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Winterize Your Office

Oh Hiya,

winterize your officeMeg here and we’re on our way to some of the coldest months of the year. During these chilly days, I’d love to curl up with a mug of hot cocoa and a good book, but there’s always work to be done at the office! When the winter winds start blowing, I like to make sure our office is well stocked with cold-weather supplies and I’m sharing a few of my winter essentials with you!

  • Winter always seems to bring a case of the sniffles and there’s nothing worse than suffering through a runny nose without tissues. Be sure that your desk is supplied with a few boxes, just in case. I just love these Tissues from Kleenex. Not only are they soft enough to keep your nose from getting irritated, they’re also anti-viral to take care of any cold and flu germs.
  • It may get dark sooner in the winter, but that doesn’t mean the work day is shorter! While I use my desk lamp throughout the year, I’ve found that it brightens my day most during the winter months. A nice warm light will turn any dreary workspace into a sunny spot. Be sure that you’ve got a replacement light bulb or two set aside for the winter. If you don’t already have a lamp at your desk, this is the perfect time to get one.
  • There aren’t too many folks who will turn down a mug of hot cocoa on a chilly day, especially while working in the office. When the snow starts to fall you can keep your office mates in good spirits by keeping plenty of cocoa mix in supply. At our office, we love this tasty Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa mix from Nestle. On the coldest days it can be quite popular, so we keep a few boxes in our breakroom to keep up with high demand.

Even the chilliest of days can make for a productive time in the office with these winter essentials. If you’re looking for other ways to keep your office cozy, take a look at these ideas from Pay Scale.

Until next time,

Meg

5 Must-Haves for Your Office Kitchen

Oh Hiya!

Meg here and one of my favorite things about the office is our social environment. Talking and getting to know my coworkers on a personal level is very important to me and our office kitchen is the perfect place to do just that! Here are some must-haves to make your office kitchen a social and productive environment.

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  • Coffee Bar- Chances are; your office has a supply of coffee already but sprucing up the coffee zone can be a quick conversation starter. Create a small area for cream, sugar, stirrers, and whatever else your coworkers take in their coffee. You can use cute containers and organizers to keep your items neat and in place. Not only will it be a place for employees to chat, it will keep the coffee supplies in order and make it easier to restock when supplies run low.
  • Dirty Dishware- No one likes to have a sink piled high with dirty dishes, least of all in an office space. Keep the sink area clear with a dish rack to store clean dishes and easily accessible dish soap and scrubbers. We use the Scotch-Brite™ Heavy-Duty Soap-Dispensing Dishwand. The long handle makes it easy to use and our office dish pile doesn’t stack up the way it used to. Sometimes a reminder note can keep your office mates in check when it comes doing the dishes as well.
  • Personalized Décor- The kitchen doesn’t need to undergo a full makeover, but sprucing up the decorations can do wonders for the environment. Whether you bring in some easy-care houseplants, new chairs, or brighten up the paint scheme, small changes can go a long way. Another simple idea is to decorate with photos. Have you gone on a company retreat or had a volunteer day recently? Put up a few photos from the event and encourage the office to bring in a few more. Not only will they add a personal touch but everyone will feel a part of the team to see their shining faces up on the wall or fridge.
  • Make a Note- An organized kitchen is a happy kitchen! We use our Quartet® Prestige 2 Connects DuraMax Magnetic Porcelain Whiteboard to keep track of upcoming office events and announcements. It’s any easy way to reach nearly everyone in the office without sending extra emails. But be sure to update the board every few days to keep the message fresh and encourage the entire office to add a few notes in as well. Even if it’s an ever running grocery list, an interactive note board is a great way to get the office in conversation.

Whether you’re just stopping in for a coffee break or holding a team brainstorm session, the office kitchen is a great place to catch up with coworkers and brush up on office events and announcements. With a few quick changes, your office kitchen can be the place to be. For even more great tips check out these essentials for a break room.

Until next time,

Meg

Meg’s Top Super Bowl Party Must-Have’s

Oh Hiya!

The Super Bowl is coming up on February 7th, so it’s time to prepare for the ultimate watch party! Planning for a party around the most watched television show in the world can be a little overwhelming. This is why today I’ve put together my Top Super Bowl Party Must-Have’s!

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Some of your guests will be there strictly to watch the game, and others for the commercials, but you can betchyer bottom dollar they will all be there for the food.  Follow these party planning tips below and your guests will be talking about your party long after the game is over!

Prepare for the game by having the following items:

Team-themed decorations: Even if your home-town team is not playing (wah-wah) know that the rivalries will show up at your party! Encourage playful competition by having decorations and team colors showcasing both teams!  A fun idea you might consider is to separate the watch room into Team A fans and Team B fans.

Football-related games: Many people who do not like football will still come to your party, so it is important to keep them entertained! Games like table football are fun, or you could turn the Super Bowl into a game of betting – Commercial Bingo anyone?

