Category Archives: Uncategorized

Charitable Re-Gifting

PAP_HPD-285-printWhen it comes to” re-gifting” I have traditionally stood on the side of “no, absolutely not” but I realize I am probably the exception, not the rule. If you know me, then you know  I take gift-giving very seriously. So, for the first year ever, I am going to make an exception and explain why I will say “yes” this year to “re-gifting.”

I reached out to my contact at the local shelter in Reston to see what is on her “most-wanted” list for the holiday season and she sent me a list of many items plus a note to say “re-gifts” are welcome. Isn’t that the most brilliant idea ever? What a great thing  to do with the items you receive as gifts but maybe are not need or are not quite right. I absolutely LOVED that idea!

If you may be feeling guilty about giving away a gift, remember Maria Kondo’s words in The Magical Art of Tidying-Up “Their true value was bestowed in the moment of the giving . Holding on to them out of guilt is the opposite of the giver’s intent.”

So, if you like this idea, please share this post with everyone you know and reach out to your local shelter to see what is needed and see if you can collect items on the list and bring them your local shelter after the holidays!

Happy gifting!

For people in the local area, here is the list for the shelter in Reston.

Top Needs

*Gift cards from Target, Safeway, Shell, Sunoco, or Exxon ( $5.00-$25.00)

*Sweat pants all sizes for adults

*insulated gloves and hats

*Cleaning supplies–including bleach, window cleaner, all-purpose spray cleaners, Clorox wipes, paper towels, detergent pods, 13 gallon trash bags, 45 gallon utility trash bags

General Needs

Gift cards from Target, Safeway, CVS in $10 to $25 amounts

Wendy’s, McDonalds, Chic-fil-a, Starbucks, Potbelly’s, Panera, in $5 to $10 amounts

Metro Smart cards and gas station gift cards

Inexpensive jewelry and watches– Fashion jewelry or earring and necklace sets for ladies and teens

Wallets, purses, bags, backpacks, rolling suitcases

Inexpensive umbrellas and rain ponchos

Robes, pajamas, long underwear, lounge pants, sweat pants and sweat shirts for men and women



Reading glasses various magnifications

Lotions, perfumes, fingernail polish, aftershave, cologne, shower gel, loofas

DVD’s (family friendly)

Warm insulated or fleece gloves

Batteries (all sizes—AAA, AA, C, D)

Sunglasses (men’s and women’s)

Shave kits

Hand-held games


Note pads and pens

Art and craft sets, drawing paper

Hair accessories

Small picture frames or photo albums

wool or wool blend socks

stocking caps

ladies’ undies, bras/sports bras—all sizes and shapes

pots and pans sets (for folks moving up to housing)

flatware sets (for folks moving up to housing)

Shower curtains and rings (for folks moving up to housing)

glass and dishware sets (for folks moving up to housing)


Plastic tarps in green, brown, or camo colors

Ear buds for IPODS

Battery operated alarm clocks




I am Thankful for…

As Thanksgiving approaches I have been thinking about what I am” thankful” for this year. I can’t overlook the health and happiness of my family because that is the most important thing to be thankful for, however I always try to think about what else deserves to be acknowledged. This year, as I took out my “thankful card” I decided I am thankful for the life-changing books I have read.

These are the ones that helped me grow. The ones that helped me understand myself and others a little bit better. These are the ones I recommended to my family and friends and said “You have to read this book…”

I believe, the underlying theme in these books is that there is a formula for happiness and success. And that happiness leads to success, not the other way around. I am so thankful these authors shared their journey and were brave enough to include the highs and lows in a way that was so relatable and that they were confident enough in their own success they were will to inspire others, including me.

I loved these books because…

  • They challenged my way of thinking by forcing me to ask myself “Am I responding with love or fear?”
  • They helped me see happiness is found by being present and living in the moment.
  • I learned to dismiss the voice in my head that says “you can’t” because of course I can.
  • I learned what gratitude means and if you don’t appreciate what you have, you will never get more.
  • I learned to start to identify the things I love doing. Those that cause a “flow” where I am no longer aware of time.
  • I realized that power isn’t given it’s taken. Never let someone take away your power. Hold on to it tightly.
  • When you hit your edge and you want to quit is the same moment where you have the opportunity to grow and get to the next level. Recognize and embrace that feeling.
  • I learned the difference between wanting, choosing and committing to something.
  • I have learned I can brand myself to be an “expert” in a field I love. And who wouldn’t take advice from an expert?

