Archive for November, 2011

Christmas is approaching – here is some useful information to help you get organised. 2011.11.29

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011



Hi all,

We’re getting close to the big day. Many of you will have everything under control and will be well on your way to having the day completely organised. If you have been too busy then why not take a look at the list of tips I posted a week or so ago? There may be some helpful hints there you can use:

Christmas tips 1: buying gifts

Christmas tips 2: planning your Christmas lunch

Christmas tips 3: Decorations

Christmas tips 4: how to have a greener Christmas

Here is a great article I found in the Guardian that you might useful which details all of the Christmas delivery dates 2011

Hope this helps!

Katie x

P.s. here is a lovely Christmas e card from our Christmas collection to get you in the mood.

Poor Plum injured her ear. 2011.11.28

Monday, November 28th, 2011



Hi all,

I hope you all had a nice weekend.

We had an eventful one. Whilst taking Plum out for a walk, she ran off and went missing and when we found her she had injured her ear terribly. She was taken off to the vets to be looked at and the poor thing had to have a bandage put on her ear!

She is fine thankfully, but she really gave us a scare. She is so mischievous that little dog of ours, though not as mischievous as Fenton – the famous dog who’s video has gone viral on You tube!

Have you got any stories about your pets you want to share?

Katie x

Christmas is coming! Brussel sprouts, love them or hate them? 2011.11.25

Friday, November 25th, 2011



Hi all,

Its the age old complaint and comes from young and old. Do you love or hate brussel sprouts?

I personally love them and over the years have tried out many various recipes for serving them, my favourite of which is a simple way to serve them with bacon:

Brussell Sprouts with bacon

Prepare your sprouts and pop them into steam or boil for 20 – 30 mins (depending on how you like them)

Fry some bacon lardons with1 finely chopped onion and a couple of cloves of garlic. When all these ingredients are cooked through, add a knob of butter and a small amount of chopped fresh sage, tarrogan or parsley (depending on your taste).

Once the sprouts are cooked, toss them through and serve.

What do you think of brussel sprouts? Do you serve them to on Christmas day?

Have any good recipes you want to share?

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Katie x

30 days until Christmas – have you thought about your corporate Christmas card yet? 2011.11.24

Thursday, November 24th, 2011



Hi all,

You may or may not be aware, but we also provide a corporate e card service for businesses who would like to send a Katie’s Cards ecard to their staff or customers at Christmas time.

After being approached by companies year after year, we decided to build a dedicated section of the website for corporate e cards. We now have quite a large collection to choose from and the range includes not only animated ecards but also low cost static business cards, in a variety of styles from the more corporate, smart and professional, to the traditional and humorous. There are even some of our fun e card games available to send!

If you would like to find out more about what we can do for you, please take a look at the corporate pages of our website here: www.katiescards.com/company and do ask if you have any questions!

Katie x

Brand New Thanksgiving and Christmas Ecards in the Katie’s Cards Collection. 2011.11.22.

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011




2011.11.22

With the festive season approaching, demand for e cards is ever increasing as more and more people opt to send animated and musical e greetings to their loved ones across the globe because they are cost-effective and green. Unlike most e card companie’s, Katie’s Cards has always produced a large variety of ecards to suit all tastes and ages, meaning that customers can use their membership fully throughout the whole year for all of their loved ones, and have just released some brand new seasonal and Christmas e cards to add to the varied collection:

Thanksgiving e cards

The brand new ‘Leaf Waltz’ is perfect to send to adult friends and family. A stylish animation, the animation of dancing autumnal leaves is beautiful and is perfectly accompanied by Sonata a Quattro No.3 in C Major, composed by Gioachino Rossini.

In complete contrast to the ‘Leaf Walt’ is the other new thanksgiving ecard: ‘Turkey Shoot’ e card game. Set to fun and upbeat country music, the name of the game is to shoot the thanksgiving turkeys’s as they leap from behind various walls, doors and rocks. The perfect greeting and gift for all of your fun-loving friends and relatives to enjoy. Try out this card here.

These ecards will join the others in the thanksgiving collection which contains a great range of ecards such as the humorous ‘Turkey Breakout’ series, the traditional ‘Painted Turkey’ and The First Thanksgiving’ and modern ‘Mayflower’ ecards.

