card to Target, Chick-Fil-A or Starbucks. This is a cute printable and idea from Design, Wash, Rinse, Repeat.

teacher gift sharpies

 

I seriously just did this for my son’s third grade teacher’s birthday this week. It took a bit of effort to get all of the information from the students, but it was worth it. The teacher was so grateful, and it only cost about $5 total. You can choose your own questions, and bind it however you like. I did it without the money in it, but that would be cool, too! From Everything Is Pink.

all the things we love about our teacher from students

 

I love these for teacher gift ideas. So much. My sister-in-law made a Harry Potter mug for my son, and I was hooked. This is a great idea from Glued to my Crafts. Great instructions, too.

diy painted mug that won't wash off

 

For the fashionista teacher! This Betty Box from the Humble Thread (a Photo Card Cafe’ sister company, in the literal sense, like it’s our owner’s sister) which includes one clothing item, one accessory and one cosmetic.  And, the Betty Box has FREE shipping. Anyone would love this.

what should I buy for teacher gift

 

Personalized note cards for teacher gifts is always a great thought. Teachers will use these up and want some more. From, you guessed it, Photo Card Cafe’.

personalized note cards for teacher gift idea

 

And, the best teacher printables I could find, from Sweet Rose Studio.

best free teacher appreciation printables

 

Finally, what I typically do every year for all my teachers – a summer survival kit! I include almost everything below. Although, you could save some money and get the same impact with a beach towel, magazine and small sunscreen, all tied up in a bow. From Femail.

summer teacher beach kit

So don’t keep wondering what gift should I get a teacher? Get creative now! Best of luck looking through these teacher gifts ideas for the end of the year. Enjoy!

March 26, 2015
by Sara
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Graduation party themes ideas – Make your graduation bash unforgettable!

graduation party themes ideas

Who doesn’t love a rockin’ graduation party? Some of my fondest high school memories are from the themed bowling and tea parties that some great people threw for us. It can seem overwhelming, but all it takes is a little planning and some narrowed-down inspiration to create the best themed graduation party for your fave graduates. Here are a few graduation party themes ideas to get you started:

1) Luau Graduation Party

A luau graduation party is the perfect way to celebrate graduation, and a great summer party kick-off idea. Check out the fun decor, drinks, food and stationery below for an awesome luau graduation party.

graduation party theme ideas

Make yummy treats like the fruit cones above found at funcheaporfree.com, fun decor at nobhilldesign.blogspot.com and colorful drink at stylemepretty.com.

Each of the ideas below for a luau themed graduation party is super cute, easy and affordable for anyone. I personally love the bacon wrapped sausage bites because BACON and SAUSAGE. If you make the grape skewers, it’s healthy, right?

 

Also check out all of our luau party ideas on Pinterest and find unique and fun graduation party photo invitations at Photo Card Cafe’.

2) Travel Themed Graduation Party

Oh the places you’ll go! Can’t go wrong with a travel themed graduation party. The colors and themes below are popular and fun, and easy to find online and in stores. Most students move or make a transition after graduation, so celebrate that! You could use some of our graduation quote ideas for attendees to use on the globe or within our travel graduation invitation below.

graduation party ideas

Guest book globe by advice.invitationsbydawn.com, sign by little blue bird create, and invitation by Photo Card Cafe’.

What cute photo and decor ideas! These color choices are perfect for a travel themed party, or for any graduation party, really. Showcasing photos and giving guests photo ideas is the best way to facilitate a fun party. Maybe a choice of different types of food from the area to which the graduate is moving would be appropriate? I think so. Easy, available and FUN!

3) Country Western Themed Graduation Party

A country western graduation party is an excellent party theme for the graduate who loves all things country. Guests can dress up in their boots and cowboy hats, decoration options are endless and the food can be fun, easy and delicious. Such a fun idea, and an easy way to throw an affordable party.

western graduation party themes ideas

Watering hole by apartment therapy, photo booth by lifethrualinds, drink bar by Mariee, and invitation by Photo Card Cafe’.

Um, YUM. I love the food ideas below with the biscuits and corn on the cob. And, talk about the cheap seats – bales of hay with inexpensive towels and rope provide tons of seating at a low cost, and are super cute. Make sure and always have a photo op! Kids love that. Their parents do, too.

