I was taking a beginner's programming course at the same time my brother and his wife just had their first baby. A new baby is a great time in everyone's life – family and friends wanted to celebrate with gifts and well wishes from the day they find out about the pregnancy. Keeping track of those gifts seemed hard – in an effort not to forget anyone, my brother and wife were keeping the cards and writing notes on the back of envelopes ... When it came to writing 'Thank You' cards, those notes weren't nearly as good as they thought. How is it possible that two people gave them "purple" onsies?

I thought there had to be an app for all of this. Wasn't there an app for everything? Apparently not! There were card apps but no apps that kept track of gifts or let you easily create and send a personal 'Thank You'. So I started to build OurGifts as my learn-to-program project. I was going to create a really simple app to just keep track of all the presents received. The feedback I got from friends, family and total strangers was 'why hasn't anyone done this before?' and that it would be a perfect app for baby showers … AND children's birthday parties, graduations, engagement parties and weddings – all those celebrations with lots of gifts and thank you cards and notes to write.

Not surprisingly, it took longer and was harder than I thought it would be. The app got more complicated. I really had to learn to code … I also had to learn about design, UI and UX (like what the letters actually stood for???). I spent a lot of time in front of a computer, drank a lot of coffee and ate a lot of chocolate – I mean a LOT of chocolate. I used all my friends and family as testers and guinea pigs - my family features on many of the how-to videos and cards. As part of my research, I learned a lot about the science of gratitude and the key role it plays in health and happiness. I've learned to be more thankful in my own life. In the end, I'm proud of what I produced. I hope you love it too.

I have lots of ideas for more features and new products but enough about me. I would love to get your feedback and see the cards that you create. Please contact me by email or the Facebook. If you like OurGifts, please make sure to tell your friends and family about it!

Thanks and all the best, Denise Tambanis

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