Maggie Grainger

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Capturing Memories – Photo Tips and Tricks

Follow these simple tips to get quality photos every time you click!

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School is coming to an end, the weather is getting warmer, and there are tons of photo opportunities coming your way! Today Plum District is teaming up with Kodak to offer you some amazing deals on cameras and photo products that are perfect for capturing all of life’s precious moments – from family vacations to everyday smiles.

Here are our top three tips for getting the best shot EVERY time:

1. Art in Motion

You love capturing your budding sports star in action, but they are so fast on the field your shots often appear blurry and out of focus. Parents.com recommends you follow the movement with your camera before you push, ‘click’ or focus on the destination before your little one gets there before you start snapping away. You’d hate to miss your baseball fanatic dive into home because you were too busy trying to figure your camera out!

 

2. Find Your Light

You can have everyone in the cutest poses on the planet, but if your lighting is bad, your photos will probably come out bad, too. The solution? If you set out to snap shots, pay attention to what time of day it is. According to Parents.com, the best times for light are before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m. because the sun is low in the sky. Also, make sure to set your camera to ‘fill’ or ‘force flash’ mode to soften features, fill in shadows, and more. To avoid red eyes in photos, make sure your red eye setting is on.

3. Big Smiles = Great Photos

You think your children are pretty dang cute 24/7, but nothing melts your heart faster then seeing them with huge grins from ear-r-to-ear. However, sometimes getting the whole crew to smile pretty can be — well – an epic challenge. To avoid awkward faces, Parents.com advises you use words other than the classic go-to ‘cheese’ because it naturally makes people’s face contort into goofy expressions. Aim for ‘M’ words instead, which help the face relax and make a more natural expression.

Happy snapping!

Be sure to check out these amazing offers from Kodak before they’re gone:

The KODAK EASYSHARE Camera makes capturing memories a breeze. With its 16 megapixels, 5X optical zoom, and Kodak’s Smart Capture Technology you’ll be shooting top notch pictures with ease. And sharing them is even more of a breeze. Just press the camera’s KODAK Share Button and tag your pictures and videos to multiple destinations to be shared all at once!

Worried about dropping your camera on your next family adventure? A KODAK PLAYFULL Waterproof Video Camera is ready whenever you need it. It can get wet or take a tumble and still come back for more (how perfect is that!). You can shoot hours worth of quality videos, and sharing them is even more of a breeze. Just press the camera’s KODAK Share Button and tag your videos to multiple destinations to be shared all at once!

Show off your handiwork with an easy-to-use KODAK EASYSHARE D825 Digital Frame (8-inch LCD screen). Insert your memory device with your digital pictures and easily save and store up to 4,000 your pictures in the frame’s internal memory. Photos will automatically be resized to look beautiful within the frame, and you can even personalize it by simply putting a traditional frame over the digital frame’s panel to match your home décor.

 

WANT TO WIN ALL 3 OF THESE FABULOUS KODAK PRODUCTS? Enter Here!

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“Eek! I Sound Like My Mother!”

Growing up you promised yourself you'd never say some of the things your mom did because it drove you nuts. Then you had kids and — oh no! — you started saying the things you swore you never would.

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In honor of the Month of Mom, we asked you what are some “Mom-isms” you’ve caught yourself saying now that you have kids of your own. Here are your hilarious answers. Have your own “mom-ism” you’d like to share? Leave it in the comment section.

“’Do it again and you’ll be sorry!” and “Did you go potty?’ Why does becoming a mom mean you use potty and not bathroom!” — District Consultant Helen C.

“I can’t wait until you have your own kids, they’re gonna do the exact same thing to you!” — Kathy via Facebook

“I don’t care who made the mess; I’m asking you to clean it up!” — Jennifer via Facebook

“You better eat that broccoli if you want dessert!” —Thien-Kim via Facebook

“Ask your father!” — Martha via Facebook

“There’s nothing you can even think about doing that I haven’t already done. I’m always one step ahead of you …” Tammy via Facebook

“’Let me smell your hands!’ Gross right? “— District Consultant Laura O.

