Gift idea: a personalized calendar!

The end of the year is fast approaching, which means hectic Christmas shopping will soon begin! A necessity for anyone at the end of the year is to start getting ready for 2015, and what better way to get prepared than with an Elephoto photo calendar! Design and create a calendar for your loved ones – it would be a great holiday gift. With over a dozen designs to choose from, ranging from full photo pages to holiday themes, create a calendar that is sure to please friends and family. Here are of few examples:

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Design templates from left to right: Modern Black | Bouquet | Christmas Elegance

When creating an Elephoto calendar, you have the options of a 12 or 18 month calendar, and can pick which month to start from. There is also an option where you can select which holidays you would like entered as well. There are many ways that you can add personal touches to make a unique (and awesome!) calendar – here are a few tips:

  • Add family birthdays
  • Add special dates and milestones – this could include graduations, recitals, sports tournaments, and so on
  • Include additional holidays
  • Use personal photos
  • Add photos to specific days on your calendar
  • Add text boxes to include personal goals for the month, a special quote, etc.
  • Create a calendar with your child’s artwork
  • Mix-and-match templates per page

Make sure your family and friends are ready for 2015 with their personalized photo calendar. It’s a perfect gift that you can tailor to each individual, so you know they will love it!

Family Recipe Cookbook Tips

Recipe photobooks are a great, as they can serve many purposes. One of the best uses is as a family recipe photobook, showcasing generations of precious family recipes. This is a great idea to preserve your family’s history, and will last much longer than saving a bunch of scattered recipe cards. We have come up with a list of steps to help you create your recipe book!

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1. Give all family members a call and ask if they would like to include any recipes in the recipe book. Gather all of your recipes and images as well.
2. Decide what recipes you will use for the cookbook. Then organize them and decide what order they will go in. After you have decided which ones you will include, type each recipe out in Microsoft Word.
3. After the title of each dish, it’s a good idea to write a little description, for example, “Susan has a special gift for making blueberry pancakes. Blueberry jam along with fresh blueberries gives it the perfect flavor”. Its also a good idea to include “from the recipe box of …” on each recipe!
4. Take pictures of each dish, that is if you don’t have any existing pictures. Don’t forget to take some pictures of your family making and enjoying the dishes! These will really add a personal touch to your cookbook.
5. Design your cookbook. You can design your cookbook right in Elephoto. Just log in or create an account and you’ll be able to easily create basic page layouts in the Elephoto software. When designing your cookbook, keep in mind the finishing aspects that you would like to use. For example, if you want a photo on the cover or a plain linen cover. Elephoto offers a wide variety of options in terms of covers and book sizes.
6. When you are finished, make sure to do all of your proofreading and editing before you submit your order. It always helps to have a fresh pair of eyes check over your work.
7. After you do your final check of the file, simply fill out the necessary information and submit it to us! You family will love this thoughtful gift idea for the holidays.

What are some of your favourite homemade gift ideas?

Top five holiday crafts for you and the family

With the holiday season approaching, we have rounded up some of our favourite crafts to help keep you and your little ones busy.

Paper Snowflake

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We have probably all made those paper snowflakes in elementary school where you fold up paper and cut out creative patterns. Here’s a paper snowflake that make a bigger impact. Follow the simple instructions pictured and you’ll have some decorations to hang in the window in no time!

Holiday Garland

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If you want a garland on the creative side, gather up some old fabric and ribbon to make your own version of the classic decoration. This way you can easily customize it to match your other decorations and colour scheme!

Homemade Snow Globe

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Create your own version of the classic snow globe. Using a small glass vessel that has a lid, such as a mason jar or a salt shaker (you can find both at the dollar store!) Glue any small decorations that you want inside to the lid, you’ll use this as the base when you’re finished. Create a winter scene with toy trees and fake snow and use some glitter or whatever else you can find at the dollar store that can act as snow without dissolving in the water.

Pine Cone Christmas Trees

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This is a great craft to include the kids on and it looks super cute to boot! See the full instructions on how to create these over here. They’ll make a great centerpiece for your holiday gatherings or simply as some extra decorations for your living room.

Vintage Flowers

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These vintage flowers can act as ornaments, part of your centerpiece, or use them to embellish your wrapped gifts. For the steps on how to create these, check out this great blog post!

What are some of your favourite holiday crafts? And don’t forget to take photos this holiday season to go in your holiday photo book.

