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June is just around the corner and with that thoughts of summer, time with family, and Father’s Day come into my mind. For Father’s Day, the day is all about the special men in our lives. Since the boys were born, the focus has moved to celebrating the day as a family for TechyDad.
In past years, we have gone mini-golfing, to see a movie, and the amusement park. I’m not too sure what TechyDad will want to do. Of course, we also make sure to spend time with Papa. He is such a special part of our lives as well.
I know I will be spending time with the boys before Father’s Day to create some special cards for the men in our lives. We are excited to try out the new partner site from Tiny Prints called Treat. Treat offers personalized greeting cards that are fun to design for Father’s Day. Just looking around I already see something referencing Elvis that will be perfect for Papa, and a bunch that the boys will love to add photos to for TechyDad. Our photos from Disney World will be perfect additions to many of the cards that we can have shipped right to them, Grandpa, and uncles that live a distance from us.
Did you know that you can try Treat Cards for free? You can and perhaps it could be for Father’s Day. Simply use the code FREETREAT at checkout and the card will be sent right to the recipient for the time that you specify. This day and age, we often forget how special it is to receive a card in the mail. Treat Cards now helps us to do this by allowing you to schedule cards up to a year in advance and ship them out in time for a Birthday, Anniversary, or holiday that you are celebrating.
Treat Cards would like to offer a giveaway to one of my readers for 10 free tokens to use for your own personalized card purchases. Think about how easy it will be to design them at home, have them sent, and the happiness you will provide to the person on the receiving end of the card.
Rules for Giveaway:
- MAIN RULE – Leave a comment letting me know what type of Father’s Day Card you prefer to send. Do you like silly, sentimental, or some sort of combination and why?
The following Bonus Entries may also be done. Please be sure to leave separate comments for each that you complete below to make sure you get the right number of entries.
- 1 Bonus Entry – If you win who will you be sending cards to with your tokens?
- 1 Bonus Entry – Tweet the following about the giveaway: Enter to #win 10 tokens from @TreatCards & @TheAngelForever so you can get creative when sending cards http://bit.ly/KNAicg. #giveaway. (May be done once a day – leave link to Tweet in comment below for new entry)
- 1 Bonus Entry – Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway posts from the months of May/June. Leave a comment here to let me know which one. This Bonus entry may be done twice per day.
To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section. The giveaway begins May 24, 2012 and ends June 3 , 2012 at 10:59 EST. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but you must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using random.org and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to US residents only – Treat Cards does not ship outside of the US at this time.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a Global Influence campaign. I will be receiving tokens to order cards to send to my family and friends in return for writing this post. As a customer of Tiny Prints, I look forward to trying out Treat soon.
November is here and suddenly a slight sinking feeling goes into my stomach. Yes, the thought of creating a holiday card to send to family and friends hits. Since we celebrate Chanukah, we do not send Christmas Cards. Rather than do some for each holiday, we pick out New Year Cards. Now that we have kids, we like to do a card with photos. Thanks to a Global Influence Campaign, I am now more familiar with Shutterfly and their large selection of holiday cards and other photo gifts.
We used to sit and try to come up with that one perfect photo of the boys or all of us. Reality check. That just does not work. Instead, it usually results in a comedy of errors of funny shots like this one from Halloween:
Now, there are holiday cards that allow us to pick out multiple photos to represent the fun and exciting things that have happened over the past year. So we can skip these hijinks and use one with the boys in their Darth Vader and Jedi Tigger costumes. Of course, I also want to include a group family shot. These are rare since TechyDad or I are almost always behind the camera. Lucky for us, one of my favorite photos from this year is with all of us. We are in the United Kingdom at Epcot visiting with Tigger and Pooh. It may not be the best, but it is my favorite. It shows us in our happy place, together, and having fun.
I know that over the next few weeks, I will be using the tools, resources, and ideas on Shutterfly’s Family Photo Day website. They will help me to make our perfect holiday card to send to family and friends to welcome in 2012. In addition to this, I would love to plan a Family Photo Day with other local friends. The idea behind this is to gather together, be spontaneous, fun, silly, and capture moments for each other that may be tricky to do for your own family. I love the idea and how it is explained in this video:
So what do you think? Could you see the benefits of a Family Photo Day with a larger group of family? I think it would take the pressure off and make something that can often be stressful more fun and creative.
Disclosure: I wrote this post as part of a Global Influence campaign for Shutterfly. By sharing this information with my readers, I will also receive 50 free cards to thank me for my participation. No other compensation has been given and all opinions are mine.
As a little girl, I remember a Chanukah gift that I received. It was nothing flashy, it did not require batteries, but it was extremely special to me. What was it? It was a book that someone bought me that had me as a main character in the book. It also had other fun details about me and was amazing. I often wondered how this book was made. I do believe that book is still at my parent’s house because I adored it so much.
I have often wanted to get a personalized book for the boys, but never knew where to order one. Thanks to Family Review Network, I connected with Just Kids Gifts to review and giveaway one of their books. Not only do they have personalized books for children, they also offer children’s personalized music CD’s, photo DVD’s, and music DVD’s.
