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Archive for July, 2013

Are You Ready for Back-to-School? Read our Checklist!

We might be right in the dog days of summer–but school is on the way! Help your child start the school year off right with our easy back-to-school supplies checklist. Start now to avoid the last minute back-to-school rush!

 

Your Back-to-School Easy Supply List:

Lunch Time

  • Lunchbox or Brown Bags
  • Zip Lock bags
  • Utensils
  • Water Bottle
  • Napkins and/or wipes for easy clean up

Getting Organized

  • Planner
  • Home Oversize Calendar
  • Binders
  • Dividers
  • Folders for Returned Work
  • Storage Bin
  • Mini-Stapler
  • Pencil Case

The Write Stuff

  • Lined Paper
  • Notebooks
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Erasers (Eraser Tops and Large Pink Erasers)
  • Highlighters
  • Necessary Art Supplies (Markers, Crayons, Watercolors)

Tech

  • Calculator (Graphing or Regular)
  • USB Drive for saving work

Looking Sharp

  • Backpack or Book Bag
  • First Day of School Outfit
  • New Tennis Shoes for P.E.

What are you back-to-school must-haves?

CS SC BLG 07312013 SHELF 300x120; Are You Ready for Back to School? Read our Checklist!

Be the Bestest BFF

Everyone has a BFF–but do you know how to be the bestest BFF? It’s no easy feat–being a great BFF takes some serious effort! With Friendship Day coming up on August 4th, now is the perfect time for you to brush up on your BFF skills. Here’s an easy list of questions that only a best friend could answer with a yes. Can you?

  • Are you there when the going gets tough?
  • Do you pick up your phone when she calls late?
  • Do you answer texts?
  • Do you make sure to never flake on plans without advance warning?
  • Do you know how to make her laugh?
  • Do you say what she needs to hear, instead of just what she wants to hear?
  • Do you prioritize keeping in touch, even when things get hectic?
  • Do you know all her favorite stuff–colors, food, and places?
  • Do you know just what to say to cheer her up?
  • Do you have an arsenal of shared memories that make you both crack up laughing?
  • Do you have somewhere that’s your special spot to meet?
  • Can you talk for hours, without getting bored?
  • Can you sit together without worrying about awkward silences?

What sort of things do you value in your BFF?

Celebrate Friendship Day!

Your best friends comfort you when you’re down, celebrate your happy occasions, and generally step in where family can’t–so why not celebrate them with a card this Friendship Day? This year, Friendship Day falls on August 4th, 2013–which means that you have plenty of time to design a card for your nearest and dearest friends. Cardstore has a variety of friendship cards to help you celebrate your BFF in style, and today (Tuesday, July 23rd) we’re offering Friendship cards for only $1.99! Not sure what to write in your friendship card?

Friendship Day is the perfect opportunity to:

  • Commemorate a particularly funny inside joke.
  • Share a photo memory from the recent past.
  • Genuinely let your friend know what you love about them–and how much their friendship means to you.
  • Send hello to distant friends–or friends you’ve fallen out of touch with.
  • Highlight a retro photo from when you were kids.

What sort of friends are you grateful for this Friendship Day?

Take a Summer Staycation!

Don’t have the time or money to plan your next big vacation? There’s no need to sacrifice some quality R&R this summer! Instead of going all out for that big vacation, save the money for next year and celebrate summer with your own staycation instead. You’ll get all the relaxing (and good times) with none of the stress. Plus, you might discover some new things about your area that you didn’t have time to see before! Follow these simple steps to begin your summer staycation.

