Summer Gardening

Summer Gardening
Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.”
—Francis Bacon

Gardens—of any and all kinds—bring both joy and tranquility to those who cultivate and grow them. Whether it’s a flower garden, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, or a purely whimsical garden, it’s a place that becomes your haven. Your sanctuary. Your masterpiece.

Of course, gardens take time and patience. You need to plan, plant, water, and weed. But you also get to enjoy every moment, watching them grow into the magnificent fruits of your labor.

Blue Mountain certainly appreciates the significance of lovely gardens to our readers. That’s why we love to create beautiful eCards that specifically feature a garden theme. Click here to see some enchanting examples—and then be sure to send one to someone special today.

If you already have a garden growing right now, wonderful! If not, we’d love to offer some creative examples of unique gardens you may want to consider growing yourself. Or at least to “oooh” and “aaah” over.

Flower Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Stacy K Floral

Summer Gardening
HGTV

Summer Gardening
Architecture Art Designs

Vegetable Gardens:

Summer Gardening
LLH Designs

Summer Gardening
The Telegraph

Summer Gardening
Juneau Empire

Herb Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Not Just a Housewife

Summer Gardening
Apartment Therapy

Summer Gardening
Persephone Magazine

Whimsical Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Hansel and Gretel House

Summer Gardening
Gardening Gone Wild

Posted in Gardens | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)                There are few things in life that are forever immortalized as being incredibly sweet and utterly irresistible. Among them are babies, puppies…and desserts. Yes, decadent, luscious, oh-so-delicious and wonderful desserts that bring joy and happiness to everyone’s lips.

It just so happens that July is chock-full of fun and fascinating dessert-related holidays. Why not take a moment to look at the list below and celebrate the only way that makes the most perfect sense: by baking a special treat or making a frozen delight! (For your convenience, we’ve included a link to each and every mouth-watering recipe.)

And to kick off what happens to be today’s featured holiday—Chocolate Day—the folks at Blue Mountain are sharing our very own personal favorite recipe for Chocolate Fondue that you’re sure to love. Just download the fondue recipe card designed exclusively for you, print, and enjoy! (To print the recipe card, simply click “fondue” in the above sentence!)

July 7 – National Strawberry Sundae Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 8 – National Chocolate with Almonds Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 9 – National Sugar Cookie Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 11 – National Blueberry Muffin Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 12 – Pecan Pie Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 15 – Tapioca Pudding Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 19 – National Raspberry Cake Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 21 – National Ice Cream Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 27 – National Crème Brulee Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 30 – National Cheesecake Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 31 – National Cotton Candy Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

Posted in Special Days | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Summer Memories

Summer Memories
With the recent arrival of summer, everyone is definitely in the summer mood and anticipating these much-awaited lazy, hazy days.

There are so many good memories that come to mind when summertime starts. We have flashbacks of riding in the back of station wagons for the family trips to the beach or lake, ice-cream cones melting under hot summer skies, running barefoot through the grass catching fireflies, the smell of neighborhood charcoal grills firing up for garden parties and summertime get-togethers and, best of all, daylight lasting so long that the days stretched out in infinite bliss. There are so many wonderful thoughts and feelings that come to mind when summertime is here, that we thought it would be fun to share some of the favorite summer memories from the folks here at Blue Mountain and the reasons why we all love this warm,  sun-shiny season.

“My favorite summer memory is years ago, going to the beach in Rhode Island with my mom and sister, and riding the carousel.”

“I love summer because of gardening!”

“Running through sprinklers has been a favorite memory since childhood, and to this day, while I’m out on a run, I can’t resist running through one if I spot one in someone’s yard.”

“Being in the “way-back” of the station wagon for a trip to the beach or a long trip out west definitely comes to mind every time summer rolls around.”

“I remember listening every afternoon for the fun, melodic music  of our ice-cream man as he came down our street.”

“A favorite summer memory of mine was staying up late, which back then was 8pm or 9pm, and my brothers and sisters and I would be running around outside catching lightning bugs. To this day, it’s never officially “summer” to me until I see that first lightning bug.”

“When I was little, my mother would put on our bathing suits and let me and my sisters dance around in the summer rain.  Oh, how we loved it!”

“I love having coffee on early summer mornings while sitting outside on the porch swing as the world slowly wakes up.”

“Lemonade just seems like summertime in a glass.”

“Our family gets together every year at our lake house and it’s always the highlight of summer.”

“I remember putting playing cards or baseball cards in the spokes of my bike with clothespins, and then you’d go riding down the street making this wonderful little motor sound.”

