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Autumn Traditions

Glorious fall has arrived! This season is a favorite for many who can’t wave good-bye         to the hazy days of summer fast enough as they look forward to the cool crisp air, falling leaves, and smell of wood smoke. And with that anticipation is a myriad of traditions full of nature, fun, and food that touches everyone with a bit of warmth and nostalgia.

Visit a Pumpkin Patch

Autumn TraditionsDo you remember riding in the station wagon to a pumpkin patch in the country? There’s nothing that gets you right into the spirit of all things fall than being on a farm with pumpkins, animals, flowers, and homemade apple cider. Gather friends or family together for a sunny afternoon.

 

Get Lost in A Corn Maze

A trip to farm or pumpkin patch isn’t complete without an attempt at making it through the corn maze, and these days farmers set up some pretty newsworthy designsAutumn Traditions that bring together the old and young alike for quite a challenging try. Who will be the first one through this year? Find one in your area here.

 

 

 

Autumn TraditionsMake a Fall Recipe

When it comes to food, fall means pumpkin, pumpkin,    pumpkin! Pumpkin pies, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin lattes, and just about anything else you can imagine.  But another fun staple not to be overlooked is the beloved caramel apple. This year when you visit the pumpkin farm or orchard, bring home a bushel of apples and try this fun twist on caramel apples which was featured on the The Dating Divas as a guest post from Michelle, of A Little Tipsy. This super fun dessert gives BOTH apple and pumpkin their tasty due!

 

Venture Out to See the Foliage

Autumn Traditions

When Mother Nature dons her most beautiful wardrobe of the year, we can’t help but want to catch of glimpse of her in all her finery. Perhaps you’ve taken a trip up to New England, where the mountains are ablaze with color, farms ooze fresh maple syrup, and quaint covered bridges beckon travelers to cross over. At any given moment in the country, friends and families are taking road trips, day trips, and walks through parks to drink   in the most spectacular display of the year.
Get In the Spirit with Fall Décor                       

Who can resist adding a bit of fall happiness throughout Autumn Traditionsthe home with berry branches, pumpkins, and potted mums on the porch to greet guests? Even the simplest touches can bring a warm and happy feel to any room.   So, when you’re out on those walks or visiting the pumpkin farms, gather a bunch of colorful leaves and small pumpkins and gourds and invite fall indoors.

 
From your fall adventures outdoors to your cozy fall touches inside, we here at Bluemountain.com hope you enjoy every single minute of welcoming autumn with your favorite traditions as you savor the beauty of this awe-inspiring season!

Autumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn TraditionsAutumn Traditions

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Letter from the Editor – Hello September!

Letter from the Editor   Hello September!

Hello Blue Mountain Friends,

Poet Helen Hunt Jackson wrote charming poems about all the seasons, but “September” is a special favorite.  Here is an excerpt:

By all these lovely tokens
September days are here,
With summer’s best of weather
And autumn’s best of cheer.

As we watch the falling leaves wave goodbye to summer, we have many “lovely tokens” to look forward to in the months ahead.  With the autumnal equinox on the 22nd, come crisp sunny days, soft amber-lit evenings and the ever-changing scenery in breathtaking colors.   Some of us will begin our fall garden clean-up, new school routines and our seasonal closet change-over.  For our friends celebrating Rosh Hashanah, it’s the beginning of a new year that starts at sunset September 24th and ends at nightfall September 26th.  To mark the occasion, we’ve created a beautiful new Rosh Hashanah card that includes the meaning of the holiday.

Many of us will also be celebrating anniversaries. Did you know that more people get married in the fall than in any other season?  Here at Blue Mountain, we are hopeless romantics and we think that autumn is the perfect time to fallin love—for the first time or all over again!  Whether you are totally, completely and ridiculously in love or you are feeling happy and grateful for a lasting and loving marriage, we’ve created new Love eCards and Anniversary eCards to celebrate your relationship.

