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.




Friendship Printable


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.



National Best Friend Day! (Free Printable)

Today is National Best Friend Day! We thought we’d celebrate with this quote – a fan favorite every time we post it. The best part is, this one is printable and framable. It’s the perfect gift to give your best friend to let them know just how special they are! Enjoy.




What to Write in Friendship Cards

What to write in a friendship card from!

Casual friends come and go…but good friends last forever. So when it comes to sharing your sentiments and showing that special someone how much you appreciate their friendship, any time is the perfect time. That’s why friendship cards are especially appropriate: The whole reason to send one is no reason at all!

Maybe you just want to let them know how much they mean to you. Or to make them laugh. Or to simply put a smile on their face.  After choosing the perfect friendship card or friendship ecard, there are plenty of options you can add to give your card that one-of-a-kind feeling. Quotes and unique messaging also make great additions. See some of our favorites below:

Friendship Quotes:

  • Don’t walk behind me; I may not lead. Don’t walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend. _ Albert Camus
  • One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood. _ Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • Friendship is a single soul dwelling in two bodies. _ Aristotle“
  • A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” —William Shakespeare
  • “One of the most beautiful qualities of true friendship is to understand and to be understood.” —Lucius Annaeus Seneca
  • “Friendship is always a sweet responsibility, never an opportunity.” —Khalil Gibran
  • “A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” —Douglas Pagels

Friendship Messages:

  • This card is sent with lots and lots of love to a friend who means so very much to me.
  • You’re the greatest…and I’m better because of you. Best friends forever, you and me!
  • I’m thinking of you and realizing—once again—what a special friend you are, and how incredibly lucky I am to have you in my life!
  • I thank you for your friendship, which is a truly precious gift indeed.
  • Looking forward to many, many more years of laughter, fun, and friendship—together!
  • I am genuinely blessed to have you as my friend. To many more years ahead!
  • Even though we don’t see each other often, when we talk it’s as if no time has passed at all, and I love that.
  • You listen with an open heart and are always there for me with support and a kind word.
  • I truly treasure our friendship and can’t imagine life without you in it.
  • You always manage to see the best in me even when I can’t see it for myself.
  • Thanks so much for being my lifeline during the difficult times—I couldn’t ask for a better friend than you!
  • Sending a note to you, my friend, to brighten your day as you have done for me so many times before.





How to be a Supportive Friend


Good times and good friends just naturally go together, but what do you do when hard times befall your friends? It’s easy to be a good friend during the fun times, but your friends need you most when life gets difficult, and they often could use your support and some words of encouragement. Here are some helpful ways to be the friend she needs through big changes, hard times, and everything in between.

Actively listen
Don’t just hear what your friend is saying, actively listen and validate her feelings with phrases like, “That must have made you feel so anxious” or “I understand you’re really hurting.” Your friend wants you to empathize with her situation and show that she’s understood. Don’t dismiss or minimize the importance of the problem by saying things like, “That’s nothing to be upset over.” You are not her, and she’s the one going through the ordeal, not you.

Don’t compare
Don’t compare your friend’s situation to one of your own, as this may appear to her that you’re changing the focus to you. If you feel she might relate to your past situation, mention it and quickly bring the focus back to her, such as, “I felt the exact same way when “x” happened, but it got easier as I talked it through and maybe you’ll find that happening for you as well.” This shows you sympathize with her situation, and relate to it, while keeping the attention on her.

Don’t be “Miss Fix It”
Your friend mainly wants to be heard and supported. She’s not necessarily looking for you to solve or fix the problem. Rushing in with ways to “fix” things may give her the feeling that she’s not capable of handling it on her own. She really just needs you to be her empathetic confidant.

Don’t ask—take action
When friends are going through tough times, it’s our natural reaction to say, “Let me know if I can do anything.” The trouble with this is that now we’ve given our troubled friend a task to do in addition to dealing with her situation. Plus, if she’s not one to easily ask for help, then this becomes a daunting task for her and chances are she’ll never reach out. Instead, take charge yourself and make a few meals for your friend and drop them off. A homemade dish is always a sign of comfort, no matter what.  Or, simply stop by with her favorite coffee drink or smoothie to brighten her day. Small acts of kindness can go a long way in showing support.

Be her cheerleader
When she’s ready, let her look to you for cheering up. One of the best ways to help a friend in need is to offer a strong dose of positivity by validating her feelings and also showing a brighter side. She’ll not only reap the benefits of your good mood, but it will make even the most challenging situations easier for her to cope with.

Hugs are healing
Never underestimate the power of a hug. Sometimes, there are no words and simply pulling her in for a warm hug can make her feel nurtured, calm, and safe. Research has even shown that hugging boosts brain chemicals like oxytocin and serotonin, elevating one’s mood and creating a sense of well-being—everything your friend needs.




How to Nurture all of your Friendships


Not all friendships are created equal, but all friendships are indeed important and meaningful in their own unique, special ways.

Truth be told, there are varying levels of friendship. Some are extremely close. Some not as much, but still significant nonetheless. Although your various friendships may be different from one another, it’s still important to stay connected with each of them and to show your appreciation. After all, they have inspired, supported, encouraged, and motivated you—and perhaps even stood by your side—and probably continue to do so even today.