Christmas e cards

‘Runaway Turkey’ is another new Christmas e card game, this one however, involves the player in a chase in which a hungry farmer runs after a runaway turkey. The player has to help the turkey escape by helping it avoid obstacles in its path. A great way to send festive greetings to loved ones, this fantastic e card game retains the traditional features of ecards but entertains the recipient as well as sending the message. Try out this e card game here.

Telephone: +44 208 274 2069

Facebook: facebook.com/Katies.ecards

Twitter: twitter.com/#!/katiedavies

Copyright information: This article is free for reproduction but must be reproduced in its entirety, including live links & images; this copyright statement must be included. Visit katiescards.com for more services!

Christmas tips 4: how to have a greener Christmas. 2011.11.21

Monday, November 21st, 2011



Hello everyone,

I hope you all had a nice weekend.

As you may or may not know, I started to write a series of Christmas tips last week. I began with my tips for buying Christmas gifts, then went onto do tips on planning your Christmas lunch and finally give you some tips on decorating. Today I am sharing my tips for a greener Christmas with you. I hope you enjoy them and once again, please do leave a comment if you want to add one of your own tips to the list!

My tips for a greener Christmas:

  • Buy a real, living Christmas tree to decorate every year. They can replanted every year in your garden after the season.
  • Make sure that all Christmas lights are energy saving or solar. You can find a great selection of eco-friendly decorations and ligts here at Nigels Eco Store
  • Buy a holly tree so that you can use cuttings from the bush to decorate your house for years to come! You can buy holly and other beautiful trees here at Tree 2 my door
  • Buy eco-friendly gifts. There are some wonderful eco-friendly and ethical gifts available at Amnesty International
  • And of course, send your loved ones Christmas e cards! Our e cards don’t just have a pretty face, they are also extremely cost affective AND environmentally friendly!

Katie x

This weekend marks the beginning of my Christmas shopping. 2011.11.18

Friday, November 18th, 2011



Hello everyone!

I hope you have all had a productive week and i’m sure you are all looking forward to the weekend. I am going on my first Christmas shopping trip this weekend and hoping to pick up most of what is on my list!

We’re right in the middle of the busy period at the moment and are doing lots of work on corporate Christmas e cards for lots of businesses who want to send something special to their customers. Its very exciting work.

I have really enjoyed getting my Christmas tips together for you and will continue with these next week. Please do let me know if you have anything you want to add to my lists or have a subject you would like me to focus on.

Don’t worry if you missed out on the tips, you can read all 3 sets by clicking on the following links:

Christmas tips 1: Christmas shopping

Christmas tips 2: Planning your Christmas lunch

Christmas tips 3: Decorations

I hope you all have a great weekend!

Katie x

Christmas tips 3: Decorations. 2011.11.17.

Thursday, November 17th, 2011



Hi everyone,

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas tips and are finding them useful! Remember, I really want to hear from you, if you have any tips to share please post a comment!

Today I am giving you some of my Christmas decorating tips:

  • Buy lots of festive looking ribbons. You can buy large quantities in sewing shops for a small cost and they can be used to decorate many things including presents, ornaments, fireplaces etc. Its also a nice idea to buy festive coloured buttons which can be used on decorations and stuck onto presents.
  • Pick up plain candles and add your own ribbons etc. to make it Christmassy. It is much cheaper than buying ready-made and you can make some excellent decorations yourself that no one else has!
  • Go outside and collection pine cones, branches and holly.
  • Use the branches to make your own Christmas wreath. Its very easy to do, just tie both ends together with string and add your desired decorations like ribbon, tinsel, ornaments, spray paint etc.
  • Spray your pine cones silver or gold (or another colour) and either display them in a bowl or large glass vase or attach string to them and hand them off your tree.
  • Lay holly and branches on your fireplace.
  • Buy a roll of brown paper to wrap your presents in. It lasts much longer, is so much cheaper and once it is jazzed up with your pretty ribbons, name tags, sprigs of holly and cinnamon sticks, it looks much better than shop bought gift wrap!
  • Remember that you can save money and the environment by sending Christmas e cards this year. For a small subscription fee you will be able to send unlimited e cards during your membership for no extra cost! Saving the average person over £15!