When the book arrived, I asked JSL to come onto the couch to read it with me. When we started, it just looked like a typical book to him. Here is the cover of the hard cover book:
Since he is into trains, he jumped onto the couch and even big brother, NHL, came over to listen. When I read the front page of the book, the boys attention was even more intense. This is what they heard:
Once JSL stopped jumping up and down, and singing that this book was just for him we continued to read The Train With No Name. This is the summary of the book from Just Kids Books:
The little track tester isn’t important enough to have either a name or an engineer…That is, until your child steps in and helps the little track tester to save the circus train. This educational book helps teach about compassion, helping others and most of all, they’ll learn that you don’t have to be big to be important!
As a parent (and educator), I really liked that the book taught a lesson. By using JSL’s name it held his attention and made him think about what the author was trying to get. At four some of it may have gone over his head, but NHL (8) completely understood the point. With older children, not only will they love seeing their name in the book, along with friends, there is more to talk about afterward.
I know that if we have a holiday, birthday, or other gift for a child – we will be checking out other possibilities from Just Kids Gifts (they are also on Facebook). Thanks to their quick service, and great customer support I highly recommend them and will be purchasing more in the near future. I also love to support a business that is run by parents (to an 18 month old) and located in NY. We may have to get NHL his own book since he was so jealous of the one JSL received.
Thanks to Just Kids Gifts, one lucky reader will have a chance to win their own personalized book.
Rules for Giveaway:
- MAIN RULE – What personalized book would you select for the child on your holiday gift list and why?
The following Bonus Entries may also be done. Please be sure to leave separate comments for each that you complete below to make sure you get the right number of entries.
- 1 Bonus Entry – Follow TheAngelForever on Twitter
- 1 Bonus Entry – Follow Just Kids Gifts on Twitter
- 1 Bonus Entry – Tweet the following about the giveaway (May be done three times a day, but at least an hour between each Tweet): Enter to #win a @JustKidsGifts personalized kids book from @TheAngelForever http://bit.ly/uNOcGq #Giveaway
- 2 Bonus Entries – Stop by The Angel Forever on Facebook to say hello and leave me a comment on a status message. Let me know you have done so here.
- 1 Bonus Entry – Subscribe to my RSS feed (or let me know if you already are) in a separate comment.
- 1 Bonus Entry – Leave a comment on any of my non-giveaway posts from the months of October/November. Leave a comment here to let me know which one. This Bonus entry may be done twice per day.
- 3 Bonus Entries – Add my blog button to your website and/or add me to your blogroll. Be sure to leave a link with the location.
- 1 Bonus Entry – Head over to TechyDad’s blog and say hello to him. Let me know where you posted a comment. May be done once a day.
To enter, please follow the rules above within the comment section. Contest starts today November 1, 2011 and ends at 10:59 EST on November 14, 2011. You do not have to be a blogger to enter, but must leave a valid e-mail address for me to contact you for mailing address once the giveaway is over. I will select the winner using random.org and contact you via e-mail. You will have 48 hours to claim the prize. If there is no response, another winner will be selected. Open to U.S. residents only.
Disclosure: This post was written for Family Review Network & Just Kids Gifts who provided the complimentary product in exchange for my honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are 100% mine. Just Kids Gifts is also providing the giveaway item to one reader.
Social media is my new world. It is not shocking that when something happens, I turn to that part of my life. Whether it is to celebrate something big, question an item aloud with friends, or look for someone to help me through a tough time.
Twitter, Facebook, and my blog are a part of ME. They are extensions of the person I have become since I stepped into the wild and amazing adventure. I have always said there is good use and bad use of this powerful tool. The truth is that you have to know how to balance what is in front of you before you let your fingers fly on your keyboard, phone, or other electronic device.
On the Saturday that I had to cancel my 10th Anniversary trip to Walt Disney World, I had to call Southwest Airlines. As I mentioned before, the woman on the phone was super friendly and compassionate since she heard me crying. Once I was off the phone with her, I realized that the money coming back to me was not what I had spent. You see it was short $40 for my Early Bird Check ins. Rather than call back, I sent a simple Tweet out to Southwest Air (@SouthwestAir) and their Customer Relations Specialist account (@SouthwestWhit). I asked if there was a way to get my money back since it was not included after I had called and canceled my trip. That’s all I asked and left it at that. I did not want to get in the way of other people and I knew that after a week or so, the mess of the storm would ease up and I could call to find out about this other money.
Monday, as towns near us were cleaning up from the destruction that was Tropical Storm Irene, SouthwestWhit messaged me back on Twitter. She asked for my flight information via DM. After a small glitch in the DM process, she had everything in front of her and said she would take care of the $40 and then said a few magical words. She wanted to know if the rest of my money had already been refunded. I did a double take since I was given vouchers to use by a certain date. I asked if that was possible since I had been given vouchers. She told me yes. In the spirit of good will and the airport I was flying out of (Long Island), they would. I was shaking from shock. I could not believe that, in a simple Tweet, this part of Southwest Air was fixing everything for me. Better yet, Whitney contacted me the next day to confirm that it was refunded in the full amount and to watch my statement. Yes, this is a social medial success story.
