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Deck the Office Halls

 

 

Happy holidays!!!

How are you keeping the festive holiday spirit alive in the office? It can be tricky sometimes to decorate with a limited space or a limited wallet.

Here are some of the office ideas we have done here around our Porter’s Office Products work station!

Our furniture specialists pop onto the retail floor several times a day. They decided to hang some garland up with some fairy lights intermixed for some holiday glow!
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What brings the holiday spirit better than a fully decorated Christmas tree? We have loved having this tree in on our retail floor so that everyone always see it. We even stored our employee Secret Santa gifts for one another underneath it for the time before our party!
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A great and inexpensive way to decorate is hanging Christmas ornaments around the office. We hung them from the shelves on the retail floor. It glistened the place up a great deal.
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Something else we enjoyed doing this holiday season was displaying our holiday cards we received from fellow business friends on our warehouse door.
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Of course, we couldn’t do any of this without the Blue Cow stamp of approval! Our little buddy has certainly enjoyed the holiday season thus far!!
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There are also many ideas we have seen that we love to share as well!

One of our absolute favorites is this rendition of Elf on a Shelf! They created Elf bodies out of construction paper and attached their own photos on as well! They move them all around the office and have them act out hilarious winter scenarios. Great idea coming from Seema Adnani

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another great and simple one is turning your door into a present! We love this idea coming from Nap Time Decorator. It will make anyone feel the holiday spirit as they walk into your “presents”!

Front Door Wrapped Present.

There are so many fun ideas and decorations you can use in your office space. Let us know if you have another idea or something you have already tried!

Camera Hacks Tested and True

Each day there is a new “life hack” video on social media. People are loving this idea of cheap and easy ways to get the same result. I have seen a great deal of “hacks” regarding photography. I myself have done photography for many years and was curious about the legitimacy of these tips. Of course, I had to put them to the test.

I have a Canon t5i Rebel camera. This week, I put each of these hacks to the test both on manual mode and automatic mode.

I’ll show you what my camera looked like with the “gear” and the results from the shot.

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Hack #1: Get a sandwich bag and cut the bottom off. Wrap the bag around your lens with a rubber band or hair tie and shoot on either manual or automatic mode. It will create a haze glow around your subject.

I was actually very surprised at how much I liked this tip. Sure, you had to readjust the bag several times around the frame of your subject. I liked it with and without the flash on manual and the automatic mode. I give this one a thumbs up!

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Hack #2: Finish up your can of chips and cut the bottom off. The shiny interior creates a perfect place to bounce light. It will create perfect studio look, even if you’re just in your living room.

I doubted this one the most out of all of them. However, I was pleasantly surprised again and how much of a difference it made. The light was targeted directly around my face giving the spot light effect. My next attempt is going to be in a darker room.

Note: When I think of studio shot, I think of indoors. I don’t know what kind of effect this might have outside at night. Try it yourselves and let us know what you think!

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Hack #3: Grab a pair of old tights and gently stretch them across your lens. Wrap it with a rubber band to keep it in place. The tights will help soften the light in your shot. Tip! Use different colors of tights to get some fun images!

Don’t count me in for using this one again. The tights made it very hard to focus on the subject on either manual or automatic mode. It just looked like you had something covering your lens as a mistake. It may possibly be better with something significantly thinner like panty hose. The tights did not do well.

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Hack #4: Sometimes the flash on a camera can be annoying to the subject’s eyes or showing up in the wrong place in the image. To fix that, take a business card and cut two little slits on the bottom short side. Netsle that onto your hot shoe or the flash popper while its up. Now that light will be redirected upwards!

Honestly, I am not 100% sure how I feel about this. With a few more tests, I might find a good opportunity to use it. I wanted to demonstrate this trick on inanimate objects to show you where the reflections and light ended up. It certainly did its job redirecting the light. However, I think with how much it redirected, you might as well just not use the flash.

original                            result

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Hack #5: If you are playing around and are looking for something fun. Try adding some self-made vignettes to your image. Take black card stock paper and create a lens cover. Cut a shape out of the center of you newly made lens cover. Hold it up and snap away!

This was kind of a fun variation on framing and adding that vignette. In many of the examples, they recommended you tape your newly created lens cover to the body of your camera. Personally, I liked being able to move it back and forth to better my image. The only thing I didn’t love about this trick is how much black is in the image. I think I would cut a bigger shape next time.

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Overall, I was very impressed with these tricks and hacks! These are great ideas to add a little something extra to your images. Try them out and let us know how they worked for you!