Please share these tips and let me know if you have any to add to the list!

Katie x

Christmas tips 2: Planning your Christmas lunch. 2011.11.16

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011



Hi all,

The grand Christmas lunch can be either a pleasant or stressful task and it all depends on how you prepare for it.

Here are some of my tips to help it go as smooth as possible. I hope they are useful! Once again, do share if you have anything you want to add!

  • Write a list of the guests you will have at your lunch.
  • Estimate how much food you will need and then estimate the cost of the food.
  • Order your meat in advance to avoid disappointment!
  • Assign one item from the shopping list to each person to reduce the overall cost. Maybe one person can bring the Christmas pudding, another can bring the piglets in blankets or everyone can bring one bottle of wine?
  • Buy all non-perishables early so that you only have to buy the essentials later. Supermarkets are a nightmare on Christmas eve so do your best to avoid them! I do my shopping online which is much easier though please make sure that you book your deliver in time!
  • Plan what time you want everyone to arrive. I like to give the family some time to relax in the morning so I ask people to arrive at around 12.
  • Set yourself a time to serve the food and then begin planning backwards. Make a timetable so you know what to do when.
  • Delegate a task to each of your guests (and family members) to complete.
  • If all this sounds too stressful, book a restaurant! (but remember to do it early!).
  • Send all of your guests a Christmas ecard as the invite to lunch.

Katie x

Christmas tips 1: buying presents. 2011.11.15

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011


Hi all,

Each year I plan my Christmas early, by writing a list to help me get organised. I do this because of all the events that suddenly spring up around the festive season and because it is the busiest time of year for us here at Katie’s Cards, there isn’t a minute to spare!

I find getting things planned early is a good way to manage the mammoth task of the festive season and thought you might find some of the tips I have picked up over the years useful to help you get organised for Christmas. Please share any additional tips you have with me!

I will add a different set of tips each day for each section of the planning. Today I am looking at buying gifts:

 

When it comes to gifts many of us feel obliged to spend lots of money and end up overspending.

Its very easy to do, I have done it many times in the past but over the years I have honed a way of organising my present buying which eliminates the stress factor and saves a bit of money. Here are some of my tips:

  • In early November, I sit down and work out what I have to spend on presents.
  • I then made a list of everyone I need to buy gifts for, adding any present ideas I have for those on the list as I go.
  • I set a budget for each person on the list and add it up to find the total cost. This helps me to make sure I can afford what I have planned and if I can’t, I edit the list and remove anyone who shouldn’t be there and re-budget anyone who can until the total matches what I have to spend.
  • I always set myself a present-buying deadline-date. I do an online deadline of 3 weeks before Christmas (I had an incident a few years ago when my order didn’t arrive until after Christmas) and traditional shopping 1 week before. This should give you enough time to get everyone a present and leave some time to browse for people you struggle to think of ideas for.
  • As soon as I can, I go online and try to find special vouchers or deals that I can use to buy my gifts. There are some great websites offering discount vouchers etc. I then browse online shops to see if there is anything else I can pick up. A great place to start is Amazon.
  • I try to plan my first shopping trip soon after completing my list and try to plan which shops I need to visit so I can get round them quickly. Remember to take any discount vouchers that you need and if you have a smart phone, try using the ‘Facebook places’ app once you have reached your shopping destination as you can find lots of special deals linked to specific shops just by checking in and they are usually not promoted anywhere else on the internet!
  • I often find that there are a couple of people on my list who would like some nice bath/beauty products and will try to pop into shops such as Boots who offer some great 3 for 2’s around Chritsmas time.
  • I make sure to tick off the people I have bought presents for and keep a rolling tally of what I have actually spent.

Following my plan, I always get my shopping done well before Christmas eve.

Thankfully you don’t have to be anywhere near as organised to send your Christmas e cards, as you can have them delivered instantly!

Katie x

Happy birthday Prince Charles! 2011.11.14

Monday, November 14th, 2011




Hi all,

Today is Prince Charles’ 63rd birthday and I couldn’t let it go by without wishing him a very happy birthday!

