Celebrating “Take Your Dog to Work Day.”

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Ask any pet owner and they’ll tell you—their pets are their family. Our lovable fur babies are like our children, and we love them, and spoil them, to our hearts content. Wanting to take them with us wherever we go is natural, which is why we’re all excited here at Blue Mountain this week because this Friday, June 20th we’re bringing our sweet pups to work with us for Take Your Dog to Work Day.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Our Senior Editor, Liza McNamara, was kind enough to share some photos from last year’s Take Your Dog to Work Day with you. As you can see, her Old English Sheepdog, Malachi (pronounced Mal-uh-kī), kept things running smoothly around here:

If you’re not familiar with Take Your Dog to Work Day here are some quick facts:

  • Pet Sitters International (PSI) created Take Your Dog To Work Day in 1999 to celebrate the great companions dogs make and encourage adoption from shelters, rescue groups, and humane societies.
  • TYDTWDay encourages employers to experience the joy of pets in the workplace and support their local pet community.
  • This annual event is always celebrated on the Friday following Father’s Day.
  • For cat lovers (and other pets) who cannot participate on TYDTWDay, the entire week leading up to the event, June 16-20, is Take Your Pet To Work Week™.

Not only are we so grateful that we’re able to bring our favorite pals to work with us, but, as animal lovers, we’re happy because the day raises awareness for homeless dogs and is a way to educate people in the company about homeless animal statistics. Plus, it highlights the benefits of pet ownership and the important role pets play in the lives of employees.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Malachi also won a handsome bag in our raffle, which made him so happy because he knew it would be pawsitively purrfect for his mom to carry a whole lotta’ treats in. The bag reads, “Life is better with a dog.” We couldn’t agree more!

As you can see by these photos, we at Blue Mountain love our animals to the moon and back, and relish any opportunity to have them by our side. If you’re lucky enough to have a pet of your own to love, or had one in the past, then you know how life-transforming they are and the endless joy and amazing unconditional love they give each and every day. How little they ask from us—a belly scratch, a soft bed, a supper dish…and ultimately, love. So often when we adopt or rescue pets, we may think at first we’re changing their lives when the truth is—they’re changing ours.

Celebrating Take Your Dog to Work Day.
Here’s a group shot of some of the employees and their lovable pup pals, who participated in Take Your Dog to Work Day last year.

Give your pets a hug from all of us here at Blue Mountain, and if you’re thinking of rescuing a pet, we urge you to take that step and open that door…and let love walk right into your heart.

 

 

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Brighten Someone’s Day!

Brighten Someones Day!

Hello, Blue Mountain Friends,

Well, here we are, knee deep in summer!  Isn’t it wonderful?  Like the fireflies that we caught as children, we can release our happy summertime memories and let them light up our days.  Running through the sprinkler, chasing the ice cream truck, or just hanging out with friends, summer was always an enchanting time.  It’s great to celebrate the big events in our lives, but sometimes it’s fun just to appreciate the magic of ordinary moments.

What little things make your day now?  Enjoying summer pleasures with your children or grandchildren?  Baking a cake that turns out just right?  Discovering that the bunnies didn’t eat your petunias?  Finding your lost glasses on your head?   Hearing from an old friend?

Why not be the old friend who lights up someone’s day with an unexpected card?  Here at Blue Mountain, we’ve created a new line of cards for you called “Brighten Someone’s Day,” because that’s just what they do.  From their fresh and cheery art looks to their warm and engaging words, these cards are designed to build more meaningful connections with the people who matter most to you.

Today is a perfect day to tell your friends how special they are, share a happy memory, send a surprise love note,  show your gratitude, or say “hi” to someone–just because.  We hope you’ll take a moment and choose a card to Brighten Someone’s Day.  You never know how much the smile you send can mean to someone today.

Caroline Leech _ Senior Editor
Brighten Someones Day!

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Memories with Dad

Memories with Dad

As Father’s Day quickly approaches, we’d love to pause for a moment to recount all the meaningful moments we’ve shared with that very special man (or men) in our life. After all, a dad is fun, love, and laughter you never outgrow.

Whether learning to ride a bike or learning to drive a car…whether playing house or playing pool…whether laughing or crying, Dad’s always been there for you. With moments in time that are both vivid and treasured, we are truly blessed to associate such great times with Dad—from childhood all the way through to adulthood.

In order to celebrate that loving bond that’s so precious and unique, Blue Mountain offers many delightfully beautiful Father’s Day eCards. Blue Mountain also offers a great selection of printable Father’s Day cards.

