tech-section

Category : Apps

Whether you’re a first time mom, a mom who is still expecting or a veteran nursing mom, you’re going to want to add this new app to your list of must-haves for surviving the first few months of your baby’s arrival. Released earlier this month from everyone’s go-to brand for all things breastfeeding, Medela, the MyMedela app is your new go-to spot for everything you’ll need to nurse your baby. From nursing tips that are easy to scroll through as you’re up for that late-night feeding to a spot where you can track each time your little one nurses, this all-in-one app is amazing… and it’s free!

Why you should try the MyMedela app

Did you know that The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that while 79 percent of moms initiate breastfeeding, only 41 percent are breastfeeding exclusively at three months? We all know that an app probably isn’t going to solve every breastfeeding issue you may encounter, but it can certainly enhance your experience, especially with the features built into the MyMedela app.

MyMedela Free Breastfeeding App for Moms

Some of our favorite features include that you can include track your pumping in the app alongside your baby’s feedings to give you a full picture of her daily feeding routine, the goal setting feature that delivers customized feedback to help you reach your breastfeeding goals (and, they’re actually encouraging, not demeaning!) and the built-in reminders that you can set to pop up on your phone.

Win a Medela Freestyle Breastpump

Medela Freestyle Breastpump Giveaway

To celebrate the launch of the new MyMedela app, we’re giving away a Medela Freestyle Breastpump to one lucky Savvy Sassy Moms reader! The Medela Freestyle Breastpump ($400 value) is a compact, lightweight double electric breastpump with a rechargeable battery for on-the-go pumping.

Please enter using the Rafflecopter form below.
Must be at least 18-years-old to enter and win.
US residents only.
No PO boxes.
Giveaway ends August 12, 2015 at 11:59 p.m.

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I take way too many pictures on my phone. You probably have the same problem. Snap a few here. Snap a few there and then forget about them. Them there they sit on your phone for weeks (or more), until one day you scroll through and find a keeper. It’s then that you realize it’s pretty much the best photo you’ll ever get of your kids, and you want to print it. That in itself is a big endeavor, one that moms who are crazy busy like me can forget about as quickly as the original idea came. And getting said printed photo into a frame? Forget about it!

In comes Pictli, a new app that does all the work for you. It’s totally simple and absolutely foolproof, which is exactly what we all need.

Getting starting with Pictli

Start by downloading the app. It’s free and available for on iTunes or you can do it online via the Pictli website.

How to use the Pictli app

But let’s be realistic. You’re gonna do it on your phone, because your phone is basically attached to your arm already, right? From the app, click on the “Let’s Go” button to get started. Next, pick an image that you want to print. You can choose it from your phone’s camera roll, Facebook, or Instagram. Then you choose the size you want. Right now they just offer 7×5 vertically or horizontally, but really a larger picture might be too big.

After that you choose a frame. Right now they have 15 frames and most are very simple – think unfinished wood, different metals, and standard black and white. Like I said, simple, but it allows for your photo to really pop.

I ended up choosing a photo of my boys that was taken on Mother’s Day at Descanso Gardens in La Canada, CA. I had it on my phone for weeks, and was waiting (er, procrastinating) on when to get it printed. I knew I wanted it framed for the mantel, but again, when would I have time to do that (never)!

Pictli Picture Printing and Framing App

So much to love

Pictli made it easy for me to get the job done. I could even edit the photo inside the app to make sure the lighting and color was just right. You also have the option of cropping and changing the print style (black and white, sepia, etc.) but I decided to let the bright colors speak for themselves.

The end result was great and it cost me no more than $25, which when you think about it is pretty great for convenience and the quality of the pic and frame.

Pictli app for printing and framing picturesIt came in the cutest box, wrapped and ready to go. In fact the wrapping was so perfect, that I immediately ordered another for my mother. It makes the perfect gift for grandparents. I mean, who wouldn’t want to see those smiling faces every day!

