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The Gingerbread Village Guide


– a little inspiration –

Our very own Melissa Foster is chairing a Gingerbread Village Holiday event! During the event kids come to create a “gingerbread” village for donation to a local Senior Center. This year, there will be about 100 children! This inspiration board serves to encourage the kids to try and think beyond candy canes & gumdrops. In addition, they won’t even be using gingerbread! You can also check out this Pinterest board for more decorating inspo! The structures will be made of things like Amazon boxes, cracker boxes, milk cartons and other recyclables.

This is a photo of the milk carton Melissa and her daughter used to make a tall house while testing the GGB frosting glue recipe. They had so much fun poking through the pantry to see what they could use. And to top it off, they bought NOTHING! (well, except the meringue powder for frosting— who has that?!).

Swap Sweet for Savory!

Nuts, crackers, beans, chips, granola bars, and other earthy-colored savory snacks create the texture and warmth of age-old architecture. Rustic cobblestones and clunky rooftops are the perfectly imperfect finish for a cozy cottage creation.

Pretzels Please!

Pretzels come in so many fun shapes & sizes, and when they all come together they scream one thing; LOG CABIN! Pair them with some bird seed and you can mimic the look of stone columns or wood burning chimneys nestled deep in the woods.

Little Shoppe of Florals!

Every village needs a local florist. Cover your shoppe in garden green for a whimsical standout look. Use pre-made cake decorating sugar flowers and watch your shoppe bloom into something truly unique for this holiday village.

For Chocolate Lovers!

Nearly every type of candy bar is covered in chocolate. Imagine the fun you can have with the different shapes, sizes and textures! Consider making it into the village library, hotel or even the local pub!

Think Outside the House!

Villages need more than just houses, so consider using alternate materials to give our village some height & shape variation. Suggestions: Taller buildings, chapels, retail spaces, a fire house, ice skating rink, or even row house apartments (to name just a few). You can also use different building recyclable materials other than gingerbread like milk cartons or cardboard boxes!

Trees Set the Tone!

Whether you decorate them or leave them with just a dusting of snow, the trees surrounding your structure make a the holiday season sing. Here are inspirational techniques on expert tree-making.

All the Little Things!

The details MAKE the design. And let’s face it, not EVERYONE can be working on the main structure at once, so have some of your fellow TI class members work on those little added extras that make a HUGE difference.


That Holiday Glow!

Maybe it’s the village beauty parlor or the local ice cream shoppe? You can use some glitz and non-traditional colors to create a wow-factor in our holiday village. Sparkly metallics, strictly pastels, or even bold bright neons create a burst of utter glee by incorporating the use of materials such as metallic sprinkles, shiny beads, craft glitter, and metallic coated candies.

Up on the Roof Top! (and the siding)

Everything from chewing gum, sour ribbons, sprinkles, and good ‘ol Eggo waffles can be used to coat the surfaces of your roof top and/ or siding. Here are some images to get your creative ideas flowing.

Get Cozy


Daylight Savings is ending and Fall is here. Crisp mornings, leaves turning, the Holiday Season in our sights: it’s time to bundle up in chunky sweaters, pop marshmallows into our hot chocolate and embrace the cozy. Nothing says fall like a crackling fire, a comfy chair, a plush throw and a romantic movie. Summer can be full of wonderful moments and experiences, but Fall is special. Fall is all about family and comfort. Join us on our search for the coziest, toastiest, dreamiest, creamiest Fall Favorites. We are elum and we believe in sharing hazelnut lattes with friends, butternut squash as a food group, bookclubs, red wine, pinecones and kindness. We are all about the Fall! #WallOfFall

First Things First: Fire

No chimney? No problem. No fireplace? No worries. Today’s advances in coziology (the technology of coziness—yep, we made it up!) mean that we don’t need to own a log cabin or even a house to enjoy the glow of a fire. We can cozy-up an urban loft, an apartment in the city or any room in our home with an electric fireplace. These babies are plug and play. Turn down the lights, click the remote and enjoy gently rolling flames and a toasty glow. We love this infrared electric stove from Duraflame. Seriously, these guys know fire! Flames flicker, logs smolder, warmth radiates. We’d have one in every color if we could.

Second To No One: The Hot Beverage

We like a hot beverage as much—if not more—than the next person. In fact we love tea and coffee so much we’ve just introduced our very first line of ceramic mugs. We are christening them with delectable chai lattes, hot cocoa made-from-scratch and wickedly good hot toddies. We made our mugs just the way we like them: generously sized and easy on the eye! We cannot possibly comment on whether or not these words also describe our design team! Nope. Our lips are sealed. #elummugshots

Chairman Of The Board

Plush upholstery, rose-colored velvet and room enough for two: welcome to our dream chair, the perfectly named Swagamuffin. It’s made by the British company Loaf and we rate our chances of getting our hands on one as pretty low. But we’re nothing if not dreamers here at elum. We’re picturing our Adulting Mug filled with Irish coffee, a crackling fire and this chair. Yeah, baby! That’s right. We have now officially entered the Cozy Zone. Cue the music, DJ!

