Sunday, December 27, 2020

Getting Organized in 2021

The holidays are nearly behind us and with that in mind, our focus tends to shift to what lies ahead.  January is always a great opportunity to start fresh and prioritize.  Whether it is a commitment to a healthier lifestyle, stronger financial planning, getting organized, or anything else, we love taking a few minutes to think about our goals and write them down. What are your goals for 2021?

 

More Than Paper has a few products to help kick off your new year and get you organized. We are loving our new collection of desktop calendars which are pretty and functional.  Not an agenda or planner, a pretty desktop calendar helps you quickly identify the date and day of the week while planning. It’s the perfect accessory on your desk.  Here are some of the new ones in store. Which is your favorite?

 





If you are anything like us, you also find it helpful to write out your to-do’s and make lists to stay organized.  Why do that on boring paper when you can have a fun notepad?  We have many from which to choose.  See some of our favorite notepads and list pads here.

 





Sticky Notes can also be helpful in getting organized and there’s no reason they can’t be fun or personal, even.   At More Than Paper, we have a huge collection of sticky note cubes that come in a variety of colors, designs, and personalization options.  They look great on your desk and are the perfect complement to your other desk accessories.  With some of the cubes having as many as 675 sheets, you can almost use 2 per day!  How many sticky notes will you use?

 


Another great tool for achieving your organizational goals in 2021 are journals and notebooks.  We see two great uses for either here.   For one -- choose a pretty journal that you can use to write notes and reflect upon things each night or once a week.   Take note of how you are feeling, what is giving you strength, what is draining your energy, and other observations you might have.  Use this space to be reflective.  This isn’t a space to jot down your to-do list but check in with yourself regularly about your overall thoughts and feelings.  This will encourage mindfulness and allows your head to remain clear . In turn, it makes it easier to focus and accomplish what needs to be done.   Here are some of our favorite journals at More Than Paper.

 


The second idea is a notebook that you will want to carry around with you in your purse, workbag, or have lying on your desk.  In this notebook, use it daily or whenever needed to take notes, make lists, and keep track of just about anything.


Some of our most popular products for getting organized are our weekly planners. These are personalized with your family members names and can get you organized for the week!


These are just a few tools to help make organizing in the new year a little bit easier.  What tools do you have that you love?  Share ideas with us here or on Facebook!  Wishing you a Happy New Year and all the best for 2021.

Monday, November 9, 2020

Annual Holiday Gift Guide, Part 1


Halloween came and went and that can only mean one thing…. The holidays have arrived.  In other years, many of us would whine and complain about Christmas splattered everywhere on only November 5th. , But this year, anything goes and we all need a little cheer. One nice thing that we are noticing is that because people are home and generally have more time, they’re on the ball and more prepared than ever.  Maybe the frenzy of the season will diminish and people can really focus on what’s important – enjoying time with their family!  This is why we are releasing our Annual Holiday Gift Guide early. Let’s get a jump start on your holiday shopping, discover unique finds, and shop small this year. In Part 1, we’re sharing gifts “For Him” and gifts “For Teens/Tweens” that we think they’ll love. 

Gifts for Him

Gentlemen can be so hard to shop for, can’t they? We have a few ideas rounded up for the man on your list this year.

  1. Bar/Decanter.  This elegant and well-priced decanter for his bar will surely make a statement.
  2. Flask. This 8 ounce flask will take the party where ever he wants to go, in style, too.  Personalized just for him, this makes a great stocking stuffer or gift for him for  the holidays
  3. Weekender Bag. Upgrade his duffle or backpack, even, to this weekender bag that is personalized.  Sturdy and stylish, this weekend bag will be your travel companion for years to come. 
  4. Bottle Opener.  Why not? A personalized bottle opener is just what the man cave and stocking needs this year.
  5. Luggage Tags. For the avid traveler, check out these personalized luggage tags.  These make a thoughtful stocking stuffer and gift for him.

