Category Archives: Inspiration

Boys Stationery: Expressing Thanks With Style and Theme

At amyadele.com, we know how important it is to teach children to be thankful. Whether they have received a compliment or a gift it’s a nice idea to have your boys write a thank you letter.

Our boys stationery is made just for boys. We offer a variety of designs making it fun for boys to write thank you letters to their friends or family. Thank you cards are 5″ x 3.5″ and we offer both flat cards and folded notes.

Our boys thank you cards are available in several themes, from sailboats to robots and firetrucks. We carry animal themes and prints, sea life and school related designs. We even have camping, and train designs!

All of our boys stationary can be personalized. We can also take care of special requests. If there is a design or theme that you want but can’t find on our site feel free to contact us with your idea. We will be happy help.

If you are interested in changing the color theme of any of our available designs you can, for only $10.00. All thank you cards can be modified to meet your specific needs. Don’t hesitate to let us know exactly what you want. We will do our best to ensure your satisfaction.

We offer a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase you can get your money back. Simply send back the products within 30 days and we will give you a full refund. You can receive a credit towards future purchases after the thirty days is up. You may request the credit up to sixty days after your purchase has been made.

We take pride in our stationary, thank you cards, and other products. We also try to encourage thankfulness. Teaching boys to write thank you letters to friends and family has never been this much fun!

How to make New Years Eve Rock for the kids

New Years Eve is well known for the champagne, staying up late, kissing, and glamorous outfits. But what about those who are a bit younger? They definitely want to be able to ring in the new year with just as much fun and pizazz as their parents and older siblings! So here are a few Holiday Party Ideas to make their night just as memorable as your own.

  • Sleep over party! If you just so happen to have young ones of your own and a lack of plans for NYE, why not offer to host a sleep over for the neighborhood kids. Other parents may be appreciative of the night out, or may even offer to help you out! As a result the kids will have a safe and fun place to be for the night. Have the kids get dressed up and provide themed snacks like cupcakes bedecked in glittery sprinkles, cookies decorated like clocks, or dip sugar cones in chocolate and then decorate to look like NYE hats. Hand out noise makers and bubbles to celebrate and plastic glasses of sparkling cider. If you want to avoid the sugar of cider and the possible mess, seltzer or sparkling water adds the bubbly without the extra sugar.
  • Karaoke party! If your kids are a bit older and still want to have their friends over, try busting out the karaoke machine or singing video games. Everyone can take turns belting out their favorite tunes between munching on finger foods and dips. Kick it up a notch and offer prizes for a contest. Set up a rotating panel of judges (so everyone gets to sing and everyone gets to judge) to pass out scores. Just make sure everyone stays nice with their comments! Just Dance! and other dance related games can make a fun addition to a karaoke party. Contestants take turns getting in front of the television and trying to match their own smooth moves to the avatar on the screen.
  • Glam it up! If you have teens living at home who want in on the fun but you want to make sure they stay out of harm and out of trouble, let them invite their friends to the house. The kids can dress to kill for the night. Set up appetizer tables and a “bar” with virgin mixed drinks (just make sure they stay unspiked!). A photobooth can add a fun element as well. Set up a glitzy backdrop with 2014 or “Happy New Year” and leave out props like boas and masks for the guests to use. Either set up a point and shoot digital camera with a remote on a tripod or a webcam on a laptop. Guests can take their own pictures to be posted to a social media site or party website later. Have your kids make a fun playlist of music and offer games like Apples to Apples to keep the laughs coming and everyone actively having a good time.

The most important part of New Year’s Eve is to have a good time and make sure that everyone stays safe, happy, and healthy so they can enjoy the coming year.

Christmas Tradition-Thinking Outside the Gift Box

Some Christmas traditions are passed down through generations.  Others are established intentionally to preserve the part of Christmas that is important to a family.  Sometimes though, traditions rise out of the ashes of human tragedy.

