Time saving tips

Time Saving Tips to Get You Organized

Springtime and extended daylight often inspire us to tackle the tasks on our to-do lists that have been looming for a while. But just when it already seems that there’s not enough hours in a day to get everything done, Mother Nature goes ahead and plays a little joke by springing forward the clock, taking with it one hour of our precious time.

And so in the spirit of springing forward this weekend, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you get everything done with greater efficiency–in order to give you more time to spend focus on the people you love!

  • Write it down: Whether you choose to jot notes to yourself, utilize a date planner or calendar, or a handy reminder app, save yourself time in the long run by finding a handy resource that best suits your existing habits to keep track of to-do lists, chores, schedules, and important dates all in one place
  • Solve your “Twilight Zone” moments: If you often ask yourself, “Where did the time go?” paying closer attention to time wasters might reveal where you’re getting off track so you can identify routine changes that will prevent these issues from reoccurring. If you spend ten minutes a day trying to decide what to wear, try preparing a wardrobe for the entire week each Sunday night. If you’re regularly searching for a misplaced party invitation or important letter, consider creating a mail center to keep track of important paper items.
  • Create a personal timesaving policy: Take a stand against wasting time by always finishing projects to completion and thinking about what you can do in advance to save you time for when you really need it (like going through your mail every single day to prevent pileup or cooking double batches of food and freezing extras).
  • Multitask: Multitasking doesn’t mean talking on your phone while driving (it’s dangerous!) but it can mean taking that brand new to-do list and deciding what tasks can be accomplished together with a minimal amount of stops or cross-town driving. Taking care of smaller trips during your commute or on your lunch hour can offer great relief as well, without becoming burdensome.
  • Take 15 minutes a day: Set a routine of spending 15 minutes picking up around the house to prevent things from getting messy. If 15 minutes is too much to ask, try cleaning up during commercials or tackling one surface, drawer or cupboard per day.
  • Delegate, delegate, delegate: Just because you’re the list holder doesn’t mean that it absolves other family members of any responsibility. Watch for opportunities for other family members to alleviate you of unnecessary trips to the store, or teach them how to do household chores.

What’s your best time-saving tip?


How to Remember Birthdays


How To Be The Birthday-Remembering Friend Everyone Wants to Have | American Greetings Blogmembering Friend Eveyrone

There’s one in every crowd–a friend who always seems to know exactly whose birthday is when and a card magically appears in the mail. She also remembers other important occasions such as anniversaries or holidays—she’s a celebration maven! And in this holiday-loving, Pinterest-obsessed era, so many of us wish to be that organized, but sometimes our intentions don’t exactly match our current skill set. So, how can you become that friend that’s always at the ready?

Check out these simple steps from our very own celebration mavens at American Greetings and you’ll be well on your way to being the one everyone is excitedly talking about and saying, “Wow! How did she remember?”

  • The big first step…updating! We promise it’s not as painful as you think. Updating your address book and birthday/anniversary list, though a tad bit time-consuming, is easier now thanks to text messaging, Facebook Messenger and email. Woo-hoo!
  • Cross-reference. Aside from major holidays, consult a calendar that also includes religious and commemorative holidays, such as Rosh Hashanah, Veteran’s Day, etc. and mark whom you’d like to reach out to on those occasions.
  • “Celebration Central.” Whether you prefer a paper calendar, a computer spreadsheet, or an online reminder service, find the way that works best for you and keep everything in this one central location.
  • Keep calm, take notes, and shop on. Take notes throughout the year when people mention something they like or want so you can be ready with just the right gift when the time comes. Peruse their Pinterest boards and pin their most beloved items to a “secret” board so that they won’t uncover that you took note of their future gift.
  • Start a greeting card box: As you collect the perfect cards for friends and family, keep them organized by placing them in a greeting card or photo box and make tabs to separate them by month or occasion. (Cool tip: Tag the backs of individual cards with sticky notes to remember who you purchased them for.)
  • If at first you don’t succeed…don’t beat yourself up! They say it takes over 60 days to build a habit, so if you happen to forget a birthday or two don’t give up on your project entirely. Sending a late gift or note is always better than not recognizing it at all, and besides–that’s what belated birthday cards are for!
  • Bonus points: Keep a stack of pretty notecards on-hand for those moments when you think of someone and want to reach out. (PSST… These new digital cards are perfect to help brighten someone’s day, too!)

