Kassarie & Kayliray

Every year when holiday card time rolls around I click right over to Shutterfly.com, I even talked about it on the blog here last year… BUT it’s also a great place to purchase your personalized holiday gifts!

shutterfly-logoOne of my favorite Shutterfly products and one I always receive compliments on is my personalized photo iPhone case. They have different sizes and styles you can choose from. You can do just photos, or choose varied backgrounds and then personalize with your name, initials, favorite quote, etc. I get asked all the time where I got mine. And the answer is Shutterfly!

shutterflyphonecase

I also LOVE my personalized reusable shopping bag! There are again, several styles to choose from, mine is the Classic Mosaic style, and you can add photos and text to personalize them. This is a shopping bag nobody will mistake for theirs with your name and photo on the side!

shutterfly-shopping-bag

 

This year there are several new products on Shutterfly’s website that I can’t wait to get… This is my son’s first Christmas and a pretty Baby’s First Christmas glass ornament is at the top of my list. Or a family photo in a rustic weathered wood framed ornament would be fun! Speaking of frames, how about a personalized wooden frame with your favorite photo as a holiday gift?! I also love these mason jar glasses that you can personalize! TONS of gifting and holiday decorating options!

shutterfly-holiday-giftsI love getting personalized gifts because it shows the giver took the time to really think about me… And in giving personalized gifts I hope my recipients know that I thought about them.

Do you like getting personalized gifts?

Kassi

Disclosure: I received gift credit in exchange for a sponsored post for Shutterfly. As always though, opinions shared here are 100% my own. I would never share something I don’t truly love!

Ever since Instagram came out there have been apps popping up that allow you to print out your photos, but I have just found my new favorite! FavePix from Shutterfly! First of all… why would you print out your pictures if they’re already saved on Instagram and/or Facebook or whatever social media sharing site you prefer…  What if that social sharing site gets hacked? What if your account gets deleted? What if like MySpace it simply becomes unpopular and sort of fades away into early 2000s history. It can happen… I don’t even remember what my log in info was for MySpace back then.

FavePix Giveaway (2)

FavePix is an iPhone app by Shutterfly that enables you to create photo books from your Instagram photos.  For just $19.99, you get a 6×6 hardcover photo book and a bamboo stand. Shipping is free.

FavePix by ShutterflyYour book comes in a fun little box with it’s own wooden stand so you can actually display all those photos you’ve taken and are so proud of! I put mine right on my living room mantle!

FavePix Giveaway (1)

Creating your book is SO easy and really takes only about 5 minutes. You have three options for choosing the photos you want printed in your book. Just download the FavePix app from the iPhone app store, connect your Instagram account and then either;

1.       Select your favorites from all of your Instagram photos, you can choose up to 50

2.       Gather by hashtags

3.       Let FavePix choose your best photos for you

I chose to gather by hashtag using #KlaraBeth. From there FavePix chose my top 50 photos of my sweet girl and put them into the book in chronological order. You also have the option to print the dates and captions with the photos. I LOVED that because most apps available don’t allow you to print the caption that you shared with the photo, but I love to be able to look back and read what I wrote when I shared that photo on that specific date.

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You can choose a black or white background, I chose white. And it allows you a couple of options for the cover. Either one large photo or a few smaller ones.

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The back cover includes your Instagram profile photo and name. So fun, right?!

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I already want to make another with my #KlaraBethMonthly photos that I took during Klara’s first year. And then one with Quade’s photos when he gets a little older and has a few more… ;)

Now it’s your turn! Shutterfly has graciously offered a free FavePix book to one of our lucky readers! Enter the giveaway below. A winner will be chosen and announced on May 12th. Good luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Disclosure: I received a free FavePix book in exchange for my honest review and hosting a giveaway. As always opinions shared here are 100% my own!

Kassi

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Manwich for IZEA. All opinions are 100% mine.

It’s been a long weekend, you’re ready to kick off the week with a great dinner but you’re at a loss. You’ve been busy, the kids are always busy… What to do? Enter Manwich Monday! #ManwichMonday

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Manwich is a tangy, sweet, meat less sauce that can be used in numerous Manwich Monday Recipes. Today I have one of my very own to share with you. A recipe that is sure to please the family, get everyone to sit together at the table and it’s super easy, so that makes life easier on YOU!

