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Mother’s Day Gifts: Then & Now

We invite you to travel down memory lane with us as we showcase some then-and-now Mother’s Day gifts in the chart below. We bet you’ll nod your head in agreement and even enjoy a few laughs as you compare what a typical gift was “back then” to what it would be today. You may even pick up a few gift-giving or -getting ideas yourself.

Mothers Day Gifts: Then & Now

 

My, how times have changed! Don’t you agree that the gifts we used to give our moms decades ago for Mother’s Day look quite a bit different than the ones moms (or grandmas or maternal figures) are getting today?

Granted, technology, convenience, and just the natural progression of life have had a lot to do with this. But we’re sure everyone agrees that the one and only intent behind the gifts has constantly remained—and will always continue to remain—the same: to show our love and gratitude to an amazing woman who is raising a child.

We invite you to “share” this blog post with friends and family, too. We bet they’ll love it! And if you have other gift ideas that you think have made big changes over the years, feel free to leave a comment below. We’d love to hear from you!

Mothers Day Gifts: Then & NowMothers Day Gifts: Then & NowMothers Day Gifts: Then & NowMothers Day Gifts: Then & NowMothers Day Gifts: Then & NowMothers Day Gifts: Then & Now

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Renewing Connections with Family (part II)

Renewing Connections with Family (part II)
In our previous post, we talked about ways to reignite friendships that may have gone by the wayside. In this, our second post focused on renewing connections, we’d like to share some ideas around connecting with family members. It’s so easy these days to let time get away from us until we realize that it’s been weeks, or even months, since we last chatted with, or spent time with, our own family. Especially this past winter, when we were all burrowed in our houses and not going out for days at a time.  Well, spring is now upon us and it’s the perfect time for getting back some of that quality time that old man winter stole from us. To get you started, we’ve compiled a few simple ideas you might like to try.

Breaking the ice.
If there are some family members you haven’t connected with in a while, don’t let it overwhelm you. Pick one, and then reach out with a phone call, send an email or an ecard, or write and send a personal note. You don’t have to say a lot, you can simply tell them, “I miss you,” “I’ve been thinking of you,” or even, “How ‘bout that winter? Would love to catch up with you soon.”  To help make it easy for you, we’ve got many eCards and printable cards at bluemountain.com that will bring a smile to the face of anyone you send them to. If you’d like to write your own message, you can use our online stationery, too. Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is just a few short weeks away, so it’s the perfect time to schedule an eCard, write a special letter, or make a phone call to make plans with your mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, or cousin and share in their special day.  No matter which way you choose to connect with your family, the thoughtful act of reaching out is the first step.

Get back to basics.
Put down the smartphones, tablets, and remotes and pick up the family photo albums and boxes of slides that sit on the shelves anxiously waiting to be dusted off and admired again.  Kids love looking at photos of themselves when they were little, and of their parents and grandparents. Grownups, too, love to reminisce and remember places and faces. Pop the popcorn and enjoy sharing stories and memories that make up your family history.

Exercise.
Ahh, spring—no one can get enough of the sweet-smelling air and warmth of the sun, which makes it the perfect excuse to grab a family member or two and get outside. Gather them together and suggest a walk on the park trail or around the neighborhood. Not only will you get exercise, but you’ll have a chance to catch up with each other, too.

“Let’s do lunch.”
This one is easy to say, but oh, how those good intentions are so hard to follow-through on. And it doesn’t even have to be “lunch” per se. The idea is to create a “structured connection”—something you’ll do on a regular basis. So, you may want to schedule brunch with Mom and Dad for every Sunday, or make the last Friday of every month, “Shopping with Aunt Meg Day.”  If you give this a try, then you’ll see all those good intentions come to beautiful fruition.

Whether you give these simple ideas a try, or come up with a few of your own ideas, all of us here at Blue Mountain hope that the spring season inspires you to open up, reach out, and love deeply.

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Forever Young…

Forever Young...

Whether you’re 35 or 105, the single most important thing to remember is that your chronological age is only a number, plain and simple. In fact, the widespread belief that there’s a peak or prime of life is, in our humble opinion, utterly archaic. Instead, embrace the idea that you can be full of vitality, passion, and adventure at any age!

All of us here at Blue Mountain fully believe this, which is why we were so thrilled to recently celebrate “As Young as You Feel Day.” This fun holiday made us realize that we should all focus on enjoying our lives to the fullest each and every day. And suddenly, our curiosity was piqued. “What specifically makes people feel young?”

