5 Great Father’s Day Gift Ideas

If you’re like me, you know that buying a gift for some of the most important people in our lives is often the most challenging.

As Father’s Day approaches, we might find ourselves searching for the best gift for Dad. But what do you get the guy that probably has everything? We’re here to offer you an exciting list of gifts that Dad is sure to love! 

 

1) Batting Cages
If your dad is a guy’s guy who enjoys playing sports and watching them on TV, a baseball-themed gift is a perfect idea! What’s great about this gift idea is it allows you to combine a fun activity and spend quality time with your dad. He will love that you thought of him and are taking him out.
Try Le Club Dome or Bergy Baseball’s Batting cages!

You can find their info at the links below:
https://leclubdome.com/batting-cage-baseball-softball-montreal-west-island/
https://www.bergybaseball.com/cages-de-frappeurs

2) Photo Compilation Sign for Dad
The Red Key offers a variety of unique and handmade acrylic signs that would be perfect to help celebrate dad! Think of a beautiful sign with your father’s name on it, surrounded by pictures of your family? The acrylic float mount can be displayed proudly at home – above the mantle, as a table centre piece or even in dad’s man cave!  Any parent would love this unique gift from the heart.

Check out The Red Key’s Etsy Shop for ideas!

3) DIY Tool Box filled with Dad’s faves!
Put together a little tool box with some of your dad’s favorite foods and drinks. You can include anything dad would love! Thinks chips, candy, soda or beer, and top it off with a cute handmade card or note.
Repurpose an old gift bag or shoebox to create the tool box. You can wrap it in tissue or old newspaper. This allows you to have a cool homemade box for a wonderfully personalized gift!

See the links below from Pinterest to get more ideas on Father’s Day Tool Box kits.
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/360710251380487213/

https://www.kristendukephotography.com/17-homemade-fathers-day-gifts/

4) Round of Golf
Fourth on our list is a round of golf for dad. This gift is a classic that he is sure to love! Let your dad grab his favorite polo, ball cap and shoes and take him out on the green for an 18-hole round. There are a ton of great golf courses around the city that could serve as a location for this gift idea.

- The Royal Montreal Golf Club
  http://www.rmgc.org
- Golf Iles des Soeurs
  http://golfidsmontreal.com/fr/

- Meadowbrook Golf Club
  http://www.clubdegolfmeadowbrook.com

5) Personalized Grill Set
BBQ season is just around the corner and that means more time for family, outdoors and delicious food grilled up on the BBQ.

If your dad is like mine and enjoys manning the grill, what better way to say Happy Father’s Day than with a cool DIY Grill Set that he can use proudly throughout the summer months. In order to make this gift a success, you will need a few key supplies – wood, nails & hammer, paint, hooks and grill tools. Put all these items together to create a cool summertime present that your dad can use for years to come!

Check out the Lil’Luna webpage for more information on how to nail this unique gift!
https://lilluna.com/grill-set-holder/

Do you have unique Father’s Day gift ideas? Share them with us in the comments below!

5 Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

Mother’s Day is fast approaching and that means trying to find the perfect gift for Mom. As we get older, it can be a struggle to get our moms a Mother’s Day present that is both meaningful and budget-friendly.

After scouring the internet, and asking friends and family, I was able to compile a short – but sweet – list of Mother’s Day gift ideas. These ideas are great for either sons or daughters buying gifts for mom!

1) DIY Mason Jar Plant Pots
Mother’s Day marks the onset of spring – sunny weather, cool breezes and blossoming flowers. So what better way to celebrate mom than with a green, leafy plant or delicate flower?

I found a fantastic link on Pinterest that showcases plants in custom mason jars that are a perfect, low-key gift for mom. Try wrapping the jar in mom’s favorite fabric, or spray-painting it with chalk board paint. If you choose the fabric route, top the jar with a beautiful bow and string together a hand written note. If using the chalk board style, you can write mom a sweet note directly on the jar!

2) Gift basket featuring Mom’s favorites!
For those who are maybe less artistically inclined and who may not want to venture too far into the DIY route, try gathering together 5 to 6 items that are your mom’s fave!  This can be anything from chocolates, movies, bubble bath, makeup, pictures with her family… any item that your mama enjoys using on a daily basis, or on a relaxing night in. You can use any basket for this gift idea and be sure to top it with a special card or note to tell your mom how much you love her!

3) Spend a day out with your Mama!
While making or getting your mom a special gift is always a fantastic idea, so is spending the day with her. With our busy schedules, sometimes all mom wants is to hang out with her kid – grabbing a bite, watching a movie or spending the day in the park with a picnic.

If you decide to choose an outdoor picnic day with mom, check out The Sweet Basket’s website for awesome and delectable picnic hampers that will sweeten your day!