3 Ways to Immortalize & Preserve Your Holiday Memories

Like most Canadians, you probably took tons of photos during this past holiday season. Whether you took them with your smart phone or a professional camera, some of these pictures are true gems that deserve to be immortalized and preserved for future generations. Maybe you have some shots of the family gathered around a table groaning under the weight of a holiday meal, or perhaps you have a funny photo of dad simply devouring that meal. Christmas photos can be the basis of a a great holiday photo book, a personalized 2013 calendar or a stunning canvas print that you can hang in your home or office. Don’t let those precious photos die in your computer or camera’s hard drive!

Holiday Photo Books

Photo books are definitely one of the best ways to immortalize your favourite holiday photos. With a photo book, your imagination can soar free as you can organize your book exactly the way you want. To make your holiday photo book even more meaningful, don’t focus only on photos. Include some notes or art from the children and interested adults. Include a cherished recipe in the pages to not only have a photo of a spectacular meal but instructions on how it was done. Different templates are available for photo books, and they can be an inspiration for your ideas. Learn more about photo books here.

2013 Photo Calendars

Personalized calendars are another way to commemorate that special event or Christmas holiday. They’re a great way to organize birthdays, anniversaries, and other important family events. Any dad who has forgotten an anniversary will be especially appreciative of a reminder! Include photos of family events both to remember them and build anticipation for the next one. Learn more about calendars here.

Canvas Prints

Elegant canvas prints are a thoughtful way to display a special photo of a smiling child with joyful eyes, a quiet moment with your spouse, or the whole family gathered for a Christmas celebration. Canvas prints are a welcome addition to both home and office décor with their artful look and stunning quality. They’re available in different sizes and are limited only by your imagination. Learn more about canvas prints here.

Families have holiday traditions, many of them handed down from parents to children. Photo books, calendars and canvas prints are an excellent way to preserve those traditions and memories, keeping them alive for your children and grandchildren.

5 Tips to Get Organized for the New Year

2012 is about to expire and 2013 is right around the corner! It’s time to reflect on how this year went by and what areas of your life you can improve for next year. One of the best ways to begin to meet those self-improvement goals is to get your home and work areas better organized. When your living area is organized, you will save time, money and energy that can then be redirected into other areas of your life. Fortunately, getting your household in order can be easily accomplished by following these five simple organizational tips…

Focus on Finances

After the holidays, a person will likely need to get their financial situation in order. Receipts, accumulated bills and other important documents should be carefully stored using a filing system. Many people also find it helpful to use an electronic spreadsheet that can be used to help them track their spending. This can make sticking to a budget easier over the upcoming year.

Conquer Paperwork

On top of bills, most households also have a large amount of paperwork that tends to pile up on every surface. Clear off that dining room table by dividing all of the paperwork into three easy piles. Label each one according to what action will need to be taken. For example, most people find that three piles labelled: trash, file and to-do will help them to eliminate the paperwork problem. Then, handle each pile accordingly, and set up a filing system that can be used to manage paperwork year-round.

Sort Out Closets

Next to paperwork and bills, most people’s homes also tend to accumulate a large amount of junk in their closets. Throughout the year, seasonal items, outdated clothing and cherished mementos are stashed away in a person’s closet. Organizing this area of the home can be tackled in a similar manner to paperwork. Simply take everything out of the closet and sort it into three piles labelled: donate, sell and keep. Then, hold a yard sale to get rid of your old items and donate the rest.

Music and Photos

After conquering paperwork and clearing out closets, many people will discover they have a large collection of treasured photographs and CDs. These can easily be stored in a way that takes up less clutter. For example, place photos in an album, or better yet, create a personalized book that can be placed in the home for visitors to peruse. Music can also be stored electronically, thereby freeing up much-needed space on closet and living room shelves.

Create a Scheduling System

It can be hard for a person to stay organized when they are constantly forgetting about important dates and appointments. For this reason, it is best to place a calendar in an area of the home that everyone can see. Then, important events can be included on the calendar so that everyone will know what to expect throughout the year. Using coloured ink or labels is a great way to keep track of each person’s appointments.

When making their New Year’s resolutions, it is always important for a person to consider investing in some additional time to organize their home. By getting their finances, paperwork and schedules in order, a person will be free from unnecessary stress so they can renew their focus on improving their life over the upcoming new year.