Archive for March, 2012

Kids Fill-In Invitations & Thank You’s

Friday, March 30th, 2012

As a parent, you know that life can seem so busy sometimes, between sports practices and doctor’s appointments, school projects, play dates and PTA meetings…time can just seem to fly by!  If your child’s birthday sneaks up with you, and you’re in need of party invitations fast, we’ve got you covered.  Being last minute doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice with so-so invitations!

Our collection of kids fill-in invitations and thank you notes ship within just a couple of days and require no personalization at all!  Once you receive your fill-ins, simply fill in a few party details like your child’s name, party date, location of their party and your RSVP phone number and you’ll be good to go.  Our newest kids fill-in invitations from Paper so Pretty even come with matching fill-in thank you notes that are sold as a complete coordinating set…so there’s no worry about buying thank you notes later.

Remember how generic and boring fill-in invitations used to be when we were kids?  I remember filling in my own fill-ins for parties and I was never totally satisfied with them.  Our new fill-in designs are vibrant, fun, exciting and they feature the most popular kids birthday party themes out there!  Choose from a variety of party themes featuring camouflage, sleepover parties, cupcakes, butterflies, laser tag, balloons, farm animals, pool party invites, baseball, monsters, car racing, bowling, pirates, movies, animal print, peace signs, roller skates, princess castles, trains, robots, construction equipment – you name it, they have it!  Each fill-in set comes with sets of 16 invitations, (8 fill-in invitations and 8 fill-in thank you notes), and coordinating colored envelopes.

Check out a sampling of our fun kids fill-in invitations & thank you notes below and get ready for a fun-filled kids event!  Our fill-ins are also extremely affordable, which is great with today’s economy.

Monogrammed Stationery Etiquette

Thursday, March 29th, 2012

Having your monogrammed initials printed on your stationery is one of the most traditional stationery practices in the stationery world.  Your grandmother likely had monogrammed social stationery, as did her grandmother and so on.  The monogram’s timeless presence is marked by elegance, class, style and sophistication, which is portrayed to the recipient of your social stationery letter.

The most traditional monogram was a three-letter style, which contained your first, middle and last name initials.  In more modern times, it has become customary to do a single letter monogram, or a three-letter “married” monogram with your initials, along with your spouse’s initials.  For someone using a monogrammed initial for the first time, it may seem a bit confusing as to how your initials should be displayed.  Follow the below guide when you purchase your next set of monogrammed stationery.

Three Letter Monogram (all text same size) – If you want all of your monogrammed letters to be the same size, the order of your initials would be your first name initial, middle name initial and then last name initial.

Example: Mary Hannah Smith would be MHS

Three Letter Monogram (middle initial largest) – If you want the middle initial largest for your monogram, your initials will be a bit out of order.  You want your last name initial to stand out.  The order order of initials will be first name initial, last name initial, middle name initial.

Example: Mary Hannah Smith would be mSh

Married Monogram (three letters) – The style of a married monogram would follow the three letter monogram with the middle initial largest, however it will combine both names of the married couple.  The order of initials will be the wife’s first initial, last name initial and then the husband’s first name initial.  Be sure to only use this type of monogram if you are married.  Engaged couples should not use this type of monogram until after their wedding day.

Example: Mary & George Smith would be mSg

Ready to try out your new monogram knowledge on your own stationery?  Check out some of our elegant monogrammed stationery options below and create your own personalized social stationery.

Cinco de Mayo Invitations

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

Grab your maracas and put on that flashy sombrero…Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner!  For many of us in the US, Cinco de Mayo is a day filled with Mexican foods and traditions that we love so much, from Spanish music to margaritas, tacos, fajitas and guacamole as we celebrate and support Mexican pride and heritage.  For others, it is a celebration  which marks the freedom given to the state of Puebla during the first years of the Civil War.  The Mexican army defeated the French forces at the Battle of Puebla, which was on May 5, 1862.  One of the coolest things I learned about the Battle of Puebla?  The Mexican army defeated the French, who doubled numbers over the Mexican army.  No country in the American continents has been invaded by a European army ever since!

