Did You Know: Holiday Edition

  • The first Christmas card was commissioned by Sir Henry Cole in London in 1843.
  • In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card.
  • Hallmark estimates that 2.1 billion holiday cards are sent each year.
  • The average American household mails out 28 holiday cards and receives 28 cards in return.
  • In the early 19th century, women’s service groups collected greeting cards, removed pictures and created scrapbooks for children in hospitals, orphanages, kindergartens and missions before picture books became readily available and affordable.
{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photo © Rob Westbrook}


Great Holiday Value-Priced Wines

  With so many reasons to celebrate the season, it's always smart to have a good bottle of wine (or two) on hand. Here are some of my favorite value wines to have around for the holidays.

"Red Wine Grapes" by Christopher Clark Art on Etsy

Chateau Ste Michelle Riesling ($9) - A classic reisling -- it's light and refreshing, with a lightly sweet finish. Pairs well with most food.

Castello del Poggio Moscato ($11) - On its own or paired with a dessert, the wine offers a sweet, lightly sparkling finish to any meal. This wine is also on the wine list at Olive Garden, a great indication that a wine is enjoyed by many people.

Crios de Susana Balbo Rose of Malbec ($12) - Has a surprising amount of body for a rosé wine, and beautiful aromas of fresh strawberries. Great for toasting!

Seven Daughters Red Blend ($13) - A great blend of Syrah, Grenache, Merlot and a few other grapes. You taste a lot of blackberries and other fruit up front, but it ends on a spicy  note. Pairs well with a variety of cheeses.

Red Truck Red Blend ($9) - Another great blend with strong fruit flavors and a nice lingering aftertaste.  It's very approachable and food friendly. A nice value wine.

Dynamite Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon ($11) - Ripe and juicy in currant and chocolate flavors. Favorite food pairings include anything from pepperoni pizza to meats from the grill or oven, especially roasted prime rib or rack of lamb.


Fun Photography Randomness

 These are some fun things I've gathered from around the web lately! Enjoy! :)
  • People continue to push the boundaries of what’s considered photography. Aaron Hobson takes Google Street View photographs and converts them to fine art pieces. Some of them, I have to say, are pretty darn good.
  • They say audio is at least 50% of any motion picture experience. This piece from Oliviatech.com is a useful insight into audio capture. (Have to support the fellow Olivias of the world.) ;)
  • Don’t like your day job? Neither did Ansel Adams, so you’re in good company. He felt his commercial work was cutting into his art too.
  • It really is the photographer, not the camera – and Annie Leibovitz adds to that sentiment. Her favorite snapshot camera – the iPhone.
  • The world’s most expensive photo just sold for $4.33 million. Art critics and observers are baffled.
  • File this one in the “Seriously?” department. A woman got fired for taking cute photographs of euthanized dogs at a shelter.
  • Last, but not least, it's time for the annual sale at BorrowLenses.com !!! Some of the sneak peeks of items for sale include (as stated on their blog):

    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II
    Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II: This is the newest version of the 70-200mm lens and it’s world-class. On sale now for $1999. New, this lens costs over $2400. (pictured above and on my wish list)

    Canon 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro: My favorite lens of all time, the new ones sell for around $1000. On sale for $850. (also on my wish list, but frequently rented and/or borrowed)


Should I or Shouldn't I? The Christmas Card Conundrum

In the hustle and bustle of the holidays, you may be wondering if sending cards is worth the time and expense. After all, email, Facebook and the like keep those who are on your list updated throughout the year. So should you still send a snail mail holiday greeting? Absolutely. But you want more of an answer than that, don’t you?

November to December is a whirlwind of activity and the thought of adding one more item to your to-do list is enough to make you head straight for the adult bowl of eggnog. But let’s take a step back. The holidays are the time of year when we are reminded of the incredible people we have in our lives (can we say “Auld Lang Syne”?), and we treat them with our gifts and time. What better way to do that than with a greeting card?

In today’s age of tweets and texts, receiving a heart-felt note in the mail holds special meaning. We’re not talking about a rambling year-in-review novel. But taking the time to put together a simple greeting for those special people in your life will give you the opportunity to stop and consider those near and dear, and will put a smile on their faces when they receive your tidings-filled message.

Now is the time of year to put down the Crackberry, turn on the Bing Crosby, grab a pen and a hot chocolate, and take a few moments to do something special for those you love. It’s a grand gesture with a small price tag. And imagine the looks on your family's faces when they witness your archaic form of communication. They might even be inspired to send a few of their own. . . .

{© 2011 Blog Boutique | Meagan of Defining Motherhood | Photo © Meagan Church}


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