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How to write a thank you note

April 16, 2013 | 4 Comments

Did you know April is National Letter Writing Month? I’ll be doing a short series on Tuesdays for the rest of the month on how to write a few of the notes we’re most unsure how to write.

How to write a thank you note
What to write in a sympathy card
How to write a love note

How to write a thank you note

So let’s start with how to write a thank you note for a gift or something nice someone did for you.

1. Choose the right piece of stationery.
Do you like flowers? Do you like clean and simple? Guys, maybe something more masculine? Use a card that’s appropriate for you, the recipient, and the occasion. Something formal is out of place if you’re thanking a friend for watching your dog this weekend.

2. Address it to them.
Use their name inside your note. That way they know this was specially crafted for them.

3. Say thanks. (Duh.)
Thanks so much for your generous birthday gift! Thank you for dog-sitting Fido this weekend.
(Expert tip: If you’re writing a thank-you note for a monetary gift or a gift card, don’t say “thanks for the money.” Say “thanks for your generous gift.” You can clarify in the next part.)

You're sweet thank you card

4. Tell ‘em why you love it.
What are you going to do with the gift? Will it look great in the kitchen? Will you use it to decorate the kitchen? What are/were you able to accomplish because of their generosity? “These new sneakers actually MAKE me want to run in the mornings!” “We had a wonderful, relaxing vacation knowing Fido was in good hands.”

4. Look forward to time together.
Acknowledge that they are a part of your life. Say “let’s have dinner soon,” or “can’t wait to see you at grandma’s birthday party.” If it’s not likely you’ll see them anytime soon, maybe you can refer to the occasion of the gift. “I had a great birthday and even though we’re far apart, you were part of it!”

5. Thanks x2.
Say thanks again. (Literally, “Thanks again for your gift.”) It won’t hurt.

6. Sign it.
Love, all the best, always, whatever works best for you. And your name, of course.

Thank you card

7. The biggest, most important thing about writing a thank you note is …

JUST DO IT.

People love receiving them. It doesn’t have to be a Shakespearean sonnet or the most beautiful thing you’ve ever written. Just a few lines to say thanks, that you thought enough of their generosity to take a few minutes of your day to write a handwritten note. Just do it.

Don’t forget to check back next week for how to write a sympathy card.

My mom

April 11, 2013 | Leave a comment

mom and me

My mom befriends seniors at church and drives them to appointments and visits them in the hospital.

My mom misses me but never guilts me about moving away from home.

My mom encourages adventure.

My mom tells me what medicine to take when I don’t feel good.

My mom is a strong woman.

My mom supports my business venture.

My mom would like to have grandkids, but doesn’t guilt me about that either. Too much…

My mom makes me laugh.

mom muppet

My mom once almost burned the kitchen down while making Sunday lunch.

My mom perseveres.

My mom tells me to pray about it.

My mom is the inspiration for many of my cards.

My mom loves people. Not crowds. People.

My mom loves sweet tea.

My mom loves Jesus.

My mom is who I want to be when I grow up.

 

———————
Mother’s Day is a month away. If your mom is all this, too,
maybe I can help you find a card that’s perfect for her.

 

Life in France — from New Mexico

April 9, 2013 | 5 Comments

While I love RLPCo and making cards, I always enjoy the chance to branch out, work with some other people, and create amazing new products.

And since I so love being on Amazon — and working alongisde my friend Kari — I’ve been hard at work with a talented group of people to produce the third book in our series of practical guides to lifestyle, manners and language when visiting France. (I serve as art director and proofreader extraordinaire.) Presenting, Life in France.

Life in France

Life in France became available for purchase yesterday. It has insights on why the month of May is popular, the French way of fashion, and why most of us would probably get in trouble on Monday morning at the office, especially if you haven’t had your coffee yet.

If you’re thinking about a trip to France, or maybe just dreaming about one in the future, grab this book , s’il vous plaît, and support the fantastic group of people I’m blessed to work with.

Check out a few pdf pages from the book here!

Stationary vs. stationery and how to remember which is which

March 26, 2013 | 2 Comments

A little grammar lesson on stationary vs. stationery…

stationary vs. stationary

stationary with an a

sta·tion·ar·y  [stey-shuh-ner-ee]  adjective, noun
1. standing still; not moving.
2. having a fixed position; not movable.

Riding a stationAry bike won’t get you Anywhere.

stationery with an esta·tion·er·y  [stey-shuh-ner-ee]  noun
1. writing paper.
2. writing materials, as pens, pencils, paper, and envelopes.

Writing a note with the perfect piece of stationEry will get you Everywhere.

{Like those iPhone cards? Get them here.}

Why I love a gay man

March 20, 2013 | 14 Comments

I have a friend. A really good friend. One who unreservedly supported my dream of starting a card business. One who lifted my spirits when I lost my confidence. One who never held back in sharing and teaching.

One who had to move out of the U.S. and back to London because his and his longtime partner’s relationship was the most important thing to them. After seven years in the U.S., he wasn’t able to obtain a permanent resident visa and his partner wasn’t allowed to vouch for him. They left behind family, friends, careers, lives they had established in New York.

benn

Benn and I were partners in crime at work. The redheaded command center of the newsroom. And even though his leaving meant I got promoted to the job I always wanted, not much in me was happy about it. I was heartbroken.