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Health apps for teens make hard conversations easier

Talking to your preteen or teen daughter about her first period doesn’t have to be an awkward conversation. The Clue app offers a way for girls to track the physical and emotional changes involved with tracking their monthly cycles. Learn tips about talking to your daughter about her first period and check out the ways the health app for teens can make the transition easier for girls.

health app for teens

The Clue app helps you and your teen understand your monthly cycles

Designed to be informative and user-friendly, the Clue app announces immediately: Confident. Scientific. Not pink. We don’t have a problem with pink around here, but the idea that Clue is based on science and data will help moms and daughters talk about their monthly cycles in a way that helps everyone. Your menstrual cycle is about so much more than your actual period, and tracking your physical state and emotions throughout the month can help your teen make sense of the fluctuations happening throughout the month.

health app for teens

Increased app use makes Clue more accurate — and more helpful

Clue reminds women, “Get to know your body. It’s not a clock.” The more you use the Clue app, the more accurately the app can make predictions about your next cycle. This increased accuracy is helpful for teens who are just learning about the way their bodies feel during different parts of their menstrual cycle. Women will find Clue to be an amazing app for tracking fertility, as well as their monthly cycle. Accurate tracking helps Clue predict your window of fertility each month, which is crucial when you’re trying to get pregnant.

How to talk to your teen or preteen about her first period

Ida Tin, the Founder and CEO of the Clue app, has helpful, practical information to help moms talk to their daughters about their first periods. Her advice can be helpful even if you’re talking to a family friend or a niece.

  • Leave euphemisms out of it. There’s no need to be vague or mysterious about periods. Half the world’s population experiences a menstrual cycle at some point, after all. Talk plainly to your kids about what’s happening – or if you’re not comfortable, give them some accurate but accessible reading material (like the info in Clue!)
  • Share your experience. Do you remember your first period? Whether your story was casual or embarrassing, funny or mundane, it can be helpful to your daughter to know that you went through the same things that she’s experiencing.
  • Atypical is typical. Menstrual cycles for teens can range from 21-45 days — and that’s totally normal in early menstruators, because the hormonal system/circuitry that regulates their cycles is still maturing. For most women it takes about six years for their cycle to settle into a personal “normal.”
  • Play and pamper. From period underwear to mail-order period care packages, there’s tons of ways to make your teen feel special and celebrated leading up to and during her first cycle.
Have you had to have the period talk with a daughter, niece or family friend? How did it go?
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Raise your hand if you have too much time in your day? No one? Me neither. Luckily, I rely on some helpful apps to help me get stuff done. Here are four of my favorite time saving apps apps that I use every single day to keep me organized and to help me save time.

4 Time saving apps to download right now

Time-Saving Apps: Wunderlist

Wunderlist

Like you, I’m managing a mind-boggling list of different types of to-dos. I have interviews to schedule and articles to write for work. There are random errands for the house, returns for too-small clothes and dry cleaning waiting to be picked up. For my kids, there are lessons to pay for, permission slips to sign and next season’s teams to fill out forms for. The number — and variety — of to-dos always amazes me, but I try to keep on top of it all with Wunderlist. This list-making app has a simple interface, lets me categorize my tasks by labels I create, allows me to set due dates and will even let you share lists with others (aka, shopping lists with the husband). Best of all, it has a sweetly satisfying “Ding!” sound when I complete a task and check it off my list.

 

Time-Saving Apps: OurGroceries App

OurGroceries

If you don’t use a shopping list app, stop whatever it is you are doing and download one now. I’ve used Ziplist for years, but since they are no longer supporting the app, I’ve been migrating over to OurGroceries. Here’s the beauty of a shopping list app: When you have a random thought at work or on the treadmill or while you’re waiting for baseball practice to end — I’m out of razor blades/light bulbs/dog food/bananas — you simply add it to a list for the appropriate store and then next time you’re at that store, instead of banging your head trying to remember what you needed, you just calmly check your phone and feel brilliantly awesome and on-top of it all.

There are lots of shopping list apps out there, but one of the reasons I like OurGroceries is because it also have a web-interface, meaning you can access your account, make lists and add to your existing lists from a web browser. I find this particularly useful for meal planning, which I like to do at my computer Saturday mornings with a hot cup of coffee, my Bon Appetit issue, my Recipes to Try Pinterest board and the week’s weather report (can’t be scheduling pot roast for Wednesday if it’s going to be 75 degrees outside!).

