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Celebrate!

Elūm’s EGGcellent Party

4.17.2019

In the spirit of Easter, we decided to have a dEGGcorating party! We gathered all the ladies (plus Scott & Ryan) and got down to business. Check out some photos below from our EGGcellent party and get inspired to have your own!–Who said decorating eggs was just for kids?!

Each person was equipped with a bunny headband (made by us of course), a plethora of eggs and all the kits, markers, paint, dyes, washi tape you can think of. (Gloves are recommended if you prefer not to look like your egg when you’re done)

We taped up our very own Pinterest board on the wall for some inspiration–which also doubled as some really cute decoration! (Thanks Haley!)

Our egg dyeing station had pretty much every color under the sun! Check out Real Simple’s article on what you need and simple directions to follow on how to dye an egg. (This one is great for kids) Bustle has more intermediate ideas if you are feeling ~fancy~.

For a more abstract look, you can dye the eggs with whipped cream! Follow My Baking Addiction’s article on how to do it–it’s super easy to follow. (this is where those gloves would come in handy!)

And if you’re not feeling so creative, fear not! We’ve got you covered with EGG DECORATING KITS! Our dapper bunny is a great classic choice.  For a more trendy look, this unicorn decorated egg is inspired by Coachella–and even though Coachella trends will come and go, this guy will never go out of style. #timeless You can get our kits at your local TjMaxx, Home Goods, or Marshalls!

If you don’t feel like using any of these methods or if you want to mix, feel free to go freestyle and create your own one-of-a-kind design!

No matter the outcome, the most important thing is that you had fun
and if there’s one thing that we know how to do here at Elūm, it’s just that. Happy Easter!

 

Elūm’s Spring Fling

4.11.2019

We love spring here at Elūm! April in Paris, fresh horizons and alfresco lunches: bring it on! We’re breaking out the flip-flops, cranking our office windows, waxing our surfboards, chilling the rosé and getting giddy with it! We’re declaring our First Annual Spring Fling! What are our artists and designers dreaming up this spring? What colors are they rocking? What foods are they craving? And what exactly do they get up to when they leave the office? We need to know! So we corralled them into the lunchroom, plied them with fish tacos and donuts (we know from experience they won’t talk if they’re hungry!) and asked. Read on for their light-up-social-media replies.

 

What colors are rocking your world this spring?

“All the yellows!” shouts our senior designer, Shannon L. Another of our senior designers agrees. “Yellow,” repeats Polly G with feeling. While Olga G, one of our graphic designer admits, “I’m still stuck on mustard.” Kristi C, our creative director, is also feeling the mustard, along with “Blush pinks and dark blues.” Colors are fighting words here at Elum and production artists Jael P and Scott H are willing to go to war for shades of blue. Meanwhile Shelby H, our lovely product development lead, is all about “Emerald green”. You go, girl! No color is left behind on this watch!

Spring cleaning or spring planting?

Kristi C declares, “Both! Purging paperwork, clothes and items I do not generally use in the house. Planting lots of ferns, podocarps, succulents.” Meanwhile Haley F, one of our senior designers, declares herself for spring planting. “We just moved into a new apartment with a large screened-in front porch and you better believe it is about to be a jungle out there.” We believe you, Haley! We also believe the five artists and designers who declared themselves ready to clean house this spring. We know your instagrams, #elumdesigners. We’ll be waiting on those before and after pics!

Fashions, homewares, style trends: what are you obsessing over this spring?

We opened a can of worms with this question. “Shoes!” shouts production artist Mikaela L. “Fitness!” counters Scott H. “Typography,” declares senior designer, Polly G. “Lots of matte black ceramics,” says Kristi C, “mixed with gold, silvers, terrazzo stone patterns and pops of fun bright colors.” I think it’s safe to conclude that we’re obsessing about a LOT of things here at the moment!

 

What are you listening to?

In no particular order: NPR, Michale Bublé, Odesza, La La Land, traffic updates and podcasts!

 

More importantly, what are you craving for lunch?

Poke!” declares Jael P.  Shelby H counters with, “Smoked salmon on an everything bagel” which pretty much has everyone in the office nodding their heads. When Mikaela L declares, “Pizza. Always,” we burst into spontaneous applause. There’s no arguing with the classics!

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you head to this spring?

Australia, Bali, the Serengetti, Budapest, Chile, and our local Anza Borrgeo desert: that’s six out of seven continents. We’re still trying to figure out why none of our designers has Antartica on her list. Any idea why? #coldestplaceonearth

 

What’s your favorite piece from Elūm’s spring collection?

