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Send a postcard to Summer camp

Summer camp postcard_postsnap2

Summer camp season is upon us! While your little one is having the time of their lives, remind them you’re thinking of them by sending a personalised postcard.

You could even send one early so they have a warm welcome card to put a smile on their face during this fun – but perhaps slightly scary – adventure. Personalise your card with funny stories, photos and words of advice and we’ll send it straight to camp.

Then upon their return, make a souvenir card to remember their amazing time away!

summer camp card postsnap

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Travel Trip Map Direction Exploration Planning Concept

You got your sandals, your suncream, your towel and your favourite dress. You are ready for a relaxing week on a Tenerife beach… Or are you. Read on to discover the top 6 things you never want to forget to take on your paradise holiday this Easter!

Taking a Beach holiday selfie for your postcard.Your phone (to send postcards with)
Download Postsnap before you leave to get ready to send postcards when you land. Selfies on the beach and photos of your fancy hotel dinners needn’t wait a week to be shown to Nana Ellie, or Rachel from work. Take a pic, upload it to the Postsnap app, add an address and send!

Top tip: Don’t forget to buy your Postsnap Prepay before you go to ensure quicker and cheaper postcards. ?

An adapter plug
Most countries have different plug sockets, so be sure to buy your adapter before you leave. The last thing you want is for your Facebook status to go without an update for the week. ?  (Don’t even joke about it.?)

Padlock for bags
After packing the night before and getting the last few things in the suitcase throughout the morning, isn’t it always the way that you forget to tie your bags’ zips together!? I personally use shoelaces, but if padlocks are your preference then snap them on to one of the zips and put your key in your purse.

Toiletries
Toothpaste and toothbrushes are some of the most commonly forgotten items. Although they’re easily replaced, be sure to pack a toiletry bag with your bits and bobs for the morning you leave. Don’t forget your comb or hairbrush, too!

The three S’s:
Sunglasses It’s one of those little things that you wouldn’t think to put in your bag before driving to the airport beneath the overcast, grey and gloomy UK sky.
Swimsuit One of the most obvious and important items for a beach holiday, that is so often forgotten.
Smile! Travelling can be stressful, but don’t forget to pack and wear a smile! ?

What to pack for your holiday awaySort out your phone’s roaming
Let’s not even imagine a life without internet. A mobile phone without 4g? Worse yet, mobile data that charges you a bomb just for checking Instagram… This isn’t good. Get your roaming data sorted before you leave to avoid any scary bills when you get home.

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Best way to make and flip pancakes on pancake day

This year, Pancake Day lands on Tuesday, February 28. The date changes every year as it always falls 47 days before Easter. Pancake recipes were a way to use up the rest of the milk, eggs and butter before Lent. These were rich foods that were typically avoided during Lent.

To make the most out of Pancake Day, here are some tips to make the perfect pancakes, and tips on how to flip them successfully:

Best way to make and flip pancakes on pancake dayWhat makes the perfect pancake?
Fluffiness

The addition of eggs and self-raising flour in your recipe helps to make pancakes light and fluffy!

Don’t over-mix! 
The gluten in the flour starts to develop as soon as liquid touches it- the more you mix, the tougher and more rubbery your pancakes will become.

Non -stick
Non-stick pans that are lightly greased with oil (butter tends to burn) means the pancakes won’t get stuck. Make sure you apply oil with a paper towel, as pouring the oil straight in may be the culprit for unevenly-cooked pancakes.

Top tip: The second side won’t take as long as the first side to cook!

How do you flip the perfect pancake?

If you master the art of pancake-flipping, it will be worthy of a place on your CV. Here are some tips on how to perform a perfect pancake flip:

Best way to make and flip pancakesMake sure the bottom part of the pancake is cooked
You will know it is ready to flip when bubbles appear on the top, and if the pancake moves when you shake the pan.

Put the pancake on edge
When you’re ready to perform the flip, shimmy the pancake to the edge of the pan so that a couple of centimetres of the pancake is over the lip of the pan.

