Archive for December, 2013

The Final Countdown

Tuesday, December 31st, 2013

It’s almost time! 2013 is almost history and the bright lights of 2014 beckon just on the horizon.

Countdown

Clock Strikes Midnight animated ecard

I don’t know about you, but when the New Year comes I can’t help feeling a little bit down anticipating the long winter months ahead. That and, with all the excess of this season, it’s just a matter of time before the most dreaded of all traditions rolls around:

Yes I’m talking about New Year’s Resolutions.

And while I thoroughly applaud the sentiment of self-improvement, I thought I’d share this funny quote about this subject to see if, like me, you empathise all too well:

‘The trouble with New Year’s Resolutions is that they’re in one year and out the other.’

Whatever you’re doing to mark the New Year, all of us at Katie’s Cards hope that you have a great time and eat lots of fabulous food and drink. Think about the resolutions later – or not, whatever.

new-year-big-ben

Big Ben Fireworks animated ecard

 

Don’t forget, New Year’s provides another great opportunity to get in touch with family, friends and co-workers far and wide. Browse our New Year’s category for loads of ecards to send your best wishes for the year ahead.

 

Fully fledged Christmas mode

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

There comes a time in each of our young lives when we learn that Christmas is not a celebration of how well we behave a few short weeks of the year. This unfortunate discovery can often lead to annoyance as we have to try a little harder to make ourselves feel Christmassy.

The point being, feeling Christmassy is something we may have to work at as we get older! Our Pinterest board has some wonderful DIY creative decorating and wrapping solutions that definitely have a boosting agent for that warm, fuzzy Christmas feeling whilst also helping get the family together.

Cornstarch and baking soda recipe

Also do not forget it is not too late to send holiday greetings from our Christmas ecard category to those people you may have forgotten about in the chaos of the season; that is forgotten about until you annoyingly receive a card from them a couple of days before Christmas!

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Have a lovely Christmas Eve, Katie x

Give these Birds a Break this Christmas

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Christmas dinner done differently

If our last post and latest Turkey Breakout ecard had you feeling sorry for our ill-fated feathery friends, we thought we’d take this opportunity to offer some alternative festive recipes to the traditional with some of these tasty twists:

• If you still feel like keeping things nostalgic, why not go all Dickensian this year and try cooking this classic roast goose with cider gravy. It’s a slightly pricier bird, but with its crisp skin and succulent, rich flavour, the turkey’s oldest Christmas contender is well worth it.

Give these birds a break this Christmas

Turkey Breakout 5 ecard

• Give the birds a break this Christmas and instead opt for an impressive feast of roast suckling pig for not much more than you’d spend on the average turkey.

• Whether your veggie or just looking for something that won’t leave you feeling bloated and guilt-ridden this Christmas, try the thoroughly festive parsnip, cranberry and chestnut loaf.

If none of those are quite alternative enough, maybe you could be tempted with a spot of reindeer? But surely, we couldn’t do that… could we?

 

12 Saves of Christmas

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

Christmas comes but once a year. And without meaning to sound like a Scrooge, we say: ‘thank goodness!’

Christmas is great but it can be very costly too. Check out these 12 tips for cutting costs:

1)      Set yourself a budget

The first thing you should do is set a budget and stick to it! Remember Christmas isn’t about the stacks of presents and mountains of food. Try not to put too much emphasis on the commercial side of Christmas and instead focus on the family and friends around you. Christmas is a lovely time of year but it’s not worth getting into debt over.

2)      Order your shopping online

Fall not ye for the special offers and abundance of cheese available. Instead, opt for grocery shopping from your own home. We know it costs to get it delivered but you’ll have the advantage of checking your cupboards as you shop so you don’t double up on supplies, whilst also being able to organise your festive menu – hopefully stopping you from over-spending (and over-eating too!)

3)      Use cashback sites

If you do a lot of your shopping online, consider using cashback sites where you can sign up for free and earn money by purchasing products via their site. Companies offer cashback sites money for referring customers to them – they pass a percentage of this reward back to you.

4)      Send ecards

Sending Christmas cards can be really expensive, especially when you factor in the cost of stamps. On the other hand, sending Season’s Greetings is a nice way of keeping in touch and letting those faraway friends and family know you’re thinking of them. There is a compromise. Sending ecards is cheap and quick to do. Ecard sites usually work on a membership basis where you can send unlimited cards for a small annual subscription. We offer 12 months unlimited ecard membership for £7.50.

