Sunday, February 28, 2010

Paying It Forward

You wanna hear something cool? My friend Mama Echo won my giveaway for Chynna T. Laird's book Not Just Spirited. So I sent her the book and she read it and enjoyed it, but thought that it could really help more people.

So she suggested I pick another winner and she would mail the book on to the next winner. How cool is that?

So Heather won the book and Mama Echo is sending it out to her.

I love this.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shoot It Smartphone App

How many times have you been on vacation and had the task of having to send postcards hanging over your head? And then you finally buy the postcards only to remember that you have to buy stamps? And then you actually have to write the postcard? And jeez, then you have to remember to actually send them?

If you're at all like me, you will often end up returning home from vacation with a little bag of blank postcards and stamps tucked into a corner of your luggage, right next to your best intentions.

Enter Shoot It, an app for many kinds of smartphones, including the iPhone. With Shoot It, you can take a photo on your phone (or download a photo from one of your photo sharing accounts, such as Flickr) and turn it into an actual paper and ink postcard that gets sent through the mail to your friends and family.

Imagine! Taking a photo, entering some information into your app, and the elves at Shoot It jump into action creating and sending your postcard.

All you have to do is download the free app, create a Shoot It account, and then add some pre-paid credits to your account. Domestic postcards cost 99 cents and international postcards cost $1.49. Considering the price of postcards and stamps, not to mention the hassle of finding a post office, that's a bargain.

But what about the postcards themselves? I sent one to myself to test them out and was pleased with what arrived. My original iPhone photo was a little dark, as iPhone photos often are, therefore the postcard photo was a little dark, but other than that I was thrilled.

This isn't a great photo of the postcard either.

Here's the thing, the postcards are coated in plastic, so they are durable and suitable for saving or taping to your fridge. They are really nice quality.

Shoot It lets you write your own message on the back—and you can send the same photo/message to more than one contact in your address book making sending multiple postcards a piece of cake. There is a lot of room on the back for your message.

I know. I write awesome postcards to myself.

The "from" field lists the Shoot It address under your email. In addition to this postcard I sent to myself, I've also sent them to my sister and my mom. They were both delighted.

This is a great app, and one that I will definitely be using on my vacations in the future.

Honesty Clause: I took advantage of an offer from Shoot It (that was open to anyone) that offered a credit for five free postcards.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Seeing by Jose Saramago

Stimey is reading Seeing by Jose Saramago. Saramago also wrote Blindness, which was an incredible book. I'm enjoying Seeing as well, but it took me until page 68 to really start enjoying it. Saramago isn't an easy read, what with his paragraphs that go on for pages and his sentences that never end, not to mention his refusal to use quotation marks. But he's worth it if you push through.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Not Just Spirited Giveaway Winner

And the winner of Chynna T. Laird's fabulous book, Not Just Spirited, is commenter #1, Mama Echo!

Thank you to everyone who entered!