So we asked our own Blue Mountain team, and here are some of their answers:

  • Taking a bubble bath
  • Buying a pair of funky-colored, high top sneakers
  • Putting temporary streaks of color in my hair
  • Dipping chocolate cookies into milk
  • Riding a Ferris Wheel
  • Joining the neighborhood kids for a game of hopscotch
  • Doing a cartwheel
  • Singing in the shower at the top of my lungs
  • Dancing the night away
  • Giggling (which can be easily achieved by sending one of our eCards to someone. Send one from our Talking Collection or our Funny Collection today!)

Our conclusion? Never stop enjoying yourself! In fact, treat each single day as the prime of your life. Keep active. Stay positive. And have fun. Lots of it. After all, no matter our age, we should all feel young at heart, shouldn’t we?

And now, dear reader, we’d love to know…“What makes you feel young?” Please leave your answer as a comment below. Don’t be shy now!

 

Forever Young...Forever Young...Forever Young...Forever Young...Forever Young...Forever Young...

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Words Really Do Matter!

Words Really Do Matter!

When you want to convey your feelings precisely, words matter. When you want to express your thoughts clearly, words matter. And when you want to say exactly what’s in the deepest part of your heart, words really, truly, absolutely do matter…to you and to everyone you’re expressing them to.

Which is why we at Blue Mountain recently celebrated Words Matter Week. You see, our editors take a lot of time and painstaking care in crafting that singular perfect message that goes with each and every one of our eCards. As wordsmith experts, they know just how important it is to choose the right words…the right sentiments…and the right message— so you don’t have to (unless, of course, you want to).

For those special times when only you can say it best, we have Printable Cards and Stationery that you can personalize any way you’d like. Then again, if you’d still like a little help along the way, we invite you to read any of our what-to-write blog posts where we offer suggestions, special words, and messaging options for both holidays and those “just because” occasions. We are always here to add that personal touch and make our greetings your own. Happy writing!

 

Words Really Do Matter!Words Really Do Matter!Words Really Do Matter!Words Really Do Matter!Words Really Do Matter!Words Really Do Matter!

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September is Classical Music Month!

September is Classical Music Month!

In 1994, President Clinton issued a proclamation urging all Americans to observe September as Classical Music Month.  Most people may claim not to be a fan of this genre, but we bet that you know a lot more classical music than you think. With more and more classical pieces popping up in movies, television programs, and commercials, many people have gone in search of these artistic masterpieces to add them to their personal playlists.

Did you know?

As you take in their fascinating works this month, here are a few facts we thought you might find interesting about some of the world’s best-loved classical composers:

  • At the age of 5, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was already composing.  He was sickly as a young child and, sadly, died at the young age of 35.
  • When he was 16, Ludwig van Beethoven took lessons from Mozart.  He became deaf in his 20’s but amazingly went on to compose some of the greatest symphonies of all time. His original title of “Moonlight Sonata” was called “Quasi una Fantasia” (Italian for “Almost a Fantasy”). The popular title of Moonlight Sonata didn’t come about until several years after his death when a German music critic wrote that the sonata reminded him of the reflected moonlight off Lake Lucerne.
  • Debussy created an alter ego whom he called “Monsier Croche.”
  • Among Chopin’s most famous compositions is Polonaises in G minor and B flat major 9, which he composed when he was 7 years old.
  • Antonio Vivaldi entered into the priesthood in 1693 but left in 1706 claiming ill health but it was believed he wanted to pursue a musical career.

Ways to Celebrate

There are many ways you can take part in classical music month, whether it’s attending a classical concert, learning to play an instrument, or just relaxing and marveling at the beauty of these musical masterpieces.  As a matter of fact, here at Blue Mountain, we like to use classical pieces  in our eCards. A fan favorite is Magical Wishbone, a card that features Aaron Copland’s Simple Gifts, from Appalachian Spring.  As the holiday season approaches, it’s the perfect way to share a wish along with a beloved piece of classical music.

Listen to Some Classical Favorites

We’ve compiled a playlist for you to enjoy as you celebrate Classical Music Month. Though you may not recognize the titles of some of these works, we think you’ll be surprised at just how many pieces you know. Enjoy!

 

September is Classical Music Month!September is Classical Music Month!September is Classical Music Month!September is Classical Music Month!September is Classical Music Month!September is Classical Music Month!

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Celebrating September Birthdays!

Celebrating September Birthdays!

