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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 May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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