He has contributed a huge amount to our society today, including the help that is offered by the Princes Trust. Set up in 1976, it is now the UK’s leading youth charity and is dedicated to helping the lives of disadvantaged young people in the UK.

If I knew him personally, I would definitely be sending him a birthday ecard from our collection. I don’t know which card he would like best, but as he is a keen gardener, I thought that he might like our ‘Gardener’ birthday e card!

Here is a fun quiz about Prince Charles for you to test your knowledge! http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/quiz/2008/nov/13/prince-charles-monarchy

Katie x

Our trip to Hebden Bridge. 2011.11.10

Thursday, November 10th, 2011



Hi all,

You might remember that we took a trip to visit my brother who lives in the beautiful Hebden Bridge a few weekends ago?

We had a wonderful time walking in the countryside, eating and relaxing and I took some beautiful pictures that I thought I would share with you of us and the countryside:

<img src="filename.gif" alt="Ecards"<img src="filename.gif" alt="e cards"

Things are getting busier and busier each day here in the office as we lead up to Christmas and we are making great headway on our new Christmas ecards which I hope you will love!

Here is a little reminder of an old Christmas ecard:

Katie x

Last post dates for 2011 – 2011.11.09

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Hi everyone,

For those of you in the UK, here is Royal Mail’s last postage dates for 2011. As you can see, some of the dates have passed or are very near! But don’t worry, as e cards can be sent in a matter of minutes, you can still send all of your loved ones a Christmas e card that they will receive on the day you schedule delivery! This is a brilliant reason to choose to send ecards to your loved ones this year.

Another great reason to send your loved ones a Christmas ecard is that they can save you money. It costs 46p for a first class stamp in the UK, so if you have over 30 Christmas cards to send, this is going cost you at least double the cost of a Katie’s Cards subscription, on top of the price of your Christmas cards. A subscription to Katie’s Cards only cost £7 and for that you can send as many cards as you like for a whole year!

Last recommended posting services

Standard Parcels – Wed 14th December

Second Class and Recorded Signed For™ – Sat 17th December

First Class and Recorded Signed For™ – Tue 20th December

Parcelforce express48 – Wed 21st December

Parcelforce express24 – Thu 22nd December

International Surface Mail

Non-European destinations except Middle East, South Africa, Far East, USA and Canada – Fri 30th September

Middle and Far East (except Hong Kong and Singapore) – Tue 4th October

South Africa, Hong Kong, Singapore, the USA and Canada – Tue 18th October

Eastern Europe, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Malta and Iceland – Tue 8th November

Western Europe – Tue 22nd November

International Airmail

South & Central America, Caribbean, Africa, Middle East, Asia, Far East (including Japan), Australia and New Zealand – Mon 5th December

Eastern Europe, USA and Canada – Fri 9th December

Western Europe – Mon 12th December

British Forces Post Office (BFPO)

Airmail to Operational BFPOs- Fri 2nd December

Airmail to Static BFPOs- Thu 15th December

Katie x

P.s this is a great one to send!



Unveiling our brand new Thanksgiving ecard! – 2011.11.08

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

Hello everyone,

I am very pleased to be able to show you the brand new Thanksgiving e card we have just added to the website today! We hope you like it!

The card is inspired by the beautiful season that the wonderful Thanksgiving celebrations are held in, the leaves are turning and changing into beautiful brown red and orange hues. Our ecard shows them, having fallen to the ground, being picked up by the wind and being lifted and twirled like a waltz.

Set to the beautiful notes of Rossini’s Sonata a Quattro No.3 in C Major, this Thanksgiving ecard is a peaceful and beautiful greeting that can be sent to all your loved ones and will help the celebrations get started.

Here is a preview of the card below. Let me know what you think!

Katie x



Katie’s Cards website developments – 2011.11.07

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Hello,

It is very cold here today and feels quite wintery. Although I do like this time of year as it is so picturesque, I do wish it wasn’t as cold for my walks with Plum!

There are only a couple of weeks until Thanksgiving, and Christmas is not far behind. Have you done any of your planning for Thanksgiving or Christmas yet?