4) Mother’s Day Family Plaque
Want a unique and eternal gift that your mom can display proudly on her wall? Think outside the box and get her a personalized plaque from The Red Key! You can get her a Family Name Sign to celebrate her and your family, or a plaque that says Mother’s Day with your family members’ written names on it. There are numerous possibilities to comemorate mom’s special day! Check out The Red Key’s Etsy shop and start your gifting

5) The Classic – Jewelry, with a twist.   
If you want to go the more traditional route, you can always adorn your mom with a beautiful necklace or bracelet. Even better, what about a piece that is both personalized and chic? I found a few amazing items that are a perfect way to celebrate mom and the bond you share with her. Check out 3LittlePixiesShoppe on Etsy or mynamenecklace.com or Dyosah for an individualized necklace for mom.

No matter what you decide to get your mom, make sure it comes from the heart!

Share your thoughts with us below:

What was the most unique gift you’ve received or given on Mother’s Day?

6 Top Marriage Proposal Ideas

A marriage proposal is one of the most memorable times in a couple’s life. Whether it be at an extravagant location, or simply at one’s home, this gesture marks a moment in time that both people with remember forever!

6) Beach Proposal – Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic makes the top 6 list of best marriage proposal spots. With the sound of waves crashing on the sand and the air winding through the palm trees, this beach is one of the most beautiful, and relaxing locations in the Caribbean.

One key idea comes to mind for how to go about nailing the perfect beach proposal.

A quintessential proposal under the stars. One of the simplest and most memorable proposals can be done on the beach, at night, with a few tealite candels strewn about the sand. This proposal has it all – simplicity, beauty and tropical flare.

5) Rooftop Terrace – New York City, New York

New York City is full of historic brownstones and apartment buildings with large rooftop spaces. The rooftop terrace, overlooking the city’s twinkling lights, makes our list of best marriage proposal spots.

The beautiful simplicity of having your loved one propose on a big city summit is an unforgettable and romantic option.

4) Grand Canyon – Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

The Grand Canyon’s majesty makes it another top location for a proposal. This natural wonder’s vastness, valleys and cliffs gives it another worldly feel. A proposal at this location could take place either in the evening, or during the day.

An evening proposal gives the couple the opportunity to see a desert sunset, as well as the evening sky. Grab a blanket and a bottle of champagne and toast to new beginnings under the stars.

A daytime proposal allows the couple to experience the view of the Canyon, as well as the park’s plant and wildlife.

3) Musee du Louvre – Paris, France

Paris is a dream location for many couples. It has so much to offer – culture, history, fashion, amazing food, and even more amazing scenery.

Paris is a city for everyone. For art lovers, the Musee du Louvre is one of the most important museums in the world, containing some of the most renowned collections from the history of art.

A proposal outside the museum, in front of the Louvre Pyramid, is quintessential Paris, with an artistic flare!

2) Chalet – Mont-Tremblant, Quebec

Imagine being proposed to in the middle of a beautiful forest, with the changing leaves around you and a crystal clear lake off in the distance? Or, if being amongst the trees isn’t your thing, imagine looking out onto this serene landscape from the comfort of a chalet.

A chalet, located in the heart of Quebec’s ski country, is a great location for a low-key and intimate proposal

1) Lavender Fields – St-Eustache, Quebec

The lavender fields in St-Eustache top the list of 6 best proposal spots. This location is a great idea for all nature lovers who are also romantics at heart. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate a new chapter than to have the future bride or groom get down on one knee amidst rows of beautiful and sweet-scented lavender.

This option offers beauty and romance at a low cost, with no frills attached.

Was your proposal at or similar to one of the six above? We would love to hear your story so please share in the comment section below.

Handcrafted Industry

There is something special about buying a product you know has been hand crafted.  You may even find yourself going out of your way to let others know that yes indeed the object they are admiring is handmade, often, making it a one of a kind.  

untitled-design-1

The people behind these lovingly crafted objects pour their creativity and passion into each and every piece they create, for them it truly is a labour of love.

For some, the love of creating begins in childhood and carries through to adulthood.  The joy that comes from creating something and the joy that comes from giving it as a gift is a special feeling.  

For others, it's rediscovering that childhood passion and the opportunity to create a business that lets them make a living while exploring their craft.

A few minutes on Etsy will have your cart full of unique, amazing finds.  Whether you head to the cash register or fill up your Wishlist, you will not leave uninspired.

From wall art, statues, dolls, books, wedding accessories (invitations, guest books, dresses, rings etc)...the list goes on and on.  Etsy provides artists and entrepreneurs the space to sell their wares and a place for those interested in handmade products to shop away.

When you purchase handmade items, you are directly helping entrepreneurs who are happy to fill your order.

With the focus not only on the unique item itself but also on the artisan themselves, this gives us the human connection we crave.  Not only are we receiving something unique we are also helping someone realize their dream of making a living through their craft.

Handcrafted items are the one’s we keep, the one’s we covet.  There is a greater meaning to owning something that an artist has taken care to create, it is not generic or mass produced, it is lovingly crafted by hand, and that makes it special.

What handcrafted item have you purchased? We would love to hear your experience in the comments below.

5 steps to a picture perfect beach wedding

It really doesn’t get more romantic than saying your I do’s while ankle deep in golden sand with the sound of the waves crashing in the background.