 

Unique Ways to Use Common Office Products

Oh Hiya, Meg here, and I’ve been thinking a lot about multitasking. I’m sure that when you think of multi-tasking creativity, your everyday office supplies aren’t the first thought in your head. I’ve found some new, amazing ways to put those supplies to use.

office products

Binder Clips: They may not look like a multi-purpose tool, but these handy clips are incredible when it comes to organizing cords and wires around your desk. By clipping them to the side of your desk and threading your charger cords, headphones, or internet cables through the handles, you’re able to keep every cord and cable in place.

Scotch Tape: Got a messy keyboard? Clean out stubborn crumbs with Scotch Magic Tape. Sometimes you don’t have keyboard cleaner on hand, but a roll of scotch tape is always nearby. Simply pull off a section of tape and slide it between the rows of keys to remove any unwanted dust or crumbs. So easy!

Post-It Notes: Sticky Notes are the ultimate multi-purpose tool! One of my favorite uses for my Post-it Super Sticky Notes is as a customizable calendar. I’ll always keep an eye on my desk calendar but when I need a little more space, I’ll just use sticky notes as an “expanded view” calendar on my office wall. Not only does it give me a more room to keep notes, I can easily count down the days by removing a note when the day has passed. You can easily customize your sticky-note calendar with different colors to match your style or the season.

Stapler: This tip may be specific to my favorite stapler! I use a Swingline Stapler and I absolutely love how it folds out to allow for temporary staples. My paperclips can get tangled and sometimes I need to keep a stack of papers organized. All I need to do is rotate the anvil of my stapler and voilà, I have an easy way to get temporary staples!

When it comes to multitasking with office supplies, all you need is a little creativity! There are so many wonderful ideas for making everyday items work for you. Take a look at a few more ingenious tips from Tiny Home Tour.

Until next time,

Meg!

Office Styles for the Girly Girl

Oh Hiya!

Meg here, and I want you to know that not all office design needs to be boring and plain! As the girly girl in our company, I have made it my mission to bring a splash of color and fun into our space. Here are some tips for adding a little stylish flair to your office, while still remaining professional.

office design

  • Add Some Shine- A glam office is all about a little glitz. An easy way to upgrade is by adding some metallic touches to your desk space. One of the great things about metallic accessories is that you can make a big statement or add some simple, subtle shine. A new, mirrored pencil cup or a metallic paper tray will add some quick glitz to your desk. If you’d like to make a bigger statement, I recommend a statement lamp or some glittery photo frames. They’re certain to be conversation starters!
  • Step up your Stapler- It shouldn’t come as any surprise that I love my high heels! One of my favorite desk accessories is my Swingline® High Heel Stapler. Of course I chose the red one; I just couldn’t pass up the chance to make my girly stapler even more eye catching. While high heels may not be your shoe (or stapler) of choice, there are so many fantastic options for bright, girly office accessories.
  • Take Note- I’m always taking notes during meetings but sometimes they get a little messy and need organizing. When that happens, I always reach for my BIC® Brite Liner Highlighter. I just love all the color options in a pack, instead of just plain yellow. Every notepad needs a pop of color and these highlighters certainly do the trick! If my notes won’t need to be highlighted I’ll always make sure to write with a bright pen. Notes in bright green, blue, or pink always look prettier than those written in black ink.
  • Add an Accent- Every desk needs a bright pop of color! Since your office space may not be a large area, choosing one or two accent colors works best. You can make a statement with a big piece, like a colorful chair, or smaller pops of color like themed sticky notes or desk accessories all in the same shade. No matter what you choose to do, it’s important to make sure your new accessories compliment your style without becoming too distracting.

Whether you follow one or all of these tips, your desk will be a beautiful reflection of your own personal style! There’s no better time to personalize your desk than today and I’m certain your newly decorated space will be the talk of the office. If you’d like some great photo inspiration, I found some wonderful ideas here.

Until next time,

Meg

Happy Administrative Professionals Day!

Oh Hiya!

Meg here, and I know just how much work goes into running an office. Not only do you have all the employees, but clients, vendors, property managers and more. Our office administrator is our savior for all these things. Here are a couple reasons we love our office administrator and ways to make their day a little better as we celebrate national Administrative Professionals Day!

Happy Administrator Day via Porters Office Products

  • Gift Shower: A card is a great start, but this year you can take it a step further and throw a little gift shower. The gifts don’t need to be big, even the smallest personalized gifts can make an impact. Whether you have a basket waiting on their desk at the beginning of the day or have various coworkers stop by with little surprises and notes throughout the day, your office administrator will feel appreciated all day long.

