6 Tips for a Productive Black Friday Weekend

The infamous day after the Thanksgiving holiday is almost upon us. Black Friday is a day when literally millions of Americans get a head start on huge holiday sales. A full 24 hours of crowded department store shopping might not be your cup of tea (or eggnog). There are actually many people who would rather stay home and make the most out of their day off instead of fighting over TV sets. Here are our six tips for having an actual productive Black Friday at home!

1. Try new recipes

You might have tons of leftovers from Thanksgiving in your kitchen. Use this as a chance to experiment with new recipes and flavors. You’ll be surprised how many delicious new meals can be made from last night’s feast. We’ve linked to some of our favorite next-day reinventions:

Thanksgiving Leftover Nachos – Spicy, melty, cheesy. All our favorite adjectives.


Cheesy Mashed Potato Breakfast Pancakes – Keep the comfort food theme going with these amazing pancakes.


Thanksgiving Leftover Eggs Benedict – Slide in some honey baked ham to really up the flavor factor.


For more delicious recipe ideas, visit our Pinterest board!

2. Enjoy nature

Did you know that some states like California, Minnesota, and Missouri are participating in “Free Park Friday?” In an effort to promote the beautiful wilderness of the fall season, some state parks and recreation areas will not be charging admission fees! Check with your local state parks department to see if your state is participating. Bring along a hearty Thanksgiving leftover club sandwich for a picnic among the pines!

state parks mixbook thanksgiving black friday

3.  Winter Cleaning

As the weather starts to get colder as we enter December, take the day to do some winter cleaning. If your family members have any items they would like to donate, shelters would be extra thankful this time of year. Clearing some space in your closet is a smart idea around the holidays. Gifted clothing items might just replace the space you made. And we can all say “thank you” for that!

via Instagram user @sko0108

4. Start your holiday shopping list

You have exactly 29 days until the Christmas holiday fills our homes and hearts with joy. Don’t get stuck procrastinating gifts and defaulting to gift cards. Start writing out your holiday gifting list and get ahead of the December rush. Our Mixbook Holiday Gift Guide is a great starting point for thoughtful gifts that will fit your budget and gifting needs. View some ideas from our guide – see tip number six for the added bonus of starting early.

holiday gift guide

5. Netflix, Cocoa, & Crafts

Yes, being productive can mean catching up on all of those shows your coworkers are always chatting about! Invite your friends over, share cocoa recipes, and bundle up for the best kind of marathon. Take the opportunity to do a holiday craft circle. Explore Pinterest beforehand to plan some great and easy crafts for your friends to join in on. We’ve collected tons of holiday crafts that you can browse on our Pinterest holiday craft board.


6. Mixbook’s Black Friday and Cyber Monday Sales

Our Black Friday sales start 11/24! Avoiding the mall riot-worthy sales and die-hard department store campers is probably a good idea. Why not stay home and get shopping done quickly? Lucky for you, Mixbook.com will be hosting amazing sales this weekend. Today, 11/24 we’re featuring up to 55% off cards and 45% everything! And on Black Friday we have BOGO deals on EVERYTHING! You’ll not only save money but time as well. What you can get done from the comfort of your own home is worthy of a couple extra marshmallows in that hot chocolate. If you’re waiting to get shopping done online for Cyber Monday, Mixbook.com will have up to 55% off everything and free US ground shipping.

mixbook black friday sales

Whatever you decide to do after Thanksgiving, Mixbook wishes you and your loved ones a great holiday together. Enjoy each other’s company and make great memories.



2015 Holiday Gift Guide

holiday gift guide

‘Tis the season of giving! As the gifting holidays are just about a month away, getting a head start on your gifts is a great way to avoid added stress to the holiday rush. Our Mixbook Gift Guide is designed to provide you with a smooth gifting experience full of thoughtfulness for the holidays. Mixbook has special gifts for significant others, family members, friends, and even children! Here are some of our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide highlights.

For the family

You can gift all members of your family with memory keepsakes they’ll cherish forever.

Grandparents will always be fans of family photos. Photo calendars or canvas prints featuring the grandchildren can light up not only their homes but also their smiles.

calendar mixbook holidays gift guide

Choose your favorite photos of the family, pets, and kids, and create a custom calendar to treat grandma and grandpa.

If there’s an extra special family photo you took during the year, print that memory on a canvas print. They can hang the canvas print over their mantle or living room couch and create a an extra special focal point in their home.


For your significant other

If you’re always nagging your partner for all those couple selfies they like to take, this could be your chance to use them to your advantage! Our Instagood photo book beautifully showcases all your photos together in a custom layout that will leave him or her #speechless. Photos of friends and memorable vacation photos will make your Instagood photo book a great year-in-review book as well.


If you don’t consider yourself a particularly crafty person and a Mixbook photo book seems overwhelming, our Montage photo books are effortless. With modern themes and a lay flat design, you’ll look like a photo book pro without all the work! Simply upload your desired photos, select a custom theme, and let Montage auto-fill the photo book for you in minutes, not hours (no one has to know). You’ll still have the ability to adjust the layout to your heart’s content, but that’s completely optional.


For the kids

Breakaway from the traditional toys and Legos this holiday season. Creating custom storybooks using Mixbook photo books let’s you and your little ones publish their creativity to last generations. Turn your child into his or her own favorite story character with themes like Superhero or Sparkle and Shine. With designs fit for the toughest crime fighter or fairest princess in the land, this will be their new favorite bedtime story.

superhero-comic--photo-book-kid-child-gift-idea-mixbook sparkleandshine-photo-book-kid-child-gift-idea-mixbook

Mixbook canvas prints can bring to life those refrigerator art masterpieces. Upload a photo of your mini Jackson Pollock’s most popular art or craft, and create a timeless copy that you can display anywhere in the home. They’ll love receiving a gift of their own work. Canvas prints would also look great as a gallery or wall collage in their bedroom.