5 steps to a picture perfect beach wedding (2)

If your wedding plans involve blue skies, gentle breezes and crashing waves than your wedding will require details you would probably not think of for the traditional wedding.  The following tips will help you make sure your beach side wedding goes off without a hitch.

  1. Think of your guests comfort - Basking in the sun might sound like a nice afternoon to you but aunt Marion might not appreciate baking in the midday heat.  A morning or sunset ceremony allows your guests to enjoy the beauty of a summer’s day without the danger or heat stroke.  You may want to provide guests with ice cold water, programs printed on fans and parasols to keep them cool and comfortable.  In case of rain make sure you have a tent ready and available.  
  2. Think of your decorations -  Greet your guests with a custom Beach Wedding Guest Book Poster where they can share their love with the happy couple.  You will want flowers with staying power, heat and direct sunlight are not good for many types of flowers.  When selecting a florist make sure they have experience decorating outdoor summer weddings.
  3. Think of your menu - You will want a caterer who has experience with serving in a beach location.  Cool, refreshing drinks and a seafood themed menu brings the whole summer beach wedding theme together.  
  4. Think of your vows - If you’ve taken the time to write out your vows then you will want them to be heard over the crashing waves.  Wearing a lapel mic will ensure everyone hears how much love each other.
  5. Think of your guest favors - Flip flops and pashminas would make for a practical and elegant way to keep your guests comfortable.  Really, is there anything better than cosying up in a luxurious pashmina on a summers night after a gorgeous beach side wedding.

Have I missed any tips that you think would be helpful to someone planning their beach side wedding? Let us know in the comments section.

5 Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

With father’s day right around the corner it’s time to start planning how you will celebrate the father in your life.  Forget the neck ties and coffee mugs and take your gift giving to the next level with these unique father’s day gift ideas.  There’s something for every budget and type of dad, from sporty guys to not so sporty guys and everything in between.

  1. An experience- What better way to celebrate him than experiencing something amazing together?  Zip-lining, mountain biking, trip to the museum, road trip, movies, concert tickets, golfing range.  Think of what he enjoys doing in his free time and find something you know will wow him.
  2. Lessons-  From guitar lessons to hockey training sessions to writing classes, the possibilities are as endless as his hobbies and passions.
  3. TIME ALONE-  This one doesn’t cost a thing.  Why does he spend so much time in the bathroom?  Because he likes time to himself.  Pick a day, pack up the kids and let him know you’ll be back in a few hours.
  4. Throw him a party, could there be a better reason to throw a party than to celebrate the father of your children or your father?  Get the family in on it and make it a surprise.  A guest book at the entrance of the party will give you and all of his loved ones a chance to let him know how much he means to you and is sure to become a lasting memory for him to cherish.
  5. A truly unique gift will always be the homemade cards with small handprints and wobbly printing, those gifts are the ones that let him know he’s the best Daddy ever.

Father’s Day comes just once a year so take some time to show him you put some thought into his gift. No matter what you give him, if he know’s you’ve put time and effort into it he will appreciate it.  

Would love to hear what gifts you’ve given that have blown his socks off?  Let me know in the comments section.

 

Top 5 Graduation Party Ideas

Graduating is an amazing achievement that deserves celebration, not only are we celebrating an academic achievement, we are also celebrating the student.  

Top 5 Graduation Party Idea

What better way to celebrate a graduation than to throw an amazing party?  

Here are 5 party ideas that are sure to become lasting memories for your guest of honour.

  1.  Let your guest know on their invitation that your party has an Instagram hashtag.  By asking your guests to use your custom hashtag you will have one place where you can go to see everyone’s pictures.  
  1.  Line your driveway with pictures of the graduate from kindergarten up to their graduation day.  You can also create a banner with pictures of the grad, the embarrassment level is at your discretion.
  1.  Have a guest book at the entrance of your party asking guests to sign and offer well wishes for the graduate.  This will be sure to become a cherished momento.
  1.  A photo booth encourages your guests to get in the fun and share those pictures on Instagram.  A DIY backdrop and props can be created quickly and inexpensively. Here are some graduation pins ideas to get your started https://www.pinterest.com/Theredkey/graduation-gifts/
  1.  No graduation party would be complete without unforgettable food and drinks.  You can create your own smores bar with cans of Sterno, wooden skewers, marshmallows, chocolate and graham crackers.  The bar trend can also work with nachos, candy, ice cream sundaes and more.

With these 5 graduation party ideas, you are well on your way to throwing a graduation party your graduate and guests will remember forever.  

Are you planning a graduation party? Do you have other ideas to share? Comment below to share your favorites.

Wedding Traditions From Around The World

Though our world can be different in so many ways, you would be hard pressed to find a culture that did not celebrate marriage.  No matter what culture, religion, or social class we come from we all have wedding traditions that we honor.

Happy

In some parts of Brazil they have a tradition where the groom has to tame a donkey in order to prove his worth prior to the wedding. It is also customary for the bride to place her shoes in the middle of the dance floor so that guests can dance around and drop money on them to show their support for the couple’s financial future. Engraving each other's names in their wedding rings is also customary.