Other September celebrations include Labor Day on the 1st, and Grandparents Day on the 7th.   We’ve just designed some great Grandparents Day postcards and print at home cards for the special Grandparent(s) in your life.

And remember, you can always Brighten Someone’s Day with cards that say “I care,”  “I’m happy for you,” and “You can count on me!”

Have a wonderful September!

Caroline Leech, Senior Editor
Letter from the Editor   Hello September!

Letter from the Editor   Hello September!Letter from the Editor   Hello September!Letter from the Editor   Hello September!Letter from the Editor   Hello September!Letter from the Editor   Hello September!Letter from the Editor   Hello September!

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Summer Memories

Summer Memories
With the recent arrival of summer, everyone is definitely in the summer mood and anticipating these much-awaited lazy, hazy days.

There are so many good memories that come to mind when summertime starts. We have flashbacks of riding in the back of station wagons for the family trips to the beach or lake, ice-cream cones melting under hot summer skies, running barefoot through the grass catching fireflies, the smell of neighborhood charcoal grills firing up for garden parties and summertime get-togethers and, best of all, daylight lasting so long that the days stretched out in infinite bliss. There are so many wonderful thoughts and feelings that come to mind when summertime is here, that we thought it would be fun to share some of the favorite summer memories from the folks here at Blue Mountain and the reasons why we all love this warm,  sun-shiny season.

“My favorite summer memory is years ago, going to the beach in Rhode Island with my mom and sister, and riding the carousel.”

“I love summer because of gardening!”

“Running through sprinklers has been a favorite memory since childhood, and to this day, while I’m out on a run, I can’t resist running through one if I spot one in someone’s yard.”

“Being in the “way-back” of the station wagon for a trip to the beach or a long trip out west definitely comes to mind every time summer rolls around.”

“I remember listening every afternoon for the fun, melodic music  of our ice-cream man as he came down our street.”

“A favorite summer memory of mine was staying up late, which back then was 8pm or 9pm, and my brothers and sisters and I would be running around outside catching lightning bugs. To this day, it’s never officially “summer” to me until I see that first lightning bug.”

“When I was little, my mother would put on our bathing suits and let me and my sisters dance around in the summer rain.  Oh, how we loved it!”

“I love having coffee on early summer mornings while sitting outside on the porch swing as the world slowly wakes up.”

“Lemonade just seems like summertime in a glass.”

“Our family gets together every year at our lake house and it’s always the highlight of summer.”

“I remember putting playing cards or baseball cards in the spokes of my bike with clothespins, and then you’d go riding down the street making this wonderful little motor sound.”

“I just love being at the beach in summertime and smelling that salty air and hearing the seagulls—there’s nothing like it.”

“My mother would try to get us down for a nap in the summer afternoons, which was tough for little ones to do, and I remember she’d say, “Listen…to the sounds of summer.” I remember laying there listening to the birds singing and the breezes blowing…it worked!”

We’d love to hear what your favorite memory of summer is, or what you love most about it. Please share them with us, and join us in celebrating all the wonderful summer memories that are yet to be made!

Summer MemoriesSummer MemoriesSummer MemoriesSummer MemoriesSummer MemoriesSummer Memories

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Celebrating National Garden Month!

Celebrating National Garden Month!

“April showers bring May flowers…,” and oh, aren’t we all so glad that spring is finally here and the buds and blooms are finally waking up from their wintry naps!  So, how appropriate that April is also National Garden Month, where communities and organizations nationwide celebrate the goodness of gardening and all the healthy benefits that nurturing plants gives us.