4) Sports Themed Graduation Party

Sports is such a big part of student life – celebrate it in your next sports graduation themed party! The options are endless.

graduation party themes ideas sports

Basketball treats by dukesandduchesses.com, baseball centerpiece by blovelyevents.com, volleyball treats by cakebites.biz, and invitation by photocardcafe.com.

Free printables are readily available online these days, making signage and cute water bottle covers simple to find and use. USE them. The baseball doughnuts are also a HUGE crowd pleaser. I mean, doughnuts and teenagers go hand in hand. Any party honoree would be so appreciative of a party focused on the activities they love the most.

5) The Big Bang Theory (I just had to add this one!)

Um, nerd party much? Love this show, and love this creative idea! Could go superhero, could go nerdscience – either way it’s a blast. Perfect for the physics or pre-med graduate in your life, or any party honoree that loves to learn!

the big bang theory party ideas

Cupcakes by ovenhaven.wordpress.com, cookie by foodista.com, water bottle by party-games.com, superhero party invitation by Photo Card Cafe’.

What great atom cake pops, Big Bang Theory cupcakes and colorful Jenga! Such easy ideas for a creative party, and they’re all here at your fingertips. Use the perfect “POW” graduation party invitation above from Photo Card Cafe’, and start your planning today!

Now, go forth and plan. We’ve narrowed it down for you on some creative graduation party themes ideas, so no excuses! Have fun and congrats to your favorite graduate!

Don’t forget our graduation announcement cards and graduation thank you notes.

March 10, 2015
by Sara
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The best graduation quotes for your graduate!

Best Graduation Quotes

Looking for some graduation inspiration through words? We’ve compiled some good ones for your graduation speech, graduation toast, graduation announcement cards, and more. These are some of the best graduation quotes:

*I believe in the principle that I can make a difference in this world. It may be ever so small, but it will count for the greater good.
-Gordon B. Hinckley

best quotes for graduation

From She Makes a Home – one of the best graduation quotes or for anything you try to do in your life.

*Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.
-Henry David Thoreau

*Success is not the key to happiness.  Happiness is the key to success.  If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.
-Albert Schweitzer

*If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.
-Milton Berle

*In the game of life, when the final buzzer sounds, the only stat you carry with you is the number of assists you made. So help other people put some points on the board.
-Mayor Mike Bloomberg

*It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.
-E.E. Cummings

the best quotes for graduation speech

This is a saying that I try to tell my kids all of the time, because it’s so true – good or bad. Make people feel good! Post by Dump a Day best quotes.

*Keep in mind that neither success nor failure is ever final.
-Roger Babson

*Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.
-Henry Ford

*Patience, persistence and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.
-Napoleon Hill

*Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars.
-Les Brown

*Spread joy. Chase your wildest dreams.
-Patch Adams

*The best helping hand that you will ever receive is the one at the end of your own arm.
-Fred Dehner

More of the best graduation quotes…

*Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.
-Winston Churchill

those who seek the Lord quote

And this. For sure. One of my faves. This post by Best Life Mistake has some great ones.

*I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
-Maya Angelou

*The best of all things is to learn. Money can be lost or stolen, health and strength may fail, but what you have committed to your mind is yours forever.
-Louis L’Amour

*The larger the island of knowledge, the longer the shoreline of wonder.
-Ralph W. Sockman

*The important thing is not to stop questioning.
-Albert Einstein

*Those who seek the Lord shall not lack anything good.
-Psalm 34.10

graduation quote thank you note

Unique college graduation thank you note that uses your photo and you can customize it with the best graduation quote

*The most rewarding things in life are often the ones that look like they cannot be done.
-Arnold Palmer

*Your families are extremely proud of you. You can’t imagine the sense of relief they are experiencing. This would be a most opportune time to ask for money.
-Gary Bolding

*You must have control of the authorship of your own destiny. The pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand.
-Irene C. Kassorla

*You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. You are the guy who’ll decide where to go.
-Dr. Seuss

*You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
-John Wooden

*The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.
-Eleanor Roosevelt

*Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.
-Steve Jobs

_______________________________

I love that last quote from Steve Jobs. And, speaking of Mr. Jobs, this speech sticks in my head from a while back, and is still helpful and relevant in anyone’s life. These ideas are great for a speech, a letter for your graduate, or custom graduation thank yous. Posted by How To Make My Blog.

steve jobs quotes for life

 

March 2, 2015
by Sara
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Graduation invitation time! Check out what’s new.