And in order to share those memories we hold so dear, we’ve decided to reach out to our Blue Mountain family and see what personal “dad memories” they remember best—whether reminiscing of old ones or creating new ones. And here’s what they had to say:

DANIELLE KROUSE, Social Media Manager
Memories with Dad
“I can’t help but smile when I look at this picture. The father/daughter dance was something I was really looking forward to on my wedding day. My dad and I talked through the whole dance and told stories of the two of us that made us laugh. I’m so happy that special moment of happiness was captured!”

———-

NOHA YOUSSEF, Assistant Brand Manager
Memories with Dad
“This photo of my dad and me was taken a few years back when we went on a little family getaway to Put-In-Bay, Ohio. My dad loves the outdoors and has a real appreciation for nature, so this was a great escape for all of us to spend some quality time together. He’s an amazing man, and I love him very much.”

———-

MARIA ISABELLA, Content Marketing Editor
Memories with Dad
“Even though my son-in-law is an Academy Award-winning screenwriter, he says the birth of his son is unquestionably his greatest accomplishment in life. He adores Avery and steals every moment he can to admire his sweet little face.”
Memories with Dad

“My husband also loves holding Avery, who everyone says looks a lot like him. He tells his grandson about all the many adventures they’re going to have together once he gets older. Watch out, world!”

———-

CAROLYN ANTL, Designer/Content Coordinator
Memories with Dad
“I appreciate my dad very much. As a single dad in the eighties, he raised both my sister and me on his own. He took us with him everywhere he went, and we enjoyed many experiences together. Whether it was folding laundry, cooking, fishing, or skiing, he made time to be with us and raised us to be smart and strong. I feel so lucky to have such a loving father, and I treasure every moment I have with him. This is a picture of us when I was visiting him in South Carolina.”

———-

CAROLINE LEECH, Senior Editor
Memories with Dad
“This is my son, David, with his father, also David. From the very start, they’ve been two peas in a pod. David is 21 now, and I’m happy to say they are still as connected as ever.”

 

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What to Write in a Father’s Day Card

What to Write in a Fathers Day Card

Father’s Day is the one day a year solely dedicated to all the dads in your life. It’s the day we take a moment to reflect on the significant impact they’ve had on our lives—and how they continue to inspire us in their own special ways. It’s also the day we celebrate creating new memories with these influential fathers and father figures, whether a cherished dad, grandpa, father-in-law, uncle, godfather, or mentor.

A Father’s Day gift is not nearly as important as letting him know how much you care. This can be accomplished either through voice or pen. If penning a message, let it come straight and simply from the heart.

Many of us might struggle to come up with just the right words and sentiments to express our thoughts and emotions. We’re here to help you with that.

When writing a note, a letter, or just some additional thoughts to a Father Day ecard, it’s best to make it short, personal, and sincere. What’s one special moment you’ve shared together? What’s one piece of advice he’s given you that’s made a difference? What’s one trait you particularly admire about him?

To help you get started, here are some ideas that may be just what you’re looking for:

For Your Own Dad

(for males) Dad, you are the man I’ve always wanted to be…
(for females) Dad, I’ll always be your little girl…
For all the things you have been in my life, Dad…
You are the person I model myself after…
Dad, you put the super in hero…
You made my childhood memories the happiest they could be…
I am the (man/woman) I am today because of you…
To my friend, my mentor, my father…
Having a dad like you made growing up so much (better/sweeter/happier…)

For Any Dad

You inspire me to live life to the fullest…
It takes a special kind of man to make others smile from the heart…
Your love is as warm and bright as a sun-shiny day!
What makes your (advice/love) so special is that it comes from you!
You’ll never know how many lives you’ve touched, or how deeply your love has been felt…
You’ve been a mentor and a friend and you’ve made the/my world a better place…
My day is filled with hope and inspiration because of you…
Everyone should have someone as special as you in their lives…

For Husband

You are my knight in shining armor!
My life/Our lives would not be the same without your love…
You are my rock, my partner, my love…
For the man who helps make my/our world complete…
You fill my heart with joy, happiness and hope each and every day…
You are the compass on our life’s journey together…
You are the man of my dreams…
Lucky me/us–having you to love!

