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October 2015 Desktop Background, and Letter from the Editor


Last month we talked about ways to make a fresh start in the fall, and one important thing you can do for yourself, is declutter your home before the holidays.  The above quote by William Morris, famous for his wallpaper designs, really captures the essence of a clean, well-organized home.

Here are 5 questions to consider when decluttering:

Is it something that you’re keeping because you might need it someday?
Donate it to someone who needs it today.

Is it something you would buy all over again?
If not, someone else can use it.

Have you worn it/used it in the last year?
If not, let it make someone else happy.

Is it something you’ve been meaning to mend, repair, read, or assemble for over a year?
You probably won’t.  Buh-bye.

Is it something that brings you joy?
Keep it!

An organized home gives you more time for the things that really matter, like connecting with the special people in your life.   This Halloween, you can treat them to beautiful and fun new cards created by Blue Mountain.  We think you’ll be enchanted by Moon Magic, Funny Bones and our new Halloween “Happy” card.  Be sure to remember your boss on Boss’s Day, the 16th, and your Sweetie on Sweetest Day, the 17th.   We’ve also designed new cards for your all your fall birthday friends.

I have to agree with Anne Shirley in Anne of Green Gables who said, “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”

Fall into fun!

October Background:
10012015_Desktop_BMA_1280x8002560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800Facebook Cover Photo / Phone
For help on how to install, click here.


Caroline Martlew
Senior Editor



Autumn Recipe Roundup (plus 2 free recipe cards!)

Now that the air is turning chillier, leaves are turning color, and autumn is officially here, it’s time to finally start shifting our menus to new recipes. No more light salads, chilled soups, and berry sorbets. Instead, we’re invited to turn our focus to comfort foods, heartier fares, and more substantial desserts using today’s fresh, seasonal ingredients: pumpkin, sweet potatoes, broccoli, beets, winter squash, kale, parsnips, chestnuts, apples, pears, cranberries, and more.For a nice variety of recipes incorporating some of these fall-weather fruits and vegetables, take a look at the delicious dishes we’ve gathered for you.


1. Apple Cinnamon Crepes: Julia’s Album
2. Individual Chicken Pot Pies:  The Yellow Table
3. Pot Roast, Potatoes & Root Vegetables:Fox News Magazine
4. Chicken Stew, Butternut Squash & Quinoa:  Cookin’ Canuck
5. Halibut, Roasted Beets, Beet Greens & Dill-Orange Gremolata:Epicurious
6.  Cranberry Orange Cheesecake: Gimme Some Oven

We’ve also included a few extra recipes you can print out: One for Cream of Broccoli Soup and one for a delicious Pumpkin Roll. We created these cards exclusively for our Blue Mountain friends from our editors’ family favorites. (To print out the recipe card, simple click on “Cream of Broccoli Soup” and/or “Pumpkin Roll” in the above sentence.) Happy eating!



Brighten Someone’s Day Challenge


We have written blogs about making people smile and random acts of kindness with the intent to get people thinking about looking beyond themselves and reaching out to others who could use some cheering up.

Since it’s been a while, we wanted to reconnect and see how it’s going with your new mission to brighten someone’s day­—everyday.

  • Are you making a conscious effort to share and spread kindness as often as possible?
  • Are you surprising and delighting people with anonymous gestures, both big and small?
  • Are you sharing generosity and thoughtfulness with friends and strangers alike?

If so, we’d love to hear about it – or better yet we’d like to see your badge of honor. We invite you to post your good deeds on our Facebook page along with the above image. Simply right click on the image, save it to your desktop, and then post it in your status on Facebook, while including what you did recently to brighten someone’s day.



Rosh Hashanah–A Celebration of Beginnings!

“May you be inscribed for a good and sweet year!”  This greeting is one of the Mantra’s of Rosh Hashanah, which means “head of the year.”   This important holiday celebration brings the opportunity for believers to wipe the slate clean of all that has been and move on with the gifts of G-d’s grace and blessings.

Rosh Hashanah is all about relationships.  It marks the anniversary of the relationship G-d created with mankind through Adam and Eve, and the birth of His relationship with humanity.  It reverently shares the desire for all human beings to be blessed with another year, totally connected to the One who began the world as we know it.

At Synagogues around the world, the sound of the shofar will mark the first sin of man and the atonement for that sin.  The blast of the lamb’s horn may be heard on both days of Rosh Hashanah, clearly demonstrating the hope for the coming year.    Apples dipped in honey also symbolize the desires for a sweet year and the realization that all good things come from the King of Heaven.

It’s always exciting to begin again.  This year, as your Jewish friends come to the celebration of Rosh Hashanah, wish them well.  Extend the blessing for all good things and in some small way, become a part of the sweetness that a new year brings no matter what your faith background.    What could be more wonderful than coming back to your roots, remembering all that has gone before, and delighting in all that is yet to be?  Wherever you are today, may you receive a clean slate, a chance to take a fresh breath and start again.  May you celebrate the joys of a renewed spirit, trusting in the relationship you have with the G-d of all Creation.  Shalom!



