Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Photo Gift Ideas

Looking for a great gift? How about a unique gift? Its not too late, but the clock is ticking. I love using a photo to make a gift. There are so many different ideas such as a photo book, a canvas work of art, photo skins for your cell phone and more! Here are some places to shop to find the perfect gift, just click and look around. I tried to find the best coupons for you!

Generally speaking you have until about December 16th to order your products. However, you may have to pay for shipping if you wait this long. If you go past December 16th, you will definitely have to pay extra for shipping to get your present there on time for Christmas. Be sure to check the website for their recommendations for Holiday shipping.


Take 50% off hard cover photo books from with promo code GETGIFTING. Offer valid 12.6-12.9

No, its not too late to make and order a photobook! This is a great offer from Shutterfly. The deal starts on 12/6, so you have a little bit of time to make that book!! Here are the dates to remember for Holiday shipping:
  • Standard Shipping cut-off is Monday, December 17th;
  • 2-Day Shipping cutoff is Tuesday, December 18th;
  • Next Day Shipping cutoff is Wednesday, December 19th


It's not too late to order the perfect holiday gift...a custom book from Blurb! Blurb is offering 20% off any book you create with promo code LASTCALL20. Blurb books are easy to create and make a great holiday gift! Plus, with Blurb, you can now create a photo book in just one night by uploading your Instagram and Facebook images. Capture those special 2012 moments today and create a photo book that you can cherish for a lifetime.


How to send a Letter to Santa and get a Reply with Smilebox. This is so cute, you can upload your letter to Santa and your child will receive a reply back!! Smilebox is a fun site where you can upload videos to share with family and friends. They provide some great tools and effects to create some fun videos. They also have photobooks and other gifts.


575149_PhotocardsDirect Logo - 88x31 Did you miss a good deal on Christmas cards? I found one here, Post-Cyberweek Deal! Get $10 Off orders $50 PLUS Free Shipping and Free E-Card at! Use code PCD10OFF50 at checkout. Valid through 12/9.


328931_($6 Payout) Save 62% on a 8.75x11 Hardcover Photobook 180x150
I can offer you a deal from PhotoBin, this is a really great price for a photo book! Create custom PhotoBin Photo Books to tell the story of your life, your family, your travels, your kids, your activities and sports. User-friendly software featuring dozens of layouts, templates and themes; online photo editing capabilities; affordable pricing; and superior customer service make PhotoBin Photo Books a great family keepsake and gift choice.

This is one of my favorite sites for personal unique christmas gifts. Here you can find several unique gifts and add your own photo too! So fun!!

I found a special discount code:

Use Code PMALL10 to get $10 Off Any Order of $50 or More

Here you can find personalized christmas ornaments, playing cards, photo collage tie, personalized photo skins for your cell phone, photo puzzles and more! Seriously, this is the place for the person who has everything because they don't have this!



For my Picaboo fans, they are having many different sales right now. Picaboo makes wonderful photobooks and other photo gifts. Here are their current sales:

12-4 to 12-10
Buy one, get one free on Classic photo books and calendars

Save 40% on holiday cards

The Christmas deadline is coming up! In order to get your classic photobook by Christmas eve, you must order by December 16th. The dates are sooner for other photobooks. They have the dates listed on their website. Just look for Holiday Shipping Guidelines right on the main page of their site. Once you sign up you will also get more coupons in your email.


Turn any picture into canvas with CanvasPop - even iPhone and Facebook pictures. It's easy and fun. Try us out!

I have a $100 dollar discount for their DNA art, first come first serve! Just send an email to and I'll give you the discount code! Once its gone, its gone.

I love the idea of doing the kids photos on canvas for Grandma, or putting the family photos down the stairs, or over the fireplace. I just got done making a big collage of photos of the kids in action doing sports, boating, skiing etc...they love it!


Pro Quality Poster Printing - 20

You can print posters from digital prints (up to 36" x 120"). They have a five star rating and people love them. They don't have coupons because their prices are always very low.

A gift idea would be to print some posters for your kids rooms. If you take a picture of them playing football or soccer, you can make them look like a pro. Use a site like Pixlr to edit the photo for free and a some cool effects.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

All new

Come visit the new web site at The website has been completely redesigned! More new pages will be coming in the next two weeks also!!

Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Vendors are sending me a lot of information for Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here are the latest offers. These are short term and will only last this weekend. Sorry if there are some editing mistakes, I had a really hard time get this to work! Happy Shopping!!


You can use the code above for your Christmas cards or make photo books for Christmas gifts. These are really great prices! This offer is valid today until 11/28!


Our Black Friday-Cyber Monday Offer is now live and will be good through November 30th! Be sure to let your visitors know about this great promotion since prices will not be this low again!
  • START DATE: Today!
  • END DATE: Friday, November 30th, 11:59 PM EST
  • DESCRIPTION: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Deal! Get $20 Off orders $40 and more at Plus, Free Shipping and Free E-Card with all orders! Use code HOLIDAY12 at checkout. Valid 11/21 through 11/30. 