 

Graduation 2015. Woo-hoo! We’re ready here at Photo Card Cafe’ to get a move on with our latest photo grad invitations and graduation announcement cards. We’ve posted a few times on our blog about graduation (here –> for taking your own senior pictures and here –> for what to wear to graduation) so we thought we’d share some new gift ideas for your fave graduate this year.

I love this freshman survival kit. Can be a low cost option for a gift, and you can fill it up as much or as little as you want. This one is from Alex Fahey.

freshman survival kit

And this pretty compass necklace. I love it. From DivineJewelrybyMary on Etsy.

compass graduation necklace graduation

I think this is super cool, and I want one for myself right now. A One Line a Day memory book that allows your graduate to write one line each day for five years so you can look back and reflect on different times of your life. SUCH a great idea.

one line a day journal on amazon

I still have some of my purple girls tool set that I got for my 1997 graduation from a friend. What a great idea, and not something that many people think to give a girl. You never know what type of apartment collage you’ll have to hang! This one is on Amazon.pink tool set graduation

 

I love this idea – you can make your own! An emergency kit idea from The 36th Avenue – they say it’s for teachers and younger students, but you can change a few items here and there for your high school grad. I especially love the Target card.

emergency kit gift idea graduation

And this – what every parent wants. This is from PearlieGirl on Etsy.

graduation keychain

 

And, there’s always more! Check us on Pinterest at our graduation board. We have tons of other graduation gift ideas as well, so visit us!

Photo Card Cafe’ has some awesome, new photo graduation cards for 2015 that you definitely need to take a look at.

girl graduation announcement

high school graduation photo announcements

photo grad announcement portrait

And don’t forget your graduation thank you notes!

graduation thank you notes

January 7, 2015
by Sara
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Valentine’s Day (and leading up to) list of fun. Oh, and Valentine’s photo cards, too.

 

Next holiday up? Valentine’s Day. I’ve vowed to me much more interested in the Day of Love this year, and to make it more fun for my hubs and kiddos. Here’s what I’m going to do (and feel free to copy) on the days leading up to and on Valentine’s Day, 2015. And, checkout the photo valentines cards below…

I know this is not new, but I love the idea of encouraging my kids and hubby every day with all of the reasons I love them, stuck to their door. From Feb. 1 through 14, stick a note in the shape of a heart on your kid’s door (or at the breakfast table for dad). Photo from Happy Home Fairy.

valentine heart attack door

 

Since I’m pretty much over giving candy to my kids, I think these ideas are awesome. (From Jacolyn Murphy) I’ll probably use the James Taylor quote on the toothbrush, since my kids need new toothbrushes, and James Taylor rules way more than Barry Manilow.

toothbrush valentine

 

From G*Rated, an easy, yummy treat mixing sweet and salty. Easier than cupcakes, and very pretty!

valentine pretzel buttons

 

For breakfast – we’ve posted before on some eggs in heart toast that are perfect and protein-filled before a day of school parties and candy. We actually eat these a lot, and love them.

eggs in a nest for valentines day

 

And, speaking of school parties … Photo Card Cafe’ has a bunch of awesome, cheap Valentine’s Day cards for class parties. We always love photo Valentines Day cards of course, so start with these:

happy heart day cards

iphone kids valentine card

superhero valentines day cards

 

Then there’s the husband, whom I love more than my luggage. He is gluten free for the most part, and so am I. Just makes our tummies feel better. I’ve been meaning to try this recipe from Namely Marly for a while, using brown rice flour. We shall see.

gluten free chocolate molten lava cake

 

And then I shall take him to a restaurant, NOT on Valentine’s Day. (2003 is the year-that-shall-not-be-named of Valentine’s Day restaurant disasters – there were movie nachos involved.)

Enjoy!

December 11, 2014
by Sara
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The best Christmas treats that I make every year – sausage balls, pralines and more!