Let The Music Play

How do we love thee, Barry White? Let us count the ways. One, you traveled everywhere with your own forty-two piece orchestra. Two, you knew that true love is always unlimited. Three, you are still the man! Your grooves sound as good today as they did twenty years ago. If we’re sitting in a big chair getting cozy with our bae you are the number one artist on our list. #barryforever

We Want What She’s Having

Slut’s Spaghetti is Nigella Lawson’s equivalent of the Italian dish, Puttanesca (puttanesca is Italian for prostitute). It’s quick, easy-to-make and uses ingredients most of us have in our pantries: spaghetti, canned tomatoes, chili flakes and garlic. Cozy for us is one pan dishes: macaroni and cheese, chicken and dumplings, Chinese hot pot. Food that you need a bowl and spoon for. Soup, chilli, pad thai, sticky toffee pudding and custard. We’re still waiting for a chef to invent a cozy salad!

When Harry Met Sally And Emilia Met Henry

You know by now we’re card-carrying, rose-petal-strewing romantic fools, right? If there’s anything we love more than a blank page and a set of colored pencils, it’s a romantic movie. What’s not to like? Boy and girl (or girl and girl, or boy and boy) meet cute, fall in love, hit an insurmountable obstacle, break up, surmount the insurmountable obstacle, get back together and live happily ever after. We love the classics and eagerly await the new crop of rom-coms the season brings. Our Khaleesi as a Holiday Elf who falls in love with dishy doctor? You betcha we are there!

Throw Away The Key

Okay, so we have fire, hot toddies, a comfy chair and our food-in-a-bowl. The only thing left to complete our cozy kingdom is a soft and snuggly throw. I think we all know that what happens beneath the blanket stays beneath the blanket. If you want to snooze, cuddle, bundle into a one-woman cocoon or stage a two person puppet show, we ain’t talking. We just want to make sure you’re comfy, warm and color-coordinated. Lucky for us, Anthropologie has these soft, faux-fur beauties that hit the spot. Carressable clouds of cover: we are in!

We hope you enjoyed hearing about our idea of cozy. What does cozy mean to you?

Halloween Runway


Pumpkins are in the building. We’re cocooning our walls in spider webs and unpacking our cauldrons. String lights shaped like bats have been strung across our corridors and random ghouls and giant spiders glower from our desks. It’s Halloween and we are ready. Our skeletons are out of the closet, and we heard that someone down in production has whipped up a potent witch’s brew! Halloween, we adore your treacherous and spooky heart! This year we thought we’d pay homage to our blog post Summer Channel Surfin’ where we picked out the best Summer shows to watch for those dreaded Game-of-Throneless days. (We all remember those sad, scary days–oh and let’s not forget about that petition that 1.7 million people signed to re-do the 8th season…) Anyways, this year we thought we’d take a look at the best costumes and costume ideas out there. Just how goofy-cute-scary-sexy can we go? Let’s find out together on our 2019 Halloween Runway Tour.


Naughty or Nice?

The classic angel/devil costume is a long time favorite for the ladies. Don’t worry guys, we’ve got you covered! Good Omens is the classic “switched at birth” tale with an unexpected twist when a fumbling order of Satanic nuns mix up a normal baby with Baby Antichrist. Aziraphale (the angel), has a classier dapper look as compared to his devilish counterpart Crowley, who could easily be mistaken by Ozzy Osbourne. So if people don’t recognize you as so, Ozzy is practically the next best thing!

Blessed Be The Fruit.

Next up, we can’t forget about The Handmaids Tale, this past season was kind of a stall, but we still love the show nonetheless. June, or shall we say Ofjoseph, is a #badass and we are rooting for her! Hopefully she finds the happy ending she is yearning for, but we won’t know until next season…As for the costume, take a look below at how the red outfits worn by the handmaids were designed for the show.

Hannah Montana Who?

In Netflix’s Black Mirror, Miley Cyrus slays it as pop princess Ashley O, bringing everything she knows about being a former Disney icon to the table. This one’s for all our festival girls out there! All you need to complete this look are those metallic booty shorts you wore to Electric Zoo, a white crop top, and to top it off, pop on a purple wig from Amazon and VOILA.

Have You Been to the Upside Down?

Last, but not least on our TV costume tour, Eleven from stranger things. This one is easy and all the items can be found in your closet…and the freezer. You can also find most items you need for Joyce and Barb right in your closet. Might have to pick up some Mom jeans to be Barb though..