Wedding rings

In Japan the bride will wear a white kimono with long sleeves and will have her hair done in a wedding topknot. Instead of a veil, the bride will wear a white hood.  The bride and groom will also change their outfits numerous times during the wedding.Celebration of a traditional Japanese wedding.Black & white photography

A recent trend among Japanese weddings is the over-the-top return gift, okaeshi.  Usually the guests will receive a small gift after signing the guestbook and weeks later receive something larger. Some couples even send guests a catalog of gifts to choose from.

 

In Africa the bride plays a very special role and is treated with respect because she is a link between the unborn and the ancestors. Broom jumping is a very popular African marriage ritual, it is thought to originate from long ago when a couple would place sticks on the ground, representing their new home together.

 

Depositphotos_59445561_l-2015In Russia most weddings last anywhere from two days to one week.  Russians traditionally wear the wedding ring on the ring finger of the right hand.

 

 

 

In Italy the groom carries a piece of iron to ward off envious people.  During the reception the men are supposed to kiss the bride for good luck, she also carries a satin pouch where guests can give envelopes of money for the chance to dance with her.  One of oldest traditions is the giving of candy-coated Jordan Almonds, they are meant to represent the bittersweet nature of marriage. assortment of sugared almonds and copy space        At the end of the day, the couple will break a vase or glass and the number of pieces are to represent the number of years they will be happily married.

 

 

 

No matter what the culture or tradition, weddings are a celebration of love and unity that are recognized and honored.

We would love to know what wedding traditions your family honors.  Let us know in the comments section.

Top 5 Montreal Wedding Venues for 2016

Getting married is as much for the celebration with family and friends as it is to tell the world you have found your one and only.  And what is a celebration without a fabulous venue?  Whether you are looking to enjoy an intimate affair with close friends and family or are inviting the all those second cousins your mother keeps insisting on, Montreal has you covered.

Top 5 Montreal Venues for 2016

From chateaus to chic hotels, we’ve got you covered in our list of the Top 5 Montreal wedding venues.

Auberge du Vieux Port-  For intimate groups accommodating 65 guests, the Auberge offers a dedicated wedding planner, custom menus, onsite valet parking, hotel buyout possibility and rooftop terrace.  From the hotels rooftop terrace you are able to take in the breathtaking views of the Saint Lawrence River and the Old Port.

Chateau Vaudreuil- From intimate to large gatherings, the ambiance of Chateau Vaudreuil will captivate you and your guests.  Situated on the shores of Lac des Deux-Montagnes, this 25 acre chateau boasts fabulous gardens and has received the distinction of 5 star and 4 diamonds.

The Nelligan- In old Montreal you will find the Nelligan, accommodating 200 guests or less. This gorgeous venue offers you a dedicated wedding planner, custom menus and a rooftop terrace. You will also receive a complimentary suite on your wedding night, chocolate strawberries in your suite, a complimentary menu tasting prior to the wedding and your wedding guests will receive preferential room rates.

The University Club of Montreal- This private club and wedding venue are located in a historic building in the heart of Montreal.  Known for their excellent service, elegant furnishings and succulent menu, the University Club of Montreal will make sure your event is elegant and cozy. Accommodating up to 90 guests for the ceremony and 150 for the reception while offering majestic backdrops for photographs make the University Club of Montreal a wonderful choice.

La Place D’armes-  With two ballrooms, accommodating from 120-250 guests, La Place D’armes and it’s richly appointed suites and banquet spaces will make sure you and your guests have an event to remember.  The onsite wedding planner, original stone walls, exquisitely prepared menus along with rooftop terrace will make sure your wedding will be a memorable one.

Have I missed a favorite wedding venue of yours, if so let me know in the comments section.

For a full list of Montreal’s Wedding Venues click on the link below.

http://www.letsgetmarried.com/montreal/montreal-wedding-reception-halls.aspx

What 2016 looks like..so far

New YEarWelcome to 2016!! We are already nearing the end of January and I'm in full swing planning, preparing and creating mode for this year.  Everything actually ;)  I hope you're all off to a great start to 2016!

I received the Leonie Dawson Biz Bundle for Christmas and it’s been amazing to go through each section.  It allows you to reflect on last year’s accomplishments, areas to improve and overall planning for the year ahead. If you haven’t heard of Leonie Dawson, I would highly recommend following her on Facebook. She’s hilarious and her planners are colorful, fun and will help you write down and grow your business and life.

Since my re-brand announcement last September, I received awesome feedback and started building my goals for this year.  While we specialize in Guest Book Posters for special events, The Red Key is looking to expand into other areas, one being corporate clients. I will be focusing on building up that clientele this year.

Last year I was invited to attend a BNI meeting.  I didn't know much about the model so I decided to do some research. I attended meetings at several chapters in my area over a six month period and near the end of the year I decided to apply to a local chapter.  After my interview in January, the membership committee approved my application. I'm thrilled to be part of this new networking group and look forward to building my relationships with the members.  Another new adventure this year!

My shop is where you can find all our Guest Book Posters and Signs.  As well, continue to follow The Red Key on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest where you’ll find great information about what we are up to, new product launches, where we will be, promotions and fun news on all things event related. Keep an eye out for a new type of Guest Book this year :)

Don’t forget to sign up to receive my blog posts and latest news. I’m targeting one blog post per month but will work hard on delivering more great content throughout the year.

