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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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