And if TV isn’t your thing, we’ve got plenty of other choices for you that are always a win in our book. Whether it’s cute, scary, or funny, there’s something for everyone!

Lions and Fairies and Delivery Men, Oh My!

We cannot even. The cuteness is killing us! Our very own darling Lion King, the perfect pumpkin fairy, and the doggie in the brown and tan shirt. If dressing up toddlers and pups was a full-time job we’d be first in-line with our resumés. Trends for kids this season follow the year’s breakout movies: Lion King, Toy Story 4, Aladdin, and Spider Man: Far From Home. Get your superhero on, kids!

Hello, Gorgeous!

To use The Bachelor terminology, sometimes you just wanna spend the night in the Fantasy Suite. No questions asked. You want to feel pretty and sparkly. It’s possible you may develop the sudden need to wear thigh-highs and a hat. Whether it’s a flirty Minnine Mouse, a dashing Prince Charming or a Marie Antoninette whose skirt shrunk in the wash we stand behind your right to feel drop dead gorge. #hellapretty 

Keepin’ It Classy, San Diego

Some Halloweens you just need to go there, right? Enough of the cutesy and adorable. You just want to put it out there—whatever “It” is! Ticked off princess with hairy legs? We got you covered. Orange is the New Black kinda day? We got your back. The most excellent news anchorman of all time with the ‘tache and polyester suit to prove it? We’re Elūm and San Diego is where we’ve chosen to make our stand. If you’re considering channeling our city’s favorite fictional son, Ron Burgundy, we are in!

You’re The One That I Want

There is no other day of the year besides Halloween where it is socially acceptable to play couples dress up. For this reason alone, we say go for it! Be the pepper to his salt, the Jay Z to her Beyonce, the Catwoman to his Batman. We are adoring this Robin & Steve Scoops Ahoy duo from Stranger Things, and you can never go wrong with Beauty & The Beast (as long as you make clear early on that you’re the beauty half of this operation!). If you’re looking to kick it up a notch go old-school Sandy in skintight black hanging on the arm of the original bad boy, Danny Z.

For The Night Is Dark And Full Of Terrors

Halloween is the day we remember the dead and banish the evil forces that lurk in the shadows and walk the earth in the darkest hours after midnight. Let us not go gently into battle. Let us arm ourselves as Demons Nuns and Evil Clowns and that most terrifying of beings: the Zombie Prom Queen. Quick, someone fetch her sash or she is not gonna be happy. Nothing scarier than a high school hissy fit!

Sexy Beast

A little Goth never hurt anyone, right? An undead girl scout, a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, and a little red devil are just some of the naughty but nice offerings from California-cool-girl label Dolls Kill. We love their bad-girl aesthetic and their inclusive “we welcome all sizes and body types” ethos. #yougodolls

Pretty In Pink

We are crushing on pink costumes this Halloween. Pink is playful, sweet, cute and charming. It never takes itself too seriously and is always up for fun. Whether you’re a fluffy honey bun, a donut with sprinkles or Glinda the Good Witch you’ll bring a smile to everyone’s face if you’re channeling p-i-n-k.

Whether you’re trick-or-treating, monster mashing with the girls or apple dunking with the fam, we wish you a horrendously haute Halloween, full of sweet treats, headless horsemen, happy kidlets and pumpkin spice. We believe in sprinkles and dress-up, good witches and bad fairies and expressing ourselves. Any day where you can walk around the neighborhood dressed as a superhero works for us! Halloween marks the start of Holiday Season and we cannot tell you how happy this makes us.

What are your dress up plans this Halloween? We are dying to know!

A Journaling Journey

Elum Designs Vine & Dot Journal Set

Vine & Dot Journal Set

It used to be known as “keeping a diary” and I first started when I was twelve years old. My sixteen-year-old sister, Susan, wrote in her diary every night in the bedroom we shared. Susan was in high school and had waist long black hair and blue eyes and was, in her younger sister’s opinion, the most wonderful girl in the world. She had a beautiful gold-foiled diary that came with its own lock and key. I never knew what she wrote in its pages but my twelve-year-old self imagined it was about boys and adventures with her girlfriends and clothes she simply had to own by the weekend or she would die. For me, it was a pretty simple decision: if Susan was keeping a diary then I sure enough was going to keep one too.

I looked after our neighbor’s angry cat for a week to pay for it. It was pink with printed roses and although it didn’t come with a lock and key it could be fastened closed with an attached ribbon. Our Vine & Dot Journals remind me a little of it. There are no words for how you feel when you open your brand new journal for the first time. The ruled pages, the smell of crisp new paper, the possibilities that exist for your life in all that blank space. I was twelve so the first thing I did was write my name and draw stars around it (stars, cats and stick-like ballerinas represented my entire artistic skill-set back then). I recorded the date, November 2. Too young for boys and not caring very much about clothes, I wrote about my friends and school.

