October 1, 2014
by Sara
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It takes more than candy to sweeten a holiday! Try these holiday gifts and greetings.

 

sweet holiday peppermint candy

From BHG.com

It’s not Halloween if there’s no candy corn, and it’s not Thanksgiving without cranberry sauce or green bean casserole. Most of us can’t imagine a New Year’s Eve without some spirits, and Christmas time is best paired with eggnog. It’s easy to assume that holidays are best enjoyed with sweet treats.

But getting into the spirit of a holiday, gathering friends and family, and giving great holiday gifts takes more than a copious serving of sugar and carb-laden comfort food. And it’s getting more difficult to enjoy a family buffet as more and more of us adopt dietary restrictions and diets, whether we’re gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, paleo, or on a Paula Deen diet.

Ultimately, it takes more than candy to sweeten a holiday. Here’s how to make that happen.

Greetings
Studies show that loneliness peaks with the holiday seasons, so saying hello can help loved ones feel the joy of the season. Saying hello is sometimes the best way to brighten a friend’s day. Whether it’s been a year or a week since you’ve talked with your friend or loved one, a quick note to let them know you think about them can work wonders at holiday time.

Happy New Year” cards and Christmas greetings are standard fare for the season, and they are certainly wonderful to receive. But thinking outside of the box can bring a sweet surprise, too. Take, for instance, a Halloween party invitation or a photo Valentine’s Day card. Since the post office isn’t typically flooded with greetings in October or February, it can be that much more delightful to open up the mailbox and find a seasonal greeting in the form of a photo Easter card or a photo Valentine’s Day card.

Gifts
Gift-giving is always a part of the holidays. One way to give loved ones a gift is through quality, well-made photo cards. This is an especially bright idea when it’s a high priority to include as many friends and family members as possible. Custom cards as holiday gifts also help if your loved ones live far away and it’s not feasible to spend as spend as much money as it takes to pack, ship, and insure an expensive holiday gift.

Also, this might be an unexpected way to enhance a simple invitation and turn it into something more. In the search for the perfect Halloween party invitation wording or the cutest Happy New Year Card, you could find styles, card stock quality, or your own pictures that amp up a simple invitation and turn it into a remarkable keepsake.

Expressing Gratitude Afterwards
A holiday’s end can be a bummer. After the confetti has fallen, someone has to sweep it up, and after we all consume eggnog or too much candy corn, it is not always fun to take a peek at the weight scale. For many, it’s a plain downer. Sending thank you notes for Christmas gifts and holiday thank you notes after any holiday season can boost the mood.

It’s like a bonus holiday gift when your friends thought they had opened their last present. Who doesn’t like bonus gifts? Adding a fantastic photo and ordering the holiday thank you note on magnetic paper or quality cardstock can turn a perfunctory exercise in politeness to a joyful moment of unexpected friendship.

Regardless of your reason or rationale, spreading holiday cheer at any time of the year is a wonderful way to remember your loved ones and celebrate what matters year-round.  The next time a less popular holiday comes around, consider brightening someone’s day with a custom holiday photo card.

September 21, 2014
by Sara
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Extending Your Customizable Photo Cards

 

Supermarket cards might be a quick fix when you’re running out of time or running off to a party, but if you want to commemorate something truly special, you’ll want to make choices about how the card looks and feels – and you’ll want your photos to play a starring role.  Here are a few fun thoughts and ideas that help extend your photo card experience.

 

Personalizing Cards and Gifts Take People on a Journey
wedding save the date magnets
A personalized card or gift of real quality can convey an authentic moment and communicate excitement and genuine emotion. Take, for example, the case of wedding save the date magnets. When guests receive these unique gifts and snap them onto the side of their favorite metallic surface, something very special happens; a custom wedding invitation becomes even more memorable and the journey to the big day you are sharing with them begins.
Unlike a Facebook group or e-mail invitation, that one customized photo magnet was sent from two special individuals, and it comes to represent in an immediate, physical object, how two people are joining to create one family. The little bit of extra effort it takes to create a photo card or magnet really shows through, and it doesn’t end up in a recycle bin.
Custom wedding invitations are a wonderful example of how quality cards can boost the anticipation for an event. But there are other wonderful uses for customized cards. For every celebrated occasion, it is absolutely appropriate to send a custom greeting. And you don’t need to stop when the event concludes, because gratitude is also part of the journey. Commemorate the event while thanking your friends and family with special thank you notes for Christmas gifts for example, or photo thank you notes for graduation. In a way, you are sending your friends their own gift in return!

 

Other Fun Ways to Use Your Photo Cards

wall photo art

From Heels in the Mud

Check out this cute and simple wooden display for your favorite photos.  What about collecting your favorite photo cards from various occasions and adding them to the mix?  No one wants to toss out a nice personalized photo card, and a slick monochromatic mount will go along with any collection from a mash of holidays. This is a great idea for the card creator who is saving one leftover photo card from each order over the years.

