5 tips for designing your Christmas card

Tiny Prints tri-fold christmas cardTiny Prints trifold holiday cardI’m excited to mention I just received our Christmas cards for this year!  This is the second year now where I’ve turned to Tiny Prints to design my cards.  When I opened up my box, I shrieked with excitement with how wonderful they turned out!  I think I even did a happy dance right then and there ;).  Although I’ve pictured in this post 2013’s Christmas card (I’m waiting to share 2014’s edition once I get around to mailing the cards out first), I continued the theme of picking a tri-fold template and once again upgrading to the pearlized paper.  But kudos to Tiny Prints because their  new letterpress, foil-stamped, and laser-cut designs are absolutely swoon worthy.  (Can you tell, I’m a paper-loving nerd?)

If you plan on working on your holiday cards this Thanksgiving week, take into account these 5 tips for designing your Christmas card.  Happy designing, friends! :)

5.  Whose on your list?  Start by writing down all the people who you will be mailing your Christmas card to.

As the years go by, you can streamline this process by having the names of your family/friends and their addresses already on file.   (Can I get a “that was easy” button press, please?)

On a personal note, I keep my holiday card list small to allow for me to splurge on the actual design of the card (see tip #4).  My reasoning is simple:  I use the help of social media to send out a virtual copy of my Christmas card via my blog, Instagram, and Facebook for everyone to enjoy.  Those that actually receive a copy tend to be family and close friends who don’t mind seeing our mug shots on their mantel all December long ;).  (Or in the case of my Mother, she keeps our card up all year long…thanks Mom!)

4.  Create a budget.  My husband would be proud to hear me listing this as a tip ;).  But it’s true.  That way when you’re searching the web and combing through the 100’s of designs, you’ll be able to narrow down what styles you can actually afford.  Keep in mind, some of your favorite paper companies have add-on options, so take those extra fees into account as well.  But on the same note, those same favorite paper companies almost always have a promotion going on to help reduce your cost.  So go ahead, apply that discount code, baby.

I’ve found that the best promotion codes allow for free shipping and a percentage off.  So if you can score one of those codes, you should complete your checkout ASAP.

3.  To have a photo shoot or not have a photo shoot?  If you decide to schedule a photo shoot with  your family photographer, do so in early fall (or earlier if possible)  to have adequate time to get your proofs back.

Or go the route of taking your camera out and snapping away some candid shots of your family.  Sometimes those can be the most memorable ones!

Is it just me, but I’m always a fan of the crying baby in Santa’s lap.  Classic.

2.  Consider your content.  I’m a big believer in customizing whenever possible.  Besides including a picture (or two) of your family, it’s always great to read a personal message from the sender.  This can be in the form of a lengthy letter,  highlights from the year, or a short one-liner that pertains to your family.

This year we enclosed our holiday card with a simple phrase of: “SEAS and GREETINGS.”  A play off of “season’s greetings;” it brings humor to my family’s love for coastal living.

1.  Don’t stress over your holiday cards.  Ideally Christmas cards should be sent out the first two weeks of December but if your schedule doesn’t permit, you can always send out New Years cards. Maybe you can make a tradition of sending New Years cards go forward.  Because after all, traditions are a great way to keep up a good habit :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Pregnancy Update: 5 months

5 months pregnant

1.  How has this month been treating you?

Very well!  I’ve got that pregnancy glow…finally :).  

2.  Do I see a baby bump?

That is correct!  Baby bump has made its appearance as of week 18.  I went from having a frumpy front; to a hard and round belly overnight.  

3.  How’s baby doing?

Baby is a movin’ and a shakin’!  I feel consistent kicks come 9pm when I finally get to kick up my feet and have some “me” time.  (Go figures… if it’s not HB or my husband; now it’s my other baby wanting my attention ;) ).  

4.  What are you wearing as of lately?

Thanks to our east coast vacation, I finally got to break out my maternity pants which I coupled with my regular tops.  Being back in California, I’m still wearing my regular shift dresses.  Although (and this is a good although) I’m feeling a chill in the air, so I’ll be wearing my pants soon enough.

5.  What’s the highlight from this 5th month?

Hubby feeling the kicks for himself :).  We say, that the little one is a ninja ;).  

6.  Give up the details on weight gain, will ya?

I’m now midway thru my 22nd week and I’ve gain an additional 5 lbs since my last update.  For a total of 12lbs.  Its looking like a consistent one-pound gain per week (I hope!)