“I just love being at the beach in summertime and smelling that salty air and hearing the seagulls—there’s nothing like it.”

“My mother would try to get us down for a nap in the summer afternoons, which was tough for little ones to do, and I remember she’d say, “Listen…to the sounds of summer.” I remember laying there listening to the birds singing and the breezes blowing…it worked!”

We’d love to hear what your favorite memory of summer is, or what you love most about it. Please share them with us, and join us in celebrating all the wonderful summer memories that are yet to be made!

Posted in Seasons | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Celebrating “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Ask any pet owner and they’ll tell you—their pets are their family. Our lovable fur babies are like our children, and we love them, and spoil them, to our hearts content. Wanting to take them with us wherever we go is natural, which is why we’re all excited here at Blue Mountain this week because this Friday, June 20th we’re bringing our sweet pups to work with us for Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Our Senior Editor, Liza McNamara, was kind enough to share some photos from last year’s Take Your Dog to Work Day with you. As you can see, her Old English Sheepdog, Malachi (pronounced Mal-uh-kī), kept things running smoothly around here:

If you’re not familiar with Take Your Dog to Work Day here are some quick facts:

  • Pet Sitters International (PSI) created Take Your Dog To Work Day in 1999 to celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage adoption from shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies.
  • TYDTWDay encourages employers to experience the joy of pets in the workplace and support their local pet community.
  • This annual event is always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day.
  • For cat lovers (and other pets) who cannot participate on TYDTWDay, the entire week leading up to the event, June 16-20, is Take Your Pet To Work Week™.

Not only are we so grateful that we’re able to bring our favorite pals to work with us, but, as animal lovers, we’re happy because the day raises awareness for homeless dogs and is a way to educate people in the company about homeless animal statistics. Plus, it highlights the benefits of pet ownership and the important role pets play in the lives of employees.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Malachi also won a handsome bag in our raffle, which made him so happy because he knew it would be pawsitively purrfect for his mom to carry a whole lotta’ treats in. The bag reads, “Life is better with a dog.” We couldn’t agree more!

As you can see by these photos, we at Blue Mountain love our animals to the moon and back, and relish any opportunity to have them by our side. If you’re lucky enough to have a pet of your own to love, or had one in the past, then you know how life-transforming they are and the endless joy and amazing unconditional love they give each and every day. How little they ask from us—a belly scratch, a soft bed, a supper dish…and ultimately, love. So often when we adopt or rescue pets, we may think at first we’re changing their lives when the truth is—they’re changing ours.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Here’s a group shot of some of the employees and their lovable pup pals, who participated in Take Your Dog to Work Day last year.

Give your pets a hug from all of us here at Blue Mountain, and if you’re thinking of rescuing a pet, we urge you to take that step and open that door…and let love walk right into your heart.

 

 

Posted in Holiday, Special Days | Tagged , , | Comments Off

Brighten Someone’s Day!

Brighten Someones Day!

Hello, Blue Mountain Friends,

Well, here we are, knee deep in summer!  Isn’t it wonderful?  Like the fireflies that we caught as children, we can release our happy summertime memories and let them light up our days.  Running through the sprinkler, chasing the ice cream truck, or just hanging out with friends, summer was always an enchanting time.  It’s great to celebrate the big events in our lives, but sometimes it’s fun just to appreciate the magic of ordinary moments.

What little things make your day now?  Enjoying summer pleasures with your children or grandchildren?  Baking a cake that turns out just right?  Discovering that the bunnies didn’t eat your petunias?  Finding your lost glasses on your head?   Hearing from an old friend?

Why not be the old friend who lights up someone’s day with an unexpected card?  Here at Blue Mountain, we’ve created a new line of cards for you called “Brighten Someone’s Day,” because that’s just what they do.  From their fresh and cheery art looks to their warm and engaging words, these cards are designed to build more meaningful connections with the people who matter most to you.

Today is a perfect day to tell your friends how special they are, share a happy memory, send a surprise love note,  show your gratitude, or say “hi” to someone–just because.  We hope you’ll take a moment and choose a card to Brighten Someone’s Day.  You never know how much the smile you send can mean to someone today.

Caroline Leech _ Senior Editor
Brighten Someones Day!

Posted in Brighten Someone's Day | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Memories with Dad

Memories with Dad

As Father’s Day quickly approaches, we’d love to pause for a moment to recount all the meaningful moments we’ve shared with that very special man (or men) in our life. After all, a dad is fun, love, and laughter you never outgrow.

