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7 Great Sites for Unique and Personalized Photo Gift Ideas

7 Great Sites for Unique and Personalized Photo Gift Ideas

Let’s face it, gift giving can be kind of nerve-wracking. You wouldn’t want to give someone something that could just end up collecting dust in their closet. Or –gasp! — giving clothing that they actually don’t like, but they’re too polite to say so. You could, however, play it safe and give a Hallmark greeting card with money in it, or a gift card. But, that doesn’t take much effort; and why would you want to give your loved ones something so impersonal?  So, why not give them something that they can cherish for years to come?

Photo gifts are simple and inexpensive, but don’t scream LAZY like a gift card. They’re personable and will have the gift recipient smiling from ear to ear knowing that this was personalized just for them. Listed below are some great sites to help create the perfect personalized photo gift.

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1. MPix.com

This site allows you to create a number of photo keepsakes such as photo books, wall art, holiday cards, and more! Besides traditional printable photos, MPix can even create wall decals, buttons, magnets, and ornaments all while using your most precious memories. You can choose from many different templates to match the occasion as well. If you want to create the perfect customized holiday photo keepsake, this site has it all.

2. Lulu.com

This publishing site is known for allowing writers to create and publish books with various book distributors, such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Nook, etc. But, did you know you can also create photo books and customized calendars? You can retire traditional photo albums and create photo books that allow each photo to shine on their own page. You can also create fun gifts like cookbooks and sports fan photo books. If you’re a graphic designer, you can display your portfolio and give them as gifts to your number one fans—your family and friends! Prices start at $14.95 for 20 9×7 inch pages, and go up depending on book dimensions and page count.

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3. CanvasDiscount.com

This photo site is unique because they don’t sell your traditional prints. Instead, you can have your photos printed on a canvas or forex—or, you can personalize a mug, phone case, mouse pad, puzzle, and even a cushion cover! Prices vary according to canvas and forex sizes, and mug types. The cushion cover comes in one size of 16×16 inches at $22.90, phone covers are at a set price of $16.90 for various types of phone models, the mousepad is one size priced at $12.90, and the photo puzzle comes with 110 pieces at $14.90.

4. Moo.com

Moo Print Ltd allows you to create personalized sticker books, mini cards, business cards, postcards, notecards, and greeting cards. This DIY-card publishing service allows you to upload photos from your own personal storage onto your Moo account, or pull images from Facebook, Flickr, and other photo services.

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5. SmileBox.com

This photo site allows you to download and build a digital scrapbook one page at a time. The pages can be customized using any of the template designs—there are hundreds to choose from. Because the site allows you to create one page at a time, you will be able to generate individual pages to print and slide into your scrapbook. You can print them at home or order professional prints. If you don’t want to print out your pages, you’re also able to share them through email or Facebook.

6. HazelMail.com

When you just can’t find the right postcard at the gift shop, why not turn your own personal vacation photos into a customized postcard instead? After uploading your photos, you can customize them onto a card by formatting it, and writing a personalized note. After addressing the postcard, Hazel Mail prints, stamps, and mails them out for you for $1.50.

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7. PinholePress.com

Like MPix, this photo site has many different kinds of keepsakes aside from your traditional framed photos. The New York Times says, “Pinhole’s clean layouts and fresh typography sets them apart,” and Living by Martha Stewart says, “…sophisticated and DIY at the same time!” You’re able to create traditional keepsakes such as cards, calendars, photo books, framed photos, and photo pads; along with not-so-traditional games, decals, magnets, labels, and décor; all while using your own personal photos.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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