At this point the crew starts getting rowdy. “Paradise Palms Weekly Desk Planner,” shouts Haley F. “I love those inside pages!” Scott H has his own opinion. “Subtle Gem Weekly Eats. It helps get the hard decisions out of the way and is ok to have at home as a guy.” Meanwhile Shannon L declares herself for, “Smokey Stone 3 Pack Journals. So. Pretty.” While Kristi C gives a shout out to our “Lustre Wash Padfolio.” This could go on all day! We’re pretty passionate about stationary here at Elum.

Paradise Palms Weekly Desk Planner

Subtle Gem Weekly Eats

Smokey Stone 3-Pack Journal

 

Final season of Game of Thrones or live action The Lion King?

Turns out we’re also passionate about GOT. Eighty percent of us are iron-throning all the way, baby! Haley F sums it up by declaring herself, “Team Khaleesi!” Badass boss girl on a dragon? Yep, we’re down with that!

 

“Valar morghulis” or “Hakuna matata”?

Based on our answers to the last question you’d think we’d all be “Valar morghulis”, right? Turns out our artists and designers are a free-thinking, confound-the-stereotypes sort of bunch. While we do understand that everyone must die, we much prefer to live by Elton John’s Lion King philosophy, “Hakuna matata”. No worries. #swahiliwisdom

 

What are you most looking forward to this spring?

“Going to baseball games and eating stadium pretzels and garlic fries and taking my dog to the beach!” Shelby H tells us. “Sunshine!” says Haley F. “Being outside!” agrees Mikaela L, while Olga G adds, “Good weather to hike!” The final word, however, goes to Jael P who melts our hearts with her answer, “Getting married!”

We wish you and your partner all the best for your spring wedding, Jael! Here’s wishing you sunshine, pizza, the color yellow, trips to all seven continents, and hakuna matata! You remind us what we’ve known all along: Spring is for celebrating love!

#BalanceForBetter

3.08.2019

We are committed to empowering women and girls at Elūm. We believe the world needs more women scientists, engineers, designers, programmers, creators, entrepreneurs and leaders. #BalanceforBetter. We believe in girls on top, women supporting women, female-led brands, Chaka Kahn, Malala Yousafzai, and She-Ra! We say a woman’s place is wherever she damn well pleases! We’re excited about a future where a women is free to love whoever she chooses and can choose to do whatever she loves.

To celebrate International Women’s Day we sat down for a chat with our very own boss girl, Melissa Foster. Melissa is our co-founder here at Elūm. She is passionate about encouraging women to fulfill their potential and support one another in the workplace. And as a mom to two daughters, she is actively engaged in raising kind, fearless and gutsy girls.

Hi, Melissa. Thanks for talking to us today. Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started in the stationery business?

I grew up a very artistic kid. I loved to draw mostly, but there were so many creative outlets that I would explore, from creative writing and interior design to graphic design and even fashion design. I knew I wanted to become a business owner so that I could run my own show, so I got my BA and started in Advertising. It was when I took a job in a small printing boutique that I became a true paper guru. We were always flooded with the latest paper samples and I received one from a small batch company in Colorado that was all handmade cotton rag. It was thick, fibrous, and soft like a sponge. This began my love affair with paper, and led me to discovering letterpress. At the time it was a forgotten medium that could bring handmade paper to life.

A few years later when a client approached me to design a letterpress-printed wedding invitation, I got lucky. From that one event I caught the eye of one of the most high profile wedding coordinators in San Diego. She introduced me to an inner circle of strong women in the wedding planning industry and I instantly became flooded with business.

What were your goals when you co-founded Elūm?

My goals were simple; to reintroduce letterpress in a way that people had not seen it before and to make them swoon over paper the way that I did. If it worked, I would get to do art, be creative and feel good every day.

Were you ever given any advice that you took to heart and now guides you?

Yes. Failure is the best way to learn. With every failure along the way, I would look back through it and find out where and how things went wrong. Then I would implement a solution for moving forward and just keep on growing.

Have you experienced challenges as a woman running a business?

About three years into my business, I gave birth to my first daughter. I had a play room set up for her in the adjacent office and I was ready to bring her into the shop with me each day. I felt so fortunate, as a business owner, to have the luxury of doing this. But it immediately became very clear that my attention could not be divided. When it came to my daughter versus work, my daughter was my priority every time. It was extremely difficult for me to juggle being the kind of mom I wanted to be all while in the midst of getting my business to the next phase. I began a very real and hurtful internal struggle between my innate yearning to be with my baby and the practical need to continue on with Elūm so that I could support my family. It was more difficult than I ever imagined it would be.

What advice would you give to a woman thinking of starting her own business?

It’s so different today with the social media aspect being such a tremendous part of it all, and the competition seems more fierce than ever because of it. Just keep your focus on what you are trying to achieve and push on. And when an opportunity arrises, always say ‘yes’ and figure out the ‘how’ later.

