Valentine’s Day is a Time to Reflect on Your Love for Others

February 14th, also knows as Valentine’s Day, is almost upon us.  This is the day to celebrate the love you have for others.  It’s usually thought of as a day for couples, but it doesn’t have to be.  It can also be a way to show your family and friends how much you care for them.

There are various ways to show your love.  One of the most popular ways is by sending your loved one flowers.  People usually send a dozen roses.  However, make it unique by sending a different kind of flower other than roses.  Maybe, the person has a favorite flower, or you want to send them something exotic, like tiger lilies.

Another popular gift is chocolates and candy.  These will be a hit for people with a sweet tooth and children.  Maybe you can surprise them with a heart-shaped chocolate with the words “I Love You” written on it.  Or you could also personalize it even more and write a message that only the two of you will understand.

Go to a nice dinner where you can end the night by toasting your love with a glass of champagne.  A nice way to show your love is by staying in and cooking together.  Food is always a great way to bring people together, and by making delicious food together, you will feel more connected.

If you can get away, take a long, relaxing weekend where you won’t have any interruptions.  A spa getaway is always a great way to enjoy your time together.  If you have children, then why not take them on a fun-filled excursion, like a camping trip, that will make your time together exciting and happy.

If you are planning on giving someone a gift, make sure that you put some thought into it.  Nothing is worse than something that looked like it was put together last  minute.  Think about the person’s interests and things he/she loves.  Don’t buy canned Valentine’s Day gifts, like a teddy bear, flower, chocolates, unless you added a personal touch to it.  Be thoughtful.

Of all the things to do for Valentine’s Day, the best gift you can give is being there.  If you can’t be there in person, then a heartfelt letter is the next best thing. Taking the time to write something is always something people cherish.

Have a happy Valentine’s Day, and celebrate the love you have for your loved ones, family, and friends.

Five Items to Make Superbowl XLIV One to Remember

Super Bowl XLIV

Everyone is revving up for this Sunday, February 7th for Superbowl XLIV where the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts will face-to-face to be 2010 football champions. With the Superbowl, comes all the fun and exciting parties that people to have to bring their family and friends together to watch the game (and commercials).  Here are five items that will ensure that your party is one that your guests will never forget:

1. Popcorn with Team Emblem – The Superbowl is like a movie where the two starring players, the Saints and the Colts, battle to be the ultimate champion.  Popcorn is a great snack to have at a Superbowl party.  Have popcorn with your favorite team’s emblem or the Superbowl XLIV logo, so your guests can enjoy the popcorn while having cans to reuse for other events.

2. T-Shirts that Talk Smack – Why not have your t-shirt do the smack talking for you? You can have a shirt calling your team victorious, saying the other team are losers, or just a regular shirt representing the Superbowl. A t-shirt can say a 1,000 words, so say all you want to say by creating your own.

3. Use a Cap to Represent Your Team – If you prefer to use your head, then personalize a baseball cap.  You can combine your t-shirt with it, so that you are screaming loud who you want to win.  You can sway your cap in the air when your team win the Superbowl, and your favorite player makes Most Valuable Player (MVP).

4. A Team Tankard to Hold Your Beer – Everyone knows that Superbowl and beer go hand-in-hand.  Personalize some tankards with your team’s emblem, and pass them out to guess.  When your team makes a touchdown, rejoice by clanking your tankards together.

5. Keep a Cooler Next to Your Chair – Have a cooler next to your chair, so that you don’t have to get up to refill your tankard during an exciting play.  You don’t have to waste time screaming for anyone to throw you a beer and interrupt the game.

Enjoy Superbowl XLIV with your family and friends this Sunday.  It will be exciting game between the New Orleans Saints and the Indianapolis Colts, regardless of who comes out victorious.

rushIMPRINT Pays it Forward to Open Source

rushIMPRINT’s web foundation was built on the generosities of the open source community. We’re a LAMP (Linux, Apache, PHP, MySQL) shop and we even use WordPress as our blog. In paying it forward, we’re offering 20% off all promotional products, be them writing instruments, USB memory sticks, desk toys, and whatever else we have in stock to the Open Source community.