In 1999, a family of six was involved in a tragic car accident.  Three of the four children who were injured in the accident would not have made it had it not been for the heroic actions of the rescue personnel who arrived at the scene.  Several months after that awful day, the children, having finally been released from the hospital, traveled back to the rescue service stations to personally thank the men and women who had so bravely fought for their lives but it just didn’t seem to be enough.

In their hometown, the fire company has a tradition of putting hundreds of lights on the fire trucks and rescue vehicles on Christmas Eve.  Santa Claus climbs aboard the ladder truck and the vehicles travel from one neighborhood to the next blowing their horns with sirens blaring. The firefighters walk alongside handing out candy canes and toys to the children who come out to see them.

The family who was saved by the firefighters decided that one year they would turn the tables on them and instead of receiving candy canes from the fire company would instead give goodies to the fire station for those working on Christmas day to enjoy.  They set to work.  They baked cinnamon rolls for Christmas morning and put  them in a gift box along with cookies, caramel corn, candy, hot chocolate, microwave popcorn, hard tack candy and a thank you card explaining how appreciative they were for people who risk their lives to save the lives of others.  (After all, that is what happened the first Christmas when Christ came to earth with the sole mission of selflessly giving his life for the world.) The children stood anxiously along the road awaiting the fire trucks arrival and were delighted when the firefighter received their gift with a surprised, but appreciative smile and a tear in his eye.  From that time on, they asked every year to do it again and it soon became a Christmas tradition.

Even though those children are now young adults, you will still find them standing along the side of the road on Christmas Eve with their box of goodies in hand.  Some of the neighbors who have seen them do this every year have also jumped on board and offer their own gifts and thanks to the firefighters.

For them, Christmas is a time to remember how much they have received through the sacrifice of others.  It’s their Christmas tradition. And I might add, it’s their favorite one.

Holiday Gathering Activities

It’s wonderful to have family staying over during the holidays. However, after the traditional meal is devoured you might wish you had a list titled holiday gathering activities. Memories are made when you are active together, laughing and having fun, and when all are included from little cousin Jimmy to great grandma Betty. Here are a few suggestions for activities that will get the fun rolling and make for treasured family memories.

Watch Home Videos

Ask each branch of the family to bring some of their favorite home videos to share. Simply pop up a big bowl of popcorn, throw pillows on the floor for the little ones, and have a family movie festival.

Do Something Outside

It can be as simple as a walk in a park, or you can plan an ice-skating party complete with hot chocolate and mulled wine. If there is snow, maybe have a snow man making contest and get everyone involved.

Win it in a Minute

These games are based on the hit TV show, Minute to Win it. It is easy to do a web search and find just the right games for your family to play. Most of the materials are things found around the house or can be found at a dollar store. Find five or six games to play and take turns pitting age groups against each other.

Talent Show

Your family is filled with talented folk and those that just like to show off. With a little planning ahead (so they know to actually bring their clarinet), you can organize a family talent show that may just become a yearly event. Set up an area as a stage and advise your family that it’s just for fun and is to be a safe place for family to express their interests and talent.

It doesn’t take much for a family to have fun together. Sometimes they just need a little leadership, encouragement and a push in the right direction. That’s where you come in.

Not enough room, but an abundance of toys

Have you ever gone into your kid’s bedrooms—or playrooms—and wondered where the floor went? Dolls, Legos, puzzles, hot wheels cars—there are so many toys all over the place that it looks like a typhoon hit the room! Maybe, until that very moment, you never realized how many toys your kids actually had. But this is a great incentive to do something about the clutter and organize your kid’s abundance of toys. You could even get your children to help you!

Arrange into Groups

Separate all of your child’s toys into different categories. For example: dolls, building blocks, action figures, reading items, cooking materials and outdoor toys are just a few good category names. Any accessories—like doll clothes—could be kept with the items so they won’t get lost. Outside toys should be kept in the garage or basement away from the inside toys.