Swish and flick!
It’s all in the wrist. Flick your wrist in a similar motion to how you would when tossing a stir-fry.

Top tip: Once you have the hang of it, you may be tempted to flip again and again. However, this will not do your pancakes any favours and can cause them to deflate.Best way to make and flip pancakes for pancake day

Ideas for toppings

  • Add lemon juice and sugar. (A particular favourite topping of mine.)
  • Blueberries and honey
  • Chocolate spread and bananas
  • Go savoury by adding herbs into your pancake batter, and topping them with
    • Bacon and spinach
    • Mushroom and cheese
    • Feta cheese and red peppers

 

Happy Pancake Day, everyone!
Be sure to share your pancake triumphs and fails with us on Facebook

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wish-you-were-here-postsnap- send a postcard

Picture postcards have been in existence since the 1800s, but the overall appearance of postcards has hardly changed.

What the size of a Postcard is

A traditional photo postcard comprises of a century-old postcard template of a photo on the front and a message and address on the back.

Once made of thin wood, these envelope-free messages are now made from thick, sturdy card. They are still a novel form of communication, and are often kept as souvenirs.

Weird fact: The study and collection of postcards is termed deltiology.

What size is a postcard?

The standard size of a postcard is 6 x 4. This is the sized postcards typically found at holiday resorts and sent home to friends and family. However there is a growing trend to send personalised postcards using the sender’s own photos. (I know I would prefer to send my own photos of the Golden Gate Bridge, rather than a boring stock photo.) It’s a grand example of old traditions being improved and updated to match today’s tech-savvy culture.

Send family a postcard from Postsnap appApp-based personalised photo postcard services are an increasingly popular way to send personalised postcards home while travelling. Postsnap offers standard-sized A6 postcards and larger postcards, which are 210 x 148mm or 8 x 6 inches. These A5 sized postcards are gloss laminated to protect them in the post, and the photos are so vivid that they are often displayed in frames by recipients.

These postcard dimensions are equivalent to an A6 piece of paper, which is approximately one quarter of an A4 sheet of paper.

Mixing the old with the new, postcards are a medium that are particularly adaptable to modern culture, and will surely remain a special way to communicate with family and friends in years to come.

Whether they’re near or far, postcards are the perfect ‘thinking of you’ gesture.

Send a PostcardDownload our Postcard App

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Postsnap personalised Valentine's Day greeting card I'd always swipe right for you

We often get asked for the price of postcard stamps to and from popular destinations such as the UK, Canada, Australia and the USA. So here is a guide for rates for mailing cards.

Where to buy postcards
You can buy stamps at the Post Office or major super markets, such as Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda. But the pricing generally stays the same.

The standard postcard rate
Sending a postcard within the UK is surprisingly good value using the UK’s Royal Mail. A standard 6 x 4 (148mm x 105mm) postcard is treated as a smaller letter and costs just 64p for the 1st class service or 55p if you choose 2nd class.*

The standard postcard design is classed as a smaller letter because they weigh less than 4 grams. Ours weigh closer to 7 grams because we use thicker card, with our large postcards weighing 13 grams – but with no extra postage charge.

Send a breathtaking personalised PostcardHowever, if you are sending postcards abroad from the UK, the postage rates increase substantially. It can set you back around £1.05 to send a postcard internationally. That’s expensive for postcard mailing, let alone the cost of the card.

Australia charges $1 (£0.62) for domestic postcards, and $2.75 (£1.71) for postcards sent beyond New Zealand or Asia.

USA charges $0.38 (£0.28) for postcards sent domestically, but $1.15 (£0.95) for everywhere else.

Using your phone to send a postcard
Being part of Generation Y, sending handwritten post is not something I am completely familiar with. I remember having to send my first postcard (without mum’s guidance) not that long ago.

The dumb-founded look on the Post Office clerk’s face as I waved a postcard in front of her, asking what do I need to do to get this to New Zealand? was a tad embarrassing.

