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YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

Happy August Birthday—You Naturally Inventive Leaders!

An inventive mind if there ever was, those born during the month of August have a knack for innovation, plus the talent and detail-oriented mindset to make their novel idea a reality. A born leader and inspiring orator, you have the strength of character necessary
to see not only your dreams come true, but help facilitate the aspirations of others as well.

Leo

Leo, how you love the spotlight! Showcasing your talents, you crave the attention you receive from others. You also understand, however, that it’s not always about you, so you enjoy shepherding others and helping them achieve their dreams as much as you do your own. Leadership is such your forte, you could write a book about it… and you probably have! With your strength of character and will to succeed, not only is the sky the limit, but you and your protégées will undoubtedly fill it as the stars you are!

Virgo 

If you’re a Virgo, you know how to get things done. With an eye for detail and instinct for order, you accomplish whatever you set your mind to. You are meticulous and love creating order out of chaos; so much so, that your specialty could be to help others organize their lives as well, whether at work or at home. Speaking of order out of chaos, your health and well-being are paramount to you, as you’re not one to let your hygiene lapse, even for a day. For you, health and happiness are most enjoyed from the inside out!

August Flower  

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  August’s birth flower, the Gladiolus, gets its name from the Latin, gladius, or “sword,” for the leaves’ resemblance to a sword. Associated with Roman gladiators until the African Gladiolus gained in popularity, this tall bloom is a symbol of strength and integrity. Its more amorous meaning connotes “love at first sight.” Among its many uses: treating physical ailments as the corms (stem) were turned into a poultice and applied to affected areas; was also used to extract thorns and splinters, as well as treat colic when mixed with goat’s milk.

August Birthstone  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

Your birthstone, the peridot, has two possible name origins: faridat, Arabic for “gem,” and peridona, which translated from Greek mean “to give richness.” Believed to have originated from the TopazosIsland (now the Zabargad / St. John’sIsland) in the Egyptian Red Sea, the green gemstone has been mined for over 3,000 years. Renowned for its healing properties, it’s considered ideal for respiratory health. Also known for its protective properties, it’s said to boost prosperity and fame. Although it can be made into jewelry, peridot wears down easily and isn’t considered ideal for decoration. Still, with its rich olive shade, it is sought out by collectors.

Famous August Birthdays

Celebrate your birthday this month with these notable names:

Ingrid Bergman, Queen Elizabeth, Alfred Hitchcock, Whitney Houston, Gene Kelly,
Francis Scott Key, Annie Oakley, Regis Philbin, Leo Tolstoy, Mae West

Important August 2013 Holidays

International Friendship Day 8/4
Ramadan, ends 8/7
Assumption of Mary 8/15

For more information on August birthdays, please click here.  And to see a large selection of birthday ecards that range from funny to sweet, just visit bluemountain.com. We’ve got cards for everyone on your list, including talking cards that are perfect for those in the birthday spotlight this month!

 

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

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IT’S NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY! (7.23)

ITS NATIONAL HOT DOG DAY!   (7.23)

Whet Your Wienie Appetite and Celebrate Hot Dog Day!

Now that you’ve gotten some nice naptime in from yesterday’s National Hammock Day, you’re probably famished. So, satisfy your appetite and start celebrating all over again, for July 23 is National Hot Dog Day!  It’s estimated that Americans eat roughly 20 billion hot dogs a year. That’s a lot of wienies!

Beef up your hot dog history and tantalize your taste buds with these mouth-watering recipes and suggestions for some hot dog dining!

A Little Hot Dog History

Although the origin of the hot dog is as widespread as there are toppings to put on it, some believe the frankfurter got its start from some enterprising butchers in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany and Vienna, Austria. Many migrated to America, bringing their delicacies with them.

In 1904, Bavarian proprietor Anton Feuchtwanger started running out of the gloves he gave customers to handle the hot sausage he sold. He reportedly procured the services of his brother-in-law baker who concocted soft rolls long enough to fit the meat, and the hot dog bun was born.

As for how “hot dog” got its name, it’s believed that New York cartoonist Tad Dorgan coined the term after watching vendors advertise their “dachshund sausages” by hollering to bystanders nearby. Uncertain of how to spell “dachshund” while sketching the scene, Dorgan substituted the words “hot dog” and the phrase stuck.