 

Gifts for Tweens & Teens

Unlike guys, tween and teen girls can be pretty easy to shop for!  But how do you weed out all the things they want and get them something special? We have you covered with a selection of things they’ll love.

  1. VelvetMakeup BagsThis brand new vendor of ours makes the cutest crushed velvet bags that can be customized.  Store makeup, pens/pencils, or whatever else you want in these fashionable small totes.
  2.  Name Plate Necklaces. A trend that has not gone out of style is personalized name plate necklaces. These acrylic ones are priced right, too!
  3.  Mini Glass Tray. Store all your trinkets, jewels, and baubles here!    
  4. Shower caddy. We love a good personalized shower caddy for camp, the dorm, or even just at home.  Several colors available, show everyone that it’s her shower stuff!
  5. PersonalizedPillow. Is it just us or are tweens and teens super into decorating their rooms (over and over again?)  A personalized pillow can add a great touch to any bed.  

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our annual gift guide in a few weeks!  In advance, we’d like to thank you for shopping with a small, independent retailer and helping our small business economy thrive.  We appreciate you!  

Monday, October 19, 2020

Tips for your Holiday Card Photo

Judging from the volume of holiday card orders that we have already received by mid-October, it’s our estimate that people are thinking about their holiday correspondence earlier than ever before.  Be it all the extra time at home or that people are just anxious to put the year behind them, there is no sign that the trend of mailing friends and family a card during December is slowing down. We wrote a helpful post in 2013 about tips for taking the perfect holiday card photo. Some good ones but certainly much has changed in seven years. We’re back today with a much updated 2020 version on how to take the best holiday card photo.


Tip 1:  Try a filter (within reason)

With the rise of Instagram and photo apps, plus the immense progress that camera phones have made, it’s pretty easy now to take a really good photo.  Professional photographers still have a place of course, but if you’re on a budget, it’s easy to find resources at home.  We recommend though, that you don’t go too wild with photo filters.  Ultimately, you want it to look natural and not overprocessed.  Try these top photo filter apps if you are a newbie here.  We love the ability to pump up colors, fix blemishes, add natural light, and more!    

  • -       Instagram
  • -        Tezza
  • -        Snapseed
  • -        Vsco
  • -        A Color Story
  • -        Afterlight
  • -        Adobe Lightroom

-        Also, consider buying presets for your Adobe Lightroom Mobile App. We love Light & Air Photographers beautiful aesthetic. Their collection of presets is available to install into to the app and make it so easy to find your look.  PRO TIP: Make sure that the application and filter that you use doesn't distort the resolution of your photo.  You will still need a high res photo to use with your photo cards. 


Tip 2: Get by with a little help from your friends

Sure, there are lots of selfie sticks and camera tripods available these days (even phone timers!), but see if you can get a good friend or neighbor to help take some photos of you and your family.  Best to get someone with a good personality and even someone who can make you laugh.  Try to avoid directly staring at the camera and posing with cheesy, canned smiles.  How do you do that?  Be natural. Have your “photographer” friend talk to you, ask questions, tell funny stories, interact with each other, all while the photographer is snapping away.  We find that some of the best photos are ones that capture a moment.  Ideas to try:

-        Have everyone play a game of telephone – whisper something in each person’s ear and the last person has to say it.  This can get silly with little ones.  It usually produces a natural laugh when it comes out!  

-        We know a professional photographer that tells fart jokes nearly the entire session.  Okay, it’s not the classiest moment, but you know what gets little boys to laugh?  Fart jokes.  We’re going to bet Dad smiles, too.

-        Jump and move around.  Sometimes the action shots turn out the best.

-        HAVE FUN.

 

Tip 3:  Take a lot of photos.

Does this go without saying?  Probably.  You’ll need to get dozens to find one that is “perfect.”  From people closing their eyes to you being picky about your hair… there are never enough options from which to choose.  We also suggest mixing up your location.   Take several by the trees, some on the front step, some by the back of the house against a pretty wood or brick background (we do recommend them all being outside!)   Get options, options, options.   We don’t think you can have enough.