We’ve been updating a lot of things on the website which will all be fully working in a matter of days. The developments include some brand new features which will help you to manage sending e cards tremendously, such as the ‘bulk upload’ tool, which allows you to upload up to 100 contacts in one quick and easy go, as well as an exciting new Facebook app which will link with your Facebook profile, enabling you to send ecards to your Facebook friends and receive birthday reminders

A great way to get organised for this festive season is to pre-schedule your ecards to be delivered whenever you choose. You can do this from your personal membership account and it is so easy and quick, which is exactly what we all need at this time of year! E cards are a great way to send personal greetings to loved ones across the globe as they are quick to organise, cheap to send and environmentally friendly.

Please do let me know if you have any questions or need any help with your account. Remember, we are always happy to help you get the most out of your Katie’s Cards membership!

Katie x

P.s. here is an old Christmas e card that you might like.

BANG! Its Bonfire night on Saturday – 2011.11.04

Friday, November 4th, 2011

Hi everyone,

Well its almost the end of the working week and I for one am looking forward to having a bit of a rest after a busy few days creating some new Christmas e cards and Thanksgiving e cards.

Its Bonfire night on Saturday and this year we have been invited to go to a party being held by some friends who live near Kew Gardens, which I am really looking forward to.

Quite a few of our friends will be there with their children and hopefully some delicious food on the go, as well as the fireworks, so I am very much looking forward to it!

I think fireworks make everyone feel excited, especially children and that’s why I made a birthday e card with fireworks on when we first started out. If you haven’t seen it, then take a look here.

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Katie x

Get the kids involved organising Thanksgiving! – 2011.11.03

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

Hi all,

Being a mum myself, I know how difficult it can be to organise a big event that pleases everybody. There is so much to do on big days like Thanksgiving and if you have children, it can be hard to manage looking after the food preparation as well as keeping them entertained!

I always think the best way to approach big events is to get the kids involved in the preparation, you get some help and they enjoy themselves and feel happy that they have contributed. The most obvious thing that they can help with is the food but this is not always a good idea; small children and hot pans do not mix and so depending on your set up, you may want to avoid this.

I always find giving them something that they can be creative with works the best, so I was delighted to find these brilliant Thanksgiving craft making instructions for the big day:

Make Thanksgiving party hats

Thanksgiving place cards

Not only will they help to give them something fun to do, but the end result will be lovely!

Please let me know if you try either of them and do send pictures if you would like to see them on the blog!

Katie x

P.s. We have a brand new Thanksgiving e card in the collection – take a look here

Turkey Shoot 2 [Thanksgiving ecard]

Lots of ideas for the perfect Thanksgiving dinner – 2011.11.02

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Hi all,

Katie’s Cards members in the U.S. will be gearing up for Thanksgiving on the 24th of November and many will be starting to think about their Thanksgiving dinner so I thought I would help out with a few recipe ideas that I have found for you.

I found this handy page on the Better Homes and Gardens website which has lots of Thanksgiving recipes all in one place – http://www.bhg.com/thanksgiving/recipes/thanksgiving-recipe-ideas/#page=1.

My favourites from the collection are:

Sweet potato and corn bread stuffing

Candied Yams

Lemony green beans

Roasted baby beets

They all sound delicious! There is also a lovely recipe for marmalade glazed roasted turkey which sounds very tasty too.

Looking at them is making me feel hungry now!

Don’t forget to get your Thanksgiving ecards scheduled before the big day! We have some lovely traditional, modern and humorous cards to choose from and will soon be unveiling the brand new Turkey shoot Thanksgiving e card!

Katie x

Thanksgiving is coming and the turkeys are trying to escape once again! – 2011.11.01

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

Hello everyone,

How were your Halloween celebrations? I hope you all had an excellent time and enjoyed sending your Halloween ecards!

Next on the list in Thanksgiving and we have some new Thanksgiving ecards as well as Christmas ecards on their way to you that I hope you will like!

After years of popular demand and 2 sequels, we are pleased to be working on the new Turkey Breakout card and this year there is a twist – as we are making a fun ecard game for all to play and enjoy!

There will be a version for Thanksgiving and Christmas.  The game is fun and entertaining and is a great way to kick off the celebrations and spread some holiday cheer!

In the mean time though, here is a little reminder of Turkey Breakout 2 to put a smile on your face!

Katie x