To Grill, or Not to Grill

Whether you’re tying on your grilling apron to cook up some hot dogs or heading to the ballpark to catch a game—and that stadium mustard!—there’s nothing like sinking your teeth into one of America’s favorite foods! If you do plan on firing up the grill to cook your own, or roasting it on a stick over an open flame, here are some finger-licking recipes to liven up any frankfurter:

Finger-Licking Frankfurter Recipes

            Chicago-Style Hot Dog:
            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chicago-style-hot-dog/detail.aspx
            Detroit-Style Coney Dog:
            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/detroit-style-coney-dogs/detail.aspx
            Corn Dogs:
            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/corn-dogs/detail.aspx
            Sloppy Dogs:
            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/sloppy-dogs/detail.aspx
            Pretzel Dogs:
            http://allrecipes.com/recipe/pretzel-dogs/detail.aspx

If you plan to pass on the grill and could use a tip on how to find some hot dog hot spots near you, here are a few sites to point you in the right direction:

Happy Hot Dog Hot Spots

And when you’re just plain dog tired and don’t want to fix your own franks, here’s a list of places that serve up some of the best plain to absolute gourmet dogs around!

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IT’S NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY! (7.22)

ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)

It’s a Swing Thing: Celebrate National Hammock Day!

Nothing spells summer like stretching out in a nice, comfy hammock. July 22 is National Hammock Day–part of National Hammock Month–so be sure to celebrate all the relaxation your swinging sanctuary brings by indulging in a little hammock history and
tips on ways to further enjoy it.

 History of the Hammock

Introduced to Christopher Columbus by a Haitian tribe known as the Taino Indians, the hamaca, (or hammock) was originally used in Central America over a thousand years ago as protection from dangerous ground organisms. Their popularity grew after Columbus brought hammocks back to Europe, with all classes of people seeking them out. The U.S. military even slept in them when on missions far from home. They were first mass-produced in Pawley’s Island, South Carolina. Today, people around the world use them as an ideal source of summertime slumber.

 Rest & Relaxation Tips 

 Make the most of your hammock and rejuvenate yourself with these relaxation suggestions:

  • Enjoy a refreshing breeze, watch the clouds drift in the sky,
    and indulge a favorite daydream
  • Bask in the warm sunshine and listen to the sounds of nature
  • Lose yourself in a good book while sipping ice-cold lemonade
  • Share a spot and the closeness of a loved one
  • Take a nice, long afternoon nap (pack a pillow or cushion)
  • Enjoy a tasty snack like a mouth-watering hot dog (July 23 is National Hot Dog Day by the way!) and a scrumptious dessert like ice cream (July is also National Ice Cream Month!)

 Hammock Buying Guides

Don’t have a hammock? No problem. Here are a few sites to consider when buying:

By the way, hammocks are not just for summer anymore! You can buy hammock sleeping bags that keep you off the ground and warm in even the coldest temperatures!

Try Googling “hammock sleeping bags” to check it out.

Z-z-z-z-z-z

 

 

 

 

 

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MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)

MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18) 

Families are the Greatest!

Families…they’re the ones who’ve known us the longest and loved us the most. Who care about us wherever we are, and wish us happiness whatever we do.

They’ve seen us at our best, our worst, and everything in between. And they’ve been there every step of the way…to celebrate our special moments, encourage our dreams, cheer us on, lift us up, and share our laughter and our tears.

They’re the people we look up to and are proud of. People we just couldn’t do without!

They’ve given us more than we could ever thank them for. And they mean more than
they could ever know.

They’re family…part of our favorite stories and memories…and a very special part of
our hearts.

Celebrate someone special in your family
with the perfect thoughts and wishes
from bluemountain.com!

MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)MOOD BOARD: Family Birthdays! (7.18)

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“WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16)

 “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16)

What Could Be Better Than a Birthday?

Cake. Ice Cream. Balloons. Presents. Laughter. Smiles. Fun. And the one day in 365 that’s all about us! Does it get any better than that?

