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Oct 21, 2009

Tinyprints Holiday cards are here

The Holiday season is quickly approaching and I wanted to write a quick article about what Tinyprints has to offer in terms of Holiday cards and gifts.

This year, Tinyprints really offers a lot of unique and exciting products, from custom photo cards to pop-up cards or even photo montage cards. And since Holiday is also about gathering and parties, this discount can also be used for Holiday party invitations, and many more great products.

All these cards, whether standard or more innovative formats, go through the same level of internal review before they are printed and shipped, to ensure the highest satisfaction.

I encourage you to browse Tinyprints to find out for yourselves which card or which collection will work for you this Holiday season.

Tinyprints ships to the US and Europe too. If you are interested for a 30% coupon code, email me at isabelle AT isabelles DOT net for specific information.


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Oct 19, 2009

Bear Gulch Cave, Pinnacles National Monument

My in-laws visited us from Germany for about a week, which was great. We hadn't seen them since May, and we enjoyed catching up. Plus, they took good care of Daniel, introducing him to new places, bringing a lot of toys (probably not necessary, though) and teaching him a lot of new German words. They also did the shopping for us and cooked dinner every night... It felt like a vacation!
As a result, we felt well rested over the weekend to do a "big" excursion, to Pinnacles National Monument. The park is well know for the rock formations and cliffs (very popular with climbers) and some caves. We decided to take the short trail (about 1 mile each way) to visit Bear Gulch cave, which is one of the biggest caves in the park.



Due to a misunderstanding with my husband, we had forgotten the baby backpack at home. At 21 months, Daniel is actually a good walker, and he didn't seem to mind hiking, even as we climbed up the mountain. The issue, though, is that he loves to explore everything he sees on the way, from stones to flowers to water puddles. A great thing in general, but we were going soooo slow! My husband ended up having to carry him on his shoulders for most of the climb. It was probably a good thing, though, because by the time we arrived in the cave, we needed Daniel to be fit and walk by himself. The cave is very narrow and steep, and it could have made it difficult to carry Daniel.

Daniel did great for the most part: very excited to get into the dark tunnel at first (he is currently fascinated by tunnels). He was also very intrigued by the water falls in the cave. He walked for about 3/4 of the cave and climbed 30-40 steps in the dark without complaining.


But then, he hit the point where he started to be very uncomfortable in the dark, tired and fussy. These few minutes of meltdown weren't fun. Taking a rest in a corner of the cave with a patch of light helped calm him down. But he didn't want to walk any further in the cave after that, and we had to carry him crying through the exit.

The big reward at the end of the cave is a nice lake surrounded by some of the cliffs. We took a nice break there, having snacks, laying on the grass, watching climbers go up and down, and things went back to normal pretty quickly. Daniel even walked a good part of the way back, until we decided that his constant distractions made us much too slow again... and he finished on my husband's shoulders again.



Overall, it was great to have a good excuse to get away from the day-to-day at home. Our weekends are usually very quiet and somewhat repetitive. We enjoy them like this most of the time. But this short trip was a good reminder of things we used to be passionate about, pre-baby: hiking, outdoors, spending time with friends, eating fast-food on the way to the countryside! Part of me had missed all of these things even if I didn't realize this until now.

We are considering joining friends for a weekend in a cabin in the Mount Shasta area in a few weeks. I look forward to having the chance to have a different type of weekend, and to start sharing with Daniel our passion for the outdoors.

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Oct 4, 2009

14 days of Gratitude Challenge and...

... I love it! It hasn't completely changed my world, and I haven't discovered a completely new wisdom for my life. But I like having the daily reminders to see the positive in all situations, good or bad, and appreciate what I have. It's so refreshing.
What has become clear is that I cherish the time with my family and friends more than anything else.
Even when I complain about Daniel starting to show signs of the Terrible 2 phase, or when I think my husband could do more to help, I know this is nothing against the joy I have to spend my life with them. And when I get distracted from calling my friends because of some trivial reason, I am reminded that they are important too, and that I should keep in touch. Everything else can wait.
So, here is to 2 weeks of Gratitude Challenge. I look forward to week 3 and what I will discover/be reminded off in the last stretch.
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Oct 1, 2009

Grateful for all 5 senses

Today's Gratitude Challenge task is to focus on one of the 5 senses and be grateful for it. I thought it would be an easy task. I am so happy to be able to see the world, and witness beautiful things with my own eyes: sunset by the beach, the fall colors on the trees, beautiful card designs from Tinyprints, my son smiling and happy, etc...
However, upon further thought, I realized that I appreciate all my senses equally, and I can't really isolate one from the others. They are all so important to me, and I am so grateful to be able to enjoy them all.

Take hearing for example. I enjoy listening to music a lot and I definitely think music enriches my life. As my readers already know, I am so excited to witness my son's language development. And then, there are the random sounds of the rain falling on trees, waves by the ocean, birds singing in the early morning, laughter of friends, etc... I can't imagine what life could be without hearing. So here, I am grateful for hearing too.

And now, on to taste. This one is obviously important too. I was raised in France, so I have come to appreciate food. This passion only got stronger when I traveled internationally and discovered many other foods... and I liked them all. Yes, I am thankful for taste. And by the same token, I am thankful for smell, as all good foods also smell wonderful. Not to mention the smell of flowers and woods, fresh laundry, and many other things.

Finally, what would be life without the sense of touch? Without the hugs and kisses from my son? Without being able to feel the coziness of a warm blanket or the softness of flowers?

Really, all these senses are important to me, and I am so grateful to be able to enjoy them all. Some people have to go through life with a limited ability for one sense or the other, and I know that they are missing a lot. I am so glad I can appreciate my life through all my senses.

Want to get inspired? Learn more about the Gratitude Challenge.

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