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P.S. I have a digital copy of this book so it isn’t in the photo but I would be remiss in not sharing it with you because it not only makes the list, but should be one at the top. Don’t be misled by the title, it is not just for business owners. It provides some incredible insight on being your own brand that is applicable regardless if the field you work in.


Friends & Family 20% Discount On Our New Photo Cards

One of the biggest requests I got last year was for more options for the photos cards so I am pleased to share that we have updated the site to offer four new designs. I created all four because I couldn’t choose a favorite, I love them all!If you order before November 5, 2017,  you can take advantage of our friends and family discount, 20% off. The prices shown reflect this discount. (So, for example, 50 cards will be $100.00 and after 11/5 will be $125.00)

Please remember proofs and changes are always complimentary.  Also, if you are still working on your photo, we can get the text approved and ready and hold for printing until you get the photo. ( I can also send you the envelopes ahead of time.)

Also, feel free to email me at if you want me to send over some ideas for your consideration.  Please let me know the image and if you want a script or block font and general text. I am happy to create a few options for your review.

The photo cards are listed under the pull down “stationery”. I included a screenshot below. The photo is on the back for the square card options.

I would be so happy to extend this offer to your family and friends, so please feel free to share this private sale! 

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Some more fun options with a few of my fav holiday images…

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Contagious: Why Things Catch On

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This book is for you if you answer “yes” to any of the following:

  • You have wondered why McRib is only available for a limited time and in certain locations.
  • You have wondered if a voting facility, for example a church or school influences how a person votes.
  • You wonder why Ant-Drug campaigns between 1998-2004 didn’t actually decrease drug use.
  • You have wondered why people share some info on social media and not other info.
  • You liked Malcolm Gladwell’s Tipping Point .
  • You have wondered why someone would pay $100.00 for a cheesesteak sandwich.

Lead By Example

Screen Shot 2017-09-25 at 2.40.49 PMI recently came across this newspaper article about my Great-Grandfather, Dr. William L. Bendel  and I wanted to share with you as I think it encompasses a few really important ideas on leading by example and volunteering. The article is from the News Star, Wednesday, January 26, 1983.

While my great-grandfather passed away years before I was born, I heard so many stories about him from my family and during our yearly trips to Monroe, LA  to visit my great-grandmother. it was apparent from these visits, that he was well known, well liked, well respected and a pillar of the community. My recollection is that everywhere we went, my great-grandmother was greeted warmly and people always wanted to share a story on how they knew my great-grandfather and how much they respected and admired him.

I was originally compelled to share this article because it is evidence that we lead by example however, something else jumped out at me as equally important.

The basis of the article is around inducting my great-grandfather into a local high school Hall of Fame in recognition of his support for the local sports teams, serving as a team doctor for local high schools.

“We couldn’t have made it without him,” said former Neville coach Bill Ruple, himself a Hall of Fame member “None of the schools in our area could afford insurance on our players, but Dr. Bendel never charged for treating them.”

My Great-Grandmother, Marie Bendel notes “Twenty-five years is a long time for people to still want to have him honored”. And that is the part that really struck me about the article, the impact we have when we help others has no expiration. 

I believe my desire to volunteer in the community is a direct result of hearing about my family’s dedication to giving back. One thing I have learned though my own volunteering is that  helping one person is just as important as assisting many, meaning you don’t have to look for an opportunity that you think will impact many people because sometimes helping one person will have a deep and meaningful impact too.

I’ve been working on a campaign to help some kids in SE DC and I am humbled by the generosity of my neighbors and friends. I was delighted to see the little girls in my neighborhood contribute some of their lemonade stand money to purchase items like backpacks, socks and jackets not only because of their generosity but in seeing how happy they were visualizing a young boy or girl getting a new coat or backpack this year. I get it! I love to visualize the smile on even one child’s face when they are presented with something needed and new that makes them feel valuable and special.

I hope this will inspire you to lead by example and find a way that you can give back to your local community and if you have kids, please incorporate them into your activity!


Fall Edit: Back to Basics & Layering

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 8.35.24 AMWhile the calendar has flipped to September, it is still in the high 80s here in DC so it is a little hard to think about bundling up in a cashmere sweater but that hasn’t stopped me from thinking about what I might like for fall.

And, truth be told, and I can’t believe I am about to write this, but I haven’t seen much so far that has impressed me so I am taking it as a sign that I should be shopping my closet.