Books, movies or CDs should be stored on accessible shelves in their bedroom or playroom. Why not sort them by age and give each of your children their own shelf? If you and your kids borrow books from your local library, be sure to allocate a shelf for that as well so that the borrowed items don’t get lost or mixed up with the books your kids own.

Reachable Storage

You should provide shelves, hooks and storage places for your kids to gain access to which will not only make it easy for them to pick up their toys, but encourage them to do so. Start out by buying a toy box or you could convert a big, plastic tote which makes a terrific toy box. The larger toys will fit perfectly in a toy box and allows for simple clean-up by your children.

Stuffed animals and other bulky, but light, objects can be pulled up off of the floor and put into mesh fabric that could be hung on the walls. The toys and animals will be seen but out of the way. To store smaller stuffed animals or dolls, a shoe holder is a clever idea and it can be hung anywhere that your child is able to reach.

Toys that have tiny parts like puzzles, building blocks or Legos may be put away in transparent, plastic bins with lids; if your child is at a reading age, you could also label each bin as to its contents. Likewise, wooden wine racks are terrific storage areas and can be found at any local thrift store or garage sale; many used wine racks are just like new! Use cylinder containers—like a Pringles potato chip can—and fill it with tiny cars or other little items; then place the full cylinders into the wooden wine rack cubbyholes.

If your little ones like to play dress-up chests, old dressers or trunks are wonderful storage for old clothes and accessories. Sift through your own hats, purses and clothes in your closets—maybe there’s something you could throw in the “Dress-up Box”!

For those miscellaneous things that don’t really have a home in any category, utilize wicker or plastic laundry baskets.

Toy Library

What is a toy library, you ask? Well, it’s a toy co-operative that’s a lot like a regular library except that you take out toys instead of books. A toy co-operative buys durable, top-quality, hand-made wooden toys from a senior’s workshop and non-profit agencies for the mentally impaired. There’s a small annual fee that you have to pay to belong to a toy library; when you pay the fee you and your children are allowed to go in and pick out toys such as trucks, games, cars, gorgeous puzzles—there are all kinds of toys to choose from for young kids!

If there isn’t a toy library in your community, maybe you and your neighborhood families could start one. The children will love being able to select and play with new toys every two weeks—and the kids may even get to play with something you might otherwise not have been able to afford to buy for them.

Art Area

There isn’t a youngster out there that doesn’t like to paint or draw. If you have the space in your child’s playroom, set up an easel so they can let their imagination run wild! But what do you do with all the paints and art supplies when they’re not in use? A bathroom, wall or floor cabinet is a good choice that can be kept or hung in the same area as the easel or in a separate room like the basement or laundry room. If you purchase a wall cabinet, be sure you hang it at a height that can be easily reached by your children. Keep items like colored pencils, crayons, paper, finger paints as well as other art supplies on the enclosed shelves of the cabinet. Inform your children that when they’re done in the art area, you expect them to clean up the mess and all of the items they use to be put back in the cabinet.

Kids need to learn how to properly care for their possessions and you can not only teach them how but be a good example for them by treating your own belongings with care. Just like almost every other item in your home, toys occasionally need to be wiped down with a damp cloth. You should show your children how to do this properly so they won’t ruin their toys.

Always remember, in this case, less is more. Your children will learn to cherish their toys and belongings if they have only a few of them. Set up a frequent “sort and purge” day—maybe once a month or so—and help them go through their toys. Urge your kids to give away to charity the toys they don’t play with or use anymore.

One last thing, if you started teaching your children at an early age to pick up after themselves, chances are they’ll clean their playroom all on their own. But if you haven’t, then now is the time to teach them to pick up their toys and other belongings. It’ll teach them to be responsible as well as how to organize!

Artist Spotlight: Amy Adele

We want to give you an inside look at the people behind the designs of Amy Adele. Of course our original artist and namesake, Amy, was our first choice. I, Caroline Kennedy, normally am the happy voice at the other end of your customer emails and the poster of all things social media, but for this blog I strapped on my reporter shoes and took a trip to see Amy in person where she works… at home!

