6 of the Weirdest Christmas Traditions from Around the World

December 18th, 2014

Here in the Katie’s Cards workshop, we’re all pretty excited about the upcoming festivities.

And to celebrate the fact that it’s just two weeks until the big day, we’re sharing some of the weirdest (and most wonderful!) Christmas Traditions from around the world.

First stop, Venezuela…

1) VENEZUELA

In Caracas, the capital of Venezuela, the roads of the city are closed to people travelling by car on Christmas Eve. Why, you ask? So people can roller-skate to Mass… obviously.

2) SWEDEN

In Sweden in a town called Gavle, a giant goat of straw is erected every year to mark the start of the festive period. Vandals try their hardest to burn the goat down to the ground before Christmas day. And in the 40 years of this tradition, the straw goat has only ever lived to see the bright lights of Christmas Morning 10 times.

3) JAPAN

When it comes to Christmas Dinner in Japan, you won’t find anyone slaving over a hot stove – instead, a growing number of the Japanese population decide to opt for KFC on Christmas Day to fill their boots with finger lickin’ chicken rather than turkey. In fact, thanks to the Colonel’s secret recipe used in creating the perfect Christmas marketing campaigns for Japan over the years, you’d need to book a table in advance to eat at KFC on Christmas Day.

4) GREENLAND

The Japanese aren’t the only ones to mix things up on the Christmas day menu. In Greenland, “Kiviak” is the dish of the day. This culinary delight is sort of like a pig in blanket — except the pig consists of the raw flesh of an auk (that’s the bird and *not* the goblin-type creatures found in the Lord of the Rings) and the blanket is seal skin. This is then placed under a rock for several months to decompose until, voila! It’s ripe and ready for eating…and just in time for the Queen’s speech too.

5) SPAIN, PORTUGAL & ITALY

In some nativity scenes across Italy, Spain and Portugal, you might be surprised to find a “Caganer” figurine beside Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus. The “Caganer” is traditionally a male figure caught with his pants down, defecating. The origin of this Catalan tradition, which is thought to date as far back as the 18th Century, is unknown – as is the exact reason why you’ll find this little chap by the manger in some regions of Europe.

6) IRELAND

While everyone else is doling out the Egg Nog and Milk to Santa and his Reindeer, in the Emerald Isles, only a bottle of the black stuff (Guinness) is good enough. Ok, so this tradition’s not so weird – but it is very Irish and we love it. Particularly as it reminds us of a certain St Patrick’s Day E-card…

So that’s about it (for now) from our international tour of the weird and wonderful and we hope you enjoy sending out our wide range of Christmas ecards to family and friends – wherever they may be.

And whatever your traditions at Christmas might be – we wish you a very merry one.

What’s the Best Greeting for a Christmas Card?

December 8th, 2014

The best way to pass on good wishes for the festive season can often be a subject of much debate and consideration when the time comes to send out the annual flurry of Christmas ecards

The question is: should you wish a simple Season’s Greetings, a very Merry Christmas or a heartfelt Happy Holidays?

Well, according to one journalist writing in The Guardian, the best way to wish festive greetings is with a ‘Merry Christmas’.

Writer, Heather Long, argues that this sentiment, which tends to be the preferred choice in the UK, should be adopted more widely as it invites everyone wished a ‘Merry Christmas’ to feel a part of the celebrations.

She suggests that while our friends across the pond have opted for the more neutral greeting of ‘Happy Holidays’, Britons have historically and predominantly shared in the sentiment of ‘Merry Christmas’ in a bid to encourage all to join in. She writes:

I’d rather be able to wish people a Merry Christmas this week without having to worry if they’ll be offended. I’d also rather have people wish me Happy Hanukkah, Happy Diwali or Eid Mubarak when those holidays come around. It makes me feel more a part of their celebration. Let’s call each holiday what it is instead of trying to lump Jewish, Christian and even the Kwanzaa ritual together.”