 

Make Yourself Part of the Process
Let’s face it: the alternative to customized photo cards are flimsy and mass-produced cards that lots of other people are buying, too. Make yourself part of the process and create a unique message.  Photo Card Café has vast options for designs, color schemes, and fonts to help create the perfect card to match your personality and personal style.  Your unique photos will lead the experience when their own color schemes and compositions are uploaded to the card.  And finally, the words you choose (whether simple or lengthy) will extend that personalization.

Here are a couple of fun ideas:

  • Include some of your wedding vows on the card message.
  • Add a quote from your favorite author.
  • One one side, the card add your new photo. On the other side, add an old photo of you as a young child. (This would be great for graduation announcement cards!)

 

The Journey Never Ends
If it’s your first time to create a customizable photo card, you are in for a treat. After you try a few of your favorite portrait photos (or maybe a great goofy one of you and your partner dancing, we won’t judge), you might just be hooked.  The good news is, photo cards really can be a simple yet unique touch to any event, and as your life grows and changes you will have more excuses to create them.  Remember to come back and visit us for ideas when you extend your family, when you celebrate your first anniversary, or when you reach your next milestone.

September 8, 2014
by Sara
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DIY Kid Halloween Costumes — I will make one.

 

It’s Halloween time! Time to start creating those kids’ Halloween costumes. I know if I start now, I might finish before Oct. 31, or when someone mom decides to throw a Halloween party, so here goes.

For the slacker in me (and just because I think this is cool) check out this stick figure costume, made from a paper plate, electrical tape and white sweats. I mean, I love it. It’s great that they have a whole page on this site for introverts at Halloween. I can relate. From Buzzfeed.

stick figure halloween costume

 

If your kids are reading Harry Potter like mine, you’ll wanna take a look at this one. Not too hard to make! From A Lemon Squeezy Home.

harry potter costume diy

 

Here’s a great 30+ DIY costume site at Happiness is Homemade. We love this Instagram costume – VERY social. Costume made by See Kate Sew.

instagram halloween costume

These are some awesome baby Halloween costumes. Lots to choose from. I especially like the Ace Ventura one, but there are tons more that might be a bit cuter, so you don’t get made fun of. From Costume Works.ace ventura pet detective costume

 

These are great, and cheap, costumes for kids. The “Boo” one from Monsters Inc. is fantastic and super cute. These are from Coolest Homemade Costumes.boo exists coolest boo and monsters inc character costumes

 

Good luck this year, fans. Don’t forget to order those Halloween party invitations from Photo Card Cafe’!

costume party invitations

 

 

August 13, 2014
by Sara
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Dorm Room Ideas for Girls

dorm room ideas for girls

Congratulations to all of the young adults headed off to college this fall! What an amazing time of life. I LOVED every minute of my four years at Abilene Christian University. It’s now time for your college bound teens to start packing up, saying good-byes, and most importantly, planning their dorm room decor! (Let’s face it, the guys don’t care so much about this, so I’ll leave them out for now.) Check out some creative dorm room ideas for girls:

 

Genius! These dorm room bed risers with POWER OUTLETS are so clever. Adds storage, adds outlets and looks clean. These are from Bed Bath and Beyond.

clever dorm room ideas for girls

 

What a creative dorm room desk idea! This is from I Heart Organizing. A nice pop of color for an otherwise plain, white desk.

creative dorm room ideas for girls

I love this cork board idea, without the huge cork board! So creative and easy to hang. From The Trashy Crafter. (It’s not at all trashy …)

diy dorm room ideas for girls

 

Why didn’t I come up with this? Every college girl needs this, to keep from charging your phone on the floor. Gross. This one is from Make It Love It.

dorm room ideas diy iphone holder

From Design Sponge – a creative way to frame stuff in your dorm room without frames! Love this.

washi tape dorm room ideas

Finally, a free printable checklist for your college dorm room. Best of luck in the new year from Photo Card Cafe’! (From How to Nest for Less)

dorm room check list

August 7, 2014
by Sara
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iPhone Accessibility Mode + A Toddler = Genius!

 

iphone accessibility mode kids toddlers

Your toddler and kids will love the iPhone accessibility mode

I recently discovered the iPad and iPhone accessibility mode, and it has been AWESOME! My husband and I recently adopted a two year old and, WOW. I had forgotten how much trouble toddlers can get into! My two older kids play with our iPad and iPhone all the time, and little sister gets jealous … But hey, I’ve been down this road before. If you give a two year old your device, before you know it, they’ll delete some of your contacts, delete or rearrange your apps, and text your boss. And, that’s all in just the couple of minutes you wait in the grocery line! I’m not all about letting kids play on these devices all day, but sometimes you have to make a choice between being that parent with a toddler on an iPhone or that parent who can’t keep their sleepy kid from crying in the checkout line. I mean, we do this for the people around us, right?

