Nourish: Links We Love

That's us...dare we say it, in the 80's (we'll leave it at that). Erin {Mrs. Jones} on the left and Amy {Miss A} on the right. We still love cupcakes, even though we don't fit into our cute, little cupcake tees anymore. We love lots of other goodies too. Today, we share with you some of our favorite links from the week:

  • If we had more money, and more stretch pants in our wardrobe, we would certainly sign up for the Cupcake Club.
  • Looking for a healthy, vegetarian and satisfying meal with new ingredients and flavors? We can't wait to try this recipe this weekend. We are having a *thing* with chickpeas lately.
  • We are jonesing (especially Mrs. Jones) to go to Alt next year. 2013, here we come! **fingers crossed** For now, we will just lust over this fantastic list of Alt Summit attendees and presenters. And learn from VMac + Cheese, one of our new favorites, with her ridiculously awesome detailed session notes. Next up is to review this list of up and coming bloggers.
  • And to hold us over until our new favorite show airs on Sunday, we'll admire all the collections of Downton Abbey. Seriously, if you have not watched this show, you must START NOW! It is certainly not too late. Mrs. Jones watched all of Season One two weekends ago and caught up on Season Two through iTunes and PBS. You can thank us later.
{Happy Friday!}

Day 27: Daily Words

{via} from {via}

Day 25: Daily Words


Paper Parade: Help A Bride!


We have been working with Chelsea over at Buckets and Bunches and last night she came to an inconclusive decision on which typestyle to use for her wedding napkins we are printing up for her big day. Her timing was perfect, for as we messaged back and forth late in the evening I was having a font crisis myself with a wedding program. Isn't it nice to know you are not alone? Especially late at night?!


Click her and help her out by voting on your favorite typestyle for the napkins. We voted for our favorite. But we really like them all! Tough call - go make yours now! We'll be sure to show you the final design when all is said and done!

Take Note: Postage Increase

Take Note: USPS postage rate increase takes effect

Standard letters are now .45 cents, up a penny. A whole penny. So start sifting through your couch cushions and underneath your car seats to buy your one cent stamps. But only if you do not have the FOREVER stamps - as those are always valid for the current postal rate. Here is a summary of the postage rate increases {via}:
  • First Class Letters (1 oz.) will increase by one cent to $0.45 from $0.44. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.20 (no change)
  • First Class Flats (1 oz.) will increase by two cents to $0.90 from $0.88. Each additional ounce will cost an extra $0.20 (no change)
  • Postcard rates will increase by three cents to $0.32 from $0.29
  • Priority Mail retail rates will increase by an average of 3.2% and will start at $5.20 (previously at $5.10)
  • Express Mail retail rates will increase by an average of 4.4% and will start at $12.95 (previously at $12.85)
  • Parcel Post rates will start at $5.20 (previously at $5.10)
  • Media Mail rates will start at $2.47 (previously at $2.41)
  • New Product! Priority Mail Regional Rate Box C is being introduced with a 25 pound maximum weight limit. Prices start at $14.44
  • New Product! Express Mail Flat Rate Box is being introduced at $39.95 with a 70 pound maximum weight limit
For a full breakdown of rates, check the USPS site here.

{write on}

Paper Parade: Year of the Dragon


In honor of the Chinese New Year {the year of the dragon} we are sharing two of our favorite dragon-inspired paper pieces with you. One for more elegant celebrations and another one for the little dragons in your life.

Checkerboard: $160 for 100

Cross My Heart: $12.00 for 10

Day 23: Daily Words


Day 18: Daily Words


Behind the Curtain: End Piracy, Not Liberty

If you often wonder what goes on in the "back office" of Express Yourself, you are not alone. Everyone wants to take a peek behind the curtain when they are in our store and our home office is often invaded by curious toddlers wanting to get in on the action.


Well, here is your chance. We are pulling back the curtain to share with you the opportunity to support a halt to the Stop Online Piracy Act, also known as SOPA. As stated on google's petition site, "Millions of American oppose SOPA and PIPA because these bills would censor the Internet and slow economic growth in the U.S...(would) impose harmful regulations on American business." We certainly want to end piracy, but we do not want to end liberty. Sign the petition here and read more here to learn about an alternative option, such as the OPEN Act.

Day 17: Daily Words

Today it is really all about one word. Yes.
Click on the link for more inspiration behind this post.


Paper Parade: Stationery + Invites 25 {FREE} Offer

Need to stock up on personalized stationery? It is the end of National Letter Writing Week after all. Or are you planning a wedding and ready to send out your save the dates or invitations? Need new, fresh calling cards for 2012? Look no further...