Do you agree? What greeting do you normally go for when writing out the personal message for your Christmas E Cards? And if you’re already a member of Katie’s Cards and have sent your ecards for Christmas – which greeting have you opted for?

Brine and Dine this Thanksgiving

November 14th, 2014

With Thanksgiving two short weeks away, the mission for moist meat is on. Having researched the best ways to get perfect turkey results, we are here to share our pearls of wisdom with you.

Keep the Brine Dry
While we all appreciate the finer side of the wet brine turkey, the dry brine is a firm favourite with us. Not only does it save you the hassle of finding a place to chill a gigantic, submerged bird, while yielding non-watery results – it takes much less time. While a wet brine will give you an undeniably juicy turkey, the turkey can come out watery rather than with the concentrated juices you get from a dry brine. Dry brine ensures purer turkey flavoured juices. Here are a few tips for performing a dry brine on your bird,

Thanksgiving turkey

Achieve the perfect turkey. Image courtesy of http://tinyurl.com/krosqgd

1. Create your brine mixture. You can add either kosher or table salt to your dry brine mix, its up to you. Generally you should add 1 teaspoon of salt per 2 pounds of turkey to the mixture, and then add herbs etc. of your choice.

2. Coat the bird in the mixture and rub it in. If you can get it under the skin and directly on to the bird its better, but not essential.

3. Loosely cover your bird and put it in the fridge. The amount of time you let the mixture absorb in depends on the size of the bird, allow around 2 hours per pound,  but not much more.

4. When the brining is complete, wash the bird thoroughly.

5. Before roasting your turkey, try adding some herb infused butter under the skin for a delicious addition.

 

 

Some additional information 

Getting a temperature stick makes perfecting the turkey much easier. Stick it in to the thickest part of the bird and when its at 175F, its time to take it out and let it rest before carving.

Don’t add extra salt, it wont need it after the salty brine has absorbed into the meat.

Rest the bird on a grill tray in an oven tray to allow the juices to drip down and form your gravy basis. This also makes basting the bird easier.

 

All of the above, along with your hard work will certainly leave your guests feeling thankful but for those who are being thankful elsewhere, send them one of our Thanksgiving ecards to let them know you’re thinking of them. If you can still put up with turkey by that point, try sending one of our humorous Turkey Breakout Ecard selection, which are very popular with Katie’s Cards members.

Turkey Breakout Ecard

A screen shot from our Turkey Breakout Ecard, will they escape?

Pre-schedule your Thanksgiving e-cards to go out now. Happy Thanksgiving!

A Brand New Birthday Ecard on our Menu

September 30th, 2014

We recently added a new design to our range of Birthday ecards.

In this fun cartoon-style animation, a snooty waiter serves up an unexpected surprise.

So what’s under the cloche (or that silver tray thing, as we like to call it!)?

Click on the image below to find out – then log in and press ‘send’ to share this birthday ecard with family and friends.

Opening frame from the Birthday Dish Ecard

See what’s under the cloche in the Birthday Dish Ecard from Katie’s Cards.

Get organised in October and pick one of our Christmas E Cards and schedule to send to your contacts at a later date.

Not a member of Katie’s Cards yet? Subscribe today to take advantage unlimited ecard sending, priced from just £5.00/$8.00/€6.00.

New Baby Ecards – By Royal Appointment

September 8th, 2014

We were all absolutely thrilled to hear news of another royal baby on the way when we got into the office this morning.

Whilst there was so much discussion in the media over the sex of the Duchess and Duke of Cambridge’s first bundle of joy, we hope they’ll enjoy a much more relaxed time of things this time round. And we’re sure little Prince George is very much looking forward to becoming a big brother.

We wonder if anyone will be sending the family one of our new baby ecards in nine months’ time!?! Oh we do hope so, wouldn’t that be just fabulous!

It's a boy - new baby e card stork design

Is it a boy?

It's a girl stork design new baby e card from Katie's Cards

Or is it a girl? Time will tell!

Must Know Tips for a Stress Free Christmas… Yes, in July.

