Author Archives: Kevin

send vistaprint new year card

Vistaprint New Year’s Cards: Sample Designs & New Coupons

logo vistaprint redNew Year’s Cards from Vistaprint: If you prefer not to be specific about religion in your holiday cards, consider sending out “new year’s” cards instead of Christmas cards. There are some nice, inexpensive options from vistaprint.com, and here are a few of our favorites:


vistaprint new years card custom

Vistaprint has Sharp, Inexpensive New Year’s Cards

There are over 100 New Year’s designs to sort through on vistaprint.com, and the selection is updated every year. Factor in the use of one of their weekly promo codes, and you might be paying half of what other discount printing companies charge.

vistaprint new years card

Why You Should Consider Sending New Year’s Cards This Holiday Season

My wife is Jewish, and I’m a non-practicing Catholic. Not only are we not fully into Christmas, but a lot of our friends and family aren’humb either. It’s not that our Jewish, or atheist family members would have an issue with receiving Christmas cards, it’s just that in this day and age there’s such of a variety of ways to celebrate the holidays, there’s no reason to make anyone feel left out.

This is just one reason we choose to send New Year’s cards instead of traditional Christmas cards. By doing so, you are celebrating the hope and excitement that accompanies the beginning of a new year, and not bringing religion into your holiday cards at all.

vistaprint photo new years cards

We procrastinate, so New Year’s Cards Work better for us for the Holidays!

There are 101 things to do before Christmas actually arrives, so there isn’t a lot of time for us to write out and address holiday cards. Although we can’t postpone buying gifts, we can postpone when we send out our cards. It would look bad to receive “Christmas” cards on December 28th, but not so with New Year’s cards!

vistaprint new years holiday cards

The Post Office Is a Zoo Before Christmas, Anyway

Probably the biggest reason that we switched to sending New Year’s cards is the fact that I’d rather stab myself in the gut than go to the post office in the week leading up to Christmas. It’s just a horrible zoo filled with angry people sending gifts, which is ironic. When you send New Year’s cards, you can stroll into the post office on December 24th or 26th and totally skip the crowds.

Who cares if your cards aren’t going to get there before Christmas, which is originally Pagan holiday anyway! I’m sure the Pagans won’t mind if your cards don’t arrive before the Winter solstice! Tip: Store like Harry & David (get coupons) have awesome sales starting on Christmas day to get rid of their extra inventory!

vistaprint happy new years card

Use a Coupon for All Holiday Cards, Including New Years, at Vistaprint.com

As sure as you can count on suspicious children sitting on the laps of shady old guys who smell like whiskey every December, you can count on Vistaprint offering coupons and promotions every week. As soon as November rolls around, you’ll find on-site promo codes for up to 50% off or free shipping on holiday cards.

You can even add address labels, address stamps, mailing services, or business cards to your order with a minimal increase in the shipping cost. If you recently got married, consider using a wedding photo on your cards. You can find some great deals for Wedding Paper Divas here!

luggage tags shutterfly coupon

Shutterfly Luggage Tag Review: Plus a Coupon or Free Sample Tag

shutterfly logo smallFree Luggage Tag From Shutterfly? – There are always a couple of photo gifts that you can get for free at shutterfly.com (with promo code) including personalized luggage tags. Even if not available for free, you can use one of there coupons to get up to 50% or free shipping on your order:


best personalized luggage tags

Ordering a Personalized Luggage Tag From Shutterfly

As I was mentioning, Shutterfly makes a couple of different products available each week, and one that is currently being offered (as I write this) is for a free luggage tag. I really never would have thought to buy one of these, but since it’s free, I added it on to my order of 4×6 prints.

Getting started: Since there are only about 30 design templates available for luggage tags, there’s really no sense in sorting them by category. Really, you can scroll down the page and see all of them pretty quickly.

1.) Do you want to use a photo? The main thing you want to consider is whether you want photo(s) or not. I’m interested in seeing how well photos look on their luggage tags, so I’m choosing the “Stamped In Love” design for my review:

personalized luggage tag from shutterfly

2.) Choose a Size: Luggage tags are available in “small” (2×3.5″) and large (2.5×4.375″). Small is a good size for my suitcase, so I’m going with that. Large will also cost you more at about $9.99.

3.) Upload Photo  – Since I already have an account at shutterfly.com, I just grabbed one of my favorite photos from a recent trip to Whistler, Canada. Once again Shutterfly is extremely user-friendly, so I was able to drag the photo to center it in the space, and then zoom in.