“’You get what you get and you don’t get upset’ and ‘Don’t make me come in here one more time’ at bedtime. Not sure what I’ll say if they start saying, ‘or what?’” — Regional Manager Jessica D.

“My personal favorite is, ‘Don’t tell Dad,’ also known as ‘DTD.’” Division Director Tori M.

“’Santa is watching you and if you are not good you will not get anything on Christmas morning.’ I said this in March.” — Jennifer via Facebook

“Singing ‘It’s time to get up,’ to the tune of a trumpet reveille. Drove me crazy at the time!” — Brittany via Facebook

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Mom Deserves a Whole Month

We think moms rock and they need more than a day!

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All mothers are working mothers.  — Author Unknown

True, at Plum District we’re all about making YOUR day, every day, but this May we wanted to shout it from the rooftops 24/7. Being a mom is one of the hardest and most rewarding jobs in the world and that’s why we want to celebrate above and beyond May 13th. Check out our site for exciting promotions and deals this entire month that are about celebrating you!

To start off the “Month of Mom” we found some fun facts from www.mothersdaycelebration.com that we thought were just too cool/juicy/fun NOT to share.

  •  In the vast majority of the world’s languages, the word for “mother” begins with the letter M.
  • The earliest history of Mothers Day dates back to the ancient annual spring festival the Greeks dedicated to maternal goddesses. The Greeks used the occasion to honor Rhea, wife of Cronus and the mother of many deities of Greek mythology.
  • Jayne Bleackley is the mother who holds the record for the shortest interval between two children born. She gave birth to Joseph Robert on September 3, 1999, and Annie Jessica Joyce on March 30, 2000. The babies were born 208 days apart.

  • Elizabeth Ann Buttle is the mother who holds the record for the longest interval between the birth of two children. She gave birth to Belinda on May 19,1956 and Joseph on November 20, 1997. The babies were born 41 years 185 days apart. The mother was 60 years old when her son Joseph was born.
  • 24.8 is the median age of women when they give birth for the first time – meaning one-half are above this age and one-half are below. The median age has risen nearly three years since 1970.
  • Many of the sweaters worn by Mr. Rogers on the popular television show, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, were actually knitted by his real mother.
  • August is the most popular month in which to have a baby, with more than 360,000 births taking place that month in 2001
Fun mommy animal facts:
  • A female oyster over her lifetime may produce over 100 million young.
  • A mother giraffe often gives birth while standing, so the new born’s first experience outside the womb is a 1.8-meter (6-foot) drop.
  • Kittens are born both blind and deaf, but the vibration of their mother’s purring is a physical signal that the kittens can feel – it acts like a homing device, signaling them to nurse.
  • Just like people, mother chimpanzees often develop lifelong relationships with their offspring.

Keep checking back to the blog for fun M.O.M. entries, great deals, and surprise guest bloggers!

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Surviving the Family Road Trip

Family vacations don't have to be super stressful. In fact they can actually be fun!

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“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” — Henry Miller

It’s spring break season and for many of us that means it’s time for a family road trip. Whether you’re packing up the mini-van and heading cross country to visit Grandma and Grandpa or finally taking that trip to Hawaii, traveling with little ones can be a challenge. To keep them from shouting, “Are we there yet?” every two minutes and actually using travel time to bond with your family, we’ve asked some of our road trip all-stars how they make it work.

Jill – San Diego

2 kids ages 10 and 13

Off-Road Adventure

 ”We took a two day road trip to Baja, Mexico, it was off-road for most of it! Six months later we did two and half days of airport travel from San Diego to Montevideo, Uruguay!”

Surf’s up!
“I actually believe kids need to know how to feel bored, and overcome it on their own. However, I put a big box between them of books, pens, paper, etc., and we listen to music, talk, play “old school” travel games…and sometimes….GASP…feel bored! In our family you aren’t allowed to use the word ‘bored’ because my husband says, ‘only boring people get bored.’”

