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PAPERLESS POST: Taking the Stress Out of Stationary

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Hello, my Penguin Kingdom!  How’s life on the igloo treating you?  I’m hoping well!

I know, I know–it’s been what seems like AGES since I opened my beak and squawked at you last!  I apologize for that–this particular Penguin Royal has been super busy with real life obligations (you know, like tuxedo cleaning and working for my tuna fish!  a bird’s gotta eat!)

I come to you today with a review that’s a little bit different from my usual.  The awesome folks at PAPERLESS POST reached out to me not long ago to take a gander at their products and tell my Kingdom all about them–and my opinion!  So I’m doing just that now!

Please note that this post is in partnership with PAPERLESS POST .  I was sent payment in the form of online “coins” to check out their website, use some of their products, and then leave an honest review here on the Penguin Blog.  This in no way altered my opinion of the company or their products!  Thank you, PAPERLESS POST , for the awesome opportunity!

Now, straighten your beaks and put your tail fins together for me, Penguins–let’s dive into this sea of fun! (PLEASE click the cards to follow to the website–each have been linked back for your convenience/easy clickage!)

About PAPERLESS POST

PAPERLESS POST is a website specializing in cards, invitations, stationary… basically any type of paper communication, both available in paper AND in digital formatting!  As found on their website (please click RIGHT HERE to go there now!):

Our Vision

Communication is an extension of personal style. Paperless Post is innovating on tradition and redefining the way you connect with people both online and off. Beautiful design meets seamless technology.

Our Product

Paperless Post helps you create online and paper stationery that reflects your individual aesthetic. Our distinctive, customizable designs and powerful online tools make it easy to communicate expressively on any occasion—from everyday correspondence to milestone life events. Paperless Post collaborates with leading fashion and lifestyle designers, including kate spade new york, Oscar de la Renta, Jonathan Adler, and John Derian. To date, Paperless Post users have sent over 85 million cards.

Our Company

Siblings James and Alexa Hirschfeld launched Paperless Post in 2009 to prove that communication could be personal and well-designed regardless of the medium. Since then, we’ve established new standards for modern correspondence, allowing users to communicate expressively on platforms that have otherwise favored efficiency over design. In 2013, Paperless Post introduced the first collection of hybrid online-offline stationery, bringing the timeless tradition of fine paper to users who value the efficiency and accessibility of the web.

In my opinion, the addition of the digital or “e-card” options is a fantastic idea, and makes sending invites or small “thinking of you” mementos super convenient for shoppers who are always on the go!  The online cards are an especially awesome way of keeping in touch over long distances–I can easily see this option coming in handy in cases of… moves, lost address books, or if you simply fall out of touch with someone for a time and wish to rekindle that connection with a small gesture.  Because they are “digital,” all you need to let someone know you’re thinking of them is their email address–which makes reaching out super easy, as it only takes a little typing and a few well-placed clicks!

The “thank you” ecards could also make sending out your love after, say, a wedding or baby shower MUCH more convenient!  In today’s world, we don’t always have time to sit down and hand write our gratitudes and platitudes– PAPERLESS POST helps take the stress off our shoulders in these instances, while also allowing us a measure of customization and control.  Here’s a small selection of cards available (either click the name of the card type OR copy/paste the URL):

 

The Cards

I was super impressed with the range of cards to pick and choose from!  There are options for any occasion, including:  holidays; birthdays; engagements; baby showers; “thank you” notes; and “just because” fun.

The designs (as you can see above and to follow–PLEASE DO click the images to go to the website!) are gorgeous, and I feel there’s something to be found for everyone–from the cutesy ( see THIS ONE ), to the snarky ( such as THIS ONE ), or even the artistic ( like THIS ONE ).

Using the online interface was super easy, and there are SO many different ways you can personalize and customize the cards to fit your theme or tastes!  You can pick the type faces, the colors used (including on the envelopes!), the type of stamp you’d prefer… And while some of these options cost a little extra (either actual money or online “coin” currency), there are also several default “freebies” for those who want just a touch of flair.

Each step is simple to follow, and customers are given the chance to start from scratch or clear any changes they don’t like before purchasing.  Personally, I had HOURS of fun browsing through and personalizing the cards!  And sending, especially for the digital options, was also super easy!  I appreciated that the site automatically sent me an email letting me know my cards had been “shipped out”–this really helped to set my mind at ease about whether the process was done correctly! (because, you know, clicking a mouse with wings isn’t always easy!)

