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4 Nostalgia-Filled Ideas To Celebrate International Friendship Day

Few things in life are as pure as friendship. Whether our greatest friendships began over a shared toy before we could spell our names, or over a game of Mahjong that became the can’t-miss moment of your week, our friends have become our bridge to shared happiness.

International Friendship Day may be over, but the bond you share with your friends should be celebrated every day. Here are a few great ways to look back on the relationships that matter most to you.

Dig Through Old Photo Albums

Human memory may fade, but the moments we hold closest to our hearts need not be gone too. Looking at old photographs is a great way to remind yourself of where you were and how your friends helped mold you into who you are. If the memories in our minds contain the unwritten records of our lives, then the photos we take hold our written history, effectively capturing the colors and moods of erstwhile forgotten moments and preserving them in print.

Turn Your Printed Pictures Into Digital Ones

It’s important that we hold on to our history. By preserving our pictures, we ensure that they will remain not only a part of our memories but also a part of our futures.

With a digital scanning app like Photomyne (free on iOS and Android), you can easily scan decades’ worth of photos on to your phone. Now you can quickly find that first photo of you with your college roommate on your next reunion!

Share The Love

Never miss a chance to let your friends know how much they mean to you! Don’t keep this love and emotion to yourself—share the love and let your friends know how much you care. Show them exactly how much they mean to you by sharing with them photos of your lives together.

One way to do this is by sending them a slideshow of your favorite memories, including photos the fun times that you forgot ever happened. Upload them on a Nixplay Frame so you can display your pictures on your mantle for all your guests to see. The best part? Nixplay’s Friendship Day sale is still ongoing, so you can get our bestselling frames at up to 25% off!


Call A Friend & Catch Up

When is the last time you picked up the phone and called a friend you haven’t heard from in years? Maybe your college roommate is traveling around the world and the time difference made connecting that much harder. Perhaps your best friend since your daycare days just had a baby and time just got in the way. No matter the situation, all it takes is that one phone call to rekindle the magic that brought you two close in the first place.

No matter what, never let life get in the way of a beautiful friendship. Do what it takes to relive the unconditional love that only comes from your friends.

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Living the Simple Life with My Quirky, Adventurous, Hardworking Dad

Growing up, I didn’t think my parents were cool. I lived on a farm in the Midwest in what seemed like the middle of nowhere. My dad farmed the open land that stretched a mile down the road to my grandparents’ house and my mom worked various jobs while taking care of me and my sisters.

My family lived a simple life. I grew up watching my parents do their best to achieve work-life balance while providing for our family. I watched them work hard and play hard—traits my sisters and I have carried with us well into our adult lives. I didn’t always have the most fashionable clothes or the latest gadgets, but I was blessed to have always had what I needed when I needed it.

Recently, I had the opportunity to look back at the simplicity of my childhood while organizing and scanning our family photo collection. Through this project, I was able to see my youth through the eyes of my parents. It was humbling to learn what life was like long before I was born, and it was thrilling to recount my childhood through the snapshots of everyday moments and big celebrations captured over the years.

The process of organizing the photos took me on an unexpectedly emotional journey. I was able to get a glimpse of my great-grandfather’s travels in the Navy, my grandmother’s wedding, my parents’ childhoods, and ultimately, my arrival. This journey back in time gave me the opportunity to see a side of my parents that I hadn’t fully noticed growing up. I got to see my creative, nature-loving mom and my adventurous, quirky, hardworking dad in a new light.

As we take the time this month to celebrate fatherhood, I’d like to express my gratitude for the fathers and grandfathers in my life. I’m filled with memories of my dad and his fun-loving, unique way of living life.

While I have carried many vivid memories with me over the years, the process of organizing my family photos added even more to my list of noteworthy “dad” memories.

There was that time he slowly pulled into our gravel driveway on his motorcycle, one hand on the brake and the other tucked tightly by his side. “Hey girls, look what I found!” he shouted. Carefully snuggled into his hand was a black and white rabbit, blind in one eye, that he found on the side of the road. The little bunny would be christened by our family as “Spunky Wabbit” and he would live in the black-and-white rabbit cage my dad built for him the next day from wood scraps in the barn. That was so typical of my dad—he was always noticing the tiny details (I still don’t know how he spotted the cottontail while riding down the country road on his motorcycle) and he was always working on a project.

Then there were the times when he’d play with us kids at the park, happily serving as the fourth person for the teeter-totter or sometimes being the only one brave enough to climb to the top of the playground tower.

Of course, I can’t forget all the memories of doing farm chores with him; most notably, the days we spent walking along rows of soybean fields to pull button weeds. This task always seemed to be required on the hottest, driest summer days, but my dad never failed to get us to follow through with our responsibilities. Amazingly, we’d always find arrowhead treasures as we walked the fields doing our job. It wasn’t until years later that I realized my dad had strategically planted the arrowheads each morning in the exact rows we’d be walking that day.

