If you have loved ones far away…

Hi everyone! Recently, I discovered something cool that I thought would be great for American expats abroad. It’s Blow Birthday Cards, an online greeting card company which lets you select a card, add a handwritten message, and mail it to anywhere in the U.S. without leaving the house or putting on pants.

As much as I want to be that person who buys a cute card in a boutique, writes a message, and mails it at the post office, I just am not. (My mother is. She sends handmade cards with beautiful messages and addresses them in calligraphy.) I buy cards and never mail them. It’s terrible. When I was living in France, I might have actually sent cards to my family if I could have done it online like this. (Sorry, family.) Here’s a little peek at how it works and some of my favorite cards.

Note: At this time, they only mail cards to the United States. If you don’t have friends or family in the U.S., go ahead and skip this post. (Maybe you’d enjoy one of my French bureaucracy rants.)

How it works

First, pick out the card design you want. Then, write your message on a blank sheet of paper (in black ink – color won’t show up) and take a picture of it. You will be prompted to put in your phone number on the site, and you’ll receive a text. You reply to it with the photo of your message, and then you can view what it will look like on the card.

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 7.46.04 PM

That’s it – if you like the result, you can go ahead and send the card from the site. The whole thing costs $4.95. Not a bad deal.

I sent a card to Hugo to test it out. It arrived in a hand-addressed envelope, and the message in my handwriting was printed inside the card. (If only I had better handwriting.)

What I liked

I like that it is super easy to use, and I think that the price is very reasonable (and you know I love reasonably-priced things). You can also schedule card delivery, which is convenient if birthdays tend to sneak up on you.

I also like that you can preview your message inside the card so you know what it will look like before you send it.

All the cards are by independent artists, which is great. Not all the designs are my style (there’s a horrible one with a giant spider that kept popping up – hello, nightmares), but I found quite a few that I liked a lot. I’ll share some of my favorites below.

I sent some feedback and questions, and the owner actually answered them all in a really nice message!

What could be better

I wish I could send cards outside the U.S.! Most of my loved ones who are far away now are in other countries. This may be changing (Canada is first on their list), so check back with them for updates.

Right now, the majority of the cards are birthday cards, but there are some holiday, love, and general cards too (you can search for Christmas, Halloween, etc.). I pointed this out and they said that they are expanding into other types of cards – soon it will be possible to search by occasion. Sometimes the site bugs a little (you can only save 10 cards at a time, for example) but nothing too frustrating.

A few cute cards…

ElephantFlowersFun blank insideLove LouvreMake a wishKoala loveScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 9.30.59 PMMy favorite nerdBlank insideFar away birthday

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 9.31.29 PMOctopusLoveBeeBeachin birthday

How to try it out

Go to www.blowbirthdaycards.com to check out the cards and see how it works. My tip: I found most of the cards I liked by clicking through their alphabetized keywords and choosing random words that appealed to me (Octopus. Sunflower. Flamingo. Martini. Monkey.) You can also search by specifying who you’re sending the card to and their age if it’s their birthday. I saved the cards I liked as I browsed and then picked my favorite.

Let me know what you think if you try it out!

If you have family and friends far away, what do you do to celebrate birthdays and other occasions? Do you send something in the mail, or just text or call them to let them know you’re thinking about them?

Thanks to Blow Birthday Cards for letting me try out their service. Opinions are my own.

8 thoughts on “If you have loved ones far away…

  1. I love the octopus, which is funny since I’m absolutely repulsed by its live counterpart. (My dad sent me a video just the other day of a load of little octopuses that were found on a beach in South Wales, and I was squirming at the sight of them!) Blow Birthday Cards reminds me a little of Moonpig (not sure if they do international delivery, or if they’re just a UK thing) – a great solution for when dates creep up on you and there’s no chance of something arriving on time via the post office!

    1. Octopuses writhing on the beach does sound revolting, but I love seeing them at the aquarium – I think they’re so interesting! I suppose it’s different when you have a glass wall between you and the octopus… I checked out Moonpig, and it looks like they do deliver internationally – not sure what the fees are. Their site looks really fun!

      1. It was a pretty gross video, but I agree that in an aquarium jellyfish and octopuses are pretty cool! That’s handy to know – I’ve never actually bought a card from them as I tend to buy and send cards myself with the help of Royal Mail, but they do have some cool designs!

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