July 24th, 2014

Every year, we live under the false pretence that ‘this year’ we’ll be organised for Christmas and swan around smugly while everyone else runs around like headless chickens. But in my case at least, before I know it it’s Christmas Eve and I’m in the biggest last minute shopper showdown of the year… over a chocolate Santa. So, it may be five months early but I’ve come up with a fool proof way to cut costs, budget, and be ready to enjoy the season stress free.

Christmas Wrapping Paper

Be prepared, or prepare to get creative, courtesy of http://imgur.com/5UGUz

#1 Make a list

Santa knows whats what. Make a list, you don’t have to split it into naughty and nice though, let’s not go overboard. Making a list helps you to distinguish who you want to get gifts for and what to get them. Otherwise we end up wasting money on things people don’t want or buying them more than one gift (heaven forbid). Doing a list like this early also means if someone says they like something in the coming months, you can get it on the list pronto. Voila, always listen to Santa.

#2 The genius monthly purchase plan

I really shouldn’t be sharing this with you or my smug swanning around will be completely negated by the fact that the rest of you are but, I have three words for you, monthly gift buying. If you buy two gifts per month starting from now to Christmas, your bank account won’t suffer in December and you’ll have 12 gifts in the bag!

#3 Online Shopping

There’s always someone who wants something that everyone else wants (me). If you wait until pretty much any time in December it won’t arrive till 2015 and you know it. If you see something at any time, order it – it’s worth it.

#4 Pre-schedule Christmas ecards

No, I’m not kidding. At Katie’s Cards, you could actually order all your Christmas e-cards now completely erase this tedious aspect of the holidays from your mind. You’ll save money, time, postage (yawn) and probably win some kind of Christmas award for sending the best card. Best of all, if you forget someone on your list, which we all do – don’t feel bad, you can pop on the site and send one in minutes, so they’ll never know.

Merry Christmas.

Recycling Facts That Could Save the World

July 17th, 2014

Debates surrounding our environment and how we can care for it are rifer than ever before. While there are many supporters of the environmentally friendly, green living movement, there is also an understandable consensus that the acts of a single individual will not be enough to make an impact in the grand scheme of things. It really isn’t easy being green, or is it? If we each reduce our footprint on the planet by recycling and reusing resources, the effects could be much more effective than we think. So, we’ve scoured the web for some of the most mind blowing facts that prove how big of an effect a small ‘individual’ change can have.

  1. Recycling 1 can of aluminium provides enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours.
  2. Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 17 mature trees, 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space, 2 barrel of oil, and 4000 kilowatt hours of electricity.
  3. Food waste disposed of in landfills creates large quantities of methane gas, which contribute towards greenhouse gasses and global warming. By capturing the bio gas from just 1 tonne of food waste, 1 tonne of carbon dioxide emissions are prevented from entering the atmosphere. To put this in perspective; 1.3 billion tonnes of food waste is produced every year.
  4. An estimated 2.6 billion holiday cards are sold each year in the United States. Enough to fill a football field 10 stories high. If we each sent one less card, we’d save 50,000 cubic yards of paper.

paper

Ultimately, recycling is necessary. It not only has huge impacts on the environment, it creates awareness and forces us to acknowledge limitations of what we use and how much we waste. If you’re thinking of ways you can help have an impact, well, we have just the answer…

ENTER, THE ECARD.

See the thing is, sending an ecard enables you to show a loved one you care, while also translating an important ecological message, which in turn equates to the promotion of the health of our planet. So for the next holiday or celebration, send a Birthday ecard, Christmas ecards, Halloween ecards and others at Katie’s Cards and make a big change.

Floral Ecard Inspiration from Hampton Court

July 10th, 2014

It’s the final day of the Hampton Court Flower Show this Sunday (13th July).

The Hampton Court Flower Show is a great event where people come from miles around to look at the incredible displays and get top tips from the heroes of the horticultural world.

And all this  happens, every year, just down the road from our little office in Teddington.