I would love to hear how your year started so feel free to share in the comments below.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2016!!!

Helen
The Red Key

⇓ My Leonie Dawson Biz Bundle ⇓

Helen Leonie Dawson

5 Reasons Why You Should Be Planning A Winter Wedding

Traditional wedding season has come and gone, but like wearing white after Labour Day, the rules have changed.   If you live in a cold climate and looking for a unique alternative to the traditional summer wedding, why not celebrate your perfect day during the winter months like I did :)

I got married on New Year’s Eve and we loved it !! My husband’s family always celebrated New Year’s together so we thought; why not make it a double celebration? The decision to exchange our vows and ring in the New Year with close family and friends was perfect! We had a small catered wedding at home. It was intimate and cozy and the perfect way to start our life together.  What makes it even more special is that we get to celebrate the New Year and our anniversary with our close family every year! 5 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD BE PLANING A WINTER WEDDING

Still need some winter wedding convincing? Here are a few more reasons why a winter is the best time for your special day.

Perfect Pictures

Winter creates beautiful scenery for your wedding photos.  That white fluffy snow makes every color pop and transforms any location you choose into a magical place.  White lights, fake snow, blue and silver decor pieces, or white flowers... the ideas are endless to make your perfect winter wedding location and pictures look dazzling.

Savings!

The reality is weddings can get pricey fast.  Did you know that winter is low season for weddings? That means savings for you! Vendors are available and waiting so shop around.  There are deals to be had on everything from your venue, to your flowers, to your photographer.

Comfort Food

Guests always remember the food when they look back at a wedding.  With winter come cravings for all those delicious and warm meals…and wine, of course!  Comfort foods bring memories of great times with family and friends and your winter wedding is the perfect celebration to make that happen.  I can vouch for it!

Beachside Honeymoon

Taking your honeymoon in the winter means that you will appreciate and enjoy that nice hot sun and the sounds of the ocean even more.  The preparation that goes into planning a wedding is exciting but also tiring.  Add on the winter months...you will need a break from the cold weather and your honeymoon is the perfect opportunity.

You Stand Out

Winter weddings are not the norm, so you will have a one of a kind celebration that your guests will remember and cherish for years to come. - Looking for something special to add to your event? Why not add a winter themed guest book poster!

Did you have your wedding in the winter months? Or a different type of winter wedding? If so, we would love to hear your story by leaving a comment below.

How to Throw a Memorable Baby Shower in 5 Easy Steps

Congratulations, you’ve been tasked with throwing a baby shower, now what?  Here are 5 easy steps on how to throw a memorable baby shower.

Step 1.  Find out if the parents know the gender of their baby. Knowing the gender will help you in deciding the décor, colour palette and the theme of the baby shower.  You have the traditional option- pink for a girl, blue for boy and yellow or green for the “We want it to be a surprise!” baby.  Frogs, ducks, and owls are a great choice of theme for the gender neutral baby shower.

Step 2.  Choose a location, whether you will be holding it at your house or at a favorite restaurant you will want to make sure there is enough parking, seats, food and drink for all your invited guests.

Step 3.  Food and drinks or How to Throw a Memorable Baby Shower in 5 Easy Stepsa potluck is always a nice choice for a baby shower.  If it’s a family gathering you can ask guests to bring family favorites.  Asking the mom to be what she would like to snack on is always appreciated.  Having a cake or cupcakes decorated with your theme of choice is a nice addition to the party.  Don’t forget about plates, cups, napkins and cutlery.  Make sure you have enough drinks for everyone; water, juice, tea, and coffee will keep most guests happy.

Step 4.  Invitations, etiquette dictates you should send your invitations out at least 4 weeks before the day of the baby shower, this gives guests ample time to RSVP.  You have the choice of paper or email when sending out the invitations.  Email can be a great choice because you can add in links to things like the gift registry, potluck organizational web sites and maps for directions to the baby shower location.  Whether it will be a paper or electronic invitation, don’t forget to include any special requests you might have for your guests.  You may want to ask about any allergies your guests may have.

Step 5.  This is where the memorable part comes in, having a guest book poster and asking guests to leave the parents to be with words of encouragement, favorite quotes or helpful advice is truly something that will be treasured.  You can also ask each guest to bring a favorite childhood book for the new baby.

Games can also become a memorable part of the baby shower.  One fun game is to give each guest 3 clothes pins if one guest hears another say the word “baby” they get to take that person’s clothes pin.  The guest with the most clothes pins at the end of the shower receives a gift.  Another fun game is to pass around a roll of toilet paper and ask each guest to take off the amount they think would go around the belly of the mother to be, she then goes to each guest to see how correct their guess was.

Having small gifts for the winners of the games is a nice touch as well.  Scented candles, coffee, and chocolates make great gifts.

There you have it, how to create a memorable baby shower in 5 easy steps.  What are some of the memorable moments you’ve had at a baby shower?  Let us know in the comments section.

