Giving up Perfection update

Last night I launched “Giving up Perfection” on this site and I’ve already received a nice response to the idea and several have indicated that they are interested in joining up (some have even gone ahead and purchased the book!).

Therefore, I am going ahead and getting it started. Which honestly, is a big stretch for me. I would love to have a button already for everyone to use, if they wish and welcome gifts to hand out. But I don’t. And THAT’S OK. It doesn’t have to be perfect yet (or ever!). I just need to do it.

Want to know what I’m talking about? Read this post.

Use your photos to create quick calendar gifts

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Homemade gifts are always hit. There are a million and one different ideas for what to make, but really, unless you started making them last March, do you really want the stress that goes into making a bunch of last minute holiday gifts?

There are several sites that have taken the stress out of it all by allowing you to just upload photos, create a calendar and VOILA! Instant gift giving! And don’t you even dare think that these are cheesy ideas. What family member WOULDN’T love receiving a calendar full of your smiling family?

Here are some of the good ones:

Big Huge Labs: great prices; order before December 14th for Christmas delivery.

Vista Prints: BIG variety of styles – from posters, to desk calendars to magnet calendars. They have 3-day rush shipping for any procrastinators.

Create Photo Calendars: they also offers fundraising calendars. $5 flat shipping fee.

Kodak: You know that the original photo paper people will have these. They offer volume ordering as well.

Shutterfly: lots of cute layouts; currently offering 20% discounts.

Snapfish: you receive 20 free prints when you start your account to create your calendars.

If you are feeling really brave and organized, create some at home on a word processing program, save to a flash drive and take them to Kinkos/Staples/OfficeMax etc for printing.

Create Your WishList or Registry from Anywhere With Wishpot

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As you peruse the web, how many times have you come across an item for sale and thought “I wish someone would get that for me”? Do you scribble items on paper, or figure you’ll remember them later when someone asks what you want for your birthday… only to lose the crumpled up paper or completely forget what it was?

With the holidays coming, you’ll realize even more how useful Wishpot.com can be. Most people will probably use it as a bridal or baby registry, but why not go ahead and make your own wish list.logo_homepage

The premise of Wishpot is simple: gather a list of all of the gifts you’d like to receive from around the web into one spot. It’s not a shopping site – Wishpot doesn’t sell the items on your list. But it does make the shopping more manageable.

Wishpot offers several different options to make it easy to gather and share your lists:

1) Add the button to your browser to save items you find:

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2) Import your Amazon.com wish list

3) Take a photo with your mobile phone, enter the ISBN number and email it to your Wishpot account (you must sign up for your Wishpot email address on the “mobile settings” page under “Account settings”)

Additionally, you can:

  • sign up for price alerts:

“Now, when you add an item to your wish list you can set a price alert. This means that Wishpot will notify you when the item you selected goes on sale or reaches a target price. Click here to see how to add a price alert.”

  • request contributions for a gift:

“Now you have the ability to request contributions for items you add to your wish list or registry. Click here to see how to request a contribution.”

  • request cash gifts:

Click here to see how to request a cash gift

  • create lists for various friends and family members to save gift ideas for each (there is no limit to the number of lists you can create, so list your little heart out)

In my opinion, nothing beats the ease of shopping online. I’d rather sit in the comfort of my home, in my pajamas than fight the crowds and lines at the mall. And the fact that Wishpot makes it even easier? Priceless.

Sound off: How often do you shop online?

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Use this get together wisely

Before I start this post, let me thank you all for your kind words regarding the previous post. Your words all meant so much to me. I am always amazed at the way the Lord can use my poorly written words to touch others.

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Right now, my parents are on the road to pick up my grandmother. She lives about 2 hours south of us, and is going to spend Christmas with us. My two oldest kids went with my mom and dad to allow me some quiet time while the youngest two nap.

My grandmother is a 93 year old spit-fire. I love hearing her stories and tales of days gone by. But time is a-wastin’, and one day, those stories will be forgotten.

Unless, I help keep them alive.

So I got to thinking of how to use this time, with 4 generations under on roof, and make it memorable, beyond the gifts and food.

Your perspective on someone can change if you give yourself the opportunity to dig deeper into who they are. When I was in college, my dad’s sister came to stay for the Christmas holiday. Their mom had passed away a few months before and my aunt had never married. One morning, we sat down for breakfast, started chatting and didn’t get up until my mom got home from work that afternoon. I learned so many things about her that shed light on who she was and why she was how she was. It changed our relationship. From that point on, I understood her in a way I never would have, otherwise.

I searched around the internet for some sites that have questions to use to help you get started. Look through them and gather some questions, then get off the computer and enjoy getting to know your loved ones better.

< Interestingly enough, there was an article about this very thing in our local paper the other day. This is a good starting point.

< From RealSimple – Get to know your Family, Friends Better – includes a .pdf worksheet to print off to assist with questions. It also has suggestions for making the question asking easier.

< On an iVillage forum – questions to ask your child.

< FamilyFun.com – listed as a travel game, but perfect for sitting around after a meal.

No matter how you choose to do it, enjoy your time together and create more wonderful memories.

Perseverance lessons learned from the Green Beast – Part 1

We’ve had to have several talks with Sweetums over the course of the past five months about perseverance.

She has been blessed in this life, in that she hasn’t had to work hard for much that she succeeds at. She taught herself to read; she’s been drawing like no one’s business since she was not even two. She’s been given gifts in many areas.

Keeping focused on things outside of “her realm” is not one of those gifts.

When she was barely three I signed her up for a toddler’s dance class. It was new to the area and I wasn’t familiar with the teacher. The teacher was a stickler for order. Not a good expectation to have with 2 and 3 year olds

It was apparent after one class that it wasn’t going to work out. If I wanted my child to have even a smidgen of love for dance, I was going to have to pull her out before the teacher tore her down.

Sweetums wanted to do her thing. By golly, she wanted to dance. But she wanted to dance her way – not follow some teacher around. She wanted to move like a butterfly, but her butterfly was more spontaneous and swirly and twirly than the rest of the class.

Mind you, she is a good girl. But as her kindergarten teacher has pointed out several times: she is a bit absent-minded. What you might consider a dreamer.

This past year, I decided to start her back in dance. With her starting school, I thought it would be an appropriate time to have her involved in something that required “follow-through.” Something she had to finish whether it because tiresome, boring, too hard… whatever the case may be.

She loved dance class. And still does. But there are songs in ballet that make her miss her mama and daddy. (she has a heart like her mama’s – music can make my mood change in an instant). She doesn’t like to miss her mama and daddy, so knowing what lies ahead, she dreads going to dance class.

Oh! The excuses and the sudden tummy aches and exhaustion…

So we’ve had to discuss follow through. And commitment.

One way I’ve taught her is telling her about her daddy and his woodworking.

It’s a good one. One I asked if he was okay with having me post online. He agreed.

Part 2 is tomorrow.