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February 2015 Desktop Wallpaper & Letter from the Editor


If you’re in a deep freeze, as we are here at Blue Mountain, you know that February is the time when the winter blahs can set in. So it’s more important than ever to find ways to make your heart happy.  And when your heart is happy, it has a way of spreading happiness to everyone around you.

So how do we make our hearts happy in February?   Let’s see.  February 4th is “Thank Your Mailman Day.”  If your mail carrier has been trudging through the cold and snow like ours, a thank you is especially well deserved.  “Presidents Day” is the 16th, so some of your favorite children may be off from school and available for fun.  On the 19th you can celebrate Chinese New Year 4712.  It’s the Year of the Sheep.  If all else fails, you can dream of spring.  Maybe our favorite groundhog won’t see his shadow on the 2nd, and we’ll be welcoming an early spring.  Before long you’ll be sitting on your porch, sipping sweet tea, watching your garden bloom.

But wait! I’ve left out the perfect day for happy hearts—Valentine’s Day!  Here at Blue Mountain, we’ve made some special Valentines for you to send to your loved ones.  In Valentine Magic, you can watch as the fairy, with a playful assist from an adorable kitty, makes a handmade heart.  If you’re feeling romantic, we have a beautiful new card that celebrates the joys of a lasting relationship.  In Valentine Surprise, you can discover where the sexy trail of clothes is leading.  And we have a new talking cat who will speak what you type for the Purrfect Valentine message.

However you celebrate, we’re wishing you a happy heart, for Valentine’s Day and always. We also wanted to offer our friends and fans a beautiful Valentine-inspired  download for your desktop background, your phone background, or even your Facebook cover image.

February Background:
2560 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



Recipes for the Big Game – Plus Free Printable!

As the biggest playoff game of the football season approaches, it’s time to start planning a party. But not just any party. A party that takes place primarily in front of a TV.  Yikes! What’s a hostess to do?

The first thing to remember about hosting a game-day party is to make sure there’s plenty of seating for everyone. Decorations are optional. Beverages are important. But food, well that’s what this post is all about.


1 Individual 7-Layer Dip Cups via Spend With Pennies
2 Crab Cake Sliders via Jessica Burns
3 BBQ Crockpot Meatballs via Sweet C’s Designs
4 Stuffed Mushrooms via Beans
5 Crock Pot Asian BBQ Chicken Wings via Stephanie Cooks
6 Stout Cupcakes via All Parenting

If truth be told, half the fun of watching “the big game” is the feast. You can do it up in grand fashion (think catered affair) or in a low-key way (think chips and dips). But what we wanted to share with you today are ways to make your spread colorful, interesting, and delicious, too!

The secret tip for hosting the perfect big-game party is to make all your food available in individual, easy-to-pick-up portions. No cutting. No scooping. No slicing. No dicing. To help make your menu planning easier, our editors have assembled some of their favorite recipes to share with you today. Included is a nice variety of choices, from fairly traditional to crockpot/slow cooker friendly and even vegetarian. As for the fun cupcake dessert, add your own cute flag by clicking here for a free printable. Then just cut out each entire two-sided flag, fold on the dotted line, wrap around a toothpick, and either glue or tape together.

Choose which dishes work best for your crowd—and may your favorite team win!




Winter Craft Roundup

When the weather outside is frightful and all you want to do is nest and stay warm and cozy indoors, it’s time to liven things up with a creative winter craft! Whether it’s a personal treat, something adorable for your home, or a fun activity you can do with your grandchildren, the ideas we’ve compiled for you are sure to fill your days with plenty of enjoyment and heartwarming pleasure.

1 Sea Salt & Sugar Scrub via Liz Marie

2 Winter Bird Feeder via Fireflies & Mud Pies

3 Finger-Knit Wreath via Flax & Twine

4 Sweater Pillow via Stone Gable

5 Frozen-Inspired Play-dough via Paging Fun Mums

6 Branch Chandelier via Better Homes & Gardens



Beating the Winter Blues


Whether you call it the Winter Blues or Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), it simply means we’re getting mid-way into winter and those gray skies aren’t bringing out the sunniest parts of our dispositions. Well, some of us anyway. But honestly, if you’re feeling a bit slower, a little melancholy at times and you have less energy, you’re not alone. Especially if you’re living in a part of the world that simply gets less sunshine at this time of year, which is basically most of North America, Europe and Asia! As much as we hate to say it, women between the ages of 20 and 40 are also twice as likely as men to have SAD.

Not fair you say? We agree, but there are ways to combat the Winter Blues without having to pack up and move to sunny Florida or Brazil or anywhere nearer the equator! Of course a trip to Rio would really be worth considering! Oh yes, back to the more realistic remedies…


Get some sun or at least more light.
When there’s a break in the temperature, try getting outdoors more often. Keep your drapes open and your shades up and sit closer to a window. If you’re in a windowless office, try your own version of light therapy…bring in a lamp and use “full spectrum” bulbs that mimic natural light. (It has the same

Work on your new year’s resolutions. A CDC study states that there is a strong link between healthy behaviors and depression. Exercising, eating right, etc. all lead to a healthier you and a healthier you is a happier you.

Be good to yourself. We were only half joking about the trip to Rio. Beside the additional sunshine you’d be getting, treating yourself to something special is often a real pick-me-up. If Rio is out of the question, how about a spa date, a night at the theater, a sporting event or a great movie…anything that keeps you motivated and gives you something to look forward to.

