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Tips for Great Easter Greetings

Tips for Great Easter Greetings

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Easter is right around the corner.  It’s time for coloring eggs, fluffy Easter bunnies, and lots of bright, colorful cheer to celebrate the holiday.  What better way to brighten someone’s Easter than by sending some heartfelt Easter eCards

Hunting for that perfect eCard can be fun.  The challenge, however, comes with matching the ideal Easter card and message with the right recipient when you’re not sure what to send.  To make it easier, ask yourself the following as you select your eCard:

  • Is your recipient more religious?
  • Do they enjoy having their holiday funny bone tickled? 
  • If it’s for a child, would they enjoy a cute cartoon character on an Easter card?
  • Would they get a kick out of a Talking Easter eCard? Or, does a general all-purpose Easter card hit the spot and show them you care?

These are just a few of the questions to ask yourself as you sift through and narrow down the choices for each recipient.  Once you’ve decided what kind of eCard your Easter bunny honey will love, another important question remains: what to write?

Unlocking the perfect Easter eCard message is key to making a memorable holiday.  Here are a few fun Easter sayings and quotes that will make a great addition to any Easter eCard Blue Mountain has to offer.

 Easter Sayings:

 

  • Hop over here for Easter
  • You put the hip in my hop
  • You are some bunny special
  • A basketful of blessings
  • My Easter basket is filled with thoughts of you

 Easter Quotes:

  • Easter tells us that life is to be interpreted not simply in terms of things but in term of ideals. _ Charles M. Crowe
  • Easter spells out beauty, the rare beauty of new life. _ S.D. Gordon
  • Let the resurrection joy life us from loneliness and weakness and despair to strength and beauty and happiness. _ Floyd W. Tomkins
  •  I lied on my Weight Watchers list. I put down that I had 3 eggs…but they were Cadbury chocolate eggs. _ Caroline Rhea       
Tips for Great Easter GreetingsTips for Great Easter GreetingsTips for Great Easter GreetingsTips for Great Easter GreetingsTips for Great Easter GreetingsTips for Great Easter Greetings

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eCard of the week – Fine Irish Lassie

eCard of the week   Fine Irish Lassie

Our pick this week is Fine Irish Lassie - a talking St. Patrick’s Day eCard. We love the details in this card, and how the adorable pooch shows off her St. Patrick’s Day spirit. Talking eCards are a great way to send a personal message to friends and loved ones because you get to pick what the character says. For St. Patrick’s Day try something like “Kiss me I’m Irish,” “Hope the luck of the Irish is with you today,” or “Sending you a little Irish hello just in time for St. Patrick’s Day.”

Blue Mountain has a great variety of St. Patrick’s Day eCards to choose from – take a minute and check them all out today! And don’t forget that Easter is right around the corner too… For everything from upcoming holiday eCards to Birthday eCards and Everyday eCards, Blue Mountain is always there to help you stay connected!

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eCard of the Week – Happy Mardi Gras postcard!

eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether you prefer Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras – it’s a day to celebrate with good friends and good food! We thought this festive Mardi Gras postcard would be perfect as our eCard of the week to help you get in the Mardi Gras spirit. This postcard was designed by Blue Mountain artist Terry Flores, and captures the magical essence of this celebratory holiday! This postcard is great to post on a friend’s facebook wall, or even post it on your own to wish all your friends a Happy Mardi Gras.

Know someone with a birthday around Mardi Gras? In addition to this postcard, send them a fun Birthday eCard for double the celebration! No matter if you’re looking for Talking eCards, fun Postcards or Holiday eCardsBlue Mountain is sure to help you stay connected and celebrate!

eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!eCard of the Week   Happy Mardi Gras postcard!

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A little Mardi Gras history


A little Mardi Gras history

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mardi Gras is February 12th this year, and with it comes music, parades, krewes, beads, and celebration!  You can find a mask, create a costume,  head to New Orleans, or participate in colorful local events. It’s a big celebration, but what is it exactly and how did the whole thing get started?

“Fat Tuesday” marks the last day of the Carnival season, a period of rich feasting and frivolity which follows Epiphany and is the day before Ash Wednesday when Lent begins. It’s a floating holiday and its date varies slightly because it must fall 47 days before Easter Sunday.

In 1856, a group of businessmen founded New Orleans’ first and oldest krewe, the Mistick Krewe of Comus and in 1857, held its first parade. Comus is the oldest continuously active Mardi Gras Organization and is responsible for starting a number of traditions that continue today including the use of floats in parades.