Celebrate this amazingly festive holiday by hosting your own Cinco de Mayo party, which lucky for us, just happens to fall on a Saturday this year!  A Cinco de Mayo party is a very easy party to plan, even if it’s last minute or low budget.  All you need is Mexican food and drinks, and a few vibrant decorations, and you’ll be good to go!  The most popular Mexican party foods seem to be chips & salsa, guacamole, queso, do-it-yourself fajitas, tacos or enchiladas, which are great for a large group of guests.  For dessert, offer up some empanadas or a sugary churro treat.

To go with your Mexican cuisine, offer up some frozen margaritas, or a margarita on the rocks.  Below we’ve listed a great at-home recipe so that you can make your own frozen margarita treat…

Margarita on the Rocks

Ingredients
Ice
2 oz silver tequila
1 oz lime juice
1 oz orange-flavored liquor
1 slice of lime

Directions
Combine ice, tequila, lime juice and liquor in a cocktail shaker and shake well.  Pour over ice in a margarita glass and garnish with a lime wedge.  Want a frozen treat?  Multiply your ingredients and blend instead of shake!

To set the scene for your Cinco de Mayo party, send out a Cinco de Mayo party invitation a few weeks before your event.  Think bright, flashy, fiesta themed colors, chili pepper and a catchy “fiesta, no siesta” saying to entice your guests to join in on the fun Mexican fiesta!  Two of our favorite Cinco de Mayo invitations are shown below, which feature colored party lanterns and beer, along with rows of chili pepper lights.  Coordinate your party invitation with a Cinco de Mayo sticker, favor tag or return address label and add a coordinating response card for a complete Mexican party ensemble, like the cards shown below.

Browse our entire fiesta party invitation collection at InvitationBox!

Kentucky Derby Invitations

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Looking for a unique themed party to host within the next few weeks?  Prepare for a run for the roses with a Kentucky Derby themed party that will have your guests racing to the finish line to attend your party!

The Kentucky Derby is the United States oldest Thoroughbred horse race, which annually makes it the most popular race of the year.  It has been called the fastest two minutes in sports and is well known for the blanket of 554 red roses awarded to the of the Kentucky Derby annually.  The Derby is held on the first Saturday in May which ends a two week long festival.  The race is surprising  only one and a quarter mile long, which makes it a perfect event for guests to watch at your next party.

Create a fun atmosphere for your Derby themed party by serving up a Mint Julep to your guests as they arrive.  This traditional Kentucky Derby drink is made of ice, bourbon, mint and sugar syrup which offers a cool and refreshing drink after a long and hot day out at the races.  For dinner, serve up a traditional Kentucky Derby burgoo stew made of beef, vegetables, chicken and pork.  Ask your guests to arrive in traditional “Derby attire” with women in obnoxiously large hats, gloves, large accessories and summer dresses.  Men can don their best suits with flashy ties, boutonnieres or a top hat.  Make it a fun event for everyone to attend, and be sure to take plenty of photos to share afterwards.

Set the scene for your event with one of our Kentucky Derby party invitations.  Choose from mint julep invitations, Derby fans invitations with men and women dressed for the occasion and horse race themed invitations if you’re excited for a little competition.  We also offer ticket stub invitations for those who want to make their guests feel like they’re really attending the race in Kentucky.  Check out some of our favorite Kentucky Derby invitations below and set the scene for your unique party.  Perfect for adult birthday parties, corporate parties or just an excuse to get together with family and friends!

Personalized Placemats

Monday, March 26th, 2012

How did that famous old slogan go?  “Kid Tested…Mother Approved!”  It’s certainly the case here with our personalized placemats which are conveniently on sale today, (if you’re on our mailing list incentives).  These placemats are made of 130 pound card stock which is laminated with a plastic covering for protection and to reduce wear.  Each 12 x 18 inch placemat is surface washable to clean up after spills during mealtime, too!

We offer kids personalized placemats which feature a variety of fun designs that will help you make mealtime fun or educational for your little ones.  Choose from princess designs, sports, car mazes, peace signs, construction equipment, traceable ABC’s, cars, farm animals, jungle and safari animals, birthday cakes, flowers, roller coaster, ladybugs, dinosaurs, sea animals, puppy dogs and so many more!  Turn the placemat over to reveal a coordinating design or a fun activity on the back.