 

Time-Saving Apps: Evernote

 

Evernote

As parents, we receive and need to retrieve a ridiculous amount of information on a given day. The name of a fellow mom on your son’s soccer team. Tonight’s dinner menu. The name of a book your BFF recommend to you during a walk that now you’re trying to remember while you’re at the bookstore. Your daughter’s volleyball game schedule for the month. And the list goes on.

With Evernote, you can save any kind of information you need. It’s not just for recipes (though I use it for that). Not just for lists or scanned documents or notes (though I use it for all that too). It’s like an alter-brain. Make notes about anything or everything and when you need to recall that important info, just open up Evernote on the web, your computer, or your phone and type in a keyword or two to pull up the note. Sure, you Type-A moms can create elaborate filing and tagging systems (I tagged a bunch of recipes with “fall” for easy menu planning and “re-read” for those articles I know parenting will require that I read again), but the beauty of Evernote is that you don’t have to. Save a zillion notes on a zillion different topics and with a simple search box you can call up just that thing you were trying to remember.

 

Time-Saving Apps: GoogleCalendar

Google Calendar

I know there are lots of calendar apps out there, but since I’m already pretty Google-integrated with Gmail and Google Docs, I rely heavily on and thoroughly enjoy Google Calendar. I access it through the basic calendar app that comes on the iPhone, but Google also has it’s own brand new app you can download.

The key is in how you use it. I create different calendars for my personal life, our family obligations, the kids’ schedules, my work, and even things like keeping track of workouts. My husband also uses Google Calendar for his work, which allows me to see his day, week and month in a color-coded array of activities. An, most importantly, turn those calendars on or off as needed. Need to see what’s due this week for work? I only click on my work calendar. Trying to schedule dinner with friends? No need for 50 back-and-forth texts/emails with my husband. I can check his schedule, my schedule and add something to our family schedule without a conversation.

It may sound heartless that one of the benefits of using this app is that it cuts down on communication between me and my husband, but in parenting, there is so much managing that goes on — Who’s picking up Merric from practice? Can you watch the kids during my haircut? Do we have a free Friday in May to have dinner with your parents? — these are not the quality conversations that build a relationship. Necessary, yes, but they can make a marriage feel more like a business than a bond. With Google Calendar, I can keep all parts of my life scheduled, organized and on-time without lots of extra communication.

What are your favorite time-saving apps?
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The best yoga apps offer zen on the go

Whether you have a sick little one or just can’t figure out the latest change in a napping routine, some days it seems impossible to make time to get to your go-to yoga class. The best yoga apps can help you find your zen from your living room or a hotel room. Supplement your yoga practice with a little help from your favorite tech devices.

Looking for more ways to stay fit on the go? Try these fabulous fitness apps.

best yoga apps

Yoga Studio offers classes for all levels

Yoga Studio has 24 hours of ready-made HD yoga videos, with instruction crafted for various levels from beginner to expert. In addition, you can create your own classes from the 280 yoga poses available. Developed by a qualified instructor, creating a class is simple with unique features like pose blocks and smart-link. The best part? Once you’ve crafted a class, the app turns it into a free-flowing video, just like the ready-made classes.

best yoga apps

Maximize your time with 5 Minute Yoga

Even if you don’t have time to fit in a regular yoga class, you can squeeze five minutes out of your day for 5 Minute Yoga. Ideal for beginners because of its simple, but effective, poses, the 5 Minute Yoga app has a library of 350 different sessions — so you’re never bored. In order to make the most of your time, poses are timed, and you choose music from your own library, so you’re listening to music that relaxes you.

best yoga apps

 

Pocket Yoga understands your yoga practice varies with your days

Life with kids differs day to day, and Pocket Yoga knows your yoga practice needs to differ, too. The app allows you to customize each of your yoga workouts by level, time and types of yoga practice, so it’s truly an app that will grow with you as your yoga needs change. If you have trouble with a particular pose, the comprehensive dictionary explains clearly and concisely how to attempt it. The Pocket Yoga app doesn’t require network connectivity, so you can truly practice anywhere.

best yoga apps

 