Whether learning to ride a bike or learning to drive a car…whether playing house or playing pool…whether laughing or crying, Dad’s always been there for you. With moments in time that are both vivid and treasured, we are truly blessed to associate such great times with Dad—from childhood all the way through to adulthood.

In order to celebrate that loving bond that’s so precious and unique, Blue Mountain offers many delightfully beautiful Father’s Day eCards. Blue Mountain also offers a great selection of printable Father’s Day cards.

And in order to share those memories we hold so dear, we’ve decided to reach out to our Blue Mountain family and see what personal “dad memories” they remember best—whether reminiscing of old ones or creating new ones. And here’s what they had to say:

DANIELLE KROUSE, Social Media Manager
Memories with Dad
“I can’t help but smile when I look at this picture. The father/daughter dance was something I was really looking forward to on my wedding day. My dad and I talked through the whole dance and told stories of the two of us that made us laugh. I’m so happy that special moment of happiness was captured!”

———-

NOHA YOUSSEF, Assistant Brand Manager
Memories with Dad
“This photo of my dad and me was taken a few years back when we went on a little family getaway to Put-In-Bay, Ohio. My dad loves the outdoors and has a real appreciation for nature, so this was a great escape for all of us to spend some quality time together. He’s an amazing man, and I love him very much.”

———-

MARIA ISABELLA, Content Marketing Editor
Memories with Dad
“Even though my son-in-law is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, he says the birth of his son is unquestionably his greatest accomplishment in life. He adores Avery and steals every moment he can to admire his sweet little face.”
Memories with Dad

“My husband also loves holding Avery, who everyone says looks a lot like him. He tells his grandson about all the many adventures they’re going to have together once he gets older. Watch out, world!”

———-

CAROLYN ANTL, Designer/Content Coordinator
Memories with Dad
“I appreciate my dad very much. As a single dad in the eighties, he raised both my sister and me on his own. He took us with him everywhere he went, and we enjoyed many experiences together. Whether it was folding laundry, cooking, fishing, or skiing, he made time to be with us and raised us to be smart and strong. I feel so lucky to have such a loving father, and I treasure every moment I have with him. This is a picture of us when I was visiting him in South Carolina.”

———-

CAROLINE LEECH, Senior Editor
Memories with Dad
“This is my son, David, with his father, also David. From the very start, they’ve been two peas in a pod. David is 21 now, and I’m happy to say they are still as connected as ever.”

 

Posted in Holiday | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

What to Write in a Father’s Day Card

What to Write in a Fathers Day Card

Father’s Day is the one day a year solely dedicated to all the dads in your life. It’s the day we take a moment to reflect on the significant impact they’ve had on our lives—and how they continue to inspire us in their own special ways. It’s also the day we celebrate creating new memories with these influential fathers and father figures, whether a cherished dad, grandpa, father-in-law, uncle, godfather, or mentor.

A Father’s Day gift is not nearly as important as letting him know how much you care. This can be accomplished either through voice or pen. If penning a message, let it come straight and simply from the heart.

Many of us might struggle to come up with just the right words and sentiments to express our thoughts and emotions. We’re here to help you with that.

When writing a note, a letter, or just some additional thoughts to a Father Day ecard, it’s best to make it short, personal, and sincere. What’s one special moment you’ve shared together? What’s one piece of advice he’s given you that’s made a difference? What’s one trait you particularly admire about him?

To help you get started, here are some ideas that may be just what you’re looking for:

For Your Own Dad

(for males) Dad, you are the man I’ve always wanted to be…
(for females) Dad, I’ll always be your little girl…
For all the things you have been in my life, Dad…
You are the person I model myself after…
Dad, you put the super in hero…
You made my childhood memories the happiest they could be…
I am the (man/woman) I am today because of you…
To my friend, my mentor, my father…
Having a dad like you made growing up so much (better/sweeter/happier…)

For Any Dad

You inspire me to live life to the fullest…
It takes a special kind of man to make others smile from the heart…
Your love is as warm and bright as a sun-shiny day!
What makes your (advice/love) so special is that it comes from you!
You’ll never know how many lives you’ve touched, or how deeply your love has been felt…
You’ve been a mentor and a friend and you’ve made the/my world a better place…
My day is filled with hope and inspiration because of you…
Everyone should have someone as special as you in their lives…

For Husband

You are my knight in shining armor!
My life/Our lives would not be the same without your love…
You are my rock, my partner, my love…
For the man who helps make my/our world complete…
You fill my heart with joy, happiness and hope each and every day…
You are the compass on our life’s journey together…
You are the man of my dreams…
Lucky me/us–having you to love!