Rebranding Announcement

September 2015
We are thrilled to announce that Knock Knock Banners is now The Red Key!

This move accentuates the Company's focus on our interactive guest book posters for special events. We turn your special milestone event into lasting memories by creating a personalized guestbook poster for your event. Our process starts with an in-depth dialog, so that both of The Red Key and the client really understand what you want – and if you’re not sure, we will help you figure it out. We then translate your idea into a visually stunning display with artwork, photos, fonts and colors that capture the essence of your event.

Our team will continue to be focused on delivering exceptional results for our clients and partners.

Our social media pages have changed but your follows, likes and comments remain unchanged. We appreciate your business this year and look forward to working with you in 2015 and beyond.

Best Regards,
Helen at The Red Key

Email: info@theredkey.ca

The #1 strategy to help you save time and money on your wedding

Canada’s summer has finally arrived and with it wedding season.   The excitement of planning your wedding can soon lead to stress if you don’t have a clear vision of what you want.A THRILLING

Having a vision or theme is a wonderful way to organize your wedding. Color palette, dress, flowers are all intricate pieces that need to come together seamlessly to create your dream wedding.

A vision board is one tool you can use to can help in the process, while going through the countless magazines you’ll be going through clip out what you are drawn to. While online create a space where all of your inspiration can be brought together so you can see what works and what doesn’t before you invest your time or money.

One of the hottest trends this year is the vintage wedding, think lace, light pastel colours (pink is gorgeous), pearls and quiet elegance.

If the vintage wedding is something that appeals, the look can easily be reproduced. Cream or white table clothes with lace runners and glass cylinders filled with pearls and teal lights are a few ways to accomplish this look.Crop Lace and Pearl Blue

From your gown to the decor of your reception; everything should be exactly how you envisioned it when planning your wedding day. Having a vision or theme will help you create the wedding of your dreams while saving you time and money.

Do you have a theme for your wedding? Let us know in the comments section.

How To Make A Lasting Impression At Your Next Business Expo

Have you tried selling your products or services at an event? When deciding to participate at your first business expo, it’s important to research. Who will be there? Families or couples? Will it be an outdoor or indoor event? How big is the space? How will the expo be advertised? On social media, local newspapers or magazines? What will the cost be?

There is a lot to think about before you jump into your first expo. Opportunities to showcase your business are out there but which ones are the right ones for you and your business.   Below I’ll be listing some key elements to consider before, during as well as a post-event follow up checklist.

I hope this list will help in planning your first successful business event!

Business Expo

QUESTIONS TO ASK BEFORE THE EXPO:

  • When is it being held?
  • Where is it being held?
  • Who will be attending? Families, couples?
  • How will the organizers advertise? In local newspapers, on social media, in flyers?
  • Is this a yearly event? If so, does the location change year to year?
  • How many months in advance will you have to register for the event? Often times there is a limited number of spots.
  • How big is your vendor space? Is it a booth or table? How big is the booth? How long are the tables? Are table coverings offered? How many chairs are available? Can you hang on material on the walls? Is there room for an easel or banner?
  • Where will your space be located on the floor plan?
  • How much is each space? Location of your booth or table is important.
  • Is this a free event for guests or is there an entrance fee? If a fee is charged, will there be an early bird special? What about a VIP pass?
  • Will swag bags be offered to the first x amount of guests?
  • When will you be able to set up your booth? Can you bring material and leave it there overnight? Is it in a secure environment?
  • Will electrical outlets be available?

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT FOR THE DAY OF THE EXPO:

  • Get a good night’s sleep
  • Prepare your outfit, wear layers and wear comfortable shoes
  • How will you advertise for this expo? On your social media pages? Email marketing? Word of mouth advertising at networking events?
  • Always stand in front of your booth or table. This will enable you to engage with visitors.
  • If you have products or a service to sell, how do you plan on setting up your table?
  • Will you be offering a giveaway?
  • Will you need an iPad or laptop at your table?
  • Business cards are important to have that day
  • Are you planning on hanging this up if walls are available?
  • If you're a solopreneur, will you have an assistant for the day?
  • If you’re offering a promotion of the day, will it be advertised in a flyer? Or will you have a sign at your table with your promotion?
  • If you have a newsletter, how do you get people to sign up?
  • Which product samples will you be displaying?
  • Bring water and snacks for the day
  • If you’re a solopreneur and don't have an assistant, make a  ‘back in a few minutes' sign to leave your table for bathroom breaks or meals. Or ask your neighbor if they can watch your table. In my experience most people are very kind and will help you.
  • How will people purchase your product or service? A Square reader is a good option.
  • Bring your chargers for your phone, tablet, laptop etc.
  • Bring pens, pencils or sharpie pens for your table
  • If you’re offering a raffle, a little easel with the announcement works well
  • Make raffle cards for people to enter their name and email or phone number
  • Bring a small container for raffle cards entries
  • Will you need order forms?
  • How are you advertising your prices? Will you be offering a special sale for the day?
  • Bring extra tape, sticky tack, scissors
  • Raffle at end of event - ask host + picture
  • Where will your company sign be displayed? Will you have a sign? Does it need to be in different languages?
  • Kleenex and an extension cord are handy
  • A little bowl of candy or chocolates are a nice touch
  • Bring a cash box and change
  • For women, bring an extra pair of flat shoes

POST-EXPO WRAP-UP

Once your event is over you will want to document these points that will help you determine if this event was successful and lessons learned.