As we welcome September, and all the great things that come with it, like comfortable temperatures, the first day of fall, football season and falling leaves – we thought it would be fun to recognize some famous names that were born this month.

Who is your favorite September birthday?

  • September 1, 1939- Lily Tomlin, actress, comedian -
  • September 2, 1948- Terry Bradshaw, NFL quarterback, sportscaster
  • September 3, 1856- Louis H. Sullivan, architect, developed skyscrapers
  • September 4, 1918- Paul Harvey, radio personality, quote: “And now, the rest      of the story”
  • September 5, 1929- Bob Newhart, actor, comedian
  • September 6, 1888- Joseph P. Kennedy, Kennedy family patriarch
  • September 7, 1936- Buddy Holly, singer, musician
  • September 8, 1932- Patsy Cline, country singer
  • September 9, 1941- Otis Redding, singer, “Sittin on the Dock of the Bay”
  • September 10, 1929- Arnold Palmer, golfer
  • September 11, 1967- Harry Connick Jr., actor, singer
  • September 12, 1944- Barry White, singer
  • September 13, 1851- Walter Reed, army physician, bacteriologist, Walter Reed      Hospital in D.C. named in his honor
  • September 14, 1914- Clayton Moore, actor, the “Lone Ranger”
  • September 15, 1984- Prince Harry, Prince of England
  • September 16, 1924- Lauren Bacall, actress
  • September 17, 1948- John Ritter, actor, comedian, TV series “Three’s Company”
  • September 18, 1939 -Frankie Avalon, singer, actor
  • September 19, 1941- Cass Elliot, singer, member of the “Mamas and the Papas”
  • September 20, 1878- Upton Sinclair, novelist
  • September 21, 1947- Stephen King, novelist, horror stories
  • September 22, 1964- Bonnie Hunt, actress
  • September 23, 1930- Ray Charles, singer, songwriter
  • September 24, 1936- Jim Henson, puppeteer, created the “Muppets”
  • September 25, 1931- Barbara Walters, TV journalist, news reporter
  • September 26, 1898- George Gershwin, composer
  • September 27, 1722- Samuel Adams, Revolutionary War leader, politician
  • September 28, 1573- Michelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio, painter
  • September 29, 1935- Jerry Lee Lewis, singer, musician
  • September 30, 1924- Truman Capote, novelist

 

Celebrating September Birthdays!Celebrating September Birthdays!Celebrating September Birthdays!Celebrating September Birthdays!Celebrating September Birthdays!Celebrating September Birthdays!

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Be an Angel Day

Be an Angel Day “Thank heaven for angels who help us fly when our wings are too tired.”

Today marks “Be an Angel Day,” which celebrates making the world a better place through acts of kindness, care and support. It’s pretty fitting that this day falls within national friendship week because we all know that friends are angels in disguise.

Anyone can be an Angel, and sometimes just a smile can lighten the heaviest heart. Here are some simple things that anyone can do to brighten someone’s day.

  • Call someone you have not talked to in a long time, and spend some time catching up.
  • Let go of old hurts and practice forgiveness in all your relationships.
  • Bake some cookies, or make a meal and invite your neighbors over.
  • Help out your older neighbors by grocery shopping, or taking out their trash.
  • Invite an unemployed friend to share in a special dinner or function and take care of the cost.
  • Send a card just because. It’s sure to brighten someone’s day to know they are being though about.
  • Volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank.
  • Offer to babysit for a couple so they can share a night out.
  • Donate money or goods to a local charity.
  • Call an old friend and catch up with an ol’ fashion gab session.
Be an Angel Day Be an Angel Day Be an Angel Day Be an Angel Day Be an Angel Day Be an Angel Day

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YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

Happy August Birthday—You Naturally Inventive Leaders!

An inventive mind if there ever was, those born during the month of August have a knack for innovation, plus the talent and detail-oriented mindset to make their novel idea a reality. A born leader and inspiring orator, you have the strength of character necessary
to see not only your dreams come true, but help facilitate the aspirations of others as well.

Leo

Leo, how you love the spotlight! Showcasing your talents, you crave the attention you receive from others. You also understand, however, that it’s not always about you, so you enjoy shepherding others and helping them achieve their dreams as much as you do your own. Leadership is such your forte, you could write a book about it… and you probably have! With your strength of character and will to succeed, not only is the sky the limit, but you and your protégées will undoubtedly fill it as the stars you are!