Having postage included on the card or postcard would certainly take the hassle (and embarrassment) out of posting. Therefore, creating and posting greeting cards and postcards online is becoming the best way to avoid standing in a Post Office line for half your lunch break.

Thankfully, using apps to send postcards is an easy solution for us Millennials and Gen-Ys. It’s much cheaper and doesn’t involve setting a foot in the local Post Office.

Postsnap for example enables you to make and send your postcard all in one go – without leaving the sofa or sun bed. With printers in England, West Coast of USA and in Australia’s New South Wales, no matter where your recipient is they will receive their cards quickly.

Our international postage prices never more than £0.50 or $o.50, with free postage within UK – making them cheap postcards in comparison.

With so many families and friends living overseas, keeping in touch isn’t always easy. But sending postcards with your own photos is a gesture that goes a long way without the fuss or stress.

I know my non-Facebook-using family in New Zealand enjoy seeing what I’m up to in the UK, and even keep my postcards to frame and display on the mantle piece.

*all prices as of March 8, 2017.

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All you need is love on valentine's day - six lovely things

Valentine’s Day is on the way! For those of you who have already rolled your eyes, or who are dreading the cheesiness of February 14, let me remind you of the lovely things to enjoy about the day.postsnap valentine's day banner - lovely things about valentine's day

1. Single? No excuse.
A lovely thing about Valentine’s Day is that you don’t have to be in a relationship to have a great day. There is no reason to not join in on the festivities. My mum always used to put a funny ‘love note’ in my lunchbox when I went to school on Valentine’s Day. My best friend and I would take each other to the movies to make fun of gushy (or often awkward-looking) couples on their first dates. Or, if all your friends are taken, spend time with your loved ones for a fun dinner and movie night indoors.

Buy red roses for Valentine's Day from Postabloom2. Red roses
Red roses are a classic and timeless expression of love. In fact, why wait for Valentine’s Day as an excuse to gift them to someone who should have a reminder of their importance to you?

3. Sweets ?
Due to many of our New Year’s resolutions of eating better, and to cut-down on sugar, how timely is February 14 to act as the perfect exception to this rule? Chocolate is great, and comes in many different flavours, and is simply a wonderful creation for anyone in love or single… ?

 

Valentine's Day card for Tinder boyfriend or girlfriend4. Cheesey Valentine’s movies in the cinema and on TV
I enjoy the cheese. The cheese on the tellie at Christmas time, and around Valentine’s Day. I think these movies should be embraced and taken at face-value – remember they are for entertainment purposes only.

5. February 15 chocolate sales
Heart-shaped chocolates that were expensive luxuries prior to February 14 are now in the half-price sale. Stock up!

6. Excuse to feel loved-up and on Cloud 9!
Today isn’t about the thorns, it’s about the beauty! Embrace today as an excuse to acknowledge the lovely people around you – whether it’s via mail, or in flower-form.

 

 Don’t forget to…
? Buy your roses in time for Valentine’s Day via Postabloom?
?  Send a special someone a card via Postsnap ?
?? Make a personalised gift via Aftersnap ??

 

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Download these must-have travel apps on your phone

There may be times when you need to put your phone away while travelling. But your phone can also become the handiest travelling buddy you can have.

Here are the top five apps every traveller should have on their phone while on the go:

Air Bnb - Must have travel appAirBnb
Perfect for the impromptu traveller. With the AirBnb app, it is easy to book accommodation at short notice – particularly helpful for long-term stays. Something I didn’t know, was that you can use this app to book guided local experiences and excursions, for a Sunday afternoon or a mini-break.

Trip Advisor - must have travel appsTrip Advisor
This is my go-to for finding places to eat when in a new, strange city. Wanting to find a close-by coffee shop to experience the local culture and cuisine, while avoiding the likes of Starbucks and Costa? The Trip Advisor app will conveniently list numerous places that fit your dietary requirements and criteria, including independent reviews from previous customers to base your choice upon.

Trip Advisor also offers millions of reviews and information on accommodation and destinations.