Say “no” to stress. Even in the middle of a sunny summer season, stress is a downer. And while none of us can eliminate 100% of the stress in our lives, we can try to keep it manageable. Getting enough sleep is important, doing something relaxing is essential and, at times, doing nothing can be downright good for us. You could always sign up for yoga or try a little meditation. Staying in bed with a good book sounds pretty good right now, too!

Say “yes” to winter. If you can’t get away from the cold or snow, why not find a way to enjoy it. There are lots of winter activities to enjoy…skiing, ice skating and sledding to name a few. Again, the more active you are, the less stress you’re likely to feel and the more energy you’ll have.

Stay connected. It’s really important to stay in touch with friends and family during these longer winter months. They offer a great support system and just a chat over coffee or a quick email can usually provide you with just the thing that can brighten your mood. It works the other way around, too. Providing someone else with a cheery word can do wonders for your own well-being!





New Year’s Resolutions (Inspirational Printables)

As we venture into a brand new year, we want to motivate you in more ways than just eating fewer carbs and cleaning out that junk drawer. This year, let’s make a resolution to be better to ourselves; to live more fully than we perhaps have allowed ourselves to do in the past year.



To help you do that, we’ve pulled together some “inspirational resolutions” that you can print and cut out to put on display throughout your home, in your car, in your gym bag, on your computer—anywhere you can think of that will inspire you and serve as gentle reminders of how you can learn, grow, and flourish through an amazing year.

Click Here to print these inspirations today!



Printable New Year’s Resolution Goal Sheet

As a brand new year begins, so too does a whole new chance for each of us to learn more, do more, be more. Don’t lament what “wasn’t” in 2014—chances not taken, books unread, letters never sent—let it go, as the song goes that is now ‘frozen’ into our heads. Let it all go, and let’s get on with what lies in front of us—365 new chances to live more fully.

Blue Mountain Printable 2015 Goal Sheet

All journeys begin with a single step, and to help you down your “yellow brick road” of 2015, we’ve compiled a printable goal sheet to help you get the most out of the year ahead. Let it inspire you to focus on what you love and what matters to you, and you’ll soon discover that you’re moving through this new year with a renewed spirit and sense of true fulfillment.

Click Here to print your goal sheet today!



January 2015 Desktop Wallpaper & Letter From the Editor


2015 is a new chapter in the story of our lives.  We can fill in the pages however we choose.  It’s a good time to ask yourself, when was the last time you did something for the first time?  It was easy to have lots of first times when we were younger–first steps, first day at school, first kiss, first job, first apartment.  As we get older, we have to look a little harder to create new first times for ourselves.

Author Jack London said “You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.”  So let’s go after more—more laughter, more adventures, more creating, more fun, more trips, more sleep, more real food, more kindness, more love.  This new year can be the beginning of anything you want.

You can wish your friends and family a year of new beginnings with our Blue Mountain “New Year Wishes” card, a beautiful and scenic trip through the seasons.  They may also enjoy celebrating New Years around the world, from Sydney, to St.Petersburg, to Paris and London and on to New York City, with our “World of Wishes” card.

However you celebrate, let’s promise to hug the ones we love and make sure they always know how much they mean to us.

Happy New Year!
Caroline Martlew, Senior Editor


January Background:

2560 x 1440 / 1680 x 1050 / 1440 x 900 / 1280 x 800Facebook Cover Photo / Phone

For help on how to install, click here.



Holiday Party Planning – Multigenerational Parties


No doubt about it, parties are fun! They are happy occasions when people get together to enjoy each other’s company. And frankly, you are quite good at putting together some pretty incredible gatherings.But as you prepare to host a party for a group that will span several generations—from babies to seniors—you may suddenly find yourself rethinking your tried-and-true party plans. A little doubt creeps in and your mind starts to race.

How can I keep everyone engaged at the same time?
How can I make sure everyone is comfortable?
What can I serve that everyone will like?
What can I do to ensure everyone has a good time?

Well, lucky for you, Blue Mountain has gathered some very helpful tips to ensure your next multi-generational party will be a huge success. We’d love to share them with you now!

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Holiday Party Planning – New Ideas!

You’re an expert hostess who knows how to throw a great party. Whether it’s a formal sit-down dinner for 20, or a casual get-together for family and friends, you’ve done it all. In fact, you’ve been doing it for years. You’ve got all the details down. And you always seem to make it look so seamless, so effortless. However…


…there are always going to be some exciting, new ideas you may want to consider to freshen up your tried-and-true entertaining routine. Perhaps an especially pretty tablescape detail. Or a particularly unique recipe. Or maybe even a clever party theme.

The editors at Blue Mountain have joined together to assemble some of their favorite suggestions for your upcoming holiday entertaining. We hope by doing so, we’ll inspire you to try at least one new party idea this joyous season. Merry Christmas to you and yours!

1. Ornate Framed Menu Chalkboard via HGTV
2. Rosemary Wreath Place Card via The Happier Homemaker
3. Candy Flower Centerpiece via Stonewall Kitchen
4. Christmas Tree Cheese Board via Kraft
5. Simmering Homemade Potpourri via Marty’s Musings
6. Hot Chocolate Bar with Free Chalkboard Printables via Yellow Bliss Road