Win a Set of Trading Cards From Card Trader Deluxe

When I was a kid, I really loved collectible/trading cards...sports cards, Garbage Pail Kids, Nicktoons, etc. I had binders and stacks full of them. As I got older though, I stopped collecting and over time my cards got lost or thrown away and the remainder perished in a house fire in 2009. I really hadn't thought about trading cards again until recently when my cousin, Luke, started designing and selling them at Card Trader Deluxe. Talk about feeling nostalgic! At Card Trader Deluxe, you'll find American Ninja Warrior, Game of Thrones, Stranger Things,  The Golden Girls, I Love Lucy, Doctor Who, and Avengers Endgame collectible cards.

According to Luke, most of the design process is done via Photoshop. They search for the very best images and then do some editing and then incorporate it into the design. The design process takes the longest. They start with framework to have a layout that is unique and specific. For instance, the Stranger Things design has a framework of a retro video game and if you're a Stranger Things fan you'd understand the significance of this. The background is then chosen from a memorial idea of each season. After that, Luke personalizes each character's card by adding a small description, fun fact, etc. and an image of something that signifies each character. After the layout is finished, making each character card takes about 30 minutes so as to guarantee a unique and custom style. Luke takes a lot of pride in designing looks that are unique, personal, and fabulous and really bring the idea of the show into the cards. 

At Card Trader Deluxe, you can also order personalized custom cards that are tailored to your specific needs and requirements, such as weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, etc. All you need to do is provide an image with specific details for your desired card design, layout, and colors. Luke will send you sample layouts to choose from and you pick what works best for you.  

Since I'm a Stranger Things fan, Luke sent me collectible card sets from both seasons 1 and 2. These are very high quality, thick, well made, glossy cards with fun designs, all reminiscent of the show. You can really tell that a lot of thought goes into each design. These cards are a great way to remember some of your favorite and even not so favorite characters from shows you watch, as well as some of the lesser known characters who only had a short run. For instance, I love that Luke included a Benny Hammond card (played by Chris Sullivan). He was only on two episodes but he was the first person to help Eleven.

You can sign up for Card Trader Deluxe's newsletter to save 10% off of your first order and you'll also receive free shipping on orders over $15. You can also enter the giveaway below where one US winner will receive a free set of cards of their choice. 


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Make Twitter Stress Free By Muting Specific Words

When I initially joined Twitter over a decade ago, it was a place for me to find giveaways and sweepstakes to enter, product recommendations, and recipes. I could also discuss my favorite books, television shows, and movies with likeminded folks. Twitter is also the reason I started blogging. I have even made a couple of people I would consider friends on Twitter. Basically, Twitter used to be my happy place.  

In the last couple of years, however, there has been nothing happy or lighthearted about Twitter. I slowly saw my Twitter feed become less and less about things I loved and more and more about politics and everything that goes along with politics such heated debates about one topic or another that eventually lead to people arguing and bashing each other. Twitter no longer was my happy place and the chaos of my Twitter stream actually stressed me out. 

I did a massive unfollow of a lot of negative people, as well as people who mainly tweeted about things that were not relevant to me or no longer interested me. I also found that another good way to enjoy Twitter is muting specific words. For instance, if I no longer want to hear about politics, specific movies or TV shows, or specific people, I just mute words like Trump, president, presidential, republican, democratic, Avengers, Thrones, Kardashian, Jenner, etc.  You can choose to mute specific words from your notifications and timeline forever (which you can always go back and change of course) or you can choose to just mute them for 24 hours, 7 days or 30 days. 

Don't know how to mute words on Twitter? It's pretty easy. All you do is go to settings and privacy, then privacy and safety, then muted, and finally muted words. Viola! You can enjoy Twitter again. 

What about you? Has Twitter, or social media in general, ever stressed you out? What steps have you taken?

Win a $5,000 Williams-Sonoma Gift Card

If you love cooking and entertaining guests, you'll want to get you hands on Tasting Table's first-ever cookbook, Cooking With Friends. According to the authors, Geoff Bartakovics and Todd Coleman, this cookbook "puts the fun back into entertaining by way of 12 menus inspired by the way we live today and designed to be made with a few gracious co-hosts who arrive early to be your sous chefs." And when you pre-order a copy of Cooking With Friends, you'll be entered to win a $5,000 (no, that's not a typo) Williams-Sonoma gift card. Cooking With Friends will be available May 7th and you can find out how to pre-order your copy here.