In the end, remembering someone’s special day is a wonderful way to let them know how important they are in your life, but don’t limit yourself to just the big days. Reach out anytime the mood strikes with a phone call, note, email, or text to show you care. Nine times out of ten, it’s the unexpected kindnesses they’ll remember most.

Send one of our birthday ecards or easily print your favorite happy birthday card today!


A Simple Way to Jazz Up Your Holiday Decor

It should come as no surprise that holidays are a big deal at a greeting card company. From individual associates decorating their cubes to entire departments turning on holiday tunes and decking the halls together, Christmas and the holiday season in general is a festive affair at American Greetings.

One of the most lovely centerpieces to the season is the official holiday trees throughout the building. However, this year something caught our eyes on the largest tree in our Town Square area that we wanted to share with you.

Love the tree design! The scrolls of wrapping paper really give it a festive feel!

See those scrolls throughout the tree? They’re simple scrolls of wrapping paper! We thought they gave a festive, on-trend dash of style to the tree. It’s a look you can certainly recreate at home, even if you’re not super crafty. Here’s a close-up:

Make your tree pop by tying short scrolls of wrapping paper with bows and attaching them to your tree--an inexpensive way to make a big splash!

They also carried this look over to the wreaths on the doors of our store…

Love this wreath design and the scroll of wrapping paper as an accent!

What do you think? Is this something that might work on your tree? Share with us your favorite holiday decor ideas!


Top 13 Tips for Surviving Friday the 13th

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!


How To Brighten Someone’s Day…


The holidays are over, and winter is in full force, with cold weather and short days.

Many people experience “the blues” after all the festivities are over, and still others might be down because of stress, work, poor health and other factors. This is a wonderful time to reach out—and in the process, it will lift your spirits, too! Here are some how to ideas:

Plan a Get-Together: If you are nearby, it’s a nice idea to make plans to get together for coffee or dinner. Offer to do the driving, but if they don’t want to go out, you can at least visit. Arrive with flowers or a plant, and perhaps something yummy to eat, like fresh-baked cookies. If you’re far away, you can still send a lovely arrangement to boost their spirits. Bright colors and springtime fragrances are always mood enhancers. Or, simply pick up the phone and call. Nothing warms the heart like hearing the voice of someone who cares.

Make it Personal: A card is always welcome, and be sure to give thought to what the receiver would like, whether it’s a funny, sweet or heartfelt card. Pictures or even a photo card that shows people they love or favorite pets can also bring an extra measure of cheer. A handwritten note or personalized message is important, too. Be supportive, but also include a positive message: bring up happy memories shared, or fun times that are coming up.

Get Smart: In this world of iPads, iPhones and in general, smart technology, you can lift someone’s spirits with a simple touch of a key. Send them links to apps or websites they might like, such as a joke for the day to make them laugh, a daily message of inspiration, or even a game site to add some fun.

So make a difference in someone’s life and remember: “Those who bring sunshine into the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.” ~ Sir James Barrie


What to Write in a Thank You Note


The holidays brought so much joy–from glorious gifts to fabulous dinners—and there’s so much to be grateful for. The perfect way to show it, of course, is with a thank you note. Here’s some great tips and suggestion on what to write in a thank you note!

Begin with a greeting: Be sure to  include everyone. If a gift was from a family, include the children as well, and name both the host and hostess.

Be specific: “Thank you for…” or “I really appreciate…” Be expressive, too, and include complimentary adjectives. So, if you’re thanking someone…

  • For Gifts — Let them know how you feel about the gift, or how you plan to use it. For example: “I’m so touched you remembered my favorite…!” or “It looks perfect in…”
  • For Gift Cards —  If you’ve already spent it—or know what you’re going to buy with it—let the receiver know. If you don’t know, tell them how much you’re looking forward to shopping with it. If you received money, it’s polite to say thank you for their “generosity” or “kindness,” and then how you plan on using it.
  • For a Party Be sure to compliment the host/hostess on a specific food, decoration, or even refer to a shared conversation. For example, “It was great hearing about your kids-you have to be so proud of them!”

Include well wishes: Add a message about the receiver, not the gift. Wish them well or express your hope that you’ll see them soon— make it sincere. This thoughtful touch is always appreciated!

 Add a perfect finish: Say thanks again and close the note, using words appropriate for the relationship, such as Love, Warm or Kind Regards, Sincerely, etc.