To Wrap it Up

I am overall impressed with this company and their products!  The site is super simple and easy to navigate, even for a first timer.  The artwork is gorgeous and SO open to personalization/customization.  I also absolutely adore the convenience of the digital cards–so much less stressful for this Penguin than trying to lick a stamp would be!

I definitely recommend PAPERLESS POST to my Penguin Kingdom–especially those who love to send out cards, or who are planning an upcoming event/celebration!  Put your tongue back in your beaks and set those stamps aside–PAPERLESS POST will help you keep in touch with just a few quick clicks!

 

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How THIS Penguin Budgets for Happiness

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Okay, penguins–quit your waddling and gather ’round the Community Igloo.  Today, I want to talk to you about money.

“BUT BETH!” your eager beaks are bound to interrupt.  “We’re penguins!  How can we talk money when we don’t even have POCKETS?!

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To which I have two things to say.  First:  it’s 2016!  You can put pockets on literally EVERYTHING.  You could sew fabric flaps to your palms, call them pockets, and carry your collection of mate-catching pebbles around in them…and nobody would ever think twice.  And second:  I don’t JUST want to talk money.  I want to talk budgeting.

This post was inspired by

7 Ways to Budget for Happiness

from:

Earnest

Their mission:

Data-driven insights, real-world experience, expert advice, access to your peers.

“We believe these are some of the essential elements in building a solid foundation for your life, whether that’s your money, career, or relationships. With Earnest news and content, our aim is to provide you with the right information so you can create exactly the life you want.”

***please note: all comments and opinions featured in this blog post are from the heart and mind of your friendly neighborhood Princess Penguin.  Yes, that means ME!***

Budgeting for Happiness

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In my neck of the internet, this basically boils down to one big question:  How the HECKLES do I pay all the bills and eat and keep myself alive?!?!?!  Because, you know, staying alive is the first and most important factor in continuing to budget for my happiness.

Recently, I fell into a fair amount of trouble with money.  The problem:  hospital bills from YEARS ago…and rabid debt collectors.  For about a week, my life was filled with panic attacks, crying, and my overactive imaginative trying very hard to convince itself I was bound to end up destitute.

Now, I’m a very lucky penguin–I was able to ask for, and receive, help from my family.  In fact, I was given SO much help, I don’t have to panic about footing the debt bills again until March of 2017.  Thank you, Grandma Penguin, for loving me so much!

So what’s the point of this story?  Well, it helps lead me into my focus story.

How *I* Budget

(please keep in mind, this does not and/or will not work for EVERYBODY.  this is just how I, personally, go about keeping my finances straight)

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Every week, I step into my brain office, tidy the desk, and dance the two-step with my bank account.  The order goes something like this:

1–Peek at my bank account/balance (I bank online, which makes this super easy)

2–Subtract from my balance what money is left for DEBT RELIEF BILLS OF DOOM.  What’s left is *my* personal money.

3–Do I have any bills coming up?  Are there any bills that haven’t been taken out yet, but will very soon be?  Subtract any and all from my total.

4–Do I need insulin/diabetic supplies/other medications/to see the doctor/etc and so forth and so on?  Subtract these amounts from my total.

5–Do I need food?  Go shopping.  Subtract this from my total.

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I’ve set it up so a certain amount comes out of each paycheck for specific bills–YAY for automatic payment schedules!  The remaining costs–for food, medical supplies, laundry change, etc–are split between the two pay periods a month.

Usually, this means I have between $100 and $300 to spare.

So…how do I budget for happiness?!

Let’s take a look…

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Pay the Bills

I start by making sure all my bills are paid!  Why?  Well, happiness in my world depends upon:

–running lights (so I can read, and blog, and stalk all of you weirdos on social media…)
–hot showers (I mean… tuna fish reeks, so I try to wash myself and save the planet)
–staying warm (totally goes against penguin-ing here, but so what?!)
–being able to afford my life-saving medications (the grave is NOT a penguin’s friend)
–barring the wolves from my door (because I like to be the hunter, not the hunted)

All of which is MUCH more easily managed when the bills are paid, and paid on time.

If you have loans from college, Earnest could be a good option to refinance those loans because they allow you to skip or change the amount you can pay on a monthly basis to fit your budget.

Feed my Belly

Because HELLO?!  A hungry penguin is NOT a happy penguin.  Have you SEEN me when I’m hungry?  It’s not a pretty sight.  Food is good, folks!  And good food is even better!