For a New Dad / Dad-to-Be

(for girls) Your new little princess is ready for her fairy-tale dad!
(for boys) Your new little sports fan is ready to cheer you on!
Love is on the way with your little one about to arrive…
Wishing you all the joy and happiness fatherhood will bring…
Your arms will be filled with a bundle of joy, and your heart will be filled with love… Tender moments are right around the corner…
It takes a special kind of love to make a father like you…

More Messages

With warmth, love, and a special place in my heart…
Hoping you make the most of your special day…
Wishing you all the happiness you can handle on this Father’s Day…
With the fondest of memories…
With love comes laughter…
Relax, enjoy and celebrate…

 

 

 

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Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

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.

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

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):

Random Acts of Kindness: Part II (FREE printable)

 

 

 

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Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)
A smile from a stranger…a hug out of nowhere from your child, friend, or family member… a card received in the mail “just because.” These seemingly small gestures aren’t small at all. In fact, they have the power to turn a day completely around, change an outlook, and move the spirit. Science has even shown that being kind can make a real difference in the well-being and health of individuals who practice it and receive it. Another added plus—it’s contagious. Kindness spurs kindness; a single act can influence dozens more.

Random acts of kindness and “paying it forward” have been picking up steam lately
and trending in social media. It may be due to the fact that, while we weren’t looking,
the world took a turn for the worse and seemingly appeared less kind. Children hurting
and bullying children, innocent people gunned-down at the mall, and sweet animals living
at the mercy of cruel hands have all played into this dark cloud sweeping through our daily
lives. Well, take heart—the sun is rising on a new day and the world is picking itself back
up again. People are noticing and making an effort to put kindness back at the top of their list.

While stuck in an elevator, a boy makes a human chair out of himself to allow an elderly lady to sit down while they wait for help…a baseball team adopts a lonely stray pup that wandered onto their field, and made him the team mascot now loved by millions…a stranger pays for a woman’s breakfast “just because he wanted to,”…a wallet is found in the gutter and mailed back to the out-of-town owner… across the nation, people are pulling up to drive-thru windows only to find out that the person before them has already paid for their order. Kindness is catching, and all of us here at Blue Mountain couldn’t be more thrilled because our work is dedicated to helping people connect with others and be lifted up and cared about. You never know what someone else’s struggles may be, and you probably aren’t aware of the immense power your smile and kind words possess, or how your simple gesture can turn a day, or even a life, around. It’s truly magical, and this popular poem is a heartfelt reminder of how one simple act can grow and multiply.

We’d like you to join us in sharing and spreading kindness, so we do hope you will visit us again later this week when we’ll share Part II of this post and give you some ideas (along with some free gifts) of how you can join the kindness journey. Until then, please enjoy this free downloadable wallpaper which is a thoughtful reminder that you have the power within you to make an extraordinary, beautiful difference. To set as your desktop back ground simply click the image, and when the new window appears, right click and choose “set as background.”

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)

Anthropologist Margaret Mead once remarked, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” From the kindnesses happening in the world right now, it gladdens our hearts to tell you—she was right.

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Gratitude Guide for Mom: How to say Thank You and Show Mom your Gratitude

Gratitude Guide for Mom: How to say Thank You and Show Mom your Gratitude

Happy Mother’s Day – Those three little words are loaded with so much meaning that there’s no possible way to fit all the things that make up those words into a single day. Yet, we try our best to give tokens of love to our moms with the hope that even just an ounce of what we feel is communicated to them.

So, how do you begin to show your gratitude for all she’s done and continues to do? We’ve compiled a Gratitude Guide with some ideas and inspiration to help you. Keep in mind that, when it comes down to it, most mothers would agree that your time is more wanted than things; your validation of who they are, more precious than gold…

List of Gratitudes
A daughter wrote a letter to her 80 year old mother, telling her how thankful she was for all the things her mother did for her while she was growing up. Her mother said it was the best Mother’s Day gift she ever received, and wants it to be included in her eulogy. Click Hereto read Faye’s letter to her mother…and maybe grab a tissue. If you would like to do something like this, you can use our Blue Mountain printable stationery as a beautiful backdrop for this gift she’ll cherish.

Sing it
Do you have musical talent? Write your mom a song and sing it to her, or record it for her so she can listen to it over and over again.

Dedicate a song on the radio
If singing isn’t your thing, call up her favorite radio station and see if they’ll dedicate a song to her at a time she’s probably listening.

A box of 52 of your favorite memories about your mom
Find or make or your own decorative box and write down 52 of your best-loved memories about your mom. She’ll get to read one each week over the next year.

