365 Challenge: Day 314 – Smile

Smile: (a) pleased, kind, or amused facial expression, typically with the corners of the mouth turned up and the front teeth exposed, or (b) the best word to describe a fellow blogger and her wonderful online store


As you can see from today’s featured picture, the word is smile and the image contains several types of cards. Today’s post is a bit different, but one that has been a pleasure to pull together. About six months ago, I began chatting with a fellow blogger, Janet, over various posts between both of our sites. Over time, it became clear why her blog name is Janet’s Smiles — she always has one and shares them with others. It’s not often you come across someone with such a wonderful and friendly personality, who not only gives of themselves, but finds ways to go the extra (s)mile! If you’ve never stopped by her blog, please visit @ Blog: Janet’s Smiles. I’m confident you’ll find something you enjoy. But that’s not really the purpose of today’s 365 Daily Challenge post… what is it, you ask?


As Janet and I interacted more, I kept seeing the link to an Etsy store, but never actually went to it (who knows why, laziness?) for the first few months. At the end of last year, I realized it was time to check it out, and I’m quite glad I did! I discovered that Janet owns an online store at Etsy, which you can shop at via A Smile 4 U from Janet. Janet is a designer, creator, inventor, fabricator and entertainer — that’s the best way to describe it. She makes cards and mini scrapbook albums for all holidays and events, which you can see on her Etsy site. She also loves to design and assemble custom orders, for milestones like birthdays, memories, vacations or any special occasion.


When I checked out her site earlier this month, I left purchasing 5 new greeting cards, which you see throughout this post. We’re all familiar with these wonderful little gifts or ways of communicating with others. Sometimes it’s for a big holiday, like Christmas or Easter, or maybe it’s someone’s special birthday or anniversary. Perhaps you like sending cards to people for Valentine’s Day, Thanksgiving or Arbor Day. Who am I to judge! In truth, cards serve many purposes — perhaps we want someone to know we’re thinking about them, or instead of exchanging gifts, you send a beautiful message in the perfect card. They’re always valuable and have a way of building your relationships and connections with others.


Let’s chat a bit about the cost and originality of greeting cards… whether you go to a local pharmacy/drug store like CVS or Rite Aid, a higher-end place like Papyrus, or the dollar store for an individual card or a box of your standard greeting cards, it’s likely you’re frequently in need of these little treasures. While you could buy the standard/basic box of twenty and send out those for minor occasions, you’re always in need of something custom, special or unique for the major occasions. When you shop for them, you could spend anywhere from $3 to $8 for each individual card from the big box stores — and they’re always boring. I actually found 3 out 30 useful in a CVS last Christmas. Or you could buy them from an individual / specialty designer like Janet’s shop on Etsy. When I perused her site, I left with 5 unique cards that I can use for a birthday, thank you or thinking of you moment. I can’t explain how easy and fun it was to shop for something so pretty, engaging and different than the norm.


When the cards arrived, I was quite impressed. Construction was fantastic. Design was beautiful. Presentation was remarkable. It was really fun to open each package and look through each individual card. For me, I’d rather spend my money in a store like Janet’s, where I have custom cards, from a wonderful designer, in a trustworthy sales process… and in the end… it would honestly be less expensive through her than if I had bought these in a Papyrus or another similar store. When you add in all these perks, I think I’ve found a new regular place to shop and buy my specialty greeting cards. It’s even got me thinking about what else I could ask Janet to put together for custom orders around the holidays!


This is the first time I’ve ever written about another product or service from a fellow blogger, other than books. But in all sincerity, I feel like I found a little goldmine of opportunity to take my card gift-giving up a notch in quality and still spend less money… and I kinda smiled thinking about sharing it with others who may already know Janet, but not about her Etsy shop. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to peruse her blog and her online shop links, then decide for yourself to pick up a few greeting cards for your next holidays or special days.


About Me & the “365 Daily Challenge”

I’m Jay, an author who lives in NYC. My debut novel, Watching Glass Shatter, can be purchased on Amazon @ http://mybook.to/WGS. I’ve always been a reader. And now I’m a daily blogger. I decided to start my own version of the “365 Daily Challenge” where since March 13, 2017, I’ve posted a characteristic either I currently embody or one I’d like to embody in the future. 365 days of reflection to discover who I am and what I want out of life.

The goal: Knowledge. Acceptance. Understanding. Optimization. Happiness. Help. For myself. For others. And if all else fails, humor. When I’m finished in one year, I hope to have more answers about the future and what I will do with the remainder of my life. All aspects to be considered. It’s not just about a career, hobbies, residence, activities, efforts, et al. It’s meant to be a comprehensive study and reflection from an ordinary man. Not a doctor. Not a therapist. Not a friend. Not an encyclopedia full of prior research. Just pure thought, a blogged journal with true honesty.

Join the fun and read a new post each day, or check out my book reviews, TV/Film reviews or favorite vacation spots. And feel free to like, rate, comment or take the poll for each post. Note: All written content is my original creation and copyrighted to me, but the graphics and images were linked from other sites and belong to them. Many thanks to their original creators.

Follow my blog with Bloglovin



  1. Once again I’m tearing up over your kind words. I am so glad that you liked my cards and that they helped you take care of one of your 365 plus 5 topics 🙂 Hope you don’t mind if I share this post here and there. Janet

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Janet's Smiles and commented:
    Beyond honored to be the subject of Jay’s post today. He’s been doing a 365 challenge of his own and it has been fun reading about the words that mean something to him. He’s also written a book, Watching Glass Shatter, which I read and it is a great first novel. Looking forward to reading more from this wonderful guy! Thanks again, Jay.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] Recently Jay took advantage of one of those “nudges” and found some cards that he liked and purchased them.  Fortunately for me he liked them enough to make me/my shop the subject of one of his 365 posts!  Even though he recently experienced the loss of his dog, Ryder, he still took the time to communicate with me and get this blog out there.  You can read his kind words here. […]

    Liked by 2 people

  4. These cards are so precious, Jay! And I think it’s wonderful that you supported a home based business. They’re not just pretty to look at either, they’re meaningful and they do make you smile! Thank you for sharing, I’m going to go have a look at her work now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s