Coffee Day is September 29th!

 

09272013 coffee day blg ag2 Coffee Day is September 29th!

Skip sleeping in and cozy up to your favorite coffee house this Sunday to celebrate Coffee Day!

While you’re savoring a medium half-caf no-foam non-fat vanilla soy latte (or go full octane with a straight-up espresso!) we thought you’d enjoy these fun facts about our beloved, can’t-do-without-it beverage:

  • Ethiopian shepherds first noticed the effects of caffeine when they saw their goats appearing to become frisky and “dance” after eating coffee berries.
  • Coffee beans are actually the pit of a bright red berry, which makes them a fruit.
  • Originally, coffee was eaten by African tribes who mixed coffee berries with fat to form edible energy balls.
  • In the ancient Arab culture there was only one way a woman could legally divorce: If her husband didn’t provide enough coffee!
  • In 1675, the King of England banned coffee houses, claiming they were places where people met to conspire against him.
  • All coffee in the world is grown in the “bean belt”, which is the area between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Hawaii is the only state in the U.S. that grows coffee.
  • Coffee is the second most traded commodity on earth. Oil is the first.
  • George Washington invented instant coffee!  (Gotcha! Not THAT George Washington. Just checking to see if your caffeine is kicking in and you’re still reading.)  A Belgian man living in Guatemala by the name of George Washington invented it in 1906.
  • New Yorkers drink 7 times more coffee than any other cities in the U.S.
  • A French doctor in the 1600s suggested Café Au Laits for patients, inspiring people to begin adding milk to coffee.

So go meet up with a friend to enjoy some caffeinated conversation!

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Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

09182013 hispanic heritage v3 blg ag Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

During National Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 to October 15) we recognize and celebrate the independence,  histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. This observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Regan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period. This is a wonderful opportunity to focus attention upon the contributions of the Hispanic community.

Here at American Greetings,our Hispanic Resource Network celebrated by hosting the very talented artist and writer, Augusto C. Bordelois, to allow our associates to  learn about his work and what inspires him to create such beautiful artwork.

augusto 2007 72 Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month!

Photo courtesy of Augusto Fine Art

A native of Havana, Cuba, and a graduate of the University of Havana, Augusto completed extensive study in sculpture, ceramics, costume design for theatre and cinema, and classical drawing and  painting. Augusto has received impressive international recognition for both his literary pieces and visual artwork. We invite you to read more about him and see his impressive and beautiful work at www.AugustoFineArt.com.

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Talk Like a Pirate Day

09192013 pirate day blg ag1 Talk Like a Pirate Day

Avast, me hearties!

“Talk Like A Pirate Day” be celebrated on September 19, ‘n ye ‘would-be’ buccaneers best learn t’speak th’ lingo. If ye reckon that jus’ sayin’ “arrr” at the’ end o’ every sentence will fill yer sails and float yer ship–recon again, landlubber!  It’ll jus’ get ye tossed o’erboard!

So don’t settle fer bein’ an imitation pirate—be authentic  ‘n colorful like a real swashbucklin’ scallywag o’ th’ sea! Lookey here fer some official Pirate Talk tips:

  • Ye be needin’ t’ be rigged up wit a Pirate name—get yer’s here!
  • Change yer Facbookin’ language t’ “Pirate”, ye’ landlubbers!
  • Send all ya scallywags an “Arr!” with a pirate ecard.
  • Wearin’ a eye patch will make ye’ more feared than th’ black spot.
  • A pirate without a crew is bereft indeed! Assemble yer mates and get loaded to the gunwalls with pirates grogg of rum, pineapple juice, coconut juice, or what’ere ye’ scallywags can muster.
  • Talk wi’ yer hands as much as ye tongue, as pirates be loud and animated. Just be careful wavin’ that hook around… ye could put n’ eye out!

09192013 pirate day2 blg ag1 Talk Like a Pirate Day

Now get to celebratin’! ARRR!

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Yom Kippur

09142013 yom kippur blg ag1 Yom Kippur

Yom Kippur, or the Day of Atonement, is the culmination of the Jewish High Holy Days that began with Rosh Hashanah. It is considered to be the holidays day of the year for Jewish people and is traditionally observed with fasting and attending prayer services at temple. It is believed that the fate of each person for the year to come is sealed on this day.

