Tuesday, September 30, 2014

New Product Arrivals at MyScratchOffs.com

At My Scratch Offs, LLC we are proudly progressive in our product offerings (how’s that for some alliteration?)! I would like to take a moment to share some appealing scratch off products that we’ve recently added to our stock, as well as some exciting new additions on the horizon.

New Scratch Off Labels

I am LOVING our new Baby Blue Boy and Baby Pink Girl Footprint Scratch Off Labels! These super cute, 1-inch round (US quarter-sized) labels are available in both pink and blue with tiny silver footprints. They are perfect for a DIY gender reveal, baby shower game or baby shower invitation. Oh, the possibilities!

Needing a more versatile, all purpose scratch off label? We now offer a 1.5 inch Silver Oval Scratch Off Label as well as a Mini Zebra Security Slit Scratch Off Label sticker. Our Mini Zebra labels measure 3/16 x 5/8 inches and have micro slits to add an additional measure of tamper resistance. Both our Oval and Mini Zebra labels will suit a wide range of uses and applications.

Coming Soon…

Look what’s to come from My Scratch Offs, LLC:

  •          Scratch Off Bingo Cards
  •        1.5” Silver Square Scratch Off Labels
  •         Full Sheet (8.5 x 11”) Scratch Off Labels
  •        New Gender Reveal and Baby Shower designs!

Try something new with one of our brand new labels! All of our scratch off labels are blank. They feature a clear adhesive backing that has had scratch off pigment professionally applied on top. To use, you simply peel and stick over-top of whatever you want to scratch to reveal. It is that simple!

With endless possibilities to create and inspire…how will you use your scratch offs?  We’d love to hear some of your ideas!  Find us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter to share photos or comments about this post.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

How To Host A Gender Reveal Party

How to Plan a Gender Reveal Party

You’re having a baby!!!  This is such an exciting and momentous time in your life!  If you have decided to learn the gender of your baby before you deliver, you may want to plan a fun party for your family and friends to reveal the news.  Couples can learn through their ultrasound screening and make their own announcement at the party, or a gender reveal party can also be a great way for a friend or family member (one who can really keep a good secret!) to reveal the news to the couple as well as the other guests at the party.

If hosting a gender reveal party is something that you’re interested in doing, here are a few tips for organizing the event.

Choose a Gender Reveal Party Date

The very first thing you’ll need to do is choose a date for your gender reveal party.  Since your doctor will probably have you schedule your ultrasound around the 20-week mark for your pregnancy, you’ll probably want to select a date that is somewhere around 21 or 22 weeks. 

Give yourself a little wiggle room after the anticipated ultrasound to make sure the news will be available without causing any stress or unnecessary tension.  You won’t want to schedule the gender reveal party too soon, just in case the baby is bashful and requires you to schedule a follow-up ultrasound. 

Select a Gender Reveal Theme and Send Invitations

You can plan a simple blue and pink mixer, or get creative with a theme that fits you and your partner.  Some great ideas for gender reveal themes include:

  • Ties or Tutus
  • Lures or Lace
  • Stash or Sash
  • Trucks or Tiaras
  •  Baseball or Ballet
  • Sports or Sparkles

You should aim to send your invitations at least two weeks in advance, but preferably as soon as possible.  This will give your guests plenty of time to mark their calendars.  You can find tons of gender reveal party invitation ideas on Pinterest.com.  If you prefer to send electronic invitations, you might try creating a custom e-invite through Punchbowl.com.

To Know or Not to Know?  That is the Question.

Before you go to your scheduled ultrasound, you’ll have to decide whom you want to be the first to know your news.  Many couples just can’t wait to find out, so they carefully watch the monitor during their ultrasound and ask the sonographer to point out the evidence to them.

If you prefer a greater element of surprise and have the self-discipline to wait a little while longer, your other option is to have your sonographer write “boy” or “girl” on a piece of paper and seal it in an envelope instead of telling you. 