 

Tip 4:  Don’t sweat it too much. 

Ultimately, you are sending these cards to your family and friends who love you and want to see YOU. Does it matter if everyone is matching and your lipstick is perfect to those people?  Ask yourself for what reason are you really sending the cards.  This isn’t a marketing campaign but an expression of connecting and staying in touch.  Show the real you. All too often people lose that perspective.   Keep it real. And given the 2020 we have all had, really anything goes – your family and friends will just be happy to see you!

 

More Than Paper is so pleased to help continue the tradition of sending holiday cards this time of year. We’re proud to have clients return year after year and see their children grow.  We’ve recently added a lot of letterpress photo mount cards.  Some of our new favorites are show below.  Do you like any of these?





When do you plan on ordering your holiday cards? Take advantage of early bird specials and get ahead this year. We look forward to helping you!

Thursday, October 1, 2020

Halloween Alternatives

Halloween is fast approaching and like many of our holidays and events scheduled in 2020, there’s a good chance that this spooky night is going to be cancelled. For safety reasons, it certainly makes sense to at least modify how we are approaching Halloween. But how do you tell children this news without letting them down, once again? We’re big on back up plans and getting creative. Today we are sharing some ideas for alternative Halloween plans.   

Decorate like you’ve never decorated before

Luckily, this is one thing that doesn’t need to change.  Decorate your heart out – indoors and outdoors! In your dining room, living room, or kitchen, we love these festive bats that our owner, Debbie, cut out years ago from black construction paper. She brings them out every year. 


Be sure to touch all areas of your home… even places you wouldn’t think of like the bathroom! How cute is this? It’s not the bathroom but the batroom!

Outside, you can go all out with orange, purple, and green lights. If you have never been one to have inflatable characters on your lawn, 2020 could be your year to do so.  The tackier and wackier the better, we say! Your neighbors and those passing by will love your outrageous Halloween spirit.

Candy on a stick

This is a new trend to emerge out of the pandemic and one that could work for a socially distant Halloween.  Buy Halloween candy, wooden dowels from your craft store, and tape.  Secure the candy package to the wooden dowel with tape, and place in your lawn spaced out. Invite your neighbors to do the same and schedule time when a few kids at a time can “trick or treat”.  We think this could be a fun way for smaller kids to still experience the thrill of getting candy.  

 


Source: https://www.facebook.com/wendy.reeves.92/posts/10223719070262700

 

Treat yo’self (and the ones you love)

We have lots of ideas for Halloween baking and cooking for yourself and the ones you love at home.  Why not dress up in your costumes?  Have a family party!  Create festive cupcakes like these for everyone to enjoy. 

 




Or get inspired by these other haunted treats! We’ve included some healthy options, too – like this pumpkin faced veggie tray.

 


Or these adorable fruit snacks! They’re incredibly easy to make. Cut bananas in half and add two (mini) chocolate chips for eyes.  For the “pumpkins”, use Cuties and cut and insert small pieces of celery for the stem.

 


These “graves” are just Milano cookies with “RIP” painted in black frosting (with bloody red….).  They rest in chocolate pudding covered in Oreo cookies. These are incredibly easy to make.  

 


Two other ideas for you are these Jell-O Cups that look like candy corns, and these Rice Krispy Monster Eyeballs. So much fun to make, especially with the kids.

 



Even if you can’t find time to make some special Halloween treats, just changing out your placemats and plates for the day will bring a smile to your children’s faces.  We have plenty of options. Be sure to check them all out here!  Of course, at More Than Paper, we are also all about the presentation so if you do get creative in making some delightful Halloween treats, be even more “extra” and serve them on one of our create-your-own platters where you can completely customize the colors for the season!

 





So, however you are able to celebrate Halloween this year, we hope that you find creative and exciting ways to keep the traditions alive and even to create new ones.  That’s what 2020 is all about, right? Adapting and finding the silver linings.  Be sure to share how you celebrate Halloween in 2020 on our Facebook page. Happy almost Halloween!

