This special gift range from Hallmark is a wonderful keepsake- a unique way to preserve those little hand prints of your children and grandchildren.
The gift range includes cards, photo frames, gift bags and ornaments with a range of prices as well. While the Magic Prints are available from Hallmark outlets, you can also purchase them onlineHERE..
Check out the following clip that explains how to create these Magic Print gifts.
A special Easter gift idea:
If you're looking for an Easter gift for the kids that's a little bit different, and isn't overflowing with chocolate and sugar, then this may be just what you need.
You can make these little 'Despicable ME' style minions very easily with teaspoons dipped in tinted white chocolate and decorated.
Then, attach each to a FREE downloadable Easter gift tag.
Include a Despicable ME dvd and you have an unique gift that won't cause chocolate overload but can be enjoyed by the whole family, this Easter.
You'll find the free printable tags plus simple step-by-step instructions at the Living Locurto website here..
Have a one in a minion Easter!
For many people, their favourite camera is the one that's always with them- their iPhone. The original iPhone's camera was pretty basic but the newer versions include some quality features: flash, zoom, HDR photos with the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5 brought support for panoramic images.
Despite all the improvements in camera performance, taking great photos of your children and grandchildren really is a hit-and-miss. It only takes a second for a beautifully posed shot to be lost by a child's sudden distraction or a little one's expression of natural delight to disappear as they realise you're taking a photo.
The Time Warp Camera app will change all this for you. The app begins recording the photo seconds before you actually click the button which means you can, literally, roll back time to find the best shot. So, now, you can capture action shots, moving targets, hyperactive kids and the moment before they blinked. Photos can be shared with family and friends and they can add their own comments or photos.
The app also allows you to create your own photo sets and turn them into your own hardcover photo books.
Check it out! And yes, it's FREE.
A special guest post by Rosemary Whincop, especially for Grandparent's Day
'Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.'
What a blessing it is to be a Grandparent! Apart from the obvious joy of the precious times spent with the Grandchildren, God tells us that we do have a responsibility in helping their parents to bring them up and develop them into adults who love and cherish Godly values.
Psalm 145:4 says: 'One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts.'
The Bible tells us grandparents, repeatedly, to pass on our experiences, and to teach the next generation. Our grandchildren are growing up in a totally different world from the one in which we were raised. I have a 22-month-old who already works the iPad, iPhone and iPod. Texting and tweeting, Face Book and chat rooms, are the main socializing tools our grandchildren will be familiar with. The peer pressure on our grandchildren is enormous. So how do we fit in with this?
Can we make a difference? I believe we can. The love of a grandparent is very special. We love them; and can be there for them; be the lap they can climb on; the best friend they can touch and hug, and the understanding ear that listens. We stand a much better chance of keeping their affection as they grow into texters and tweeters.
If we can keep a close and strong bond with them through their teen years, our influence in setting Godly values will stand with them for life into their own marriages. Our legacy is that of imparting those values and the example of a strong Godly marriage relationship that they will want in their own lives.
Pray for your grandchildren every day, thanking God for the blessing they are. Pray for wisdom for your children and for yourselves in your dealings with them.
We have inherited this concern from our loving Father and He wants us to be involved in leading our grandchildren to Jesus.
Grandparents can pray, and prayer does change things. Prayer is not a last resort, but the most important thing we can do for our children and grandchildren.
To highlight Grandparents Day, we've included a list of ideas that you can use and adapt to connect with your grandkids and create lasting memories.
Many families today are struggling with the daily pressures of family life- financially, emotionally and practically; trying to balance work and home responsibilities plus the stresses of time and over-commitment and the potential threats for kids of school violence, internet predators, pressures to conform and substance abuse. More than ever, grandparents have an important role providing stability, security, unconditional love and increasingly, financial and practical assistance.
Some grandparents are separated from family by distance and family work commitments. But most grandparents are searching for creative ways to connect with their grandchildren and families to build strong and lasting relationships.
Cheri Fuller's book, 'Connect with Your Grandkids' outlines many creative and simple ways that you can enrich the lives of your grandchildren and connect with them through different ways, whether you have regular close contact or are separated by distance.
Many of the ideas and activities are suggestions from other grandparents: ways to share your interests with your grandchildren, fun stuff to do together, ideas for travelling with your grandkids, using technology to connect, photo and memory albums, in the kitchen, camping, being a spiritual influence in your grandchildren's lives and so much more.
The book has been described as a treasure trove of practical, hands-on ways to bond with your grandchildren- every grandparent needs a copy! Find it here..
The old adage 'Laughter is the best medicine' may really be more true than you think. Research has shown that laughter helps boost immunity, decreases pain, lowers stress levels, relaxes and eases anxiety.
Children especially need to laugh, and its absence often points to an underlying concern.
So.. how can you encourage healthy spontaneous laughter when you're with your grandkids.
* Dress ups. Keep a box or area for dress-ups and funny masks ready for the kids to play with, especially young ones.
* Jokes and Limericks. Kids love jokes and limericks and yes, they will drive you crazy with their constant jokes, but try having a few corny ones of your own ready to tell to them. They enjoy tongue twisters, too.
* Bloopers. Watch an episode or two of Funniest Home Movies or Best Ever Bloopers.
* Sing some silly songs together or play a silly songs CD. 'The Donut Man', Mary Rice Hopkins music or 'Veggie Tales' are just a few suggestions to get you started. See here
* Funny movies. Choose a great movie that you know will appeal to children's sense of fun, add in some popcorn, and enjoy a movie night together. Here's a few suggestions: George of the Jungle, Madagascar, Toy Story, Up, Baby's Day Out, The Muppet Movie.
