Christmas is coming…

So, Christmas is only 8 days away.. I think any shopping done now can officially be judged “last minute” (although according to my husband only shopping done on Christmas Eve can truly be called that!) How prepared are you?

How do you feel about the “festive season” – is it a time of stress or one of relaxation, wonder or weariness?

I think if you celebrate Christmas, no matter whether it’s the miraculous birth of a saviour or the arrival of the man in the red suit, the excitement is directly proportional to the number of youngsters in your life. Literally, the more the merrier!

We are fortunate to have quite a few under 10’s in our family… 12 at last count.. and so the excitement is almost reaching fever pitch!

Whatever your beliefs or traditions, the approaching end of the year is bound to make us tend towards some reflection on how the year has gone, and what has changed since this time last year.

For Treasured this year has been one of huge change – this time last year we were just kicking off our pilot group with only the iPhone app to play with.

This year we have been live with the app and website for nearly six months, we have hundreds of users/fans/followers/likers, we’ve been reviewed and featured by lots of great blogs and publications, we’ve been chosen as “App of the Day” by the Daily Mail this month, and have loads more exciting plans in the pipeline for 2014!

Right now we are working on creating Photobooks from your Treasured memory boxes – this is a really simple way to create your photo book as all the information you need to add (title, caption, who, where, what, when) are already completed when you added that memory to the box.

We are really excited to be working with a great team to achieve this, and will let you know as soon as its ready!

I’ve already told you in a previous blog post that our parents live far away from each other, and my relatives and I are spread out around the world – so Treasured will be a really great tool for us to record our family Christmas this year in our different locations and catch up with each other’s wonderful days at our leisure as and when it suits each of us.

We will also make full use of the wonderful tools like Skype and Viber to make and receive video calls so that the family can watch the children open their presents no matter where they are (time zone permitting obviously!)

Each young family as they grow brings traditions from their parents to their youngsters, and this month we asked on our FB and Twitter feeds whether you and your families have created any NEW traditions;

When my husband was growing up, his family had a coal fire, and hence a coal bunker full of soot, which his parents used to create “sooty footprints” from the fireplace to the Christmas tree – convincing a young Paul that Santa had indeed managed to fit down the chimney and leave those lovely presents under the tree!

The coal fire is now a gas one at the grandparents’ houses, and a “feature fireplace” (which has never seen a fire) in our own home! So… our new tradition, started around 12 years ago for our eldest child, is “magical Santa footprints”… made using a pair of wellington boots, some talcum powder or flour, and a liberal sprinkling of silver glitter!

They are very convincing, if I say so myself – what do you think?

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Some other new traditions our friends have added:

1. Putting up the decorations on 30th November, with the advent calendars wrapped up underneath the tree, to kick off December in as Christmassy way as possible!

2. A hamper to be opened on Christmas Eve – containing new pyjamas, a Christmas film on DVD and some goodies to eat and drink – ready for a cosy family evening in before the fun begins!

3. Of course, we couldn’t finish without mentioning the many friends who have taken the leap to inviting their very own Christmas Elf into their home for the month of December, with all the fun, mischief, mess and magic that brings! The sky really is the limit with these little guys, I have seen photographic evidence of everything from snowball fights and board games with the other toys, to creative and imaginative construction and thrilling escapades, such as zip lines from light fittings and curtain poles, and everything in between (including the odd rather naughty elf partaking of Mum and Dad’s wine, beer & Christmas chocolates!)

Whatever your traditions, new and old, we hope you and your family have a wonderful festive season and we look forward very much to sharing more with you over the coming weeks and months, as Treasured grows.

Please tell everyone you know about Treasured – with the free app and the first 250Mb of storage free (around 100 iPhone photos) – what do you have to lose?

Download the app or register on the website – and have a Treasured Christmas!

Merry Christmas to you all and a wonderful happy and healthy New Year 2014!

Christmas Eve!

Christmas Eve!

 

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Sharing special moments… A guest blog for Mama Baby Bliss…

I don’t live near my family… I moved to London when I was 24 and my parents live on the south coast of England. My sister lives near my parents, and my brother lives in America with his family – my husband’s family are all in the North-East of England.

When I was pregnant we moved to our current home, only 8 miles away from our old house, but most of our old friends had already had children and were past the “baby stage”.

So,  I set out to make some new, local friends… we met three lovely couples on our NCT ante-natal course, and started a tentative friendship with them, before having our little bundle of joy!

Megan tiny holding Dads finger

Once our beautiful baby girl was born, I decided to try some of the local baby groups, and I  quickly filled my week with “meets”, whether it be a baby group in a local church hall, an NCT coffee morning at a local coffee shop, or an organised walk around a nearby park with the buggies!