Whatsapp - must have travel appsWhatsapp
The instant messaging app that allows you to easily keep in touch with friends and family for free. It has overtaken the likes of text messaging, which may incur extra charges while overseas. Whatsapp, similar to Facebook Messenger and Viber, allows group chats as well as photo, video and file sharing, enabling you to keep in touch and share your experiences easily with the people who matter most.

Google Translate - must have travel appGoogle Translate
A rather handy tool to ensure you’re always able to communicate with people around you without a language barrier. Just like the desktop-based Google Translate, you can copy and paste text for immediate translation. But a particularly smart feature of this app includes the ability to point your device’s camera at a sign or text, and the app will translate it for you in real time. Handy when you need to know which is the men’s and women’s toilets!

Postsnap - must have travel appPostsnap App
Postcards are coming back. Personalise your own postcard with your own text, and your own photo of the Golden Gate Bridge or Sydney Opera House to send back to friends and family in physical form. Use the Postsnap App for a personal card while you’re so far away from home.

There’s also no excuse to miss birthdays or anniversaries while away anymore, either. Postsnap also provides personalised Greeting Cards that are sent in envelopes.

As long as you have WiFi and battery on your iPhone, you are set for travelling. Sometimes your phone is the best travelling tool you can have.

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Foggy photo of a church in Dorset. Postsnap

Best places to take foggy winter photos

by ben

With all this fog around in the UK at the moment, it’s difficult to see past the inconvenience of it. However, this misty weather can be used to your advantage by making ordinary places moody and interesting in photos – so get your phone out!

  1. Water
    A sunset over Poole’s harbour looks beautiful in sunshine, but perhaps even better through the fog. Still lakes, rivers and creeks all lend themselves to foggy photos too.

    Poole quay. postsnap cards

    Poole’s clear sky at sunset

     

     

    Morning in Poole harbour. Postsnap App

    Sunset in moody, dark fog

    2. Beaches
    When the sun is behind hazy mist, photos of beaches take a whole new tone. Particularly if you are on a clifftop where the fog can create a ‘waterfall’ effect as it drifts off the edge and out to sea.

    Beach in Bournemouth postsnap

    Bournemouth

    3. Farmland
    Go for a winter stroll through the fog in the mornings for some different angles.

    Rural fog photo postsnap

    Rural Dorset

    Top tip: The lack of harsh sunlight makes photos easier to take. So don’t stay indoors when the sun is in, because the lack of shadows is doing your photos a favour!


    4. Mountains

    If you find yourself near snowy mountains on a grey day, the low clouds settling and sinking around them make for interesting and contrasting scenes.

    Scottish highlands postsnap app

    Scottish Highlands

    5. Villages
    What would be boring photos in the sun, become intriguing sights beneath the dense fog we’ve been having.

     

    Foggy train station postsnap

    Foggy rural train station

    Foggy photo of a church in Dorset. Postsnap

    Foggy photo of a church in Dorset.

    Don’t let your photos use up your phone’s memory – get them printed on a Postsnap card to send to yourself, or someone in your phone book for them to enjoy.

All photos by Jodie.
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If, like me, you have still not decided on a New Year’s resolution, or perhaps your ‘carb-free resolution’ has already failed and you’re looking for a new one to stick to, I may be able to help.

It may be almost a week into January 2017, but this doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year to improve yourself. However, you may like to be a tad more creative with your resolutions than the obvious ‘eat better’, ‘lose weight’, ‘join the gym’ kind of things. I’ve found these promises  seldom last, possibly because we’re not easing ourselves into the new lifestyle or routine – we’re just throwing ourselves into it and hoping for the best.

So, here are some ideas that are easier to work into a busy schedule, and most importantly, stick to.

To get a hobby 
Now that it’s winter where we wake-up to freezing fog blocking out the sun, and greeted by a blanket of darkness at 4:30pm, you may find yourself in a rut. Spending your days doing little more than going to work, coming home, cooking dinner, and going to bed. So, why not find a hobby you can do during the dark days of the winter months?

