Category Archives: Technology

Review: Shutterfly

(This post is not sponsored, nor does Shutterfly even know I’m writing it…I’m just a huge fan.)

shutterfly

I first started having photo products made through Walmart.com, mainly because I could run into the store and pick it up, and it was quick and cheap. For the most part, I’ve been happy with them (except for the faux canvas prints…very cheap looking). I tried Shutterfly for the main reason that there are always free offers. I believe my first project was a free photo book, I just paid like $7.99 for shipping. (I’m always a little cautious when something is free except you pay shipping, but in this case, it’s totally worth it.)

So far I’ve used their free offers to get two photo books, free prints, a free calendar, and I have a set of free magnets on the way. (And yes, I’ve purchased things from them too.) Their photo books are pretty awesome. I’ve spent so much time scrapbooking, and I love the three dimensional aspect of it, (even though I’m not very good at it), but these printed ones look very professional.

I’ve also been impressed with their cards and print quality. I thought my photo printer was pretty decent until I saw the same prints side-by-side. Huge difference.

I purchased a mug for my mom for Christmas with family pictures and she loved it…It was a lot more vibrant than the walmart.com one I got around the same time.

My favorite by far has been the calendar I got last week. I really only got it because it was a free offer, but the quality blew me away. Unfortunately, I can’t post pictures because the calendar is a gift (that hasn’t been given yet), and most of the other things I’ve gotten have also been gifts.

I know there’s something to be said about having things done locally, and for the most part, I agree that local, handcrafted things are better, but for the quality and price I couldn’t be happier with Shutterfly. (I think if you were to pay full price plus the full shipping, then prices would be a little high, but with all of the free offers, you can’t really go wrong.)

They always have sales going on and from what I can find, they are currently running two promotions (there was an offer for 101 free prints that ended yesterday…whomp):

  • Free mousepad with purchase using code MOUSEMENOT Good thru 9/30
  • Free 20-Page 8″x8″ Photo Book with code SUMMERBOOK. Only pay for shipping ($7.99) Good thru 9/11.

Here is a link to their promo page to check all of their current offers. Plus, they post a lot of special deals via their Twitter page and Instagram.

 

Have you ever used online printing for photo gifts, or business cards? Or do you prefer to shop locally?

Living A Distraction Free Month

A few days ago Matt Mullenweg (@photomatt) tweeted the following video of Joe Kraus talking about creating a “culture of distraction“. Joe talks about how we are constantly distracted, what we’re losing, and what we can do about it. Something really important happened to me while I was watching the talk…I was captivated by what he was saying, but I really had to fight the urge to not open another browser tab to do something else, I don’t even know what, just something else while I was listening. He had me convinced. I love being in “the zone”, but I hate to admit that it just doesn’t happen that often. I find it incredibly hard to sit and focus.

I’ve searched for “how to be productive” on more than one occasion, and I’ve downloaded programs, tried different products, etc, but they usually don’t make a difference. My problem isn’t not having the tools, it’s not being able to focus. Even just writing this for the past few minutes I’ve received/sent text messages and emails, I’ve had to fight the urge to get up and grab another cup of tea, and I feel like I’m bouncing around.

So here I am, publicly admitting that I have a problem. In an attempt to get to the root of the problem, I’m going to try to have less distractions and live more mindfully for the next 30 days.

My rules:

  • Less browser tabs (I currently have 30 open and that’s a lot less than normal). Maybe no more than 5 (?) at a time.
  • 30 minute walks three times a week  WITH my phone, but without using it.
  • NO using the phone while interacting with people. I try not to do this anyway because I HATE when I’m talking to someone and they start playing with their phone, but this goes for if I’m out somewhere with someone, or at family’s house, even if we aren’t talking at the moment.
  • Make a good effort to do one thing at a time. Pretend like I can only do one task at a time. Drink a cup of tea. Eat a sandwich. Watch a movie. Just one thing at a time.
  • Meditate, even if only a few minutes every day.
  • Write every day. Even if it’s writing about how much I don’t want to be writing.
  • Embrace “gap time”. I will not email/check twitter/whatever while standing in line at the grocery store.
I think this is a slightly harder 30 day trial because the steps aren’t as tangible as “don’t eat meat” or “exercise everyday”, but I will keep brainstorming and working towards it. In the meantime, take 15 minutes out of your day to watch the video below. Do nothing else. It’s interesting, I promise.