Blue Mountain has compiled a list of five different groups of friends you might have. We’ve also added fun ways to keep in touch with those friends in each group. Maybe you have suggestions of your own. We’d love to hear them!

Friends in this group are very few, but they’re the ones who know you best and accept you unconditionally. They’re also the ones you first turn to through the different phases of your life. To stay connected with this select group, the more personal, the better: one-on-one get-togethers, phone calls, and cards (yes, through the mail) are the nicest and most meaningful gestures.

These friends are formed from social circles that enjoy each other’s company outside the home and workplace. They enjoy getting together and having a great time, whether at each other’s homes, at outside venues, or at functions. To stay connected with this group, eCards are a good choice.

Obviously, these friends are your professional colleagues and co-workers. You’re brought together through a mutual employer, but then you just happen to click on a more personal level. You might even socialize outside of work. These friends could also accumulate if you leave one company for another. To stay connected with this group, the social network LinkedIn is a great place to gather. Coffee and lunch dates are also nicely practical.

This group of friends could have been culled from your grade school, high school, or college…or your child’s grade school, high school, or college. These individuals might include classmates, teachers, professors, coaches, mentors, other parents, etc. To stay connected with this group (through messages and photographs), blogging and social media work extremely well. You might want to consider Facebook or Twitter. Also, alumni groups and reunions are great ways to keep in touch.

These are friends you see just every once in a while. They could be meet-up groups, neighbors, members of your religious affiliation, etc. You don’t see each other regularly, but you do enjoy each other’s company and you get along well. To stay connected with this group, you may want to make more of an effort to do a planned activity together (movie, dinner, concert, art show, bowling) or share a lovely treat (bakery, flowers, vegetables from your garden, a small gift). You can also reach out and send an eCard that shows how much you value their friendship.




Top 10 Ways to Surprise & Delight your Best Friend (FREE desktop background)


Your closest and dearest friend(s) will always have a special place in your heart. And you in hers. You know each other inside and out. You’ve gone through good times and bad. You’ve been there for each other through thick and thin. And there’s no one else you’d rather call your best friend.

But times change—and life happens. You don’t get to see each other as often as you once did. You don’t keep in touch as often as you’d like. And you suddenly somehow feel that an occasional phone call just isn’t enough.

You’d like to change that now. You’d like to reach out to her in some very special way and surprise her with an act of appreciation for your deep friendship. Any ideas of how you’re going to do that?

Don’t give it another thought. Blue Mountain has done all the work for you and compiled a list of 10 fun and exciting ways to reconnect with your BFF. Pick one (or more!) and delight her today!

Compile a scrapbook or PowerPoint slideshow of the many pictures you have of you and your best friend together. If doing a video, add songs in the background that have a special meaning to you both. Don’t forget to add a personal message that will touch her heart. This will truly become a keepsake.

What did you use to like to do together? Ride bikes? Go bowling? Shop at the mall? Visit an amusement park? Have sleepovers? Recreate that exact kind of day with little notes that will remind her of your past shared memories and inside jokes.

Visit a restaurant in a city that neither of you have ever been to before. Make reservations under your nicknames. Order for each other. Giggle the night away.

Rent an old movie that was a favorite of both of yours and laugh/cry through it together. Choose either a popular TV series (like “Leave it to Beaver,” “Father Knows Best,” or “I Love Lucy”) or a classic film (like “Gone with the Wind,” “Casablanca,” or “Titanic”). If a good chick flick about female friendship is more to your liking, choose “Thelma and Louise,” “Beaches,” or “Steel Magnolias.” And don’t forget the popcorn!

Cook dinner for your best friend that would be something you both loved as kids. Think retro. Your menu could include such all-time favorites as macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato soup, salisbury steak or meatloaf with mashed potatoes and peas, chicken à la king, tuna casserole, TV dinners, deviled eggs, spinach dip in a hollowed-out bread bowl, cheese spread in a can with a nozzle plus crackers, baked Alaska, a gelatin mold, or S’mores.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a magnificent bouquet or a simple arrangement. The important thing is that your friend’s day is made that much brighter when she receives those beautiful flowers from you. You might also want to accompany them with an eCard that expresses your sentiments. For a helpful guide, here is what some flowers signify:

  • Amaryllis – splendid beauty
  • Birds of Paradise – joyfulness
  • Black-Eyed Susan – encouragement
  • Blue Violet – faithfulness
  • Carnation – pride and beauty
  • Chrysanthemum – cheerfulness in old age; fidelity
  • Gladiolus – strength of character
  • Heather – admiration
  • Lily – majesty
  • Pink carnation – gratitude
  • Yellow rose – friendship
  • Zinnia – thoughts of friends

Book an afternoon (or even a full day!) of pampering at the spa for the two of you. Choose from the variety of services offered—from manicures and pedicures, to facials, massages, and body treatments. Throw in a shampoo/style, makeup application, or lunch, too, if available. Then get ready to enjoy a truly restful and relaxing time together.