  • Yoga classes are in the warmth of heated studios, they’re social and don’t require the sun to be shining!
  • Exercise your mind – fill in the gaps by reading a book, or writing short stories.
  • Take lessons – archery, rock-climbing, karate, cooking… All can be indoor, after-work activities.

To try out new recipes
We got given a slow-cooker for Christmas with a Slow-Cooker Recipe Book to match. We have made broths, stews and yummy side-dishes that we never thought to make, and with very little effort. With a little fore-thought and preparation on food-shopping day, new dinners take no time at all, and fits into the work-eat-sleep winter routine easily.


Thank you Personalised christmas cardTo be positive

Say thanks for the little things, and speak positively. This is something I always try to work on. Complaining can be a pointless habit that makes you dwell on the bad. Moaning about the weather, about the traffic or that your train is late are all things that can’t be changed by complaining. So I’m trying to avoid doing this, to look on the bright side, and focus on something else. Although, sometimes these things are a go-to conversation-starters or small-talk topics, which isn’t terrible. But perhaps try to speak more creatively too.

To join a club
Perhaps sign-up for a cinema card to gain points and discounts on every visit, or join clubs for weekly viewings within the cinema. There are usually local clubs and activites to join within the community, so keep an eye-out in the local paper, council website, or Facebook groups that pop up.

To cut down how much time you spend on your phone
Reaching for your mobile phone can be a mindless habit – I find myself doing it when I’m daydreaming or thinking about something else entirely. I suggest logging out of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to make it harder to check it without purpose- having to log in every time will make you more aware.
Keeping your phone in your bag while sitting at your desk at work, or have a ‘phone-off’ rule at home from dinnertime onwards. This encourages you to be present at the dinner table, and to sleep without the screen lighting up the entire bedroom every 10 minutes.

Good luck, and best wishes for the new year.

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Feeling the lump of Humbug stuck in your throat? Feeling like the Grinch is your shadow? STOP! With the help of quotes from popular festive film Elf, I shall remind you of the reasons to look forward to Christmas this year…

🎄. “We elves try to stick to the four main food groups: candy, candy canes, candy corns and syrup.”
Not only can you eat sweets from dawn to dusk, but it’s also acceptable to have a drink or two before noon.
Champagne and orange juice at breakfast, Baileys in coffee (for 48-hours Baileys is a legitimate milk substitute), sloe gin to warm you up in the afternoon, and a splash of whisky in hot chocolate before bed. It’s okay, calories don’t count on Christmas.

🎄. “You have such a pretty face, you should be on a Christmas card”
Christmas bobble sweaters, elf-shoe slippers, green tights, reindeer earrings… Fashion gets festive – never apologise for this.

🎄.“Sounds like somebody needs to sing a Christmas Carol.”
The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.
Very loud Christmas music is allowed from very early to very late. I suggest getting together a playlist of your favourites – I recommend Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Merry Christmas Everybody and Sleigh Bells. However, to shake it up a bit, find some modern versions of the classics. Slade, KT Tunstall, Zooey Deschanel… So many celebs have taken to Christmas Carols.

🎄.“We could make ginger bread houses, and eat cookie dough, and go ice skating, and maybe even hold hands…”
Spread the love and thanks for your loved ones! Make sure you tell your friends and family how important they are to you.

🎄.“I just like to smile, smiling’s my favourite”
Being jolly for no good reason is the essence of Christmas time! There’s a Grinch at every Christmas party… Don’t be that guy.

🎄.“You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa at all.”
If it’s Christmas time, it has to smell like Christmas time. Christmas-themed scented candles are a real thing (Apple Cider, cinnamon, mulled wine…), which would make a lovely welcome to guests. The smell of apple on mince pie in the oven, and roast turkey on the table are classic Christmas wafts that shouldn’t be neglected.

🎄.“Elves love to tell stories. I’ll bet you didn’t know that about elves.”
Elf, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Carol, The Polar Express… So many great festive films to watch on Christmas Eve. Love Actually is everyone’s love-hate film, but Christmassy nevertheless.

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