For last-minute gifting

We all know the feeling of holiday gift procrastination. Mixbook has the perfect photo book that you can order in a snap without sacrificing the thought and care of a personalized gift. While you’re running around town or even on your lunch break, you can create a Mosaic photo book in less than 10 minutes. Available on both Android and iOS devices, Mosaic photo books host 20 of your favorite photos. Simply download the application, select your photos, and boom–another gift done! See how easy it is here:

Canvas prints and photo prints are designed to be a fast and easy experience on Mixbook.com. Just upload your selected photo and choose your sizing. See our canvas print and photo print articles for some DIY inspiration.

photo print mixbook

Year in Review Gifts

Looking back on a year full of great memories is even easier to do with Mixbook. Gift a newlywed couple a Mixbook wedding album so they have a keepsake to relive their beautiful ceremony. Present your spouse with a baby’s first year photo book or a family vacation photo book. Before you know it, they’ll be behind the wheel so make sure to cherish every little moment with them. A family yearly recap photo book can celebrate all of your families milestones and memories. Grandparents are big fans of family recap photo books because it allows them to hold 12 months of heartwarming pride in their hands.

Year in Review Photo Books


There’s truly something special for everyone on Mixbook.com. Whichever memory you decide to transform into a keepsake, your recipient will feel the holiday cheer. Visit our 2015 Holiday Gift Guide and start checking off that gift list.

10 Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

So you’ve decided to host Thanksgiving this year! We give you major kudos because most people find cooking a holiday meal pretty intimidating. Besides all of the turkey, sides, desserts, wine, and eccentric family members, this holiday is all about celebrating our blessings with the ones we love most. Here are Mixbook’s 10 tips to ensure a stress-free and full-bellied Thanksgiving party.

1. The hosting basics.

We’ve created an infographic to get you started on the delicious task at hand. Keep these tips in mind and you’ll be off to a great start.


2. Make it a potluck.

Depending on the size of your gathering, asking guests to bring a piece of the meal will save you a lot of time and money. You’ll have a lot of to-do’s on your list, and guests will be more than happy to contribute a side dish or bottle of wine to the party.

3. Take the time to socialize.

According to Jennie-O, almost a third of Thanksgiving hosts spend only two hours or less socializing. By planning ahead and prepping as much food as you can the previous day, you’ll be able to enjoy the company and the holiday. Don’t let yourself be held up in the kitchen while everyone else is having a good time. You’ve earned it, so be sure to make time to celebrate along with everyone else.


4. Don’t forget about the kids.

What about the kids? If your Thanksgiving includes little ones, plan some fun things for them to do while the adults socialize. Painting gourds and collecting fall leaves for the centerpiece are entertaining activities. And if you’re not afraid of glue, those leaves and a little brown construction paper can be turned into some lovely, homemade turkeys. Also, don’t forget to teach gratitude. Put your little ones on the job of collecting a list of what your guests are thankful for. Reading the list for grace or during the meal is always a lovely touch.


5. Photograph as much as you can.

Maybe you have a teenage relative or hipster cousin who’s good with a camera. Assign him or her to snap photos throughout the celebration. It’ll be a fun surprise to see the great photos taken at the end of the night. Surprise your family members with a beautiful Mixbook photo book for Christmas using the photos that were taken. 


6.  Set the table a day or two ahead.

What you can get done days prior to Thanksgiving will be a blessing! Setting the table is a very important and creative task for the host. Use Succulent Pumpkins as plate toppers or name card holders. They are a modern and vibrant addition to your dinner table.

Succulent pumpkin diy mixbook 7

7.  Be mindful of pets.

Although they are members of our family, pets require certain care during holiday gatherings. If your pet gets anxiety during parties, provide them with a quiet escape so they can be comfortable. If your pet won’t stop begging for scraps be sure to avoid feeding them harmful items on Thanksgiving. This includes: turkey bones, chocolate, garlic and onions, alcohol, certain nuts, and grapes. For more info read this article by the ASPCA here. This is my dog’s quiet area during the holiday madness:


8. Take a coffee break after the big meal.

Serving coffee at the end of the meal will give you time to clear the table before dessert begins. Use this time, with a few helping hands, to start rinsing plates and prepping the dishwasher. Your guests will appreciate the break to digest their meals. Now you’re able to set up the dessert table without having the kitchen sink overflowing with dirty dishes. Coffee saves the day as usual!


9. Leftovers are the best party favors.

In order to restore sanity to your overworked kitchen, ask guests to take food home with them. Piles of leftovers will only go to waste if you keep them in your refrigerator. There are so many delicious recipes they can make using Thanksgiving leftovers. You may also donate your leftovers to the less fortunate. Research your local food bank or soup kitchen and see if they’ll accept some of your home cooked Thanksgiving meal. They’ll be very thankful you called.

10. Get ready for the Mixbook.com Black Friday Sale!

After all is cooked and eaten, you deserve some curled-up couch time. Lucky for you, you can join our Black Friday sale from the comfort of your home! Sign up for our email newsletter to get inside access to the exclusive sales this year and beyond. After all, it’s officially Christmas time the day after Thanksgiving, and you’ll be glad to have gotten your gifting done early. Visit Mixbook.com to sign up today.