I joined Amy at her home to talk about her journey as an artist. It’s a welcoming brick house tucked back in an adorable subdivision. The driveways are lined with blooming flowers and manicured shrubs. Amy welcomes me with an open door and a big smile :). Corban, her 5 year old son,  is lunching quietly at the kitchen table. The whole house has a cozy, comforting effect. The kitchen sports handmade cabinetry, courtesy of Amy’s husband, Joe. He would never brag about it, but it truly looks amazing.  We join Corban at the table with our lunches, and he tells me about his new bike and tries his best to say my name correctly. Ca-ro-line is a lot of new syllables for him, but he does better than most, which makes me smile. As we eat Amy begins to tell me a little about her journey.

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Amy was born in Northern Virginia, just a few states away. She has one older sister and grew up in a little cape cod styled home just inside the Beltway. One of her most ordered designs is a drawing of her childhood home. She was raised in a Christian home, and has carried that faith in Jesus Christ with her into adulthood. Amy married young, she and her husband (affectionately “Joey” to her) wed in 1994. They both attended a small liberal arts Christian college, Toccoa Falls College, in the North Georgia mountains.

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Four years after they married Amy and Joe welcomed their first daughter Emily to the world. Then six years later, they welcomed their second daughter Grace. Thinking they were done building their family, they settled in quickly to being parents of two sweet little girls. Newborn Grace wasn’t the only thing in the works that year. A short while after Grace was born Amy and Joe celebrated the launch of Amy Adele. Contrary to what Amy and Joe believed, their family was not quite done growing! Their son, Corban, was born in 2009, and has been a tremendous blessing to them in spite of his surprise arrival. You can read about him on anther blog post by clicking here.

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Amy has a knack for doodling, which family had insisted for years could be utilized. She had created small batches of hand made thank you notes for things like her wedding gifts and other special gifts. In December 2003, she created a design for their family Christmas card and had a few printed at a local print shop nearby. She got a lot of positive feedback from those cards. So after much prayer and thought and over many months, Amy began sketching and Joe began looking into how they could make a business out of it. Joe insisted they call their business Amy Adele despite Amy’s resistance and desire enjoy the shadows. Yes, that is her real name too! They decided to create a website so friends and family or perhaps even some people they didn’t know, could purchase Amy’s cards without any sales pitch pressure. Joe had a lot of experience in publishing so he too was in his element.  When they launched Amy Adele, it was intended to be somewhat of a hobby. They were expecting small and few orders and had decided not to be upset if they never had the first one. Within just a few days, they found that operating out of their home, hand scoring and folding each card, and their bleary eyes was not going to work! It was so exciting  but they were shocked by the sudden success of Amy Adele. They quickly moved into a one room business office and hired a part time girl to keep the production going while Amy continued to add new cards and Joe kept working his normal job. The ebb and flow and been quite dramatic at times and Joe is now working full time running and managing Amy Adele. Amy works from home and comes in the office once in a while to help with planning. They have had some amazing people work for them over the years and are amazed at all God has done through Amy Adele!

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As I spoke with her more that day, she let me flip through her sketch book and as I looked she would add in little statements like “that house is so lopsided!” or “those people’s heads are too big!”. This was not what I saw at all. I saw hours of perfectly doodled houses, tea cups, flowers, firetrucks, and a lot of adorable people with perfectly sized heads.  Amy shocks me when she says, “I’m almost embarrassed to be called an artist”. She goes on to say that in her mind “artists” paint things that end up in museums, they create murals, and beautiful portraits. The truth is art, just like music, comes in a million different styles. Each artist has a different calling, and be it doodles or the Mona Lisa, it is art none the less.