From young to old–and since time immemorial–people have celebrated birthdays in all kinds of unique and wonderful ways. But whether we like fanfare or some quiet time just to dream, we all deserve to have a day that’s simply perfect for us–and to be reminded how special we are and the difference we make in this world. And–if we happen to be family–perhaps even more so.

I Want to Tell Them…

Sometimes the people we care about most can be the last to know it!  Sometimes we’re just better at doing something to show our love than we are at talking about it. Maybe we’re shy about our feelings or we’re just not sure how to express them. But we all know how much even the smallest compliment, expressed from the heart, can mean.

…But How Do I Say It?  

Here at bluemountain.com, we have everything from simple wishes to words of appreciation, warm compliments, or love-filled thoughts for the ones you’re closest to. So have a look…and once you’ve chosen the perfect card, you can use some of the idea-starters below to help you add your own personal touch, making it into a keepsake that will always be treasured.

Some Things to Think About

What is it about your family that makes it unique, special, and wonderful?
And how does this person contribute to that?
What is your favorite thing about this person?
What are some of your best memories that include them?
How have they’ve touched, inspired, or influenced you?
Is there something they’ve said or done that made all the difference?
Something special you want to thank them for?
What does this person mean to you?

Making It Personal

Now you’ve got more ideas than you need, don’t you?! Time to choose your favorite ones and, in your own words, write what’s in your heart. Relax. Smile. Keep it simple. Make it a celebration of the unique and special person they are, and you’ll make their day–and, just maybe, their whole year!

Simple Wishes

Enjoy every special moment that comes your way today…
This wish is for your birthday…but the smiles are for always…
To another year of family times and happy memories…
Wishing you your favorite kind of day…to smile, laugh, dream, remember, celebrate.
With hugs, smiles, and love for a very special _________.

Compliments

Can’t imagine our family without you in it.
Even if we weren’t family…you’d still be one of my favorite people ever.
Every family has its special people…and you’re one of the nicest.
Family’s the greatest…especially family like you.
Great memories…good times…family like you are the best!
Happy Birthday to my one-of-a-kind wonderful ______(relationship).
Hoping life is always good…for a _______ who will always be special.
It’s fun being family with you!
Thoughts of you always make me smile.
Wishing a wonderful ________ a wonderful birthday.
You’re a gift to our family…
You’re the best kind of family…the fun kind.

 Special thanks

So thankful we’re family…
Thanks for being someone I’ve always looked up to…
Thanks for being there for me…
Thanks for making me feel special…
Thanks for the nice things you’re always doing…
You’re a blessing to our family.

 Close relationships

Celebrating you and how much you’ve always meant to me.
Feel loved, feel special, because that’s what you are.
Life gives us family. Love makes them matter.
Nobody loves us like our families do.
Not just because we’re family, but because we’re friends, too…
Smiling at so many memories today…
Some of my favorite family stories have you in them.
We share a special connection…
We’ve shared the ups and downs and everything in between.
You’re a part of my favorite memories…
Your birthday will always be special to me because you are.

 

 “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16) “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16) “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16) “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16) “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16) “WHAT TO WRITE…” in Family Birthday Cards (7.16)

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IT’S NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH! (7.11)

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month! He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food and called for citizens to observe the day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” It is said that ice cream is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the American population…no wonder there’s always a long line at the local Dairy Delite!

We’ve narrowed down the five most popular flavors for you to rank in your own order of preference—from (1) “Triple scoop, please!” to (5) “I’d rather eat a salad.”

Most Popular Flavors

Vanilla
Chocolate
Strawberry
Butter Pecan
Chocolate Chip

Now, see what your #1 favorite says about the kind of person you are…

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

Vanilla

With your classic style, open-minded attitude and easy-going personality, you are just plain cool! It’s important for you to be liked by everyone—and you are—which helps you fit into any social situation.  People feel as comfortable around you as swinging hammock on a hot summer day…which is where you’d like to be.

