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The History of Birthdays

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It’s a day that’s all about you – it’s your birthday! Celebrating the anniversary of the day you were born is a common thing, but have you ever wondered where the tradition began? Early man didn’t have a concept of time, or know how to calculate events. Marking the passage of time only became customary with the invention of calendars, which came about from the ability to read lunar cycles.

So where did we get some of the many traditions that come with birthdays?

Parties
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Birthdays are often celebrated across many cultures (often with gifts, parties, etc.), but some say the tradition of birthday parties started in Europe. The superstition stated that evil spirits were particularly attracted to people on their birthdays, so to protect the birthday boy or girl, family and friends would visit. Apparently, bringing good wishes and lots of noise kept the spirits away! This is why many parties are filled with noise makers, music and lots of laughter. So break out the party favors and crank up the tunes!

Cake and Candles
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A birthday celebration isn’t complete without a cake and candles! Some think the cake tradition started with the Greeks, who would take a round or moon shaped cake to the temple of Artemis- the Goddess of Moon – to celebrate. They would then light candles on the cake to make it glow like a moon because they believed that gods lived in the sky and that lighted candles helped to send a signal or prayers.

Others think it was a German custom, as they would bake bread into the shape of baby Jesus’ swaddling cloth to mark the occasion. They’d then place a large candle in the middle of the cake, symbolizing ‘the light of life’.

And what about blowing out those flames? Candles are placed on a Birthday cake and a silent wish is made before blowing out the candle. Some say that blowing all candles out in one breath means the wish will come true and the person will have good luck in the coming year. Why? Early traditions believe that the rising smoke takes your wishes and prayers up to God. Regardless of what you believe, don’t let the flames burn too long – it’s bad form to let all of the wax melt all over the cake!

Dates
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What’s the most popular birth date in theUnited States? October 5 holds this honor, while May 22 is the least common birth date.

So whether your birthday is today, or a full year away – happy birthday to you and yours! What do YOU do to celebrate your special day?

 

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Summer Cocktail Recipe: Printable Recipe Card

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There must be a rule somewhere that states when summertime is here, delicious, colorful drinks must be had, and we don’t mind that rule one bit. When summer cocktails came to mind, a few of us immediately thought of sangria—with its red and white varieties that include endless fruit combinations, there’s simply no reason not to enjoy it all summer long.

However, we were surprised to discover that there was one type of sangria that we’ve never even considered before—frozen! Naturally, when we found this happy delight from lemon tree dwelling, we couldn’t hold back from sharing it with you. So, without further ado, please print and enjoy this free recipe card for Tropical Frozen Sangria, and come along with us to savor the flavors of summer!

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Printable Quote: Summertime

We hope you are all enjoying the sunshine and warm weather of sweet, sweet summertime! The feelings that summer bring out should be shared, so we wanted to create this printable, and framable summer quote for you. Hang it on your wall, at your desk, or give to a friend. Enjoy!

07222015_Summertime_living_Printable_BLG_BMA Click here to download, print, and frame

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Celebrate National Sisters Day on August 2

Sisters share an unbreakable bond, and did you know that there is a special day just for celebrating what that bond means?!? August 2 is National Sisters Day – a day to spend with your sisters, or even friends who are like sisters to you. We created this special postcard just to help you celebrate. Click here to view, send, and share. Happy Sisters Day!

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Birthday Surprise: Celebrating 70!

 

70_birthday_partyIntroBirthdays are meant to be celebrated. And milestone birthdays are even more special. One of our extremely talented Art Directors, Alison, has a knack for party planning, and she does a pretty amazing job. This past Spring, Alison’s mother was turning 70, and she knew she wanted to celebrate in a really special way. We had to share how everything turned out, so here’s Alison with the details….

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My mom was turning 70 this year and I didn’t want another birthday, especially a milestone, to go by without an unforgettable celebration. What better way to honor someone than to throw a surprise birthday party?

So back in February, my brother and I started planning. We wanted to invite as many people as possible–friends, family, classmates, and co-workers. I designed the invitation around her stunning engagement picture, my favorite photo of her.

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I wanted the colors to be classy and fun. Gold, black, pinks and polka-dots to represent the 50’s era my mom grew up in. I turned black paper fans into records, using song titles that went with my mom’s name, Sharron, like “My Sharona” and “Sherry Baby”. To continue the theme, I used records as table centerpiece mats as well.