If you’re looking for a placemat to add a little style to your dining room, we also offer adult placemats with contemporary and classic styles and patterns.  Choose from patchwork patterns, stripes, floral designs, polka dots, bookplate frames and seasonal themes.  We even have pet placemats available for those who like to spoil their furry friends and decorate their meal area too!  Each placemat can be personalized with your name(s) or a fun phrase, whether it pertains to your birthday, an upcoming holiday or a coined family phrase.  You can also add your own monogrammed initials to your placemat to make it yours.

Check out some of our favorite placemats below and browse our entire personalized placemat collection to spruce up your table the next time everyone sits down to dinner!

Taking High-Res Digital Photos for Photo Invitations

Friday, March 23rd, 2012

For most of us, nowadays when we go to take a photograph we quickly grab our digital cameras or cell phones and don’t even think about the quality of the photo we’re taking.  I have to admit, since I’ve had my iPhone, my digital camera has even started collecting dust now!  It’s so easy to just snap a photo, I never even think about my camera.

One of the largest trends for party invitations and graduation announcements is digital photo cards.  It’s a great way to share your party details with your guests and provide them with a photo keepsake or memory to commemorate the big day ahead.  If you plan on choosing a digital photo card for your next event, it’s important to make sure the photograph you’re submitting is of good quality, or high-resolution, so that you can make sure that your photo looks crisp and clear when it is printed.  Nobody wants an over-exposed, grainy or pixelated image when printed.

To take a great digital photograph, familiarize yourself with your digital camera.  There are all different functions available to you that can alter your resolution and photo image.  Set your resolution BEFORE taking your photograph.  Your default photo resolution may be at 96 dots per inch, which honestly is great for memory and storage, but horrible for photo quality.  Set your resolution to 300 dots per inch (DPI) minimum.  The higher the resolution you choose, the better your photo will look, and the larger it will be.  We always tell customers, the bigger the better when submitting photos.  It is much easier to scale a photo down then make a small photo larger.  Remember that if you have taken your photograph at a low resolution, you cannot make it a higher resolution photograph after the image is snapped.  It will make your image larger by size, however the resolution will stay the same, thus producing a very poor quality image.  Change your settings before you snap your photos.

If you are using a professional photographer to take pictures for you, be sure to talk to your photographer about obtaining digital images for your own use.  Go over copyright laws with your photographer so that you are aware of which photos you have rights to, or don’t have rights to.  We can only print photographs to which either you have taken, or you own the rights to.  If you’re not sure if you own the rights to the photograph, contact your photographer and they can likely give you a release form if necessary.

Have a great photograph of you or your children that you’re just dying to share?!  Remember that digital photo cards are offered for almost any event you can think of.  From birth announcements to kids birthday party invitations, adult birthday party invitations, graduation invitations, save the date cards and more!

Man Shower Invitations

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Let’s face it – a ‘guy’s-guy’ wouldn’t be caught dead at a baby shower – all this talk about booties, bottles and onesies.  Playing games like Baby Bingo or guessing which candy is in the dirty diaper…no thanks!

My co-worker and I stumbled upon an article posted last summer about the latest trend for daddys-to-be, which is hosting a ‘man shower’ in his honor.  Also known as a dadchelor party or a forefather party, this party is essentially a shower for the daddy-to-be, without all of that mushy and cutesy baby stuff tacked on.  Afterall, why is it fair that the mother-to-be is the only part of the twosome that is showered?

A man shower is similar to a bachelor party before marriage, however is not as crazy or ‘Vegas’ as a bachelor party.  A man shower features all of the daddy-to-be’s guy friends gathering for one last night out with the guys before his baby arrives, and his entire life changes.  It’s more about starting a ritual to celebrate the great things to come with his new arrival, and an end to his nights as a single family member.  When you go from a single man to a married man, not much changes in the long run.  However adding a child in the mix truly changes your life forever.

Set the tone for your man shower with a man shower invitation to set the scene for your night, whether you’ll be going out to dinner with friends, hitting up the local pub or spending the day out on the green golfing with the guys.  Let the guys who are already parents give you advice on being a dad and let the guys who aren’t dads yet learn about what could be down the road for them.  The guys can bring you gifts for the new baby if they wish – or just ask everyone to chip in on a gift card to Babies R Us, or contribute with a pack of diapers.

