MONDAY MADNESS: How do you Lafko?

This weekend I engaged in some spring cleaning and organizing.  In case you didn’t know, I function best when things are put away.  And there are certain things I love looking at…even more so when they are neat and tidy.  So what does this have to do with my blog question? 

Stay with me here.  I struggle with strong fragrances and any lotion or scent that’s over powering.  I can’t walk through the fragrance department without getting a headache.  (Just ask my sisters or daughters…they are banned from wearing perfume around me.  Selfish, I know.)

But I do love candles and clean-smelling rooms.  I have found Lafko candles to be the perfect solution.  Because they are soy based, they burn clean for 90 hours.  After that, these oversized hand-blown glass vessels take on a new life and can be used in almost any room of your house.

For me, then end up in the office housing my favorite Copic Glitter Pens.

  Oh…you like the glitter pens more than the candle?  That's ok.  Grab your favorite colors   here  .  Now, you're tempted to get that candle and copy me,   right?  Ok, get the candle   here.

Oh…you like the glitter pens more than the candle?  That's ok.  Grab your favorite colors here.  Now, you're tempted to get that candle and copy me, right?  Ok, get the candle here.

Or, they find their way into my bathroom to showcase my lip-gloss collection.


The third candle burn through allows my important kitchen utensils to be at my disposal.

So, I ask you again, how do you Lafko?  If you haven’t had the opportunity to experience it, grab your first Lafko candle here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  And just think, you’ll have 90 hours to decide its afterlife.

Candly yours,


PS To clean your Lafko candle after it has burned to the bottom, simply place it in the freezer for a half an hour (after the remaining wax has solidified).  Then take a knife to pop out the bottom wax portion.  Wipe clean.  Wash with soap and warm water. Dry.  Done.

PSS Yep, the first vessel I cleaned out made its way to the coffee station to hold my beloved Nespresso pods.  That was a given.



By definition, Surplus is something that remains above what is used; an amount greater than needed.  At Carde Blanche, we specialize in custom invitations for lifecycle events such as Weddings, Bar / Bat Mitzvahs, Anniversaries and Birthdays.  We match colors, coordinate envelopes and embellishments, and always have enough supplies for unexpected additions to your guest list.

That being said, our surplus of supplies is starting to take over the space allocated.  We've decided to share these extras at a discounted price, as we know there are lots of designers and DIY'ers that may only need 25 Aubergine colored envelopes…not the entire box of 200.  Our surplus is ever changing, so if you see what you need, grab it before it's gone.

If you're note sure about the color, texture, or size, request a sample.  We'll send it to you free.  We know it's not only important that the colors match, but touching the actual product helps verify the quality.

Should you ever need a certain color envelope or ribbon, contact us here, because it's likely we have a surplus.  Until then, check out our current supply of Surplus items here.

Candidly yours,




What’s the first thing you think of?  Mount Everest and the guide that carries your pack and hiking gear?  If so, you are correct.  How does this relate to me?  Not too long ago, I received another kind of Sherpa as a gift.  Being a pen lover, I was fascinated by it and decided to purchase them for the Carde Blanche shop.

The Sherpa.jpg

So, what is a Sherpa in my world?  The Paradise Pen Company agrees with our description above and explains it further.  “The Sherpas are a well known community that have helped make history by guiding several adventure seekers to the top of Mt. Everest.  Sherpas have the unique ability to withstand high altitudes and its effects.  This community has acclimated itself throughout the years to the unusual conditions that occur while climbing a massive mountain. Just as the thrill seeking hiker needs a guide to climb Mt. Everest, the Sherpa pen guides your writing instrument to the next level.
 The Sherpa Pen is a unique pen shell that holds a variety of disposable pens and markers including Sharpie, Pilot pen, Uni-ball pens and Accent highlighters."  The Sherpa comes in a variety of colors and designs, and is designed with an innovative cap to keep the color of your marker or pen bold and fresh every time.

For those of you obsessed with your writing instruments, this is a must for your collection.  A Neiman Marcus employee described The Sherpa best.  “Finally your Sharpie can be dressed for all occasions…casual in colorful stripes, or classy in pearl white.”  Need I say more?

Pick up your favorite color Sherpa here.

Candidly yours,


PS Still not sure about The Sherpa?  Watch this short home video for more clarity.

The Monochromatic Collection

The Monochromatic Square.jpg

So sorry for the absence.  It's been a crazy few weeks.  Besides a quick visit to Spokane to take a college visit, we've been working hard on new custom orders and preparing for the launch of our new collection, Monochromatic.

Without a lot of fanfare we initially introduced Eti-Kits with our Valentine Collection. Etiquette as you may know it is the practices and forms prescribed by social convention.  A Carde Blanche Eti-Kit is the practice of putting pen to paper. We promote letter writing, list making, and artistic design using a variety of paper, pens, and embellishments.  Our collection Eti-Kits combine a variety of our favorite products at a reduced bundled price.  