The traditional Mardi Gras colors of purple, gold, and green have their roots in political
and religious arenas. In 1872 the Rex Organization invented the King of the Carnival festivities and the first Rex selected the colors and the significance they hold today. A new king (Rex) is chosen each year by the School of Design in New Orleans, the sponsors of the Rex parade. In the “city that care forgot,” the parade champions make sure that visitors and natives alike follow Rex who will always set their hearts to music with “If ever I cease to love.”

Here are some extra Mardi Gras fun facts:

  • Mardi Gras is French for “Fat Tuesday”
  • Mardi Gras celebrations have their origins in the ancient Roman festival, Lupercalia. It is considered the last great indulgence before the 40-day fasting period of Lent.
  • Mardi Gras migrated to the United States by way of many French influences, including French explorer Pierre le Moyne d’Iberville in the Louisiana territory
    in 1699.
  • The first Mardi Gras parade in the United States was held in Mobile, Alabama
    in 1830.
  • The official colors of Mardi Gras are green (faith), purple (justice) and gold (power).
  • Krewe: a non-profit organization or club participating in a parade.
  • The first “throw” (beads or small trinkets) happened in 1837 when a krewe member tossed small “gifts” to parade revelers.

So, how are you going to celebrate Mardi Gras? Try making a famous King Cake, decorating fun masks, throw a party or post a Mardi Gras postcard on your wall or email one to a friend!

A little Mardi Gras historyA little Mardi Gras historyA little Mardi Gras historyA little Mardi Gras historyA little Mardi Gras historyA little Mardi Gras history

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eCard of the week – Rain or Shine

eCard of the week   Rain or Shine

 

 

 

 

 

Our pick for eCard of the week this week is Rain or Shine. This pretty eCard is a perfect send for someone you’re thinking about. Friends and family are always there for us – through the good and the bad, and especially in the in between. This eCard is a great representation of that. Blue Mountain artist Drew King beautifully designed this card with a sweet sentiment in mind.

From just-because eCards and friendship eCards, to talking eCards and birthday eCards - Blue Mountain is here to help keep you connected to everyone you love and care about!

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eCard of the Week – Just Tweet

eCard of the Week   Just Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our pick for the eCard of the Week this week is a simple postcard designed by best-selling designer, artist and author, Kathy Davis.  Kathy’s cards feature her signature water colors, and are a bright and cheery way to let someone know you’re thinking of them. This digital postcard features an adorable little bird and is a great pick if you just want to say hi to a friend or loved one. Postcards are a great choice to post on someone’s facebook wall or send in an email. As always, Blue Mountain has something for everyone – from birthday ecards and every day ecards to holiday ecards and talking ecards!

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eCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday Song

eCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongIt’s a new year and we are continuing our eCard of the Week series because we love sharing some of our favorite cards with you! Do you know someone with a January birthday coming up? Winter birthdays can be so much fun – snowy scenes and birthday cake by the fire… Bewitched Birthday Song is a perfect pick for a fun and delightful birthday wish!

 Blue Mountain artist Alison Osborn brings this magical birthday ecard to life. Be sure to check out all the birthday ecards Blue Mountain has to offer, and don’t forget to let us know what you think here and on our facebook page. Birthdays, Holidays, Just Because – Blue Mountain is here for you in the New Year with everything you need to send a little love and stay connected!

eCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongeCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongeCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongeCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongeCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday SongeCard of the Week: Bewitched Birthday Song

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Christmas eCard of the Week – His Great Love

Christmas eCard of the Week   His Great Love

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our eCard of the Week this week is His Great Love - one of Blue Mountain’s beautiful religious Christmas ecards that reminds us of the reason for the season. The above artwork gives us a sneak peak at this wonderous eCard!

This card features a gorgeous snowy night, which Blue Mountain artist Pam Trautman brings to life. When Pam was designing this card she was thinking about the magical feeling she gets when she steps outside during a big snowfall. “I get inspired from standing in the quietness and watching the snow fall,” she says.

Take a minute to enjoy this beautiful card today, and if you love it as much as we do, send and share it with everyone you’re thinking about this holiday season!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Oil Spill Response Team

We present to you the “Blue Mountain Oil Spill Response Team” !