Review of Ellie Claire Art Journals

Ellie Claire produces beautifully crafted journals, devotionals, and other creative gift and paper expressions. Ellie Claire interactive art journals help you get creative with your quiet time. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to review not one but three Ellie Claire art journals, Faith & Lettering, The Illustrated Word, and Illuminate Your Story. Each journal has similar lay-flat binding and thick paper but the interiors are unique and each one teaches and encourages a different form of creative expression of faith. 

Faith & Lettering includes a nice introduction that lets you know that your pen can become a way of "declaring the Lord's praise" and that there are many ways to incorporate hand-lettering into your life both spiritually and practically. The purpose of this particular journal is to inspire you to reignite your devotional time, to imprint scripture upon your heart, and to help you dig deep into the word of God the creative way using the art of lettering. You can use this journal to practice the basics of hand-lettering, Bible journaling, and sermon sketch note taking.  

This journal offers you plenty of space for practicing your lettering and sketches. Some of the pages even include expert tips to help you do your very best. There are also beautiful and uplifting Bible quotes all throughout this journal. The pages are thick and strong but I did find that permanent markers tended to bleed through the pages somewhat so it's probably best to use a pen, pencil/colored pencil, or crayon instead. There is also elastic material on the spine of this journal for holding your pen, pencil, etc. 

Illuminate Your Story includes a brief introduction, as well as a history of illuminated letters. You will learn how many illuminated letters survive within manuscripts from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance and how the style of these illuminated letters and manuscripts changed throughout history. This particular journal includes step-by-step visual and written instructions that are easy to follow to guide you through drawing and creating the alphabet in illuminated letters so you'll soon be able to add gorgeous images that add beauty to your story. It also provides Bible versus or quotes for each letter of the alphabet to practice on. The pages are very thick and strong and are best suited for pen, pencil/colored pencil, or crayon as marker tends to bleed through somewhat. 

This journal includes elastic material on the spine to hold your writing instrument, as well as an elastic band that will help to keep your journal closed. There is also a page marker and a folder in the back for keepsakes. 

The Illustrated Word is a coloring journal. It's more like a traditional journal where you write down your thoughts or even doodle but it also includes forty illustrations recreated as line drawings that you can color. The illustrations are very intricate and beautifully drawn. I think one should never feel too old for coloring and I personally find it to be very relaxing. The cream colored pages gives this journal more of a vintage feel, which I love. The pages in this journal are also very thick and strong but are best suited for pen, pencil/colored pencil, or crayon as marker tends to bleed through somewhat. This is also the perfect journal to use to show off your lettering skills after you've practiced using the Illuminate Your Story and Faith & Lettering journals. 

I actually have a journaling Bible at home but I've been extremely hesitant to actually use it because it's so beautiful that I don't want my messy handwriting or muddled doodles making it look unsightly. However, because of these three journals I have found that the art of illumination is not lost today but flourishes with individuals who practice the art and these journals are indeed great practice.

Follow Ellie Claire on social media to find out more about their products and where you can find them!


Find the Perfect Photo Gifts for Christmas at Media Storehouse

Media Storehouse is based in the United Kingdom, with production facilities in the UK, USA and Australia, shipping products worldwide. At Media Storehouse, you'll find a huge library of over 4 million images, with that number growing daily, from professional organizations around the world that customers can purchase as professionally printed photographs, frames prints, canvas prints, jigsaw puzzles, mugs, and other photo gifts. Some of the categories include animals, people, architecture, travel, sports, history, and more. Media Storehouse only sources images from professional organizations and they check the size of the image against the products available to ensure optimum results.  

Looking for something Christmas themed? Media Storehouse has you covered. Know a history buff? Then they'd love a print or photo gift such as a coffee mug or mouse pad using "Christmas truce in 1914, World War I." Know someone with a sense of humor? Then they'd love "Santa Claus at the Beach."

I'm particularly fond of "Bob Cratchit & Tiny Tim." I love Charles Dickens and I love A Christmas Carol. I remember being in a Christmas play when I was in elementary school and I played Mrs. Cratchit so every time I see an image from A Christmas Carol I feel very nostalgic and I'm taken back to a time when I was young, sweet, and innocent. My son is an English major in college and is particularly fond of Ernest Hemingway and a print of "Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961). American writer. Photographed in Paris, 1922" would be an awesome addition to his office. You can add a sepia tone to any of the images as well.  

What's your favorite print at Media Storehouse and would you get it as a print or a photo gift? Precisely Mine readers can save an additional 10% off of their order when they use the promo code ANGIESUE43 at checkout. 

You can connect with Media Storehouse on social media as well.