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Holidays

The Gingerbread Village Guide

12.05.2019

– a little inspiration –
FOR A JOYOUS COLLABORATION

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

10.24.2019

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

10.09.2019

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!

Picnic Posse

8.14.2019

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!

1. PIQUE UNE NICHE.

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.

2. MENU PLANNING.

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.

3. SERVE WITH STYLE.

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.

4. THE ESSENTIALS.

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.

5. FUN-DAMENTALS.

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?

What Moms Want Most On Mother’s Day

4.29.2019

We’re thinking about our moms here at Elum. Mother’s Day is fast approaching and we’re asking the question: What’s the best way to make Mom smile on her big day? We’ve been celebrating Mother’s Day in the US for over a hundred years. On May 12, a hundred and fifty-million of us will call home and say, “Hi, Mom!”. About a third of us will buy flowers (pink roses and carnations are our blooms of choice) and a fifth of us will take Mom to brunch or dinner, which explains why it’s Mother’s Day, not Valentines, that is the busiest day of the year for restaurants. What can we say? We love our moms! At Elum we wanted to find out what moms really want on their big day. What makes them happy? What really touches their hearts and fills them with joy? So we asked. We talked  to all the moms we know and listened (moms love it when we do that!), and are now proud to present the Six Things Moms Want Most On Mother’s Day.

Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

1. A thoughtful gesture, card or gift. Every mom we spoke to values thoughtfulness over the monetary value of a gift. Moms love a pretty card with a handwritten message inside.

“Mom, you’re always there for me. You’re my home port in every storm. Love, Jess.”
Or “Mom, you cook the best pancakes ever—tender and sweet—just like you.”

When it comes to gifts, moms really appreciate ones that are meaningful or caring: an old family photo made new again by a beautiful frame, a mom and daughter day at a local spa, their car washed, anything made by hand by their kids.

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

Photo by Bruno Nascimento on Unsplash

2. A connection. If you can’t be with Mom on Mother’s Day, call her, FaceTime or text. Moms want to hear from you! Tell her what you love most about her. Relive your memory of the family vacation to Disneyland. Make Mom laugh by letting her know you haven’t forgotten the time she burned the Thanksgiving turkey, or the time she threw your brand new jeans in the trash by mistake. Make her cry by telling her that as soon as the bell rang after your very first day at school, the one face you couldn’t wait to see at the gates was hers. Moms want to feel connected with their kids on Mother’s Day. Show her the bond of love and family is still strong.

3. A day off from “Mommy” duty. We heard this most from moms with babies and young children. Their dream Mother’s Day is a day off from cooking, cleaning and running the household. They would really appreciate sleeping in. And while they love breakfast in bed, they would love it even more if you washed up after yourselves! #keepingitreal Clean the skillet and the stovetop—and why stop there? Nothing says, “I love you, Mom” more than cleaning the entire house!

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

Photo by Ben Wicks on Unsplash

4. Grandchildren. It’s a universal truth moms adore grandkids. If you have kids, this is a no-brainer. Bring your babies over to see Grandma. You don’t have to plan anything special. Bring cookie dough and sprinkles and let Mom and the kids bake cookies together. Or ask Mom what her favorite movie was when she was a child, and sit three generations of your family down on the couch and watch Black Beauty, Wizard of Oz or the Sound of Music. If you don’t have kids yet, we have a message from your mom. “What are you waiting for?”

5. Time. Mom just wants to spend time with you on Mother’s Day. We heard this answer over and over again. A beach day, family movie night, a potluck dinner, a day of shopping followed by afternoon tea: the most important thing to Mom is spending time with you. As we get busier and busier with our lives, Mother’s Day gives us the chance to slow down and appreciate the people who are most important to us. More than anything, moms want their families together on Mother’s Day

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

6. Love. “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someonedeeply gives you courage.” We don’t know about you, but we’re pretty sure that Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu was thinking about how fiercely mothers love their children when he wrote that saying way back in 500 BC. No one loves us like our mom, no one protects us like our mom, no one celebrates our triumphs and takes the weight from our shoulders like our mom. Moms encourage our first smiles, hand-hold us through our first steps, bathe us thousands of times, kiss away hundreds of boo-boos, pack uncountable lunches and take all the photographs that will come back to haunt us decades later when we bring home a date.

A mom’s love is fierce, tender and everlasting. And the number one thing moms want this Mother’s Day is to feel their love is returned.

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.

SHOP OUR HOLIDAY CARDS HERE

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.