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Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

09132013 friday the 13th blg ag Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

If the very thought of Friday the 13th sends chills up your spine, you may have paraskevidekatriaphobics  (say that 3 times fast!)  An irrational fear of Friday the 13th influences millions of people in the U.S., causing U.S companies to lose an estimated $800 to $900 million in business due to workers who refuse to travel or go to work on Friday the13th!

Whether you’ve bravely hauled yourself to work or are huddled under the covers watching Dr. Phil today, we thought we’d help calm your nerves and offer you 13 tips on how to make it to Saturday…

  • Get out of bed on the right side (that is, not the left side). This side is guaranteed to make your day luckier according to some superstitions.
  • Wear red underpants!  Apparently this color will bring you more luck than other colors!
  • If you come upon a ladder, it’s probably best not to walk under it. (Let’s not push the luck-giving capabilities of our red underpants.)
  • It’s not a great day for exploring woods, caves, or cemeteries. We know the sudden urge to go spelunking can be strong, but try to resist for a day, okay?
  • Drop the mop!  Friday the 13th is a great excuse to not clean because apparently handling a broom is unlucky on this day.  So is changing the sheets, flipping the mattress, or doing the laundry. (Woohoo! You don’t need to tell us twice!)
  • Do not start a new job or business today, as it will be followed by collapse or bankruptcy.
  • If traveling today (though you really shouldn’t) stay away from the 13th floor, which will be easy because many large hotels don’t have a 13th floor—they skip right over it to 14!
  • Furthermore, if you MUST stop for gas in a creepy station full of creepy people, just turn around and go home–your trip is over.  If you hear a banjo, put the pedal to the metal and floor it!
  • Throw salt over your left shoulder (to blind the devil!). This is usually reserved to counteract the bad luck of spilling salt, but we’re thinking that we might do it throughout the day as a sort of insurance policy.
  • Black cat? Give it a pat! In some cultures, black cats are actually bringers of good luck and one crossing your path is a good omen.  So, don’t be afraid to cuddle Jinxy today.
  • Do NOT go digging around for your old OUIJA board and NEVER read a book of demon summoning aloud, even as a joke—it can only lead to further problems.
  • Try to focus on good thoughts and good outcomes. Research has actually shown that people who believe in bad luck tend to bring it on! (we’re still not cleaning, though. Or changing out of our red underpants.)
  • No rabbit’s foot? Grab an acorn! In Norse folklore, both the acorn and its bearer, the oak tree, bring good fortune. No harm in keeping one in your pocket all day.

Good luck out there, friends!

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Patriot Day – Remembering 9/11/2001

 Patriot Day   Remembering 9/11/2001

That September morning of 9/11 is forever etched in our memories–every detail of where we were when we heard the news.  Here at world headquarters, we’ve asked a few of our fellow associates if they would share their stories in honor of Patriot Day…

“I remember where I was on 9-ll like it was yesterday.  When we, in Editorial, heard the news, we were all shocked and many of us wept together.  At that time, we had a TV in one of the conference rooms, so we turned on CNN and left it on all day.   Whenever any of us had time to break from our work, we would go in to see whatever updates they had to offer and we’d share the news with each other.  Because we’re creative people, our emotions ran high.  And since we had to be at work during this horrific time, we were glad to have each other to turn to for consolation. “

 “My mother called me, in tears, to ask if I was watching the news. I hadn’t been. Said she didn’t know what was happening, but it scared her to think what it might be. I turned on the Today show moments before the second plane struck. She was right to feel afraid.”

“I was working in eastern Pennsylvania at the time, and a co-worker came into my office and asked if I had seen the fire or explosion in New York. I went into her office and we watched the news coverage online. I had two brothers working in the Washington, DC area so I was a bit unnerved with the news of the Pentagon.  I went to be with my mother and sister and we got word that both my brothers were okay. One of my brothers could see the Pentagon burning from his office window and his office had evacuated immediately. We watched the news coverage the rest of the day, and even now I still find it just as unbelievable to fathom the sheer magnitude of what took place that day.”