How important is it that women support and encourage one another in the workplace?

It’s paramount. Throughout my career my greatest mentors and business supporters have been women. They are the ones that kept me sane through it all. Just one conversation with a fellow business owner and I felt heard, acknowledged, and not alone. And one lunch with my former boss and mentor (and the best negotiator I know) and I am recharged for my next challenge. Women are so critical of themselves and this makes it all that much more important that we make it a point to reach out and support one another.

As mom to two amazing daughters, how do you raise your girls to be strong and empowered?

I don’t do things for them that they are capable of doing for themselves. By the time they could talk, I had them voicing their own orders to the waiter. And if they needed a straw or a fork, they would have to ask for it. It is also very important to me that my daughters know they have a voice with me and with any superior for that matter. It’s okay to be upset about something, but I encourage them to come to me with a solution rather than complaint. I explain the importance of communication and that if they are having trouble in math and can’t finish the homework, to email the teacher and ask for assistance. This is a skill set that they will utilize throughout their careers.

We volunteer a lot. I want my girls to feel the incredible joy that comes from giving back, and they do. I also stress that when they have a ‘friend’ issue to go directly to the source and to actually TALK it out. Not text. Talk. And to be vulnerable. Trusting and supporting your girlfriends means telling them when they have hurt you, saying you are sorry when it was your fault, and cheering them on when they succeed at something. It can literally change the trajectory of your own self-confidence. And recently I hosted a “Healthy Sex Chat” for my fifteen year old and some of her girlfriends. We had a Sociologist specializing in Intimacy and Relationships come speak to our girls about such things as body image, disempowering messages to girls/women through media literacy and song lyrics, sexual consent, and the importance of desire, thus normalizing female desire and pleasure. Let’s just say, it was AWESOME.

Do you have a favorite quote?

“If you are always trying to be normal, you will never know how amazing you can be” —Maya Angelou

On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women?

Really listen to the encouraging words you receive along the way. It can be a knee jerk reaction to deflect praise, but if you really take it in you can use it in combination with what you love doing and let it guide you to where you are meant to be. Oh, and go sit with your boss at the lunch table every once in a while . . . she gets lonely.

We’ll sit with you anytime, Melissa! Thanks for inspiring us and starting the conversation today. Now let’s hand it off to our visitors.
Add your voice to the conversation and let us know what you think. And always remember to celebrate and champion ourselves as women.

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Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time

2.01.2019

We are hopeful romantics here at Elūm. We love heart-shaped boxes of candy, candlelight dinners for two, skinny-dipping by moonlight and cozy nights by the fire. A good love story will melt our hearts every time. Whatever version of A Star Is Born we’re watching we know to keep a box of tissues handy. And if it happens to be Titanic or The Fault In Our Stars you’re going to see the ugly cry. The great love stories move us in inexplicable ways. They make our hearts flutter and our souls soar by confirming our most fundamental hope: that somewhere out there is the person, that man or woman, who is meant to be our one and only.

As Valentine’s Day approaches we’re sending out a special Valentine to the Ten Most Romantic Couples Of All Time. We love the way you love: deeply, fiercely, unfailingly. You rock us with your stories, inspire us with your devotion, and bring tears to our eyes with the everlasting beauty of the love you create. #romanceforever@elum

1. ROMEO & JULIET

Teenagers, born into rival families, forced to keep their love on the down low, and given some of the most beautiful words ever written to say to one another. “But, soft! What light through yonder window breaks?” Romeo says upon seeing his love from a distance. “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” It does not get more romantic than that. #swooning

 

2. PRIYANKA CHOPRA & NICK JONAS

In this Friday, Nov. 30, 2018 handout photo released by Raindrop Media, Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas celebrate during their mehndi ceremony at Umaid Bhawan in Jodhpur, India, Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018. (Raindrop Media via AP)

The first time the Quantico actress met the youngest member of the Jonas Brothers he got down on one knee. Catching a glimpse of her at a Vanity Fair Oscars party, he rushed over, set down his drink and said, “You’re real. Where have you been all my life?” Two years later they were married in India in a week long celebration involving palaces, elephants and an epic dance off. #stillhoneymooning

 

3. PENELOPE & ODYSSEUS

The original homegirl, Penelope waited for her husband to return from roaming the earth for twenty years. She raised their son, fought off a hundred-and-eight suitors, and generally kicked a lot of ancient butt. You go, girl! You’re so fierce we’re not entirely convinced Big O deserves you!

 

4. MILEY CYRUS & LIAM HEMSWORTH

Because when their house burned down last year in the California wildfires, all that remained was love.