Garden walk treasures
Go on a garden walk with Mom and collect leaves, petals, and anything that catches your eye. Back at Mom’s house, create a window display of your treasures reminding her of your enjoyable afternoon together.

Record a personalized ringtone for her cell phone.
Give her a heart a tug every time her cell phone rings. Record a special ringtone of all the kids/grandkids yelling, ‘We love you Mom/Grandma!”

Jewelry with meaning
Give her vintage map jewelry of the state/country where you grew up, her favorite bible verse, or a much-loved passage from a favorite book 
or poem.

A Now and Then Photo
Frame a photo of you and Mom from when you were still a baby and she was a young mom, and one of the two of you now.

Take a class together.
If you live close to your mother, take a class together of something she always wanted to do like sewing, painting, cooking, etc. Not only will it be a fun experience, but the time spent together is priceless.

Mother’s Day Photo Magnet
All moms have them—photos covering the refrigerator of all their children and grandchildren. This is a wonderful idea that can turn a photo of each person she loves into a magnet itself. You can make one of every child and grandchild. Once you’ve made the magnets, post them to her refrigerator with notes from each person on the magnet about what they love about her so she’s reminded every single day what an amazing woman she is and how she’s touched their lives.

Make a recurring appointment for a phone call with Mom each week. Plus, if you have siblings, assign each one a different day of the week to call Mom so she hears from her children regularly.

Tell Mom what you learned from her example.
This popular poem by Mary Rita Schilke Korzan is a wonderful way to honor mom and has been shared in many forms time and time again.

One of our Blue Mountain editors has created a Pinterest Board for many of the ideas you’ve read about in our blog today, and we also invite you to use our Mother’s Day eCards to help celebrate your wonderful moms.

All of us at Blue Mountain wish you and your mom a Mother’s Day to remember!

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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!

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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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Memories with Mom

Memories with Mom

Each year, as Mother’s Day approaches, it is with great pleasure that we get the opportunity to recount all the beautiful moments we’ve shared with that one very special lady in our life. After all, our mothers (or mother figures) truly are at the very heart of our dearest memories.

Those wonderful memories are usually centered around vivid “togetherness” moments in time, whether in the kitchen, at the park, on vacation, or just about anywhere else in this world. Which is why Blue Mountain decided to create a beautiful new Mother’s Day eCard this year highlighting a collage of exactly those kinds of moments.

In the same vein, we asked our Blue Mountain family to share their own photos of personal happy “mom memories”— whether reminiscing of old memories or creating new ones. And here’s what they had to say:


Caroline Leech, Senior Editor
Memories with Mom

“We were celebrating my son David’s fourth birthday at his grandmother’s house in this photo. He was answering my question, ‘What did you wish for?’ He said he was wishing for a big piece of cake! He’s 21 now and Grandma is gone, but her chocolate cake recipe still stirs happy memories for us.”

Danielle Krouse, Community Manager
Memories with Mom

“This photo captures pure joy! Being able to experience the first time my daughter got to feel what it’s like to go down a sliding board at the park is something I’ll never forget. I look at this picture and I can still hear her little giggle, and it instantly puts a smile on my face. I’m so glad we were able to capture this mommy/daughter moment in time.”

Deann Hoffland, Marketing Manager
Memories with Mom

“In this photo, my son and I were heading out for his first Trick-or-Treat. He was the cutest little tiger ever! It was such an awesome experience watching him enjoy all of the other children in costumes and getting all those little treats in his basket!”

Melissa Jamison, Senior Brand Manager
Memories with Mom
“My son Jack always loved playing in the water for bath time. He’d splash and laugh and laugh and splash! I thought this picture was especially funny because he kinda looks like he’s a pirate saying, ‘Argh, me matey!’ He’s always been a bit of a character, and this showed just one of his many smiley faces.”

Noha Youssef, Assistant Brand Manager
Memories with Mom
“My little daughter is fascinated with children’s books. This photo shows us opening a book together. I had so much fun watching her explore new things and repeat every sound she heard. She also danced as the music played when she turned each page. I never thought having a daughter would bring me so much joy!”

Maria Isabella, Content Marketing Editor
Memories with Mom
My oldest grandson and I were at the Cleveland Zoo the day this photo was taken. He lives out of town, so this was a special ‘date’ for the two of us while he was visiting. We laughed at the monkeys, fed the seals, and shared an ice cream sundae. He still talks about that day, and I still treasure that happy one-on-one time we had together.”

Are there any special “mom memories” you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear from you! Please leave your comments below.

 

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