Whether we are adding to the beauty or functionality of our desk, we are always striving to make it a better place to spend time.  A beautiful notebook is a must have for lists and design doodles, while a clean burning candle provides the ambiance necessary for a productive work day. Most of you already know about my pen obsession, so it won't surprise you if I explain that a Sherpa (the perfect case for your sharpie) is an absolute necessity.  For those of you who enjoy letter writing and receiving as much as I do, you'll be thrilled to see we are including sealing wax in each collection.  We're bringing old school back and this wax won't chip in the mail…we promise!

We are proud to introduce our new collection, Monochromatic, and the methodically designed Eti-Kits to keep you organized and encouraged to write, doodle, and make lists.

While we know these are going to make the most fabulous gifts, you must pick out one for yourself first.

Candidly yours,


Here are a few of our favorite Monochromatic Eti-Kits: Loving Ava  |  Say It or Seal It  |  Pen Envy  |  Desk Perfection


Friday Finds: Black and White

 This one is mine…can't tell you where to get it because then you'll buy it and we'll be twins.

This one is mine…can't tell you where to get it because then you'll buy it and we'll be twins.

We make choices on a daily basis.  We pick out our clothes, makeup, and if you're like me you ponder what pens to write with.  The choices we make for gifts and decorations for our home are endless.  There are trends to follow, Pinterest boards to covet, and dog-eared magazine pages in everyone’s home signifying personal favorites.

But, what is it with constantly defaulting to black and white?  I find myself drawn to these two options more often than not.  Is it because I’m tired of making difficult decisions or committing to a color?  Is it because I know these two will stand the test of time? Four out of five days a week, I’m wearing a different black or gray sweater. (I consider gray a just a variation to black.)  I just bought a new eye shadow from Dior and did a happy dance when I realized the container had a black lid, thinking to myself, “it’ll look good on and in my drawer.”  Am I totally crazy?  Don’t answer that.

  Available   here   at Carde Blanche

Available here at Carde Blanche

I find peace in a minimal decision making process.  I’ve committed to basic black as a default and have not been disappointed.  So why change? When deciding which Lafko Candles to add to the Carde Blanche desk collection, I secretly prayed the black and white options would not be offensive fragrances, as I have a very sensitive sniffer.  Crisis averted.  These two are by far the most popular among retailers…at least that’s what the sales rep said.  Just think of the variety of uses for those glass containers when the candle burns down (after 90+ hours).  Options = endless. Details in a future blog post.

B & W stuff.jpg

Whether it's gifts, notepads, pens or purses, if it’s any shade of black, consider it sold.  How about you?  What color(s) do you gravitate towards regardless of the trends?  Do tell.  It may help move me out of my monochromatic life (that I love).

Candidly yours,


Initial Stationery

The Lango Messenger

Dior Eye Shadow (Mirage Taupe)

Black Le Pen

Christian Lacroix Notebook

FRIDAY FINDS: A Rendezvous in Red

LOVE finds.jpg

Sing it a la Beyonce, "If ya like it, you don't have to put a ring on it!"  Isn't that right?  While diamonds are a girl's best friend (or so they say), we think there are lots of other ways into her heart.  Be creative.  Shop early.  Pledge your love in a card with your own handwritten message.  She'll love you to the moon and back.  In case you're not sure in what direction to go, we're giving you a head start with our personal favorites.  We can vouch for every single item here…and love them all.  She will too!

1. Dainty Heart Initial Necklace from LOVE ALWAYS COUTURE

2. Valentine Eti-Kit Hearts from CARDE BLANCHE

3. Valentine Eti-Kit Love Ya from CARDE BLANCHE

4. Travel Candles from SIMPLE CURATED

5. Heart Bundt Pan from WILLIAMS SONOMA

6. Chocolate Heart Scotchmallows from SEES CANDIES

7. Copic Red Glitter Pen from CARDE BLANCHE

8. Red Lambskin Tassel Keychain from BLAIR RITCHEY


10. Valentine Eti-Kit LIKE from CARDE BLANCHE 


MONDAY MADNESS: Too Organized?

I’ve taken the last few weeks off to restructure, reset, and reorganize.  I enjoyed a slower pace, attempted to sleep in, and cautiously approached my to-do lists with an “I’m on vacation” attitude. 

We sent out holiday cards.  We received holiday cards.  We put up the tree.  We took down the tree.  We stayed up late and poked around in the morning.  That could be defined as a version of a Staycation.  But to say that I walked away from Carde Blanche, the blog or my creative ideas would be a bold face lie.

notebooks 2.jpg

When everyone else was busy with friends, sports, Breaking Bad marathon, etc., I found myself dabbling in my office.  I decided to get organized for the New Year.  Not in a ‘resolution’ way, but rather in a ‘no better time than the present’ way.  I kept a list of potential clients and custom orders.  I took note of blog ideas and necessary revisions.  Certainly, I also needed a place to doodle 2014 stationery ideas. 