Seating: The hardest thing about planning a Super Bowl party is finding a place for everyone to sit! Some football games can last over 4 hours and many people will stay until the end. For last minute and extra seating my go-to are comfy floor cushions and folding chairs. Still short on seating?  Simply call up a friend or neighbor and see if you can borrow.

Speakers: Because the Super Bowl is very long and parties can be loud, I like to use speakers strategically placed around my home, so guests can hear the game no matter where they are. Check out our Leitz Speaker System. These guys are small, portable and wireless, leaving plenty of touchdown dancing floor space!

Paper supplies/Cleaning supplies: Nothing is worse than having a pile of dishes to the ceiling. Prepare by stocking up on plenty of paper plates, napkins and utensils. This will make clean-up easy-breezy!  I also recommend paying close attention to your garbage can during your event to ensure nothing is overflowing. I like to assign a handy friend to help keep any eye on things. Be sure to have air fresheners, sanitizing wipes and paper towels on hand to return your house to new after all your friends leave.

Need more Super Bowl party planning tips? Read more here!

Many times, football resolves around snacks. Here are some fun Super Bowl snack essentials you’ll want to stock up on:

Beverages: If there is anything you buy in abundance for a party, it is beverages. Make sure to buy a variety because not everyone will have the same taste! Also, a pitcher of water is the easiest and most important beverage you can offer your guests.

Chips/Dip: Chips or pretzels, paired with a fun dip, is a quick way for your guests to snack. Place a few bowls of different snacks in front of the TV to make sure no one misses a single play!

Hearty Snacks: Because the games tend to be long, some of your guests might become hungry for something other than chips. Chicken wings, pizza, and sliders are surefire crowd pleasers, but be sure you also have an option or two for the vegetarians of the group.

Sweets: End the night with some sweet treats and everyone goes home a winner! Get creative and serve festive football themed confections like football shaped brownies or cookies decorated with team colors.

Discover more fun Super Bowl treats that your guests will love here!

Until next time,

Meg

Blue Cow Weekly Specials

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Blue Cow’s Spotlight Items are now Blue Cow Weekly Specials! It’s a small change in the name, but you’ll get HUGE savings on some of the items you need most.

Blue Cow Weekly Specials will feature 4 rotating items that change each week, all with deep discounts. These are only available for online orders, so make sure to log in or create an account if you don’t already have one to ensure you’re getting the absolute best price.

Our Weekly Specials will run the gamut of everything you need to make your office go, from post-it notes to cleaning products to coffee pods. Check out this week’s specials to see what’s on sale now, and come back every week for a fresh batch of rock bottom deals.

We’re excited to share these new deals with you, and to continue giving you the best online shopping experience possible. For more great pricing—and we mean GREAT—shop now on our website.

Keurig Coffee Dealer

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At Porter’s, we know how important the coffee machine is to a busy office, which is why we sell a full array of Keurig coffee products. With that in mind, here are a few tips to get the most out of your K-Cups.

For a Stronger Cup: Everyone likes their coffee different, and maybe you like to live on the dark side. For a stronger cup of coffee, follow these DIY steps to combine 2 K-Cups.

Keeping it Clean: Clean your machine regularly by running white vinegar through it. This stops the buildup of bacteria and keeps things smelling—and tasting—nice. Make sure to run some plain water through when you’re done.

Keep it Hot: If you haven’t used the machine in a few hours, run a quick cycle of water through before you brew coffee. This will heat the system up and make sure your beverage is piping hot.

Recipe: Salted Carmel Coffee: Brew 6 ounces of our Carmel Vanilla Cream Green Mountain Coffee, and combine with 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon of caramel, a half cup of heated milk and a pinch of sea salt. The result? A delicious, coffee shop quality specialty beverage, made right in your office.

Make sure to check out our full list of Keurig products to keep your office perky and your employees happy.

Tis the Sweet Season

candyPorter’s Holiday Candy

It may not be the warm time of the year or the best for sticking to diets but there are some perks to the winter time. Holidays that  bring family together and remind us how much we have to be grateful for and appreciate. Part of all the festivities and the cheer we like to share comes in the form of the treats we give and receive. In the spirit of the season Porter’s likes to offer for a limited time some really exceptional holiday candy. So go pull out that box of decorations. Send out the family greeting cards. Carve up a turkey and enjoy some of the best candy you’ll see this holiday season! And please don’t forget to share. We’re sure there’s someone in your life that’s deserving. These sugary delights come from Florence’s and Farr’s candy creations.