Though we don’t claim to be gardening experts with green thumbs, we do have quite a few eCards that are blooming with beautiful floral designs that you might like to send and share with a friend for National Garden Month, as a springtime hello, or to celebrate an April birthday. Our “Blooming Wishes Interactive” eCard (pictured above) makes for a lovely springtime birthday treat that you can personalize with someone’s name. Your friend or loved one will be amazed as they interact with the gorgeous scene that comes to life before their eyes. As the grey skies of a soft April rain waft away, the birds begin singing, and nature’s palette of floral hues open up in all their glory to reveal a beautiful garden. But that’s not all–the garden magically reveals the meanings of the different flowers shown when the receiver hovers over each one.  Delight someone with it during this glorious month!

Celebrating National Garden Month!Celebrating National Garden Month!Celebrating National Garden Month!Celebrating National Garden Month!Celebrating National Garden Month!Celebrating National Garden Month!

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Celebrating October Birthdays!

Celebrating October Birthdays!

October is a magical month made up of vibrant colors and comfortable temperatures.       It’s quite the celebratory month too, as we observe Columbus Day, Canada’s Thanksgiving, and Halloween in the upcoming weeks. But today we celebrate all the October birthdays – it’s your time to shine! We thought it would be fun to call out some famous names also celebrating this month. Who shares your special day?

  • October 1, 1935- Julie Andrews, actress, singer
  • October 2, 1970- Kelly Ripa, actress, television personality
  • October 3, 1941- Chubby Checker, singer, musician
  • October 4, 1924- Charlton Heston, actor
  • October 5, 1975- Kate Winslet, actress
  • October 6, 1846- George Westinghouse, engineer, inventor
  • October 7, 1951- John Mellencamp, singer
  • October 8, 1970- Matt Damon, actor
  • October 9, 1940- John Lennon, singer, songwriter, musician
  • October 10, 1958- Tanya Tucker, singer
  • October 11, 1884- Eleanor Roosevelt, first lady, wife of Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • October 12, 1935- Luciano Pavarotti, opera singer
  • October 13, 1959- Marie Osmond, actress, singer ,Brother-Sister duo “Donny & Marie”
  • October 14, 1894- E. E. Cummings, poet
  • October 15, 1959- Emeril Lagasse, chef
  • October 16, 1854- Oscar Wilde, poet, playwright
  • October 17, 1918- Rita Hayworth, actress
  • October 18, 1956- Martina Navratilova, tennis champion
  • October 19, 1945- John Lithgow, actor , comedian
  • October 20, 1931- Mickey Mantle, MLB baseball slugger
  • October 21, 1956- Carrie Fisher, actress, “Princess Leia” in “Star Wars”
  • October 22, 1942 Annette Funicello, actress, singer, beach movies
  • October 23, 1925- Johnny Carson, Talk show host, “The Tonight Show”
  • October 24, 1930- J.P. Richardson, singer, the “Big Bopper”, sang “Chantilly Lace”
  • October 25, 1881 -Pablo Picasso, artist
  • October 26, 1947- Hillary Rodham Clinton, first lady, NY Senator
  • October 27, 1858-  Theodore Roosevelt, 26th  U. S President
  • October 28, 1967- Julia Roberts, actress
  • October 29, 1971- Winona Ryder, actress
  • October 30, 1735- John Adams, 2d U.S. President
  • October 31, 1950- Jane Pauley, TV journalist

 

Celebrating October Birthdays!Celebrating October Birthdays!Celebrating October Birthdays!Celebrating October Birthdays!Celebrating October Birthdays!Celebrating October Birthdays!

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First day of fall, 2013!

First day of fall, 2013!

The first day of Fall is this Sunday, September 22 and this season has certainly garnered a reputation for being one of the most favored of the four. The air becomes cool and crisp as Mother Nature dons her most colorful robe of the year, sending everyone to the parks and mountains to marvel at her exquisite palette of red, gold, orange, and crimson fall leaves. So grab your most favorite, well-worn sweater as we all get ready to say, “Welcome, Autumn!”