You can then give the envelope to a carefully selected friend or family member who will actually help plan your gender reveal party and secretly make the pink or blue purchases for you.

Plan The Big Reveal

There are many creative ways to make the announcement at your gender reveal party.  Some ideas include:

  • Sweet Surprise – Order a gender reveal cake or cupcakes that will be either blue or pink on the inside, but with neutral frosting on the outside.
  • Box of Balloons – Place a dozen helium-filled balloons inside a large decorated cardboard box or trunk so that they will fly out when opened.
  •  Piñata – Fill a baby-themed piñata with pink or blue goodies and make a game out of the gender reveal.
  •  Confetti Poppers – These can be ordered in advance from sites like Etsy.com.  To be on the safe side, give the order at least 2 weeks of lead-time.  There are also ways to make your own confetti poppers if you have time and enjoy DIY projects. 
  •  Silly String – Purchase cans of blue or pink silly string, then cover the cans with decorative paper or spray paint the outside so that guests cannot tell what color is inside until they spray it.
  •  Gender Reveal Scratch Off Cards– These fun and unique cards can be used at your party and you can also mail them to friends or family who live far away and cannot attend the event.

Document the Memories

Be sure to make the most of your gender reveal party by having someone assigned to take lots of pictures.  You can also encourage your guests to write special messages for the new baby in a book or have a video camera available for recording video messages.

Door Prizes – Thank You for Coming!

As your guests arrive, have them write their names on a slip of paper and place their gender guess in jars or containers labeled “boy” or “girl.”  At the end of the gender reveal party, pull a name out of the winning jar and give that guest a thoughtful gift. 

Your gender reveal party can be a fun and exciting celebration for the new life that will soon be blessing your world.  Happy planning!

Wishing you all good things :) , from My Scratch Offs.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Your Guide To The Wedding Planning Timeline

Counting Down to The Big Day

Your wedding; a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for you to share the joy of your nuptials with your closest family and friends, live out the storybook fantasies of your childhood, and throw a fabulous party! If you are like most brides (and grooms!), then chances are you have been envisioning your walk down the aisle your entire life. You’ve imagined the cake, the flowers, the music, and the gown.  But what’s one rather significant—and often times stressful—aspect of wedding planning that can leave even the most coordinated brides scrambling? …

The Wedding Planning Timeline.
From booking your venue to mailing your Save The Dates, coordinating numerous details across multiple vendor channels all while adhering to conventional timeline etiquette can be a real head scratcher. Avoid last minute panic and unveil the mystery of what to do when with this handy-dandy timeline:

12 months prior:

  •  Plan your engagement party.
  • Draft your guest list.
  •  Book your venues.
  • Set your budget.

One year before your big day, you should already be laying the foundation for your dream wedding. Now is the time to have the all-important money discussion and really draw the line between wedding fantasies and budget realities!  Might I suggest using this Wedding Cost Estimator  (courtesy of the helpful folks at TheWeddingReport.com) to help you begin planning your budget.

  • 8-10 months prior:
  • Get engagement photos.
  •  Choose the officiant.
  • Secure your vendors. 
  •  Schedule cake tasting and order your cake.
  • Select your wedding party.
  • Block hotel rooms.
  • Book wedding day transportation.
  • Register for gifts.
  • Choose the gown!

Researching and sifting through a bevy of local vendors can be daunting to say the least. Access all of your options in one place by using a Local Vendor Search Tool like this one by TheKnot.com. 

6 months prior:

  •  Finalize the guest list.
  •   Send Save The Dates.
  • Choose bridal party attire.
  • Plan the honeymoon.
  • Order invitations.
  • Purchase wedding bands.

Your Save The Date is your guests’ very first impression of your upcoming wedding…so make it unforgettable! Might I suggest a fun and unique Custom Scratch Off Wedding Save The Date?

