Forward Thinking…

For a few weeks now, I’ve been receiving Facebook updates from some couponing websites. I’m not a mega coupon fanatic but, heck…who doesn’t love a good deal? I’m especially drawn to anything that will help me organize, print or create things with my photos. When this deal from Shutterfly came along, I couldn’t resist. I’m sad to say that I’ve mixed up which blog site this deal came from. There are two that are very similar and I haven’t been able to track down which one I scored this through :( It was either www.addictedtosaving or www.shesaved.com. I know, it’s terrible- I’d love to give credit where it’s due but after doing some searches, I’m not finding it on either site. I’m assuming that because the deal is over and since it was online maybe I can no longer see it?! No matter- they are both great sites to sign up to if you want daily coupon deals. Check them out!

I have never done holiday photo cards before and I think they are a sweet way to keep up with relatives who we don’t get a chance to see frequently. Making it was fun- there’s always a slight learning curve with using online software for the first time but I found the program pretty straightforward. Our card was made on the fly since I didn’t become aware of the deal until the day before it expired, so here it is, in all of it’s rushed glory:

{Click to enlarge}

* If the enlarged view seems a bit low res, it’s because it came off the preview on the website then tinkered with in Gimp. The quality of the finished product is quite lovely, I think, now that we finally received them in the mail.

For quickly rounding up the last three Christmas’s worth of pics (ya know, the ones where we are both smiling and it isn’t overly obvious that I am literally squeezing/pinching/grabbing Norm’s tush to get him to eek out a natural-ish smile), I’m happy with the way it turned out. We seem to have a standard photo pose that I never realized before…Norm to my right with my left arm half-hugging him…weird. Although, I suspect the half arm hug has more to do with the aforementioned squeezing. Over the last three years, I was expecting to see more of an evolution of our age or style but the only noticable thing is maybe my hair color, haha. I do like that my garland-tree makes an appearance in the bottom center photo, in lieu of a real tree that year. I felt very crafty with that one. Forrest and Lily got to represent on our inaugural card along with our snow family that we built last February. It generally doesn’t snow here in the south in December but such a cheerful photo deserved a spot on the card and it makes me happy every time I see it :-)

{Click to enlarge}

* Again, the resolution here is a bit low and fuzzy. The final product is clear and crisp and I couldn’t be happier with the outcome!

As for the back of the card, there was an opportunity to squeeze in one more pic. I love this shot of us because it is from our second Christmas together in Nicaragua, where Norm’s oldest brother lives. It was only the second Christmas in my life that I can remember being away from my family but it was a magical trip in a tropical paradise, so it’s hard to complain. Also, this image makes me warm everytime I see it and that’s a good reminder come the middle of December!

Have you ever made photo cards before? What companies have you used? I really liked this deal so I could try out the service while only paying for shipping and handling. I think I’m sold, too. I’d like to keep up with this tradition each year. Do you have any other traditions for staying in touch with your relatives that you can’t see? Maybe you send something else in the mail like a newsletter? I’d love to hear about other creative ideas!

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