The Autumnal Equinox–A Time of Balance

Fall is considered the season of balance. The autumnal equinox, which is the first day of fall, is the day when both the daytime and nighttime are the same length, which has long been interpreted to mean that the world is in balance, making it the perfect time during which you can restore balance to your own life as well.  From the raking to the baking, you can take your pick on any number of ways to rejuvenate within, as well as without.

A Harvest of Fun

Fall is also a time that ushers in the harvest and preserves food for the long winter months ahead, and to celebrate this goodness from the land, Harvest Festivals abound all season.  Traditionally, Harvest festivals are held on or near the Sunday of the Harvest Moon which is the full Moon occurring closest to the autumnal equinox.  Stroll through pumpkin patches, wind through corn mazes, enjoy hayrides, bob for apples, and sip warm apple cider under crisp autumn skies.   Nearly every town in America sets this time apart to honor the farm workers who fill our holiday season’s kitchens and tables.

 A Bounty of Goodness

Cooler autumn weather brings on hearty appetites and this season serves up good things at every turn. Try these favorite fall recipes to keep you cozy as the fall leaves blow…

For Keats, fall was the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness” and as the days grow cooler and the trees become ablaze with color, we hope you’ll savor the richness and splendor that this harvest time offers to us all.

 

First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!First day of fall, 2013!

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Back-to-School Checklists

Back to School Checklists

It’s hard to believe summer is almost over, but as August presses on, it’s time to start thinking about sending our kids or grandkids back to school. Back to School shopping can be fun for kids and getting them involved may even make them excited to head back into the classroom. Today, we’re featuring a few back-to-school shopping lists organized by age. Bring the lists with you and turn shopping into a fun scavenger hunt!

Kindergarten:

  • Backpack
  • Crayons
  • Washable Markers
  • Colored pencils
  • No. 2 Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Supply box/Pencil case
  • Tissues
  • Lunchbox
  • Healthy snacks

Grades 1 – 3:

  • Backpack
  • Lunch box
  • Plastic folders
  • Glue sticks
  • Notebook
  • No. 2 pencils
  • Pencil sharpener
  • Ruler
  • Ball-point pens
  • Construction paper

Grades 4 – 5:

  • Three-ring binder
  • Three-hold punch
  • Loose-leaf paper or spiral notebooks
  • Subject dividers
  • Organizer/Calendar
  • Calculator
  • Pencils
  • Blue or block ball-point pens
  • Pencil pouch
  • Coin purse (to hold lunch money/change)

Middle School & High School:

  • Combination lock
  • Post-its
  • Highlighters
  • White-out
  • Protractor & Ruler
  • Flash Drive
  • Thesaurus
  • Dictionary
  • Personal Calendar
  • Hand sanitizer

 

Back to School Checklists Back to School Checklists Back to School Checklists Back to School Checklists Back to School Checklists Back to School Checklists

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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

 

 

 

 

 

ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)ITS NATIONAL HAMMOCK DAY!  (7.22)

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JUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE

It’s The First Day of Summer!

JUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE

Longest Day of the Year

Break out the lemonade because summer is here!  The summer solstice marks the moment when the sun is directly overhead at its most northern point. When it reaches “high-noon,” it creates more sunlight in the Northern Hemisphere than at any other time of the year.  The summer solstice is the longest day of the year and just a few days shy of the year’s half-way point on July 1.

Summer Memories

As you breathe in the fragrant summer air and lavish the sunshine, it may be a good time to think back on what summer meant to you as a kid. A walk down memory lane may just spark some moments you can create again. Did you love going on picnics in the park or canoeing down a river and enjoying the beautiful landscape? Did you love hiking wooded trails and camping? Maybe you simply loved your mom’s potato salad and music from bands like The Beach Boys. Think back and drink it all in.

Escape Your To-Do List

Then look at today and think of ways to start enjoying this summer. Set aside some time just for you to escape your to-do list and create some summer fun. Now is the time to catch some fireflies, grill some burgers or head out on your bike. Go to an amusement park and ride the roller coaster, or take your sweetheart to the drive-in. Summertime is playtime and you have every right to play. Think sandcastles, hammocks gently swaying in the breeze, and starry, starry nights. You might even want to wish on a star or two.