The trickery didn’t end there, though. I would also see his sneaky side during the mornings after he’d have his buddies over to play cards in the garage. He’d have me and my siblings sweep the floor and clean up, and without fail, we’d find quarters that had “accidentally” fallen on the ground from the night before. Thanks to my dad, I acquired quite the collection of quarters and arrowheads over the years.

My dad may have had his ways to “trick” us into getting our chores done, but we knew he always had our backs, providing for us and keeping us safe while still managing to get his work done. Long before baby carriers were fashionable, he’d zip me up inside his coat and accomplish what he could, taking me along for the ride.

When winter came and the work on the farm shifted from plowing fields to plowing snow, my dad’s love for adventure and being outdoors kept him outside all winter long. Between snowmobiling and skating on the frozen fields, my dad always kept us active and encouraged us to embrace the outdoors.

When the snow melted and spring arrived, it was time for rides in our small plane. I come from a family of aviators, and my dad’s favorite hobby was to hop in the plane and go flying. One of his favorite activities on clear Sunday mornings was flying up to Wisconsin for breakfast with me and his dad, just because we could. I think of life now and how complicated it can become, and I long for the days when hopping in a plane and flying to another state for breakfast was accomplished in such a laid back, matter-of-fact way.

And I can’t forget the weeks we spent in northern Wisconsin every August when our family convened with my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, second-cousins and extended family members (I could never keep track of who everyone was). We fished and swam, and my dad always managed to keep us entertained. He would turn our fishing boat into a speedboat and tow us around the lake on tubes made from the old tires of the farm equipment. We would hike through the woods and watch sunsets on the lake. And after these long days of slow living, we would gather around firepits cooking the day’s catch, toasting marshmallows for dessert and sharing stories with our extended family.

While each season and each vacation provided memorable and entertaining moments with my dad, it’s the everyday moments that really stand out the most—the repeated routines that shaped each day and contributed to my simple childhood.

Each night at home on the farm, after dinner was cleaned up and while bedtime books were being read, my dad would make popcorn on the stove and my grandfather would arrive like clockwork to share a beer and reflect on the day’s work. They’d plan the next day’s farm tasks and dream up their next big business venture. I listened in to all of this with a child’s perspective while my mom read, all while enjoying my bowl of salted stovetop popcorn (a routine that stuck with of me well into adulthood).

Looking back, I know that these routine nights and adventure-filled days shaped who I am and paved the path I’ve taken in my life. I know my sense of adventure and my love of gathering with others to share good food, good wine, and good stories grew from those days and nights at home on the farm and in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.

I’m grateful my parents captured my childhood in photos—not only the significant events, but also the everyday moments. And I’m grateful for my adventurous, playful, quirky dad who exhibited grit and persistence, who taught me how to work hard, and who showed me how to savor the rewards of each day while always dreaming big.

Here’s to celebrating all the quirky, cool, adventurous dads in this world who have made a difference in their children’s lives in big ways and small ways, and here’s to sharing our favorite memories with them through Nixplay frames!

Take advantage of Nixplay’s Father’s Sale! Get up to 25% off all frames, only until June 16!

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Fun and Creative Ways to Use a Nixplay Digital Frame

Oh, summer! How you call out to our inner photographers and get our fingers clicking to capture all our memories. Graduations, weddings, birthday parties, and fun-in-the-sun vacations are all recorded in our cameras and phones, adding hundreds of beautiful, touching memories to our digital galleries. Now, what do we with all these pictures?

Posting our photos on social media is a fun way to share our adventures and heartwarming memories with friends and family, but it isn’t the best way to enjoy them ourselves in our daily life. This is what Nixplay Frames do best. I adore mine and I’m often asked to set them up for clients, who then rave about them. Read on for some fun, creative ways I’ve found to use Nixplay digital frames.

Displaying Special Occasion Playlists

Special events are the perfect reason to create picture playlists with images selected for the occasion. For example, for the anniversary of my boyfriend’s parents, my boyfriend, his sister, his kids and I took photos holding up anniversary wishes for the happy couple. We then temporarily disabled all the other playlists, so when the Nixplay frame turns on for the first time during the special day, the new photos we took will be displayed. So fun!

Holiday Happenings

Encapsulate the spirit of the season with your own holiday photos. Create playlists for specific occasions populated with photos of your holiday celebrations from prior years. Then on a particular holiday, disable all your other playlists and show your personalized holiday playlist. You can do this for Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, and other occasions. Each year, just add the best photos from your newest batch of holiday pictures to include for next year.