For a New Dad / Dad-to-Be

(for girls) Your new little princess is ready for her fairy-tale dad!
(for boys) Your new little sports fan is ready to cheer you on!
Love is on the way with your little one about to arrive…
Wishing you all the joy and happiness fatherhood will bring…
Your arms will be filled with a bundle of joy, and your heart will be filled with love… Tender moments are right around the corner…
It takes a special kind of love to make a father like you…

More Messages

With warmth, love, and a special place in my heart…
Hoping you make the most of your special day…
Wishing you all the happiness you can handle on this Father’s Day…
With the fondest of memories…
With love comes laughter…
Relax, enjoy and celebrate…

 

 

 

Posted in What to Write | Tagged , , , , | Comments Off

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)
Now that we’ve discussed the beauty and impact of generosity and thoughtfulness towards one another in “Random Acts of Kindness: Part 1,” let’s see how we can actually put this lovely concept into motion and make it come to life.

There are a few different ways to do this. You can initiate the act. Or you could perform an act in response to a kind act bestowed on you (which is called “paying it forward”). You could do something nice for your friends and family. Or you could do something nice for strangers. But regardless of which way you do it and to whom, the most important thing is that you do it without any expectation of reward. These are totally selfless acts that are certain to bring you immense satisfaction and pleasure.

We also want to emphasize that these acts do NOT necessarily require large sums of money or a lot of effort. Even the smallest gestures—as long as they’re performed sincerely and without an expectation of recognition or acknowledgement —can result in the greatest happiness.

We’d now love to share a few ideas with you for FREE acts of kindness:

  • Smile broadly and genuinely at someone who passes you by.
  • Hold the door (or elevator) open for the person behind you.
  • Let someone who’s in a rush cut ahead of you in line.
  • Visit a nursing home.
  • Give a sincere compliment to someone who looks like they could use one.
  • Share magazines you’ve already read with co-workers, friends, etc.
  • Bring in your neighbor’s trash cans.
  • Share extra produce from your garden with someone in need.
  • Write a letter to someone who has made a difference in your life.
  • Send someone an eCard (like this free one from Blue Mountain) for no special reason at all.

And here are some ideas for LOW-COST acts of kindness:

  • Leave a heftier tip than usual for your waiter or waitress.
  • Bring a meal to someone who just had a baby or other major life event.
  • Buy a candy bar (or magazine subscription, etc.) that a neighbor child is selling for a fundraiser.
  • Bring donuts or other delicious treat to work.
  • Put lots of pennies on the sidewalk for kids to find.
  • Pay for someone’s coffee.
  • Leave your change behind in a vending machine.
  • Buy an extra ticket and take someone to an event (e.g., movie, concert, ball game).
  • Send a care package to a soldier.

And as a small gift from us to you, we’ve designed a FREE printable that you can download today and give to anyone you choose. It includes 6 different cards that you can fill out and leave anonymously. Look at these cards as your chance to make someone’s day just a little bit brighter!

To download these free printable coupons, simply click on the image, and once the new page opens, right click to print or save the image to your computer.

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

And if you’re wondering exactly how the friendly folks at Blue Mountain use these printables to show each other we care, here’s how (along with the recipients’ feedback):

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

 

 

 

Posted in Brighten Someone's Day, Friendship, Inspirational, Random Acts of Kindness | Tagged , , , , , , , | Comments Off

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)
A smile from a stranger…a hug out of nowhere from your child, friend, or family member… a card received in the mail “just because.” These seemingly small gestures aren’t small at all. In fact, they have the power to turn a day completely around, change an outlook, and move the spirit. Science has even shown that being kind can make a real difference in the well-being and health of individuals who practice it and receive it. Another added plus—it’s contagious. Kindness spurs kindness; a single act can influence dozens more.

Random acts of kindness and “paying it forward” have been picking up steam lately
and trending in social media. It may be due to the fact that, while we weren’t looking,
the world took a turn for the worse and seemingly appeared less kind. Children hurting
and bullying children, innocent people gunned-down at the mall, and sweet animals living
at the mercy of cruel hands have all played into this dark cloud sweeping through our daily
lives. Well, take heart—the sun is rising on a new day and the world is picking itself back
up again. People are noticing and making an effort to put kindness back at the top of their list.