Got soaked walking to school. Came second in English. Kelly’s having a birthday party next Saturday and a whole bunch of girls got invites yesterday. I didn’t get one. I felt bad, but Kelly stopped by my desk this morning and gave me an envelope! The invitation is SO pretty. Kelly’s mom wrote them all by hand. Relieved. ❤️

It’s funny how writing about things transfers your emotions onto the page. It’s like magic. It can take worries and make them disappear. It can stop you repeating the same thoughts over and over again and help you sleep. Once something is written it’s recorded, there’s a hard copy, your mind can let it go.

Terrazzo Spiral Bound Journal

I kept journals through high school, eventually writing lists of boys I liked and clothes I absolutely must have in order for my teenage existence to have meaning. Looking back over them now I see, between the lines and lists and doodles, my teenage self coping with emotions. “Worried sick about the math test,” I wrote on April 16. Then, three days later, “I passed! Can’t believe I passed!” On October 31 I wrote, “Went to Halloween at Tiff’s. Didn’t know anyone. Tiff’s brother said I looked fat in my costume.” A full three weeks later I wrote, “Hung out with Tiff after the game. Her brother was there. Don’t know why I let him bother me so much last time. He’s mean to everyone.”

A 2005 study conducted by the Royal College of Psychiatrists found that, “Writing about stressful or emotional events results in improvements in both physical and psychological health.” My teenage self didn’t know it then, but by writing about Tiff’s annoying brother I was neutralizing his effect upon me.

I fell out of the habit of journaling in college. After a crushing break-up in my early twenties, I found my way back. My head was full of questions. What did I do wrong? What could I have done differently? Why didn’t this person want to be with me anymore? It helped to write it down. Taking those questions from my head and asking them for real on the page was like opening a pressure valve. It gave me relief. And perspective. Write something down and you can see it more clearly. You can look at it from different angles. It becomes a story not a raging war of emotions in your head.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of Social and Personal relationships concluded emphatically that writing about a heartbreak results in reduced emotional stress.

That’s some pretty powerful mojo. “Writing seems to help the brain regulate emotion,” Matthew Lieberman, a psychologist at the University of California in Los Angeles, told The Guardian. According to Dr. Lieberman it is the act of writing, by hand, that does the trick.

Turns out the pen, and its best friend paper, are a lot more powerful that we suspected. We’re all going to go through stuff in our lives. “Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating,” American short story writer O. Henry tells us. Journaling helps us put those sobs and sniffles behind us. It helps us become more emotionally robust.

We believe in journaling here at Elūm. We believe that telling your own story is empowering. Start your own journaling journey with one of our beautiful, hand-crafted journals.

Floral Lustre Exposed Bound Journal

Slate Stone 2-Pack Journals

Wild Wonderment 3-Pack Journal

Letterpress Journal Sets

Fall Look Book


We’re excited about fall here at Elūm. We’re note-takers and journallers, list-makers, planners and To Do-ers! Fall and paper go together like peanut butter and jelly, wasabi and green peas, and Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes! #siseñorita A new school year or return to the office after the summer break gives us chance for a fresh start. A crisp new notepad, a smart and stylish folio, and a dreamy journal with ruled white pages just waiting for the tip of a pen. We’re in! A notepad, a folio, and a journal are Fall Must-Haves at the office, at lunch, at the grocery store and at home. We’ve designed and created a line of mix and match essentials that work together to compliment, organize and decorate your desktop. Join us for a tour of our Fall Look Book.


Our Floral Lustre Weekly Planner helps you slay your fall schedule.

Elum Designs  |  Paper Source  | Amazon

With its charming rose gold spiral binder, its fifty-two tear-away sheets and its adorable gold stickers, this blushing beauty makes weekly planning a breeze. See you entire week in a single glance and highlight special or important dates with heart-shaped stickers that declare “Date Night” or ribbon-shape stickers that announce, “Don’t Forget.” If you need some extra pointers on how to use a planner effectively, check out this post by TreeHugger! And when you’ve done a good job who needs a teacher when you can give yourself a gold star!


Every purse needs a beautiful notepad and pen and our Take Note Fabric To Do Pad humbly applies for the job!

Paper Source

Imagine. You’re at lunch with your boss and she starts reeling off a list of clients she needs you to contact by the end of the week. You can nod vigorously while trying really hard to remember the half dozen names, or ask your boss if she wouldn’t mind repeating the list while speaking into your cell as you frantically tap the screen, trying to access the memo app. OR you can whisk out a smart and beautiful notepad, slide the elegant gold pen from its holder and serenely and professionally take notes. Problem sorted. #dropsmic


Our Take Note Leatherette Folio helps you crush your To Do list.