Daily Dose of Darlings for Older Loved Ones

If you have older family members who struggle with technology, you can gift them a Wi-Fi enabled cloud frame loaded with photo playlists of your family for their enjoyment. The Wi-Fi function allows you to update the photos and change out playlists from your home so you can keep the frame’s pictures fresh for your loved ones. Give them a daily dose of their darlings and keep them updated on activities they may have missed if they live far away.

Hope and Healing

Use Nixplay frames to encourage and soothe loved ones who are undergoing treatment for disease or recovering from surgery. To help them on their journey to wellness, create a playlist with healing and motivating images specific to the person’s needs and difficulties. You can even ask others to email photos/wishes to the person’s account and add to the playlist, changing up the images from time to time to keep it fresh.

Child’s Eye View

Let your kids get involved in creating playlists both to play at home or for grandparents. Try to incorporate their special, child’s eye view of the world rather than telling them which images to select. Help them take photos of special items, artwork, or just the world from their perspective and upload those images as well. Pick certain times to play their creative works and ooh and aah over their talents.

Downsize the portrait wall

If your family portrait wall has gotten out of hand, scan all your older portraits and upload them to a Nixplay frame. Hang the frame in a prominent area of your home and use it as a dedicated portrait display to downsize the framed clutter.

Comic Relief

Sometimes we just need a good laugh. Life can get difficult and we need to take a deep breath, step back, and find a little comic relief from time to time. Create playlists with some of your funniest family photos, memes that make you laugh, images and videos of your pets being ridiculous, or anything that makes you giggle. Make sure these playlists are ready to run whenever you need a good chuckle.

Seasonal Inspiration

Do you love taking photos of nature and the seasonal changes it brings to the landscape around your home? You might also get some great scenery shots during vacations. Make playlists of your favorite seasons and vacation scenery to play when the weather is crummy and you need a pick-me-up.

College Connections

Send your kid off to college with a Nixplay frame and share photos of the things they’re missing back home, like images of your family’s pets or your nephews and nieces. Keep it updated frequently so they still feel like they’re part of things. Incorporate a few images with you or other family members holding signs with messages of encouragement, congratulations for accomplishments, and sending your love.

Check out Mariposa Photo Organizing for more inspiration and tons of photo organizing ideas to keep your digital frame feeling fresh and fun. You can find even more fresh ideas at the Association of Professional Photo Organizers (APPO) website and blog. There’s a wealth of creative ideas available there to keep you in close touch with your photographic memories.

Bonnie is owner of Mariposa Photo Organizing. She helps families curate their lifetime of photos and makes them A MESS (Accessible, Manageable, Enjoyable, Shareable and Safe).

emily nolan

Meet a Super Mom: Emily Nolan

This May, Nixplay celebrates the most amazing women in our lives: our Super Moms. What’s even more fantastic than juggling work, marriage, and being a mother, right? We know it isn’t easy and, for a lot of new moms, transitioning from independence can be daunting. It’s a frantic life, but the rewards are absolutely worth it.

We got to chat with blogger, yogi, body positivity advocate, and real-life Super Mom Emily Nolan, who shares several realizations that may help new moms ease into the latest adventure of their lives. Read on!

Please tell us about yourself.

Emily Nolan: I’m a mama (and wife), first and foremost. I’m also a radically honest blogger and a model. I love to write, and I’m currently writing a book on how and why we need to learn to radically accept ourselves. I love sharing this journey of confidence with other women by organizing events like Topless Yoga and Be Pretty Brave wellness retreats.

Fun fact? I had a super embarrassing moment that recently happened when I just started to go out of the house after having a baby. I totally overshared with the front desk attendant at my gym and told her just how much milk I have (in my breasts!). I know, so bad. I was craving a conversation and killed all my chances.

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Emily Nolan with her son, Ollie

We’re fans of your blog. We’ve seen you transform from a naive young woman into a fearless champion of self-acceptance. Can you share with our Nixplay family what you’ve learned from these stages of your life?

Emily Nolan: One takeaway from my entire life experience is to be brave enough to radically accept yourself for who you are and what you look like. I know that I’ll never be stick-thin. My mother and grandmother are both strong, beautiful women. Instead of fighting my body type with diets or excessive exercise, I focus on nourishing myself the best that I can, sleeping enough, and managing stress levels with hobbies and downtime.

You’ve entered a new phase with Ollie in the picture. What was the biggest change by far?

Emily Nolan: The biggest challenge I faced as a new mom is learning to fit a codependent baby into my life. I am a very independent person, so I can’t pick up and go like I used to. That being said, I love my life, it’s just very different and requires more thought before action.

Can you tell us about your best “Super Mom” moment?

Emily Nolan: My best “Super Mom” moment was labor and delivery. There is nothing more super than giving birth. I appreciate you recognizing me as a “super mom.” I don’t always feel that way because I don’t have a ton to compare to (I think that’s a good thing!). I do work my butt off to try and get all my work done so I can be present with Oliver while he’s awake. We love to be outside and take walks around our neighborhood.