So, don’t put off those thank you’s!  After all, “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” ~William  Arthur Ward


Wrapping Up the Holiday in Style…


Sometimes you don’t have to look farther than your own backyard to enjoy the wonders of the season. The Christmas tree displayed this year at American Greetings came from our own property. The spruce was blown over during Hurricane Sandy, and was brought inside and lovingly decorated by a talented group of AG folks and interns from Kent State University.

As for the gifts under the tree, just like icing on a cake, the wrapping is that final touch to a perfect gift. And it truly is another way to show just how much love and thought has gone into the gift. Here are some tips to jazz up that paper and wrap up your holiday gift giving in style:


Gift Wrap Ideas:

12182012_main_imageMany people like to color theme their gifts.  Select a few different coordinating papers and mix and match the ribbons to tie it all together for a bold statement.

Get creative with your accents. Who said a bow just has to be a bow? You can include coordinating plastic or glass ornaments, pine cones, or even glittered snowflakes that you find at your local craft or dollar store to add something unexpected to the gift.

12182012_giftsThere are so many ribbons out there to choose from—why stick to just one? Sometimes a beautifully-textured or fabric bow can turn ordinary paper into something extraordinary and classic.

Coordinate your greeting card with your gift wrap–and leave it outside the envelope to serve a dual purpose as the gift tag!

christmas gift tags

Photo by: Martha Stewart [recycled Christmas card crafts]

Recycle last year’s greeting cards and turn them into gift tags. We cite one of our favorite experts for this tip and she suggests gluing card designs to store-bought tags or cutting out the design and punching a hole for the ribbon.

christmas monogrammed gift tags

Photo by: Martha Stewart [recycled Christmas card crafts]

Creating monogrammed gift tags from last year’s greeting cards is a great way to get the kids involved. Trace an initial on the back of the card and let the kids cut out the letter and punch a hole for the ribbon or tape to the gift.

homemade gift wrap

Photo by: Lovely Indeed for The Sweetest Occasion

Use a brown paper bag to wrap the gift and use a marker to write words or a special message, or even paint a design. Try making bows out of the bag too!

newspaper christmas gift wrap

Photo by: Country Living [creative gift wrap ideas]

Some people like to use the comic section, and that’s great, but you can really spruce up newspaper giftwrap by using international papers and then finish with a coordinating bow. Save this idea for the world traveler on your list!

If that special person puts a song in your heart, why not wrap their gift in music? Sheet music to be exact! You can easily download it and print it out to wrap around your gift—and don’t forget the bow!

There really are so many creative ways to put the finishing touch on the perfect gift.  Do you have any ideas you would like to share? We’d love to hear from you.

Happy wrapping this week!

Source Credits:



How to Choose the Perfect Birthday Card


Everyone has birthdays, and whether or not you send a gift or flowers, you should always send a birthday card. There are so many great ones to choose from, and it can be overwhelming! So how do you decide? Here are some tips we think will help:

– First, start out by thinking of who the person is and what he or she is like. Consider things such as whether they are serious or silly, young or old, trendy or traditional.  Next, consider what your relationship is: are they family, friend, co-worker? Are you heart-to-heart close, or just acquaintances?

– Next, you can decide on the tone of the card, such as “Funny,” “Heartfelt,” “Cute,” or “Romantic.” You can select a general card, or one that is specifically for the recipient—“Grandma” for example. If you’re very close, such as a parent, child or spouse, try looking at photos of the special times you’ve shared for inspiration. The memories can help you decide on the type of card and what you’d like it to say.

– Now you’re ready to add just the right message inside. Here are some great choices:

  • May this year be your best ever.
  • I hope all your birthday dreams and wishes come true.
  • I hope that for every candle on your cake you get a wonderful surprise.
  • May your birthday be filled with sunshine and smiles, laughter, love, and cheer.
  • Hope your birthday blossoms into lots of dreams come true!

The list of card choices is long these days, and while everyone is familiar with paper cards, there are lots of other options, too.

Birthday ecards are a quick and easy way to send your wishes, and Personalized Paper cards add an extra-special touch. You can even shop the card aisle right from your home computer or even find printable birthday cards you can print from home!

The bottom line –  a birthday card not only brings happy wishes, but it’s also a reflection of the relationship you have with the receiver. So, by thinking about that first, it will make it much easier to choose the perfect one.