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.



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.

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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

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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: A Rendezvous in Red

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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 


FRIDAY FINDS: Kits & Kaboodles

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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:

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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,


FRIDAY FINDS: Put a name on it

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Feel free to hum your best Beyonce before continuing…

Let’s face it everyone likes to see their name in lights.  Unfortunately, we all can’t make it to Broadway.  We can, however, be proud of who we are and what we do by showcasing our names and initials in a few subtle ways. Ok, maybe not so subtle…


As for personalization around the house, I have to say that West Elm has done a fantastic job of keeping their selection limited and useful.  You know you’ve found the right item when you’re pondering how to justify buying one for yourself and one as a gift.  A monogrammed pillow is a nice way to add seasonal color to any room.   

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Jewelry is another area we are allowed show off the alphabet.  No one is going to criticize you for wearing the names of your children around your neck.  As a loyal customer of Hayjac Designs, I can attest to the awesomeness of their gold and sterling silver bracelets and necklaces.  With their add-ons, you can customize your order with charms for birthstones, pets, religion and sports.  These make perfect gifts for friends, sisters, mothers and daughters.


Speaking of the holidays and gift giving, remember it’s the small details that matter.  We all know that…even if we don’t admit it.  For your next party, why not kick it up a notch and hand your guests a monogrammed coaster with their glass of wine or cocktail.  They’ll momentarily forget that they’re not in the finest restaurant.  Hopefully, you only invite careful sippers – as you may get to repurpose each coaster.  More bang for your buck.  Check out Emily McCarthy’s Shoppe here – I know you’ll be including those Swizzle sticks with your order.  Don’t ponder…just do it (a la Nike). 


You already know about my love for stationery.  Whatever it takes, write a letter, save a postal worker, make someone’s day.  Sorry, I digress here a little…can’t help it.  Seriously though, monogrammed and personalized stationery is one way to make up for the fact that your mom gave your name a creative spelling not easily found on name plate, coffee mugs or at Hallmark stores.  Carde Blanche lets you spell out your first, middle and last name on most collections of stationery.  Choose your favorite color and start shopping.


To circle back around to West Elm...they've really got the goods at a reasonable price.  These Baggu Tote bags came in a variety of colors and sizes.  Your kids all need their own sleepover bags.  That's it.  No more borrowing mom's.  I was sold as soon as I laid eyes on that gold panel along the bottom.  Sold.  I'll take one with and "E" and one with and "O" this season.

With Hanukkah starting the day before Thanksgiving (yes, you read right), I’ve got to step away from blogging and start shopping.

Candidly yours,