You don’t have to include yourself or family members, really. I considered using just a view of the mountains, but I thought it was nice to include my whole family. You probably have a lot of great travel photos to choose from!

luggage tag personalizedTIP: Make sure your photo is high resolution! Otherwise, it’s going to look pixelated. If you’re uploading images from your iPhone, they should be high-res by default. Since the actual space for the photo is only about an inch or two wide, photos from Instagram should be OK as long as you aren’t zooming in too much.

4.) Personalize text on front and back – The text is easy too, but make sure that letters all fit if you’re going with a large font. I played around with the type for a couple of minutes to get it just right.

On the back they include an extra line so that you can say something like, “This bag belongs to” at the top. There are a couple of tag designs without photos available, including this one (right) that has your initials printed like an airport code.

5.) Preview, then add to cart – If you’re getting one of these as a free sample, consider combining it with an order of prints or another photo gift. Otherwise you’re looking at $4.99 shipping for the luggage tag alone. Add it to an existing order and the shipping price will only go up a dollar or two. View all luggage tag designs

Shutterfly Has the Best Personalized Luggage Tags! Here’s My Review:

shutterfly luggage tag review

Wow, this came out great! You can’t tell from the picture, but the photo is really sharp. It’s actually just as crisp as if it was a 4×6 print. Also, the luggage tag comes with a nice little leather strap to tie it to your bag.

Very sturdy tags – This luggage tag isn’t going to bend or rip, as it’s printed on a lightweight, sturdy metal. The leather strap is strong too, so I don’t expect this to tear, even when man-handled by the careless apes at the airport.

The text on the back of this specific luggage tag design is really bold and legible, even from several feet away.

This looks really sharp on my bag, and makes me feel like my whole suitcase is more personalized now. I had been using those little paper tags from the airport, but this is more functional, sturdy,  and looks great.

Since my family does a lot of traveling, I realize this will be a good option for a $10 gift for a birthday, anniversary, or for the holidays. These would also be a hit as travel-themed gifts for a bridal party or wedding gift, especially a destination wedding.

Related:

staged theme park photo hershey park

Funny Holiday Cards Idea: Staged Theme Park Photos

Idea for Funny Holiday Cards: Theme Park Photos – If you’ve been to any theme park, your familiar with how they take photos of your group on the rides; hoping you’ll buy it when the ride is over. Sure, you’ve probably posed for these photos before; maybe a thumbs-up to the camera just as you’re on the biggest drop on the roller coaster.

So, since your getting a family photo anyway, why not stage it, and make it your holiday card? People get dozens of predictably pleasant Christmas and Holiday cards a year with kids in button down shirts smiling. So, why not take the opportunity this year to do a funny staged photo at a theme park for your annual holiday cards?

Getting a Good Staged Theme Park Photo

funny holiday cards roller coaster

It doesn’t take much in the way of props to get a great group photo. You’re probably walking around Disney, 6-Flags, or Hershey Park with a bag or two anyway. So, why not throw in some props while you’re at it? Masks, glasses, or wigs are always a good option to consider.

Board Games on a Roller Coaster – How About Jenga or Chess?

funny theme park holiday card roller coaster jenga

Roller coasters are probably the worst place in the world to play a board game like Monopoly, Jenga, or Chess, so it ends up being a funny photo if you can get it.

How do you get a good picture on a roller coaster with one of these unsteady games? You’re going to have to use glue! You might even need super glue if you’re going to fold up a board game or hold Jenga together. Don’t risk ruining the whole thing if your Elmer’s glue doesn’t hold up to splash of the Flume ride, or the 60 mph roller coaster turns!

funny hanukkah card theme park

More Funny Staged Theme Park Photo Ideas

theme park holiday card 6 flags funny

Ok, so your staged photo didn’t turn out like you thought, or maybe something went terribly wrong. That’s alright, it’s all part of the fun. When my family and I tried to stage a funny photo for the first time, we went on a roller coaster three times in a row. If you didn’t get a perfect shot, consider working one or more of them into a multi-photo card, or put the series of them on the back of the card as out-takes!

Funny theme Park Photos; Not Just on Holiday / Christmas Cards – How About Save the Dates or Invitations?

