Happy Holidays!

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Wishing everyone a holiday wrapped in love + laughter! Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a happy + healthy New Year from our family to yours!

ūüď∑ credit: the ah-mazing Barbara Breitsameter

A little thanks goes a long way!


If your family is anything like ours, we get a LOT of gifts every holiday. ¬†Those two lucky boys of ours receive more gifts than they know what to do with. ¬†And so after Christmas, I sit down to begin the task of writing a ton of thank you notes to family, friends, neighbors … the list goes on. ¬†You know the drill.

Of course, I am a bit picky with my thank you cards. ¬†(It goes with the territory). ¬† And in the holiday spirit of complete honesty, every one in our household has their own personal stationery. ¬†Well, almost everyone… everyone except my husband. He could care less. ¬†And let’s be honest, I’m writing most of his thank you notes anyway.

This year, though, we tried something a little different. ¬†We went for the personalized family photo stationery. ¬†And I gotta say, I LOVE it! ¬†I might be just a tad bias, but here’s why… 1) it can be used for anyone in the fam. ¬†So the kids don’t have to each write a thank you note separately. ¬†Or at least I don’t feel like they should. 2) It matches our Christmas card this year. ¬†(Yay! ¬†I can’t help it, but matching makes me happy), and I had them printed along with our Christmas cards. ¬†(Another win for being prepared way ahead of time)! ¬†3) I used the exact same photo from our Christmas card. ¬†It pulled double duty. That’s a win-win. ¬†4) And .. finally… come on! Look at those cute little faces! ¬†They make me smile everytime I pull a card out to write a note. ¬†That, my friend, is the ultimate win/win!



Merry Christmas + Happy HOWLidays {from our little family to yours}


Oh how December always sneaks up on us… it’s freezing cold in Chicago, there’s a bit of snow on the ground, our Christmas tree is twinkling and the kids are bouncing off the walls on constant sugar highs. ¬†It’s by far my favorite time of year!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy HOWLidays from our family to yours.  May you have a blessed holiday season and a 2018 filled with healthy, joy, and lots of cheer!

How to Create the Perfect Holiday Card

Starting right around Thanksgiving, the design requests for¬†custom Christmas & Holiday cards¬†start to pour in.¬† Now, I don’t typically have the time to indulge¬†on custom designs during the year, but the holidays become my one exception. ¬†I love designing Christmas¬†cards… seeing all those bright smiling faces, and watching the children of some of my favorite clients change from year to year. ¬†And let’s face it… those happy, merry little faces just make my day! ¬†It completely gets me in the Christmas spirit.

So as you can imagine, I get all kinds of requests!¬†And after years of designing custom holiday cards, I’ve come to learn a little bit about what goes into creating the perfect¬†one. So here¬†are a few of my¬†trade secrets.


Tip 1: Let the photo do the talking!

Don’t try to accomplish too much in one card. Don’t squeeze in an entire year of vacation & holiday & seasonal¬†photos. ¬†Don’t include ten barely visible thumbnail photos. ¬†Pick one photo from the year that you LOVE. ¬†Maybe it’s a fabulous professional¬†photo you had taken or maybe it’s one you took yourself. ¬†But pick the one you LOVE and use it. ¬†Build everything around it. ¬†Keep it simple. ¬†And let us all see those big smiling family faces when we receive the card in the mail.

Wait… what??… one photo… with EVERYONE in it? SMILING? ¬†Yeah, I hear you… it’s impossible to get three kids to sit down and smile in one picture. ¬†Totally understand. ¬†It is (most days). ¬†Don’t fight it. ¬†Just take a different route. Consider one that includes all of them playing or laughing (and not necessarily posed and smiling perfectly).

Or consider breaking up the kids into individual photos but all in a similar design, so it feels like one big photo.  Converting the photos to all the same type of finish/color helps create a cohesive feel.


Tip 2: Add a bright, bold, {FUN} backside with additional photos

Because it’s hard to pick just one. ¬†Add a few more photos on the back. ¬†A boring, plain white backside to any card is a major pet peeve of mine. ¬†After all, you took the time to send all these cards out to family & friends.. use all the space you have! ¬†And brighten it all up with a bold matching pattern.


Tip 3: Pick a Fabulous Printer

For goodness sake, don’t print out cards with your family’s photos that you LOVE at a lousy printer. ¬†A great card printed at a crummy printer is… well…. a crummy card. ¬†A great image is only as good as the printing, so pick well! ¬†It’ll be worth it.

And if you’d like to have a custom holiday card designed around your photo, find it all at¬†Oodles and Doodles.¬† With lots more holiday card designs¬†to peruse as well.