Paper Source

Work, school, kids, menu planning, grocery shopping. Pick up the dry cleaning, doctor’s appointment at two, hair appointment at six, happy hour with the girls on Friday—it’s Sasha’s birthday so don’t forget to bring a gift! We have a lot going on in our lives. At one glance you can see and plan your entire day. Its gorgeous watercolor exterior means its smart enough to pop in your tote and consult and update as you go about your business throughout the day.


1. Paper Source
2. Elum Designs  |  Amazon
3. Elum Designs  |  Amazon

And if you’re looking for something a little bit more portable, check out our Weekly Eats List Pad. Make meal prep a heck of a easier with these dandy on-the-go notepads!


We wind our days down with our Gray Abstract Journals.

Paper Source

It’s 9pm. The baby is asleep, your other half is chilling downstairs binge-watching Brit TV on Netflix, and you’re upstairs catching some much needed Me Time in the bedroom. Skyn Icelandic eye gel patches in place, pen in hand and journal on your lap, you tell the story of your day.

Good spin sesh at the gym, saw my old boss but didn’t get chance to speak with him. Hubs wants us to travel to his parents for Thanksgiving but I’m worried about the baby flying. I’m grateful for my family, my old boss who gave me a chance when no one else would, and the British for making the kind of smart crime shows my hubs loves.

There. Writing down your successes, worries and reasons to be grateful is an essential part of the day. It eases anxiety, clears our minds and helps us focus on what’s important in life. A beautiful journal, a blank page, a personal story unfolding day by day.


Track your schedule, your daily tasks and your meal plans on these pretty gold-brushed pages Watercolor Daily Agenda List Pad.

Paper Source

We are on the go from the moment we wake up to the moment we switch off the bedside table lamp. Some days are so full we hardly have chance to catch our breath. That’s where our list pad comes in. These tear-and-go sheets are perfect to keep on your kitchen counter or desktop. Self care is an important, but often overlooked part, of our schedule. Our list pad reminds us to take time for ourselves each day and celebrate our successes, big, medium and small.


With your fall paper needs sorted, we have one final question. “What do confetti, polka dots, poodles and llamas have in common?”Our new Stackable Mug Sets at TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and Marshalls!

These charming sets will add a finishing touch of whimsy to your fall desktop and kitchen counters.

In store
at your local TJ Maxx, Home Goods, or Marshalls.

Also lookout for our adorable individual coffee mugs. “Hello Sunshine!” and “Adulting (when people are looking)” could be our middle names here at Elum! And if we ever need to calm down we simply repeat our office mantra, “Dancing donuts, doggies and llamas.” Works every time.

Picnic Posse


Family and friends are sitting around a picnic table on the shore of a crystal blue lake. The sun is shining. On a blanket spread atop the table is a feast of delicious finger foods: mini empanadas, thai chicken skewers, bacon-wrapped asparagus and cheddar cheese popovers. The wine is chilling in the ice, the kids are playing tag. You’re enjoying that deliciously dreamy summer pastime: the picnic. Any second soon, your golden retriever will bounce on the table and steal the kids’ hot dogs, a swarm of honey bees will make a beeline for the strawberry shortcake, a gust of wind will blow all the napkins into the lake, and out of nowhere rainclouds will appear and it will start to pour. Welcome to that fun and fearless free-for-all: the great American picnic! #outdoorlivin

Picnics are as much a part of summer as fireworks on the Fourth, damp beach towels in the back of the car, and whipped cream and apple pie. We love them so much here at Elūm we formed our very own picnic posse to share our path to picnic perfection!


That’s French for “pick a place” which is how picnics got their name. Picnics are all about location, location, location. Do you want sand and sea? Flowers, forests, or fields? Research what’s close by. Most cities have amazing parks and waterways just waiting to be explored. If you’re heading to the beach, don’t forget to bring a kickin’ beach umbrella. If you’re in a park you can usually find shade beneath the trees or under a pavilion, however sun at the beach can be relentless unless you’re packing cover. And no matter where we’re heading, we always keep it stylish and shady in a cool western-style hat.


We might not think a thousand year old mathematician has much to teach us about planning a picnic menu, but we’d be wrong. Turns out Omar Khayyam was the Martha Stewart of his day and his advice on what to pack for a picnic is still right on the money: “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou.” Omar is telling us to keep it simple. You can’t go wrong with a crusty French baguette, a selection of cheese and cured meats, fresh tomatoes and crisp white wine. Just ask @gilliehouston whose Instagram feed is loaded with simple and delicious outdoor treats. Picnics aren’t the time or place to toss salads so precut an assortment of fresh and crunchy vegetables and a pot of lemony dip. Olives, sun dried tomatoes and marinated artichokes can provide easy luxury and zing. And cherries, pears and peaches make perfectly portable desserts.