Floral Marquee at the Hampton Court Flower Show

Floral Marquee at Hampton Court Flower Show.
Image Courtesy of David Hawgood

But apart from the traffic disruption and the definite increase in bewildered-looking passengers on the public transport system – it was only today that we realised the true impact of this annual tradition on our collection of e cards.

The floral can be found throughout the majority of the categories on Katie’s Cards. Perhaps with the exception of the Christmas ecards – where the snowflakes and fir trees replace the need for flowers and lush, bucolic vistas.

It’s usually about this time of year that we tend to add a few more summery ecards. In the past, this included the ‘Flowers’ and ‘Terrace’ Birthday ecards, along with our ‘Gardener’ anniversary e greeting.

Holiday terrace floral themed ecard

Terrace Birthday Ecard

Gardening Ecard for Anniversaries

Gardener’s Anniversary Ecard

Yes, it’s quite clear that we’re partial to a posy – and as it’s that time of year again, remember to keep your ear to the flower beds for more new ecards featuring all things floral courtesy of Katie’s Cards.

Why Do We Celebrate Birthdays?

July 3rd, 2014

Sounds like a silly question doesn’t it?

After all, why wouldn’t we want to mark the very important day that we were born?

Not to mention that it’s basically a free 24 hour pass to do what you like; have a party, catch up with friends and family, open some presents and eat cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

But this isn’t quite about why, but how we came to celebrate birthdays in the way we do.

So hold onto your party hats, because we’re going to have to go quite a way back to work this one out…

Lighting the candles on a Happy Birthday cake

Let’s Get This Birthday Party Started

Ancient Egyptians can be traced as one of the earliest civilizations to at least take notice of a birthday as recorded in the Bible. It was, however, a Pharaoh’s birthday and Egyptologists have suggested that this mention referred to a coronation anniversary rather than an actual birth-date. Once crowned, Egyptian royals were considered to have transcended mortality and entered the realm of the Gods.

Birthday Cake? Sounds a Bit Greek

As a tribute to the Lunar Goddess, Artemis, the Greeks made cakes in the shape of the moon. They used candles on the cakes to recreate the glowing effect of the moon – a symbol of the Goddess’ luminescent beauty.

What Have the Romans Ever Done For Us?

Well, they certainly seem to have been the first civilization to celebrate birthday on behalf of the common man. And when we say ‘man’, we mean it. Women at that time were not considered worthy of such a fuss. It took until around the 12th century for females to be able to celebrate on their birthday.

Romans lucky enough to reach their 50th would be rewarded with a cake made of wheat flour, olive oil, honey and cheese. And although they weren’t quite sending e cards yet, Romans did enjoy a good old fashioned shindig.

Christmas Birthdays – So Annoying

Original sin along with the associations to the worship of pagan deities prevented the Christian religion from adopting the idea of birthdays for quite some time. It wasn’t until the 4th Century and the introduction of Christmas as a celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ that they were no longer considered unholy and hedonistic.

Yet Christmas celebrations as we know them now didn’t really take off until the Victorian era. The first Christmas card was only introduced in 1843. Christmas e-cards on the other hand, are unsurprisingly a much more recent invention with the first ‘electronic postcard’ being sent in 1994.

Ein Kinderfeste Ist Gut, Ja?

It was in 18th Century Europe where the Germans seem to be the likeliest of instigators of the contemporary children’s birthday party. Kinderfeste involved a birthday cake with candles for each year – along with an extra one for the hope of another full year lived. Pretty morbid, we grant you. But infant mortality rates were high back then. It’s also thought that the tradition of making a wish when you blow out your candles was born out of the same superstition.

Happy Birthday was a Cover

Here’s a bit of a birthday bombshell for you. You know that song that everybody sings on your birthday, that you can’t show on TV without paying loads of royalties? It’s not even an original. Back in 1893, Patty and Mildred J. Hill wrote and composed a simple song called ‘Good Morning To All’ intended to be used in schools. It became prevalent all across America, sparking off variations left, right and centre, until Robert Coleman added some of his own lyrics then published it in his songbook in 1924. The rest, as they say, is history.