Think outside the box on this one. Maybe plant a garden together. Or go hiking (and enjoy a picnic lunch afterwards). Or play in a playground. Or fly kites. Or rollerblade. Or go kayaking. Or run a race. Or…frankly, the world is your oyster.

There’s nothing that brings good friends together quite like food. Choose a class that will introduce a cuisine or technique that’s new to both of you. Then maybe schedule another evening to recreate at home what you learned in class. Don’t forget the wine! Bon appétit!

Schedule a getaway weekend just for the two of you. It can be as exotic (a trip to Paris!) or as modest (tenting in a national park) as you’d like or can afford. The important thing is that you enjoy your time together and get a chance to catch up on old times!

And now we’d like to surprise and delight YOU, our dear reader, with a free desktop background featuring one of our most popular friendship quotes. To set as your desktop background, simply click the image, and when the new window appears, right click and choose “set as background.”





Letter From the Editor – Celebrating Friendship!


Hello, Blue Mountain Friends,

Is it really August already?!  The long lazy days of summer we enjoyed as children seem to go by so quickly now.  But there are still lots of delightful things to appreciate in August—the days are warm and sunny, the robins are still singing and the calla lilies are in bloom.  August also dawns with two great days to celebrate—National Girlfriends Day on the first, and Friendship Day on the third.

What would we do without our friends?  We go to them with the questions that can’t be Googled.  They drop everything if we’re in trouble.  They laugh with us, cry with us, encourage us and remind us of who we are, when we forget.  They are kindred spirits who get us when it seems like no one else understands. Just the thought of them can make us smile.

It’s said that a friend is one of the greatest things we can have and one of the best things we can be.   Here at Blue Mountain we’ve been pondering how we can all be better friends and nurture these important relationships.  So we’ve created new Friendship eCards to thank our friends for the many ways they enhance our lives, let them know how special they are to us and remind them that we’re here for them, too. Since every friendship is unique, we have a range of cards featuring beautiful photography, whimsical artwork and beautiful hand-lettered designs.  The messaging ranges from light and funny to warm and heartfelt.  Later this month we’ll be introducing fun new birthday cards and talking cards for friends, and all of our blogs this month have a beautiful friendship theme.  Why not Brighten Someone’s Day today and celebrate your friends with a Friendship eCard?

IMG_6574_FINAL_Crop Caroline
Caroline Leech, Senior Editor



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.


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):







Renewing Connections with Friends (part 1)


When we “think Spring”, one of the first things that comes to mind is “refresh and renew.” Most of us have been buried under snow for months which has kept us from getting out and about and sharing time with friends, and sadly, it doesn’t take long before we’ve lost touch altogether.  But now that spring has officially ‘sprung’, it’s the perfect time to renew our connections with the people that matter to us.

So, how does one begin? How do you just pick up where you left off? Well, friendship is funny that way, as most friendships that are solid to begin with don’t simply fade away from the passing of time.

To give you a bit of a nudge, here are a few ideas to help you reconnect and get back into the friendship swing.  After all, as the old cliché goes—to make a friend, you have to be one. 


If you use a computer or mobile device, it’s a fast and easy way to reach out.  For an added bonus, you can send one of our Blue Mountain Friendship eCards for a happy surprise.  Simply say hello and tell them they’ve been on your mind so you wanted to drop them a note and see how they’re doing. You can then say you hope to hear from them soon and end there. It doesn’t have to be complicated; just genuine.


If you’re on this social site and you see a post of a friend you haven’t chatted with in awhile, don’t just “like” something they post; send a message. Again, this doesn’t have to be long or involved—you’re reigniting your connection, so keep it simple and sincere.

The beloved hand-written letter

Very few people write actual letters anymore, so it’s even more of a surprise when we actually receive one. And what’s more, everyone LOVES to find cards and letters in their mailbox. Pick out a card or some fancy note paper and jot down a few lines. You can even choose from among several designs of our Printable Stationery at and type your message to print out and mail yourself. Your friend will smile at your thoughtfulness when she receives your nice surprise.

If you parted ways badly

Did you have a falling out with a friend and you ended on bad terms but you wish you could reconcile? If you’re able to look past what led to the parting and let bygones be bygones, then start with a typed or hand-written letter, telling them how you’ve been thinking of them and how you miss the friendship the two of you shared. Include your phone number and ask them to call you because they may be hesitant to meet in person right away. When you do chat, don’t feel the need to launch into the past—ask about the present and the latest news in both of your lives. Start with the “now” and, like all the buds that are just starting to open, your friendship will slowly blossom back into being.

The good old fashioned phone call

With the world texting, emailing, skyping and all the other whatnot, it’s always so refreshing to hear the voice of an old friend on the other end of the telephone line. Yes, it’s easy to facebook and text if you do those types of things, but hearing the human voice with all its tones and inflections makes such a difference to what, and how, our feelings and emotions are being said. There’s just no truer substitute than the spoken word.

Welcome spring with a walk

Spring couldn’t have come fast enough this year so, once you’ve re-established connection, offer to meet your friend for a stroll in the park or for a picnic. Breathe in the fresh air of spring as you catch up and look forward to good times ahead.

**Be sure to check back soon for Part 2! Reconnecting and reaching out to family.**