Even though I’ve moved on from that job to do this, the cards, full-time, I miss him. But I want to tell you about Benn, because I honestly think — KNOW — I would not be where I am today without him.

When we met, I was fighting a losing battle with having confidence in myself. But he believed in me. This person that I so much looked up to for his skills and confidence. For four years we worked alongside each other. Bouncing ideas, asking questions (that was most often me) and teaching (that was always him). All the design skills I have? I owe pretty much all of that to him. The ability to try something different with design and not worry about it — I owe that to him, too. He had actual training as a graphic designer; everything I knew was self-taught. He never turned down a question or a teaching opportunity. And he never missed the chance to encourage me when my confidence was slipping.

When I told him I was starting a card company, he was excited for me. When I was trying to figure out printer settings and which paper to use, he donated his time — and his expensive paper. When I was stoked at the flash of genius that is the {not sent from my iPhone} card, he was the first person to know about it after my husband. When I made a big sale, he was genuinely interested and happy for my success.

The bottom line is … Benn played a huge role in my development as a person and a designer. And it never, ever mattered that he was gay. It was never weird. It never affected his or our work. But it sure did — does — break my heart that he was forced to leave the country to be with the man he loves. Maybe I can’t speak for the country, or for the city we were in, or for you, but without a shadow of a doubt, *I* was better for him being around.

Whether or not you agree with gay marriage, God calls us to love one another.

I love him for changing me in the best possible ways. He loved me by being a friend and mentor. He is one of my most favorite people in the world.

I just wanted you to know that.

 

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*** I welcome you to post your thoughts in the comments, but please be respectful. ***

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I’m linking up today with my friend Amanda at A Royal Daughter for Desire to Inspire.

Easter is greater than Christmas

March 18, 2013 | 3 Comments

easter vs. christmasIs it just me or is Easter > Christmas?

Don’t get me wrong. Christmas is a big deal. Our savior was born. To a virgin. In a barn. But then the he grew up. Was nailed to and died on a cross. Rose again three days later. Saved us and ensured we could spend eternity with the Father.

Easter is like Christmas x3. Right?

Also, chocolate bunnies. Just sayin’.

Chocolate bunnies Easter card

Wrestling with God

February 11, 2013 | 2 Comments

Do you ever get so frustrated you just want to throw up your hands and ask the heavens “WHAT IS GOING ON HERE???” I do. I’m human.

At that point, I pray. But it’s not the usual quiet praise and supplication. It’s more like “Ok God, seriously. WHAT are you doing? What am I doing? This isn’t working. FIX IT. Show me. DO SOMETHING, for pete’s sake.”

And maybe that’s not the best way to pray. But you know what? He can handle it. He can handle my questions and thrown punches.

God can handle your punches

Genesis 32:

24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob’s hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, “Let me go, for it is daybreak.” But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” 27 The man asked him, “What is your name?” “Jacob,” he answered. 28 Then the man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel [he struggles with God] because you have struggled with God and with humans and have overcome.” 29 Jacob said, “Please tell me your name.” But he replied, “Why do you ask my name?” Then he blessed him there. 30 So Jacob called the place Peniel [face of God], saying, “It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared.” 31 The sun rose above him as he passed Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.

Jacob wrestled with God. And God didn’t go cry in a corner. He fought back.

So go ahead. Question. Ask. Yell. Tell Him your fears and doubts. Put up yer dukes and go for it. He can handle it.

Wrestling with God might turn out to be painful. Because he will fight back. For you. He’s fighting for you.

USPS: No more mail on Saturdays

February 6, 2013 | 1 Comment

The US Postal Service has been talking for years about cutting a day of service to save them some money. (They were $16 billion in the hole last year.) Today they announced a plan to help them save $2 billion a year — cutting out Saturday delivery.

No mail on Saturdays

The USPS plans to stop delivery of letters, bills, cards and catalogs on Saturdays, but will still deliver packages and Express Mail. (They’re still working out what “packages” means.)

The change isn’t set to go into effect till August, and it still faces congressional approval. But here are a few things to keep in mind if/when it happens:

• If you were hoping to get your mom a birthday card on Saturday, you’ll have to remember to send it earlier.
• You might have to ORDER that card earlier, too, because it wouldn’t have a chance of being delivered on Saturday. Or you could buy a bunch at once! That’d be a package!
• No bills on Saturday. Umm, yay!
• If your post office is open on Saturdays now, it will be open on Saturday then. So you can buy stamps or send things out, you just won’t get anything in your mailbox at home.

So there you have it. The times, they are a’changin’. Read the USPS writeup about it here, and check out this fun article about Hollywood letter carriers we loved. (I’m partial to Mr. McFeely.)

What do you think about not getting mail on Saturdays?