We asked each team member 3 questions:

  1. Why did you get involved with the oil spill response project?
  2. What is your Christmas wish for the city of Bayou La Batre, Alabama?
  3. What’s your favorite thing to do at Christmas/the Holidays?

PATTY PRICE

Oil Spill Response TeamI’m Patty Price and I’m from Strongsville, Ohio.

Why?: There are many, many reasons I became involved with the oil spill response project.  I always wanted to make a positive impact in the world somehow, and this is definitely my biggest opportunity yet!

Your wish?: My Christmas wish for Bayou La Batre is that they see many things positive come from something so negative – and in hoping that our help is not the first or the last of those.

Favorite Christmas activity?: My favorite thing to do at Christmas is sit around the kitchen table with my family and eat an amazing home cooked brunch.

KIMBERLY GILCHRIST

Oil Spill Response Team

I work in the Marketing Department here at BlueMountian.com and I enjoy practicing yoga, trying new and fun restaurants, and spending lots of time with friends and family.

Why?: I got involved simply because I wanted to help the families affected by the oil spill. The Gulf Oil Spill has affected, and will continue to affect, so many families and businesses and I’m so happy to be part of the oil spill response project.

Your wish?: I wish for Happiness and lots of smiles!

Favorite Christmas activity?: I love to make homemade pasta with my family (and then eat lots of it of course!)

GEORGE DAVIS

Oil Spill Response Team

I’m a native of Chicago and a lover of people…and a hater of oil! (just kidding)

Why?: The oil spill was a true tragedy for the Gulf Coast and the surrounding regions. When presented with the opportunity to go and possibly make a difference, possibly put on a smile on someone’s face, I couldn’t refuse.

Your wish?: My wish for the city is continued growth, progress, and prosperity. I wish they become an even stronger city than they were before the tragedy.

Favorite Christmas activity?: My favorite part of the Holidays is spending time with family. I don’t get to see them often, so anytime together is a great time.

DAVID NOYES

Oil Spill Response Team

I’m a web developer at American Greetings. In my spare time, I ensure far off planets have the benefit of stuffed animals and waffles.

Why?: Several months back, the notion of wanting to reach out hit me like lightning on the way to work. I felt it so strongly that I had to put the idea out there.

Your wish?: My wish is that Bayou La Batre knows there are people who care, and that they’re not alone… and that people are willing to extend a hand.

Favorite Christmas activity?: I love watching the snow fall at night with nothing but Christmas lights or candles lighting the room. I also love the Christmas Eve candlelight service. Setting up and then karate kicking snowmen is pretty cool  too.

PENNY ADAMS

Oil Spill Response TeamPenny is a nature photographer from Tennessee who enjoys taking photos in the great outdoors and playing soccer.

Why?: Volunteering is in my blood and making a difference feeds the soul. I’m a big believer that giving is far more rewarding than receiving. I really appreciate the opportunity to help those affected by the oil tragedy directly.

Your wish?: I wish that after this terrible tragedy, despite all obstacles, the members of the community continue to keep the spirit of Christmas in their hearts all year long.

Favorite Christmas activity?: I really enjoy the light displays around town with my family and of course eat lots of Southern cooking.

JAMES ROWE

Oil Spill Response Team

I’m a programmer, amateur music producer/rapper who enjoys being a Geek.

Why?: I want to help others. If everyone lived to help others then the world would be a better place.

Your wish?: Hope, Peace, and Prosperity.

Favorite Christmas activity?: I love finding something worthy (of being given this life to live) to do.… last year I adopted a cat from the local animal shelter.

KIER SELINSKY

Oil Spill Response Team

I am a father, husband, and outdoorsman.

Why?: I got involved because I’m an environmentalist and a humanitarian.

Your wish?: In addition to a speedy economic recovery, the events of this year create a previously unforeseen opportunity for prosperity for the people of Bayou La Batre and the Gulf Coast.

Favorite Christmas activity?: Volunteering.

NOHA YOUSSEF

Oil Spill Response Team

I’m a 25 year old Marketing Interactive Coordinator. When I’m not at work, I enjoy my time the most when spent with family and close friends.

Why?: I got involved with the oil spill response project, because knowing I could help make someone else feel better is very rewarding.

Your wish?: My Christmas wish for the city is for them not to feel any less fortunate because of the devastating oil spill that occurred.

Favorite Christmas activity?: My favorite thing to do during the holiday/Christmas season is to spend a lot of time with family, eat a lot and listen to tons of Christmas music!