 

Snacks Worthy of the Office

Looking for a way to stay focused and productive throughout the day? There are a lot of things you can turn to in your time of need as the blood sugar levels drop off and your breakfast or lunch power runs out. But what we naturally feel drawn to in these times of need are usually what we don’t need. The potato chips or candy bars and soda pop will dump us quickly feeling slower and more useless then before we had them.  Unfortunately those sugars and saturated fats are just going to hurt us. Even though they may taste good going down they don’t give you the boost you need. Not to mention the negative effects on blood pressure, weight gain and a whole host of other health issues these snacks can bring. But don’t despair! There are heroes in the snacking industry. Just waiting to save you from that lull at work and bring you back to your best!

The key to successful snacks is to remember that they are SNACKS not TREATS. A candy bar or soda pop is a treat not a snack. The other thing to remember is that the portion of a snack is not the same as a meal. You don’t need a lot of food to satisfy that need you’re feeling and boost your blood sugar up where it should be. This is about what you need not what you think you want.

So what are good snacks? Let’s cover some of the headliners that will give you the most return on your snacking investment.

  • Nuts: all kinds of nuts are really good snacks but the all time champion is the almond. With the least amount of fat for the most amount of protein there is none better.
  • Plain Yogurt: it may be a slight adjustment but plain yogurt is the best for you and won’t be packed with sugar like the
    flavored kind is. Also consider Greek yogurt which contains more protein but again go plain and regular.
  • Whole Grains: these can be found in a variety of ways. Some of the best are a slice of whole grain bread with some honey drizzled on top, whole grain granola bars, and oats with berries and a little water.
  • Raw Vegetables: a bag of baby carrots or some celery chunks and a small container of peanut butter to dip in are great
    choices.
  • Dark Chocolate: a chunk of the dark side can be a good source of antioxidants.

Our Blue Cow Stories

What is Blue Cow Service & Blue Cow Stories?

At Porter’s Office Products, we are focused on providing over-the-top customer service. Our “Blue Cow Service” approach had modest beginnings with the COWS toffee candy we provide with every delivery. What we call “Blue Cow Stories” chronicles exceptional customer service. We invite you to contribute to this growing collection (send your story to custservice@portersop.com) – whether you mention the specific company is up to you. It’s the experience that counts.

Our goal is to bring exposure to great moments in customer service, where individuals thought beyond the big box corporate mentality, and took exceptional care of their customers. We also want to help inspire you in your company’s customer service efforts.

You might notice as you read through these stories that remarkable customer service is often linked to remarkable customers. We realize this and appreciate your loyalty to our company. Please know that every day, we at Porter’s are working towards rewarding you with the best customer service we are capable of providing.

Here is our first Blue Cow Story Blog Post

On New Year’s Day we went out to breakfast and although the restaurant we picked was packed we decided to wait. We finally got seated and the waitress took our order for drinks. It took her awhile to get back to us. She finally brought us our drinks and apologized for taking so long. It was not a big deal, we knew she was busy. It took a long time for us to get our food. She apologized again. When she brought us our ticket she said that she took off all the drinks and one of the breakfasts. This impressed my family and I as we were not upset about how slow things were. We could see that they were busy and it wasn’t her fault, she took care of us the best she could. It was nice of her to do that especially as we did not make a fuss or make a scene. Sometimes in business we only seem to take care of those who scream or yell or show us that they are unhappy. Their excellent customer service showed they cared about all their customers, not just ones who were unsatisfied.

-Story Contributed by Avril Emfield

 

Memorial Day Dutch Oven Pot Roast

Memorial Day Dutch Oven Pot Roast

Whether you’re camping or staying home this can be a great way to cook outside for Memorial Day!

Ingredients:

Pot Roast

3lb beef chuck roast
4lb potatoes
1 large onion
8 oz baby carrots
1 15oz can green beans
1 15oz can whole kernel corn
2 cups low sodium beef broth
Kosher salt
Black pepper
2 tbsp olive oil

Directions:

Peal 4 pounds of potatoes and cut into 2” cubes. Drain the green beans and corn, discarding the liquid. Heat olive oil in 12” Dutch oven, place chuck roast into the hot oven, season with a pinch of salt and pepper and sear both sides of the roast. Remove oven from the heat and add in the beef broth, the potatoes and carrots, then the beans and corn. Cover the Dutch oven and bake at 325° to 350° for 1 hour. If the potatoes are still firm bake for another 15 minutes, repeating if necessary until the potatoes are soft. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with fresh baked bread and salad for a great camp meal!

If cooking outdoors use 24 charcoal briquettes. Place 15 lit briquettes on top and 9 underneath your Dutch oven. You may need more coals in windy or cold weather.

Serves 6 to 8

Via

Holiday Traditions

Do you have some traditions your family celebrate every year or are you looking for fun new ones for your family to start? We’ve gathered a few of our favorites with even more below!

1.Advent Calendar

2. Gingerbread Houses

3. Caroling

4. Classic Christmas movies

5.White Elephant gift parties

Click here for fun food, community and gift traditions!