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I wrapped up our conversation by asking Amy what her main goal or desire for Amy Adele was. In her sweet way she explains that the goal has been the same all along. Amy Adele was created so that everyone who is a part of it has the opportunity to help people make happy memories. From birthday invitations to baby shower thank you notes, Amy Adele gets to witness a new happy memory in the making with every order that is placed. Amy loves knowing that her little doodles are ending up preserved in scrapbooks and memory boxes as a reminder of the happy occasions our customers share. Happy memories are our everyday joy, but what really keeps Amy creating is the idea of promoting thankfulness in children. Promoting thankfulness in children is a goal that has a lasting reward. In Amy’s eyes, if she creates notes that show joy, and those notes help children understand how to show thankfulness, that is her opportunity to encourage to others.

 

Writing: Why children’s stationery is important

One reason for giving personalized children’s stationery is to help motivate children to do their best possible writing. The ability to write well, especially in social settings, is one that is seldom gets enough time to develop fully in schools because of the sheer volume of other information and skills to be mastered. That is a shame because the ability to communicate graciously on paper enriches life greatly over the years.

However, it is not hard to teach the basics of social writing with just a little know-how. Believe it or not, some of the best advice for teaching the basics of writing comes from Benjamin Franklin, in his Autobiography. His method boils down to imitation – not surprisingly, as this is one of the ways children learn naturally. In his own case, he took an “odd volume of the Spectator” and found he “thought the writing excellent, and wished, if possible, to imitate it.”

Franklin records that he read some of the papers and made short notes of the main idea in each sentence. He then set the original book aside and “try’d to compleat the papers again, by expressing each hinted sentiment at length, and as fully as it had been expressed before, in any suitable words that should come to hand.”

After doing this he compared his own work with the original, “discovered many faults and amended them” and often “had the pleasure of fancying that, in certain particulars of small import, I had been lucky enough to improve the method or the language, and this encouraged me to think I might possibly in time come to be a tolerable English writer.”

You can modify Franklin’s method to suit your child’s ability. Simply write a sample note using the form you’d like your child to use, a kind of template to be followed. Then have your child write the same number of sentences with each sentence modeled on the one in your example, making changes to personalize the note. When the note is complete look back and read both notes aloud, compare the changes made to the original, and point out improvements. This method of using a template works particularly well with thank you notes, children’s stationery,  or greeting cards sent out on vacation.

As your child gains experience it is natural to make each note a bit more advanced, until your child easily writes notes independently. The process of checking the new work against the original allows the child to see exactly where improvement is happening and builds confidence and enjoyment of the process. You can be assured that every step along the way helps your child prepare for a lifetime of enjoyable communication.

5 Tips To Give A Birthday Experience Instead Of A Traditional Party

We’ve all seen it…the pile of gifts at a traditional children’s birthday party.  It is exciting at the time, but ask them in six months what they received and most won’t remember.  However, take them to that event they have always wanted to go to and they will surely remember it.  In a world where “stuff” seems to overwhelm our lives, consider giving the gift of an experience this year instead of a traditional party.  Make a memory with your child they won’t soon forget.

  1. Setting a budget…just like a birthday party, birthday experiences can be provided at any budgetary level.  Make sure you consider not only the cost of the tickets (for sporting events, concerts or theme parks for example), but also food and any other souvenirs you are willing to purchase.
  2. Choosing the experience…every child is different, professional sports events might top the list of some, while others may want to visit a theme park or new museum they haven’t been to yet.  Others may simply want an over-night stay at a hotel with a pool or to see the professional ballet or symphony.  A ride in a helicopter or a limousine might be what other kids have always wanted to do.  Decide whether you will offer choices to your child or select it for them.
  3. Inviting friends…depending on the experience and your budget, you may be able to invite a few friends to go with your child on their experience.  Having someone to share an experience with can not only increase enjoyment but also help create even more special memories for your child.
  4. Giving other gifts…just because you are giving an experience doesn’t mean a traditional gift is not possible.  Consider giving a gift that coordinates with the experience or maybe something to help time pass on the trip if there is a long car ride to the experience.  A new baseball glove if you are going to a baseball game, new tennis shoes if the event requires a lot of walking, maybe let them chose a souvenir from the gift shop or a camera to take pictures during the experience.
  5. Making it special…Birthdays are all about having a special day for your child.  Send invitations if inviting others for the experience.  Make a paper announcement or special certificate to detail the experience for your child.  Consider ordering a special dessert or maybe bringing a cake to the experience.  Give a t-shirt or hat as a party favor if it fits into your budget.