* YouTube. There are some really funny clips on YouTube that you can share. Try: 'Emerson- Mommy's Nose is Scary,' 'Angry Birds Game- T-mobile,' 'The Best bloopers ever,' and 'Cat on iPad.' I'm sure the kids will know of some themselves. Check out the sample one below.
* Books. Read some of the humorous books available for all ages and kids will really appreciate it if you try to incorporate silly voices for some of the characters. The following list gives 18 suggestions of fun books for different ages. See here.
Remember, as worthwhile as laughter may be for physical and mental health, it's important not to encouraging laughter when a child is hurting or grieving, or if the laughter will demean or upset a child.
Are you considering taking up a new interest? Why not consider painting? And no, I don't mean house-painting. Research has show that, not only is painting a lot of fun, it has great therapeutic value. It can ease the symptoms of stress and traumatic experiences. And.. it can help you connect with others. So... why not check out your local art and craft centres for local art workshops or, if you don't have the time or feel a little intimated, start with an online course. Check out painting-course.com or simplypainting.com which includes helpful video tutorials.
If you don't want to bother with all the paraphernalia and the cost of painting equipment, you could start with an ipad app. There are plenty to consider like Water Color Pencil, which has received good reviews. Draw It Easy includes helpful, clear step by step lessons.
Ice cream.. what's your favourite flavour? Is it good for you or bad? Which is the healthiest flavour? Do you know your ice cream?
Take this quick online quiz to test your ice cream IQ.
ICE CREAM QUIZ
While we all grew up knowing Streets and Paul’s as popular Australian ice creams, there are now many brands of ice-creams and ice confections in our supermarkets today. There are also some terrific specialised ice-creameries that you may visit yourself or with the kids. A notable example is Mammino Ice-cream, with their roadside store located between Bundaberg and Childers, but available online or from various outlets. This ice cream is renowned for its creamy and rich texture and the distinct flavour of Macadamia's which they grow and process off their own farm. Well worth a visit! Yum!
But, you can make your own healthy versions or try these Traffic Light Ices for the kids. See here..
The speed at which new technologies develop can be staggering for anyone. From social networking sites to blogs and podcasts, it is hard to keep up. But rather than feeling daunted, older consumers are adopting technology faster and faster.
Jokes about aging consumers who don’t know how to use their mobile phones should be a thing of the past. A majority has upgraded those phones to smart phones and they’re using them much like younger consumers. They are also rapidly increasing their use of mobile internet.
Within the last 3 years, mobile internet use by those aged 45-54 has increased from 28 to 53%. Those aged 55-64 have also increased their internet use from 17-30%.
* 45% of them have downloaded more than 10 apps in the last year.
* 33% of them read QR codes on their smartphones
* 35% download movies from Netflix or other streaming providers.
* 46% buy music by downloading it from a site like iTunes
Change is inevitable, especially technological change, and never more so than the rapid adoption of tablets- iPads in particular. Increasingly, older consumers are adopting the iPad and other tablets for email, accessing the internet, in fact, for every part of their life. Since the introduction of the iPad in 2010, consumers are finding and seeking lots of new ways to use this versatile device. After all, Baby Boomers and older consumers have been using technology for most of their working lives. They are also looking for technology that meets their needs. Tablets are ideal products for people who travel a lot, people who read a lot of books and people who rely on email to communicate.
Email has long been recognised as an easy way to connect and maintain contact with friends and family. Now, with social media, friends and family share their lives through comments, shared quotes, photos and images, links to video and shared interests. Over 154 million minutes are day are spent on social network sites. Those aged 50- 64 spend 20 minutes/day on social network sites. These sites include: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Flickr, YouTube etc. Many churches now have websites with links to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest, and some have their own app.
The Baby Boomer generation spends more time and money online than any other generation. An average of $650 every three months is spent online by those 47-65yrs, and the amount is growing. It's easy to access online shopping using an iPad or tablet- you can order while watching the TV or at the local coffee shop. While companies like Amazon and eBay have made their name in specialised retail spheres, businesses now recognise that, to survive, all businesses need an online presence. For some, this is little more than an online catalogue but increasingly shoppers are jumping online for their purchases, whether to compare prices or shop. And, shoppers are not content to shop within Australia alone but look to companies overseas for competitive prices and a larger range of merchandise. Many overseas companies are offering delivery of purchases within 3-4 days anywhere in the world. Shoppers are now sent information via email or text messages about special deals and sales whether pizza deals, grocery runs, discount holidays and more. Those businesses who do not keep pace with these new promotional strategies, are losing sales.
But tablets and iPads have increasingly highlighted the fun aspect of technology to the average user. Tablet owners ( aged18-64) spend almost four and a half hours on the internet each day compared with three and a half hours for non-tablet users.
So.. what are they doing? What apps appeal to users?
Tablets have real appeal as readers- ebooks. The cost of ebooks is substantially less and so easy to purchase and download instantly. Bibles and devotional material can be accessed via apps.Music and videos can easily be presented on tablets.
There are a huge number of games available- hugely popular games like Angry Birds and Cut the Rope, but also sudoku games, crosswords, strategy games, social games like Words with Friends and much more.
Apps help to organise your time and activities, provide journals and notebooks, remind you of birthdays and events and more. You can truly say, if there’s a need then there’s an app for that!
Whether by choice or necessity, grandparents today are being relied upon to step in and provide financial, emotional and practical support for families. The older generation is now more fit and active than ever before and have the time, energy and means to be able to step in and fill the gaps for the family. But they also need support and encouragement for this role, which, hopefully, will be found within these pages.