Sincerely, Kymberly

Cape Cod vacation {recap}

Chatham Bars Inn_cottage_ocean view Chatham Bars Inn_cottageChatham Bars Inn croquet fieldcroquet playingtoddler playing croquetcroquet playing in Cape CodChatham Bars Inn_Cape CodChatham Bars InnChatham Bars Inn_clam bakeChatham Bars Inn outdoor diningChatham Bars Inn beachChatham_Cape Cod19 weeks pregnantLighthouse Lane_Cape CodChatham Fish MarketChatham Fish Market PierfamilyHunter bootsBocce ballNauset Lighthousetoddler fall fashionNauset Light_Cape CodNauset Beach_Cape Codselfiecape cod chip factorycape cod chip factory_walk wayWhat can I say, Cape Cod- you have my heart.    I like you a lot.  Like, a lot a lot.

After visiting Washington, D.C. and Boston; relaxation was my number one priority when we reached Cape Cod.  To accomplish this, I booked us a private cottage that overlooked the Atlantic.  Our stay at Chatham Bars Inn was luxurious, relaxing, and provided the quintessential New England vibe I had wanted to experience.

My second priority while in the Cape was to enjoy fresh seafood.  I did just that.  Lobster became my go-to grub and I enjoyed ever single bite from my 2 pounders I’d order.  Here’s an insider’s tip: want to feel like a local and save $$$ like a local, order your lobster dinner at the local fish market where they will prep and cook the lobster for you.  Then take it home to enjoy in the comforts of your hotel.

Having never been to Cape Cod before, it turned out to be the exact trip I had hoped for.  We cycled through our routine of walking the beach, horsing around the croquet court (which conveniently was located in front of our cottage), window shopped Chatham’s quaint main street, snapped a few pictures in front of some iconic lighthouses, and even took a trip to the Cape Cod potato chip factory.

Granted I had hoped to test out my newly certified sailors license, but the lack of fair winds made it impossible to do.  Oh well.  Looks like I’ll just have to keep “sailing the Atlantic” on my bucket list for a little bit longer.  But I’m not complaining, all the more reason to plan a return trip to the Cape.  ;)

Sincerely, Kymberly

 

Boston vacation {recap}

Old Navy_Best Son Ever_shirtStarbucks cupCambridge_fall_leavespregnant bump_fall_leaves19 weeks pregnantHead of the Charles Regatta programHead of the Charles Regatta_Cambridge_MassachusettsHead of the Charles Regatta_CrewCharles River_Boston_Massachusettscrew_Head of the Charles Regatta_HOCRElliot Bridge_Head of the Charles Regattatoddler Harvard shirtHead of the Charles Regatta teddy bearHarvard UniversityHarvard University buildingHarvard University_fall leavesmommy and son kissfuture freshmen_Harvard UniversityHarvard Square19 weeks pregnant_fall maternity fashionFenway Park_BostonBoston CommonBoston Red Sox hatAfter our week stay in Washington D.C., we hopped aboard our next flight to Boston, Massachusetts.  From the moment we touched down in Boston Harbor, I was one giddy mama.  I had mentioned in an earlier post about heading to New England for the fall, but I failed to mention we were coming in town specifically for the Head of the Charles Regatta (the largest crew competition in the world.)  Being big nautical fans, the Regatta had been on my bucket list.

Additionally, living by the California coast, I actually crave the cold.  Not the usual “cold” I experience (that being the morning fog that rolls in, but then is burnt off come 11am.)  No, I crave the “drop in weather and wearing fashionable layers of plaid, vests, and scarfs” kind of cold.  That being said, our trip to Massachusetts was the perfect East Coast state to visit this time of year.

I found our 3 day stay in the city to be perfect.  We stayed in Cambridge and visited Harvard.  I quickly gifted our son with enough toddler-sized Harvard gear to hopefully instill a love for the University.  So fingers crossed I have a future freshmen on my hands :).

Another day was spent enjoying the HOCR as we watched the rowers compete along the Charles River.  An absolutely relaxing day, we literally spent the day at the River watching the competition, eating amazing food truck grub, and indulging in some retail shopping thanks to Brook Brothers and the other preppy brands available.

On our last day in Boston, we were super touristy and checked out a “hop on and off” tour bus so that we could see all the major tourist spots.  I’d have to say it was a great way to see a town in a day.  We visited several spots, but my favorites included: Fenway Park and Boston Common.