  • Set the dates: Take the time off of work and coordinate with family. Tell everyone to block off the time as if they were really going out-of-town–no exceptions. To really get into the staycation spirit, it’s important to really withdraw from everyday life. Stop the mail, set up an out-of-office message for your company email, and even hide the clocks if you want!
  • Outline an Itinerary: Decide which days will be for relaxing, or set aside a day to visit the town nearby. Make a list of all the activities in your own town you haven’t tried–like a mountain hike or a brand new gallery. You may think you know your city well–but pretend you’re a tourist–and really indulge your every whim!
  • Plan your Meals:  Unless you’re a real kitchen enthusiast, one of the best parts of vacation is going out to eat! Make a list of your favorite restaurants–or ones you want to try–and get excited for a few cooking-free days filled with delicious eats.
  • Indulge in your Favorite Leisure Activity: If you love to read, stock up on some books or magazines in advance. Make a list of some movies you want to see and make sure they’re available on Netflix! Plan a round of golf or brush up on your tennis game. The possibilities are endless–and you can make your staycation as relaxing or entertaining as you’re craving.

 

Celebrate Aunt and Uncle’s Day on July 26th, 2013

Most of us grow up celebrating Mom and Dad for Mother’s and Father’s Day, but all sorts of family members are worth treasuring–particularly your aunts and uncles. Not many people know that Aunt and Uncle’s Day exists precisely for that occasion. This year, Aunt and Uncle’s Day falls on Friday, July 26th!

If you’re like many of us, you grew up spending holidays and casual afternoons hanging out with your aunts and uncles–and you found all sorts of reasons to be thankful for them. Whether it was your Aunt Beth’s pie, your Uncle Tom’s grilling action, Aunt Jenn’s priceless dating advice, or Uncle James’ hilarious family stories, your aunts and uncles filled in the gaps your parents sometimes missed.

This year, let them know your favorite things about them with a sweet card for Aunt and Uncle’s Day, and show them what a special place they occupy in your childhood memories and present holiday fun. Include a picture to highlight one of your favorite memories with them and let them know how much you appreciate them this Aunt and Uncle’s Day!

Celebrate Cousin’s Day: Distinguish Between Cousins

Did you know that Cousin’s Day is on Wednesday, July 24th this year? Celebrate Cousin’s Day with a sweet note to your favorite cousins and impress the whole family by explaining what separates 1st cousins from 2nd or 3rd cousins. Even explain “cousin removed-ness” to really blow them away! Don’t know the difference between a 2nd cousin and 1st cousin once removed? Here’s an easy way to determine your relationship to any cousin in your family:

  1. Identify the common family member between you and your cousin of choice.
  2. Determine if you and your cousin are the same generation (the same distance from the common family member).
  3. If you are the same generation, simply count how many generations you are from the common family member and subtract one. This indicates if you are first, second, or third cousins. For instance, if the common family member is both your own and your cousin’s great-grandfather, then you are each three generations away from him–if you subtract one, then you see that you are second cousins.
  4. If you aren’t the same generation, you need to calculate cousin number and determine removed-ness. The cousin number is determined by the oldest cousin’s distance from the common family member. For instance, if your common family member is your great-grandfather and their grandfather, you would calculate the cousin number from them, because they are the older generation. They would be two generations from their grandfather. Subtract one and you find that you are first cousins. Next, determine how many generations you are from your cousin to determine how many times removed you are from them. In this example, you are only one generation younger, so you are first cousins once removed.

That’s all you need to know to distinguish cousin number and cousin removed-ness and celebrate Cousin’s Day with exactitude!

Christmas in July Party Ideas – A 12 Step Guide

Just in time for July 25th – we’ve got some fresh and fun Christmas in July Party ideas to help you throw a summer Christmas party that won’t soon be forgotten! If you like what you see, share on!
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The History of Parents’ Day: July 28th, 2013

You may have celebrated your mom and dad a ton these past few months with Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, but Parents’ Day is the ideal opportunity to  celebrate all the important parents in your community, and for parents and children to honor their special bond. Parents’ Day is on Sunday, July 28th this year, which means that it is the perfect day to celebrate as a whole family and engage in bonding activities.

Many people don’t know that Parents’ Day is a National holiday that was formally established in 1994 by President Bill Clinton to highlight the importance of a family upbringing to the community.  Parents’ Day falls on the fourth Sunday of each July and  many churches, synagogues and mosques celebrate Parents’ Day to honor the families that make their community whole.