  • Was it successful or not? Do you plan on participating in other events?
  • Did you gain clients? Did you meet potential clients?
  • On average, how many people do you think came to your table?
  • If you held a raffle, contact the winner to congratulate them and discuss their prize.
  • Send a thank you note to new clients
  • Process orders and follow up with clients
  • If people signed up to your newsletter, thank them and offer them a special
  • Display pictures and successes on social media
  • Was it profitable?
  • Talk to other vendors and find out what worked and didn't work for them

I would love to hear how your first business expo went.  Please feel free to share in the comments below.

All About The Name London

I’m lucky to have clients that are willing to share their stories with me and I love how every story is special and unique. This is my first post about a little girl named after a place. Her name is London and her parents proudly displayed her personalized Flower Banner on her bedroom door.

According to babynames.com London is of English origin and is currently ranked 85th based on the latest US statistics.  The name means ‘Fortress of the moon’ or ‘Fierce ruler of the world’ and the alternate spelling of London is Londyn.

There are quite a few names that reference places. Arizone, Austin, Carolina, Orlando to name a few. See the complete list here.

As well you may recognize some famous celebrities who named their babies London in the list below.

  • London Rose Daly – daughter of Carson Daly
  • London Emilio Hudson – son of musician Saul “Slash” Hudson
  • London Jane McDonough – daughter of actor Neal McDonough
  • London Philip McGraw – son of famous family/writer Jay Philip McGraw
  • London Ray – daughter of musician Brooke White
  • London Fletcher-Baker – American football player
  • London May – American drummer

London

Mom’s story on how they named their baby girl:

Coming up with the name “London” took a little bit of time when they first found out they were pregnant. They were really hoping for a boy and had his name picked out years prior. They had no plans for a little girl!

When the doctor told them their little bundle was a girl, her husband gave her his blessing to pick out a name herself - no pressure. She scoured through sites like TheBump.com to find names and searched other baby name websites. She finally came up with a short list and scrapped the whole list when she came across “London.” She loved it and it fit perfectly with their travel lifestyle (He was a pilot and she was a flight attendant when they met!). It’s actually Mom’s favorite city on the planet but she hadn't considered it as a name. It didn’t take much convincing from her husband that London was going to be our daughter’s name.

After that, she went back to TheBump.com to find a suitable middle name. She saw another Mom-to-Be had used “Rose” and she loved the way it sounded. “London Rose” wins! Later, we found out that the official flower of London, England is actually the rose. It was a happy coincidence and she can’t wait to take her daughter to the city she loves so much when she’s older.

This is London's story and we would love to hear yours. What was your process to name your child/children? Did you name your child after a family member? A celebrity? Or a place? Share your story with us in the comments below.

Our Favorite Knock Knock Jokes Of All Time

When my son Matteo was around 4 years old my husband started teaching him knock-knock jokes. He giggled and giggled and they laughed and it became an everyday joke fest. There were knock-knock jokes in the car, at dinner, at bedtime and anytime he wanted to play. We also invented a bunch of silly made up jokes.

When it came time to find a name for my banner company, I started a list and started brainstorming with my husband. All of a sudden he yelled out Knock Knock Banners! We both loved it and loved how it tied in to our family.

Knock Knock Jokes

We found my step-daughter’s book The Clown Arounds Go On Vacation by Joanna Cole but when we started reading it to our son we didn’t realize it had knock-knock jokes in the story.

Knock KnockClown Arounds
Who’s There?
Philip!
Philip Who?
Philip the gas tank, please.

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Lettuce
Lettuce Who?
Lettuce in it’s cold out here!

Knock Knock
Who’s There?
Boo!
Boo Who?
Don’t cry, it’s only a joke.

 

It’s worth adding this book to your collection. My son has loved it since he was little!

I’ve compiled a list of our all time favorite knock knock jokes. If your little one is anything like mine they will love these.

Knock knock
Who's there?
Howard!
Howard who?
Howard I know?
Knock knock
Who's there?
Beets!
Beets who?
Beets me!
Knock knock
Who's there?
Ice cream!
Ice cream who?
Ice cream if you don't let me in
Knock knock
Who's there?
Cows!
Cows who?
Cows go 'moo' not who!
Knock knock
Who's there?
Tank!
Tank who?
You're welcome!
Knock knock
Who’s there?
Luke!
Luke who?
Luke through the keyhole and you can see!
Knock knock
Who's there?
Wooden shoe!
Wooden shoe who?
Wooden shoe like to hear another joke?
Knock, knock
Who's There?
Ashe
Ashe who?
Bless you!
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Nobel
Nobel who?
No bell, that's why I knocked!
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Cowsgo.
Cowsgo who?
No they don't, cowsgo moo.
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Doris!
Doris who?
Doris locked, that's why I knocked.
Knock knock!
Who's there?
Water?
Water who?
Water way to answer the door!
Knock knock!
Who's there?
Dewey.
Dewey who?
Dewey have to keep telling silly jokes.
Knock Knock!
Who's there?
Cash.
Cash who?
I knew you were a nut!
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Dwayne
Dwayne who?
Dwayne the bathtub. It is overflowing.
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Nana
Nana who?
Nana your business!
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Philip
Philip who?
Philip up my glass please, I'm thirsty!
Knock, knock
Who's there?
Dwain
Dwain who?
Dwain the bathtub, I'm drowning.