Mix and match paper plates and napkins turn picnics into parties and outdoor feasts into festivals! Lightweight, biodegradable and instagram-ready, our Sprinkle City Appetizer Plates and Bright Birthday Stripes Dinner Plates and matching napkins are picnic perfect and outdoor friendly. Check out all are outdoor and party products here. Add to the good times with a retro cooler and picnic blanket.


We put our heads together and came up with our definitive list of items you absolutely must take on your picnic.

Bug spray. You know you are going to need it—especially when is starts to grow dark.

Sunscreen. You know you’re going to need that, too—especially before it starts to go dark.

“Ice, ice, baby.” As we saw earlier with Omar Khayyam, picnic wisdom can be found in unlikely places, and this is where the rapper from Dallas really comes in to his own. Vanilla Ice knows the secret to picnic success. You can never have enough ice! #vanillapicnic

Corkscrew. Because even though the internet is bursting with clever hacks on how to open wine bottles without a corkscrew, we don’t really want to try them unless there’s a fire extinguisher and first aid kit close at hand. In fact, we might just bring our wine in a can.

A cutting board and knife. Well, this one is pretty self explanatory.

Wet wipes. Because someone is always going to spill something. You know who you are!

A trash bag for easy clean up.


We’ve eaten, we’re enjoying our wine in a can: we are ready to play! The posse knows picnics. We know that within thirty minutes of finishing a picnic, a particular brand of lazy restlessness sets in. We want to do something….just not anything too strenuous. Giant Jenga hits the spot. Or if there’s no one in the party willing to haul fifteen pounds of wooden blocks into the wilderness, then a rousing game of Uno or a very proper round of British croquet will do the trick. And last but not least, never forget that a little Old Town Road breezing from a battery powered watermelon always makes for legendary vibes! #wateryellin

That’s our posses’s idea of picnic perfection. What’s yours?

Beating the Summer Blues


We have officially entered the Dog Days of summer. Blistering hot days with no escape from the sun and sultry breezeless nights. It’s hard not to feel lethargic. Our routines go out the window, we stop exercising, and those hot humid nights make it difficult to sleep. When we’re working we have to pick up the slack for colleagues on vacay, it’s too hot to eat let alone cook, and our Facebook friends are driving us crazy with all their fun in the sun photos of the fam in Greece or Martha’s Vineyard or just about anywhere were we are not. To add to this, many of us feel uncomfortable in cutoffs and tanks and bikinis: the unofficial uniform of summer. So what’s a girl with the summer blues gotta do? We asked around our office and came up with our four best strategies for beating the Summer Blues. Watch out, summer, we are about to break you down!

1. Get enough sleep.

Long days wreak havoc with our sleep cycle. We’re exposed to more sunlight in summer which affects production of the sleep hormone melatonin, and once the temperature in our bedrooms rises above 75F many of us find it difficult to stay asleep. Because summer affects both the length and quality of our sleep it’s especially important to prioritize shut eye. Invest in some serious blackout curtains so your bedroom is as dark as possible and the first rays of dawn sunlight don’t bolt you awake with their brightness. Switch off the tech an hour before you go to sleep. Phone and tablet screens send our brains the completely wrong message at night: now ain’t the time to go to sleep! Instead sit back and chill to your favorite podcast. We love the New Yorker Fiction Podcast. World class short stories that take about forty minutes to listen to? Yeah, we’ll fall for that!

2. Banish the body image blues.

According to Physchology Today sixty percent of women and forty percent of men are unhappy with their bodies. We are bombarded with images of picture-perfect models from the moment we log on to check our email in the morning to when we’re chillin’ with Netflix last thing at night. We need to stop comparing ourselves to Photoshopped perfection and expand our notion of beauty instead. Load your Instagram feed with people who celebrate being themselves, in whatever size or shape they are. We are loving the breath of fresh air that is @bryonygordon. “My body is perfect to me because it is mine,” says Bryony, “it’s carried a baby, got me through two marathons. I won’t let anyone treat it with cruelty and disrespect.” And we worship at the altar of @MeganJayneCrabbe. “All bodies deserve to be treated with respect, because they hold human beings. That’s it. No exception.” #tellitmegan

3. Exercise.


When it’s hot outside it’s all too easy to put off exercising for another day. We don’t want to move from our office chair by the a/c vent, let alone drive to the gym or head outside for a run. It’s hard to stay motivated in summer, yet with a few simple tweaks we can keep fitness on our schedule through to fall. First, plan. Adding a workout to our calendar increases the likelihood we’ll do it as it raises our level of accountability. If we add workouts to our calendar just three days a week we create a routine. And following a routine is the number one secret to acing your fitness journey. You can also plan out your meals for the week with our weekly eats list pad! Next, let’s go easy on ourselves. Give yourself permission to spend less time in the gym this summer and more time outside.Take advantage of warm weather opportunities like swimming in the pool and chasing your kids along the beach. #funinthesun