Some of the ladies and children I met at these groups are still our friends today, five years later, and I don’t know what I would have done without them! We’ve supported each other through all those little “is this normal?”/”should I panic?” moments, and now we’re going through the “I can’t believe my baby is at big school!” panics!

Being a mum with family and friends dotted around the country got me thinking…I wanted to be able to share all my memories and photos just with those people who were a part of my daughter’s and our life.  I didn’t want all and sundry seeing every picture I took, but equally I wanted to be able to share moments of my daughter growing up safely and privately.

When I came up with the idea for Treasured, it was quickly obvious that the ability to share my daughter’s memory box with our family was one of the best parts of the service, from the doting grandparents to my brother overseas.  What makes it even better is that I can allow (if I choose!) those lovely friends of mine to put their memories and photos of her into her Treasured memory box, to keep forever.

These days, everyone takes photos on their phones, so we all take pictures that our friends might like a copy of. Treasured makes it so easy to share those pictures in a way which means that you have ownership of the full size photo as soon as your friend has shared it with you.

From her first trip to the swings to a day at the splash park, or our group trip to Legoland, our daughter’s childhood is recorded in a safe and private place for her to enjoy when she’s older (and add to!)

It’s also a place to record all those funny little things she has said as she has got older – like the memorable day at a local county fair when she saw some more mature ladies dancing: “Oh my gosh, I never knew that Grannies could dance!” to her first joke “Where do frogs keep their money? IN A RIVER BANK!” We can record them all for us to enjoy, along with the dates and places where everything happened.

Funny quote!

Funny quote!

My parents love to show their friends the latest pictures of their beautiful grandchildren, and with Treasured the best & latest ones are always there ready to be displayed on their iPhone app or through their computer on the website.

A Treasured Memory Box

A Treasured Memory Box

As we have started to use Treasured in our everyday lives, it has become apparent to us that it is also useful for other events, such as weddings or special family occasions, where lots of people are taking photos, to collect all of those memories and messages into a central place.

Our next step will be enable Treasured users to create photobooks from their Treasured memory boxes.

Treasured has enriched our lives, and I hope you feel that it will be a useful addition to your life too.

Amy Scott

Founder, http://www.Treasured.com

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This blog post first appeared on the http://www.mamababybliss.com website, as a guest blog.

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Introduction…

For my first post I thought it would be a good idea to introduce myself. My name is Amy and I am the founder of Treasured.com.

When I was young, every year we had our family photo taken at the school when they were taking our school photos.
It’s so much fun to look back on those photos; how we changed each year, my brother getting taller, my sister going from a baby to a teenager, my Mum’s hairstyle and my Dad’s beard different every time – it’s the cause of much hilarity.

5 year old me!

5 year old me!

Also every year when we went on our family summer holiday Mum and Dad would religiously get the photos printed out when we got home and make up an album for that holiday, whether it was within the UK, or abroad to France, Norway or Crete – usually France, as we could get the Ferry and drive there – before the channel tunnel.

Now that I’m a Mum myself, I want to start creating those memory books, photo albums for my children to look back on with my grandchildren (if I’m lucky) when they are older.

BUT although my husband and I take loads of pictures (on our phones if nothing else is to hand!) we very rarely print them out. Over the years friends have given us photo frames, and I still have several that I haven’t actually printed a photo out to put in yet.

I do use Facebook, but again, over the years my friends list has grown and (no offence) but I don’t necessarily want to share my childrens’ every moment with all of them – and I’m sure they don’t want to see them all either.

Even if I did use Facebook or a similar sharing social network, there are other considerations – these sites usually compress the image as it only needs to look good on a screen, and you can’t really look at the photos in a timeline for each person unless they were uploaded in that order. Also you can’t add the little extra details for each photo, or notes of milestones to go alongside.

A lot of my friends have lost precious photos of their children, a couple of months or years of their lives, it might not mean much to others, but to YOU it means everything.

So, I’m starting a new movement – bring back the family photo album – start by using Treasured to store your photos, memories and milestones, in boxes for each person, or special occasion, shared with the appropriate people for that person’s memories – and allow your friends and family to add their own photos and memories to your boxes (even if they can’t see into them!)

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COLLECT everything into one central place, and *coming soon* Treasured will help you to create a photobook to re-create that photo album, the record of family life, your life, their life, for you all to enjoy forever.
And best of all, the photos are all stored on our cloud service, in the original size, so nothing is lost. Out of your house and off your computers, so that nothing can happen to lose them – no hardware failure, no theft of property or natural disaster will take your memories away.

Catch, collect and cherish is our strapline…

Welcome to Treasured!

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