The Holidays are now bearing down on us with all the speed of a jetliner. My husband recently scaled back his Christmas cookie projections, which in years past have been pretty ambitious. This year he’s going with what he considers to be the three essentials: chocolate chip (from the Fannie Farmer cookbook), Spice Cookies (the recipe for which, if the family lore is to be believed, dates back more than three centuries on his mother’s side), and linzer cookies (clipped from a magazine 30 years ago).
The recipes are easy to reference, as they’ve been framed and occupy a place of relative prominence in our dining room. They were glued decades ago onto a sheet of typing paper (you can still see the watermark on the back if you take the time to remove the page from its frame), along with a recipe for biscotti and another for smoking bishop. Smoking bishop, or just “Bishop” or “The Bish” if you’re talking to Andrew or his brother, is a traditional holiday punch. Their recipe is (again according to the family lore) the same one prepared in the household of Charles Dickens.
It’s an acquired taste.
The frame is part of a set. Next to it is its fraternal twin, which completes the list of his favorite family dishes. The recipes for crumb pie and spaghetti and meatballs were both typed on a typewriter, and not a particularly pricey one from the looks of them. The latter is stained with drops of ancient tomato sauce. I like to wonder whether his Italian great-grandmother prepared the recipe for her husband (a mason) and their four children every few weeks, or whether it’s something his mom picked up decades ago from a friend or magazine and threw into the family cookbook.
I have to say, I have completely enjoyed becoming a mother of three! Of course there are moments where life is complete chaos, but I’ve found it to be a good chaos. I think the main reason is not so much the new baby, but the realization that this is okay. I can now accept that there will always be toys on the floor, five more loads of laundry, and dishes in the sink. As a mom of three now, I’m cool with that!
Of course, the transition wasn’t easy….I remember the day my 3-year-old pulled frozen peas from the freezer and stomped each one into the floor. I also remember the day my 5-year-old got so mad, she put a hole in the wall from slamming the door. Ha! We definitely had a “transition” but hey, what family doesn’t? Imperfections and all, I’m loving this life.
When Justin was born, I was pretty excited to be able to send birth announcements, but you’d think I would’ve been all prepared with my favorite designs well before the baby was born…not so much. That’s the problem with working for a company like Pear Tree – there are ALWAYS new designs, and it was nearly impossible for me to narrow it down.
The most important step for me, besides choosing the design, is choosing the right photos, so I thought I’d share my process and a few photo tips for organizing and editing them with you.
First, I copy all the photos that I might use to their own folder – this keeps everything separated and easy to navigate. Then I start the editing process. I use Picasa, a free service that is really simple to use. There are tons of free systems online – I like this one because it helps to organize and identify the people in the photos. For each of the 10 or so photos that I really like, I do the following:
- Brighten with Fill Light. I love to do this because it removes the imperfections easily and adds a glow to the photo.
- Contrast with Shadows. Depending on how dark or light I want my photos, I’ll play with this until it looks right. With the original photo here on the left, you can see that adding a bit of Fill Light and Shadows really enhanced the image. I don’t do any Cropping at this stage because I may need some of the outer edges of the image for the card.
- Next I might try making it a Black and White photo, which is as simple as a single button. Sometimes there I’ll play with the Fill Light and Shadows again to make sure the photo looks perfect.
- And last, I add a Blur photos to really draw the eye to the moment of the photo rather than the patterns and textures around the edges.
Your new bundle of joy has arrived and now it is time for you to take photos to share with friends and family. To help you, we asked a photographer to share with us a few baby photo tips to help you out whether you’re a beginner or a bit more advanced.
- The first thing to remember when photographing babies is patience, patience, patience. Don’t expect to get a good shot in a couple of minutes. You are at the baby’s mercy and on their schedule. Be flexible, if the baby is sleeping or crying you can still get some great shots.
- Use a plain solid colored background, stay away from patterned blankets. This draws attention away from the main subject.
- Get down on their level. Get down on the floor and shoot from different angles.
- Continue reading
Wondering what’s hot on Pinterest from Pear Tree Greetings? Take a look below at our top 5 hottest pins this month.
1. Rustic Bridal Shower: Our Showers Ahead Bridal Shower Invitation has been our most popular pin this summer. This poster-style invitation is one our fans love and is easy to personalize to the brides’ wedding colors.
2. Top 5 Baby Photo Ideas: This adorable baby photo idea has stolen the hearts of many of our followers with over 1,700 repins in just a few short months. It is such a cute idea for a newborn photo and one that would look beautiful on birth announcements.
Sharing the news that you are expecting to welcome ten little toes and ten little fingers into the world is an exciting time for couples. And we have been seeing our fans and customers coming up with 8 very creative pregnancy announcement ideas that we wanted to share with you!
1. Playful use of a popular rhyme
2. Sending a card like this Pear Tree Greetings customer
3. Gifts for the soon-to-be grandparents
Your new baby is the focus, of course, but you also want to have a little fun with your baby announcement photos, right? What to do? Here are 5 of our top baby photo ideas to add personality and share your hopes and dreams for this new little person in your life!
1. Little Baby. Big Plans.
2. Baby clothes are always cute.
Wondering what’s hot on Pinterest from Pear Tree Greetings? Take a peek below to see our top pinned products and ideas!
1. Top 10 Kids’ Valentine Ideas: New Valentine’s Day card ideas + non-candy treat ideas.
2. All Star Graduation Party Ideas: Find new ideas for creating a graduation party family and friends will remember!
Here’s a look at the top five products others are buying at Pear Tree Greetings this month!
1. Chalk Art Halloween Invitations
2. Newlywed Banner Personalized Photo Napkins