MyPublisher, Inc.
Premium paper. Superior craftsmanship. Our attention to every detail. Each photo book MyPublisher creates is something your customers are guaranteed to love. And right now we're offering them a chance to try MyPublisher for FREE!

The Perfect Stocking Stuffer;
HURRY! Free photo book offer ends soon!

We stand by the quality of our photo books and know that once they discover our photo books, they'll want one to cherish and showcase every story and moment that's worth publishing.

Picaboo - Cyber Monday

This deal is their Cyber Monday deal! Picaboo is one of my favorite places for photobooks.

They don't often offer their books at 50% off, so this is a really great deal. They also make calendars and other cards.

Once you sign up they will send you more coupons via your email address.

Blurb - valid on Friday

FRIDAY through Monday, 11/26 create the perfect pesonalized gift and get 25% Off with Blurb when you use promo code HOLIDAYTHANKS. Blurb books are a great way to make thoughtful gifts for friends and family while letting you unleash your creativity. Also, don't forget, with Blurb you can now create a photo book by uploading your Instagram and Facebook images. Don't miss out on these great savings and create your Blurb booktoday!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Thank You Shutterfly for the Free Book!

Did anyone else get a free 8x8 Photo Book from Shutterfly? I just got an email from them for an offer for a free hard cover photo book, a value of $29! I was so excited because my son just finished his photo book and I knew with Shutterfly you can share photo books, which means I can order the book too! I asked him to share his photo book with me, which he did. I noticed his book was a 12x12 book, which worried me for a second. But it wasn't a problem since my free book coupon could also apply to that size of book.

I reveiwed the book, found some errors and had him correct them. I could have saved the book and corrected the errors for myself, but then his book in his account would still have the errors. By having him correct his errors, then resend the book to me, both of us will have a corrected version.

After he corrected his errors, he shared his book with me again. Before ordering I noticed that Shutterfly was having a promotion of FREE SHIPPING for any orders over $30, for me that was an addtional $11.29 in savings! I ordered his book, then while in the shopping cart, I applied the free book offer and the total reduced by $29. Then I applied the free shipping offer by entering the SHIP30 code, and again the total reduced. I had a total savings of $49!

I just now ordered the book for him, I am so excited to get this book for him, he will treasure it all his life!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

College Son Making His Own Book!

Summer is zooming along and before you know it, the kids will be in school and summer will be over! I've been so busy I haven't had much blogging time, but I am having a great time enjoying the kids being home and all our summer trips and travels.

Nothing like studying abroad!
My college son is making his first photo book solo using Shutterfly! I have been pushing him to make his book before school starts while he has a small break. He just got back from travelling to Jerusalem for a study abroad program and if he doesn't make the book now, it will never get done! He said it was pretty easy and he showed me his book last week. I was pretty impressed!!

Yes, he's 21, male, and making a photo book!! I think this is really amazing! How did I get him to do it? I have been making photo albums and photo books all his life. He's heard me say over and over how its so important to do your family history as soon as possible because we forget so much as time goes by!! So I have been reminding him while on summer break to upload his photos and get "er" done!! He had such an amazing experience, I just want him to have this book to remember his trip! It will be a life long treasure!

I sat down with him one day and just went over the basics of what he needed to do:

1. Pick the best photos and put them in a folder.
2. Upload the photos to your favorite photo book site. I suggested he try Shutterfly, so he did.
3. Use the free tools to upload the photos and make a book.
4. Pick your themes and journal your book.
5. Preview, preview, preview before purchase!

Now we just need to buy his book about his amazing trip!

Monday, June 11, 2012

My Favorite Photo Book Publishers

Kids LOVE Photo Books!
I have been making Photo Books for the last 8 years. I got addicted quickly because they were so easy to make. Photo Books are perfect for doing your own family history. I was putting our family history into scrap books, but then I just couldn't spare the extra time for this hobby and when I discovered photo books, I was sold. I could make a photo book much faster than a scrap book, and the books look more professional and finished. The quality is excellent, and best of all, I can make duplicates with the press of a button! Kids LOVE them!

 My hobby turned into this website and I love it! The reason I started this website was because I saw first hand some very poor quality books. I also saw some vendors who charge alot of money for something that is free with other vendors! I did alot of research into finding great books, so I thought I would share my experience. The best thing I love is the coupons that I get!

Write your Family History for them.
If your favorite publisher isn't on the list, let me know. There are too many publishers now for me to try them all! I have either tried these books, or I like the features on their website.

My Favorite Publishers

Here are the photo book publishers that I would recommend.


Shutterfly creates beautiful Photo Books and photo gifts. Easy software for the novice user. Several book sizes and templates to choose from. New auto book creation feature which makes making a book easy! Book designs with title on spine and pictures on cover of the book. Ability to change fonts and backgrounds per page. Shutterfly customers can store their digital photos for free, share them online, and create unique cards, calendars, photo books or photo gifts including mugs, coasters and more. Shutterfly has an outstanding reputation for value, quality and great customer service.