4. Treat yourself.

We don’t all have the time or the finances to yacht around the Greek Isles or stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora, but we can all take advantage of the sweet treats of summer. Ice cream sandwiches for you and the kids, a visit to your local nature preserve, a splash in a Minnidip Pool. Expectations can be high at this time of year—everyone is expected to have high profile fun—but by curating our own idea of summer we free ourselves from the bugaboo of comparing our summer to anyone else’s. So go pick strawberries, enjoy this summer’s must-read beach blockbuster in the bath, make a picnic out of boxed rosé and fried chicken, host a pool party in a pool hall, wear a burkini or a muumuu or the bare minimum required to keep you street legal. This is your summer. Plan it. Own it. Kill it!

What are your tips for beating the summer blues? Will we find you indoors or outdoors in the heat?

Summer Desk Edit


It’s getting hot in here–let’s bring the outside in! Let’s get real, spending time at our desks in the summer can be tough. The sun’s shining, the mercury’s rising and Senorita is playing on the sound system. We want to be outside, sitting on a patio overlooking the ocean with a Margarita chilling in our hand. We don’t want to be at our desk, filling out time sheets and updating our contacts. So how do we make the most of the summer months at the office while keeping our spirits up and our creativity flowing? We say brings the outdoors inside. #outdoorsin Update your desk and office with some fly July stationary and awesome August accessories. Switch things up. A few key changes can shift your office vibe from dusty and drab to must-have summer fab. We’ve got you covered with our Summer Desk Edit. Who says we can’t have fun at work?

1. We are loving this Mami Wata infuser water bottle in rose gold.

Fill up the center chamber with strawberries, raspberries and honeydew melon, top up with water and ice. Set on your desk and enjoy cool, fruit-drenched deliciousness all day. Its peach and gold colors will add instant summer glam to your office and its healthy must-drink contents will keep your skin glowing right through to fall.

2. Our Piped Desk Folders will help you keep it all together this summer!

Filing and collating has never looked so good! Add instant summer cool to your desk with these pink, yellow and grey foil-stamped lovelies. We’ve also got a couple of other designs too!

3. Keep the summer flame alive by framing your desk photos with whimsical frames in hot juicy colors like this Dinosaur Frame from Anthropologie.

If you’re anything like us you have photos of your nearest and dearest on your desk. If your beloveds are wearing sweaters and jackets in the photo, why not switch it up for a photo of them wearing tees, shorts and swimwear instead?

4. Cherries and ice pops anyone? We are major crushing on our Delicate Cherries Iron On Patches.

They deliver instant summer satisfaction to just about any fabric surface. Your office tote: cherry it! Your work blazer? Make it pop with our multi-colored icepops. Seriously, all it takes is an iron and two minutes to make summer retro happen! #irononsummer (We’ve also got a bunch of other designs if cherries aren’t your thing!)

5. Bring some green to your office scene. Stop by your local garden center and pick up a potted plant and an adorable pot, like this one from Greenery Unlimited.

Crack open a window, set the pot on your desk and enjoy the breeze. Potted plants reduce carbon dioxide, improve air quality and help us concentrate. A study by the Royal Agricultural Institute found that students demonstrated 70% greater attentiveness in classrooms containing plants. We say grow for it!

6. Add some summer whimsy to your desk with our adorable Zebra Pasture Desk Weekly Planner.

Did you know that a zebra’s stripes actually cool them down? Air moves more quickly over the black stripes than the white stripes creating a micro breeze. We are all about the micro breeze here at Elum! And zebras. We are all about zebras. Add some summer whimsy to your desk and you just might have ze-best week ever! #zebest

7. Bring a little fairy magic into your office with this beautiful hand-blown paperweight by Glass Eye Studio in Seattle, Washington.

Dripping with morning dew, this summery toadstool is guaranteed to keep all your magical papers in place.

8. Yes you can make it to through the week with our Motivation 3-Pack Journals!

These adorable journals in peach, tangerine and jade green are the perfect antidote to the summer doldrums. Keep one in your office, one in your purse and one on your bedside table. Deploy as needed!

9. We think this Hakuna Matata mousepad is the perfect desk accessory.

9. This is the summer of The Lion King! Disney’s live action remake of its animated classic is already breaking records. Advance ticket sales are through the roof. We can’t wait to hear Beyoncé as Nala and Donald Glover as Simba. Long summer days at the office? No worries! Timon and Pumba have us covered.

10. Our Groovy Mood Sticker Sheets are a burst of instant sunshine for your soul.

Everything is more fun with one of our stickers on it. Your laptop? How about putting it in “Vacay Mode”? Your lunchbox? How about applying a little “Treat Yo Self”?Seriously, we can’t stop thinking of things to stick these hot little mamas on! #summergroove

We hope we’ve inspired you to bring the party inside this summer. We’ll sure be bringing it to our offices here in San Diego. See all of our Summer Desk collection here.