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Fall Recipe Guide

Is it just us or are you itching for a change, too?  Fall will officially be here in a few weeks and we couldn’t be more excited.  Time to bring out the pumpkin decorations, burn an apple pie candle, and to get cooking all of our favorite fall recipes.  From slow cooker creations to oven baked treats, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorites to share with our readers at More Than Paper. Whether you are socially distanced and spending time with your family, or you are gathering with just a few people to watch a football game, here are some ideas to ensure you are tasting the season of fall.  These recipes work well for busy parents on the go and when you have a little more time to enjoy, too!  Bring on fall.

Slow Cooker Creamy Wild Rice Soup

Is there anything better than a creamy soup to warm you from the inside? This one that we found on Half Baked Harvest is made in the slow cooker and has butter-roasted mushrooms to pack in extra flavor.

Source: https://www.halfbakedharvest.com/slow-cooker-creamy-wild-rice-soup-with-butter-roasted-mushrooms/


Turkey Pumpkin Chili

Not to overdo the soup recipes in our roundup but would it be the fall without pumpkin? And chili? Why not combine them? This recipe found a way to do that and is very creative! Give this one a shot: 

Source: https://themodernproper.com/turkey-pumpkin-chili


Apple Cider Cookies

Sometimes you need to hit the easy button and why shouldn’t you? When you need something quick, try this recipe from Betty Crocker that uses their pre-made sugar cookie mix and several ingredients to spice things up (literally).  You can go the extra mile if it suits you and use your regular sugar cookie recipe if you want 100% homemade. We will never tell either way.  


Source: https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/apple-cider-cookies/242ada72-70c0-46bd-a3da-df1110882d16


Weeknight Fall Pasta

For nights that you want something home cooked and something seasonal but you’re busy, we found this interesting dish that we can’t wait to try.  Taking advantage of kale and squash, this pasta dish promises to be healthy and delicious. 

Source: https://food52.com/recipes/77856-fall-weeknight-pasta


Chicken Pot Pie with Leeks and Thyme

For those nights that you have much more time to cook – say a Saturday afternoon, perhaps – we found this recipe on Food & Wine magazine’s website for a classic pot pie that’s “turned up” as Ina Garten would say.  The flavor combinations for leeks and thyme are delicious and this is the kind of food that sticks to your ribs and makes you want to curl up on the sofa.



Of course, we think that every mealtime creation is more special, more festive, and looks better when presented on your own personalizedplatters and plates.  They’ve been a popular sale item in August & September. Be sure to check out our selection of tumblers, plates, bowls, and glassware and shop with us at More Than Paper.


There’s something about pasta, pumpkins, and soups that scream fall, don’t they?  All of these dishes seem like good comfort food and we could all use that right now. So, what are you waiting for? We think you don’t have to wait until the official start of Fall next week to try them.

Share with us your favorite Fall recipes and your traditions for the season on our Facebook page! 


Friday, September 4, 2020

Fall Decorating Tips & Tricks

While 2020 has dragged on and on, for some reason we also find ourselves scratching our heads that it is suddenly September.  It’s almost as if time is standing still but flying by at the same time.  Do you agree?  Today we are here to share tips for decorating this fall.  While it’s uncertain what sports will be played or what festivals we will be able to attend, we can count on a few traditions to ensure we get all the cozy fall feels.  Decorating your home for fall with these simple and inexpensive tips will surely help evoke those comforting feelings for which you are longing. 

Design Tip 1 -- White Pumpkins

We’ve noticed a huge trend with white pumpkins!  They add a festive touch to your home without overtly screaming Halloween, and they don’t clash with your everyday d├ęcor like the orange ones sometimes can.  Snag inexpensive plastic ones in varying sizes from your local craft & hobby store.  For an added bonus, consider buying a stencil of the initial of your last name and spray painting it gold. Your DIY initial pumpkin will be something you can pull out for seasons to come.