Grandparents Day Printable & Frameable Quote


Grandparents Day is September 13th, and we wanted to celebrate the truly special relationship between grandparents and grandchildren. Whether you are a grandchild, looking for a meaningful present to gift your grandparents with this weekend, or if you’re a grandparent yourself, and want to put your grandparent pride on display, this beautiful quote can easily be printed and framed. Enjoy this gift in honor of Grandparents Day from all of us at Blue Mountain!

Click here to print and frame



What to Write: Family Birthday Wishes

birthday for sister, happy birthday, blue mountain

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 in a family birthday cards.

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 _________.


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.




Summer Date Ideas

With sunny days and balmy nights, it’s easy to see how summer is the perfect season to keep the romantic adventure going by planning a special date with your special someone.

Whether it’s a long-time spouse (and you’re now empty-nesters) or a new romantic interest, it’s important to never stop discovering each other. There’s always something more to find out, more to learn, and more to know about the one you love.

Make some “us” time this summer. Plan a fun date and enjoy every minute. To get you started, we’re featuring six of our best summer date ideas that are meant to inspire a special experience neither of you will ever forget!

08202015_Date_Ideas_Roundup_BLG_BMA1. Visit an amusement park. Local festivals and county fairs count, too! Try fun carny foods like corn dogs, funnel cakes, and cotton candy. Play a game of chance to win that huge teddy bear. Ride on a ferris wheel. But above all else, hold hands like teenagers again!

2. Plan a romantic picnic. This tried-and-true date idea is both fun and easy. Gather up a blanket, picnic basket, some sandwiches, and iced cold beverages. Then head to your nearest park or lookout point. Add a few more special items to make it even more romantic, including tiki candles, shrimp cocktail, Champagne, and soft music.

3. Take a staycation. Check into a luxurious hotel nearby and enjoy all the pamperings it has to offer: an outdoor pool with chaise lounge chairs, his-and-her spa massages, and fine dining. Come to think of it, room service may be the best service of all! 

4. Go on a tandem bike ride. Rent a bike-for-two and leisurely peddle along a lovely scenic route. Stop along the way to stroll the beach or take in a new restaurant you’ve both been wanting to try. A pit stop for ice cream would also be a nice way to finish up your ride.

5. Camp in the backyard. Pitch a tent right in your own backyard. Grab some sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, and a flashlight. (Wine, cheese, and s’mores optional.) Sunsets and stargazing never seemed so romantic!

6. Rent a convertible for a day. Take to the open road in a stylish car that reminds you of your youth. Put the top down and let the wind take you anywhere you want to go! As the sun begins to set, watch it from the hood of your car. A kiss or two might be nice, too.



Summer Adventures Roundup

When it comes to fun and adventure, there’s no better season than summer to charter unknown territory with your friends. From traveling and hiking, to exploring your own city or offering up your time to assist a person or organization, there’s always something new to learn, unfamiliar places to explore, and grand experiences lying just around the bend.

We’ve collected six fun and different ideas you might like to try, or they may even spark an idea of your own.  So grab your friends and set out on some new adventures, and be ready to make some beautiful memories that will last a lifetime. There’s still so much summer to enjoy!

  1. 08112015_Summer_adventures_Roundup_BLG_BMAGet up, up, and away! Whether you’re heading off for a week at the seaside or a fun day trip, parasailing will give you the ultimate adventure of fun in the sun! It’s one of those “someday”   activities that we always want to try but never seem to get around to. Unleash your hesitations and let your spirit soar!
  2. Take a random road trip. Let fate plan your fun by throwing darts at a map of your county (or of your state or country if you’re up for a longer excursion) and wherever they come closest to is your road trip to remember. If you happen to be near the World’s Largest Frying Pan or Biggest Ball of Twine, Roadside America will make sure you don’t miss it. Don’t worry too much about taking an exact route—the goal here is the fun and stories you’ll gather along the way.
  3. Food truck day. If you’re tired of the same old restaurants or just want to cut back a bit on spending while you explore your town or city, switch things up and chase down some delicious food trucks! Have each friend pick a different truck for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and of course—snacks and treats! Or have each friend pick a different food truck each week, and plan to meet for lunch throughout the month. It’s amazing what new and different things you can experience right in your own city.
  4. Go on a hike and pack your own trail mix. Hiking doesn’t have to be an all-day trek through the wilderness. Visit your local trails or your state park and relish the fresh air as you catch up,unplug, and drink in nature’s scenic beauty. Have each friend bring a batch of homemade trail   mix to share during your outing.
  5. Try a completely new activity without spending a lot. Always wanted to try yoga? Never learned to swim? How about learning how to paint? It’s always refreshing to try something new with friends,  and with helpful sites like Groupon and Living Social, you’ll find great deals and discounts to boot.
  6. Volunteer for a good cause. There’s no better feeling than helping someone else, so gather your friends and do something for the greater good. You can help build homes with Habitat for Humanity, volunteer at a local animal shelter, rock babies at your hospital, or even band together and help a sick or elderly neighbor by mowing, weeding, and beautifying their yard. There’s no greater joy to be had than sharing a simple act of kindness.




The History of Birthdays

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?

party hats

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
July 19

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!

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?