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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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Sasha Brown

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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