I think these photos are a great idea for the Holidays, but would certainly work for other occasions as well. For example, how about a photo like this on your save the date cards?

marry me save date card funny

Related:

shutterfly coasters coupon

Gift Idea: Shutterfly Coasters + a 6-Pack of Beer or Bottle of Wine

shutterfly logo smallLooking for a great gift for Dad, or any beer or cocktail-drinker? Why not make some personalized drink coasters with your favorite photos at shutterfly.com, tie them with twine, and pair them with a six-pack of his favorite beer or bottle of champagne?


shutterfly coasters coupon

Coasters from Shutterfly – Don’t Forget to Use a Coupon!

shutterfly photo coastersFor the price of a cheap case of beer you can get a set of four coasters featuring 4 photos.

Favorite photos to feature might include:

  • vacation photos
  • a favorite dog or cat – even family dogs from the past
  • a favorite view; like a beach, river, or mountain
  • a prized car, boat, or motorcycle
  • scenes from a vacation or shore house
  • maybe go retro with photos from way back?
  • get artistic with closeups or Instagram filters
  • a sign for a favorite beach, bar, or restaurant

If you’re getting a gift for a spouse, you probably have dozens of great photos on your phones that would work. (Just don’t get caught looking through the pics on their phone!)

These would be a great wedding gift add-on (with a set of beer, hot chocolate, or wine glasses?) and of course, any parent or grandparent would love to see the kids or grand-kids photos on these.

Since these come in a set of 4, consider having a theme. Personally, I have more than enough great photo options from our last Disney trip!

Coasters are full color and glossy with a cork non-slip backing. You can also use them for hot drinks, and add a wooden stand to display the coasters.

Reviews for Shutterfly Coasters: Very Good

Most all of the reviews for these coasters are overwhelmingly positive. More than one person said that the coasters are so nice, they felt bad actually using them under a drink!

The only complaints that I found in the dozens of user reviews was that in the design interface on shutterfly.com; specifically that it’s low resolution, so you don’t see your photos as clearly as you might want, and you often can’t save the project to work on later.

*Photos courtesy of threelittlemonkeysstudio.com

Related coupons:

shutterfly graduation announcements

Graduation Announcements: Shutterfly Coupon for 25% Off

Graduation Announcements from Shutterfly: Shutterfly.com has some of the nicest, and most affordable graduation announcements online. One important bonus is that every week they offer coupons that can save you 20-50% on your printing order, so be sure to check out their current promotions before placing any order.


graduation announcements from shutterfly.com

A Few Favorite Graduation Announcement Designs from Shutterfly

A lot of the time you have your mind made up as to which, or how many photos you want to feature in your graduation announcements. Good thing you can easily sort through the many design options at shutterfly.com based on several factors including: number of photos, format, card size, trim, theme, and color.

Here are a few of my favorite announcements: (click to view larger)

Tips for picking a graduation announcement design:

A few things to consider include:

  • What is your budget? Although I’d say Shutterfly generally is “inexpensive,” there is a broad range in prices for graduation invites. Consider that there cards priced at $1.20 each will cost more than twice as much as the cheaper, simple designs. DSon’t forget to include the price of stamps in your budget.
  • How many photo(s) do you wish to feature?
  • Do you have a preference as to vertical or horizontal layout?
  • Are you going for casual, or something more formal that might feature a monogram?
  • How much info do you want to include? Consider including the date of graduation, “Class of 20XX,” where your student is going to attend college, and whether they graduated with honors
  • Do you want black and white photos, or color? How about foil stamping?
  • Which trim option looks best with your photo?

shutterfly graduation announcements informal

Shutterfly: Bringing Order to Our Graduation Photos

I’ve realized lately that Shutterfly has become a deposit for the thousands of digital photos that we’ve taken over the past several years. Not only does this give order to the plethora of photos from our cell phones that would have otherwise been lost in the name of “conserving memory,” but it also makes it SO much easier when we need to make invitations and photo cards.

One such event when we’ll lean on Shutterfly is the upcoming graduation of our oldest son next year. I look forward to browsing through all of the orderly photos to find one or more which we’ll use to announce to others that he’s graduation high school, and notifying friends and family which college he’ll be attending. (while we still have some money!)

Shutterfly has lots of design options featuring one or more photos, so whether you want to just feature one recent photo, or a collage of favorites from your child’s high school or college experience, you’ll be set.

where to print instagram photos

Where Can You Print Instagram Photos? 4 Ways It’s Hip to Print Square

print instagram logoWhere can you print Square Instagram Photos Online?