 

  • A Day Off: While it may seem that your office work flow will crumble without them at the helm, your office administrator surely deserves a little break! Whether you can manage an afternoon or even a full day, let your office admin schedule some downtime out of the office. You can also surprise them with tickets to an event, a spa pass or a gift certificate for a sweet treat to enjoy during their time off.

 

  • Help Out: Take a day to walk in their shoes! While your whole office appreciates all the work that your office administrator takes on, it’s a different story when it comes to experiencing it yourselves. Create a schedule and have each member of the office sign up to take over or help out with various tasks that your office admin works through daily. Not only will you give them a break, you’ll have a new appreciation for all the hard work they do every day.

 

  • Update Supplies: It may seem like a small gesture but new supplies will make your office administrator’s job easier. A great place to start is by replacing storage boxes or bringing in a few new ones for those stubborn files that need a home. One of my favorites is Bankers Box®. Those boxes get worn out so quickly with every day use and a few new ones will go a long way in making your office administrator’s job a little less stressful. A new set of pens, a stylish new desk organizer, or even a cute new notepad will make a big difference as well.

 

Administrative Professionals Day is a great opportunity to show your appreciation for all that your office administrator does to make each day flow smoothly. With these tips, your office administrator will feel appreciated all day long. I think it’s a great idea to keep that appreciation flowing all year round by remembering to thank them for their hard work each day. If you’re looking for a few other ways to make this day extra special check out these great ideas CLICK HERE.

 

Until next time,

Meg

 

Celebrate Earth Day In Your Office

Oh Hiya!

Meg here and did you know Earth Day is coming right up on April 22nd? We just love celebrating this beautiful world we live in go now. Earth day may be just one day out of the year, but helping the environment should happen every day! Even the office supplies you use can cut down on your waste and carbon footprint. Check out some of my favorite items and tips for keeping green:

Celebrate Earth Day In Your Office

Brown Bag It: Bringing your own lunch each day in reusable containers is a great way to not only stay green in the office but also save some green of your own! Even if it’s called a brown bag lunch, you can keep the environment in mind and use a cute lunchbox instead of paper bag each day.

 

Recycle: You guessed it! Recycling is one of the best ways to keep your office more environmentally minded. I’m sure your team is already great about recycling, but step it up a notch this year and work on recycling everything you can including plastics, paper, cardboard, and glass.

 

Use Recycled Materials: I try to cut back on using paper products but sometimes a sticky note is the best thing for the job. I love these Post-it® Notes Super Sticky Recycled Notes. They come in such cute colors and they’re made from recycled paper; nothing better than that!

 

Cleaning Products: Every office needs to be spring cleaned but it’s a great idea to keep the environment in mind when tidying up. By using green products you’ll have a sparkling office and a sparkling conscience. I use the Green Works® Compostable Cleaning Wipes when I’m cleaning. I love that they’re compostable and the fresh scent is easy on the nose as well!

 

Reuse: There are so many opportunities to reuse supplies in an office! Rather than writing out ideas or a to-do list on paper, I like to use a dry erase board. When I’m finished with a list or project, I can simply wipe it away and reuse the surface. I also prefer to use paper clips instead of staples for organizing documents on my desk. Paper clips are not only reusable but they come in so many cute styles and patterns too.

 

Green Technology: I’ve been guilty of being an energy hog in my office! When it comes to making the office greener, it’s so easy to overlook technology. A great idea for keeping energy levels low is to set your computer to sleep or hibernate mode when you’re away. A dark screen will save more energy than a screen saver. Another idea is to turn off the overhead lights. This works great if you work in an office with quite a bit of natural light. Not only will you save on energy usage, you’ll have the added benefit of extra sunshine!

 

Earth Day is a great time to take a little extra care in celebrating our planet, but with these easy tips you can take care of the environment every day! If you’re looking for a few more ways to keep your office green, take a look at THESE ideas.

 

Until next time,

 

Meg

My Favorite Ways to Use Post It Notes

Oh, Hiya!

Your Essentials for Spring Cleaning (3)

Meg here, sharing a little creative inspiration for your office. I just can’t get enough of post-it notes. They can be used for so many things, from organization and note keeping to decorating. My favorite post-it notes are these adorable Marseille Collection notes. The colors are so cheery that I just can’t help but smile when I see them. These are just a few cute ideas for using post-it notes in your space!

  • Post It Note Calendar- You might already have a desk calendar but you can easily add a little fun to your desk with this adorable post it note calendar! It’s such a cute way to keep track of your schedule, and when a day passes, you can take the post-it note down. This idea also works really well for any countdowns you might have. I love using them to count down to holidays and birthdays.
  • Pinwheels- What a cute way to decorate! These adorable pinwheels are so simple to make and they bring just the right amount of cheer to your desk.
  • Ornaments- Christmas may have passed but I think these adorable ornaments can be hung up all year around. They look just like spring to me!
  • Goal List- This daily goal board is so cute. The tutorial is a little big for a desk, but you can easily create a little goal board that fits right in your office. It’s such a nice way to keep your daily and weekly goals up to date and easily visible.