“I was at home  watching a video with my daughter, and when it ended the TV was on one of the news channels. I saw smoke pouring out of one of the towers and I think they didn’t know yet what had happened. I thought it was just on fire. But as I watched, the second tower was hit, and then they both ultimately fell. I remember standing there with my hands over my mouth, getting a knot in my stomach, watching them fall and knowing there had to still be people inside. I was shocked and horrified. I watched the news for a little while and finally had to get out of the house. I just couldn’t bear it. All the planes were grounded for a couple of days. I lived in the flight pattern from Cleveland Hopkins Airport, so I was used to a lot of air traffic. It was eerily quiet during those days. On the first day when they allowed the planes back up, I remember I was at a red light when a plane flew overhead. All the drivers in the surrounding cars (including me) were just staring up at the sky as it went over.”

What do you remember about the morning of the attacks on 9/11? Share your stories with us.

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New Rosh Hashanah Traditions

09062013 rosh hashanah blg ag New Rosh Hashanah Traditions

Rosh Hashanah is a wonderful time to get together with family and friends to celebrate old traditions, but if you’re looking to offer the holiday a fresh twist, check out some of the ideas below to help make your celebration just as sweet as the new year to come:

Throw a Symbolic Potluck

Invite your friends over and ask everyone to bring a dish that symbolizes something they hope for this year. For example, someone might cook entirely from local organic food, with intentions to pay greater attention to their relationships with the people and things closest to them.

Savor the Sweetness

Gather some family or friends and bake the traditional Challah bread. The way challah is braided and shaped has different symbolic meanings, so  each person could try their hand at a different shape. While the challah is baking, you can prepare an impressive display of apples and honey using carved out apples as individual honey pots.

Letters to Ourselves

Prior to your gathering, ask everyone to write a letter to their future selves. The letter should reflect on where they are now and where they want to be in half a year. Collect everyone’s letter as they arrive, and inform them that you will mail them their letters in six months. This is a wonderful way to get everyone to think about the year ahead and all they hope for themselves and others.

However you choose to celebrate, spending time with people you love is the most important part! Please be sure to send them our warmest wishes as you celebrate the High Holy Days.

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L’Shanah Tovah!

09052013 rosh hashana blg ag LShanah Tovah!

Last night at sundown, the Jewish New Year began with Rosh Hashanah. This two-day celebration is a time of reflection and repentance, and marks the beginning of the High Holy Days. It’s a time for sending good wishes for the year and gathering with family and friends.

Fun facts about Rosh Hashanah

How much to do you know about Rosh Hashanah? We’ve compiled some interesting facts about this Jewish New Year celebration:

  •  Rosh Hashanah means “beginning of the year” in Hebrew.
  • A significant ritual is the sounding of the Shofar—a hallowed out ram’s horn that is blown like a trumpet and used as a call to repentance.
  • No work is allowed on Rosh Hashanah.
  • The common salutation is “L’shanah tovah,”  which means “for a good year.”
  • Pomegranates are eaten because the number of seeds believed to be contained in the fruit (613) is the same number of mitzvoth (commandments) associated with the Jewish faith.
  • Fish is a typical dish served and represents knowledge, since its eyes are always open, and it is customary for the head of the fish to be placed in front of the head of household.
  • The most popular food custom is eating apples and honey to express hope for a sweet new year.
  • According to the Talmud, the world was created on the first day of Tishri, the seventh month of the Jewish calendar. So, Rosh Hashanah is considered a birthday of sorts for the world.

Happy New Year from us to you!

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September Birthday Fun Facts

09032013 september birthday blg ag September Birthday Fun Facts

Happy Birthday, You September Stars!

A big, happy birthday wish goes out to all you September babies celebrating this month! With one of your birth flowers being the aster (meaning “star”) it’s no wonder you fill the world with light!

Here are some fun facts for all of you celebrating another trip around the sun:

  • The name September comes from the Latin septem for seven, since this was the seventh month of the Roman calendar.
  • September has several birth flowers–the forget-me-not, the morning glory, and the aster.
  • Your birth stone is the sapphire, and gives the wearer luck. Sapphire is usually envisioned as a blue stone but also comes in green, pink, purple, and clear.
  • You’re in good company with some very famous birthdays this month–Dr. Phil (9/1), Beyonce Knowles (9/4), Pippa Middleton (9/6), Adam Sandler (9/9), Michael Buble (9/9), Harry Connick (9/11), Niall Horan (9/13), Jimmy Fallon (9/19), Sophia Loren (9/20), Bruce Springsteen (9/23) and Will Smith (9/25)

Both astrological signs Virgo and Libra fall within September, are harmonious signs making you a balanced personable individual to be around, so shine on like the star you are!

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