Order 75 and receive 25 {FREE} from William Arthur and Vera Wang now through April 2nd. Easy, beautiful styles of paper pieces ready for you to order. No complicated design sessions required! Contact Express Yourself at 970.927.2533 for an appointment today or shop online here.

{write on!}

Day 14: Daily Words


Real Celebration: A Birthday in Letters

This is the perfect Real Celebration post for this week - National Letter Writing Week. We encouraged you earlier this week to sit down and write one letter. Someone on the other end of that letter will likely cherish your words (and for some of you, be surprised that you put pen to paper). But how about if you received a whole batch of letters? On your birthday, no less. Real letters (not just cards) with stories and memories and words of gratitude and celebration. Read on...this post gets better. We promise.

This past October, we took our mom, Nancy, out of town for a night.

We headed to Devil's Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado (hi Norman!) and quickly settled in for our second annual girl's getaway. After massages and wine and the joy of getting on the slow track, we presented our mamacita with her birthday gift. She was not expecting much this year. Why? Let us backtrack for a moment.

The previous year, we gave her a basket of gifts. An enormous basket, with one gift for every year she was celebrating. We are not saying the basket was big because of her age (never - she is eternally young!), but the idea of wrapping up 20, 30 or even 40 gifts for one person is a bit crazy. This was one big, crazy basket of birthday fun. It took forever to unwrap all the goodies. And she kept talking about it all year long! She never expected us to pull off something that big again - but we did. This year, we gave her an even better present.

We were inspired with an idea for her birthday last year, but sadly we ran out of time. After last year's memorable celebration, we came across a timely blog post showing us exactly how to execute this great idea. We set out to make this year even more memorable and put our idea in motion. A month before her birthday, we sent out a letter to her friends and family to ask them to consider writing a note to Nancy to help celebrate her upcoming birthday. We wanted to keep it a surprise so we had the letters mailed to us. Here is what the email to her friends looked like (and yes, we had to hijack her email list without her knowing!):

We were not sure of the response. But we never should have doubted the idea. Ever. We immediately received emails in response and a slew of letters in the mail.

 A couple letters were even hand-delivered and tucked under the front door mat.

We not only got enough letters to give her one for every year she was celebrating - but we had bonus ones too!

We put each letter in their own envelope and labeled them from 1 and on up.

We stacked them together, tied them with ribbon and put them in a gift bag. We were so excited to give her this gift and we almost spilled the beans (accidentally, of course) several times!

She was beyond(!) surprised with this gift and could not stop gushing over the idea. It was amazing that together with her friends and family we were able to create such a memorable gift. Perhaps we all loved the idea so much because far too often we wait until it is too late to tell someone what they mean to us. But she had the chance to hear it now and we had an opportunity to hear about our mom from the perspective of her friends. Her siblings. Her mother. Her brother-in-law and father-in-law too! There were some stories that shocked us and some that were sincerely heartfelt and made us cry. Others recalled hysterical moments that really put so much into perspective. It was one of those nights where we just kept reading letters, drinking wine, lounging by the fireplace and really celebrating our mom.

It was unforgettable and we would do it all over again. 

Day 13: Daily Words


Nourish: Letter Writing

In the frenzy of text messages, tweets, status updates, 
blogging, and e-mails, 
we often forget how nice it is to receive a letter in the mail. 
A real-stamped-sealed-signed-delivered by a human-letter in the mail.
How many of you can recognize the handwriting of your friends? Your family? 

I keep a box of notes, cards and letters. 
A couple boxes, actually.
And I frequently fill them up with whatever I get in the mail
that I want to remember in the future.

I can recognize who each letter is from 
just by the handwriting.
{That's my sister above!}
And I love that.
I really do.

Otherwise I wouldn't keep these memories around.
For so long.
But they are a connection to my family and friends
that is so much more tangible
than any e-mail or facebook shout out
will ever be.

So I encourage you to sit down this week 
and write one letter. Just one.
To your parents, your sister, whomever.
That is all we are asking.

And if you really don't have anyone to write to,
you can write to me.
It's my birthday week after all.


Day 10: Daily Words


Paper Parade: Valentine's Day Cards for Kids

Continuing on yesterday's post with Valentine's Day Cards for the whole family to send, here is a round-up of some of our favorite kid-friendly and kid-sized cards. Perfect for the little ones to share with classmates and friends. All available online at our store here, and don't forget about the 20% off code for friends and family: FANDF. Share the love!

{how sweet it is!}