 

5. ELIZABETH TAYLOR & RICHARD BURTON

When the most beautiful woman in the world set her violet eyes upon the handsome Shakespearean actor with a voice of gold, she was dressed as Cleopatra. He bought her a private jet and 68 carat diamond. They married twice and divorced twice but loved one another to the end. “I love you and I always will,” Burton wrote to Taylor in one of his final letters. “Come back to me as soon as you can.”

 

6. PRINCE HARRY & MEGHAN MARKLE

Setup on a blind date by a mutual friend, the Suits actress blew the prince away. “I walked into the room and saw her and I was like: Okay, I’m really going to have to up my game.” Within a couple of weeks he’d whisked her away on a camping trip to Botswana where they got to know one another under the stars. He proposed a year later and the rest is history. Royal wedding. Baby on the way. #truelifefairytale

 

7. HELEN OF TROY & MENELAUS

“The face that launched a thousand ships.” That’s our Helen. Girl was married to Menelaus when she was kidnapped by a dude named Paris and hauled four hundred miles west to the city of Troy. Menelaus waged war for ten long years to get wifey back. Brother had some serious perseverance and a giant wooden horse. #bewaretrojanhorses

 

8. BEYONCE & JAY Z

This megastar and mega-talented couple renewed their wedding vows in an intimate ceremony last year. Their ten year marriage, with its well-documented brush with infidelity, is testament to the true nature of longterm love. Jay Z told David Letterman in a recent interview, “We did the hard work of going to therapy. I like to believe that we’re in a better place today, but still working, and communicating, and growing.” #goingthedistance

 

9. VIRGINIA WOOLF & VITA SACKVILLE-WEST

The iconic feminist writer and celebrated beauty and poet began an affair in 1925, which produced some of the most scorching love letters of all time. Woolf wrote to her lover, “Throw over your man, and we’ll go to Hampton Court and dine on the river together and walk in the garden in the moonlight and come home late and have a bottle of wine and get tipsy, and I’ll tell you all the things I have in my head. They won’t stir by day, only by dark on the river. Think of that. Throw over your man, I say, and come.” #whitehotpassion

 

10. MICKEY & MINNIE MOUSE

 Because even after ninety years together, these cutie pies can’t stop kissing!

Did we miss anyone on our list? Who is your favorite loved up couple of all time? Happy Valentine’s to you and your sweetie from your romance-ready BFFs at Elum! And don’t forget to get your love a Valentine’s card this year. Head to our site for a selection of cards!

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Elūm’s Holiday Traditions

12.19.2018

We love the Holidays here at Elum. We’re senders of cards and gift givers, candy cane connoisseurs and mistletoe mamas. If someone shouts, “Party!” we’re there. If gift wrapping were a martial art everyone in our office would be ninjas. Black-belted, ninth dan merry-making ninjas! We love sparkles and sprinkles, goofy dancing, questionable holiday sweaters, hats with antlers, Bing Crosby, sugar cookies and hot toddies! More than anything else we love sharing and creating special moments with our friends and families. We’re filled with so much festive spirit right now we gathered the gang together, supplied everyone with rum-soaked eggnog and figgy pudding, and asked about their holiday traditions.

What’s your favorite part of the Holidays?

“Christmas morning is my favorite part of the holidays,” says Kristi C, our creative director. “Seeing my kids’ faces in the morning, so excited that Santa came to visit them. They can’t wait to open up their stockings and gifts.” Jael P, one of our production artists, looks forward to, “Staying in a cabin and heading to a cold place where it snows! Plus it’s the only time of the year when my brother and my dad help in the kitchen!” Tim P, our production designer, says his favorite part is, “Snuggling under warm blankets and watching terrible holiday movies on the Hallmark channel.” Judging from the way everyone is nodding, watching bad movies just might be Elum’s guilty holiday secret! Haley F, our senior designer, sums up the most important thing about the Holidays. “I know it’s cliché but getting to be together with family is by far the best part of the Holidays. I haven’t lived in the same timezone as my family for almost a decade, so when we can manage to all get together—even for just a day—it’s pretty special.”

Do you have any family holiday traditions?

“PJs all day!” declares production artist Mikaela L. Senior designer, Shannon L, keeps the laughter going by telling us, “General consensus in my family is that I’m a terrible cook. I bring the cheese board.” Our warehouse manager, Ryan M, chips in with, “Christmas nights at dive bars!” And Tim shares that universal holiday tradition of, “Getting awkward phone calls to out-of-town family over with by dinner.” Lindsey C in logistics tells us about her grandma. “Every Christmas Eve my grandma will make French onion soup. Christmas Day we will drink a bunch of wine while watching National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. This will be our first year without Grandma and I’m hoping I can pull off the soup as well as she did.” We all agree that simple family traditions, sharing food with loved ones, presents under the tree, are the things that create holiday magic.

What will you be cooking this Christmas?