 Salute The Desk knows sitting at a desk all day can hurt

Sitting at a desk for long periods of time — whether you’re working at home or in the office — can lead to tired posture and tense muscles. Salute The Desk has a series of 27 poses and two guided relaxation sessions to help combat the fatigue that comes from sitting at a desk. The app isn’t just useful for those who sit for work, either. Use it during road trips or when you’ll be on a plane, or simply during the day when you’re sitting on the floor and playing with your little ones.

best yoga apps

Daily Burn knows pregnancy doesn’t have to interrupt your yoga practice

Beautiful Belly by Daily Burn offers yoga instruction for all stages of your pregnancy. Briohny Smyth is a renowned yogi who teaches classes all around the world. Now, the Beautiful Belly app brings Briohny into your living room — or anywhere you have a little space to relax — to present customized yoga practice for each of your trimesters. When your little one is born, Beautiful Belly will help you ease back into yoga practice with the post-natal yoga section.

best yoga apps

Kids Yogaverse lets kids join your yoga practice

Kids Yogaverse uses storytelling, fun pose descriptions and simple relaxation techniques to introduce kids to yoga. Their apps have different suggested ages. I Am Love is recommended for 4-8 year olds, and the app is easy enough that kids can use it on their own. A little storytelling never hurt anyone, though, and the Kids Yogaverse series can be a fantastic way to spend some quality time sharing your love for yoga with your children.best yoga apps

Do you have a favorite fitness app?
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Toddlet Screen Time Best Apps and Learning Programs
Fun kids’ apps and other programs for quality screen time

Like it or not, screens are a part of all of our lives. Try to make the best decisions about screen time limits and screen time use for your kids by choosing TV shows, apps, and games that parents and kids both enjoy. With the right choices, screen time doesn’t have to be a point of contention in families.

BabyTV offers a complete screen time experience

BabyTV is a commercial-free option for parents of young children. The shows and apps are developed by experts and focus on kids under four, introducing fun character like Charlie & The Numbers to introduce counting, Big Bugs Band, who play all different styles of music and The Cuddlies – short stories with a moral. BabyTV isn’t only about letting kids spend time watching action unfold on a screen — there are interactive activities that reinforce learning in fun, exciting ways.

An app to help young readers increase comprehension

Question Builder knows reading comprehension isn’t only about knowing the words on a screen. The app builds critical thinking skills with 1200 audio clips of questions and answers, based on three different levels of abstract thinking.

Young wizards will love the Mathly Hallows

Complaints about the Common Core abound, apps can help kids have fun with math skills within the standards set forth by the Common Core. Work on mental math skills at various levels and protect the Mathly Hallows from monsters. Kids earn different levels from apprentice to master wizard, and parents receive progress reports about the different levels their kids are reaching.

CHALK Online Preschool Savvy Sassy Moms

Try an online preschool curriculum

CHALK Preschool Online provides an opportunity for parents to access a preschool curriculum developed by a brick and mortar school from the comfort of their homes. CHALK combines online activities, taught by a person on the screen, with hands-on activities. Daily art projects encourage kids to learn, and dance and music are part of the curriculum to build motor skills in a fun, organic way.

The comprehensive curriculum includes core subjects such as literacy, math, and science.

  • Preschool lessons align with Early Childhood Learning Standards
  • Hands-on activities
  • Integration of cooking, geography, and weather
  • Play-Based teaching methods
  • Both indoor and outdoor activities
  • References using real life visuals
  • Optional activities that continue the learning beyond the computer

CHALK Preschool

CHALK Preschool Online knows you can use screen time to access a quality preschool curriculum for your little ones, but sometimes you want high-quality, family-friendly entertainment options, too. We love CHALK’s “Chaulkutainment”:

Let’s face it. Screening every bit of entertainment your child watches is no easy task. Our Chalk-U-Tainment library is for families seeking high-quality, child-safe content they can feel good about letting their child explore. Subscribers get on-demand access to hours of music videos, webisodes, kids’ talk shows and interactive books that can be viewed across a variety of devices, at home or on the go.

Try CHALK Preschool Online {giveaway!}

CHALK Preschool Online is providing one Savvy Sassy Moms reader with a complimentary scholarship to the online preschool! You’ll have access to the resources and curriculum available to all CHALK Preschool students and can get started at any time.

