Monday, November 16, 2015

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

3 No-Brainer Holiday Gift Ideas They'll Cherish for Years to Come {plus a CanvasPop Giveaway!}

CanvasPop Square Canvas Print Holiday Gift Idea  |
Thank you to CanvasPop for providing a square photo canvas print for this feature and for hosting a holiday giveaway for 3G2S readers.  All opinions expressed are my own. 

The other day, I was looking through our photo albums for pictures my daughter could take to school for a show-and-tell type thing and I realized how few photos we actually have.  I easily take over a thousand photos a year, but they are all stored on an external hard drive.  Of those 1000+ photos I take each year, almost none of them are of my husband and me.  This made me realize that the only photos we have hanging in our home of the two of us are our wedding portrait and one or two others from before we were married (15 years ago).

When I had the opportunity to have a canvas photo print made, I decided to have one printed using a more recent photo of my husband and myself.  When I opened the box and unwrapped the canvas, such an amazing feeling of sentiment came over me.  I thought to myself what an unbelievable gift this would make for a loved one.  After the initial flood of sentiment passes, they will still cherish this gift as it hangs in their home for years to come.

3 No-Brainer Holiday Gifts Your Loved Ones Will Cherish . . .

1.  Canvas Word Art - With CanvasPop's Word Art Maker, you can combine two very powerful things, the perfect photo and words from your heart, into one work of art.  You can also make typographical art without a photo.  The possibilities are endless, from your favorite quote to an inside joke that will be sure to get a smile.
CanvasPop Square Canvas Word Art Gift Idea  |

2.  Mosaic Art on Canvas - Can't decide on just one photo or looking for an alternative to a photo book?  This option allows you to include many photos in one work of art.  You could simply include your favorite photos or choose a theme.  How about photos of places to which you've traveled together or perhaps chronological photos that highlight your loved one's life?
CanvasPop Square Canvas Mosaic Art Gift Idea  |
3.  Classic Large Canvas Print - A high quality photo canvas print looks so amazing compared to a print on paper.  The photo canvas shown below is just printed from a high resolution selfie my husband took of us a couple of years ago.  The canvas art at CanvasPop range in square and rectangular sizes from 8"x10" to 24"x72".  Ours is 20"x20" and was perfect for a wall space next to the window in our bedroom.
CanvasPop Square Photo Canvas Print Gift Idea for Couple  |

This one has a low-profile .75" deep wrap that is perfect for spaces where your wall art could get easily bumped, such as a hallway or a high-traffic area.
CanvasPop Canvas Art Gift Idea  |

This canvas is the first thing I see when I wake up in the morning and it's the perfect way to start the day.  It just makes me feel happy inside every time I look at it.  That's the kind of gift I want to give everyone I love!

Like these gift ideas? Pin this list for later . . . 
3 Easy CanvasPop Gift Ideas Your Loved Ones Will Cherish  |

Enter to Win a Photo Canvas for the Holidays!

3G2S readers can click the link above or the button below to enter to win a 16"x24" canvas print (ARV $89) from CanvasPop and to read the official rules.

CanvasPop Holiday Photo Canvas Giveaway  |

Contest ends November 30, 2015 at 11:59PM PT. Open to residents of the US, Canada and the European Union.
What picture perfect photo would you like to have printed on canvas? Tell us about it on Facebook!

Saturday, November 14, 2015

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

Guinness World Records Books . . . Easy Gift Ideas for Kids, Teens & Adults (Gamers Included!)

Guinness World Records 2016 Book . . . an easy gift for any kid, teen, or adult!  |
Thank you to Guinness World Records for providing a copy of Guinness World Records 2016 and Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer's Edition for this review.  All opinions expressed are our own.

Guinness World Records is a company that makes annual record books that have exciting records and amazing pictures. Each year, they release a new book with hundreds of new records. Since the Guinness World Records book is produced annually, it is also great for people who like to collect things. It is the ultimate gift idea for the holidays!