What are your final tips for new moms and soon-to-be moms?

Emily Nolan: Being a new mother is not intuitive, no matter how many times people will tell you it is. Reach out for help. Look for experts like baby sleep coaches (I used @takingcarababies), certified lactation consultants, baby feeding specialists among others. There are experts in everything who will guide you and make the process much easier for you. There’s also no such thing as too much information, so just take what you need and leave all the stuff that doesn’t fit into your lifestyle or serve you.

Learn more about Emily by visiting emilynolan.com. Don’t forget to read her new blog: 7 Things Every New Mom Needs to Know.

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Preserving Photographic Memories

So the end of summer is now upon us. We’ve been away on two holidays to Spain and Edinburgh, plus had plenty of fun days out.

Throughout it all, I’ve been snapping happy memories with my phone. I always upload my pictures to my computer, but what happens after? A few get shared on Facebook or Instagram. Some get chosen to be made into Christmas cards or fridge magnets, to be sent to other family members. And of course, I have my own selection tacked on my fridge, along with our photo table mats and mugs. I even used to have a fab photo phone case, but haven’t gotten around to ordering a new one since it wore out.

What about the rest of the images that did not make the cut? Will these photographic memories never get the chance to see the light of day again, languishing on the hard drive or a USB stick? You might have a lovely picture of little Johnny at school sports day, but you couldn’t share it on Facebook for relatives to see because there are other kids in the picture, what with all the privacy rules.

So I was delighted to be contacted by Nixplay, which offered me the opportunity to review one of their digital photo frames for free. This could be just the answer.

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Nixplay sent me one of their Seed frames and it arrived in just four days. I was pleased to see that it comes in a sturdy box, and that it is available in a choice of 4 colors and 4 sizes.

I received the 8-inch blue frame. It comes with an attached USB cable, a remote control, and a two-part power plug that allows the user to switch between UK 3-pin or European 2-pin.

However once I started the set-up process, the frame kept switching off at inconvenient moments. In the end, I put the USB cable into a different plug which worked perfectly, so the plug must have been faulty. Luckily, I encountered no such issues with the frame itself. The instructions were simple to follow, with the main points being to give it access to my Wi-Fi and to set up a Nixplay account to link my frame to.

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I’ve only tested it with a few photos so far, most of which were downloaded from my computer. I also tried downloading one directly from my phone using the Nixplay app. I soon realized it was better to keep portrait and landscape photos in separate playlists so as to fill the entire frame. The frame is easily turned between portrait and landscape as it only uses the cable for balance, no additional back support required.

Aside from the infrared sensor between the frame and the remote, the frame also has a motion sensor that enables it to switch off when nobody is in the room. You can set the time-lag on this, as well as the time periods. I set it off between 23:00 and 07:00 hrs. I couldn’t see any details on the instructions regarding the type of battery in the remote or how to replace that when necessary.

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The best part is the frame’s scope. A single playlist can contain up to 1,000 photos. You can link multiple frames to one account, so you could buy frames for other family members like your grandparents. Think of the benefit of a frame like this if someone were away from home for a long period, like when one of my sons was an in-patient at the hospital back in 2013 after his leukemia diagnosis. Everything can be managed remotely, so all they have to do is watch. It’s great for keeping them up to date with the children’s progress, especially when they don’t tend to see them very often.

I could even use it for long-term projects, like scanning my old pre-digital photos before the colors deteriorate further and loading those into playlists. It would be nice to show the boys some of the countries we visited on holiday before they were born.

Also, when I was a child, my Dad took all his photos on slides, but he has now gotten rid of his projector and large screen, which we used for viewing his images. So another long-term project could be to send those slides somewhere to be converted into a digital format and saved onto a memory stick. I can then upload these into playlists, which I can display on my Nixplay frame. There are lots of photographic memories that my parents would like to see again. We’ve even got some old family photos from the 1800s—just imagine watching those on a Nixplay frame!

The Nixplay Seed 8-Inch Frame currently retails at £129.99/$139.99. It comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, a 1-year warranty, and free shipping. A great way to view your memories, in my opinion, as well as a fabulous gift idea!

Now, I just have to work out what other functionalities it has. I’ll try uploading videos onto my frame next. I’ve even heard that you can ask Alexa to manage your frame, too. Wow!

You may see more details about Nixplay on their website. The Nixplay digital photo frame range is available to purchase from their online shop or from Amazon.

I’d love to hear what you do with your favorite photographs!

Disclosure: This post is a review of a product I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.

I’m a working mummy of two young boys.
My hobbies are comping, reading, craft, cooking & genealogy. I mainly blog about parenting, lifestyle & food at blogmumjd.wordpress.com.

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