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4 Easy ways to print photos

Now that the new year is here, it’s time to turn those precious memories from 2014 into books and prints that you can keep at home. Here are some of our favorite photo printing ideas to get those memories off of your phone to make room to create new ones in 2015!

Chatbooks

Chatbooks

Chatbooks is one of the newest ways to turn the photos from your phone into photo books and they are one of our favorites. Using the Chatbooks app — available for both iPhone and Android —, you can upload your Instagram or other photos from your phone to create a 60-page photo book for just $6 (including shipping!). Each book is 6×6-inches and there are options to make books with additional photos, as well. We love Chatbooks for clearing all of your 2014 pictures from your phone, then start using them for making books throughout the new year!

GrooveBook

Groovebooks

GrooveBook is a similar idea, but as a monthly subscription service! Available for both iPhone and Android, start by addin the GrooveBook app to your smart device. Once a month, you get to choose up to 100 of your favorite photos to make a photo book. GrooveBook automatically prints and ships it to you for just $3, including shipping. This is such a fantastic photo printing option for moms who never get around to making photo books! They even send you reminder emails if you haven’t picked the photos for your book that month.

Pinhole Press

Pinhole PressIf you’re looking for more creative ways to print your photos this year, take a peek at Pinhole Press. Beyond the typical photo books, they feature some fantastic photo gifts for kids, such as the Mini Storybook of Names and Faces ($30, pictured above), Flash Cards ($25) and Memory Game ($20).

Print Studio

Print Studio

Formerly know as Printstagram, Print Studio is the place to order Instagram prints. Their website and app both sync up with your Instagram account, making it easy to print the photos you want, no matter where you are. And, their Infamous Square Prints ($12 for a set of 24) are well-priced and great for displaying at home. Not an Instagram-fanatic? You can also upload and print non-Instagram photos directly from your computer on the Print Studio website.

More fun and easy photo ideas

Geek Meets Chic: Get those photos off your phone!
Print photos for a quick decorating pick-me-up
Photo storage options to keep your holiday memories safe

What do you use to print your photos?
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Quick! There’s still time!

Trust us, we’re not judging you for not having your Christmas cards in the mail yet this year… or even for just thinking about it for the first time during this holiday season. We get it. But, if you’re feeling the twinge to send cards this year, consider using one of these Christmas card apps that make sending cards easier than building a gingerbread house.

Ink Cards

Christmas Card Apps- Ink Cards Logo

Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android

If you love pretty, designer holiday cards, Ink Cards is going to be your favorite new app. You can upload any picture from your phone, or one of your social media accounts, and even edit it as you’d like within the app. Then, simply choose your favorite card, personalize it and add any messages you’d like to include, add recipients from your phone’s address book and pay to send them. Cards cost approximately $2 each, including postage.

justWink

Christmas Card Apps- JustWink App Logo

Available for: iPad, iPhone, Android, Nook, Kindle Fire

JustWink is a card-sending app that specializes in sending digital greeting cards… for free! Once you’re in the app, pick your card, add a photo and message and even a personalized signature. Then, choose how to send your card — via email, Facebook or text. You can add multiple people to send it to and it delivers it to them immediately. JustWink will send old fashioned paper cards for a fee as well, approximately $3.50 per card, although Christmas delivery is no longer guaranteed.

Red Stamp Cards

Christmas Card Apps- Red Stamp

 

Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android

Another Christmas card app that will have you swooning (and, likely hugging your phone with excitement!) is Red Stamp Cards. A spin-off of the popular Red Stamp Cards website, where you can send both paper and digital greeting cards and invitations, the app is just as fantastic and the card selection is top-notch. Pick your card, add your photo and custom message, then save it to email or send digitally via social media straight from the app. They will also send traditional paper cards or postcards for you, starting at $3.

Are you sending Christmas cards this year?
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Tykester knows leaving your kids is hard

You don’t have to be a new mom to know being away from your kids can be tough. Whether your little ones occasionally stay with friends or family members, or you drop off your child with a caregiver each day, wanting to check in is natural. Calling all the time can be awkward, either because it’s inconvenient for you or for the person in charge of your child. Paper notes passed between parents and caregivers at the end of the day feel a little incomplete and can get lost in the car before you even have a chance to look at them.

