Friday, August 22, 2008

More Than Words Can Say

Although I've been told we're in a "paperless society", nothing could be more inappropriate when sending the proper thank you note to someone. Emails, text messages, phone calls - all thoughtful - but inappropriate!

A truly gracious lady knows, sending a handwritten, personalized note is still the right thing to do. Now, here's the fun part - what kind of stationery should you use???

Since I was a kid, I have loved pretty papers. You've got your florals, your polka dots, your toiles - the possibilities are endless! Sad to say, one of my greatest pleasures is opening a fresh box of stationery, feeling the paper, writing a note, then sealing it (with an embossed sealer of course!) and picking out the perfect stamp to accompany it along its journey.

Let's start with the paper. There are so many great places to find just the right look you're after.

For instance:

Horchow has a wonderful collection of traditional, casual, whimsical and kids papers.

Another great source is DabneyLee, they offer a wide selection of personalized notecards and accessories.

Here's more on my short list:

American Stationery

Polka Dot Design

Chelsea Paper

Vista Print

Now, let's talk about sealers. I've done everything from stickers to the old fashioned wax seal (my personal favorite!) Nostalgic Impressions is a great resource for sealer materials. Try to match the theme of your paper with your sealer, it's a nice added touch.

Okay, stamps. If you're having a girlie affair, you may want to chose florals. The United States post office has a fantastic collection of all different kinds of stamps. I like to search their online store for convenience.

If you're doing holiday thank yous, maybe you'll want to send a stamp with a holiday theme.

Or if it's a kid's thank you, consider sending a personal photo stamp. It's easy, you upload the photo, pick a border and oila! a masterpiece stamp!

I hope you enjoy these tips and say thank you with more than words can say!

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Easy Chicken Pasta

Easy Chicken Pasta

What's For Supper Ya'll?

White Beans, Pasta and Chicken
8 ounces dried cavatappi, fusilli, rotini, ditaloni, or other short pasta tubes
1 15- to 19-ounce can cannellini (white kidney) beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped (about 2 cups)
12 ounces cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup snipped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley sprigs (optional - I usually skip it)
Olive oil (optional - but I recommend at least a little for moisture)
1. In a large saucepan, cook pasta according to package directions; drain well and set aside.
2. In a blender or food processor, combine 3/4 cup of the beans and the chicken broth. Cover and blend or process until smooth. Place bean puree in pan used for cooking the pasta; bring to boiling. Return pasta to pan.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook garlic in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil for 1 minute. Add tomatoes; cook for 1 minute. Add the remaining beans, shredded chicken, snipped parsley, pepper and salt. Heat through.
4. Add the tomato mixture to hot pasta; toss to cost. Top with parsley sprigs and additional olive oil. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.
Posted by Stacy Nelson, Easy Dinner

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