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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!

original                            result

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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!

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

Salmon with Pineapple Tomato Salsa

For making at home during those long summer evening or even bringing the leftovers for an easy lunch at work, this summer-fresh salmon is healthy and delicious.

Prep time: 30 Min

Cook time 40 Min

Ready In: 1 Hr 10 Min

4 Servings

¼ cup fresh lime juice

¼ cup extra virgin
olive oil

2 tablespoons soy sauce

3 tablespoons shallots,
chopped

1 teaspoon sugar

½ cup diced pineapple

2 large plum tomatoes,
diced

¼ cup chopped fresh
basil

Salt and pepper to
taste

4 (6 oz.) fillets
salmon

½ cup chicken broth

Lemon pepper to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, soy sauce, shallots, and sugar. Stir in the
    pineapple, tomatoes, and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and
    refrigerate. Remove from refrigerator 10-15 minutes before serving.
  3. Place salmon in a 9×13-inch pan. Pour chicken broth over the top, and sprinkle with
    lemon pepper.
  4. Bake in a preheated oven until fish flakes easily with a fork, about 30-40 minutes.
    Serve with salsa on the side.

WIN A FREE IPAD2!

Complete our online Scavenger Hunt to be entered to win an iPad! You will have to visit our website, Facebook, Blog, and Pinterest page and do a little searching to complete the entry form to be entered to win.

We will draw one winner on June 29th at 4pm. Only one entry per person, and all fields must be completed and requirements met for a valid entry. Good Luck!  Click here for full entry form and complete details!

1. Find all 5 of the RED COWS located throughout our website on various pages just like this one… and no this does NOT count as one location, but keep looking!

2. Follow Blue Cow on Pinterest

3. List one pin Blue Cow has pinned on Pinterest in May or June

4. Like us on Facebook!

5. Leave a comment on our Facebook page, a wall post, or picture.

6. Find one blog post we posted in May or June 

Now that you’ve made the rounds and found all the information you need, fill out the form/checklist  by clicking here!

Make sure to include your contact info! Winner will be drawn June 29th at 4pm! Click here for full entry form and complete details!

 

S is for Spring… and Sharpie!

Collect a bouquet of colors with Sharpie Pens and share some of your creations with us! Visit us on Facebook or check out our Pinterest for more artistic ideas!