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#MyShutterfly: Time flies when you’re having fun…and graduating

Shutterfly Dani 3.3

Just this morning I thought about the cheeky adage, “Time flies when you’re having fun”… I think as first coined by Janet Jackson in one of her debut songs. I was specifically thinking about these last three years and a particular overseas trip I took. I can’t believe it’s been that long since was walking on cobble stone streets, in heels, in 105f, in a town I love so much. I wanted to sit back this weekend and enjoy the pictures… there were so many; somewhere along the lines of 4,000. I lost the pictures from that trip. The entirety of 10 days… gone. Poof!

That was a summer or two ago.

I quickly moved on from that random thought and started mentally planning out this summer’s activities. My winter has been a fantastic wash of cooking and writing my cookbook,  lending my summer to be full of awesomeness I’ve been missing out on. Especially family fun I’ve skirted for work. Certain events you can forgo attending, but family vacations and graduations are two events I always commit to clearing my schedule for. And just when I thought I was free of pushing through gleeful crowds trying to get to one person, I remembered my niece is graduating from high school. I thought she was two years out and here she was texting me three weeks ago asking me how my calendar was looking– her way of making sure I was in town to attend.

Danielle Graduation Shutterfly

Turns out the adage “time flies when you’re having fun” aptly applies to her. Danielle was the little girl I wanted to have in my early 20s. I took full ownership of her when she was 10 months old. I’d keep her every weekend, regardless of her over-the-top ,outright disrespectful temper tantrums. I used to take her to swim lessons, pick her up from school and all those fabulous things Tias do with their nieces. And then she just got too grown for me to deal with. Her friends took over her extra-curriculas. It was all about her social engagement. And then she got a car.

She came around though, in the last two years, mostly because I moved back to DC.  The kids after all, were one of the reasons for leaving Atlanta after almost 7 years. I was missing watching them transition into teenagers. Dani and I quickly reconnected and I fell in love all over  with spending time with her. At 16, our conversations are very similar, kind of. She talks about boys, I talk about men. And she can drive me around if I need her to! I know her mother is just all over that benefit of growing up.  When she’s MIA for too long, I stalk her Instagram to make sure everything’s good and not too over-the-top.

Time does fly.

I thought the best way to congratulate her for the hard work she put in school, and to remind her of the little girl I was so obsessed with, was to curate some of her favorite moments in an invitation for her graduation. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I had to ask for some of her favorite pictures.

Shutterfly-Dani-Announcement-11

Shutter fly was the best place to create personalized announcements, invitations, and labels, to share with everyone that’s played a role in her success. They offer everything in one shop. So much, they divi it up based on different events. With graduation right around this corner, the options they’ve added are massive. Shutterfly makes it super easy for grads (and paying parents or Tia in this case) to share their success with really nice, customized stationary. Surely, this was something she could have done, but I wanted to gift her something she’d appreciate. I went on recollection and created some lovely invites she can send out with return labels designed in the same theme. Purple has been her favorite colour since she was 3 and gold is one of my faves, making it a perfect combo for the invitations.

I tend to get overwhelmed with too many menu options but the selection process on Shutterfly’s site was simple enough to navigate, especially if you’re a hyper-creative and like to get into high customization. You can go crazy choosing colours, borders, card stock type (yes, even that), font type (for font geeks like me) and size for the announcements. The collage layout I settled on was really for her family and friends to see in one quick flip, how fun her last 4 years have been. Some pictures were too small or not my fave, but the layout let me manipulate the size and scale of each pic. I liked most the editing options… you can change filters, bring out the light, and saturate.

After a few hours of sifting through the 200 or so invitation designs and finalizing one, I sent it to her for review. She.loved.it.  “Tia, this is so me!” I was so thrilled!

I received the cards from Shutterfly, and was tickled at how perfect they turned out. You know sometimes colours on screen don’t always render the same on paper. The purple and gold texture are spot on. The are no inconsistencies. You get exactly what you set up on Shutterfly.

Shutterfly Dani 2

If you have a grad, this is the way to go! Spend as little as $20 or as much at $300! Just depends on your fanciful appeal and guest list! I know I saved Danielle’s mother some serious time and energy… but, it was so easy she could have squeezed this in at work. Just like I did.

For  Shutterfly Cards and Stationary go here.

If only I had used of Shutterfly three  years ago, I’d have a perfect, curated photobook, of those wonderful 10 days in Spain!

This blog post is part of a paid Megan Media and Shutterfly blogging program. All images, stories and information is authentic and my own, always. You already know how I do! Thanks for supporting my sponsors! 

Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.

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