With SmileBooks you are in full control of your book creation. Extremely flexible software to create your own photo book. Several page layouts, tons of backgrounds, picture frames, drag and drop, and more! Auto book creation feature, customized cover. Easily use your own photo as a single or double page background. They also offer a design service if you don't want to make your own book. I tried this service and love they book I got, very easy to work with them.

MixBooks - one of best sellers!

Mixbook is the easy and fun way to make completely customizable photo books, cards, and calendars on the web – for free. With Mixbook, you aren’t limited to static pre-designed templates – our powerful design software gives you the freedom to lay out and design your creations to your heart’s content. We’ve dedicated ourselves to bringing you the best experience in creating photo products so that you can make keepsakes that truly reflect your vision. With Mixbook, you can truly Make It Yours™.


MyPublisher  offers Cards, Calendars, and Photo Books. Since 2002, MyPublisher has sold and shipped more than five million Photo Books. Their website offers nice software tutorial. Produces a nice simple Photo Book, easy to use free software for library quality Photo Books. Each book is handmade and hand-inspected for quality. I used them to create one of my very first Photo Books. Offers Photo Jacket for the book cover.


This summer I created a book with Blurb, it turned out great, but it is more like a book and not a photo book. I wouldn't hesitate to use this site for a Family History book to share. The paper is not glossy and the book layouts and templates are fitted more towards a text book rather than a photo book. However, I thought the product was quality made and the concept of using their website to sell books you create a very interesting idea.
Blurb enables anyone to design, publish, share, and sell their own bookstore-quality books. Blurb books feature professional printing, top-notch binding, and a range of creative customization options that customers use to make all kinds of beautiful books, from wedding books and cookbooks to baby books, travel books, portfolios, and more. Ranked 47th overall on Inc. 500’s list of the fastest-growing privately held companies, Blurb created and shipped more than 1.4 million books in 2010 alone


Smilebox offers you the ability to make a video with your photos or photo books. A really fun site to share your videos with the world or just your friends.


I have not tried their product, however, they sell alot of books! Let me know what you think. They are scan your older videos and photos for a great price!

Tiny Prints

Their photo books are made by Shutterfly, so you get the best quality. Better known for really cute cards.

Our Hubbub by Jostin

Excellent quality books. I really liked the ability to coordinate the making of the book with family and friends. Nice website features and quality product.

MyCanvas Photo Books

When I tried their software it was still being tested. I loved the book that I made and I especially loved the themes they had designed. They are owned by which is a premier genealogy program.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Grandma's History

Rachel Lucy Doner

Getting Grandma's History

Rachel Lucy Doner was born in 1898 and she was my grandmother. She lived to almost 101 years and before she died I was able to work closely with her documenting her family history. It all started with some innocent questions from me, and then for the next two years I compiled her family history and all her photos.


She had a ton of photos that she had inherited over the years. I went to work scanning her old photos and documenting her stories. I would stay up late at night, after the kids went to bed, just to type in her stories and history. She talked about raising her kids, about her sister, her mother dying at a young age, and being raised by her Uncle Elijah Birge of Iowa. Today, I still refer to these notes in order to do my genealogy research. Just last month, I found another ancestor by using these notes!! Thank you Grandma!!

As always, here is a great coupon, how about a Free hardcover photo book from MyPublisher? Seriously, the book is free!

Consider This

Take the time TODAY to visit with your grandma or aging parent. Things can change quickly and you will lose all that precious history very suddenly. Here are some things to consider doing:

  1. Start with a blank pedigree chart. Document her pedigree chart and family group record with as much information as she can remember.
  2. Come back weekly to talk about different family members and their stories.
  3. Type up and/or record your meetings during the week. I recommend making a hard copy of your notes for reference.
  4. Interview Grandma by making a video recording as she looks thru a photo album. Fun stories will emerge!
  5. Gather all of her family photos. Scan each one, front and back. The information on the back can be priceless! Write the name of the ancestor on the back of the photo.
  6. Create Photo Albums and/or Photo Books of her photos organized by families. Journal her stories into the book. Over time, family photos get thrown into a box, and mixed up quite easily! It took me several hours putting all the photos on my living room floor in groups to organize them. Once organized into family groups, she remembered so much more!

Baby Rachel Doner and her parents, Charles Emmett Doner and Ada Lavinia Wood. Circa 1900

Friday, May 4, 2012

MixBook 25% off for Graduates

If you are like me, I'm just now creating my son's graduation cards! Well... he wouldn't let me get his pictures done until this weekend, so I guess I have an excuse.

I have been looking at all the options for graduation cards, and I really like MixBook. The tool was super easy to install, basically I just had to create an account, thats it! Its all on the web! And, I can personalize and change the cards. Plus, the prices seem to be cheaper than other places. Even better, they are offering a 25% off coupon!! Thats a home run!