I was recently on Instagram looking at dog photos, and saw that they currently host over 30 million photos tagged as #dog. Smartphone users are uploading a lot of pictures to Instagram / Webstagram, and they are being seen online, but most of these amazing photos will never get printed.

The good news is that the big online photo services are starting to get hop to square photos, as until recently, there were no square sizes to choose for printing. Between the vintage filters, and the square shape, these prints can end up having a nostalgic attraction like the Polaroid pics we used to take as kids.

Here are a few of the best options for printing your Instagram photos:

square instagram prints from snapfish

Snapfish – Instagram

Snapfish does a great job of handling your Instagram photos. After uploading them to Snapfish.com, (they have a free mobile phone app) check out their new “Deco Prints,” available in square, 4×4″ size. (shown above)

Deco prints are printed on premium, heavy cardstock, and coated with a velvet-soft matte finish. Perfect for those retro-looking Instagram filtered pics. Right now they are running a promotion so these run about 50 cents each, which will probably go up soon. Look for a coupon to bring that back down.


walgreens instagram photo printingWalgreens Photo – Instagram

Maybe Walgreens isn’t as cool as some of the hipster photo sites out there, but they do print square photos (4×4″ and 8×8″) from your Instagram pics.

Easily upload photos from your smartphone (or other photo sharing sites) to their site, you can pick these up at a Walgreens photo center in only an hour, or have them shipped to you.

Like the other top photo printing services, you can choose to print your square Instagram photos on dozens of gifts like photo mugs, photo calendars, and many more.

walgreens photo square prints

 


shutterfly instagram

Shutterfly – Instagram

shutterfly square instagram photoI was disappointed to see that Shutterfly isn’t offering square prints yet, but they look like they are on the verge. They have a wide selection of photo gifts specifically designed to incorporate your square Instagram photos, (Instagram photo gifts here) and make it easy to upload photos directly from Instagram.

You can also easily incorporate them into standard photo calendars, photo mugs, and even birthday

Among the printing options are 8×8 and 12×12″ scrapbook pages, a large square 12×12″ acrylic or canvas print, if you are looking to frame a photo, or hang it on the wall.

Note: If you want to print 4×4″ square prints, (of your Instagram photos) you need to download the Shutterfly iPhone App from iTunes store! It looks like you can’t access the 4×4″ printing option otherwise. They seem to push Instagram users to the app, as almost all square photos are probably coming from Instagram on smart phones, and it’s just easier that way.

If you are using Shutterfly’s website (not the app) to print them, be sure to crop the image down to a square, (using their “custom crop” tool) and try using a black background. Before adding them to your cart, I recommend using the “matte” paper, especially if you’ve applied a filter to the pictures.

You’ll probably end up hand trimming the black border off, which isn’t a big deal, especially if you’re putting them into a square frame. You’ll save money this way too, as standard 4×6″ prints are cheap to print.


where to print instagram photos

Printstagr.am

instagram picture posterEven though it’s confusing typing in that domain name, it’s worth your trip if you are considering printing your cool little square pictures.

Printstagr.am reminds you to “make squares not war” when you arrive at their site, so printing Instagram pictures and photo gifts / products is the focus of their whole business.

Besides various prints, (including cool mini prints) they also offer photo books, mini photo books, stickers, frames and posters which can feature dozens of pics at once. Pretty cool! Check them out here


Where to Print Instagram Photos

I plan on adding to this post soon, as the landscape for printing Instagram photos is changing quickly as photo services adapt to this wildly popular new photography format.

If you have any suggestions or tips on how to print Instagram photos, please just drop us a comment below:

holiday cards shutterfly coupon

Christmas, New Year’s, & Holiday Cards: 30% Off Shutterfly Coupon

shutterfly logo smallCoupons for Christmas Cards from Shutterfly: Regardless of what religion you might practice, you probably send out holiday cards of some sort in December to friends and family. In my opinion Shutterfly has  the best holiday designs for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year’s cards at great prices. Use a coupon below to get up to an extra 30% discount or free shipping on your order:


funny christmas card shutterfly

I think that Shutterfly has the best holiday cards online hands-down

Shortly after getting married, my wife and I realized that we would have to put together an address book combining all of our family and friends. Back then, in the relative infancy of the internet, we literally had a paper address book with lots of notes and names crossed out as people moved or were added alphabetically. We printed cheap Christmas cards using a coupon for Walgreens Photo those first years, and they looked pretty decent. It wasn’t until about 8 years ago that we discovered Shutterfly, which we’ve been using ever since.