#PrayerDare

February 1, 2013 | 1 Comment

Do you guys ever wonder why you don’t see me write much about my faith on here? It’s because it’s hard for me. I’m not comfortable. One of the reasons I started the card company is because that’s how I share my faith. I’m not always so good at talking about it. But today I want to share something with you that I’m participating in. It’s called #PrayerDare. My friend Amanda is organizing this “community initiative with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and holding women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer.” February’s prayer topic is our husbands/men in our lives. I’m committing to praying daily for my husband this month. Will you join us?

I’m gonna let Amanda take it from here…

————

Oh friends, I am so excited that this day has finally arrived. Today is the day that we officially launch #PrayerDare: a community initiative with the goal of equipping, encouraging, and holding women accountable to practice the daily discipline of prayer.

Tools for Praying Prayer Dare

To find out more about #PrayerDare please see our FAQ.

Over the course of the next year we will be joining each other and praying for a specific (and different) topic each month. We’re starting off #PrayerDare by praying for our husbands. For those of you who are not married, please consider joining us one of two ways:

  1. Join us by spending 28 days praying for a man in your life who holds special importance, but is married to someone else. We’re talking about guys like your dad, brother, pastor, or maybe even your best friend’s husband. The point is, they need to be prayed for, and there’s nothing that says it can’t be you praying for them.
  2. If you do not feel called to singleness, why don’t you consider joining us by spending 28 days praying for your future husband? We know that God’s not bound by time or circumstances, and spending a month praying for your future husband is probably one of the best things you can be doing for your future relationship.

In order to help hold each other accountable, we will be connecting on Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #PrayerDare. Now is the time to start forging relationships, praying for one another, and holding each other accountable.

how to pray for your husband

If you are not active on Twitter or Instagram, we have created a Facebook page where you can connect with other women who are committed to daily prayer. If you’re not active online at all, feel free to print the prayer cards and share them with your friends, family, and church members. Maybe God is calling you to be a #PrayerDare leader in your own community!

How do I pray for my husband

We are so looking forward to connecting with you this month. We have been praying for you for weeks, and are excited to see what God is going to do in your life.

If you are in a place in your marriage where you or your husband are ready to walk away and call it quits, please e-mail Amanda. We have a prayer team assembled and ready to pray for you and your marriage. We believe that this could be the month that the Lord redeems your marriage.

The Prayer of a Righteous Person

It is not required, but feel free to link up your twitter/instagram accounts so that we can easily connect with you. The linky will stay open all months, so feel free to join us at any time throughout February!

Prayer Dare Day One

free prayer card printable | free prayer card printable in black & white

Welcome to #PrayerDare! We are excited to connect with you, to encourage you, and to be encouraged by you.

Connect with #PrayerDare on Facebook | Twitter

The new stamps

January 29, 2013 | 2 Comments

I swear I’m not a crazy stamp collector or anything. But the USPS released some new designs after Monday’s price hike, and I kinda like ‘em.

usps love stamp

I like that it’s an envelope. And the wax seal is kinda cool. The spirals are a little girly, but overall I like its slight minimalism better than the current ribbon love stamp. Let’s see what the USPS has to say about it…

Evoking the romance of a bygone era, the U.S. Postal Service 2013 Sealed with Love (Forever®) stamp expresses the joy and beauty of handwritten love letters.

The stamp art depicts an envelope fastened with an elegant wax seal. The seal, in shades of red, is a small heart enclosed inside a larger heart, both surrounded by a graceful filigree circle. The exquisite delicacy of the stamp art invites us to send our own love letters, a romantic gesture that never goes out of style.

Ok, USPS. Graceful filigree? Exquisite delicacy? I think your creative writer got a little carried away there. But I do agree that sending letters is a gesture that never goes out of style.

Also released this week: the new Global Forever® stamp. It “offers a single price for any First-Class Mail International 1-ounce letter to any country in the world.” And it’s ROUND. Way to buck tradition there, Global Forever® stamp. I like you already.

global forever stamp

Images courtesy of USPS.com

I’m always particular about which stamps I choose. They have to reflect my taste and/or the season. What about you? Do you choose a stamp based on its style? Or is whatever’s available good enough?

Don’t let a penny stop you

January 24, 2013 | 4 Comments

Don't let a penny stop you

The United States Postal Service is raising rates effective Jan. 27 (this coming Sunday). Here are a few details:

  • It’ll now cost you 46 cents to mail a 1-ounce letter in the U.S. That’s an extra penny.
  • Sending a 1-ounce letter internationally will cost $1.10, 5 cents more than the current price, but for the first time, these will be Forever stamps.
  • Shipping a package internationally will cost quite a bit more than it does now, especially small packages. (If you’re a seller, check out Etsy’s helpful guide to the shipping rates.)

Before you jump on the “this is ridiculous” bandwagon, let’s just take a deep breath and think about this.

  • The post office lost $816 million in November alone.
  • It lost $16 billion last year.

Clearly the USPS needs our help. A penny isn’t that much. A nickel isn’t that much.

Facebook birthday card

You like getting snail mail, right? I do, too. Don’t let a few cents be the difference between making someone’s day or not.

So let’s go dig in our couch cushions and send a letter. The recipient and the USPS will both appreciate it.