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Letter from the Editor – Welcome November!

“November brings a harvest of memories,
reminding our hearts what matters most.”

Ah, November– when the brooding autumn skies are filled with parting birds, as we brace ourselves for the inclement weather ahead.  Many of us are moving indoors now, where our homes become cozy retreats, filled with eiderdown comforters, spiced warm cider and toasty fires.  November days are short but full, as we ready the house for the holidays and make our plans for Thanksgiving.

At Thanksgiving, our thoughts naturally turn to what matters most–not the things we’ve acquired along the way–but rather the moments, memories, and experiences shared with the people we love.  For some of us, Thanksgiving will be a bittersweet time.  As we look around our table this year, a familiar face may be missing.  We honor their memory by gathering together with grateful hearts.  We remind ourselves there are things we take for granted that others are praying for.

This year, we’ve created an especially warm collection of Thanksgiving eCards for you to spread the love and gratitude among your family and friends.   You can watch as woodland animals fill a cornucopia to the lovely music, “All Things Bright and Beautiful.”  We think you’ll also enjoy our hand-lettered “Three Wishes,” and you won’t want to miss our charming Golden Lab delivering your message “Across the Miles.” Want to share a smile?   Send our talking pilgrim dogs to speak what you type or check out “Where’s the Turkey?” and discover where the turkeys hide.

However you celebrate this year, may joy and love be present at your table.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Caroline Leech, Senior Editor
Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!

Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!Letter from the Editor   Welcome  November!

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Fall Decor Roundup

When summer days start to wane, we almost can’t wait to get started on decorating our homes and creating a cozy nest full of colorful touches of leaves, berry branches, and of course— pumpkins. As you start buying your mums and pulling out your fall candles and decorations, you might want to try some of these decorating ideas that we thought were fun and creative ways  to say, “Welcome, Fall”!

Fall Decor Roundup

  1. This has got to be the cutest way to pumpkin-up your powder room from Cranial Hiccups. 2. The “key” to fun fall decorating is easier than you think with this fun idea from Midwest Living.  3. This natural autumn centerpiece from Shelterness sets the perfect cozy tone for fall gatherings.  4. The popular “mumkin,” this one shown from Circa Dee, is a must-have for fall. 5. Create the perfect autumn atmosphere with this eye-catching leaf chandelier from Midwest Living.  6.  Adorable as gifts or centerpieces, these pumpkin jars, shown from The 36th Avenue, are simply the cutest.
Fall Decor RoundupFall Decor RoundupFall Decor RoundupFall Decor RoundupFall Decor RoundupFall Decor Roundup

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Letter from the Editor – Getting Ready for October!

Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!

With the autumnal equinox on September 22nd, when day and night were of equal length, we welcomed fall and life started all over again.  Now that October is here, our gardens are bright with dahlias, camellias, echinacea, and chrysanthemums. Our recipes will be starring pumpkins, squash, apples, berries, seeds and nuts. We’re wearing our sweaters and plaid flannel, enjoying pumpkin spice lattes and farmers markets and cheering on our favorite football teams.

The days are getting shorter and the sun is lower in the sky. Nighttime is heralded by spectacular sunsets and the stars have never shone brighter. Mornings are dawning with a spectral mist hanging over the fields. As we watch all the beautiful changes taking place in nature, we are reminded that the only constant is change. We may feel a little nostalgic for autumns gone by and the people who mean so much to us. Here at Blue Mountain we have cards to honor those significant relationships and celebrate all the fun holidays in October.

Because we like autumn so much, we created a card to wish everyone a Happy Falloween. You’ll find a new postcard for Columbus Day and new eCards for Boss’s Day and Sweetest Day.  When you visit our Halloween collection, you’ll discover some extra special treats—eCards with music you’re sure to recognize, including the themes from the Andy Griffith Show and Bewitched. What better time to let your friends and family know you are thinking of them? And no matter how busy you get, remember to make some time for yourself to pause and watch the leaves turning.

Caroline Leech, Senior Editor
Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!

 

 

Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!Letter from the Editor   Getting Ready for October!

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How to Nurture all of your Friendships

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!

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #1: BEST FRIENDS
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.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #2: SOCIAL FRIENDS
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.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #3: WORK FRIENDS
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.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #4: SCHOOL FRIENDS
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.

FRIENDSHIP GROUP #5: CASUAL FRIENDS
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.

 

How to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your FriendshipsHow to Nurture all of your Friendships

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

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!

MAKE A SCRAPBOOK OR VIDEO
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.

RECREATE PAST MEMORIES
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.

HAVE DINNER TOGETHER
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.

WATCH AN OLD SHOW
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!

MAKE A RETRO DINNER
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.

SEND FLOWERS
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

SHARE A SPA DAY
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.

ENJOY AN OUTDOOR ACTIVITY
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.

ATTEND A COOKING CLASS
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!

GET AWAY
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.”

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

 

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

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Letter From the Editor – Celebrating Friendship!

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?

Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!
Caroline Leech, Senior Editor

Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!Letter From the Editor   Celebrating Friendship!

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The History of Birthdays (Part II)

The History of Birthdays (Part II)

Since our readers enjoyed our first post all about the history of birthdays, we thought we’d share even more fun birthday facts that you may not know. Isn’t it funny that we all do similar things on our birthdays without any thought about how or why we do them?             For instance, where did the idea come from to wear pointy hats? Why do we give gifts? And who came up with that birthday song in the first place? Read on for some fun and interesting information regarding the special day each one of us celebrates.