“Our menu is always a mismatch of childhood favorites and new recipes we want to try,” says Haley. “Nothing says Christmas like pizza rolls and bourbon.” Lindsey tells us about her mom’s, “Roast Beast, which is a giant peppercorn-encrusted prime rib with all the trimmings.” We spend a moment in awe of Lindsey’s mom, then Nancy Z from logistics tells us, “My family loves hot pot during Christmas” and we all decide we’d like that too. And when Jael pitches in with “Honey glazed ham, a poppy seed cake and cheesecake!” and our co-founder Melissa F adds, “Noni’s cracked crab” we burst into spontaneous applause. Can you tell we’re all food crazy here at Elum?

What’s Elum’s holiday party like? Give us the lowdown!

“Sparkly & Boozy!“ declares Haley. “Super fun!” agrees Kristi. “We do a white elephant exchange, have a yummy dinner and we usually go dancing late night!” This year will be production artist, Scott H’s, first ever Elum holiday party and he tells us he, “Can’t wait!” When he asks Tim about the last Elum holiday party, Tim replies, “It was so good that I have a hard time remembering.” Lindsey helps him out, “That party was a HOOT! Tim was VERY festively dressed in a Christmas sweater. Everyone in the company is fun-loving and thoughtful. It’s wonderful to be able to unwind with such a great group of people.”

What Elum goodies will you be giving as gifts this year?

“I will be gifting Big Stack notepads to friends and family,” creative project lead, Shelby H, tells us. “They are very useful and a wonderful locally made product.” Lindsey agrees. “My family is addicted to Big Stacks. They’re the PERFECT notepad and the only way I’m guaranteed to not lose my shopping list. I’ve put one of them in everyone’s stocking as well as some Weekly Eats list pads.” Shannon will be gifting our “Letterpress journals. They’re a great practical but fun gift.” While Tim will be sending folk, “The Feliz Navidog card…’cause my son likes dogs.”

What are you wishing for in 2019?

“New experiences that will lead to new happy lasting memories for years to come,” says Melissa. Kristi adds, “Healthy Elum babies—we have two new babies at Elum that will be born in 2019! Some relief from the natural disasters happening around the world, and to spend more quality time with friends and family.” Cheers to all that! Haley and Lindsey dream of traveling. “Somewhere tropical,” Lindsey tells us, while Haley says, “Every year I try to make a bucket list of hikes, road trips and vacations— plotted at the beginning of the year to look forward to!” Our inside sales manager, Sara C, is looking forward to, “Spending more time in my garden and a full edible garden in the spring!” Tim is also thinking about gardening. He’s wondering if he can plant a tree “that yields cash and ribeye steaks!” We all laugh, and leave it to Nancy to sum everything up. “I wish good health and happiness for all the people I know.”

We raise our glasses and wish you health and happiness. We wish you time spent with loved ones and time doing what you love. We wish you all the joy and magic of the Holidays and all the wonderful possibilities of the New Year! From Elum’s family to yours.

Getting Carded For the Holidays

12.07.2018

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Eggnog and sugar cookies, Christmas trees and menorahs, wreaths on doors, lights strung throughout the house and cards in the mailbox. Two billion to be exact! That’s the number of Christmas and holiday cards Americans will be mailing one another this year. By sending cards we create and share the warm feelings of the season, posting little envelopes of joy to friends, family and co-workers. Our cards will be passed among family members, displayed on mantles and treasured as keepsakes. Choosing cards can be daunting, so how do you crush your Christmas card list? We’ve put together our Getting Carded For The Holidays Guide so you can hit the Holidays running.

1. Make a list and check it twice. Start with family. Aunts, uncles, grandparents, parents, siblings. Are there family members you won’t be able to see over the Holidays? Perhaps Great Aunt Gracie can’t get round like she used to. If so, pay special attention to her with your card. Our charming Biking Santa card with a handwritten message inside will warm her heart. Dear Aunt Gracie, we’ll miss you this Christmas. Thinking about you always and hoping to see you soon, Love Amber & Jack. Friends and siblings give us the chance to be more lighthearted. This adorable All Wrapped Up In Christmas card is sure to put a smile on their faces. Who doesn’t love doggies frolicking in snow?

2. For friends and family who celebrate Hanukkah stock up with a box of gorgeous foil-stamped Hanukka Light cards. Or how about making a special someone’s day with our delightful Pop-Out Menorah card? It’s part fun crafting project, part holiday magic.

3. Boxed cards are like Santa’s secret little helpers. Invest in a couple of boxes from our special Holiday Collections at T.J.Maxx, Home Goods and Marshalls. You can’t go wrong with gold-foiled moose and dancing polar bears! These lovely whimsical cards are the perfect way to spread cheer to neighbors, teachers, doctors and folk in your community.