Choose a dadchelor shower invitation that coordinates with your theme, from sports invitations to beer invitations, ticket invitations, fishing invitations, golf invitations, casino invitations, barbecue invitations or cocktail party invitations.  Check out some of our favorite invitations below and be creative and unique in showering the daddy-to-be with a man baby shower!  No baby voices, pretend diaper changing contests or mini-foods allowed – just a great time with great friends and a few drinks allowed!

2012 Graduation Invitations

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Has senior-itis set in yet?  It’s almost the end of March, which means for many, graduation is just a couple of months, or less, away!  It can seem like a long ways away at times, with so many projects, final papers and presentations due, but truth be told, your graduation will be here before you know it!  Just a few more months and you’ll have your diploma or certification in hand.

The graduation inquiries are quickly pouring in to our customer service department, and I felt it appropriate today to share with you all of the great options we have for graduation invitations and graduation announcements!  Whether you’re graduating from high school, college, grad school or a specialized school, we have you covered with the most trendy invitations and announcements around.  Choose from digital photo cards, school colors, cap and gown invitations or career specific designs for lawyers, medical doctors and dentists.

When shopping for your graduation invitations, we realize that with so many designs, it can be a bit overwhelming.  Our graduation section is broken up into a variety of categories to help you narrow down your search.  Check out some of our most popular graduation announcements & invitations below…

Graduation Photo Cards – Truly one of our most popular types of graduation cards, photo graduation cards are a great way to share the news of the graduate’s graduation, as well as send a photograph to commemorate the event.  If you’ve had senior pictures taken you can use one of those photographs, choose a photo from graduation night or a photograph from senior year.  Our online ordering system allows you to upload your digital photograph to our website and swap out different photographs to see which one works best.  Be sure to make sure you own the rights to your photograph, though!  Remember, high resolution photographs usually work best – no cell phone pics, please, as we want your photo to look as great as you do!  Use your photo graduation card for a graduation invitation or announcement.

Class of 2012 Graduation Invitations – The one thing I remember most when in my last year of school was how proud I was of my graduation class year.  You’ve counted down many years to get to 2012, and we know you’re ready to wear it proud!  Our class of 2012 invitations feature a variety of designs that revolve around the year 2012 as well as showcase your favorite colors, school colors or a fun print design.  Pair your graduation details with a 2012 peace sign or animal print.  Add a photo and double your class of ’12 invitations as an announcement and a graduation invitation.  This entire collection was made just for you – the 2012 grad!

Med School, Dental School & Law School Graduation Invitations – If you’ve graduated from a higher institution, you know that it was a lot to get through high school and college.  This collection of invites is for those who have continued their education for years upon years to help others in their brand new profession.  After your years of studying, be sure to send a graduation announcement or invitation when you graduate from med school, law school or dental school.  Each section of invitations features graduation invitations made specifically for your profession featuring iconic profession symbols like the caduceus, stethoscope, teeth, dental instruments, books, scale of justice and more.  Announce your graduation and also invite your guests to celebrate.  It’s a great way to commence your graduation, and begin networking!

 

Ready for graduation to be here?  Shop now for the perfect graduation invitations and graduation announcements to make your day special!

Mexican Fiesta Party Invitations

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Make your next party smokin’ hot with a party theme that will turn up the heat!  That’s right, we’re talking about a Mexican fiesta themed party!  Perfect for adult birthday parties, rehearsal dinner themes, couples showers or corporate events, a fiesta party will have all of your guests excited to attend.  Margaritas, Spanish music, tasty Mexican cuisine and a sombrero…what could be better?!

Entice your guests to attend your event by making it ‘hot! hot! hot!’ with one of our fiesta party invitations.  Whether it’s a wedding event you’re hosting or an adult event with Spanish cocktails and some crazy friends, we’ve got you covered with a variety of Mexican themed invitations to set the scene.  Choose from Spanish beer invitations, margarita invitations, chili pepper invitations and vintage Mexican sign invitations.  For a more formal Mexican event, we have formal fiesta party invitations with fiesta dinner place settings, fiesta patio scenes, fiesta striped borders and watercolor fiesta invitations.  If you’re hosting an all-out fiesta throw-down event, we have casual invites with friends gathered in fiesta attire, fiesta ticket stub invitations, margarita and blender invitations, hot sauce invitations, pinata invitations or smokin’ hot chili pepper invitations, like the image we took from a VG Designs invitation in the top left corner of the blog.

