My Holiday Motto

This year my holiday season motto will be Plan Ahead. Well, really, my holiday motto will be Peace, Joy and Goodwill towards Men, but my holiday preparedness motto will be Plan Ahead. We all know how crazy it can get during this time.

There’s so much to do in December—shopping, wrapping, baking, decorating… you know the drill. Last year, I tried a different motto: Simplify. I didn’t bake, culled my Santa collection, putting fewer on display, and cut back on the decorations. Turns out, I don’t like to simplify. I missed my Santas and wished I had put up the time-consuming decoration on the dining room light fixture.

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This year I’m hoping Plan Ahead will let me do all the things I want to do for the holidays without the stress and craziness of cramming it all into a few weeks. I have to admit that it goes against my nature to start Christmas too early. It kind of drives me crazy to see Christmas lights on the day after Halloween. And Thanksgiving always gets short-changed. But I figure that as long as I keep my early work under wraps until December, it’s acceptable. No one has to know that I’m doing my Christmas cards in early November since I won’t mail them out until December.

So this week I’m doing my Christmas cards. I’ve already selected the pictures of the boys I’ll use and have started looking through the card designs available. I’m going to use the My KODAK MOMENTS App on my smartphone to create my cards. The pictures I want to use are already in my photo stream and the convenience of using my smartphone can’t be beat. Standing in line at the grocery store, waiting for the kids to finish sports practice, a few zone out minutes with my smartphone at the end of the day—all perfect times to open up the App and check out the card designs. What will it be—trendy chalkboard, vintage appeal, whimsical polka dots or traditional cheer. There are literally hundreds to choose from!

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We make it quick and easy to make your holiday cards and other photo products. There are a variety of convenient options from which to choose. Walk into a store and use the KODAK Picture Kiosk or try the KODAK MOMENTS Apps on your smartphone or tablet wherever you are, to create photo gifts which you can pick up on your way home from work or have delivered right to your house.

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Another benefit of planning ahead—I can take advantage of the great discount being offered until November 15th: 33% off all premium photo products. While I’m getting the jump on my holiday cards, I should probably also get my act together and do the annual photo books and calendars (also on sale!) for the Grandmas too!

(And for those of you who choose to go with a different motto this holiday season, we also offer New Year’s cards!)

Bonnie Marcus Holiday Card Collection

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The holiday season is one of my favorite times of year at the Bonnie Marcus Collection design studio!  All of the holiday card designs that we’ve worked so diligently on throughout the year are finally available to our customers!  I can hardly wait to see which are everyone’s “favorites!”  (Of course, they are ALL my favorites!)

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This year’s collection was inspired by my love of everything that sparkles!  When I launched my business 10 years ago, I hand-sparkled all of my invitation designs to make each one a special work of art. I am thrilled that the advanced print methods at the KODAK Picture Kiosks could replicate the beautiful texture of the glitter that we use in our designs. Your friends and family will love these new beautiful, festive, sparkling card designs!

Another trend that has inspired our new holiday collection is my love of chalkboard-style design, which makes one nostalgic for the simpler days, before email and smartphones were our primary methods of communication.  Our chalkboard-style holiday card designs are definitely some of my favorites!

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One of the questions I am frequently asked is “How do I make sure that my holiday card stands out from the crowd?”  (What they are really asking is “How do I make sure that my card ‘makes the mantle’?”)  Many families receive hundreds of holiday photo cards during the holiday season!

To make sure that yours stands out from the crowd, my suggestion is to start with a theme in mind – something that is special and unique to your family. What are your family’s passions or pastimes?  If it’s sports, I would suggest taking your family photo at a favorite stadium.  If it’s boating, consider taking your photo out on the water.  Choose something that is representative of you and your family…. and don’t forget to include the family pets as well!

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Another tip is to make sure that you take lots of photos – both group photos and individual ones. With 3 little boys in our family, there is a high probability that one of the boys will be making a funny face in every group photo.  So…. to guarantee that you’ll be greeting card ready, make sure that you take individual shots of each family member as well as group photos, because you may opt for a card that has individual photos of each child, if the group photo didn’t turn out exactly how you had envisioned.

It may also be helpful to do a little advance research and choose a few designs that you love prior to even taking your photos.  Perhaps the card you love will set the tone for your photo shoot.  Whether your design style is modern, traditional, nostalgic, religious, or high-fashion, there are such a wide range of options available on the KODAK Picture Kiosk – I’m sure you’ll find one that is perfect for your family!

Designing our photo card is actually a “family activity” for my children.  They love helping to create the cards on the KODAK Photo Kiosks at our local Target.  The machines are very easy to use, and our favorite feature is that you can view your photos in color, black & white, and sepia tones, and then choose the one that looks best with your layout.  My kids love “designing” their own cards at the kiosks, and I love being able to have them print while we shop – instant gratification, no shipping charges, and one more thing off the “to do” list!

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EXCITING NEWS!
I will be giving one lucky fan a fabulous exclusive Bonnie Marcus Collection tote bag filled with $100 worth of stylish goodies – from a fashionable iPhone case (4 or 5 avail.) to designer post-it notes, chic thank you notes, stylish stationery sets and more!  For a paper lover, this is truly a dream come true!  The winner will definitely have their stylish stationery needs satisfied in 2014 (and beyond).

To enter to win, head over to the Bonnie Marcus Collection Facebook page and look for the post about the sweepstakes. Leave a comment about your family’s most memorable holiday “Kodak Moment.”  One Bonnie Marcus Collection fan will be chosen at random.  Good luck!

UPDATE: The sweepstakes is over and the winner of the Kodak moments Holiday Gift Box is Montana Griffin!

Cheers to a joyous, meaningful holiday season!

All the best,
Bonnie
Owner, Bonnie Marcus Collection “where fashion meets paper®”

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Exclusive Bonnie Marcus Mother’s Day cards at Target

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Now through Mother’s Day, you can find exclusive Bonnie Marcus Collection cards at Target through Kodak Picture Kiosk.

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“We love our partnership with Bonnie. She is a ‘mom-preneur’ who combines her experience in fashion and entertainment to create a sophisticated line of stationery that will be a keepsake for moms nationwide,” said Garth Neenan, Regional Business Manager, US & C Personal Imaging Division, Kodak.  “Consumers can create these one-of-a-kind cards, ensuring Mother’s Day is made even more special with a signature card from one of the leading designers of greeting cards and stationery.”

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“It’s an amazing opportunity to continue to work with Kodak, such an iconic brand known for preserving family memories in special and lasting ways,” said Bonnie Marcus.  “I  love creating designs that I, as a mother, would want to receive, and that I know will put a smile on the face of countless other Moms on May 12.  Every mom treasures a card that features her own family/children!”

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To help you make Mother’s Day really memorable we are offering a Buy One Get One free folded 5×7 card offer by downloading a coupon at http://kodak.ly/momd13

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Leprechaun pugs & Greeting Card Universe

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If you thought I was going to let a holiday go by without dressing up my dogs and taking photos of them, boy were you wrong.    oscar-card-full

For St. Patrick’s Day, I posed them with a store-bought leprechaun hat and a homemade felt ginger beard.

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Unlike typical leprechauns they are looking for a pot of corned beef at the end of the rainbow.

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I have a few St. Patrick’s Day-loving friends that I want to give cards to. It was really easy to upload these photos to Greeting Card Universe and addthem to St. Patrick’s Day card templates.

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I could have had them shipped to my house but I need them right away so I had them directed to Target for pick-up. I can stop at Target on my way home and get them!

I might try and get some pics of the cat in the outfit too!