STEPHANIE KINDER

Oil Spill Response Team

A native Blue Ridge Mountaineer; I enjoy rock climbing, snow boarding and anything outdoors… I enjoy dancing and singing and being super random and goofy with my family and friends.

Why?: I got involved because I couldn’t sit back and watch another disaster occur on the coast and not at least try to do something to help out.

Your wish?: My Christmas wish for Bayou La Batre is that Christmas occurs in their spirits not just their living rooms this year.  They’ve been through so much; my wish is for fulfillment, peace and hope of a prosperous future.

Favorite Christmas activity?: My favorite thing to do at the holidays is bake cookies and listen to Christmas music on snowy days.

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Chili Cook-Off Winning Recipes

After tasting all 25 chili recipes at the Chili Cook-off ranging from mild to wild, and everything in between, we’ve decided to share the mouthwatering, award-winning chili recipes with our Blue Mountain foodie friends.  We hope you love making these chili recipes as much as we loved tasting them!

Chili Cook Off Winning Recipes

Chili Good

Prize: Best Chili  Chef: Chris Pemlot

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 lbs. beef short ribs, bone-in
  • 3-4 TB. CHILI 9000, divided
  • 2 lb. chorizo sausage
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 tsp. dry MINCED GARLIC
  • 1-2 tsp. salt (to taste)
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
  • 2 14.5 oz. cans puréed tomatoes
  • 4 Cups water
  • 1/2 Cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preheat oven to 375°. Wash short ribs, pat dry. Rub on all sides with CHILI 9000, using about 1 tablespoon. Place on a foil-lined baking pan. Bake at 375° for 1 hour. Remove the casing from the chorizo sausage and place in the pan with the short ribs for the second half hour of cooking. This removes a lot of fat from the meat and gives the chili great flavor. Remove the meat from the oven and place in a large stockpot. Add the onion, remaining CHILI 9000, GARLIC, salt, tomatoes and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes. Spoon off the fat (if any) as it rises to the top. Half an hour before serving, remove the beef short ribs from the pot, cut the meat into bite-sized pieces and place back in the pot. Discard the bones. Toss fresh cilantro into the pot for the final 10 minutes of cooking or top each bowl with a sprinkle. Serve with your favorite chili toppings. (recipe from penzeys.com)

Uncle Wilbur Scoville’s 6-Pepper 9-Spice Short Rib Chili

Prize: Creativity of Ingredients  Chef: Deborah Smith

Ingredients:

  • 6-7 small dried red chili’s, seeded, and torn into rough 1-inch piecesFresh Chili’s:
  • 3 Poblano chilies, seed and dice *
  • 2 Anaheim chilies, seed and dice
  • 2-3 Hot Cherry chilies, seed and dice*
  • 2 Hot Banana chilies, seed and dice *
  • 3 Jalapeno chilies, seed and chop finely (2 Jalapeno’s for Chili mixture* – 1 Jalapeno, for garnish

* keep pepper ribs and seeds to the side and add back to the chili, if you want more heat

  • 5 pounds bone-in beef short ribs, trimmed of silver-skin and excess fat
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 quart low-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 2 whole anchovy filets
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3 tablespoons whole cumin seeds, toasted, then ground
  • 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds, toasted, then ground
  • 4 whole cloves, toasted and ground
  • 2 star anise, toasted and ground
  • 1 tablespoon extra-finely ground espresso coffee beans
  • 1 ounce chopped unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced in large chunks (about 2 cups)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano leaves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 2 (16 oz. cans) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (16oz. can) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup vodka
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Hot sauce, preferably Death Sauce

Toast the Spices: Put cumin seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and star anise (broken into pieces) in a sauté pan. Heat until fragrant and toasted, stirring frequently. Cool the spices and then grind until they are a fine powder.

Add dried chilies to large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or stock pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until slightly darkened with intense, roasted aroma, 2 to 5 minutes. Do not allow to smoke. Remove chilies to small bowl and set aside.

Season the trimmed short ribs on all sides with salt and pepper. Add oil to Dutch oven and heat over high heat until smoking. Add half of short ribs and brown well on all sides (it will be necessary to brown ribs in batches, depending on size of Dutch oven—do not overcrowd pan), 8 to 12 minutes total, reducing heat if fat begins to smoke excessively or meat begins to burn. Transfer to large rimmed baking sheet or plate. Repeat with remaining short ribs, browning them in fat remaining in Dutch oven. Once all short ribs are cooked, transfer all rendered fat into small bowl and reserve separately. Allow short ribs to cool at room temperature.