 

ChocolateITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

You have a passion and enthusiasm for life and like being the center of attention!  While you’re usually outgoing, optimistic and friendly, you can also be deeply introspective with
a dark, hilarious sense of humor. You also have a competitive side that drives you to get what you want…so, when faced by a challenge, you won’t stop until you lick it!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Strawberry 

You’re sweet, loveable and eternally adorable! Sure there are times you might come off
a little shy, but that’s only because you’re generous enough to let others shine before you steal people’s hearts with your natural charm. And your “irresistibleness” is the cherry
on top!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Butter Pecan  

You are stable, down-to-earth and well-balanced with a deep sense of loyalty and commitment. You’re a traditionalist who likes the finer things in life and works hard to get them. With your calm demeanor and solid confidence, others tend to rely on you to keep things running smoothly…which is why they’re surprised when you sometimes show your nutty side!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Chocolate Chip 

You have a happy, cheerful, youthful disposition that makes you fun to be with! Being a creative type, you keep coming up with new ideas and you aren’t afraid to try new things. In fact, sometimes you’re pulled in so many different directions, you spread yourself too thin and just have let the chips fall where they may.  Yet somehow that always works out for you and you come out smelling like a fresh-baked cookie!

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RAMADAN (7.9)

RAMADAN  (7.9)

Sunrise to Sunset

Throughout the next 30 days, over 1.5 billion people around the world will be observing Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, with adults fasting and praying from sunrise to sunset.

In North America this year, Ramadan begins at sunset on July 9, but there are some years when it falls in the middle of winter! This is because, for those who don’t follow an Islamic calendar, Ramadan is a moving holiday that shifts about ten days every year based on date of the new moon. Despite the changing dates, the strong traditions of Ramadan remain the same: there is fasting, prayer and the practice of selflessness.

Fasting and Other Traditions

Fasting is one the Five Pillars of the Islam religion and one of the highest forms of Islamic worship. For Muslims, it’s a way to sacrifice earthly pleasures, share the sufferings of the less fortunate and more deeply appreciate the bounties of Allah. Only adults are expected to fast, but children enjoy the other traditions including the excitement of sighting the moon and sharing special meals.

A typical day of Ramadan begins just before sunrise with a meal called Sahur, followed by the first of five prayers, which are offered all day long. And then the fast begins. Throughout the day, Muslims are encouraged to go out of their way to help the needy, both financially and emotionally. In fact, some people are so enthusiastic about helping others during this month, they barely have time for themselves.  But since Muslims believe they will be rewarded more than 70 times over for good deeds during Ramadan, this is well worth the effort. At the end of each day, the fast is broken at sunset, often with social dinners or “lftar parties.” And then remainder of five prayers is offered, usually at a Mosque.

Eid-ul-Fitr

The month of Ramadan ends with a festive celebration called Eid-ul-Fitr (commonly called “Eid”) which often lasts three full days.  Muslims get together with family and friends, share gifts and eat delicious dinners. Or they take a short vacation…before patiently waiting for the next year.

Overall, Ramadan is a very special time of brotherhood and customs that brings about a feeling of closeness, community and religious commitment, which is a wonderful experience for Muslims of all ages around the world.

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YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY!

Happy July Birthday—You Natural Nurturers and Stage Seekers 

YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! “All the world’s a stage”

—William Shakespeare

Right at home as the center of attention, those born during the month of July have a noticeable “stage presence.” Not only are they comfortable being in the spotlight, but they can help others feel at ease, too. As much as they may crave attention, they’re also intensely private, so picture them at a masquerade ball where they’d dazzle others with their costume while hiding behind their party mask.

Cancer

If born a Cancer, you’re an emotional creature of habit whose moods can shift, but with a predictability and consistency. A deep, sensitive soul who adores the comforts of home, you value not only your privacy, but recognize others’ need for privacy as well. A nurturing spirit and defender of the family, you seek peace and tranquility in a domestic setting, but at the same time, go to bat in a heartbeat for those you care about. Memories are of the utmost importance to you, so you enjoy hobbies like scrap-booking and anything else that preserves those precious moments.

Leo

What can we say, Leo? You lead, take center stage, and are the king of your castle! Generous and open-hearted, you love and are affectionate with those you care about. Taking great pride in whatever you do, you operate with a certainty that others can envy, but being as generous as you are, you willing helps others achieve their dreams. For if others admire your creations and try to mimic them, you can’t help but smile with pride and feel flattered.

YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! July Flower

July’s birth flower, the Larkspur, get its scientific name, delphinium, from the Greek word, delphis, meaning “dolphin,” although its use in birthday celebrations dates back to the Roman Empire. Its more colloquial meaning is that of an open heart and great passion. The spur part of the flower is shaped like the hind toe of the lark, hence its more common name. Used medicinally in ancient times to heal wounds, its nectar is popular among butterflies and bumblebees. Nowadays, it is used decoratively in bouquets and other flower arrangements, for it stands out due to its considerable height.

July Birthstone

Your birthstone, the ruby, comes from the Latin, YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! rubens, meaning “red.” Originally mined in the country of Burma in 2500 B.C., it has a history of being used by shaman for its healing and protective qualities, especially when worn next to an affected area. It’s also considered helpful in boosting energy and bringing about much prosperity. This precious red gemstone can also be made into jewelry, and has been a favorite among the rich and famous, most notably Elizabeth Taylor and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis.

Famous July Birthdays

Celebrate your birthday this month with these notable names:

P.T. Barnum, Sandra Bullock, George W. Bush, Princess Diana, Harrison Ford,
John Glenn, Tom Hanks, Dean Koontz, Ann Landers, Nelson Mandela, Beatrix Potter,
Ringo Starr, Henry David Thoreau, Kristi Yamaguchi,

Important July 2013 Holidays

Independence Day 7/4
Ramadan (begins evening of 7/8)
Bastille Day 7/14
National Hammock Day 7/22
National Hot Dog Day 7/23

To see a large selection of birthday ecards that range from funny to sweet, just visit bluemountain.com. We’ve got cards for everyone on your list, including talking cards that are perfect for those in the birthday spotlight this month!

YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY! YOUR JULY BIRTHDAY!

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HAPPY CANADA DAY!

HAPPY CANADA DAY!

Canada Day, once called Dominion Day, is celebrated with the same intent and fervor as Independence Day in the USA.  Canada Day marks the event in 1867 when Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and the Province of Canada began the process of becoming an independent and united nation.  It wasn’t until 1982, however, that it became fully independent from the United Kingdom.  Though Canada Day has only been celebrated since the ’50s with fireworks and barbeques, it’s now a notable day for relaxing and appreciating family and freedom.

Canada’s capital, Ottawa, Ontario, and many other cities and provinces host holiday activities with games, cookouts, parades, carnivals, concerts, and air and maritime shows. There are countless events and festivals to be found throughout each city’s streets, parks, and museums. Fireworks are launched everywhere from Nova Scotia to Vancouver to conclude a day of patriotic festivities.

So how can you celebrate your neighbors to the North or honor Canada Day at home? Try decorating with some maple leaves and add splashes of red and white everywhere.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!   Make a Strawberry Maple-leaf Flag Cake, or try Eggs in Maple-Ham Cups, Canada Day Picnic Sandwiches or fun Beaver Cupcakes to savor the day Canadian-style.

HAPPY CANADA DAY!   Another way to have fun is to create some crafts.  You can make delightful Canada Day Birds of red and white paper or a simple red and white pinwheel to play in the breeze at the local parade. Today, craftsmen and hobbyists find lots of ways to celebrate the rich heritage of beautiful Canada.

You can find links for some great recipes and craft ideas for Canada Day below.

It’s always fun to join in a celebration, so come on and honor your Canadian friends and neighbors by recognizing one of their greatest days in history.  It all happens on July 1!

http://www.canadianliving.com/food/canada_day_picnic_sandwich.php
http://www.canadianliving.com/food/baking_and_desserts/canada_day_cake.php
http://www.canadianliving.com/food/beaver_cupcakes.php
http://www.rightathome.com/Food/Recipes/Pages/EggsinMapleHamCups.aspx
http://pinterest.com/twintrospective/canada-day/
 
Photo Credits: Strawberry Maple-leaf Flag cake: smallhomebigstart.blogspot.com   Eggs in maple Ham Cups: rightathome.com
HAPPY CANADA DAY!   HAPPY CANADA DAY!   HAPPY CANADA DAY!   HAPPY CANADA DAY!   HAPPY CANADA DAY!   HAPPY CANADA DAY!