 

Heather – Fishers, Indiana
4 kids – Kaitlyn (8), Sadie (6), Porter (4), and Logan (16 months)

Bag of Tricks

“We went 1,500 miles in three days once for a family reunion. I packed a Mary Poppins bag to take in the car. I bought two huge reusable bags and filled them with all kinds of activities — in gallon-sized Ziploc bags — to pull out every couple of hours!”

Heather’s ‘Mary Poppins’ Bag of Fun:


- dry erase board and dry erase markers
- pipe cleaners & instruction book
- chalk and construction paper
- Bingo sheets w/ stickers to mark them
- brand-new spiral notebook and crayons/colored pencils
- mazes, dot-to-dots
- joke books
- new coloring book & crayons
- “how to draw” books & blank paper
- books
- Custom CD mixes
- Portioned out snacks (goldfish, granola bars, juice boxes, suckers, etc.)

Tara — Atlanta, Georgia
3 kids ages 2,7 and 8

 

 

American Idol Car Edition

“To keep everyone entertained I sing. I’ll sing Lionel Richie, Green Day, Coldplay, Katy Perry, cartoon theme songs, show tunes — even The Brady Bunch! The kids like to ask questions about whether or not the song is ‘old people’s music.’ It works every time!

Shannon — Frederick, Maryland

3 kids ages 5, 7, and 10

Making Something Old New Again

“I pack each of the kids a bag of things that I have either purchased for the trip or things from the house that I don’t think they have played with in quite some time.  These include books from under their beds, games from the basement closet, a few easy crafts that I find in the dollar bins, snacks and drinks, car game books that I make from online printables and magazines to cut up.  They also LOVE to write on index cards so I buy a pack or two for them to use.”

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The Candy-Free Easter Egg Hunt

Avoid extra hyper kiddos and sugar surges with these tips for a sweet tooth free good time!

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Sometimes it feels like the holidays have become synonymous with candy. Every month there’s a new celebration that leaves your overflowing pantry with chocolates, lollipops, and other irresistible treats. With Easter Sunday comes jelly beans, chocolate bunnies, and Cadbury eggs (not to mention Grandma’s famous sugar cookies)!

Our Indiana-based District Consultant Heather has some great ideas on keeping the cavities at bay, but still keeping the festivities fun during your family’s annual Easter egg hunt.

“I color-code some of the eggs so each child gets their designated surprises,” she explains. “ For example, my daughter Kaitlyn gets to find all of the purple eggs this year!”

This tactic helps keep things fair on the playing field and lets you plan out appropriate surprises for each age group.

Trying to cut out some of the sugar-crashes and chocolate smudges this year? Well just say “no” to the traditional Bunny delivery, and say “hello” to candy-free Easter egg hunt. Here are some fun, non-candy items to hide inside plastic Easter eggs for all ages. Bonus tip: Have your kids help decorate the plastic eggs with colorful markers or puff paint before you stuff them with goodies.

For Baby Hunters under the age of 3:
- Goldfish
- Cheerios/Fruit Loops
- Animal Crackers
- Mini-plush animals

For Little Bunnies ages 3-6:
- Pennies and coins
- Bouncy balls
- Puzzle pieces hidden among a bunch of different eggs
- Stickers
- Character Band-Aids
- Play-Doh
- Mini bubble bottles

For Big Kids:
- Lego pieces
- Hair accessories
- Jewelry
- Dollar bills
- Inflatable beach balls
- Temporary tattoos
- Gum

For everyone:
- Family coupons which can be redeemed for bigger prizes (like a family night out to the movies, a book, or a Barbie)
- Real eggs – Hard boil and decorate some real eggs the night before and have everyone help paint them. The kids will love finding the eggs they helped decorate.

What non-candy items do you plan on including in your Easter egg hunt this year? Let us know.