The discount code is OPEN20. This offer is valid through February 28, 2010, so act quickly. Please put the URL and name of your open source project in the comments section upon checkout in order for the offer to be valid.

rushIMPRINT Donates Highlighters to the Canada Youth Cafe

rushIMPRINT has a new commitment to helping out a non-profit organization every month. Our first initiative involved the Youth Cafe of South Simcoe, Ontario in Canada. Youth Cafe is an organization that is dedicated to helping 14-29 year-olds. Youth Cafe connects youth with volunteering positions, housing opportunities, healthy eating, and employment opportunities.
We donated $500 CAD of highlighters — that’s 300 highlighters total!

We’re happy to announce that Youth Cafe loved them. In fact, they graciously wrote the following in their letter back to us:

rushIMPRINT Canada very generously donated pens to assist our organization in promoting a new youth website. We were thrilled to have been offered this support as every contribution to a not-for-profit truly makes a difference, particularly in a struggling economy. rushIMPRINT managed our order with professionalism, efficiency and patience. Our pens were ordered and delivered in an extremely timely manner, and they are exactly what we were hoping for. The staff at rushIMPRINT are knowledgeable, polite, and worked hard to meet our specific requirements. If you are interested in great products at affordable prices with a superior quality of service, I highly recommend rushIMPRINT for your promotion needs.

They also sent us pictures of the items in use:


And here are a few members of the organization getting ready to volunteer:

Thank you, Youth Cafe, for such kind words and for sharing your excitement with us!

Five Ways to De-Stress While at Work

From the time you walk into the office, you are succumb in chaos.  Everything that could go wrong does, and your stress level begins to creep up.  You feel like in any moment you are going to explode, but then you realize that isn’t something you can do at work.  What do you do then?  Do you continue to rip your hair out? Or is there another way you can deal with the stresses of a demanding job.  Here are five ways to de-stress while in the office surrounded by turmoil:

1.  Meditate for five minutes – Find a secluded place (even if it’s in the car) where you can have a few moments without any interruptions. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. Yoga instructors will teach you to inhale and exhale deeply through your nose without opening your mouth. In the beginning, your mind will be busy. Push any thoughts aside and continue focusing your breathing. After awhile, you will get the hang of it. Try to meditate for at least five minutes. When you open your eyes, your mind will be clearer, and you would have released some of the stress that you had.

2.  Taking your stress out on objects – If you are more of an action-oriented person, then you probably need to do something physical.  Stress balls are great ways to relieve stress without scaring away your coworkers.  Simply squeeze away until you feel your stress diminish. Another object that you can use to relieve some stress is building something.  Using your hands, keeps your mind from wandering all over the place, which helps you de-stress even if it’s just for a moment.

3.  Go for a walk or run – Put on your sneakers, and get moving.  Walking or running is a great way to forget the office for a few minutes.  If it’s nice outside, checking out your surroundings while you are exercising can do wonders for your stress. Nothing is better than getting some endorphins in your systems to kick out all the stress from work.  A pedometer is great way to keep track of how many steps you took while you’re walking or running outside.

4. Get a mini massage - Spas are known to be relaxing places where you can forget about the troubles of the day.  Massagers are a great way bring the spa into the office, so you can de-stress from all the craziness around you.  Just roll them over your shoulders, arms, or back until you feel the stress slowly diminish.   In an instant, you won’t even remember what you got you so riled up.

5. Treat yourself to a warm refreshment - Pour yourself your favorite coffee, hot chocolate, or tea into a cup and enjoy a few moments sipping it.  It’s a nice way to treat yourself without the extra calories.  You feel the stress slowly slip away while you drink your warm beverage.  One thing about drinking your favorite drink is that you meditate without realizing it while doing something physical.

