Birthday Cards Welcome — Kids and Critters Edition

Last week I shared some of the more entertaining birthday card examples I found in a great stationary shop in Charlotte, Paper Skyscraper. Go if you have the chance. It’s a fun place to wander for cards, gifts, wrapping paper and books, too.

I didn’t want to overload you, so this week is the kids and critter edition. So much cuteness in this collection. Enjoy.

This juxtaposition makes me smile:

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Oh, I was so this girl:

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(Except there is no way I would have worn yellow shoes. Only did that once, for a play, and felt like I had banana feet).

Here’s for the cat lover:

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And fun for fans of Happy Feet’s penguins:

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But really, I can’t resist returning to the humorous cards that are more my style. This one is for the wine-lovers amongst us:

The favorite of this post is funny one likely targeting the friend you share too many Cosmos with:

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OK, now having seen all of these, don’t you just want to head out to your neighborhood independent shop and actually find a paper, folded, card to sign, stamp and send to a birthday boy or girl?

In the future I plan to share some of the original cards I find in etsy shops. So let me know if you have suggestions. Plus, I’m always happy to check out a cool gift shop, so tell me if there’s one with a great selection of birthday cards that I can peruse and possibly share.

Birthday Cards Welcome

The trend these days is to post a birthday greeting on a friend or family member’s Facebook page or other social media — and that’s it. Yet there remains a minority of people who reach out in other ways.

I’ve written in the past about:

Today, though, I thought I’d share some of the actual paper birthday cards that I found at a Charlotte shop — Paper Skyscraper — to demonstrate the wide range of options out there if you took that extra step to send birthday mail. Yes, this could be considered a hint as my birthday is less than a month away!

This one is right up my birthday princess alley:

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Then there’s this familiar take from the not-so-humble card sender:

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I also appreciate the humor in this one:

Or this one’s pretty funny too:

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But there is a plethora of even more risque ones that I don’t need on my mantelpiece:

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The sarcasm of this one probably makes it my favorite of this gallery:

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Look forward to the animals and small children collection of cards I’m sharing next week! In the meantime, there’s still time to take my crazy short survey on birthdays which I am using to non-scientifically sample people on my favorite day of the year.

 

Birthday Party Song Disruption

Those who read The Verge will know the publication regularly covers disruptive technologies and innovations. Much to my surprise, though, there was recently an article on a man seeking to “disrupt the Happy Birthday song.”

Of course, I had to read on. I expected I would want to be sarcastically dismissive (you probably did too if you’re a loyal reader of this blog). Yet, I like Greg May’s idea.

He has recorded thousands upon thousands of versions of a personalized “Happy Birthday” song he wrote. As of this writing, May’s YouTube channel, named 1HappyBirthday, featured over 310,000 videos for 31,479 different names.

The Verge reported: “All of the songs have been individually recorded by only two singers. The first singer quit after two years; the second, a part-time singer, has recorded nearly 20,000 of May’s birthday songs. Which, intentionally or not, makes her one of the most prolific recording artists of all time.”

May started out with his project by looking up the 400 most popular names in America and writing and recording his own birthday songs for those names. Now, though, he’s expanded internationally, and his site claims more than a million people have enjoyed a personalized birthday song.

The site announces: “It’s fun. It’s one of a kind. It’s wild. It’s catchy. It’s 1 personalized Birthday song just for your birthday.”

May himself told Verge: “Some people just hate it and write that the song is out of tune or ridiculous. Others write to me with amazing stories of how important the song was to them or a child or friend. I recognize that the song may not be for everyone [..] If taken too seriously, is just plain weird. But it also features a person’s name 10 times, so hopefully they like at least that part of the song.”

My own name was the most popular girl’s name in 1972, so I didn’t even bother checking the list for that. Instead, I searched for my niece Kiera. The song for the name with that spelling has a different pronunciation. I tried Kiara as well, but it is the Kiira version that suits. Good thing, because the request form actually says no more name can be added to the production list until 2017!

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My niece turned 18 last month! This was her 10 years ago; I didn’t want to get in as much trouble for putting her picture on the blog!

A party for the animals — such cuteness!

This blog is devoted to the media- and social media-savvy practice of celebrating birthdays at zoos around the world. This, my dear blog readers, is marketing genius. Tell me you don’t want to smile when you see, for instance, this one-year-old panda cub’s chubby birthday face:

In looking at images of this party, I noticed tons of people gathered in Singapore’s National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur to gawk at the panda party! Although in Time’s video Liang Liang is completely uninterested in her cake, the 10-year-old shows more interest in the Wall Street Journal slide show.
Yes, I did just name Time magazine and the Wall Street Journal covering the birthday parties of pandas in Malaysia. Still doubt the animal birthday party’s appeal as good press for global zoos?

The Adelaide zoo also celebrated a double panda birthday party this month:

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A trio of panda cubs devoured frozen cakes made of diluted juice and flowers made of fruit at the National Zoo in DC earlier this month, too.

Meanwhile, in Edinburgh, giant pandas were treated to ice lollies of mushed up apples and water frozen on bamboo sticks.

Don’t worry, it’s not only pandas who enjoy birthday treats at the zoo!

A zoo in Utah this month feted its elephant Zuri’s seventh birthday with a Star Wars-themed birthday….because Zuri must be a big fan of the series and dreams of taking a tusk to the evil Count Dooku. The zoo posted a Facebook live stream too.

Less recent zoo birthday fun includes:

A hippo in Thailand turning 42!

 

Tasmanian Devils at the Australia Zoo!

And as I am a particular fan of the bears at the zoo, I will end with this polar bear birthday party in Munich.polar-bear-twins.jpg

The best part is seeing the images as the traffic cone becomes an interesting toy — maybe like a lampshade at a holiday party?