Which one is your favorite knock-knock joke? The one that your little one loves to tell over and over again? Feel free to share your jokes with us below.

All About The Name Jarah

Jarah is a name I have never heard of but I’m happy to share some fun facts and his story with you. His grandmother surprised him with his very own personalized race car door banner for his birthday. His name is now proudly displayed on his bedroom door :)

According to sheknows.com Jarah is a Hebrew boy’s name and in Hebrew it means he gives sweetness. It is pronounced JAY-rah and other variations are Jarrah & Jeriah. Thinkbabynames.com states that Jarah is not a popular first name in the US or outside of the US but you will see below where his parent’s inspiration to name their baby came from. It is quite a unique and special name to them.

Jarah

Mom and Dad’s Story:

There was a great long list of girl's names in a document on Jarah’s parent’s computer; next to it was a much shorter list of boy's names. Mom was pregnant and they both didn't want to know the sex of the baby, so they had to decide on two options. When they finally chose, they kept it quiet and waited for the baby to show up. It was a boy, and the name they picked suited him - Jarah.

The name came to them from a U2 song, One Tree Hill, where Jara refers to a South American freedom fighter; they even named their ferret after him. They liked the sound of it and when they started taking it more seriously, as a baby name, it really grew on them.Race Car Door Banner

The name is Hebrew and comes from Chronicles. It means 'he brings sweetness' or 'honeycomb' or 'sweet like honey.' It means even more because one of their favorite songs is Sweetness by Jimmy Eat World.

Jarah's name has layered meanings to his parents and they are so happy they gave him a unique, ancient and beautiful name.

This is Jarah’s story and we would love to hear yours. Did you name your son Jarah or any variation of the name? Was your child named after a family member? What was your process in selecting your child’s name? We would love to hear your "how I named my baby" story.

How To Pick Your New Baby’s Name

With the slew of lists, blogs and websites out there about baby names, it won’t be hard to make an initial list. Many parents-to-be already have names they love but for those that don’t, it could take time. My best advice is to start as early as possible.

Last year, I started a blog post series about the names on my banners. I love my name series because it allows me to connect with the experiences of my customers and their story.

How to Pick Your New Baby's Name

So first thing to do with your partner is make a list of your top boys’ and girls’ names. I’ll be listing some great sites below to help you with your list. Also, get family and friends involved! It’s such a fun time and people love to be part of your story.

Here are some things to think about when choosing your new baby’s name:

  • Will your child be named after a parent or grandparent?
  • Do you love a celebrity and would love to call your child that name?
  • What initials will they have?
  • Does your religion have special names that mean something to you?
  • Will your child be a ‘junior’? Example Joe Junior.
  • Will you be choosing a middle name? Perhaps a grandparent’s name? Or another name that’s special to you?
  • What does the name mean? How do you pronounce it?
  • What are potential nicknames? For example my son is Matteo John so he can be Matt, MJ or Matty.
  • We’ve seen celebrities name their kids Apple, North, Blue etc. Do these inspire you to choose a different type of name?
  • If you do choose an unusual name, make sure it’s legal in your country.

Here are some great sites to look up baby names:

Did you find your child’s name through a website? Did you name your child after a family member? What about a celebrity? I would love to hear how you found yours. Feel free to comment below.

Spread the Irish cheer with these fun St-Patrick’s Day party ideas

St-Patrick’s Day is a triple celebration in my family because it’s my Mom’s and my niece’s birthdays!

We often attend the parade downtown on St Catherine Street where streets are blocked off for floats and entertainment. The event downtown is organized by the United Irish Societies of Montreal and this year will be the 192nd Montreal St-Patrick's Day Parade. Warmer weather has finally come our way but even if it’s a cold day, the streets are lined up and everyone is dressed up and ready to spread the Irish cheer.

McKibbons Irish Pub, Hurley’s Irish Pub, Ye Olde Orchard Pub, McLeans’s Pub and Irish Embassy are open for breakfast and Irish coffee before the parade. If you’re in the city, they are worth checking out.

St-Patrick's Day

For those who celebrate St-Paddy’s Day or would like to organize a party or activities, here are some party ideas. Each one contains recipes, decorations and crafts. I hope you can find some new and fun things for this year’s St-Paddy’s Day.

Do you have a St-Patrick’s party planned? If so, is it a yearly tradition? Do you have a birthday on St-Patrick’s Day? I would love to hear about your St-Patrick’s Day traditions. Feel free to comment below.