Pointy Party Hats

The History of Birthdays (Part II)

Though there is no one origin of the pointy party hat, this distinctive headgear has been around at the very least since     2800 BC, and was recognized as a symbol of power or status:

  • In ancient Egypt, only the nobility were allowedThe History of Birthdays (Part II)      to wear pointed hats as a symbol of their elevated status above their subjects. The different designs made individual pharaohs identifiable to their subjects.
  • In medieval Jewish traditions, some people started wearing cylindrical hats secured around the chin to distinguish themselves in Christian Europe. These hats were higher and more pointed than the traditional Jewish Kippah of today.
  • It was believed that witches and wizards wore pointed hats because the hats   were representations of the cone  of power.The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)

 

  • CaThe History of Birthdays (Part II)tholic princesses and noblewomen                                   in Medieval Europe would wear                                             cone-shaped hats intricately decorated                           with long veils, precious jewels, and even                         intricate butterfly and flower detailing.

 

 

 

  • The party hat can also be traced to the dunce cap, worn by misbehaving or poorly
    performing schoolchildren from the mid-19th century to the The History of Birthdays (Part II)early 20th century, signifying that the wearer engaged in frivolous and foolish behavior—naturally what we all expect of the birthday person on their special day!

 

 

 

Overall, these cylindrical birthday hats continue to be the proud tradition in many different cultures, with the point of the hat elevating the wearer to the status of royalty—which, we all agree, a person becomes on their birthday.

Giving Birthday Gifts

One theory regarding the giving of birthday gifts dates back to early Europe, when people believed that evil spirits would seek out and haunt someone on his or her birthday, most importantly the king.The History of Birthdays (Part II) Therefore, on one’s birthday, people would gather to protect that person and would bring with them good wishes. These gatherings later became our modern day birthday parties, and over time, people brought more than just good wishes to ward off evil spirits; they brought presents, too.

 
Who Wrote The Birthday Song?

The History of Birthdays (Part II)According to the 1998 Guinness Book of World Records, “Happy Birthday to You” is the most recognized song in the English language, and its lyrics have been translated into at least 18 languages. But where did it come from?

In 1893, sisters Patty Hill and Mildred J. Hill wrote a song they called, Good Morning to All,” which was part of the book Song Stories for the Kindergarten and was intended to be sung by students before classes began. As the song caught on across America, it developed a number of variations, becoming “Good Morning to You” and then, in 1924, Robert Coleman published a songbook and added a few extra lyrics that would quickly come to overshadow the original lines and came to be the rendition we all know today, “Happy Birthday to You.”

The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)The History of Birthdays (Part II)

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Summer Gardening

Summer Gardening
Gardening is the purest of human pleasures.”
—Francis Bacon

Gardens—of any and all kinds—bring both joy and tranquility to those who cultivate and grow them. Whether it’s a flower garden, a vegetable garden, an herb garden, or a purely whimsical garden, it’s a place that becomes your haven. Your sanctuary. Your masterpiece.

Of course, gardens take time and patience. You need to plan, plant, water, and weed. But you also get to enjoy every moment, watching them grow into the magnificent fruits of your labor.

Blue Mountain certainly appreciates the significance of lovely gardens to our readers. That’s why we love to create beautiful eCards that specifically feature a garden theme. Click here to see some enchanting examples—and then be sure to send one to someone special today.

If you already have a garden growing right now, wonderful! If not, we’d love to offer some creative examples of unique gardens you may want to consider growing yourself. Or at least to “oooh” and “aaah” over.

Flower Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Stacy K Floral

Summer Gardening
HGTV

Summer Gardening
Architecture Art Designs

Vegetable Gardens:

Summer Gardening
LLH Designs

Summer Gardening
The Telegraph

Summer Gardening
Juneau Empire

Herb Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Not Just a Housewife

Summer Gardening
Apartment Therapy

Summer Gardening
Persephone Magazine

Whimsical Gardens:

Summer Gardening
Hansel and Gretel House

Summer Gardening
Gardening Gone Wild

Summer GardeningSummer GardeningSummer GardeningSummer GardeningSummer GardeningSummer Gardening

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Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)                There are few things in life that are forever immortalized as being incredibly sweet and utterly irresistible. Among them are babies, puppies…and desserts. Yes, decadent, luscious, oh-so-delicious and wonderful desserts that bring joy and happiness to everyone’s lips.

It just so happens that July is chock-full of fun and fascinating dessert-related holidays. Why not take a moment to look at the list below and celebrate the only way that makes the most perfect sense: by baking a special treat or making a frozen delight! (For your convenience, we’ve included a link to each and every mouth-watering recipe.)

And to kick off what happens to be today’s featured holiday—Chocolate Day—the folks at Blue Mountain are sharing our very own personal favorite recipe for Chocolate Fondue that you’re sure to love. Just download the fondue recipe card designed exclusively for you, print, and enjoy! (To print the recipe card, simply click “fondue” in the above sentence!)

July 7 – National Strawberry Sundae Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 8 – National Chocolate with Almonds Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 9 – National Sugar Cookie Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 11 – National Blueberry Muffin Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 12 – Pecan Pie Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 15 – Tapioca Pudding Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 19 – National Raspberry Cake Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 21 – National Ice Cream Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 27 – National Crème Brulee Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 30 – National Cheesecake Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

July 31 – National Cotton Candy Day
Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)Fun Food Holidays (with FREE recipe card!)

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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.

Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)Random Acts of Kindness Part I (FREE desktop background)