You could say it’s been a bit of a slow burn getting there, but just look at us now… We’ve got cake, we’ve got candles, a personalised song, party, presents and of course the humble birthday card.

As birthday traditions continue you to develop we also have the internet, that most marvelous of modern inventions, to thank for the introduction of Birthday ecards.

 

And that’s why it’s fascinating to think where birthday celebrations came from and where they might go in the future.

Birthday Ecard Happy Birthday Billboard Animation

The Animated Billboard Birthday Ecard from Katie’s Cards

 

 

Ramadan Mubarak

June 27th, 2014

Ramadan is celebrated in the ninth month of the Muslim calendar and is intended for focus on prayer, spirituality, charity and purification of the body and mind through abstinence. Share this annual occasion with loved ones and wish them well by sending one of our Ramadan ecards.

With Ramadan beginning this Sunday, all of us here at Katie’s Cards wish you the best of luck with your abstinence over the coming month. I’m sure there are some of us who will be joining you in a little late night food binges!

Football, Sports and Katie’s E Cards

June 20th, 2014

“Yes! Good footballing.”

“Congratulations on that dribble”

“That ball nearly went right between those poles!”

These are just some of the things you might hear some of our very own team shouting as they watch their 4-yearly scheduled intake of football.

On the other end of the spectrum, there are those in our office who thoroughly enjoy a game of two halves. Every other day it’s “football is lovely”, “I do enjoy a nice kick-about myself of a weekend”, “that referee was wonderful, extremely balanced and impartial” and so on.

Needless to say that they, in particular, were a little bit glum this morning after last night’s World Cup performance. And to be honest we all are. Even for non-football fans, there’s something quite exciting about everyone coming together to root for the same team – so it is a little bit sad that it looks like we’re coming to the end of that brief period of soccer solidarity.

Of course we’re all secretly hoping that there’s some light at the end of the players tunnel and that we’ll still manage to scrape our way through to the next round.  If only to have to have a few more chances to bond over our mutual disappointment. After all, another four years is a long time to wait.

For fans of the beautiful game, send the footie-themed Soccer Birthday Ecard. Browse our extensive e card categories for more sport-related greetings, including golf, rugby and fishing cards in our Birthday and Father’s Day collections. 

 

Stamp Out Postal Costs with Ecards

June 17th, 2014

Recently, the Guardian reported that Royal Mail share prices had dropped rapidly following the privatisation of the postal service last year.

The article also reports a drop in the sending of letters and cards in favour of online methods of communication.

And with the recent rise in stamp prices, meaning that a book of 12 first class stamps now costs £7.44, it’s not hard to see why.

When you tally the number of Birthdays, annual occasions like Christmas, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day along with one-off celebrations such as Weddings and Births that occur in the calendar, annual membership with Katie’s Cards at £7.50 (just 6 pence more than a book of stamps) seems very reasonable – especially considering that this allows the sending of unlimited ecards to friends and relatives all year round.

But we’re not just advocates of ecards because they save money or because they’re kind to the planet – even though that IS another reason why we love them so much – but they also save time and worrying too:

You can send ecards to individuals or to many. You can send them near and far in an instant. Or, schedule for a later date if that suits.

The point is you don’t have to wonder whether your Auntie’s Get Well Soon card got lost in the post or whether your brother’s Birthday card will arrive by air mail to Australia in time.

So if you find the time, head over to our ecard categories and consider stamping out postal costs for good.

We’ve got a great selection of animated ecards, including some lesser-spotted greetings for occasions such as Canada Day, Ramadan and Grandparents Day

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Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s our #1 Father’s Day Ecard

June 13th, 2014

After some rooting around in our virtual filing cabinet, we thought you might be interested to learn that our most popular Father’s Day ecard is the  ‘Superdad’ ecard.