I hope these Post-It Note ideas got you inspired to make a post-it note project of your own. Send me your favorite ways to use post-it notes!

Until next time,

Meg

Have a Sweet Valentine’s Day!

Oh Hiya!

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and are some super sweet ways you can treat your coworkers! In our office, Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show your coworkers appreciation and have a little fun!

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Bring in some sweets! Everyone loves sugar, especially my coworkers. Every Valentine’s Day I put out a bowl of chocolates. Once word spreads around the office, you can betchyer bottom I see every single employee in my office and get to wish them a happy Valentine’s Day! The perfect fix for all those with a sweet tooth is this bag of M&Ms, with a re-sealable top and 2.62lbs of sugary goodness, each coworker could come by for seconds! You can even go the extra mile and make treats like these pretzel buttons.

Decorate! Valentine’s colors, red and pink, can put anyone in a good, more loving mood. Spreading the love can be as simple as taking notes with colored ink or adding a heart or cupid image to your memos. Check out the Velocity Retractable Ballpoint Pen pack to had a festive touch to all of your work!

It is so simple to make your place of work lovely this Valentine’s Day! Even the littlest gesture makes the office lighter and happier, making employees more productive and increasing employee satisfaction. Valentine’s Day is always a fun day in our office because we’re reminded of how much we love working here!

Until next time,

Meg

Holiday Recipes

Start to plan your Thanksgiving Meal with some of our favorite holiday recipes!

Shallot-Sage Accordion Potatoes

To prep ahead, bake through step 2. Let cool, cover, and refrigerate, up to 2 days. Let sit at room temperature 1 hour before proceeding as directed.

  • Prep Time 30 minutes
  • Total Time 1 3/4 hours
  • Yield Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 8 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 2 pounds)
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced crosswise
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Make deep cuts into each potato, 1/4 inch apart, without completely cutting through. Place shallots in each cut (using about half the shallots) and season with salt and pepper. Arrange potatoes, cut sides down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; dot with 2 tablespoons butter. Scatter remaining shallots around potatoes.
  2. Tightly cover dish with foil and bake until potatoes are tender, about 40 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. Uncover and bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, combine sage and remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Top potatoes with sage butter; scoop up loose shallots and divide among potatoes, then bake until golden and crisp, 10 to 15 minutes more.

Double Cranberry-Apple Sauce

Ingredients

  • 6 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced
  • 1 (12-ounce) package fresh cranberries
  • 1 small lemon, sliced and seeded
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sweetened dried cranberries

Preparation

  1. Stir together first 5 ingredients in a large saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often.
  2. Reduce heat; simmer, stirring often, 15 minutes or until cranberries pop and mixture starts to thicken. Remove from heat, and stir in sweetened dried cranberries. Cool. Cover and chill until ready to serve.
  3. Note: Mixture can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

And now for the turkey….

Make the bird the way you like it: this step-by-step guide from Food Network Magazine leads to thousands of possibilities!

1. Pick a turkey

2. Thaw

3. Brine

4. Make a butter

5. Roast the bird

Click here for the full article including brining tips, butter recipes and more!

 

Product Review: Our Favorite Planners!

2013 calendars and planners are here and i’m going to break down some of my personal favorites.

One day per page planning notebook- Ideal for jam packed schedules

The power of two: Planning and Note Taking ALL-IN-ONE

-Page size: 6″ x 9″; Gray flexible, perfect bound with bungee closure

-One-page-per-day format with ruled planning space

-Past, current, and six future months reference per two-page spread

-HOT spot reminder section

 

Monthly Planner and Notebook- Perfect for an all-in-one organizational tool

– 18 months from January to June and include 160 undated, daily journal pages.

-Two-page-per-month spreads include unruled daily blocks, Sunday-through-Saturday

One-page-per-day format includes ruled planning space for most of the page,

– Bookbound, stitched planning notebook

– Three-year reference calendar, future planning and contact pages.

– Black, 9.5 x 11

Two days per page Planning Notebook- My Favorite!

-The Power of Two: Planning & Note Taking ALL-IN-ONE

-This notebook also features a hot-spot reminder section on every lined page.

– Works for any year.

– Two page per page total of lined planning space

– Three-year reference calendar, index sheet, future planning pages

-Black, 5.25 x 8.5