Summer Birthday


Drowsy days by the pool, hot dogs and lemonade at the ballpark, sunburn and sandy feet at the beach: Summer is officially here! Over the next three months these lazy, hazy days will be filled with the birthdays of people we care about and love. Cancer, Leo and Virgo: you are the signs of Summer. Born on dew-drenched mornings, white hot afternoons and sultry nights, Summer babies we heart you! You are water, fire and earth. Your special day is approaching and we’ve got your friends and loved ones covered with our Summer Birthday Card Guide. Let’s take a look at your stars and match them with a few of our own!

June 21 – July 22

Ruled by the moon, drawn to water, creative, tenacious and deeply loving, Cancers are the nurturers of the zodiac. Family and home is everything. You are loyal and giving and sometimes generous to a fault. If you’re hurt you withdraw into that world famous shell. Summer will find you at the beach, with warm sand beneath your feet and waves tickling your toes. Your horoscope promises a summer of special events, travel and personal growth. An old friend will come back into your life, finally giving you the chance to meet your squad goals. Famous Cancers include Selena Gomez, Ariana Grande and Chris Pratt.

If you’re sending a card to the Cancer in your life, it’s good to remember their ruling color: white. Cancers are healers, gentle-souls and givers. Touch their hearts by sending a simple but beautiful card with a handwritten message inside.

July 23 – Aug 22

Leos are the best kind of trouble this summer. Passionate, charismatic and playful, you will be first in line to sing karaoke, belly-flop into the pool, and hit the dance floor doing the Triangle. You are the life of the party and the queen (or king) of hearts. Hogging the limelight can be your downfall, and occasionally you need to remind yourself to share it. June and July will find you following your passions: traveling, eating out, and hitting the movies. Your horoscope predicts family love! And if you’re considering shaking up your workout routine, August is a good month to get started. Famous Leos include Demi Lovato, Jennifer Lopez and Barak Obama.

The Leos in our lives crave laughter and fun. Their ruling planet is the sun and their element is fire. You bet we have them covered on their birthdays!

August 23 – September 22nd

With their feet on the ground and their head in the clouds, Virgos are the perfect storm of dreamers and doers. Helpful, kind, thoughtful and modest, you make the kind of friends who want to keep you around for life. You’re stylin’. You organize the most magical parties and love getting lost in a good book. Summer will find you combing flea markets for vintage treasures, hiking nature trails and walking your dog in the park. You’re a perfectionist, which is both your strength and your weakness. Sometimes you work yourself too hard. This summer will bring you closer to your family and present chances for you to heal old wounds. Famous Virgos include Beyonce, Zendaya and Keanu Reeves.

Virgos are drawn to beauty and whimsy, and with Mercury as their ruling planet they’re always looking at the stars. Make their day with a unique birthday card with vintage charm.

Happy Birthday, summer signs! We wish you the most amazing and special day this summer. #zodiaclove We don’t want to forget our fall, winter and spring babies so here’s our quick take on what’s in store for you this summer.

LIBRA. Hang on to your hats, this summer is set to be lit! Expect the unexpected and be prepared to use all of your amazing social skills to get by.

SCORPIO. You sexy Scorpios are on target to have some serious adult fun this summer! Keep an eye on your financials and be sure to invest in some racy lacy lingerie.

SAGITTARIUS. This is your summer of love. Connect more deeply with your partner by planning a special getaway. And if you’re a single Sagittarius, there’s never been a better time to mingle!

CAPRICORN. Smart and sassy Capricorns can expect to go on a journey this summer. Taking time to meet new people along the way will bring surprising delights and some insta-worthy moments.

AQUARIUS. A dynamic new person entering your life will make this summer unforgettable. If you can meet the challenges of the summer and roll with its changes, you’ll emerge stronger than ever in fall.

PISCES. This is a life-changing year for you. Your hard work and dedication is finally paying off. Take time to kick back, hang with your entourage and smell the roses!

ARIES. This is an important summer for someone you care about deeply and you’ll need to support them. You and your bank account can expect some extra love in July.

TAURUS. Exciting changes are coming this summer. Embrace them, but keep the details off social media until you’ve given everyone in your circle the heads up.

GEMINI. This is the summer to chill. Relax and take some well-deserved me time. Recharge your creativity with summer must-reads and day trips with family and friends. A party invite in August is not to be missed!

Whatever your sign have a fire summer! Enjoy the heat, stay cool, and don’t forget to keep those memories alive with our Zodiac Daily Journal (available exclusively at Anthropolgie). #elumzodiac We have all the stars in our eyes!