Thursday, November 26, 2015

The Perfect Grandparent Gift

Thanksgiving was the first time that all of my parents' grand kids (who we call the #FanningGrands on social media) were together since my nephew was born in September. Who knew it would be so hard to get 4 kiddos who live 3 hours away together?! Because my parents always host such a beautiful and relaxing Thanksgiving for our family, I wanted to do something nice for them and incorporate something with the grand kids. I love how easy presents are for my parents these days, now that they are grandparents. Pictures of the kids are a winner and I know homemade crafts and projects are going to be in our future. My mom does a great job of making photo books for all of our family vacations so I thought a photo book of the Fanning Grands would be the perfect gift. After some quick research I found that Walmart Photo has custom cover photo books available for same day pickup for only $19 through 1/5/16. Score! I love the same day pickup because as a mama of 2, everything is last minute. And $19 sure does beat the prices of other websites. I had no idea but Walmart Photo offers tons of holiday photo cards and gifts. Ornaments, canvases (also same day!), puzzles (we got one for my parents 2 years ago, so fun!), calendars and holiday cards as low as $.44 a piece in-store plus free shipping on all cards and gifts on until 12/30/15! My sister and I gift a calendar to our parents and grandparents every year with picture of our kiddos, another unique and precious gift for the ones you love. Walmart is right by our house so all the hassle of having to run around to try to find the perfect gifts is gone. I uploaded photos and created the adorable photo book right from my couch and it was ready that same day. I feel like most of us are trying to cut back this holiday season and Walmart Photo has the perfect gifts that say, I love you and I care about you, but I don't want to give you something that will just end up collecting dust in a pile. And kids are such easy photography subjects! I loved compiling some of my favorite photos of the Fanning grand kids and will have to make another photo book after the holidays are over because I know my sister and I will take no less than 500 pictures of our kids together. I was able to give my parents the photo book on Thanksgiving day as we sat around the table sharing what we are thankful for. One thing I've learned since becoming a parent is that it truly does take a village to raise children and I couldn't have survived the past 2 years without the love, support, and encouragement from "Mimi" and "Papa". They absolutely adored the photo book and since my grandparents were in town for the holidays, they loved it as well and want to order one for themselves! I know this photo book will get passed around to anyone who visits my parents house over the holidays!

Pictures are such a sweet reminder of this chaotic and fleeting season of parenthood and I am so glad I take the time to create photo books to look back on. Time sure does fly with 2 under 2! Looking for a quick, easy, and memorable gift for a loved one this holiday season? Don't forget to check out Walmart Photo for same day gifts that won't empty your wallet. Be sure to visit Walmart Photo's brand page on where you can read other bloggers' posts.

Monday, November 23, 2015

From our family to yours

After using Tiny Prints for our Christmas cards last year, there wasn't even a question that I would use them again this year. Last year I remember signing our card with Jon, Ruthie, Ford, and Baby Sister April 2015... now our baby girl is almost 7 months old and we can't imagine life without her! Now that we have two babes, it is almost impossible to get a picture of our whole family with everyone smiling (let alone even looking at the camera) so I knew before we even took our pictures that  I would do a multi picture card. A sweet friend in my moms group did our photos (Marissa JB) and I had our cards ordered the first week of November. If you know my personality then you know this isn't crazy, just typical Ruthie! Y'all. I love our card so much, I can't stop looking at it. The card we chose coordinated perfectly with our Christmas pictures and I wanted to squeeze as many photos of my sweet littles as possible. So now I'm going to tell you why you need to order from Tiny Prints. 

So Many Options. Yes this can be a downfall to indecisive people like me but more is better right? I loved how I was able to filter by how many photos I wanted, landscape vs. portrait, what kind of card (Christmas, Holiday, New Year, Religious), and each card has multiple color options! I narrowed down my favorites then had Jon help me choose. Last year we did a gold foil card and this year Tiny Prints offers glitter cards. Glitter! So fun and festive!

Customization. Once I chose my card I was able to make it "me". One of my favorite things about ordering from Tiny Prints is choose the trim style of the cards (call me lame but it does get my excited!). Last year we did scallops and I thought it couldn't get cuter until I got our cards this year with the ticket trim. I spent way too long testing out different fonts for our names and even added my favorite Christmas bible verse (Isaiah 9:6) on the back for free. 