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Destination Birthday Trend Sounds Great!

It’s time to fully embrace the destination birthday. I regularly schedule travel around my birthday as I can better justify the expense as a birthday present to me. But only once so far have I embarked on a milestone birthday celebration with a friend — we went to Miami and loved basking in the sun and drinking mojitos.

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The mojitos are looking a little low in the glass there…

Yet “more people are choosing to celebrate their big birthdays and anniversaries far from home—inviting everyone along for a blowout trip,” according to The Wall Street Journal. 

It’s a great idea that I am happy to get on board with.

Milestone birthdays cause anxiety in some (or worse) while others take greater risks and embrace adventure. Clearly, the ones who decide to travel ambitiously are in the latter camp.

A full 75% of adults 45 and over have taken, or plan to take, one of these “celebration vacations,” according to AARP research released this year, cited by the WSJ.

Part of the appeal is that spending quality time with one another somewhere different is more about valuing each other’s company than it is about buying gifts. Of course, the WSJ reporter (who went to Napa to celebrate a birthday) does concede this can be costly.

Still, there are some great ideas shared in the article:

  • A woman invited 15 of her friends (who didn’t all know one another yet) to stay in six-bedroom villa she rented in Jamaica to mark her 50th.
  • A Canadian man joined five buddies from high school on a motorcycling Italian tour for his 50th.
  • Another group of duffers played famous golf courses in Scotland to celebrate 50.
  • A tour operator invited 80 people to join her 50th fete in the Peruvian Andes, complete with an optional cruise up the Amazon.
  • 15 coffee lovers traveled the Colombian countryside for coffee tastings, salsa dancing and a bamboo river-raft float.

The thorough article rounds out with advice for the etiquette of this kind of birthday event — e.g. no gifts needed. But, fair warning if you do invite me along to your destination birthday, I was too busy already imagining where I might travel on my next milestone birthday to read the rules too carefully.

Where would you go? Would you travel with family or friends or both?

P.S. Apologies to anyone who read this already when I inadvertently published it and then made a big mess of it’s url history. Now, for it to appear on the actual blog (not just in people’s email) I am reposting. 

Birthday Bargains or “Bargoons”

 

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Photo credit: JwvanEck via Foter.com / CC BY-NC

It has been a long time coming, but here — at last — is the free stuff on your birthday blog.

I have mentioned in the past my own family’s habit, when I was younger, of going each birthday to Baskin-Robbins for a free scoop of ice cream. Rainbow sherbet for me please! Although now it’s in stiff competition with gold medal ribbon. We would get a postcard in the mail rewarding us as members of the BR birthday club.

I have signed my son up for the online equivalent, but it is not quite a childhood tradition in his mind yet.

He is also part of a Toys R Us membership club that has Geoffrey the Giraffe sending him a bday gift certificate for some nominal amount each year. Since it is only $2 or so, he is unaware of this corporation’s good wishes. I do not want to let him loose in the store and have to make up the difference. I did so once, and he ended up with roller skates. Yes, I can be a sucker.

Nevertheless, part of enjoying the day you are born is taking advantage of marketing ploys to congratulate you on your good fortune in being born.

Here are some of the offerings I found in an online search (though membership in the loyalty club is often the price you must pay since nothing is truly free):

  • Ice cream. Along with 31 flavors, you can also enjoy a scoop at Ben and Jerry’s or Coldstone Creamery.
  • Chai. Or for those who like coffee, you can get a caffeine kick that way too at Starbucks with a free drink on your birthday.
  • Hardware. Yep, loyalty club members get a $5 birthday certificate.
  • Shoes. DSW sends its club members a $5 gift certificate.
  • Appetizers. Restaurants such as Chili’s or Lone Star Steakhouse send you a certificate for a free appetizer.
  • Breakfast. Einstein’s will give club members a free bagel. Denny’s lets birthday celebrants chow down on a free original grand slam of pancakes, eggs, and bacon.

It’s all in the name of marketing, of course. But, it’s your birthday — enjoy! Although I will also remind you, as much as I love a “bargoon,” that your birthday is a good day to treat yourself too.

Baby born against 48M-to-one odds!

The media often tells us about babies being born “against all odds.” Yet little Libbie Ballingall, born this month in Britain, takes the proverbial cake (birthday cake of course).

The infant girl was born August 1 at 6 pounds, 3 ounces. Yet what makes her particularly unique?

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Image source: The Mirror

Libbie was born on the same birth date as her Mom and her Dad. Yes, the parents already celebrated a joint birthday. Now, the family will have to spread the joy over all three of them on the same date!

Plus, before you put a damper on this amazing coincidence, the little girl was not induced to come nine days late.

Her Mom told the Mirror, “The day before she arrived I was hoping she would wait, we never thought it would happen though. It is just bizarre.”

The mother also said, “Libbie is the best birthday present we could ever have.” So, obviously, she’s a first-time mother!

The nurses at the birthing hospital were pretty thrilled, too. When they found out, they even provided a cake to commemorate the triple birthday. (Surely a nice treat as opposed to the normal hospital pudding offered to a Mom in the maternity ward).

That the mom and dad are already birthday buddies celebrating the same August 1 birthday was pretty impressive. Yet consider too theirs isn’t even a mid-September birthday — the most popular time worldwide to be born.

A British bookie put the odds of a baby being born on its parents’ birthdays at 48,000,000 to 1. As I know absolutely nothing about probability (having changed my major to avoid statistics), I’ll take his word for it. Even though he goes by the odd name “Paddy Power.”

Now here’s a family that should be playing their birthdates at the lottery!