If none of your local organizations are celebrating Parents’ Day this year,  why don’t you find a way to celebrate your favorite family activities as a child? Compile a list of possible activities to re-create the memories of your childhood and celebrate the great job your parents did. If you can’t get together with your parents for Parents’ Day, send a card to them and all the amazing parents you know who put the special family bond before work and other priorities this year. A family dynamic is worth celebrating and worth passing on from generation to generation; take this day to honor the family values your parents instilled in you!

Birthday Gag Gifts: Celebrate a Milestone Birthday with a Laugh!

For those big milestone birthdays, it’s tough to find the gift that’s just right for the birthday boy or girl. Whether they’re turning 30, 40, 50, or any other big birthday, sometimes giving a gift card just doesn’t seem like the best you can do. Along with giving them a great card to celebrate their milestone birthday, why not pick out a laugh-out-loud gag gift? Here’s a few steps to help you brainstorm the perfect birthday gag gift.

  •  Make it age related: Especially for a milestone birthday, age is the thing on everyone’s mind. If the birthday boy or girl is a little anxious about getting older, make anxiety into a laugh with a gift that seems designed for the elderly. Everything from a large print book to false teeth to a cane will help them realize they’re not over the hill just yet.
  • Focus on the wrapping job: Create a false sense of excitement by wrapping a tiny box in bigger and better packaging. Make your presentation be part of your gag gift!
  • Use unusual ingredients:  Make bubble bath, potpourri, or trail mix with slightly off or funny ingredients to make a homemade gag gift that will make them laugh. Just be careful to label the ingredients clearly so they get the joke.
  • Provide an incomplete gift: Offer the ringbox without the ring or the batteries without the toy. Include a picture of the missing object with a “Just add ___” label.

Our birthday board on Pinterest features plenty of fantastic gag gifts for a variety of different birthdays, making it easy to pick out the perfect gift to help make their day even more memorable. What are some of your favorite gag gifts to give for those major birthdays? Don’t forget to pick out a great milestone birthday card to help complete the gift.

CS SC BLG 07082013 SHELF 2; Birthday Gag Gifts: Celebrate a Milestone Birthday with a Laugh!Milestone birthday cards pictured: Colorful 30th Birthday Invite, Milestone Birthday Invite Red, Graphic Art 40th Birthday Invite.

 

Not All Funny is Created Equal–Picking the Perfect Funny Card

Part of being funny is knowing how to charm your audience, and that same logic applies to choosing the perfect funny card. Just like you wouldn’t tell the same joke to your dad that you would tell to your best friend, you wouldn’t give both of them the same funny birthday card either! Choosing the wrong kind of funny means that you card could simply fall flat or–even worse–be deemed inappropriate. Here are  a few steps to ensure that you select a funny card that will do its job and make them laugh!

  • Think about your audience. Can this person laugh at themselves? Consider a photo funny birthday card that makes them the punchline. Is this person a political maven? Consider a political birthday card–just make sure it suits their politics and not your own. Any card is made better when you think about the recipient–a funny card is no different.
  • Consider shared memories. Sisters love sister humor. Best friends from long ago can laugh with you about your shared (and embarrassing!) past. Use your personal history to select a card that highlights the bond (and the laugh-out-loud memories) that you share.
  • Be aware of the occasion. If your BFF is insecure about hitting a milestone birthday, maybe don’t rub it in. Don’t send a funny everyday card for a sad occasion. It may sound like common sense, but it never does any harm to think twice about any potential hurt feelings.
  • Add a personal note to up the humor. Have a way to relate the funny card directly to your recipient, or make your card a little more personal? Do it! Try your own hand at comedian with the people you know best. Then turn to the sentimental.
  • Rehearse the joke for any red flags. Imagine showing the card to them in person–or saying it out loud. What is their reaction like? Do you feel comfortable? This is your last step to make sure you’ve chosen a humor-appropriate card. Once you visualize the smile of approval, send away!

 CS SC BLG 07102013 SHELF 300x120; Not All Funny is Created Equal  Picking the Perfect Funny Card