Virgo 

If you’re a Virgo, you know how to get things done. With an eye for detail and instinct for order, you accomplish whatever you set your mind to. You are meticulous and love creating order out of chaos; so much so, that your specialty could be to help others organize their lives as well, whether at work or at home. Speaking of order out of chaos, your health and well-being are paramount to you, as you’re not one to let your hygiene lapse, even for a day. For you, health and happiness are most enjoyed from the inside out!

August Flower  

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  August’s birth flower, the Gladiolus, gets its name from the Latin, gladius, or “sword,” for the leaves’ resemblance to a sword. Associated with Roman gladiators until the African Gladiolus gained in popularity, this tall bloom is a symbol of strength and integrity. Its more amorous meaning connotes “love at first sight.” Among its many uses: treating physical ailments as the corms (stem) were turned into a poultice and applied to affected areas; was also used to extract thorns and splinters, as well as treat colic when mixed with goat’s milk.

August Birthstone  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

Your birthstone, the peridot, has two possible name origins: faridat, Arabic for “gem,” and peridona, which translated from Greek mean “to give richness.” Believed to have originated from the TopazosIsland (now the Zabargad / St. John’sIsland) in the Egyptian Red Sea, the green gemstone has been mined for over 3,000 years. Renowned for its healing properties, it’s considered ideal for respiratory health. Also known for its protective properties, it’s said to boost prosperity and fame. Although it can be made into jewelry, peridot wears down easily and isn’t considered ideal for decoration. Still, with its rich olive shade, it is sought out by collectors.

Famous August Birthdays

Celebrate your birthday this month with these notable names:

Ingrid Bergman, Queen Elizabeth, Alfred Hitchcock, Whitney Houston, Gene Kelly,
Francis Scott Key, Annie Oakley, Regis Philbin, Leo Tolstoy, Mae West

Important August 2013 Holidays

International Friendship Day 8/4
Ramadan, ends 8/7
Assumption of Mary 8/15

For more information on August birthdays, please click here.  And to see a large selection of birthday ecards that range from funny to sweet, just visit bluemountain.com. We’ve got cards for everyone on your list, including talking cards that are perfect for those in the birthday spotlight this month!

 

YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!  YOUR AUGUST BIRTHDAY!

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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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IT’S NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH! (7.11)

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan designated July as National Ice Cream Month! He recognized ice cream as a fun and nutritious food and called for citizens to observe the day with “appropriate ceremonies and activities.” It is said that ice cream is enjoyed by a full 90 percent of the American population…no wonder there’s always a long line at the local Dairy Delite!

We’ve narrowed down the five most popular flavors for you to rank in your own order of preference—from (1) “Triple scoop, please!” to (5) “I’d rather eat a salad.”

Most Popular Flavors

Vanilla
Chocolate
Strawberry
Butter Pecan
Chocolate Chip

Now, see what your #1 favorite says about the kind of person you are…

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

Vanilla

With your classic style, open-minded attitude and easy-going personality, you are just plain cool! It’s important for you to be liked by everyone—and you are—which helps you fit into any social situation.  People feel as comfortable around you as swinging hammock on a hot summer day…which is where you’d like to be.

 

ChocolateITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)

You have a passion and enthusiasm for life and like being the center of attention!  While you’re usually outgoing, optimistic and friendly, you can also be deeply introspective with
a dark, hilarious sense of humor. You also have a competitive side that drives you to get what you want…so, when faced by a challenge, you won’t stop until you lick it!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Strawberry 

You’re sweet, loveable and eternally adorable! Sure there are times you might come off
a little shy, but that’s only because you’re generous enough to let others shine before you steal people’s hearts with your natural charm. And your “irresistibleness” is the cherry
on top!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Butter Pecan  

You are stable, down-to-earth and well-balanced with a deep sense of loyalty and commitment. You’re a traditionalist who likes the finer things in life and works hard to get them. With your calm demeanor and solid confidence, others tend to rely on you to keep things running smoothly…which is why they’re surprised when you sometimes show your nutty side!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)Chocolate Chip 

You have a happy, cheerful, youthful disposition that makes you fun to be with! Being a creative type, you keep coming up with new ideas and you aren’t afraid to try new things. In fact, sometimes you’re pulled in so many different directions, you spread yourself too thin and just have let the chips fall where they may.  Yet somehow that always works out for you and you come out smelling like a fresh-baked cookie!

ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)ITS NATIONAL ICE CREAM MONTH!  (7.11)