Stay tuned for part 3 of my East Coast recap.  Our Cape Cod adventures might just be my favorite part :).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Washington D.C. vacation {recap}

White House_Washington D.C.The White House_lawn_pamphletThe White House entrance_Washington D.C.Washington D.C._American FlagsWashington Monument_Washington D.C.Washington monument lawn18 weeks pregnant_Washington D.C. vacationLincoln Memorial_five dollar bill trickWorld War Two MonumentOld Ebbitt Grill_Washington D.C._LobsterLincoln Memorial_Reflecting Pool_Washington D.C.Lincoln Memorial trick_Reflecting Pool_Washington D.C.Lincoln Memorial_Washington D.C.Lincoln Memorial stepsHB 2 years old sitting on Lincoln Memorial stepsPresident Abe Lincoln_Lincoln MemorialThomas Jefferson Memorial_Washington D.C.U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing_Washington D.C.Washington D.C. buildingWashington D.C. metro_subway2 weeks on vacation and 3 cities visited, my family started our East Coast trip in Washington D.C..  A first time visit for us all, we were determined tourists on a mission to see and learn more about our Country’s history.  Per FitBit, I clocked-in 10 miles of walking each day.  Sa-weet says this pregnant mama :).

Before signing off, here’s my recommendations on the sites, grub, and place to stay that were without a doubt two-thumbs up experiences.

Sightseeing:

-The White House:  just a FYI you’ll have to contact your Congressman 3-6 months in advance to go thru a background check and finally an approval.

-The National Mall to see such iconic sites including the Washington Monument, National WWII Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.

-U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing:  where dolla dolla bills are made, yo!

-The National Archives:  3 pieces of paper worth seeing in your lifetime- the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights.

Grub:

-Old Ebbitt Grill: recommended by a co-worker and backed up by 3,000 Yelp reviewers, this place is quintessentially Washington D.C.  It’s rich in history (situated kitty corner from the White House) and had a mouth-watering menu to match.

-Ted’s Bulletin:  another recommendation that I’m so glad we listened to.  Best known for their homemade Pop Tarts…yes, I said Pop Tarts– which was amaze balls!  We went for lunch and even contemplated going again for dinner a few nights later because this place was so dang gooood.

Stay:

-Rouge (A Kimpton Hotel):  where luxury and kid friendly mesh cohesively.  The hotel staff won my son’s heart when they welcomed us at check-in with a toy from the treasure chest.  Then knocked it out of the ballpark with our room.  Ever wanted to stay in a 2-room suite with a bunk bed?  Now’s your chance ;).

Sincerely, Kymberly

Dear J.Crew

thanksDear J.Crew,

The other day I determined I have been a faithful shopper at J.Crew for almost 10 years now.  Ordering from your catalogs and shopping in your retail stores have become second nature to me and as each year passes, I’m finding myself even more devoted to the brand.

That devotion looks like it isn’t wavering any time soon.  You’ve hooked-line-and-sinked my entire family too.

For myself, each season I’m thoroughly impressed with the new styles available.  Especially as my wardrobe has continued to remain preppy, but with more of a sporty-chic tone; you have me covered.

With my belly growing from the length of a banana to eventually a watermelon; you’ve incorporate maternity bottoms to suit my on-the-go lifestyle.  Psst, I’m currently living in these denim shorts.

Not to mention, it helps that as a card member and email subscriber, I’m getting the extra hook-ups on discount codes.  Take that, savvy shopping.

Then there is my husband, he turns to your catalogs as his copy-cat stylist.  He finds what looks he likes and orders.  He’s easy like that.  Promise me you won’t change a thing about your catalogs?

As for my son,  he’s rocking your boy clothes on the daily now.  Daddy’s mini-me has me chasing him around with my camera ready to capture all the cuteness he’s exuding in his tiny tot clothes.  (P.S. your toddler sneakers might just be my favorite things to purchase for him.)

Finally, the reason for this open letter- my little bun in the oven has quickly gained an impeccable gender-neutral wardrobe with a huge help from your baby collection.  The neutral onesies and knotted beanies are exactly what I had been looking for.  The super modern color-tones has made the “not finding out” gender game easy.  

Oh, and your cashmere baby blankets  are swoon worthy and I can already envision early morning feedings with baby wrapped around one.

If I do end up having a girl (which I sort of think it is), I’ll be sure to add to my shopping cart a handful of those adorable bloomers.

There you have it, a pat on your back for the job well done.  You continue to make this savvy shopper look stylish, kuddos for keeping my husband’s wardrobe totally on point, for my son’s hip toddler gear, and for starting my future little’s wardrobe right :).

Thank you, J.Crew.

Sincerely, Kymberly