chic online invitations? we tried it!

invite

With the holidays performing their patented surprise attack once again this year, I again find myself (predictably) balancing big ambition and little time. In the interest of realistic planning, this means I had to make a choice: take the time to snail mail invitations to our holiday soiree or holiday cards, but not both. We’ve long been psyched about Pingg.com’s online invitation service so I decided to do some reseplace to that end and was delighted to find Paperless Post. Another alternative to an everyday Evite, Paperless Post allows users to send fully customizable cards and event invitations to everyone on their list for a small fee. The site also offers a handy R.S.V.P. service that allows you to save an address book, keep track of your guest lists and send notes and reminders to invitees. Two standout features include the ability to have the envelopes addressed to each person individually, as opposed to a generic “open your invite” message and the option to assign a number of guest R.S.V.Ps to each piece, allowing the system to tally your count correctly without sending an invite to each individual person. Stamps start at $5 for 30, while custom coins (which allow you to select special customizations like envelope liners and logos) start at $5 for 25. As an added bonus, we earned 25 stamps just for registering, and have the potential to gain an additional 10 for each friend that registers. With my party invitations done and managed online, I’ll be able to devote time to keep up the holiday tradition of popping some handwritten season’s greetings in the mail. Anyone else have a great online card service to share? –Sarah C.

From our partners

holiday help: give back by giving pie

cherry-pie

Here at Shelterrific, we’ve learned that a great way to spur charitable contributions is to appeal to the cravings of the almighty sweet tooth. We’ve found two tasty options in Baking for Good and The Sweet Potato Project, and here’s a third to outfit that holiday spread: This year, Give Pie. An initiative of United States Charity Fundraising, Give Pie allows you to give back to the community in two ways: by signing up to sell pies, on your own or with a team, or by buying a pie yourself. The organization hopes to sell more than 10,000 pies in each location to aid a variety of local charities, including this year’s featured beneficiary, SkillsUSA. Visit GivePie.com to get involved or stop by United States Charity Fundraising to learn about local opportunities for giving back to your community this holiday season. – Sarah C.

From our partners

little luxuries: kate spade’s party coasters

kate spade coasters

I love feeling fancy. I doesn’t happen often, which central to its allure, but it’s a welcome soul vacation in my otherwise happily down-to-earth lifestyle. And little luxuries like these Kate Spade coasters bring on that feeling. The bright circles and shiny gold polka-dots would pop right along with the champagne at your next soiree. At $20 for six, they’re far from a necessary expense, but that’s exactly why they might be the perfect gift for the next hostess who enjoys a bit of sparkle. Unnecessary? Yes. Fancy fun? Absolutely. — Sarah C.

From our partners

online find: custom printing at tinyprints.com

tinyprints dwell studio

When it comes to invitations or holiday cards, I’m usually the type to camp out in a stationery store with a cup of joe and a critical eye, preparing for a decision-making summit of epic proportions. With my card fetish, that’s no surprise, but recently I’ve been considering trying online stationers for their ability to offer a greater variety than many stores. One company with enviable street cred is tinyprints.com. Featuring lines by some of our favorite designers, (Dwell Studio, Oh Joy!, Louella Press and Wedding Paper Divas, to name a few), the site offers a massive yet expertly-curated selection of customizable designs for all occasions and business needs. Beyond cards, the company also prints photo books, calendars and address books and offers mailing services and an RSVP manager. Stop by this weekend to take advantage of the sitewide sale, or visit on Thursdays to reveal the Deal of the Day. Standard domestic shipping starts at $7.50 for 500 cards or less. – Sarah C.

Have a favorite online stationer? Tell us in comments!

From our partners

party perfect: puzzleboards

puzzleboards

The last thing I need is another wooden cutting board. Despite this, the cheeky design and versatility of the Puzzleboard by OOOMS Dutch Design Studio has earned it a place of distinction in my kitchen among its rectangular peers. Ideal for chopping and displaying treats, the board also features an open end perfect for cradling a glass of wine while entertaining. Stick with one or indulge the design by snagging a few for $26 each at Supermarket. – Sarah C.

via Freshhome

From our partners