7 Can Soup with Manwich Sauce

Ingredients Needed:

Step 1: Open your cans. It will feel like your running the can opener forever, but it really doesn’t take that long. ;)

Step 2: Pour each of the cans into a large soup sized pot. Heat over Medium Low Heat.

Manwich Monday Recipe (1)

 

Step 3: Cut up the cheese into cubes and add it to the soup mixture.

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Step 4: Continue heating and stirring until cheese is completely melted and combined with soup and soup is bubbling.

Step 5: Serve with a side of corn bread for a fun fall Manwich Monday favorite!

Manwich Monday Recipe (4)

 

Make Mondays the best day of the week with fun Manwich Monday Recipes. There are three delicious flavors of Manwich sauce that you can use to make a traditional Manwich.

Manwich Monday Recipe (3)

 

You have to use BOTH hands to enjoy a Manwich dinner, so your entire family will be focused on dinner and the company of each other instead of those pesky cell phones. ;) Or get creative and try something new like this 7 Can Soup recipe! For more ideas be sure to Sign-up for ReadySetEat eNewsletter and Follow Manwich on Twitter.

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Just as the back to school rush is starting to settle down, or maybe even just getting started depending on where you live, it’s a great time to think about education around the world. We as Americans really tend to take things for granted that other countries and cultures are not as easily privy to. One of those things is being able to send our children to school once the summer is over. My daughter isn’t school age yet, but I know 100% without a doubt that when the time comes I can and will send her to school. She is guaranteed an education in this country no matter her race, gender or class. Other girls around the world aren’t so lucky.

CARE-Girls-Education-Awareness

Another of those things we take for granted is clean, drinkable water running right out of a tap in our kitchen. Jennifer Osei Boakye of Ghana, only 10 years old, spends the majority of her day traveling a long distance to fetch several buckets of water for her family. She cooks and she cleans, but because of the CARE organization she is also able to go to school.

CARE is a global humanitarian organization that fights poverty by empowering girls and women. One of those ways is through encouraging education.

Girls Education Awareness CARE.org

Every little girl deserves an education. She deserves a chance at a better life. Without education, the future for girls is haunting….

– Keeping girls out of school sentences them to a life of poverty and poor health

– Women earn 10-20% more for every year of school completed

– Children of educated mothers are 2x as likely to go to school

– Children born to literate moms are 50% more likely to survive past the age of 5

Learn more about Jennifer and her community in the video below.

So how do we who are more fortunate help those that are so hungry for an education? #hungrytolearn

Visit CARE’s Gifts of Lasting Change Catalog where you can find back-to-school gifts for friends and family that support girls’ education around the world. Get a gift for those you love AND help a young girl be able to go to school. Win-win if you ask me!

Kassi

It’s an amazing thing becoming a mother. One day you wake up and it’s just you and your spouse and literally hours later there are now three of you! Where there wasn’t this extra amazing little person before, there’s now a bouncing, crying, cooing little bundle of awesomeness. Getting to know and bonding with your baby can be just as difficult, or more so, as getting to know a new friend. It takes time to learn your baby’s personality, their likes and dislikes, how they’ll respond to you and those others around them. Here are a few of my tips for creating the time to bond with baby in those first few weeks and a #FormulaForHappiness for the whole family!

Klara and Mommy

Room in with baby if you can. Some hospitals, like the one where I delivered Klara, allowed us to keep her with us in my hospital room. They took her to the nursery for check ups, getting weighed, things like that but the rest of the time she was in a bassinet in my room with me and my husband. You’re going to get to take that bundle home soon and it will just be you and baby from then on, so getting used to it right away can make the transition to home easier and baby happier!

Help daddy bond with baby. This new little person you both created is going to greatly change the dynamic of your relationship, in a good way. But that change, regardless of the positive can be hard on everyone, so help daddy feel close to baby as much as you can. The nurses had my husband do the first several diaper changes and help with her first bath. He stayed with me in the hospital room overnight so he could help me get Klara to feed her, or change her. Plus, mommy needs a break from time to time, so the go to number one helper can be daddy! Even after Klara was several weeks old Nate would take her and rock or play with her so I could just get some sleep.