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Each centerpiece was a gold Mason jar that contained  a Happy Birthday tag, black paper fans with her picture, gold flags with “70”cut outs, and black or pink polka-dot balloons and flowers. Flowers were incorporated into everything. I made pom-pom flowers, cupcake liner flowers, and small and large tissue paper flowers.  Each table featured different titles for her—“mom,” “daughter,” “sister,” “wife,” “grandma” and “friend.”

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Ah…the cake!  I continued with the flowers and created a topper for it that said, “70 Years Loved.”  I also served polka-dot cookies with gold “70” and black “S” for “Sharron,” that people could take home with them.

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As you can see from my mom’s expression, we got her!  She was beyond surprised. Hugs went on forever and everyone had a great time. Best gift of the evening: as my mom hugged me she told me, “It’s an honor to be your mom.”

All the planning, stress, and flower making…totally worth it.    Happy Birthday, Mom!

Click here to see more pictures from the party.
All Photos Courtesy of Kelly Kutsko
Cookies by Chris Carolin
Cake by Kelsey Elizabeth Cakes

 

 

 

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Printable Love Notes

Weddings, Anniversaries, Special Days… There’s so much to celebrate about love! And one of the best things is letting people know how much they mean to you! Our designers have created love notes that you can print and leave for anyone whose day you’d like to brighten with a smile. These love notes are perfect for popping in lunches, secretly tucking in coat pockets, leaving on desks at work, or inside books for a hidden surprise. Your kids, friends, family, and sweetheart are sure to love and appreciate your thoughtful little love gems. Enjoy filling your world with happiness and love!

Click here download and print these love notes out today!

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Summer Craft Roundup: Planning a Crafternoon

It’s summer. You’ve got some extra time on your hands. And you’d love to plan a crafternoon.

“What exactly is a ‘crafternoon’?” you may be wondering if you’ve never heard the term before. Simply put, it’s an afternoon solely devoted to the joy of crafting.

In other words, it’s a time to relax, have fun, and let your creative juices flow!

This summer, take respite from the heat and activity-filled zaniness to enjoy a lazy afternoon with one of these easy-to-make home and garden décor craft projects. (Lemonade or iced tea optional—but highly recommended!)

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1. DIY Outdoor Pillows via Meet the B’s
2.  Garden Markers via Wit & Whistle
3. Drink Covers via Martha Stewart
4. Driftwood Seahorse via Creative in Chicago
5. Simple Summer Totebag via Crafting Chicks
6. Mason Jar Tiki Torches via The Frugal Homemaker

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Friendship Printable

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We love celebrating friendship! It’s so important to keep in touch with friends and remind them how grateful we are to have them in our lives. So we wanted to offer this beautiful, printable friendship quote to all of you – our friends! It’s perfect for framing and sending to a friend as a token of just how special their friendship is! Enjoy!

Click here to download, print, and frame.

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Summer Gardening

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.

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1. Vegetable Garden: Juneau Empire
2. Whimsical Garden: Gardening Gone Wild
3. Herb Garden: Persephone Magazine
4. Vegetable Garden: LLH Designs
5. Flower Garden: Architecture Art Designs
6. Herb Garden: Not Just a Housewife

 

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. Summer gardening is one of the best ways to brighten up any ones yard.

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.

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Summer Inspirations – FREE Printable!

07072015_Summer_Inspirations_BLG_BMA (2)With summer underway and daylight lasting deliciously long, our souls are pulled to a familiar feeling of wonder, adventure,  and free-spiritedness. There’s just something about the sultry air that makes us want to savor favorite pastimes of bygone summers  and send our spirits soaring on quests in search of brand new ones. 07072015_Summer_Inspirations_BLG_BMA

To keep summery inspiration right at hand, we’ve collected a wonderful assortment of ideas to ignite your spirit all throughout the season. Simply print, cut them out, and place in a mason jar so you can pick one a day, a few a week, or anytime you desire a dose of inspiration.07072015_Summer_Inspirations_BLG_BMA (3)

You can also post a few on your magnet boards or refrigerator, or tape to a mirror as a reminder to feed your soul daily. There’s also a blank sheet to add your own ideas, too.

Pick a few, or challenge yourself with a friend or the grandkids to get through them all. It’s not a race; there are no have-to’s. The aim is for the season to be simple, wide open, slow, and savored.

 

 

 

 

 

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