If you’ve not already seen it,  the retro-style design features a costumed comic-book style hero as he flies, runs and jumps through the streets of the city.

A caped superhero crouches on a rooftop, a night-time city skyline in the background.

Superdad Ecard for Father’s Day

It’s not surprising that the ‘Superdad’ ecard has proven popular; Father’s Day is the time when we get to let Dad know he’s our hero and this funny yet meaningful e greeting is a great way to do just that.

Narrowly missing out on the top spot for Father’s Day was the ‘Perfect Dad’ ecard, a humorous look at the qualities required of the ideal dad. The ‘Animals’ Father’s Day design followed in the ratings as the third most popular ecard within the category.

Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday in June meaning that the annual day for Dad this year is Sunday 15th.  And unlike Mother’s Day, this celebration is observed on the same date in the UK as in the US.

It’s really important to us that we’re clued up about which cards are performing well for each and every celebration. Whether for Birthdays, Christmas or Father’s Day, keeping track of this gives us a good idea of what we’re doing right and helps us to formulate plans for our future animated ecards.

Midweek Sneak Peek – New Holiday Ecard

June 11th, 2014

But for which holiday is it?

Eeeek… Today we’re giving an exclusive sneak peak of our latest animated ecard.

We’re really very excited. And although we don’t want to give away too much just yet, we couldn’t resist sharing a little animated gif of the character featured in this ecard.

8 bit design of Ben Franklin pushing a box labelled 'Tea'

Preview of new 4th July Ecard: Who could it be?

Can you guess who it is?

You might not get it straight away, and if you did – well, we’re impressed! But if not, and we tell you that this is a 4th July ecard, does that help?

I’m afraid that’s all we can reveal for now, but other clues about what this future Katie’s Cards design might bring can be gleaned from the style of our sneak peek – Let’s just say, we think that this Independence Day ecard is on another ‘level’.

We promise to keep you posted on our progress, as usual, so stay tuned for more updates as well as arts and craft tips, recipes and news on those all important dates in the calendar.

One Week until Father’s Day!

June 8th, 2014

Do you remember when we got you all worked up about Father’s day being just three weeks away?

Well, that was two weeks ago, which means Father’s Day is just one week today!

But before you worry too much about how time keeps on sneaking up on you, take a look at this video of a son creeping up on his (very easily startled) Dad. Lots of times.

(Please be aware that the following video contains strong language)

Ah Fatherhood. It’s a thankless task.

So now you’re feeling better (partly because you can take comfort from the fact that you’re a better son/daughter than this guy… and partly because, well, it was pretty funny) maybe now’s the time to sort out that Father’s Day card and present.

After all, there’s no one quite like Dad.

Katie’s Cards offer 3 month, 12 month and 24 month subscriptions for a small fee which allow users to send unlimited cards, and to as many contacts as they like, throughout their membership. 

How Does Your Garden Grow?

June 6th, 2014

Prime growing season is upon us, so with this in mind, we thought it’d be a perfect time to share some growing avenues for this summer. If you’ve been put off from growing due to lack of time or space, do not fear, as we’ve got tips for the hands on harvesters, to the slower growers. Growing your own food has a huge range of benefits so, your days of coming home from work and attempting a gourmet meal with a slice of questionable ham and some ketchup, are numbered.

Allotments

If you’re fully committed, allotments are a very satisfying experience producing massive amounts of fresh food and produce. Be warned though, you can easily end up feeling like your allotment is plotting against you – pun intended – as they require a lot of time and dedicationtop 10 if you want to keep up the maintenance. There are loads of online blogs that tell you how to begin this somewhat daunting challenge and we’ve laid out the top ten easy grow vegetables to get you started. Also, did you know that half an hour spent on your allotment burns 150 calories? We don’t need much more persuading than that! Not only can herbs and fresh produce spice up meal times, it is a massive money saver.