Address Personalization. This may be the biggest win in my book. This year I made it easy on myself and had our return address AND our friends and family's addresses preprinted on the envelopes. We have a cute return address stamp but at this point in my life when the only free time I have is the afternoon nap when both babes are sleeping, I was up for anything to save me time. I uploaded addresses right into my Tiny Prints order and all I had to do was stuff them, stick a stamp on, and pop them in the mail. This is huge for any busy mama! Tiny Prints also has the option to stamp and mail your cards for you which I would have done but I love adding personal touches to my cards like hand written notes and decorative washi tape.

Customer Service. The customer service is top notch at Tiny Prints. They are quick to respond and designers will review your card for free before you print. The turnaround is also incredibly quick. My cards were in my hands a week after I ordered them. 

Quality. I wish y'all could feel these cards through the screen. They are made with sturdy and thick cardstock and the color is so vibrant. The envelopes are also nice and thick... the things that make me happy these days make me laugh. I am truly an adult.

Enough talk about why I love Tiny Prints... here are our 2015 Christmas Cards.

Scotch holiday washi tape from Target and adorable Peanuts holiday stamps make a boring white envelope stick out!

I am more than satisfied with our Christmas card this year, I can't recommend them enough. Quality, options, ease of ordering... there is nothing that could make me love working with Tiny Prints more. Before you order, be sure to checkout the current Tiny Prints promotions (today is 40% off storewide!) so you can save some cash this holiday season!

Find Tiny Prints

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Pajama Party (GIVEAWAY)

Yesterday Ford and I had so much fun hosting a midweek pajama party at Hat Creek Burger Company. Austinites have you heard of Hat Creek? It is the jam! We invited friends from our mama's group and showed up in pajamas, ate a delicious breakfast, and enjoyed this beautiful fall weather (what a tease Austin!). Hat Creek so graciously opened their doors to 30 toddlers and mamas and served us the breakfast of our choice. Ford was very excited about his pancakes and mama gobbled it up too. It couldn't have been a more perfect morning. The work rush had passed and we basically had the place to ourselves. The owner himself greeted us and turned on cartoons for the kiddos, had heaters on the patio, and the staff waited on us hand and foot (I left Lucy at home with daddy so it really did feel like a mini getaway!).  You'd never think that a burger place would be able to master breakfast but Hat Creek is on point. They use local produce and ingredients from right here in Austin and makes their sauces, shakes, breads, and many other menu items in house. Not that I need an incentive to come back but the manager gave each mama a couple coupons for free food. Free food, playground, adult beverages, what more could parents ask for?! I should add that their menu is incredibly affordable so it makes a family dinner or lunch with a mama friend and kiddos do-able knowing you aren't breaking the bank yet feeding your family wholesome and delicious food.

I know my readers are primarily made up of mamas (and my husband, hi Jon), and I can't tell you how enough how enjoyable this was for the kids and moms. There are 4 Hat Creek locations all over Austin and it is the perfect place for a play date, birthday party (we went to one here last week!), family date night, post church meal, or just a place to go after nap to let your kiddo run out their evening energy! Be sure to scroll down to find out how you can win a FREE pajama party at Hat Creek!

Not only is the food top notch at Hat Creek (the fact that we also went on Sunday for dinner should tell you something!), the company is a big heart for mission, service, and fun. The owner is a native Austinite and Longhorn (the Aggie in my wants to hiss) and started Hat Creek as a way to make and serve wholesome, local, and yummy food for his family. The owner is a Christ follower who has made loving and serving others central to his business. Every single day Hat Creek makes 100 fresh cheeseburgers for Mobile Loaves and Fishes to deliver to the homeless community around Austin. Hat Creek gives back to the community through Spirit Nights and employs adults with intellectual challenges to empower them to use their talents. After learning so much about the roots of this wonderful company I feel like I could be a sales woman for their mission! Good food, good people, good times. What more do you need. 

Visit Hat Creek

One lucky reader will win their very own pajama party! The winner will choose a weekday morning to invite 30 friends ($300 value) for breakfast, cartoons, and fun at the Hat Creek Burger Company location of their choice. 

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