Everything is available either as a printable file for you to print yourself or printed at a fabulous professional printer in the highest of quality. ¬†And shipped next day to you … because, you know, who has time to spend worrying about cards? There’s so much more to do for the holidays!

Happy Holidays!


Exciting NEWS!

Family Tree, Canvas Print, Personalized Family Tree, Family Tree Gifts | Oodles and Doodles, OandD

I am super, super excited to announce that I’ve partnered with a fabulous speciality canvas printer and am now offering a Canvas Print option for all my Modern Family Tree Art.

This all came about a few months ago as I was looking for some great artwork for my newly renovated bathroom. ¬†I searched for such a long time and couldn’t find anything that fit the space. And then one day it suddenly occurred to me… it was a perfect place for a canvas print version of my own family tree. After giving them as gifts for years, I had yet to make one for myself. ¬†So, long story short, I teamed up with this truly fabulous canvas printer and they produced the most beautiful printed version of my art. ¬†Once I saw it in person, I knew that¬†I just had to start offering it in the OandD Etsy Shop ¬†(and coming soon to the Oodles and Doodles website).

The prints arrive super fast (which I love.  I have no patience.) and are printed on a thick, luxurious poly-cotton blend canvas that is archival grade and lasts over 100 years. Once printed, the canvas is sprayed with ultra-protective laminate coat to make it waterproof, scratch, and UV light resistant. And then finished with a premium satin coating which provides a soft luster finish.

These Family Tree prints really are my go-to gift for all those¬†impossible¬†gift-giving occasions (like those 80th birthdays, or 70th wedding anniversaries, or Mother’s Day). ¬†And, they’re available in any color to match any decor/event.

Hope you love them as much as I do!

It‚Äôs Almost ‚ÄúRed, White & Blue‚ÄĚ Time‚Ķ Getting ready for Summer Parties

The orders are starting to come in for the month of July, so I know everyone’s getting ready for all those summer parties. ¬†Which got me thinking about the 4th of July…. and some perfect party themes for it! ¬†Having … Continue reading

Happy HOWLidays from our Dogs to Yours

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Our last minute baking and craft project was just completed at our house today. And in the spirit of holiday giving, we’re sharing all the details and a free printable with you! ¬†These super easy homemade dog treats are a quick gift for all the lucky dogs in family (and neighborhood). ¬† We just whipped up a couple batches, and they turned out perfect.

We used a super simple Peanut Butter & Pumpkin recipe, that our dogs loved!  They even waited patiently (for once) at the oven for the biscuits to finish baking. Then we just wrapped them up in little clear treat bags and used my free printable HOWLiday labels to seal and decorate.

Happy HOWLidays from our dogs to yours! Hope Santa Paws is good to you this year.

(And don’t forget to check out our other¬†free dog printables¬†for next year)!

Ho! Ho! Holiday Cards (Yep, it’s almost that time again)!

I just ordered my Christmas cards today (yeah, I’m one of those people that’s super early or it never gets done). ¬†And it got me thinking. ¬†Years ago, before I created my own designs, I used to search all the usual vendors for the perfect card. ¬†It took forever …. looking through thousands of designs trying to find one that contained¬†the¬†correct¬†colors to match the photo I wanted to use…. and had the right wording (Happy Holidays? Merry Christmas? Happy New Year?) … and the¬†perfect¬†orientation… and a cute back (gotta have a cute back design!)… and the correct number of photos. ¬†Honestly, it never really worked out. ¬†I always had high hopes, but the colors rarely matched to my photos, and the photos were often cropped weird, and the wording was never exactly what I wanted. ¬†My husband used to wonder why I spent so much time and energy on it. ¬†I couldn’t help it… it just bugged me. ¬†And…well.. honestly… holiday cards are kinda expensive. ¬†And are mailed to all those people you haven’t seen in a year. ¬†Shouldn’t they be pretty great?

So that got me thinking… wouldn’t it be great to be able to offer designs that were based around the specific photos and not the other way around? ¬†After all, that’s what I do for my family’s cards every year. ¬†Why not for everyone else? ¬†And so now¬†I’m happy to be able to offer custom designed holiday photo cards¬†to save you all that hassle. ¬†Who needs extra hassles during the holidays anyway? ¬†And if you still prefer the templates, there’s oodles of new holiday designs¬†available in the shop too!

And for those of you who aren’t used to printing your own cards, check out my page on suggested vendors and other printing tips. ¬†(Hint: Here’s the cliff notes¬†version… try Mpix¬†on their pearl paper. ¬†Can’t go wrong!)

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas or Happy New Year (which ever wording you prefer)!