Enter: iPhone Accessibility Mode

With a few easy steps you can keep you child on the screen you choose for them with the iPhone Accessibility Mode. Your two year old loves the little puzzle game? No problem! Turn on the game, turn on accessibility mode, boom! No more deleted apps. Here’s how you do it:

Go to Settings
> Then General
> Then Accessibility
> Then Guided Access
Set it to “On”
Set a passcode
(FYI you go through this process only once. Not every time you use it. Thank goodness.)

Now you can just leave these settings on all the time. When you navigate to your child’s app all you need to do is triple click the home button and follow the on screen directions. To turn it off just triple click the home button again and enter your passcode.

You’re welcome!

July 7, 2014
by Sara
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Western wedding ideas, cards and all.

western wedding save the date card

FYI: Half of Photo Card Cafe’ is based in Fort Worth, Texas. What a great city. When I think Fort Worth fun, I immediately think rodeo. Not just the once-a-year rodeo, but the every-week rodeo – the Stockyards Championship Rodeo. (You can go to the rodeo EVERY WEEK here in FW. So cool.)

In honor of my great city and all of the western-ness it is, we’re sharing our popular “Country Western Wedding Ideas” Pinterest board. From creative country wedding flowers, to western and rustic wedding venues, this board has everything. My faves are these:

Every country wedding needs a burlap table runner. From Hot Cocoa Design on Etsy.

burlap table runner western wedding idea

 

 

Or this pewter plate place setting. So simple. Love the tiny succulent! From The Bride’s Cafe’. (We should be cafe’ friends with these people.)

country table setting rustic idea

 

 

A cake, on a barrel! So cute. These photographs are fantastic as well – great shot ideas. From Southern Weddings, photos by Melissa Schollaert.

southern wedding barrel decor

 

 

And, bridesmaids with boots. We have a friend who recently used this color scheme and boots with her daughters in the wedding. It. Was. Precious. From Green Wedding Shoes, photos by Ashley Maxwell.

cowboy wedding bridesmaids boots

 

 

Or, this color scheme. LOVE. From Vermont Vows.

western wedding ideas color scheme

 

 

But it doesn’t stop here. Visit our Pinterest page with country western wedding ideas and go nuts. Love from Fort Worth!

Country Wester Wedding Ideas - Photo Card Cafe' on Pinterest

 

 

Find more western wedding inspired save the dates, Christmas cards or thank you notes at Photo Card Cafe’!

western wedding invitations getting hitched black mint save the date

June 22, 2014
by Sara
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It’s SUMMER!

 

June 21st, the official first day of summer, has finally arrived. …Although here in Texas, it feels like summer started about three months ago.
We’re looking forward to a fun summer with the kids out of school, vacation days approaching, and pounds and pounds of sunblock and lemonade heading our way.

What do you and your family like to do in the summer? Though it’s always a lively time of year, sometimes coming up with new summer activities and keeping kids entertained throughout the day can be a challenge. If you’re finding yourself in an idea rut, here are six fun items to put on your to-do list.

Summer 2014 Bucket List:

1. Make campfire cones with the kids—Messy, but worth it!

2. Go for a walk or hike—Getting outside gives your kids an outlet to expend their energy, and walking in the morning or evening will help you beat the heat. Here is a list of fun ways to keep your kids entertained during a hike. Nature is beautiful—enjoy it!

3. Run an old-fashioned lemonade stand for a good cause—Linda Incardine says, “Neighborhood lemonade stands are a great way to teach kids about being responsible, earn money for what they want, social interaction, and more. It is also a great way to do a service project. Have them raise money for a need in your community.”

4. Have a craft day—These glowing jars are a fun daytime craft to enjoy at night!

5. Let your little artists create with homemade sidewalk chalk paint—Here’s the recipe.

From Mama Miss.

From Mama Miss.

6. Make colored ice cubes for some melted fun in the heat—Instructions here.

 

 

 

 

June 9, 2014
by Sara
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5 Father’s Day gift ideas

 

Men are the hardest to shop for. It’s a fact. Husbands, sons, fathers, grandfathers—their interests seem to be all over the board. Us girls? We’re easy. Is it chocolate? Great. Can it be classified as “jewelry”? Perfect. Does it contain an abhorrent percentage of carbs? You’re golden. But men just aren’t that simple.

So what can you give the men in your life this Father’s Day? As much as they hate to admit it, guys appreciate the sentimental gestures too, and photos are a great way to show them you care. Here are five great photo gift ideas for dads:

1. Wallet-sized Photos—Keep it simple. Men carry wallets, and they love showing off their family to friends (or even complete strangers).

2. Then-and-Now Photo—Nothing’s better than the gift of laughter!

3. Car Visor Frame—This tasteful, practical gift is great for dads who commute to work.

4. Photo Carabiner—For camping or keychains, this little gift is great for any dad!

From Snapins.

From Snapins.

5. Personalized Photo Card Café Card—Give the gift of a sweet memory. Add your own message and customize a magnetic Father’s Day photo card for Dad!