Keep Emergency Funds

I’ve learned you should always expect the unexpected.  Having a  little money set aside helps keep me from panicking when the unexpected eventually happens…and it ALWAYS, eventually, happens.

And finally…

Splurge a Little

Obviously, I don’t allow myself to go out every paycheck to BUY ALL TEH THINGS!  That would be silly, and does not a happily budgeted wallet make!

But sometimes, it’s okay to take stock of your savings and buy yourself something nice–even if “something nice” means one large caviar with seasalt Starbucks, or that tub of expensive tuna fish ice cream you’ve been eyeballing in the store.

“Splurging” doesn’t have to mean “going all out,” after all!

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And there you have it–budgeting for happiness, the penguin way!  Of course, there’s nothing a little sunshine, a good book, and a soft pillow can’t change…but that’s a different happiness budget entirely!

Did you find this post helpful?  Have something you’d like to share or ask? How do YOU budget for happiness?  Feel free to leave your thoughts below, and go check out

Earnest

for more budgeting and financing tips!

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Princess Penguin, OUT.

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Dear How-To Penguin… (#1)

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Dear How-To Penguin:

I just moved into a new apartment with a new friend, and I’m SO confused!

Every morning, she comes home and locks herself in her room.  Her clothes are always smeared with grime, her makeup is always smudged halfway down her face, and she’s usually bleeding from at least one new wound!  Every evening just after the sun sets, she locks her room and leaves the apartment.

She swears she’s going “clubbing,” but I’m worried!  Is she a creature of the night?  Should I invest in garlic and metal collars?!  Please, help me–how do I proceed?

Sincerely,

Is My Roommate a Vampire?!

Dear Searching for Fangs–

Relax!  There’s no need to panic yet.  There are many reasons your roommate is acting shady, so let’s consider these first.

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Maybe your new friend really IS going clubbing!  After all, break dancers and perpetual klutzes alike spend a majority of their time on dirty floors.  This could explain the grunge and grime–dust and sweat make for a messy end to the evening!  And hey, don’t worry that she’s spending all night out on the town–those disco balls are hell on a person’s internal clock!

Or perhaps she’s caught in a modern day, star-crossed love affair!  Forbidden trysts almost always happen at night–there’s less chance the family and enemies will see them meeting up!  Keep an eye out for weird colored liquids and strangely shaped daggers; be ESPECIALLY wary if she begins talking in iambic pentameter!

Or she MIGHT be the hero, instead of a villain!  Does she sneak out with a cape and a big glittery letter hidden under her clothes?  Does she often pop into telephone booths only to disappear into thin air?  Has she taken on a freelance job at the local newspaper office and turned in some awesome up-close captures of the local do-gooder?  Take note, if so.

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Still concerned?

Here are some questions for you.  If you say “no” to all of these, your roommate is probably not a vampire.

Does her tongue unfold into a mosquito needle stinger snake creature of horror?  (see The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan, or the Dark Sky series, by Amy Braun)

Does she turn into a bat and fly off into the darkness of night? (see Dracula, by Bram Stoker)

Do flowers and plants wither and die when she’s around? (see the Dark series, by Christine Feehan)

Is her humanity switch flipped off?  (see The Vampire Diaries)

Do you live in Forks, WA?  Are you best friends with a wolf-shifter?  Are you pregnant with a half-demon child?!  (see The Twilight Saga, by Stephenie Meyer)

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Are you STILL feeling wary?  Pick a number between 1 and 5…and then do as instructed.

–1 Set off the fire alarm–the brighter the sun is, the better!  Even the most novice vampire can’t handle more than a few minutes in sunlight.  If she turns to dust, problem solved!  Just sweep her up and tell nooooobody what happened.

–2 Cut yourself, leave a blood trail all over the apartment, and knock on her door!  I mean, she might eat you, but at least you’ll have your answer.

–3 Break into her room and stake her.  She’ll be dead!  And…nothing can hurt you in prison, even if she’s human.  Right?!…

–4 Yank out all of her teeth.  I’d recommend heavily drugging her first, just in case.  Also, invest in some of those rubber fake teeth.  If she’s human…apologize profusely and then knock her out until she heals.  If she’s vampire…well, no one’s ever been gummed to death!

–5 Shrug it off.  After all, she hasn’t bitten you yet!  If she IS a vampire, she’s either finding her meals outside the apartment or she’s on a hunger strike.  Don’t push your luck!

Happy Hunting!

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