Archives for the month of: November, 2011

Oftentimes, we put a lot of thought into what greeting card to choose from family portraits to religious, from humorous to traditional. But we don’t always consider the entire package of the greeting card, including the stamp.

Instead of settling for the typical post office offerings, create your own photo stamps that work as real US postage. Various websites make it easy for you to upload your favorite picture and create a stamp unique to yourself. Choose a picture of your family, child or favorite pet. You can even take a company logo or child’s artwork and turn them into stamps.

Whatever you choose, they are certain to make your greeting even more personalized and a real conversation starter.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photos ©}


Amie Otto Photography Main FamilyBy Amie Otto, Photographer Extraordinaire

As the temperature drops, our thoughts inevitably turn to the holidays. The decorations, the family dinners and then the stress creeps in… it’s time for another holiday photo for your card! Relax, it’s not as hard as it may seem. Gather the family, find a photographer and remember these elements that make a great family photo.

Amie Otto Photography Hugging FamilyTogetherness
Family photos should have a sense of connection. Typically, this is through touching: holding hands, hugging, leaning on one another. But sometimes it can be as simple as a look between the parents.

Amie Otto Photography Dad and DaughterA Pleasing Background
When it comes to background, keep it simple! Places with lots going on are distracting not only to the photo subjects, but also to the viewer. You want something that blends in nicely, that compliments the subjects rather than distracting from them.

Everyone does not have to have the exact same perfect smile, have their hair just perfect or be sitting up perfectly straight. Sometimes the best photos are the unscripted ones, the unexpected moments between kids, a laugh the whole family shares. These shots show a slice of personality and are usually favorites.

So, relax, it’s not that scary! Holiday photos can be fun and a great part of your family legacy.

Do’s and Don’ts

Amie Otto Photography Whole Family
Include the whole family in the photo. Your family and friends want to see you, too, not just your kids and pets.

DO: Pick a time of day when your kids are most happy and relaxed. Just before nap or bedtime is never a good idea.

DO: If you are using a professional photographer, let them direct you. DON’T yell, threaten or try to get your kids to do what you think they should be doing for the photo. That’s what you hired the pro for! Trust that they will get what they need.

Amie Otto Photography Happy Kid
DO: Know when to say when. When kids are done, they are done. DON’T try to get “just one more shot” when they are clearly finished. You most likely will not get the shot and it will just cause more irritation for your child.

DO: If you are including a family pet, bring a pet wrangler. This is someone to have the treats, make the sounds your animal responds to and make sure the pet is contained properly.

DON’T: Make every family member wear the exact same outfit. If you routinely go out all dressed identically, then great, go for it, but if not, it will look kind of odd in a photo! It is better to coordinate, rather than match exactly.

DON’T: Wait till the last minute to make an appointment if you are planning to use a professional photographer. The fall is one of the busiest seasons, and the best studios book up weeks or months in advance.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Crane & Co. | Photos © Amie Otto Photography}</p

What better way to brighten the holiday season than to send your love on a beautifully printed holiday card? Whether you wish to send your favorite family photo or a heartfelt sentiment, printed communiqués make a great way to spread the joy of the holidays. Envelopments has created a myriad of designs to inspire and help you create an unforgettable holiday card!

Whether your taste is bold and graphic, or traditional and subdued, it’s the perfect way to send warm wishes, party invitations and your favorite family photos.

Pictures with St. Nick are always a great way to spread holiday cheer. Use the outtakes from a photo shoot to play with the “Naughty” and “Nice” theme.

Progressive parties are a fun way to celebrate the holiday season by traveling to neighbors’ homes and sampling different dishes. This invitation uses a Pocket Fold to fit a sign-up sheet and map in the pocket. Favor containers decorated with a label and ribbon send your guests home with an extra treat.

Large typography and a modern take on a menorah are printed on this beautiful Hanukkah card.

Ring in the New Year with friends, family, and Envelopments paper cut into confetti! This invitation uses a Portable Pocket which shows only the champagne bottle graphic, and upon pulling the card out of the pocket, the party information is revealed. Envelopments original artwork of a champagne bottle and playful typography are a fun way to expand on the countdown theme. Use a decorated envelope to enclose confetti as a party favor for guests.

Whatever the holiday you celebrate this time of year, our selection of holiday cards aim to brighten your season with thoughtful sentiments and innovative designs. So get creative this year: turn a Christmas card into an ornament, show off your family portraits, give an excuse to throw confetti into the air, but most importantly create a custom holiday card that truly reflects you and your loved ones.

You can see more of this fabulous line of Envelopments card stocks, pocket folds, and envelopes and get help creating your custom holiday greeting cards, photo cards, and holiday invitations by visiting Salutations in Chapel Hill and Charlotte, North Carolina.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Envelopments | Photos © Envelopments}

Sadly, it’s that time of year again. Sniffles, sneezes and sick ones are around every corner, oh no! To stay on top of your health and fight the seasonal sniffles, here are a few winter wellness essentials:

winter wellness essentials

{Untitled by Yvette Inufio}

There are several ways to stay well when the odds are against you. Here are a few favorite, tried-and-true methods:

1. Pound the green tea. That’s right, get to steeping! With it’s immune-enhancing boosters, green tea is known to help fight colds and reduce flu symptoms.

2. Neti. Do you use a neti pot? it’s a simple way to irrigate the nasal passages with unbeatable results. It’s safe, easy and soothes the lining of your nose as it removes the excess mucus that lingers in the sinuses as fertile grounds for infections and bacteria.

3. Up your Vitamin C. Consider increasing your Vitamin C intake. Taking an Emergen-C is always a quick and easy way to do this.

4. Hydrate. Simply staying hydrated by drinking lots of water will help you feel better and wash your cold away.

5. Stay warm and rest. Pay attention to your body and rest if you feel tired. A simple ceramic heater can help keep you warm and toasty no matter where you go!

6. Eat lots of garlic. Garlic has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties that can help ward off minor infections.

7. Eat honey. Honey is great for soothing a sore throat. Try adding some to your tea, or melting 2 teaspoons in a mug of hot water to sip on.

8. Avoid phlegmy foods. That is sugar, white flour, wine, dairy and red meat- as these enhance the build up of mucus.

9. Gargle. Gargle with warm salt water to help soothe and heal sore throats.

10. Eat some soup. Eat warming, nourishing foods such as good hearty veggie soup.

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Bonnie of Going Home to Roost | Photo © Untitled by Yvette Inufio}