The problem?  Every time I’d sit at my desk, I would grab another brand new notebook for these tasks.  I started my new Kate Spade aqua-striped notepad for Carde Blanche custom orders.  The gold and white striped Sugar-Paper LA notebook became the scribble spot for Candid details.  And while a third notebook was the go-to for creative scribbling, I used any excuse to make a list on my Hello Note pad.  What’s the matter with me?

By the end of the two weeks, I found four journals started and stacked.  To make matters worse, I realized I also used a different pen for each one…as if that would facilitate neater handwriting or better ideas.  So, here we are five days into the New Year and I already have to restart my reset button.  For practicality purposes, I simply needed to compile my lists, tasks and designs into one journal/notebook.  Ok, maybe two.  So, this is what I committed to:

1. Choose and use one or two notebooks until every page is written in.  Ponder the following before picking:

- will they fit in your purse?

- do they have lines?

- do you need lines?

- do they open flat?

2. Exert self-control when feeling the need to use a different pen with every idea (it won’t help).  The practical process:

 - pick a pen that’s comfortable and won’t smudge

 - grab one highlighter for important notes

 - keep a pencil and eraser near by for doodling days

3. Refrain from shopping at all office supply stores for the next few months.  For this I may need to reset the navigation in my car for alternate routes through town.

4. Recognize that too much organization is counter-productive to productivity.


Committing to organization for 2014 isn’t the problem.  It’s committing to one system that tends to derail me.  I thrive with lists at hand, on my desk and beside table.  I love checking off those little boxes…it makes me feel accomplished.  It’s a personal measurement tool of whether I stayed the course that day.  In order to guarantee mild success, I always start #1 with: Make Coffee.  I’ll never get dressed or to #2 without it.   Check!

Candidly Yours,


PS Feel free to share your organizational strategies in the comments below.  We can all use some extra tips for success.

FRIDAY FINDS: Kits & Kaboodles

friday finds.jpg

I know the title just made you tingly inside…admit it.  That’s the very reason for this post.  What is it about kits, gift sets, goodies put together in one package that has most women swooning? I can tell you from experience I am sold on almost anything that comes in a ‘kit.’  It can be required that all parts come together or manufactured by a supplier as a marketing ploy.  Whatever the intention, kits sell. 

Here are some plausible reasons behind the popularity of kits:

  • someone else picked the very best items to be together in one set
  • we secretly think we’re getting a deal even if the packaging, items or ounces are smaller
  • there is something exciting about owning a ‘toolbox’ of sorts – with all the parts and pieces
  • we feel like Macgyver every time we open any type of kit

As far as I’m concerned, kits come in a variety of shapes and sizes.  But a guaranteed sale would certainly fall into one of these five categories:

kits & kaboodles-2.jpg

1. SKINCARE - Clarisonic at Nordstrom ($225): Includes Sonic device, gel cleanser, skin polish, additional brush head, body brush head, extension handle, travel bag, charger

2. OFFICE SUPPLIES - Desktop Set by Poppin ($51): Includes two letter trays, accessory tray, pencil cup and one box of 12 signature ballpoint pens.  Available in 9 color options.

3. LOTIONS / SOAPS - Meyer Lemon Gift Set by Williams Sonoma ($69.95): Includes Meyer Lemon scented hand soap, hand lotion and candle.  Also includes signature striped dishcloth – all packaged in a cool (reusable) wood crate.

4. STATIONERY - Green Goodie Bag by Carde Blanche ($45): Includes Hello blank notecards, metallic gold pen, emerald green Le Pen, gold foil Haute Papier notebook, two dozen green pearl brads, sealing wax kit (a kit within a kit), Russell & Hazel sticky notes, and gold eyeliner from Sephora.

5. MAKEUP - Stila Artist Signature Set at Sephora ($185): (Just typing this makes me want to buy it.)  Includes: 15 lip glazes, 12 eyeshadows, 4 cheek colors, 3 smudge crayons, 8 eyeliners, a step-by-step look book with tips and tricks.

When discussing the obsession of kits and kaboodles with a known kit-ster, her opinion is that its simply part of one’s DNA.  “Some get it and some just benefit from those who have varying degrees of kit-readiness.  I think it is a continuum from ‘gets it’ all the way to pathological, i.e. having both a snake bite kit and shark bite kit in a backpack on the same day.”

Feel free to add your favorite kit to the list in the comments below.  One can never be too well-prepared while on a hike or when in need of a hostess's just basic eti-kit.

Candidly yours,