Memories last a lifetime.  Give your child an experience they won’t forget this year.

Three Fun Games or Activities to Play At Family Get-Togethers

What do you do at family get-togethers? There is usually the initial chaos of cousins re-connecting and running wild. The adults gather over coffee and snacks and catch up on all the family news since the last gathering. A meal normally follows in kitchens crowded with extra tables, chairs, benches, stools and any other piece of furniture that will provide seating. As the day winds down and the kids start to mellow, it’s a good time to engage in some games that everyone can enjoy playing.

Three fun games or activities to play with family are:

Dictionary-Supplies: slips of paper, pencils, a dictionary

One person chooses a word from the dictionary and writes the correct definition on a piece of paper.  Then they tell everyone else in the group the word and they all write what they think the definition is on a piece of paper and sign their name.  (It’s especially fun if a few people make up a silly definition as well.)  The papers are then collected and given to the person who chose the word.  As the definitions are read one at a time, those that think it is the correct definition raise their hands.  Whoever raises their hand for the correct definition gets a point.  If people raise their hand for an incorrect definition, then the author of that definition gets a point.  The person with the most points at the end of the game wins.

Pictionary-Supplies: White board or chalk board with corresponding writing utensil

Pick a person, place or thing.  Draw it on the board without using numbers or letters while individuals shout out what they think you are drawing. The person who guesses correctly gets a point and the chance to draw.

Way Back When-Supplies: slips of paper and pencils

This game will spark those crazy family stories and give the younger ones an idea of what it was like to grow up “way back when”. It may also help the older generation have a little understanding of what it is like to grow up in today’s culture.  Have each person write a childhood memory that would have a small clue as to what time period they are talking about. Read them out loud and see if someone in the group can guess who it’s talking about.

Any of these games can include people of all ages and take very little planning or effort, yet they can provide hours of fun, laughter, learning, and bonding which is a great way to create lasting, fun childhood memories!

How to write a fundraising letter: Tips and Tricks

Writing a fund raising letter can be both frustrating and stressful. How do you write a letter that inspires donations and support without coming off rude or begging. Learning how to write a fundraising letter can be very simple. It takes some research and practice!

There are several things that need to be kept in mind when preparing to write your letter: the goal (what are you looking to achieve), why is it necessary, how can they donate. In addition to considering these things, there is also the writing of the actual letter.

Here are some tips and tricks for writing a perfect fundraising letter!

Tips for the beginning of your letter:

  1. Eye catching introduction – you need to grab the reader’s attention right from the beginning. Questions, personal stories, something that will truly capture what you are hoping to achieve.
  2. Mention what previous donations accomplished. People like to see the results of their assistance.
  3. Focus on a specific goal. People want to know exactly what their money is going towards and what the end result will hopefully be.
  4. Be polite! Thank them for their time, remind them that it is only through their support can this goal be successful

The request:

  1. Before asking for donations, make sure to fully explain the activity, event, cause, goal, etc.
  2. Don’t beg or demand a certain donation, instead offer different options if possible.
  3. Describe what will happen if the donations aren’t received.

Ending the letter:

  1. Thank the reader for their time and support.
  2. Remind them why their assistance is so important and appreciated.

Additional Considerations:

Remember that not everyone might be familiar with the program if it isn’t a new one. If it is a new program more explanations might be necessary. Make sure to check grammar and spelling. Incorrect spelling and poor grammar can give your cause a bad image. Consider leaving contact information incase anyone has any questions or concerns. Most of all take your time to ensure you are representing the situation to the best of your ability.

Follow these tips and tricks and your fundraising letters can only improve!