4. It’s always a good idea to have a box of non-denominational cards on hand so you can share holiday wishes without leaving anyone out. Beautifully made nonreligious cards like our Marshmallow Cozies are perfect for co-workers and professional contacts. Inside, be sure to mention your co-workers families. Wishing you, Janet and the kids all the best this season. If you don’t know the name of your co-worker’s family a little fudging works. Wishing you, your family and loved ones a magical Holiday Season.

5. Don’t forget to put your return address on all your envelopes—even those you’re delivering by hand. Most folk will want to return your holiday cheer and having your address handy will make it as easy as possible for them.

6. Timing is everything. Ideally you should aim to have your cards in the post by the second week of December. The happiest time of year is also the busiest at the Post Office and you don’t want to run the risk of your tidings of joy arriving too late. Set aside a weekend afternoon or evening early to write and address your cards. And make sure Mom’s ready by the phone. You know she’s the keeper of all the family addresses!

7. Personalize and beautify. Turn card writing into a celebration. Invest in a beautiful dual brush tip pen and transform your handwriting into calligraphy. Use the fine tip to write and the thicker tip to decorate and illustrate. For cards to family and friends, adorn your signature with snowflakes, holly and sugarplums. Get festive and creative. If you’re sending a card to your honey, how about drawing a sprig of mistletoe inside?

8. Stop off at your local Post Office and pick up a set of holiday stamps. Choose from Sparkling Holiday or Snowy Day or the wonderful new Kwanzaa stamps. Adding festive stamps is the easiest way to deck out your envelopes in style.

9. Be sure to keep some pretty blank cards handy for last minute send offs. We’ve all been there. It’s two days before Christmas and a card from a second cousin on our father’s side arrives in the post. Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Love Ella and the boys. Uh oh. We totally forgot to send Ella a card. And we’re not even sure we can remember the names of her boys. No problem. A pretty card slipped promptly in the post to the rescue. Dear Ella, thinking of you and the boys. Wishing you the best and brightest New Year. Love, Samantha. XXX

10. Finally, never forgot Holidays are about joy. Creating it, sharing it and receiving it. Sending cards are one of the most thoughtful ways of showing friends and loved ones you care.

Elum wishes you the sparkliest, warmest, most magical Holiday Season ever. From our family to yours.

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How to Host a Friendsgiving

11.12.2018

You’re away from your family and can’t get home for Thanksgiving so how do you celebrate one of the most beloved holidays of the year? Host a Friendsgiving and invite your friends and besties to help you channel all the good spirits and thankfulness of the season. Friendsgivings free us from formality, potentially frosty family members, and the tyranny of turkey. It’s a chance to put our own spin on the season, create new traditions, new menus, new ways to honor loved ones and pay tribute to those original Plymouth pilgrims. We’re all about celebrating friendship here at Elum so we’ve created our very own Friendsgiving Fundamentals to help you with the big day.

1. Thou shalt not sweat the menu. Grandma may have woken at four in the morning to put the turkey in the oven and then spent the next eight hours peeling and boiling potatoes, baking pies and doing unsightly things with giblets, but we don’t have to. As the host of a Friendsgiving it’s our job to provide the main dish and then delegate the daylights out of the side dishes. #delegatethesides If you want turkey and gravy we say go for it! If you’d like to cheat and have your local market roast and prepare that turkey, we say even better. If you’d prefer prime rib, spinach lasagne, herb-roasted chicken or butternut squash risotto then follow your tastebuds. Once you’ve decided on a main dish, email your guests and suggest side dishes for them to bring: “Those appetizers you brought to Kim’s birthday party were delish. Would love it if you could bring something similar” or “Tater me, baby. Can never have enough potato dishes.” Keep it lighthearted and allow your guests to show their own creativity. Do not be a Friendzilla and micromanage the menu. If you end up with a couple of extra apples pies and no green bean casserole, laugh it off. Turn the extra apple pie into a prize that the lucky winner can take home.

2. Thou shalt relax. A Friendsgiving is about celebrating your friends and your friends celebrating you. If you enjoy creating unique table settings then go ahead and lay a pretty Thanksgiving table. If you’re more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants gal then stack clean plates and silverware on the kitchen countertop, set you main dish warming in the oven and you’re done. Even better, use festive paper plates to cut down on clean up. Relax, and allow your friends to self-organize their side dishes and drinks: the worst that can happen is lukewarm gravy and a shortage of ice. Friendsgiving doesn’t belong in the same sentence as perfection. Focus instead on creating a fun and welcoming vibe for your guests. Open the door in your PJ’s, give them a silly hat to wear and a shot of tequila, and sit back and enjoy just being with them.