(click a thumbnail above to view larger) In my opinion, they have the best Christmas cards online, with other discount printing services like Snapfish and Vistaprint (click to view their coupons for holiday cards) coming in a distant second. So, what makes Shutterfly the best? They have the best design templates, an easy to use online design tool, and fair discount pricing. Here are a few highlights.


2 minute video shows you how to make a holiday card at shutterfly.com

Easy sort holiday card designs to find the best one for your family

christmas card scalloped trimBecause every family has different taste, a good printing service should have card designs that are easy to sort through. Why have to click through two pages of Christmas cards if you are looking to send a Hanukkah card? If you have one great family photo, why sort through pages of designs that have layouts for 3 photos? Shutterfly allows you to refine your choices in a number of helpful ways including:

  • Number of photos – Do you have one family photo, or a series of pictures that you want to include? Maybe you want to use some of the same photos to make a calendar from shutterfly in the same order?
  • Format & layoutflat, (most popular) folded, and tri-fold. Also choose between horizontal (popular) or vertical orientation
  • holiday card size -5×7, 5×5, 4×8, and extra-large 6×8″ (those are huge!)
  • card trim options – rounded corners, scalloped, square, ticket, or bracketed edges give your design flair
  • theme – monogram, religious, sparkle & shine. Sorry, no unicorn themes!
  • Style – classic, modern / contemporary, whimsical, more. It’s funny; my brother and I have different design styles, and it’s even reflected in our Christmas cards! Personally I prefer classic or vintage designs
  • Design colors – whether you are looking for bright Christmas colors, or black to compliment your black and white photos, you can search over a dozen colors
  • Price range – Shutterfly has cards that vary from about 30 cents each to over a dollar. If you’re sending out over 100 cards, that’s a big difference in budget!

New Year’s Cards – A great idea for procrastinators

Why do I choose a New Year’s theme for our holiday cards? When I think of Christmas cards, I always imagine a crush of people at the post office, and a postal system that is bursting at the seams. Why take part in that holiday insanity when you can stroll to the post office in the days after Christmas and beat the lines. Also, when your holiday cards simply say, “happy new year” no one is excluded, and they can arrive any time in January. They also won’t just get stacked with the dozens of Christmas cards that arrive each day leading up to Christmas.

tri fold christmas card from shutterfly

There is always a coupon for Holiday cards available at Shutterfly

When you click over to view the holiday cards at shuttterfly.com, notice that their featured promotion for them is displayed in the upper left. It’s usually a free shipping promotion with a minimum order required. That’s pretty good, but you might be able to get a better discount with one of their other promotional codes that they update at least every week or so. Just a minute of your time could get you a better discount. Click here to check the latest coupons: https://customprintingdeals.com/stores/shutterfly-coupons/

Don’t wait until the last minute to order your holiday cards! Free shipping takes up to a week

Besides creating unnecessary stress, procrastinating on your Christmas or Chanukah cards is also expensive. Consider that if you wait until mid-December to order your holiday cards, you won’t be able to take advantage of any of the free shipping offers, as it could take a week for them to arrive. Expedited shipping is expensive, and there are always better promotions available well before Christmas. These deals dry up as December 25th gets closer, so start designing your cards in November for the best deal!

More: Photo ideas / props for kids and dogs for Holiday cards on Pinterest

Get Free Stickers: Share Our Shutterfly Coupon Page

chairman meow villagers

Share our Shutterfly coupons; get 5 free Chairman Meow Stickers!

Do you have a friend who might appreciate saving up to 50% from Shutterfly?
(Or, maybe you just wish for Cat world-domination?)

Just share our coupon page on Google+, a public Facebook page, or Pinterest, and we’ll send you 5 stickers. Plus. we’ll donate $0.50 to the ASPCA for every “like” or share or any sort!

  1. Click on the Google+ or Pinterest icon on the Shutterfly coupons page (not this page)
  2. Share the page
  3. Send an email to “obeythekitty(at)gmail.com” with the subject line reading “free stickers.” Please include a link to your Google + or Pinterest page in the email along with a mailing address.
  4. Spread Chairman Meow propaganda around the world!

chairman meow sticker

Chairman Meow is friendly, militant cat who envisions a future of feline world-domination. (Also, free tacos and no mosquitos) You can support Great Leader Meow’s vision by spreading his propaganda.

More Chairman Meow propaganda here

freebies: free stickers