 

The holidays overtake, I mean, OVERTAKE my kitchen. What with crafts from school, holiday cards all over the kitchen counter, dinners, class parties, and normal life with a husband and three kids, it’s amazing I can even see my countertops. I’ve tried to embrace it and just go with the flow – Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year … to eat!

Let start with the stuff I make every year. These recipes are a lot like my own, and the praline recipe below is my Great Aunt Winnie’s. Yum. I’m going to try and make these for neighbors this year. Lord be with me.

SAUSAGE BALLS. I love sausage balls. Make them even smaller, like half an inch around, and it’s a serious people pleaser. The smaller they are, the less calories, right? This recipe is from Plain Chicken, but there’s nothing plain about it!

sausage balls

These little (and easy) cranberry brie bites are super yummy and perfect to bring to a Christmas cocktail party. From Tablespoon.

cranberry brie bites

What about crock pot party meatballs? What about them, you say? They are AWESOME, right? These have a little cranberry holiday hint to them, from Spicy Southern Kitchen.

party meatballs

Easy, delicious Reese’s peanut butter cup cookies. A go-to class party cookie recipe. This one is from Ask Me Food.reese peanut butter cookies

 

 

And last but not least, Aunt Winnie’s pralines! This is her writing – super cool.

praline recipe christmas

Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!

November 13, 2014
by Sara
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The Ingrate’s Guide to Writing Thank You Cards

There are many excuses people use to avoid writing graduation thank you notes or Christmas thank you cards – or just saying thanks for whatever the particular occasion may be. But eventually, the time comes when it’s painfully obvious you should write and send that thank you note. Still, for many of us, we don’t feel ‘grateful’ enough to just pen the message and send it on its way.

Do you have your own go-to excuse for never saying ‘thanks’?

Here are a few responses to some of the most common excuses for avoiding thank you notes. Read carefully and put some real gratitude back in your thank you notes!

“Cards are boring.”

Cards get a bad rap. They’re known for being corny, formal, and cliché. But thank you cards don’t have to be this way! Stroll over to custom photo card websites to see how you can make your card as kooky, crazy, or quirky as you are. Choose from different layouts, fonts, colors, shapes, and sizes to create something original.

With custom photo custom cards, you can even add a picture. This instantly removes any feeling of being cliché or inauthentic and turns your card into a memorable keepsake, a gift in its own right.

“I have nothing to say.”

Most of us can relate to this. Staring at a blank card, trying to think up the perfect wedding thank you card ideas or the most inspiring, seasonal Christmas thank you cards wording is intimidating.

Take a moment to step back from the blank page, and simply contemplate the task at hand: there is some significant event that has transpired. To celebrate, a friend paused their own life, their schedule, and their obligations, with you, personally, in mind, to celebrate and commemorate the occasion with a gift. Isn’t that wonderful? It’s the gesture, and the relationship behind it that is important – not some ideal of glittering prose or perfect wording. Think about what you really mean to say, and say it.

If you’re still stuck in your head and the words won’t flow, try “free-writing.” Fill a full page or so with all your stray and miscellaneous reflections on the gift and the occasion, allowing your thoughts and statements to ramble on without a filter. Then, pick out a few phrases and well-worded statements that express how you feel. Refine, edit and voila – your thank you card wording is ready!

“But I hated the gift!”

This is the best excuse to not write a thank you note. What if you’re a passionate vegan who was sent specially-aged moose jerky for Christmas? Or what if the gift is so ugly or boring that you really think it’s just a waste of money? Worse gaffes have happened. So how do you write a thank you note for something you’re not thankful for?

The obvious answer is to re-gift the material possessions, but honor the intent of your friend or loved one. It’s not their fault that they didn’t get the memo that you’re allergic to peanuts or that you detest the color green. Especially when our family members live far away, running into these types of problems can be all too common.

But when you think about it, this disconnect between you and your loved ones only highlights the need for you to re-connect with them! Focus, again, on the intent behind your loved one’s actions. Perhaps your loved one really loves moose meat, and even though you are vegetarian in our above scenario, they meant to communicate a great deal of love and appreciation with their gift. Focus on that. After you thank them for their kindness, it’s optional whether you inform them of how useless their gift was. If you do, just remember to tread lightly, be gracious, and affirm that it still was meaningful that they sent anything at all.