4 months prior:
  • Confirm venues & vendors.
  • Plan the rehearsal dinner.
  • Finalize hair and make-up plans.
  •  Choose the reception menu.
  •  Order wedding favors/ bridal party gifts.
At four months prior, all wedding plans and decisions should be finalized. Avoid last minute panic by making plans early and sticking to them! 

2 months prior:
  • Mail invitations.
  • Write wedding vows.
  • Purchase wedding day accessories.
  •  Confirm day of transportation.
  •  Create a shot list for your photographer.
  •   Create a song list for your DJ or band.
Communicating your wishes to your photographer in advance is crucial to ensuring that you capture all of the most treasured moments of your big day. In addition to a standard shot list, consider creating a Pinterest board of all your favorite wedding photography and providing a link to your photographer as inspiration.

4-6 weeks prior:
  • Get marriage license.
  • Make final vendor payments.
  • Send rehearsal dinner invites.
  • Follow-up with RSVP’s.
  • Final dress fitting.
  • Bridal Shower and Bachelor/ Bachelorette parties. 
  • Begin seating chart.
Leave no stone unturned! All of your wedding details (from food to decor) should be firmed up at least one month prior to your big day.

1-2 weeks prior:
  • Pick up your gown.
  • Finalize head count & seating chart.
  • Break in your shoes (this is a big one!).
  • Pack for your honeymoon.
  • Get a facial/waxing.
One to two weeks in advance you should be putting the finishing touches on your wedding day plans. You’re in the planning home stretch and now comes the really fun part…

48 hours prior:
  • Get a manicure & pedicure.
  • Wrap bridesmaid and groomsman gifts.
  • Pick up tux.
24 hours prior:
  • Attend rehearsal dinner.
  • Give bridesmaid & groomsman gifts.
Wedding Day:
  • Get Married…
  • Live Happily Ever After!

Of course, every bride will have her own preferences and unique agenda, but I hope this can at least get you started with a clear idea of what to expect from the conventional wedding planning timeline.

From all of us here at My Scratch Offs…Happy Planning!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

2014: A Sorta Renaissance

Hello, ladies and gents!
Allow myself to introduce…myself. I am Brianna and I am the new “girl behind the blog” (save for the occasional peppering of a guest contributor or two!). I’m thrilled about the opportunity to get you up to speed on the recent exciting changes at My Scratch Offs, LLC (notice we’ve dropped the “Labels” from our name), as well as share all of my “expert” scratch off product knowledge that I have cultivated over my two years with the company. 

The utter versatility of our scratch off labels is just part of what makes our products so useful and fun. The possibilities are endless, with applications from business promotions to bridal shower games to gender reveals, and I’m gonna blog all about it!

Since its conception six years ago, My Scratch Offs, LLC has evolved from a home-based business operated solely by our fearless leader, Karen, into a multi-member team and scratch off industry leader.  Today we are selling our progressive line of products out of our brick-and-mortar store and across multiple web-sales channels including:  Amazon, Etsy & eBay. Not too shabby for a veteran, full-time military spouse and mother of two!  

So what are some of these exciting changes you may ask? Over the course of 2014, we have changed our logo and re-branded to become My Scratch Offs (formerly My Scratch Off Labels, LLC), relocated into a new (and much larger!) production and retail facility, and undergone a complete web redesign…all while increasing our retail offerings by nearly 20%! 2014 has been one heckuva year and it’s not over yet.  We are constantly developing new and exciting designs and introducing new products and services.

I’m genuinely excited by the opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas with you! But before I dive right into the good stuff: a little bit about me.  I was born on the cusp of Capricorn and Aquarius (which makes me particularly unassuming yet ambitious…or so they say) and I have a particular knack for diplomacy, “from scratch” cooking and making lists. I’m a full-time step mommy and a part-time rock star. I’m also MSO’s customer service and social media guru. I love to be creative. I love sunshine, coffee and my job! I love coming to work every day and I’m very much looking forward to sharing some of my daily excitement with you.

Intrigued? Good!  Now stay tuned, next week: bridal inspiration.