Klara and Daddy

Accept the help you’re offered, or ask for help if you need it! This one is SO important. I had several family members and friends offer to stop by and help with things, or bring meals, etc. I was embarrassed at first to have someone else throwing my laundry in the washer, or doing my dishes. But you have to relinquish that control so that you can spend time cuddling baby and resting. Plus, they offer because they love you and your little one. Let them show it.
If you are looking for help with more specific issues Gerber® has certified baby sleep consultants, certified lactation consultants or nutritionists that you can schedule a FREE Appointment with to help you get the advice you need. These services are provided thanks to Gerber® Good Start® Gentle.

Ignore the things that don’t matter. Back to those dirty dishes… They can wait. Snuggling with your new little one when she’s just a few days old won’t. It goes so fast. Take the time to enjoy everything you can and to get all the extra sleep you can. You can always ask daddy to help with the dishes. ;)

Popsicles, playing outside, fun with mom and dad are Klara’s #formulaforhappiness these days! But in the first few weeks of her life those things were very different… My tips for bonding with baby are on the blog today! Link in my profile.

A photo posted by Kassi Mortensen (@kassarie) on

Your turn: What are your tips for finding the time to bond with baby in those first few weeks? Be sure to share your tips for baby and mommy’s #FormulaForHappiness with the hashtag on social media!

Kassi

Remember a few weeks ago I shared the Huggies Spread the Love Selfie #UltraHug $2k Grant Contest?? Well there is still time to nominate a local project in your community to win that grant money!

 

Sometimes you’ve just gotta forget the laundry and sit and blow kisses with your girl…. Hers are wetter than mine. ;) – While I’m #UltraHug selfie posting, I want to nominate the Mt. Graham Safe House for a $2k grant from @Huggies. It’s a domestic violence shelter and advocacy group in our town. Good things for everyone if they win!!! #sp for more details check this link -> https://ooh.li/72eec39.

A photo posted by Kassi Mortensen (@kassarie) on

I chose to nominate a second community project for the contest after learning about it recently. I was looking for a place to donate some old clothes that Klara had grown out of and I was having trouble finding a place to share those in our small community. Then I discovered Mt. Graham Safe House, Inc. Turns out we have a domestic violence shelter and advocacy group that I didn’t even know about! So I figured if I didn’t know about it there must be others that don’t know about it. Think about how much awareness $2k in grant money could generate for a much needed community project!

I have been lucky or call it blessed to not have needed such a service in my lifetime, but I do know friends that have. Any woman, mother, girl, or person that has experienced domestic violence and did not have a place to go for help deserved so, so much more. Mt. Graham Safe House, Inc. is that safe place for those people who deserve a better life. They accept donations of clothing, toys, etc. to have items to provide to those escaping domestic violence that left without basic life essentials.

I really hope just nominating them will increase the awareness of such a great project, but it would be even more amazing if they were to win that grant money!

So friends, have you nominated a worthy project yet?? It’s probably the easiest nomination process I have ever seen…

1) Take a selfie with you and your little one! Share it to Instagram and Twitter nominating the project of your choice in the description. Make sure to include the hashtag #UltraHug

2) Voting will begin on July 6th on the top 20 nominations.

3) Spread the love. Share, share, share with your friends! The top 10 vote getters will receive a
$2,000 grant from Huggies!

HuggiesHuggies Ultra Hug ContestHuggies2

But hurry! Nominations end June 25th!

Kassi

Selfies. Everyone is taking them these days, am I right?! ;) Why not take something you would be doing anyway and use it do some good in your community?! Wal-Mart Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra are hosting a campaign to donate a $2,000 grant to ten worthy community projects!

Huggies Snug and Dry

My girl and I shared our selfie to nominate the Graham County Fairgrounds where we live. My family is very involved in roping and rodeo so we have spent a lot of time at the arena there in the past. They hold Gymkhana Rodeos for younger kids there, junior and high school rodeos as well as rodeos and events for all ages.

The fairgrounds is home to some other really fun events like an annual Easter egg hunt for the kids, soccer and baseball tournaments for all ages, a Cowboy Christmas event with booths and Santa Claus annually… It’s the go to place for fun in my area!

I can only imagine the fun things they could do with a $2k grant from Huggies Snug N Dry!

Nominate your favorite community initiative for the Huggies Snug and Dry Ultra Campaign:

1. Snap a selfie of you and your little one! Like I said, you do this already… easy, right?!

2.  Share that selfie on Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #UltraHug and officially nominate the community project you feel should win the $2k grant in your post.

3. Huggies will be accepting selfie nominations through June 25th. On July 6th voting begins to determine finalists and then the winners!

Kassi