Friday, February 22, 2019

Baby, Baby, How Was I Supposed to Know ...

FTC Affiliate Disclosure

... The stork was on the way here?  

"Special Stork"
With Basic Invite's selection of chic baby shower invitations, and announcements, of course!  This utterly charming online stationery boutique has got every major bash, ceremony, and holiday covered.  More personal than an email blast that ends up in a spam folder and automatically deleted before you even get a chance to open it, or events that fall to the bottom of our newsfeeds, these beautifully designed, and remarkably customizable pieces of ephemera convey the sentimental significance of your celebrations, and let recipients know you truly want them to be part of any upcoming merrymaking you have planned.  Beyond delightful paper products, Basic Invite's services (especially those for weddings) like free web page hosting, and address capturing which allows you to use social media to collect addresses that will be stored in your Basic Invite account that you may access during the design process will ensure your friends, and loved ones will never be caught unawares, or worse, sent on a digital scavenger hunt to find notices that have slipped into the endless void.

Still, why all the hype?

First of all (or should I say, "finally"), Spring is right around the corner, and now that we're all beginning to thaw out, and emerge from the post-holiday slump it's the perfect time to start planning baby showers for all of our expectant cohorts ... Remember those early Summer weddings we all attended last year?  Well, some folks brought back honeymoon souvenirs the kind that, while ultimately expensive, were not required to be declared at customs, that they'd like to welcome into our lives with festivities of all sorts, and what better way to communicate, and commemorate the moment than with an enchanting, keepsake quality token of your special day printed on FSC certified paper so that there's still an environment left to protect once these children are old enough to plan their own celebratory occasions?

Airplane Baby Shower Invitations

Along with "baby season" quickly approaching, I am still very much an analog girl in a digital world in many ways, and I appreciate how Basic Invite marries technological convenience with a refinement commonly demonstrated by the highly-skilled artisanal crowd to create next level tangible goods.  So, when they reached out about the possibility of me chatting with you about their products I took a long look around, and folks, I think I'm in love.  You don't see me running a lot of ads on this page; I have one tab where readers can find items, and companies I use and stand by, you'll also see the occasional link to something I think you should know about dropped into an odd post, but I'm not a throw anything at the audience, and see what sticks kind of gal, and I think that says a lot on its own.  While we all know there are other companies in the custom print game, I don't think anyone is doing it quite like Basic Invite.  I have used several print-on-demand companies for business cards, stickers, and to pad out my small stash of personalized office supplies, so I know what it's like to try and navigate a clumsy site, or submit a high resolution image, or see a stock design that looks detailed, and crisp only to have a fuzzy / blurry mess arrive weeks later, but that is not the case here.  Not only are their products professional looking, but they couldn't make it any easier to get from "I have no idea what I want," to a unique, and endearing memento in your hands in mere days.
Whether trendy or timeless, there are literally thousands of products available, and with most of them offering custom color alterations (180+ colors, and foil options), the possible combinations are immense!
I can hear you now, "Thousands?  Be real."  We've all been to print shops where you have to slog through page after page of truly heinous motif compilations before you narrow it down to a meager 4 products that could even be considered, but what really took me by surprise about Basic Invite is that I haven't seen one product that is at all unfortunate looking, or the victim of bad design.  They're all actually quite good.  Good design is good design whether an item is your personal taste or not, and what's more?  You can take advantage of their Try Before You Buy program, and order samples of your desired products before you commit to large batch orders so you're sure to get exactly what you want!  Again, this is yet another thing they've made incredibly easy with each product page having an "order a sample" button in the same row as the "add to cart" function so there is no added drama to the process.  Aside from developing a streamlined system for ordering, and a place where you can flex your creativity, Basic Invite is an inclusive, non-discriminatory company with friendly, and thorough customer service standards, and I think they're a company worth looking at ... I've definitely got my eye on one or two new-to-me items I'd like to order!

Right now, Basic Invite is offering 15% off your purchase with code: 15FF51
But, don't be shy!  If you create an account you may receive an email with a personalized code for 20% off any order placed within one week of activation. 
Marbled Paper Business Stationery

Thank you, Basic Invite, for sponsoring this blog post!
Thank you, Reader, for coming along as I wax poetic about paper products!

Thursday, February 14, 2019


"When I say 'I love you,' it's not because I want you or because I can't have you.  It has nothing to do with me.  I love what you are, what you do, and how you try.  I've seen your kindness and your strength.  I've seen the best and the worst of you.  And I understand with perfect clarity exactly what and who you are."

-Spike; Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Monday, February 4, 2019

Peas Be Mine!

Princess Elizabeth Sweet Pea
We are currently six weeks out from Spring, although you'd never know it from the view of snow flurries outside my window, right now, and for me that means it's time to start sowing seeds indoors in order to get a jump start on thriving Summer garden beds.

Last year, I accidentally found the perfect location for my sweet pea patch, and they absolutely exploded both in blooms, and in height.  To be honest, my expectations were kind of low since I'd never had much luck with robust sweet pea plants before.  I had done a little research, and also stumbled through blogs, and online articles about all of the "keys to growing sweet peas" I could stand, and it seemed that all clues pointed to starting the seeds indoors, and not waiting until after the last frost to take action.  The truth is though, for all of my indoor-plant-starting, I found no difference between the indoor starts, and the seeds I'd just kind of tossed out there late in the season to sort of fill in any bald spots.  So, I'm left believing that no matter when you plant, as long as you find your Goldilocks location (and you're in a temperate climate) you'll have a full season of hearty plants, and vigorous growth.  For reference, the area my sweet peas did the best had dappled morning light, and what I call afternoon sideways sun - where plants can receive sunlight, but it's not a harsh, direct beam shining straight down on them, it's an indirect exposure to the sun hanging low in the sky.  I'm curious to find out if I can get away with the same laissez faire approach this year, and have the same results, or if my 6 foot tall, late season sowing additions were just a big, wild, and happy accident.

At any rate, February is an excellent time to start poppy, tomato, and sweet pea seeds inside, if back yard gardening is your thing.  For my experiment, I'll be splitting my sweet pea stash in half, and starting one batch early, and adding the rest directly outdoors later in the season.

Happy planting!