Home Grown Patches

 If you don’t have time to maintain an allotment, and you’re lucky enough to have some garden space, growing your own greens is much easier. With a little maintenance, you can grow anything you like. Take a look at these nifty tomato growing bags. We had a browse around for the simplest advice for DIY growing and found a handy step by step from the Guardian.

 Window Herb Garden

If you have a lack of space, growing herbs on your windowsill can provide very beneficial to a tasty meal. Having a little fresh basil in a pasta or coriander in a salad or soup is delicious.  We decided to take a look around to offer you all a few starter tips to get you motivated.hdygg

  • 1. Pick your pot – choose from vintage tins to pretty pots, whatever you like!
  • 2. Part fill the pot- find a sunny window spot and part-fill your pot.  Using peat-free compost, fill it at around 5cm deep.
  • 3. Choose your herbs – sprinkle some of your chosen seeds on top. Cover the sprinkled seeds with another thin, loose layer of  compost.
  • 4. Wrap the top of the pot with some cling film, creating a greenhouse effect, and then remove after a few weeks when they start to sprout. Voila!

 

While you’re at all this gardening malarkey, take a look at our Floral birthday e-cards. Don’t forget, before you write yourself off as a home grower, remember its many benefits. Besides, stranger things have happened, like Kim Kardashians bum implants…

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Katie’s Cards Top 10 Summer Beach Reads

June 2nd, 2014

Summer holidays are ahead of us, but only just. In order to get you ready for relaxation and those lazy days by the beach, here’s Amazon’s top 10 beach reads.

The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

A teenage girl suffering with lung cancer is reluctant to attend a cancer support group… until she meets a fellow patient who changes her life.

Written in My Own Heart’s Blood – Diana Gabaldon

The eighth book to be released in the Outlander series continues in the year 1778.

The One & Only – Emily Giffin

After tragedy strikes in her hometown, Shea Rigby begins to question whether the life she’s chosen is really good enough for her.

The Vacationers – Emma Straub

A vacation doesn’t go to plan when the secrets and humiliations they thought they’d left at home in Manhattan, follows a flawed family of sun seekers to Mallorca.

We Were Liars – E. Lockhart

A sophisticated, suspenseful novel about a privileged young girl named Cady and her group of friends. Together they are ‘The Liars’.

All Fall Down – Jennifer Weiner

Looking in, it might seem like Allison Weiss has it all, but an addiction to prescription pills could be her downfall.

The Truth About the Harry Quebert Affair – Joel Dicker

A young author is able to break through a period of writer’s block when he begins to pen a book based on a murder case that he hopes will exonerate his recently convicted college professor.

The Romanov Sisters – Helen Rappaport

Using previously unseen letters, diaries and archival sources, Helen Rappaport pieces together a rich and poignant picture of the young royals Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Romanov leading up to the Russian revolution.

And the Mountains Echoed – Khaled Hosseini

A series of interlinking stories told over half a century and across continents, this is a story showing how the choices we make now, live on through generations.

I Am Pilgrim – Terry Hayes

A fast-paced espionage thriller about a world class secret agent who returns from retirement to take on an anonymous adversary who poses a biological threat to the U.S.

Off on holiday to a faraway destination? Let your family know you arrived safely with a quick greeting from Katie’s Cards. Better than postcards, your ecard will reach them immediately and not after you’ve got back home!

And if you’re away when family and friends are celebrating a birthday, schedule your Happy Birthday ecards before you even think about buying your Factor 30.

No matter how many ecards you send, Katie’s Cards Membership is unlimited so don’t forget to take advantage of our wide range of e cards all year round.  

What’s Summer Without a BBQ?

May 29th, 2014

It’s a very British trait that as June approaches and there’s even a small chance of sunshine, the barbecue gets a good dusting off and the sizzle of sausages can be heard in almost every street.

So as the sun is furtively poking its head out from the clouds every now and again, we thought we’d get prepped by seeking out some interesting recipes that will enliven the usual burger and sausage fest that is the Great British BBQ.

We’ve got Pinterest  and its contributors to thank for the following unique ideas from the grill.

