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Follow these simple tips to get quality photos every time you click!
May 18th, 2012 | 9:15 PM
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.
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!
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.
May 10th, 2012 | 10:40 AM
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
We think moms rock and they need more than a day!
May 1st, 2012 | 1:56 AM
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
- 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!
Have you noticed certain traits in one of your kids and not the other? The order they were born in could determine key personality traits.
April 30th, 2012 | 3:50 PM
Kerri R. lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and is the proud mom to three little girls: Clara (6), Sisi (4), and Lenie (2). It is no great coincidence that as a youngest child of five kids herself that she loves working in sales!
Have you ever wondered why a firm “NO” elicits such different responses from your children? In my household, the oldest will promptly behave, the middle will burst in to tears and the youngest will give me her cutest grin and start singing Disney tunes.
There is no doubt that birth order is definitely at play and it powerfully influences who we are, the job we choose, who we marry, and even how we parent. Dr. Kevin Leman, author of The Birth Order Book, provides an in-depth look at the characteristics of first, middle, last, and only children.
Here’s a quick breakdown of the dominant traits of people who are born in this order. Do you think he’s spot on when it comes to your own kids?
- Firstborn children tend to be perfectionists, reliable, well organized, and overall people pleasers. They are our CEO’s, presidents, and are likely to work in a science or engineering field.
- Middle children are the hardest to define as they are influenced from all directions. They may be described as the peacemakers and are very sociable as they look for friends outside the family. They are mentally tough and independent.
- Youngest children, as you may have guessed, tend to love the limelight, and are often described as affectionate, engaging and tenacious. Many salespeople and comedians are youngest children.
- The ‘Lonely Only’ tends to have many traits similar to a firstborn, but with ‘super’ in front of them. They also tend to be creative, comfortable with adults at an early age, and possess strong language skills.
Although we can’t choose the order we’re born in, every child can break out of their birth order stereotype!
Source: The Birth Order Book by Dr. Kevin Leman
Sibling smiles! Kerri and her girls at home.
Tips for finding the perfect sitter
April 23rd, 2012 | 12:45 PM
Carly is one of our hardworking moms in Connecticut. When she’s not out making moms day, shes making her own day with her children and husband. Here she shares her tips on finding the perfect sitter for your family.
I don’t know about you, but when I hear the phrase “date night” I gently sigh as I briefly think back to what life was like before kids. Don’t get me wrong – I simply adore my children and I wouldn’t change a thing about having them, however, there are times when I crave the quiet nights my husband and I used to have before kids.
In order to have some well-deserved time alone with your sweetie, you also have to find a good babysitter. If you don’t have friends and family close by, then that can be a difficult and daunting task. Weeknights are busy and by the time our long-awaited weekend arrives, we find ourselves over-committed and ditching the idea of going out (yet again).
The first step in reclaiming date night is committing to a date. Once that is agreed, established, and officially written in pen on the calendar, we come to the truly hardest step in getting out for a night:
Finding a reliable and responsible babysitter with whom you can feel confident with leaving your kids in their care.
Here’s some helpful tips on how to find the perfect babysitter so you don’t have to stress while you relax with the hubby.
Tip #1: Stay local
Luckily, my sitter lives right across the street from me, but if I couldn’t connect with her, backup plan is to contact the guidance department at my local high school. They put me in contact with their program that works directly with people and businesses in the area to provide students with job opportunities and work experience. Not comfortable with a high school student? Consider contacting local colleges and universities and get in touch with a coordinator at student services. Often those who are seeking a degree in early education may be looking to gain some experience with kids and some extra cash, too!
Tip #2: Get a friend’s recommendation
If you have a good friend whose sitter they trust, their sitter probably has friends who are also looking for some extra cash. It’s well worth the effort to ask. If they’re really your true friend, they might even loan you their sitter just this once!
Tip #3: Create or join a sitter swap
Create a fun solution to your own problem! Take full advantage of your network of friends, family and neighbors and see if they’d be interested in doing a sitter swap. One week, you drop your kids off at their house for an evening play date while you and your significant other go out for date night. Then, the next week, you take their kids and do the same. A huge benefit: it saves money and your kids get to hang out with their friends.
Tip #4: If all else fails – Google it.
There are new services popping up with parents like us in mind. Two relatively new sites are Sitter City and Care. Both offer similar services for finding babysitters, nannies, and even daycare. Some of the benefits of these sites is that they have free trials so you can see if you like the service. You’ll find there are reviews from parents who have used certain individual’s services through the site. Once you have added your information, and the type of sitting services you are looking for, the rest is easy – the applicants come to you! The cons? The drawbacks include a fee to join to get the “premium” information.And of course, the big caveat that it is the Internet – you just can’t be sure what information is true or not, despite background checks. Being very careful is always the best advice when choosing to use the Internet for these searches.
Tip #5: Talk to your kids
Once you’ve found a sitter, it’s critical that you some feedback from your kids. See if they like the sitter and are excited to see them. Ask your kids if they like being with the sitter. If they do, then book them for some nights in advance so you have some date nights to look forward to in your future to reconnect and get some time away – even if it is just for a few hours!
Some of our moms' favorite picks for Mother's Day
April 19th, 2012 | 12:01 AM
Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and we thought inquiring gift-buyers might want to know what Mom really wants for Mother’s Day. Plum District polled our District Consultants to find out what they were hoping to unwrap on May 13th and created our Ultimate Gift Guide. Purchasers beware – mom has great taste!
Family vacations don't have to be super stressful. In fact they can actually be fun!
April 7th, 2012 | 12:42 AM
“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
”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!”
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
- 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.”
Avoid extra hyper kiddos and sugar surges with these tips for a sweet tooth free good time!
April 4th, 2012 | 7:05 AM
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:
- 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
- Character Band-Aids
- Mini bubble bottles
For Big Kids:
- Lego pieces
- Hair accessories
- Dollar bills
- Inflatable beach balls
- Temporary tattoos
- 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.