I will say, one thing I do love is the idea of jacket layering. The only picture I could find was the red coat JCrew one above. I have a huge addiction to buying coats and jackets, however, they all seem to be about the same weight, light and not really warm so I like the idea of layering a jean jacket underneath, especially if it creates a contrast between dressy and casual.

The other idea I like this fall is investing in basics. A simple yet beautifully cut blazer like the Rag and Bone one + a statement piece like the Tiffany Bracelet or the Hermes necklace – elegant, understated and yet stunning!

So, here are a few things I found and love for various reason. Definitely get samples of the lip serum and polish next time you are at Sephora and for glowing skin, I love this new Armani mask.

Let me know what’s on the top of your must have list for fall.

Rebecca Minkoff This is a great, classic bag that will never go out of style. It is also an easy way to add velvet into your wardrobe.

Sugar Lip Polish

Sugar Lip Serum

Ouai Memory Mist If you like a hairspray that keeps its hold but doesn’t make your hair stiff, this is the product for you!

AG Demin Jacket 

JCrew Eveyday Cashmere

Hermes Necklace (Tiffany has a beaded chain that is in their recent campaigns that has a beautiful toggle clasp. It is a nice less expensive version of the Hermes piece if you like that look but want to spend less. I can’t find it on the website but the have it in the stores. I think it was $325.00)

Chanel Large Zip Shopping Bag I always need at least one bag that I can carry my notebook in.

Rag and Bone Jacket This is a great way to get the polished blazer look but with the ease and comfort of a sweater. It is lightweight and perfect for travel.

Tiffany ID Bracelet  I wore this out of the store I loved it so much!

Armani Mask


Helping Hurricane Harvey Victims

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mika_300_tx_houLike many of you, I am trying to wrap my head around the massive devastation that Hurricane Harvey has inflicted upon Texas.

With that in mind, we want to help!

For every order of our gift-wrap that features the State of Texas* (painted by me!) purchased by 9/30/17, Hampton Paper Designs will donate 30% of the profits to a local Houston Food Bank

I chose the gift-wrap for a very specific reason. Typically, in situations like this,  the event is top of mind for everyone when it happens and then as time passes, people not directly affected tend to forget about it. It is understandable. I think the gift-wrap idea will serve as a friendly reminder for all of us, long after this is no longer headline news, that help is still needed. The level of impact is well above the $1B range. These people will be recovering for years.

As for me, I tend to choose a “theme” for my holiday gift-wrap each year and I can think of no better theme than to use this paper. It is as simple way for me to remind people in a few months from now to think about the victims. Maybe you will like this idea too!

*State of Texas image is under “All Images” and “New Images.”


Thank You Texas Lifestyle Magazine

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A super big “Thank You” to Texas Lifestyle Magazine for featuring us in their Back to School gift guide!

money. money. money.

Screen Shot 2017-08-09 at 10.38.23 AMLately, I am all about changing my focus, being more positive, reframing how I interpret conversations and situations, trying to be more grateful and lastly understanding forgiveness. I am a work in progress.

When it comes to applying these ideas to money, I am loving Secrets of the Millionaire Mind and Unleash Your Inner Money Babe. I love the idea that minor adjustments can have a major impact.

So many of the ideas apply to more than just money. T. Harv Eker notes three levels of “wanting”

1. Wanting “I want to be rich.” which is different form

2.Choosing ” I choose to be rich.” which is different from

3. Committing.  “I commit to being rich”

The definition of committing is “to devote oneself unreservedly”

So interesting, right? The slighted change in your wording can adjust your outcome.

Unleash Your Inner Money Babe is a workbook and I must admit I learned so much already about slight changes in my thinking. First, I must be grateful for what I already have and that caused me to rethink my understanding of grateful.

Let me know what you think!


The Universe Has Your Back

Screen Shot 2017-07-21 at 8.09.48 AMIn the event you are a big fan of The Secret or are just looking for a new ( and more positive) way to frame situations & events then you may enjoy Gabrielle Bernsteins’ new book, The Universe Has Your Back. Bottom line, ask yourself if you are looking at events and situations through a lens of “love” or “fear”.  It is an interesting thing to think about!

The part I loved the most was the idea of how by predetermining how a certain situation “should” turn out, we are limiting our possibilities. For example, it pitching our new notebooks to magazine editors my “should” is that they will be featured in their upcoming gift guide. Then I applied Gabrielle’s approach and now can see that getting into a gift guide is a limiting goal. What wouldn’t my goal to be a feature on the company or something larger? Cool, right?