Meanwhile, return Dutch Oven to medium-high heat and add 1 cup chicken broth, using flat wooden spoon to scrape browned bits off of bottom of pan. Reduce heat until chicken broth is at a bare simmer, add toasted chilies to liquid and cook until chilies have softened and liquid is reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer chilies and liquid to blender, add anchovy, tomato paste, ground spices (cumin, coriander, etc. from above), coffee, and chocolate, and blend at high speed, scraping down sides as necessary, until completely smooth puree is formed, about 2 minutes. Set this chili puree aside.

Trim meat from short ribs bones and hand-chop into rough, 1/2-inch to 1/4-inch pieces (larger chunks are better), reserving bones separately. Add any accumulated meat juices to chili puree.

Heat 4 tablespoons rendered beef fat (if necessary, add vegetable oil to reach 4 tablespoons) in large Dutch oven or heavy-bottomed stock pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Add fresh chilies, garlic, and oregano and cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add chili puree and cook, stirring frequently and scraping bottom of pot until chili mixture begins to fry and leaves a coating on bottom of pan, 2 to 4 minutes. Add chicken stock, chopped beef, beef bones, and bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, scraping bottom of pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to lowest possible setting, and cook, with cover slightly ajar, for 1 hour. Add diced tomatoes, cider vinegar, and cook with cover slightly ajar until beef is tender and broth is rich and lightly thickened, 2 to 3 1/2 hours longer, adding water if necessary to keep meat mostly submerged (a little protrusion is ok).

Using tongs, remove and discard bay leaves and bones (at this point, any excess meat still attached to the bones can be removed, chopped, and added back to the chili, if desired). Add red kidney beans, black beans, vodka, and brown sugar, and stir to combine. Season to taste with cayenne pepper, hot sauce, kosher salt, ground black pepper, and additional vinegar.

For best flavor, allow to cool and refrigerate overnight, or up to 1 week in sealed container. Reheat, and serve with desired garnishes.

Green Dog Chili

Chili Cook Off Winning Recipes

Prize: People’s Choice Chef: Allison Jagunic

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sized Butternut Squash
  • 2 cans of Kidney Beans
  • 1 can of Great Northern Beans
  • 1 can of White Hominy
  • 1 can of Petite Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies
  • 2 cans of Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 of a jar of Banana Peppers
  • 2 medium white onions (not pictured here)
  • Minced Garlic (not pictured here)
  • Optional: Butter Beans

Step 1: Chop 1 Butternut Squash (leaving the other for later) – into cubes, salt heavily with sea salt, and roast in the oven for 45 minutes, at 375

Step 2: Chop the 2 onions to desired size, and start cooking those over medium heat

Step 3: Chop the other Butternut Squash into cubes (should take you about 10 minutes)

Step 4: Add as much garlic (I used 4 heaping spoonfuls) and ALL canned ingredients to the onion mixture

Step 5: Add the chopped butternut squash (just the one – remember – the other squash is cubed and roasting in the oven ) to the onion/garlic/canned mixture

Step 6: Add spices.  I used a very fair amount of cumin, chili power and garlic salt – and just a sprinkle or two of crushed red pepper

Step 7: Once the pot is squared away – start browning 1lb of lean ground turkey

Step 8: After the meat is browned – add it to the pot – give it all a good stir – and then bring it to a boil.  Once it’s boiling, reduce heat and let it simmer for another 20 minutes

Step 9: Right around then – the timer for the roasted squash should be going off!  Remove the amazingly delicious looking squash from the oven

Step 10: Add the roasted butternut squash to the mix

Step 11: Let it sit overnight so all the flavors really meld, and then bring it in to your chili cook off at work – and WIN THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD!

Though the flavors of Chili Cook-off are long gone, their legacy will forever remain in our recipe books.   Thanks to all our chili contestants and winners for a deliciously successful fundraiser and to our fabulous winners for allowing us to share their winning recipes with our favorite Blue Mountain friends.

Chili Cook Off Winning RecipesChili Cook Off Winning RecipesChili Cook Off Winning RecipesChili Cook Off Winning RecipesChili Cook Off Winning RecipesChili Cook Off Winning Recipes