Archive for November, 2013

Planting Trees: How it Works

Example of Paper Culture Tree Seedling
As many of you know, part of Paper Culture’s environmental commitment is that we plant a tree for every order and every new Facebook fan. In fact, we’ve pledged to plant 1,000,000 trees. We try to respond to each question individually, but we thought we’d try to consolidate some of our answers in a blog post for posterity.
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Hassle-Free Tips for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has become my favorite holiday. The warm autumn colors, the chance to share love and thanks with my family and friends, and of course, the wonderful feast. Unfortunately, many people find Thanksgiving to be a stressful ordeal. It doesn’t have to be! From invitations, to decorations, to the dinner menu, we have a few ideas to make your Turkey Day festive, delicious, and hassle-free!

To get started, check out our Thanksgiving invitations. We have several different options available for you to customize and match to your dream holiday gathering. We can even address and mail them out for you!

Once your invitations have hit the printing press, you can move on to planning your decorations. I am always inspired by fall’s brilliant and rich colors. Autumn leaves and gourds make for eye-catching yet simple décor.

Thanskgiving decor

(Photo credit: Better Homes & Gardens, Martha Stewart)

Left: For a beautiful table runner, get inspired by this beautiful photograph from Better Homes and Gardens. Find a few small pumpkins from the local pumpkin patch, line them up down the center of your table, and weave a matching ribbon around them. You can even add branches, greenery, or a garland for an extra burst of color! Top right: I love these place cards from Martha Stewart. The leaves are perfect for any autumn tablescape, and the chalkboard look is very in right now! Best of all, they’re incredibly easy to make. Bottom right: Set the mood for a warm dinner with your loved ones with these painted glass votive candle holders, also from Martha Stewart. This would be a fun DIY project (the link will give you simple instructions,) but if you’re pressed for time (or aren’t feeling very artsy,) go ahead and purchase some glass votives in your favorite fall colors.

Planning and preparing dinner may be the most anxiety-inducing part of the holiday! However, if you schedule carefully, and do everything that you can ahead of time, it’s a lot easier to bring the meal together.  Food Network has a great Thanksgiving planning guide to help you out. If you plan things just right, you’ll spend less of Thanksgiving in the kitchen, and more of it mingling with your loved ones!

Here’s a few favorite recipes to add to your holiday menu!

Thanksgiving food ideas

(Photo credit: The Pioneer Woman, Simply Recipes, Smitten Kitchen, How Sweet Eats)

Top left: A juicy and flavorful roasted turkey (and brine,) courtesy of The Pioneer Woman. She even includes step-by-step photos and instructions! Bottom left: My favorite tip for the perfect mashed potatoes: use a potato ricer! It’s difficult to smooth out all the lumps out with a fork or potato masher, and using a hand mixer can result in a gluey texture. A potato ricer delivers smooth, creamy, fluffy results, and it’s much faster than a regular potato masher! Try Simply Recipes’ garlic mashed potatoes for a delicious yet simple take on this traditional side dish. (Another tip: throw the roasted garlic in with the potatoes into the ricer to avoid large garlic pieces.) Top right: For dessert to feed a crowd, Smitten Kitchen takes her go-to apple pie recipe (my personal favorite) and turns it into an entire sheet of pie! (Tip: apple pie is always best the day it’s made, but if you premake the crust the night before and refrigerate it, all you have to do the day of is roll it out, fill, and bake!) Bottom right: Finally, for a boozy treat, How Sweet Eats’ apple cider sangria is a fun autumnal take on a classic party drink.

Hopefully we have given you some inspiration, tricks, and tips to make your holiday memorable and stress-free! Do you have a favorite Thanksgiving recipe or decorations idea?

Creative Holiday Cards You Wish You Made

There are many fun aspects of working at Paper Culture from our need to celebrate every holiday to brainstorming new products.  As you can imagine, the winter holiday season is very busy for us. In January, when we have a moment to breathe we look back and reflect on the past year. This includes time to look back at all the amazing and creative holiday cards our wonderful customers have designed. At any given moment, you’ll hear the staff laughing, oohing and aahing, and sometimes even quiet from sheer shock.

Here are our top 4 favorites from 2012, in no particular order. Will you be on our 2013 favorites list?

Taking Swaddling to a New Level

Baby On Wall Holliday Card
Extra points for use of Photoshop. No baby was put in danger for this photo.

 When Hairy Met Sally

Be Merry Holiday Card

Life is a Beach

Oh Joy Holiday Card

A Joyful Family

Joy Holiday Card

A big thanks to all of our customers for entrusting their holiday cards with Paper Culture! If you haven’t done so already, we encourage you to check out our new 2013 holiday designs including Jumbo Holiday Cards. The larger card format is 8.9″ x 3.9″ and like all of our cards, is made with 100% post-consumer recycled paper. You’ll find both photo and non-photo options with backs that will wow your family and friends just as much as the front. Be sure to taking advantage of our 20% off holiday cards this week as well as our ongoing FREE Mail-and-Address Service. Let us do the work. We will stamp, address and mail your cards for free. You only pay the cost of the stamp.

Happy Holidays!