3. Thou shalt have fun and games. We’re all kids at heart and a Friendsgiving is one of the best opportunities to celebrate this. Games bring us together, allow us to laugh at ourselves and be goofy. Start by setting up a football pool for the big game—even folk who know nothing about football can play. Write your name in a square and you’re good to go. You can find the rules and a printable template here. Next, light things up with an awesome party playlist, crank up the volume and dance. Macarena, Gangnam Style, Baby Shark or Workin’ It: we won’t tell. #ourlipsaresealed After dinner arrange an epic Battle Of The Sexes. Split your party in two: those who identity as female and those who identify as male. The girls answer typical guy questions such as “How many volts in a standard car battery?” and the guys answer questions like “What’s the birthstone for April?” Or how about creating a unique work of art? Pass around a blank canvas and jar of colored markers and have every guest contribute to a Friendsgiving masterpiece. After everyone signs it you’ll have a keepsake for life.

4. Thou shalt give and receive thanks. Before you eat, take a moment to link hands and go around and the table and have everyone say what they’re thankful for. If dear friends are missing, this is the time to raise your glass and acknowledge them. It’s also the time to graciously accept thanks. You have provided a warm, fun, inclusive Thanksgiving for your friends. That’s a biggie, and one pretty, darn terrific thing to do. Elūm wishes you a fiercely fabulous friend-filled celebration this season. #elumlove

And if you took part in a Friendsgiving, be sure to thank your host with a note. You can get one from our site here.

Halloween Preening

10.24.2018

It’s that time of year. Days are getting shorter, leaves are falling, there’s a chill in the morning air and a chance of spotting ghosts after dark. Halloween is pumpkin spice and costumes naughty-and-nice, trick-or-treating and candy corn eating. It’s apple-bobbing and gravestones rocking in the dead of night. At Elūm we love a holiday that allows us to be someone else for a day. We get to dress up, tell spooky tales around the fire, believe in vampires and do the monster mash. We’ve put together a list of seven scary good things to wear, drink, do and decorate with this season. Let’s throw a party and have some fun!

1. Host a Seyoncé. Yes, that’s what we said: a mashup of a Girls Run The World night and a seance. With Beyoncé on the soundtrack and red wine in old fashioned crystal glasses, gather around the dining table with your girlfriends. Turn down the lights, unfold your Ouija Board, ask everyone present to put a hand on the planchette (the floaty thing), and whisper the time-honored question, “Is anybody out there?” Even if the spirits choose not to visit, you and your gal pals will still be slayin’ it with Queen B. #seyoncé

2. Bake a batch of Halloween Cupcakes. Don’t sweat how they turn out, frosting is our friend. It’s like a hat on a bad hair day: no one can be sure what’s happening beneath it. Buy orange and purple food coloring and use them. Get battered up and creative. Dots of frosting on toothpicks can become eyes on stalks, and don’t get us started on all the crazy things you can do with pretzels.

3. Speaking of pretzels, put together a fearsome Halloween Buffet. You’ll be starting with devilled eggs, of course! And you can never go wrong with finger foods. Get into the spirit of the season and embrace your inner ghoul. A simple platter of deli meat can become Long Cold In The Grave Cuts if decorated with olive eyeballs. And let’s cook a few dishes for their names alone, like British favorites Toad in the Hole, Bubble and Squeak, and Black Pudding (hint, it’s not even close to pudding or dessert). #britishfoodlove

4. Channel your inner bartender and get some bloodcurdling cocktails going. Add a splash of blueberry juice to turn this Yellow Rattler into your very own Purple Bone Rattler. Check out The Chunky Chef’s delightfully dreadful Poisoned Apple Cider Cocktail, and don’t forget that old classic standby, the Zombie Apocalypse. If you want to keep it simple you can turn just about any drink—lemonade, iced tea, white wine, gin and tonic etc—into a darkly dread creation by adding a shot of pomegranate juice and garnishing with impaled cherries on Halloween cocktail sticks.

5. Embrace hair-raising decorations. Carve pumpkins, stock up on gourds, bedeck your halls and yards with string lights. Head to your nearest TJMAXX, Home Goods or Marshalls to stock up on our Halloween gift bags and plates. This is the one time of year we get to free our inner freak. There is no such thing as overdoing Halloween. If you want a demon girl on a rocking horse on your front porch, we say go for it. Though we have to admit she’s pretty darn freaky when she starts moving. #freethefreak

6. It’s getting darker earlier and we all know what that means: more time to Netflix and chill. Watch the Netflix original series The Haunting Of Hill House. It’s so scary the master of horror himself, Stephen King, called it, “Close to a work of genius.” Heat some popcorn on the stove and snuggle with your SO as you stream I Am the Pretty Thing That Lives in the House. The movie’s opening line will have you hooked: “I have heard myself say that a house with a death in it can never again be bought or sold by the living. It can only be borrowed from the ghosts that have stayed behind.” Yep, we’ll take some of that. #scarymovie

7. Dress despicably. Whether you want to be one of the headless horsemen of the apocalypse, Jessica Rabbit, Snow White or Elvis we say GO FOR IT! Goofy, punny, sexy or sweet: it’s the mix of costumes and personality that make Halloween so crazy amazing. And why stop at decorating our bodies, when we can bedazzle and customize our faces as well? Check out the mesmerizing Ida Elina, Cassy Lloyd Fox and Ah Its Rosa to see Halloween make up slam-dunked.