A HUGE thank you to Whitney and Southwest Airlines for making this sad event a little brighter. I know we will be trying to rebook our trip and fly with you in the future.
Of course, this was not the only time social media has worked really well. In fact this was quite different because I did not actively seek them out. In the Spring, I sent out a simple Tweet. I mentioned to my husband that I did not think that our dehumidifier that we had purchased ever worked. My husband tried to call the local store, but it was endless cycle of never getting a person. Since it was a fairly new machine, I sent him another Tweet and this time mentioned that we should look into something else and not Sears.
I was not complaining, looking for attention, or expecting anything aside from TechyDad to start helping me to research options. Shortly after this, Sears sent a Tweet back to me. They clearly had a search looking for Tweets that mentioned their company. This is a company that is clearly invested in using their tools and helping consumers. The @MySears account with Rhonda R became a lifeline with this issue.
To make a long story short, Sears went out of their way calling us to find why the local store changed stories on us, were estimating long waits on fixing the machine, and eventually replacing the machine because of a major factory defect. More impressive yet, they recalled me. When I sent a Tweet thanking a Sears associate for helping us to fix our lawnmower (simply needed new sparkplugs), the Twitter team recalled us and said they were so glad it was quick and not like the dehumidifier. Class act all around. Thank you Rhonda for making us believe in Sears!
Is this the norm? I don’t think so, but I do think more companies are starting to get the importance of really interacting and communicating with consumers via social media – whether on their Twitter accounts, Facebook pages, or blogs. Of course, there are still some that never reply to compliments, complaints, or anything. Their Twitter and Facebook accounts appear to be more of a method of advertising to the masses and not a tool to learn and grow with the people that matter.
What companies have you had dealings with that really GET social media? Would love to know how they helped you via Twitter, Facebook, blogging, or some other means. I could ask the flip side, but why dwell on the negative and give them any attention.
As I write this, I am in my car driving to Disney World. I have been a Disney fan for as long as I can remember. As soon as I turned eighteen I applied for a job at the Disney Store (they don’t hire anyone under eighteen). I can sing a long with any Disney soundtrack and no one I know will play Disney trivia with me because I always win.
I have passed this love onto my children. My son’s first in theater movie was Wall-E. Since then he has seen every Disney movie that has come through the theaters. My daughters’ own just about every Disney Princess book they sell at Barnes and Nobel. We took all of them to see Tangled opening weekend last November. My daughters’ are begging me to transform their Fab 5 (that’s Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto for anyone who does not know) room into a Princess room. They are Disney enthusiasts to say the least.
Last summer we took the kids to Disney World for the first time. In preparation for the trip I decided I was going to make the kids Disney wardrobes. All three kids had a Disney outfit for every single day. It was so fun. Plus, I kept it a secret and surprised them with it on arrival. I had a lot of fun making things that fit my kids’ personalities. I was able to make things that you just can’t find anywhere. I made my daughter a Lightning McQueen dress and a Buzz Lightyear dress. This summer not only do the girls have "boy" character dresses but each of my (now) four children have matching outfits of Mickey, Pooh and McQueen. You just can’t find that anywhere. It’s fun to turn the traditional "boy" characters into something for the girls. And one day I will figure out how to "boy up" princess things for the boys, like my son, who like them as well.
They got many compliments the whole week. Many people asked where I got the dresses or the shorts. People seemed surprised that I had made them. Some asked if I sold them. We came home and I spent time making different things for my children. Trying to hone my skills, to improve and feel like I actually could sell these things I make. After several months, many different internal debates and some cold feet. I opened up an etsy shop – My Fun Clothes.
I have had so much fun over the last few months making things for my children (they did, of course, need a whole new wardrobe for this Disney trip) but for other children as well. I have been proud of the fact that other children are wearing clothes I originally designed for my kids. As a matter of fact their is a little girl who will be in Disney while we are there who has two dresses that I made. I have had the opportunity to make many custom things that have been designed by parents to be the perfect fit for their children. A Tinker Bell dress – specifically green fabric Tinker Bell because the mom wanted green and Tink, a Nemo dress made from Nemo fabric I had on a different style of dress and ruffle pants with the fabric from the Tinker Bell dress – I didn’t even make that style of pants yet but the mom emailed me and we designed it together. Mostly, I have enjoyed getting to do something I love while being able to bring people exactly what they want – characters, colors and designs.
Whether your children are Disney enthusiasts as well or you are just looking for something different than everyone else has please come on by and check out the shop. I have recently added some fall and Halloween things. If you do not see exactly what you are looking for just get in touch with me and we can make anything you like. It just takes a little magic and some pixie dust to make your wish upon a star come true.
I am Upstatemamma and I blog over at Our Life Upstate. I tend to write about a little of everything – from life with four kiddos to sewing to homeschooling to marriage stuff to breastfeeding to the occasional political rant and anything else that pops into my brain.
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