Asparagus Wrapped in Bacon

A great starter to introduce your taste-buds to the feast, wrap the asparagus in bacon and secure with toothpicks and chuck on the grill for ten minutes. Tasty! Try it with pancetta or parma ham for a bit of added decadence.

Onion Bombs

Who needs a boring burger, when instead you could be eating one of these Onion Bombs? Beef mince, sausage meat, breadcrumbs, Parmesan and selected seasonings combine to create an explosion of flavour, all wrapped up in layers of sweetened chargrilled onion-y goodness.

Beer Can Chicken

If you’re looking for something really different, choose Beer Can Chicken for the main event at your next barbecue. A half to three-quarter full can of beer in the cavity of a chicken will steam from the inside and create a really succulent bird.

We recommend using a meat thermometer to check the temperature of your chicken has reached at least 185 degrees Fahrenheit/85 Celsius and make sure that the juices run clear when you come to carving it.

Chocolate and Marshmallow Bananas

If you’re suffering from savoury overload at your barbecue, add something sweet to the menu with these Chocolate and Marshmallow Bananas. Just slice, fill and place them on top of the grill in a DIY foil boat.

Barbecued bananas are delicious… and technically, one of your 5-a-day!

It’s strange, isn’t it, how Eating ‘al fresco’ (that means outside, apparently!) always seems to make things taste better. Have fun experimenting, and let us know if you have any barbecue recipe ideas of your own that you’d like to share in the comments below.

Thinking of organising a barbecue for Father’s Day, don’t forget to send a card! Schedule an e greeting from Katie’s Cards for the 15th June and make Dad’s day. We also have a great range of Birthday e cards for those people lucky enough to have been born in the summer.

Calendar Countdown: Father’s Day (15th June)

May 25th, 2014

As it’s just three weeks until Father’s Day, we thought we’d signal the alarm and get you thinking about sending that all important card.

True, you might not always see eye-to-eye but that’s only because he’s the only one who really understands you, as this rather adorable video shows:

When it comes to annual celebrations of parenthood, historically, you could say that Dads have been left out in the cold a bit.

Despite Mother’s Day being a fixture in our Calendars for hundreds of years, the first Father’s Day was only celebrated in 1910 – and it wasn’t until the late 70s that it really took off.

Which means the pressure’s on for us ungrateful sons and daughters to make up for all that lost time!

And whilst your Pop might not act like he cares, we all know that everyone loves being told how great they are.

So take a look at our wonderful and wacky Father’s Day Ecards today and do just that when you send a personalised message in your e greeting.

From wherever you are to wherever he is, send in an instant or pre-schedule its delivery for the 15th June.

Membership allows users to send unlimited e cards throughout their subscription. 

A Thank You E Card from Me to You…

May 21st, 2014

Hello, Katie here.

I’ve deserted the drawing board this morning in favour of my desktop computer, as I thought it necessary to share a quick message of thanks.

I’d like to say a great big thank you to all of our wonderful members; for your loyalty, support and help with comments about the website and our selection of ecards.

It might sound a little bit cheesy, but we really DO appreciate it when we get messages or blog comments suggesting a new type or style of card to add to our ever-growing collection.

Recently, we received some great suggestions from one of our Trans-Atlantic members about creating ecards for Memorial Day and Veterans Day which we’re keen to act upon. And also some feedback about our 4th July ecards which has definitely proved useful, particularly as we’re just in the process of developing a new animated design for this celebration.

We do get quite a buzz here when we think that what we make from our little company in Teddington is shaped and helped along by people from all over the world, looking for that perfect e card to sum up the occasion.

So thank you again. And as always, please do feel free to let us know if you think there are any important dates in the calendar that we’ve missed or even if you just have a great idea for a Birthday greeting or Christmas ecard.

Get in touch by adding a comment on our blog, send us an email or contact us through our Facebook page.

Right, I think it’s time to get on with some of these new designs. Back to the drawing board I go!

Take care,

Katie x