While stuck in an elevator, a boy makes a human chair out of himself to allow an elderly lady to sit down while they wait for help…a baseball team adopts a lonely stray pup that wandered onto their field, and made him the team mascot now loved by millions…a stranger pays for a woman’s breakfast “just because he wanted to,”…a wallet is found in the gutter and mailed back to the out-of-town owner… across the nation, people are pulling up to drive-thru windows only to find out that the person before them has already paid for their order. Kindness is catching, and all of us here at Blue Mountain couldn’t be more thrilled because our work is dedicated to helping people connect with others and be lifted up and cared about. You never know what someone else’s struggles may be, and you probably aren’t aware of the immense power your smile and kind words possess, or how your simple gesture can turn a day, or even a life, around. It’s truly magical, and this popular poem is a heartfelt reminder of how one simple act can grow and multiply.

We’d like you to join us in sharing and spreading kindness, so we do hope you will visit us again later this week when we’ll share Part II of this post and give you some ideas (along with some free gifts) of how you can join the kindness journey. Until then, please enjoy this free downloadable wallpaper which is a thoughtful reminder that you have the power within you to make an extraordinary, beautiful difference. To set as your desktop back ground simply click the image, and when the new window appears, right click and choose “set as background.”

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once remarked, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” From the kindnesses happening in the world right now, it gladdens our hearts to tell you—she was right.

Posted in Brighten Someone's Day, Inspirational, Random Acts of Kindness | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off

Gratitude Guide for Mom: How to say Thank You and Show Mom your Gratitude

Gratitude Guide for Mom: How to say Thank You and Show Mom your Gratitude

Happy Mother’s Day – Those three little words are loaded with so much meaning that there’s no possible way to fit all the things that make up those words into a single day. Yet, we try our best to give tokens of love to our moms with the hope that even just an ounce of what we feel is communicated to them.

So, how do you begin to show your gratitude for all she’s done and continues to do? We’ve compiled a Gratitude Guide with some ideas and inspiration to help you. Keep in mind that, when it comes down to it, most mothers would agree that your time is more wanted than things; your validation of who they are, more precious than gold…

List of Gratitudes
A daughter wrote a letter to her 80 year old mother, telling her how thankful she was for all the things her mother did for her while she was growing up. Her mother said it was the best Mother’s Day gift she ever received, and wants it to be included in her eulogy. Click Hereto read Faye’s letter to her mother…and maybe grab a tissue. If you would like to do something like this, you can use our Blue Mountain printable stationery as a beautiful backdrop for this gift she’ll cherish.

Sing it
Do you have musical talent? Write your mom a song and sing it to her, or record it for her so she can listen to it over and over again.

Dedicate a song on the radio
If singing isn’t your thing, call up her favorite radio station and see if they’ll dedicate a song to her at a time she’s probably listening.

A box of 52 of your favorite memories about your mom
Find or make or your own decorative box and write down 52 of your best-loved memories about your mom. She’ll get to read one each week over the next year.

Garden walk treasures
Go on a garden walk with Mom and collect leaves, petals, and anything that catches your eye. Back at Mom’s house, create a window display of your treasures reminding her of your enjoyable afternoon together.

Record a personalized ringtone for her cell phone.
Give her a heart a tug every time her cell phone rings. Record a special ringtone of all the kids/grandkids yelling, ‘We love you Mom/Grandma!”

Jewelry with meaning
Give her vintage map jewelry of the state/country where you grew up, her favorite bible verse, or a much-loved passage from a favorite book 
or poem.

A Now and Then Photo
Frame a photo of you and Mom from when you were still a baby and she was a young mom, and one of the two of you now.

Take a class together.
If you live close to your mother, take a class together of something she always wanted to do like sewing, painting, cooking, etc. Not only will it be a fun experience, but the time spent together is priceless.

Mother’s Day Photo Magnet
All moms have them—photos covering the refrigerator of all their children and grandchildren. This is a wonderful idea that can turn a photo of each person she loves into a magnet itself. You can make one of every child and grandchild. Once you’ve made the magnets, post them to her refrigerator with notes from each person on the magnet about what they love about her so she’s reminded every single day what an amazing woman she is and how she’s touched their lives.

Make a recurring appointment for a phone call with Mom each week. Plus, if you have siblings, assign each one a different day of the week to call Mom so she hears from her children regularly.

Tell Mom what you learned from her example.
This popular poem by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan is a wonderful way to honor mom and has been shared in many forms time and time again.

One of our Blue Mountain editors has created a Pinterest Board for many of the ideas you’ve read about in our blog today, and we also invite you to use our Mother’s Day eCards to help celebrate your wonderful moms.

All of us at Blue Mountain wish you and your mom a Mother’s Day to remember!

Posted in Holiday, How To, Inspirational, Mother's Day | Tagged , , , , , | Comments Off