Tykester

Tykester app helps parents and caregivers stay connected

The Tykester parenting app is an amazing — and paper free! — way for parents to connect with their children’s caregivers when on the go. Updates can be done in real time, so parents know if kids are currently playing outside or just woke up from an extra-long nap. Not only does Tykester let caregivers provide current, detailed information on children, it gives parents the opportunity to feel connected to their little ones. Knowing your toddler had a super-short nap before you pick him up can help put parents in the right frame of mind for the mood their child will be in when you arrive.

Tykester

The Tykester difference

Not only does Tykester give parents more detailed access to their children’s days, the app is helpful for caregivers as well. Available as a free app for mobile devices and desktops for both iOS and Android, Tykester is an easy way for anyone to stay connected with their caregivers — and because it’s free, parents can connect with regular childcare providers, family members, or even friends watching their kids for the afternoon. Instead of filling out several forms saying the same thing, for various parents, caregivers can update a group of parents with one click of a button. Playing outside? Fingerpainting? An entire group of parents can be updated with the information instead of a paper system that involves multiples copies containing identical information. Solid communication goes both ways — parents can check in quickly with the “What’s Up?” feature of the app. Learn more FAQs about Tykster and find out if it’s right for your family.

Tykester app

Why Tykester will work for you

Even if you don’t use a childcare provider on a regular basis, Tykester is a fantastic app for on-the-go parents. Parents can use Tykester as a stand-alone app to track their child’s patterns in behavior, moods, eating, and sleeping. Moms and Dads can use it to communicate, and it is a fun way for grandparents to see a tot’s schedule in action before coming over to babysit for the day. Tykester can even be used to share photos.

parenting apps

Watch Tykester in action

Stay connected with Tykester
How do you stay connected to your kids while you’re away from them?
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Print photos you love

Don’t let all those adorable photos sit in the black holes of your camera’s memory or your computer’s hard drive. With so many places to print photos, you can keep your current favorites displayed in your home all the time. Printing Instagram photos may quickly become your home decorating guilty pleasure.

print photos
Printstagram brings your Instagrams to life

If you like Instagram, you’ll love Printstagram. Prinstagram takes your most-obsessed over Instagrams and delivers them to your house without sacrificing anything you love about the app. Their square prints are their hottest item, but there’s so much to love about Prinstagram you won’t want to stop there (Printstagram, $12 for a set of 24 prints). You can order your prints pre-framed to hang in your home, and your kids will swoon over a Tinybook filled with 24 photos of their favorite people and adventures (Printstagram, 3 for $10).

print photos

Costco Photo Center provides quick, quality print photos

You’ll want to print your photos in bulk at Costco after you see their quality prints! With overnight delivery available to their warehouse locations, Costco is a fabulous option, especially for those of us who suddenly realize we need seventy-million photos printed, because we haven’t done it in almost a year. (Costco Photo Center, prints start at $0.13). Costco even has an app available that lets you upload and print your photos from everywhere, which means your vacation photos can be waiting for you by the time you get home.

Speaking of Instagram, are you following these crush-worthy Instagrammers? Their photos will inspire you to take even more fabulous shots.

print photos

Use Kindred for photo books

If you love adding a personalized touch to gifts, try the Kindred Photo Books app for inexpensive, high-quality photo books. Each book is a six-inch square and contains up to 20 of your favorite photos. The adorable books are only $5 each, with a monthly app subscription of $6. Kindred Photo Books are a thoughtful — but easy — gift for grandparents and anyone else who can’t get enough of your little ones! (Available for iOS and Android, $6 a month.)

print photos
Print photos you adore on canvas

We all capture them, occasionally, the sort of photos we know we want to display in our homes for more than a few weeks. Have your most-loved moments printed on canvas for wall decor that looks neat and professional. Canvas Champ prints your photos with a 100% quality guarantee, and one of the best things about their service is each canvas is printed and ready to ship within 48 hours (CanvasChamp.com, starting at $10). That’s quick enough for even the most impatient decorators!

Little changes can make a giant difference in your home. For more decorating inspiration, check out these 10 ways to brighten your home decor.

Do you print your photos regularly?
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