Also, there is the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition that is completely filled with records about amazing gaming feats, like finishing a game on hard mode in fourteen minutes, or scoring 321 goals in FIFA soccer. This is a great gift for gamers of all levels, with gaming records about Fallout, Minecraft, Call of Duty, and much more.
Guinness World Records 2016 Book and  Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer's Edition  |
Personally, my favorite record from the Guinness World Records 2016 book is the ‘Most Layers in a Sandwich’ with 40 awesome layers of bacon, fluff, and peanut butter. My favorite record from the Guinness World Records 2016 Gamer’s Edition is highest score on Fruit Ninja’s zen mode because I feel that I can beat that record.
Guinness World Records 2016 - Record for most layers in a sandwich.  |
As you can see, these records are interesting, awesome, and sometimes funny. I would recommend these extremely awesome books for people ages 7 to 200.  To see more amazing world records, visit!

Have you read one or both of these books?  Share your favorite records with us on Facebook!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

3G2S posts may contain commission-yielding affiliate links.

5 Tips for Taking Holiday Card Photos of Your Children

5 tips for taking your own casual holiday card photos of your children.  |
Thank you to Chooze Shoes for providing the Spark high top sneakers to add some edgy glam to my daughter's wardrobe. All opinions are my own.

I've been taking our own holiday card photos for as long as I can remember.  There was one year that we had photos of the whole family taken professionally, but my husband and I have always been the amateur photographers behind every holiday card photo of just our children.  I usually take individual portraits of each child and then some with all three together.  This usually works out great and I can always find a card layout with four spots for photos to complement the pictures we've chosen.

Since I've been taking photos of our three children for nearly a decade, I have learned some tips and tricks along the way.  Yes, taking photos of multiple children at once can closely resemble a game a whack-a-mole, but it can be done!

5 tips for taking holiday card photos of your children . . .

1.  Become familiar with your camera's settings.  You can take beautiful photos with a D-SLR or with your phone's camera.  All cameras having different settings to accommodate for low light and other conditions.  Experiment with them so you have an idea of which settings to use when it comes time to take portraits of your children.  It's likely your children will get antsy if they have to wait for you to play with your camera settings during a photo shoot.

2.  Dress your children comfortably.  Whatever you choose to dress your children in, make sure that they are comfortable.  Binding clothes, itchy tags, uncomfortable shoes, etc . . . all make the task of capturing a photo of a relaxed and happy child even more difficult.  I always opt for casual outfits.  The boys generally wear polo shirts or henleys.  My daughter's clothes can vary from a casual dress to a blazer paired with jeans to the comfy New England Patriots top she wore this year.  Regardless of what they wear, I try to color coordinate all three children's outfits.  Having all three wear jeans on the bottom is an easy way to do that.
Tips for successfully taking casual portraits of your children.  |

To guarantee a smile on my daughter's face for the photos, I always give my daughter something special to wear, such as a hat or a pretty necklace.  This year, she was all smiles wearing her Spark high top sneakers from Chooze Shoes.  She owns a few pairs of mismatched shoes from this brand and loves them all.  Every pair she's owned has been super-comfortable and fun to wear!
Spark hightop sneakers in Rule by Chooze Shoes  |

3.  Choose a simple background.  Having to drive 10 miles to take photos does not sound like too much fun for kids.  You really don't need a fancy background.  We've taken beautiful photos of our children sitting on the front steps or huddled together in front of an evergreen tree.  I do recommend taking your photos outdoors for the best light, but having your children sitting on your stairs, on your sofa, or in front of your fireplace together will also work.  If you end up not loving the background in your photos, you can always blur the background with a photo editing program.  There are many free programs online.
Tips for successfully taking casual portraits of your children.  |

4.  Get your children talking.  When taking individual portraits, getting your children talking will help them loosen up.  It also gets you some beautiful, natural smiles when they are telling you about something funny that happened in school last week (much better than the cheesy looking say-cheese smiles).  The tween (pictured below) is a tough nut to crack because he is starting to act like he's too cool for holiday photos.  Sometimes talking works with him, sometimes all I get is a mumble and a shrug, but all you can do is try . . .
Tips for successfully taking casual portraits of your children.  |

5.  Promise your children a silly shoot afterwards.  This has worked amazingly well for us.  It is so difficult to get all three children to be smiling, not blinking, and looking at the camera at the same time.  Promising them a silly shoot (when you take photos of them dancing around, doing silly poses, and making goofy faces) in exchange for them holding it together long enough to get a good group photo really gets them to make an effort to give you that winning shot.
5 tips for taking your own casual holiday card photos of your children.  |

What tips do you have for taking great portraits of your children?  Share your tips with us on Facebook!