Plan a One-Tank-Trip

Give yourself a mini-vacation, even if it’s just a day trip. Catch the farmer’s markets that contain an array of colorful fruits and vegetables. Visit the local arboretum or the butterfly farm. Use your imagination and dream a little dream because the best parts of life are filled with summer dreams.

Celebrate the solstice, catch a few sunbeams, and give yourself permission to slip away and enjoy it all. Swap barbecue recipes with your neighbor and carve a smile in the watermelon. It’s time for you to simply relax and enjoy yourself! Don’t forget to send some cheerful “thinking of you” notes to your friends as well. Maybe you can get them to go along for the ride when you go out to play!

For more information on the summer solstice, please click on the following links:

http://www.bluemountain.com/blog/2011/06/celebrate-the-summer-solstice/
http://geography.about.com/od/physicalgeography/a/summersolstice.htm
JUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICEJUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICEJUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICEJUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICEJUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICEJUNE 21: THE SUMMER SOLSTICE

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IT’S NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!

Summer Is Almost Here!

ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   Even though the official start of summer is still a few days away, don’t be surprised if you’re already craving a cool, refreshing glass of iced tea–after all, it’s National Iced Tea Day! If any beverage should have its own holiday, iced tea is not only one of the tastiest choices but it’s one of the healthiest as well.

So, How Did Iced Tea Come To Be? 

In 1904, English tea plantation owner Richard Blechynden set up a booth to sell hot tea at the St. Louis World Fair. However, it was an extremely hot day and fair visitors wanted something cold. So Blechnyden simply poured the tea over ice and it was an immediate hit!

Health Benefits

Since ancient times, tea has had a wide range of medicinal uses, and modern research gives merit to its benefits. Tea is commonly used to alleviate cold symptoms and, usually with honey, provide instant relief for a sore throat. For stressful situations, certain teas can be very relaxing and even help you drift off to sleep. Tea is also believed to help avoid heart disease. And green tea may even reduce the risk of breast cancer. This is because one glass of tea can contain as many antioxidants as fruits and veggies such as strawberries and spinach!

While even some bottled iced teas can be surprisingly super-powered, brewing your own is the best way to get the maximum health benefits.

Home Brewed

So let’s say you want the best of both worlds—a healthy tea and a great tasting drink. A tea brewed hot and then chilled would logically be your best choice, since hot water releases more of the tea’s antioxidants. But overnight fridge tea has proven to be comparably healthy, so can’t go wrong with either technique.

http://www.wikihow.com/Make-Iced-Tea
http://www.theyummylife.com/Refrigerator_Iced_Tea
http://www.food.com/recipe/sun-tea-110885


Talk about Variety!

While basic black or herbal teas are still popular, often sweetened with sugar, lemon or mint, tea connoisseurs are constantly coming up new and creative concoctions. Even if you’re not a fan of the classic brew, flavors such as peach or raspberry, mango pineapple or Blackberry Mojito Iced Green Tea, make it possible for everyone to enjoy National Iced Tea Day in their own special way.  And with the countless recipes and products now available, you can easily enjoy new Iced Tea flavors all summer long!

http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/how-to-make-iced-tea
http://www.teaforte.com/store/tea-over-ice/
http://allrecipes.com/Recipes/Drinks/Tea-Drinks/Iced-Tea/Top.aspx
 

Tea for Beginners to Tea Connoisseurs

The following website has a great selection of teas, brewing pots, tins, and gift ideas and is filled with information for the novice at tea to the connoisseur. Also includes some great information on iced tea as well!

http://www.teavana.com/
http://www.teavana.com/tea-info/cool-off-with-iced-tea
ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!   ITS NATIONAL ICED TEA DAY!