RustyBrick Tries rushIMPRINT Kippot

A few weeks ago, rushIMPRINT arranged to send sample yarmulkes to RustyBrick, a New York web development firm. They received the kippahs yesterday and we’re super excited to hear that they’re happy! Barry Schwartz writes, “They came out pretty well and in fact, I honestly might wear them every day.”

How’s that for usable schwag?



(Pictured from left to right: Barry, CEO, and Joe, senior developer, showing off their stuff)

More at the RustyBrick official blog.

We’re In This Together

Each month, rushIMPRINT will sponsor a different non-profit with a donation of $500 in promotional items to support causes trying hard to make a difference. If selected, your non-profit organization will appear on our site for the month, highlighting the work and allowing others to learn more about your cause.

rushIMPRINT believes we’re all in this together, and we know that when people commit their best to a cause, great things can be achieved. In essence, we feel your best deserves our best, so we pledge to provide you the best promotional marketing available anywhere—because you care, and because we can.

If you would like to nominate a non-profit to be sponsored, please email me directly at dbroudy AT rushimprint DOT com.

Regards,

Dan Broudy
CEO, rushIMPRINT

A Schwag Look Back at Obama’s First Year

Today marks the end of Barack Obama’s first year in the U.S. Presidency. He came in with a promise of change and focus on many issues plaguing Americans. According to a recent Gallup poll, only 50% of American approved Obama’s job performance, which is down 18% from the day he took office. You can debate if he is on the path of accomplishing what he has said that he would do or not Barack Obama did something unique that had not been done by any other President candidate. During his campaign, he used social media and a variety of promotional products that he labeled “Brand Obama.”

There was a variety of promotional products to choose from

Obama didn’t use the usual political types of promotional products that other Presidents have used (e.g. buttons, posters, t-shirts). “Brand Obama” could be found on any kind of promotional product that you could think of. You saw people with posters, bumper stickers, mugs, apparel, and many other types of schwag with the Obama label on it. Additionally, they had an artistic touch that made them feel more like art than a regular promotional product. There is even a replica of the pen Barack Obama uses to sign documents being sold online. Even for his health care initiative, Obama created a logo to go alongside it. There was a huge controversy that occurred due to Obama’s health care logo, but it still helped the American public distinguish between Obama’s health care plan from someone else’s.

Artists contributed their vision of Obama

Obama Hope StickerMany artists, famous or undiscovered, created promotional products for Obama. During his inauguration, Obama had Aretha Franklin, Beyonce, Jay-Z, as well as many others performing at the inauguration balls. Many rap artists created songs about the first African-American President. There was also a group of artists who formed “Artists for Obama” group that provide their artistic viewpoint on Brand Obama. One of the most famous art piece to come out of that was by Shepard Fairey who created the “Hope” art portraits, which was acquired by the National Art Gallery on January 7, 2009. Just like there were pro-Obama art being produced, there was even anti-Obama art as well. The most famous one derived from Fairey’s “Hope” art piece. It portrayed Obama as the Joker, and it was made by Firas Alkhateeb. Even though the anti-Obama art was negative, it still helped establish Obama as a brand.

Obama created a distinctive image that was free to interpretation

Obama_Logo_CutoutObama didn’t ban the use of his image or logo to be used by anyone. If someone wanted to create a promotional product using his likeness, there were no restrictions in doing so. For instance, Obama created a distinct logo that is a simple ‘O’ with the American colors running through it. There is a site, Logobama, that allows visitors to create their own version of the Obama logo. Obama also used simple words – Hope and Change – that would be easy for anyone to remember. Eventually, people started thinking of Brand Obama when these two words were used. These words were also used to create many promotional products and art that symbolized Obama.

Final thoughts

Barack Obama has been the U.S. President for a year now. Whether you are for or against him, one thing that you can agree on is that Obama was very smart in the way that he used social media and promotional products. He did it in a way that was very unique from any President before. You can walk down the street and see someone sporting Obama apparel, a bumper sticker, or listening to a song referring to him. Obama definitely changed the way U.S. Presidents and presidential candidates use schwag.