Top 12 of 2012

12.  Bestie Jen’s pre-wedding, wedding, and post-wedding festivities

This is first listed because it consumed most of my year – so fun!

Dress shopping, Creston bridal shower, Kansas City bridal shower, Chicago bachelorette weekend, the main event in Loose Park in Kansas City, reception and dance at Boulevard Brewery.  Of course we jammed out at the dance.  😉

11.  Bestie Lexi’s first baby – Charlotte (Charley)

Another bestie moment.  I love my friends like family – just ask the Andersons back in the Burg.  🙂  I only wish we all would see each other more often.

10.  G and L

I continue to spend as much time as possible with my favorite little people, my nephew Gabriel and niece Lucy.  I like to brag about them here in my G and L series.

9.  Social Media

My love affair with social media continues.  Where else can you have Ivanka Trump, John Rich, Kate Snow, and NBC’s Rock Center retweet and/or reply to you?  Twitter is my favorite!

8.  M-A-D-O-N-N-A!

Jen and I made it onto the big screen in the Sprint Center when were were dancing it up during the opening show (of course).  Madonna had the #1 best selling tour in 2012.  I know why – simply amazing.

7.  Denver with cousins

Lots of good eats and drinks, along with cousin bonding time.  And I didn’t go to bed that much earlier than my 20-something cousins each morning.  😉

6.  Career moves

When I left Target Optical at the end of 2011, my regional manager told me I’d be back.  I laughed then, but he is laughing now.  While I enjoyed my time as a Business Development Associate for Rainbow International Restoration and Cleaning in Davenport, the bullseye pulled me back.  I became Optical Team Leader of the Davenport store in August.

5.  Jagger Q

Jag the cat turned 10 years old in August.

4.  Political nerd forever

Still actively involved in political stuff and enjoyed five minutes of fame when Romney came to town in June.  A few people told me I need to smile when on national TV.  Noted.  (In my defense, I was trying not to make a funny face and it was HOT that day.)

3.  iLove

Best book I read last year was Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson.  And I finally bought an iPad.  Best investment since my iPhone and Dyson purchases during previous years.

2.  Melify

My sister coined this term, and I embrace it.  I am always keeping busy with one project or another, whether it’s with SendOutCards or organizing random stuff.

1.  Holiday spirit

After a long day of work and post-work shopping on December 19th, I returned to Smurfette to find a card on her window.

Holiday Cards Don’t Have to Be a Hassle

Only 17 days until Christmas!  Can you believe it?!

One of the often dreaded tasks during the holiday season is sending out cards.  Not to worry though – I am here to help!

In true form, I have created a checklist to create some sanity with your card sending this year:

1.  Decide what kind of cards you want to send.  Are you going to get out the craft supplies and scissors and hand make them one by one?  If so, you have my kudos.  If you have fewer than 50 to send, this may be do-able.  However, if you are like me, the list grows every year and is creeping up toward the triple digits.

Regardless of how many cards you are sending, I recommend that you include a photo or two and find an efficient, yet personable way to send them.  SendOutCards has literally revolutionized the card sending process.  Go to my site and send a card on me to see how it works.

If you don’t want to be crafty and aren’t ready to jump into the online program yet, then find the cards that are right for you.  Many stores and photographers have a wide selection to choose from.

2. Finalize that mailing list.  As I mentioned in my party planning post, having a great mailing list is everything.  Go through it carefully.  Check for name spellings, those who have recently moved, people who have passed away, and couples who have split.  Utilize social media to verify addresses you are unsure of, or to add a few new ones.  Print a hard copy of your mailing list to keep on your desk, as you will likely have moments when you ask yourself, “Did I remember so-and-so?”

3. Decide what you want to say, and write it down.  A few format options include a formal letter, news bulletin, and short personal note.  Most of the time, it is easier to write down notes first and then arrange it into a specific format second.  Once you know what and how much content you are working with, it is easier to determine a format.

Be selective about what you say and how you say it.  Think about how your mother, best friend, distant cousin, and boss will perceive your message.  If recounting the year, provide highlights and not a boring rundown of absolutely everything, including the nasty cold you caught last month.

4. Address your cards with style.  I prefer hand addressing to provide a personal touch, along with a regular postage stamp.  Once again, SendOutCards provides this service, and the envelopes look great.  I’m telling you now – there’s a reason I sell it.  🙂

5. Post offices give me headaches, and I don’t know anyone else who is ever thrilled to stand in line for stamps or to have mail weighed.  Do your post office duties ahead of time (or – last plug – just use SendOutCards!).  Weigh your card and purchase your stamps well before you send them out.  By now, you are SOL for this year if you haven’t done your post office homework ahead of time.  However, keep this tip in mind for next year.

6. Have a plan for the misses.  You will inevitably forget someone, or receive a card from someone not on your radar.  Decide when your last card sending date will be.  If you send until all of the misses are done, you may be sending cards into the new year.

7. Final tip: NEVER email your holiday cards.  I personally find this to be tacky.  We do almost everything electronically these days.  Can we please take the time to send at least one physical card to everyone once a year?  It will mean more to the recipients than you realize – especially if you have fun, personalize it, and send it from the heart.

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Happy Holidays & Happy New Year!Mel & Jag