Most of all Halloween is a time to let loose and have fun, and our Elum crew wishes you all the devilish delights of the season. Now go dress up and be bad. #baddressup

5.0 Shades of Pink

6.22.2018

We love the color pink here at Elūm so when we learned June 23 is National Pink Day we didn’t need much persuading to celebrate. Pink is the color of princesses and peonies, breast cancer, gay pride, happiness, flamingoes and bubblegum. Audrey Hepburn famously declared, “I believe in pink!” We believe in it too so we set out to discover as much as we can about our five favorite shades of pink.

1.0 True Pink. Pink was a bit of a later starter compared to others colors. While red, blue and purple where swanning around the Medieval world, dressing royalty, adorning paintings and generally getting themselves into trouble, pink didn’t even have a name. It wasn’t until Elizabethan times, that people began to use the word pink to refer to the color. The name comes from the flower Dianthus which is a true and pretty pink.

After a late check-in to the color party, pink wasted no time claiming the romantic high ground. Shakespeare used the word pink in two of his plays, most-fittingly the great love stories Romeo & Juliet and Anthony & Cleopatra. With the Bard’s stamp of approval under its belt, pink had officially arrived.

2.0 Magenta. In 2013 NASA announced it had discovered a pink planet. This adorable heavenly body orbits the star 59 Virginis and is named GJ 504b. It’s four times the mass of Jupiter, fifty-seven light years from Earth and a toasty 460°F year round. “If we could travel to this giant planet,” Michael McElwain, a member of the discovery team at NASA, tells us, “we would see a world still glowing from the heat of its formation with a color reminiscent of a dark cherry blossom.”

The rich magenta color of GJ 504b is due to methane fluorescing in its atmosphere and potassium which emits wavelengths in the violet spectrum. At Elūm we love this glowing pink planet so much we’d like to send it a sparkly Thank You note just for existing.

3.0 Rose gold. If beautiful Princess Pink married dashing Prince Gold and they had a daughter, she would be named Rose Gold. This perfectly dreamy color occurs when gold is combined with copper and a hint of silver to produce a delicate pink metal. Carl Fabergé, jeweler to the Russian czars, was one of the first craftsmen to put this charming alloy to use, most notably in his breathtaking Fabergé Eggs.

Despite its delicate appearance, rose gold is tougher than it looks and is more durable than yellow or white gold and less likely to tarnish. Add in the fact that its soft pinkish hue makes it flattering to most skin tones and it’s no wonder we love it like crazy.

4.0 Blush. If any color is having a moment it’s the dusky salmon-hued shade of blush known as millennial pink. Style bibles love to weigh in on how and why it’s so popular, but to us it’s simply a variation of classic blush. And blush pink will never go out of style. Blush is the color of hope and promises, of babies’ cheeks and bridesmaid dresses, chilled rosé and seashells. Newlywed Meghan, the Countess of Sussex, wore a blush pink Carolina Herrera dress for Trooping the Colour earlier this month, and Jay- Z just wore a blush pink John Galliano suit at the Louvre while shooting his and Beyonce’s APES**T video.

Vogue may have declared millennial pink over, but its big sister blush isn’t going anywhere.

5.0 Hot Pink. Who doesn’t love a color with the word “hot” in it? Hot pink reminds us of bad fashion choices in the 80s, of questionable prom dresses, Malibu Barbie, Dirty Dancing and Wham! It shows us that pink isn’t all petals and ballet slippers. It can be as bold and sexy as red. Italian fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli introduced the world to hot pink in 1937. Schiaparelli dressed Marlene Dietrich, Great Garbo, Katherine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall. When she invented a color the fashion world took notice.

“Bright, impossible, impudent” hot pink has been part of the landscape ever since. It’s even been declared the new orange as increasing numbers of construction and road workers are adopting it as their color of choice for safety vests and hard hats. Turns out hot pink is just as visible as blaze orange yet a whole lot sassier. At Elūm we are hot pink’s biggest champions. We love a color that isn’t afraid of being its own bold self.

CLICK TO SHOP A SELECTION OF PINK ITEMS