It’s that time of the year again when you’ve got to decide whether or not to order holiday cards. Personally I get sad every year receiving fewer and fewer cards in the mail. There’s nothing quite like coming home to a full mailbox of holiday greetings and warm messages from friends letting me know how their year went. E-cards just don’t hold the same weight, literally and figuratively. Living in a time where e-mails are replaced by short tweets or Facebook messages, it’s often easy to forget how nice it can be do get a real card in the mail.
We recently showed you our favorite DIY paper masks for Halloween. But what if you have a newborn and don’t want to throw away money for a costume on year zero? Fortunately all you need to celebrate the holiday with your newborn is an old onesie, a scrap of fabric, and some. Check out Rachel Low’s costume templates to turn any onesie into a fun costume. You can even increase the pattern size with your printer and make a matching sweatshirt to wear out trick-or-treating.
With 85% of textile waste going to landfills every year, Halloween can have a devastating effect on the environment. While it’s tons of fun to pick out a costume and dress up, any family can make a night of crafting DIY costumes, and avoid creating unnecessary waste. Look around for wornout clothes, old sweats, or too-small garments. Many of today’s costumes can be made by hand if you have a sewing machine. Or if you truly want to make something easy, consider making an easy paper mask to wear on top of a colorful outfit. Paper masks can be tons of fun for kids and adults to wear. There are lots of sites that offer outlines for you to print out. Just color them in, add some sequins and glitter and you’re ready to go. For masquerade style, glue it onto a stick, or for easy-wear just add an elastic band.
Can a candy bar really be considered healthy? Probably not. But everyone needs a treat now and then. And if you’re going to go down the candy aisle, bear in mind that there is a whole range of candy options from not-so-bad to pure chemical junk. You might as well go for something with minimal junk. Yet when it comes to getting a sugar fix, we don’t always have time to go to the health food store to pick up a favorite like chocolate-covered organic almonds. One company is trying to change all that: Unreal.
This weekend we celebrate father’s day, thanking dads everywhere for being such swell guys. Looking for a last minute gift? You can recycle any old tie into something useful with this handy guide courtesy of Ecouterre. Find the tackiest, most out-of-style tie and turn it into something useful. Ecouterre provides step-by-step directions for making an awesome new guitar strap, eyeglasses case, camera strap, cellphone case, and pillow.
This Sunday is Mother’s Day, the time of the year to honor the woman who gave us the most. Bamboo Wall Art makes a great Mother’s Day present. Just choose your favorite photo of you and mom and upload. Customize with a variety of sweet designs. In addition to bamboo’s wide-ranging green qualities, Paper Culture plants a tree with each order, so it’s a win win. Click here for details. But perhaps you want to go even more DIY and make something from scratch for mom. Here are some easy ideas that will be sure to put a smile on her face.
Happy Earth Day to our beloved readers! We hope you celebrated our favorite holiday in a way that was both inspiring and fruitful. Paper Culture has set a goal to plant 1,000,000 trees, one for each new Facebook like. Click here to get going, and dedicate your tree to someone special. We’ve planted 200,000 since Earth Day last year and are looking forward to the many, many more trees we’ll be putting into the ground through 2012 and beyond.
As if you needed more temptation during this Holiday season, speculoos is now available at Trader Joe’s. I have some Belgium friends, who live in Portland. Whenever we visit, we eat bread smeared with speculoos, a cookie spread, for breakfast. They bring a few jars back from Belgium each time they visit. I never thought that I was in danger of making it a part of my daily life. But now speculoos is being marketed in the U.S. as a peanut-free alternative to peanut butter and sold at my local market.
According to my friends, everyone in Belgium eats speculoos cookies, which are light-brown buttery cookies with a hint of cinnamon (you may have tried one on Delta Airlines). In the morning, they dip them in their coffee or hot milk and patiently wait to scoop-up the dregs from the bottom. A few years ago a Belgian woman won a competition on an “invention” reality TV show where she made a spread of speculoos cookies. Now speculoos paste is incredibly popular in Europe and it has made its way across the Atlantic into mainstream America. I know, it sounds weird, but it is out of the world yum. Try it.
Time for a little unscientific poll: How many of you braved the crowds for Black Friday? How many shopped from the comfort of your own home? Or are you waiting for Cyber Monday? And how many of you didn’t shop at all? [read more]
I have been thinking about being thankful, maybe more than usual+, since I have been writing lots of thank you notes lately. As you may have read, I recently “made” as my Aunt Aileen would say, a birthday party for my daughter. I was finally over the whole party process – preparing, hosting the party and cleaning up the sprinkles. And then suddenly Thanksgiving and the Holiday Season are here. What happened to the year? [read more]