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Summertime is Perfect To Work on Holiday Card Lists

14 Jul

july-xmas-cardsSummertime is a wonderfully quiet and relaxing time of year for many people.  If you are looking for a little project to work on, consider updating your holiday mailing list.  No matter whether you computerize your mailing list or keep it as a hand-written list, reviewing it for accuracy is a great idea.

Throughout the year, when I get moving card announcements, wedding invitations and birth announcements from family and friends, I keep them in a folder along with my mailing list.  Usually once a year I update all the information.  I happen to keep my holiday card list on a spreadsheet on my computer which makes it easy to update. As the children of my friends marry I also add them to my list with their new information and as babies are born they are listed as well.  My list continues to grow and I love it!

Summertime weekends make a great time to go through my phone book and all those cards and announcements and I update my spreadsheet so I can be sure my holiday card envelopes will be as accurate as possible.

I love to order personalized holiday cards, sometimes with a family photo and sometimes just with a pretty design.  During some quieter weekends, I’ve been able to get my children together and we’ll get a family picture taken and many summertime backgrounds make for a fabulous holiday card photo.  The inside of my cards usually has a printed sentiment that I either create or select and it’s followed by our family names.  You can also opt to write a little message even if the cards are printed, if you want an extra personal touch, even if it’s something as simple as “wishing you holiday joys” and a signature.

A great time to order your holiday cards is in fall, as early as September or October, to give you ample time to have the order printed and arrive at your home, and then allow you plenty of time to address them.  Aiming to mail your holiday cards just before Thanksgiving is perfect timing and is a really nice way to kick off the holiday season.  If you get a later start, no need to panic.  It’s never too late to mail a holiday card.  I have even, on some years, chosen to mail a Happy New Year card featuring my family holiday trip photos.  But by then, certainly, my mailing list is updated and ready to go.

july-xmas-cards-001Once your cards and stuffed into envelopes and sealed, It’s time for the addressing.  I highly recommend hand writing your envelopes, even if you don’t have the best handwriting.  It really looks nicer than anything computerized and adds a great  personal touch.   By all means, try to stay far away from computer labels!

Find a nice pen that is comfortable and provides a nice smooth imprint.  Some enjoy using a metallic pen, especially when the envelopes are darker in color, such as cranberry or red or navy or evergreen.  A fine tip Sharpee is usually my go-to pen as it is easy to use and makes it easy for me to create nice lettering.

When you address your envelopes, you can either use the formal “Mr. and Mrs. David Carter” or  if you prefer to be more casual, you can write “Caroline and David Carter” followed by the address.  Of course, if there are children, either state “and family” after the parent’s names or list the children’s names names on the second line. Generally spell all the words out on the address, rather than abbreviating.

Finally, bring a finished holiday card to the post office so it can be weighed and measured and they can quote you the proper postage.  Sometimes cards will require extra postage if they are in square envelopes or if they exceed certain weights.   Your post office also usually offers holiday-themed first class stamps as you get closer to November and they are very nice to use on the envelopes.

So, by all means enjoy the summer.  Eat ice cream.  Get some sun and go for plenty of walks.  But, reserve a little time to work on that mailing list and you will make your Fall season a little easier!

Best wishes,

Renee

What Are the Most Popular Names?

7 Jul

july-baby-002Have you been wondering what the most popular baby names are? As you can imagine, we love personalized items, which also means that we are really into baby’s names.  Big time.  And each year we love to see what names are the most popular and what are some of the newest names on the block.

According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, the top name for a boy from 2014 is Noah and for a girl is Emma.   And the fastest rising new names for a boy is Bode and fastest rising girl’s name is Montserrat. Looking over the period from 1915-2014, Michael has been the most popular boy’s name the most often (44 years on and off) while Mary dominated for girls 41 times over the years, says the SSA.

This past year brings us these top 10 baby girl names: Emma, Olivia, Sophia, Isabella, Ava, Mia, Emily, Abigail, Bailey, Madison and Charlotte.  And the top 10 baby boy names for 2014 are Noah, Liam, Mason, Jacob, William, Ethan, Michael, Alexander, James and Daniel.   According to Parenting Magazine, some of the most popular old-fashioned names, which are back in style, include: Gertrude, Nellie, Ida, Clara, plus Elias and Elijah.

But there is a growing trend toward unisex names.  These are those names, which many celebrities also love to use for their new babies, that some think are unique or different or even strange.  But the fact is, they have become increasingly popular as millennials want their children to feel special.

For instance, is the name Aspen a girl’s name or a boy’s name?  How about Amal, Landry or Oakley.  What about Dakota, Armani or Emory?  And how about Quinn, Riley, Harley, Kamryn or Dallas.  Certainly they are interesting names and the might even help a child create a unique identity instead of being knows as Emma or  Jacob.  But is there any downside to a unisex name?  How will that unique name affect a child?  Perhaps a future recruiter will not really know if they will be interviewing a male or female for a perspective job until they meet in person (or until they Facetime)!

Can you think of any other ways that the gender-neutral names will be either positive or negative for the new babies being born this year?  What are some of your favorite names?  We’d love to know!

Best wishes,

Renee

P.S.   Since we also love (really love) our four-legged friends, we looked into the top 10 dog’s names for 2014.  According to a list of the most popular puppy names released recently by the Department of Animal Services, here’s the top 10: Bella, Buddy, Lucy, Max, Daisy, Charlie, Molly, Bailey, Boxy and Maggie.

 

Creating a Unique Image with Napkins

2 Jul

Looking for unique napkins to give as a gift or to use at a party or corporate event?  Consider printing a custom logo or artwork on a set of napkins for a very special touch. From corporate events to conferences to in-office appointments, providing your guests with printed napkins featuring artwork or a logo is the perfect opportunity to enhance or introduce a brand or create a special look at a social event.june-photo-napkins

If you have a wedding logo or custom-designed monogram, using it on a set of napkins can add a very personal touch at an engagement party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner and/or at the wedding.  And for special celebrations like anniversary parties and 50th birthday parties, unique artwork or a photo can make a statement and set the tone for the event.  Even kid’s artwork can be printed on napkins and will make your little artist feel absolutely proud of his or her masterpiece.

Digital full-color napkins are personalized on white or ivory social-quality napkins in beverage or luncheon size with a high quality 4-color process.  Our napkins are recyclable and made & printed in the USA.

Wonderful uses for custom napkins include featuring a picture of a favorite pet, showcasing an image of a boat or rendering of a home for a one-of-a-kind housewarming gift, introducing a new business logo at a corporate event, or printing an image of someone’s painting can make a thoughtful present.   Personalized full-color napkins provide a wonderful addition to special celebrations and event planning needs.

Best wishes,

Renee