5)      Alternative wrapping

You’ve bought the gifts, you’ve sent your Christmas ecards. What comes next? Wrapping. And if you’re not careful you can spend a small fortune on paper that will probably be in the recycling bin by the time the turkey hits the table. So consider recycling materials from the get go, with some of these alternative methods of wrapping.

6)      Take part in ‘Secret Santa’

Secret Santa is a great way of limiting the amount of presents that you need to add to your already substantial Christmas list. These work particularly well in the workplace and often benefit from an imposed price limit of £5-£10; no-one will be expecting anything too fancy and the ‘secret’ element adds a bit of excitement and mystery to gift-giving at work.

7)      Make Homemade Decorations

Rather than buying a new bauble for the tree or extra decorations why not have a go at making some of your own? You might not have a huge amount of time – what with Nativity plays and Christmas shopping – but this is a great way to create some unique decorations. And with sites like Pinterest, you’ll never be stuck for homemade decoration ideas. Get the kids involved and make something that you’ll treasure forever.

8)      Consider sharing entertaining costs

If you’re sharing the big day with others, consider sharing the costs too. If you’re hosting it’s not unreasonable to ask whether your guests are able to contribute a little something to the celebrations. If you’d rather money didn’t exchange hands, you could suggest that each person could provide a crucial component of Christmas dinner such as drinks or desserts.

9)      Make your presents

How many times have you heard the phrase ‘it’s the thought that counts?’ So what could be more thoughtful than taking the time to make someone a present? It doesn’t have to anything too complex, a batch of homemade mince pies or one of those decorations that you made with the kids could be the perfect way to say happy holidays without breaking the bank.

10)   Take advantage of free entertainment

Whilst you might be spending quite a bit on gifts and food this Christmas, thankfully, there’s plenty of free entertainment on offer to help get you in the mood for Christmas. Wander Christmas Markets, attend your local church’s carol service and even just get cosy in front of the box and enjoy a packed schedule of top telly.

11)   Use your loyalty points

Christmas is the perfect time to spend all those Boots, Tesco and Nectar Card points you’ve been saving up all year. Look out for special promotions in the lead-up to Christmas from retailers that could help your points go further.

12)   Be social and save

There are thousands of articles out there with great advice on how to save and be resourceful; use sites like Twitter and Pinterest to find money saving tips. Also, retailers often use their online presence to publicise special offers to their followers, so don’t forget to follow your favourites and keep a keen eye out for any deals available.

All these tips are useful in a practical sense but we think the best piece of advice we can give you is to just enjoy it. Try not to get stressed if things don’t go to plan, with good company and a relaxed atmosphere, we’re sure you’ll have a very happy Christmas.

Time, Turkeys and Traditions at Christmas

Monday, December 16th, 2013

It probably won’t surprise you to learn that Christmas is a really important time for us. Not only are we like little kids when it comes to the festive period but it’s also our busiest time of the year; answering emails, dealing with phone enquiries, as well as trying to expand our range to give our brilliantly loyal customers better and ever-growing choice.

But it might surprise you to learn that this year marks our fifth Christmas. And if truth be told, we can hardly believe it either. Time goes so fast and seems ever more fleeting, especially in December – can it really be Christmas next week?

Yet, amidst all the rushing around and excitement this Christmas, we didn’t want to forget to tell you about our new Christmas ‘Turkey Breakout’ ecard.

As sure as mistletoe under the archway and stockings hung by the fireplace, at Katie’s Cards we love a good Christmas tradition. Ours comes in the form of the release of our annual great-escape style animated ecard starring a couple of courageous turkeys that, over the years, we’ve really grown to love.

Turkey Breakout 5, our fifth incarnation, takes inspiration from the daring deeds of Evil Knieval as the turkeys attempt to escape the farm by jumping straight into cannon that’s ready to blow.

Watch Turkey Breakout 5 to find out if theirs will be a happy holiday.

Every year we try and outdo the last turkey card and we have to admit that we have great fun finding new methods of escape. And whether the turkeys are successful or not, you always end up rooting for them… so much so, that we often spare a thought for them whilst eating Christmas dinner!