How do you make your next fiesta party unforgettable?  When your guests arrive, have plenty of drinks or cocktails on-hand, (some non-alcoholic too, of course)!  Bloody Mary or watermelon twist margarita, anyone?  If you’re fun and creative, try coming up with your own Mexican cocktail or flavored margarita.  Fiesta parties make it easy and mildly inexpensive to serve a lot of food to a lot of people.  Create your own taco or fajita bar and leave the work to your guests as they create their own Mexican dinner.  Have plenty of chips, salsa, rice, sour cream and guacamole to go on the side and you’re all set.

At a fiesta bridal shower I attended a few years ago, we had a Mexican fiesta theme and we created cakes that were in the shape of two maracas for the bride and groom.  Frosting was decorated in fiesta patterns with M&M’s candy and the handles were made out of Twix bars – yummy and absolutely festive, of course!  Let the guest(s) of honor wear a sombrero so that they stick out in the crowd, and be sure to take plenty of pictures.

Ready to host your own fiesta party?  Check out some of our favorite Mexican fiesta party invitations and turn the heat up for your next event.  Remember, Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner…a great excuse to have your own Mexican Fiesta!!

 

Long Distance Bridal Shower Invitations

Monday, March 19th, 2012

It’s always very exciting when a customer stumps me with a wedding inquiry, and today was just one of the days!  I was questioned about wording and etiquette for a long distance bridal shower invitation, and to be honest, it was something that I hadn’t heard of anyone doing before, however I had heard of these types of showers.

So what did I find?  A long distance bridal shower is one in which a situation arises where the bride lives very far from her friends, family members – anyone who would normally be invited to the shower.  She may only be coming to town during the week of her wedding, which may make it very hard for her bridal party to host a shower for her, or short notice to expect people to attend.  It may be out of the bride’s budget to fly home for her shower, too – especially if she will be traveling for her wedding and honeymoon.  And if she had to bring gifts along back with her…sometimes it’s just too much.

The thought behind a long distance bridal shower is that an invitation is sent to all guests to help shower the bride.  Guests can send gifts, gift cards or greeting cards to the bride in lieu of their presence at the shower.  Some guests may have a “skype shower” in which one bridesmaid/host collects all of the gifts for the bride prior to the shower.  She then presents them to the bride over skype and the bride opens them for all to watch from home.  This way you still get the personal interaction of the shower, and get to see the bride open her gifts.

Truly an interesting type of shower, I was curious to see what the feedback was on this type of event.  The results were like I expected, and unfortunately were not very favorable.  Most guests took it as a way of ‘soliciting for gifts’ or money rather than a way to shower the bride from afar.  Many felt offended that the bride would consider it an ‘inconvenience’ to have to take gifts home with her.  Also, if you have an older generation attending the shower, they might not be able to join via Skype or may not be familiar with today’s modern bridal shower ideas.  The alternate suggestion for the bride living afar would be to have a small shower in your hometown with family and close friends, even if it only ends up being ten guests.  Invite everyone you normally would invite, leaving traveling out of it.  If a guest decides they cannot attend and wish to send a gift anyway, let them choose to send a gift at their own will, and the bridesmaids or mother of the bride can provide a mailing address as to where to send any cards, well wishes, gifts or gift cards.  To me this sounded like the best happy medium for everyone.

Check out some of our fun long distance bridal shower invitation suggestions below, too.  We have a lot of travel and destination themed invitations which would make for a great long distance bridal shower invitation.  Choose from state themed invitations, passport invitations and city invitations that represent the bride’s home state, city or country.  We also have airplane themed invitations and passport stamp invitations.  Whichever you choose, choose one that best reflects the personality of the bride.  Or, if the bridesmaids are hosting, you can also choose a bride and bridesmaids invitation to set the scene.  If you’re hosting a long distance bridal shower, send us your feedback on how your event was a success and what you did to make it special for the bride and her guests!