Thursday, June 24, 2010

Change: It’s a great thing

Change is a part of life. Everything changes eventually. Sometimes the change is within our control and sometimes it is not. Some changes seem like they should be in our control, but in reality have already been made for us.

Take my wedding for example. Last time we spoke, I told you that it was going to be a fall wedding at my mother’s house in central Virginia. Maybe we would have a harvest theme; maybe we would have a string quartet play us down the aisle…

Well, none of that is happening anymore. Now we are having a destination wedding at a resort in St. Lucia - pretty big change. This was decided by my fiancĂ© who, apparently, did have a “picture perfect wedding” in mind all along (I’d told you that she did not).

At first, I was a little freaked out. I mean we had to scrap all of our plans and start fresh. Also, none of our extended family would be able to come to the wedding due to the added expense and time. But then I realized that everything would pretty much be taken care of for us. And once we spoke with our wedding planner, Sharon (who is included in the resort wedding package), I knew that we had made the right choice. Sharon has been amazing, we give her our vague ideas and half thought-out plans, and she gives us a finished product. She has had options for even our most random wishes. Working with a wedding planner is wonderful; she is a one-stop for all of our questions.

With a change of wedding venue comes a change of wedding theme. Here are just a few of the new invitation options:

L'Oiseau from Hello!Lucky

kurai from Smock.

Foliage from elum

So, what do you think?

Pretty different from the browns, oranges, golds and reds of an autumn harvest isn’t it? Different, but good. Change is taking me somewhere I probably never would have gone otherwise, that’s what change does.

Good times…

- Aaron

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dads and Grads (you expected something else?)

In case you haven’t heard, Father’s Day is just around the corner (Sunday, June 20), and there’s still time to run out and buy Dad a gift.

I was chatting with Doni Luckutt yesterday, who brings the company Simply Alive! to the NSS each year. She reported that she had a good Show, and met with some great retailers. She’s still working with them finalizing their orders. (Note: not all orders are placed at the NSS, and Doni knows the importance of post-show follow-up! Way to go!)

I mention Doni because she has a lifestyle column in the Denver Post, and told me that she was writing about Father’s Day. Her angle is coming up with different gifts to suit different types of dads – she said she’s covering “Sporty Dad,” “Techie Dad,” – even “Sentimental Dad!” And guess what? All of her gift suggestions come from companies that exhibited in the May 2010 NSS. To see her picks (article available on Friday, June 18), click here.

Of course, a Father’s Day card is essential. Picking up on Doni’s idea, here are my card suggestions.

For Sporty Dad, here’s a great card that “covers all the bases” from J & M Martinez.

The inside reads “Happy Father’s Day.” J & M Martinez is distributed by Calypso Cards.

I’ll take “sporty” to another level – how about “He-man” – or “Gym” Dad? Here’s a “strong” choice from Up With Paper:

For the king of the castle kind of Dad, here’s a card that bestows the crown from Night Owl Paper Goods.

This card is letterpressed on 100% reclaimed & recycled cotton ecru cover paper. So it should appeal to the Eco-conscious Dad, too!

For the cool dad, here’s one from NobleWorks:

The inside reads: Happy Father’s Day to the best Dude I know.

My dad had a great sense of humor, and I definitely would have given him this great card from Selfish Kitty, which is also distributed by Calypso Cards.

The inside reads “You know, like on Mother’s Day.” Too funny! My mom would have appreciated the card, too!

I have to put this one in from Nobleworks, as well. My dad would have identified with it completely. In fact, I may have had this exact conversation when calling from college:

The inside reads: Happy Father’s Day to my favorite benefactor. That card really would have been perfect for “D.O.D.” as we called him. (Dear Old Dad). Ah, I miss him.

For sentimental Dad, something from Leanin’ Tree:

The inside of the cards reads: For being silly, for being strong, for being there, for being you. Love to you on Father's Day and every day.

For the life of me, I could not find a card out there for “Techie” Dad. Please, everyone, feel free to post your suggestions for this – or any category!

Finally, how about those Grads?! Around here (suburbs of NYC) some kids haven’t yet crossed the stage. Because we had so many school closings during the winter, the school year had to be extended ‘til the end of June!

Here’s a great graduation party invitation from Checkerboard:

Hannah Rodewald, owner of the store The Pleasure of Your Company, in Lutherville, MD (near Baltimore), has a great blog, She talked about graduation in a recent post, and I found a few great graduation cards from Quotable Inc. there. I lifted my favorite, as it seems to be what my life has been like, so I would give this card to any Grad!

Wise words. Or as some car commercial says “Enjoy the ride.”

I am told by many retailers that Bald Guy Greetings is a popular line in their stores. So, here’s one from the funny guys at Bald Guy:

Reminds me of a few other words I see misspelled a little too often!

And for the Grads themselves, who will likely be receiving cards and gifts, may I respectfully remind them to send a personal thank you note for the riches that they will receive.

This thank you card comes from Roger la Borde in a boxed set:

I love the layered look and the printed inside of the envelope.

Or, one might like the elegance offered here by Crane & Co.

So, here’s to all the great Dads and awesome Grads in our lives. May you live long and prosper!

Until next time,