Live Inspired

It’s Time to Stare Down the Bully Called Cancer

by Amelia · 10.07.2013

Today's blog post comes to us in honor of Breast Cancer Month by Dan Zadra, Compendium founder and cancer survivor.

Here’s a cancer success story that will warm the hearts of cancer patients and their friends and family everywhere. It’s the story of Vickie Girard, a courageous young woman who not only survived terminal cancer, but went on to write one of Compendium’s most beloved gift books: There’s No Place Like Hope: A Guide to Beating Cancer in Mind-sized Bites.

In 1992, Vickie was diagnosed with end-stage metastatic breast-to-bone cancer. It was devastating news. Statistically, there was no hope, no cure. Doctors at three different cancer centers advised her to get her affairs in order. Instead she chose to fight.

Vickie Girard not only survived her cancer, she went on to become a tireless patient advocate. For nearly twenty years she crisscrossed the country, informing cancer patients and their families how to better prepare to fight, win, and recover from this disease.

One day she called Compendium, and here’s what she told us: “In all my years of counseling cancer patients, I have never found the one book that patients and their families are always requesting… so, I’ve decided to write it myself. Will you publish it?”

And so began an amazing journey for all of us at Compendium. Currently in its eleventh printing, There’s No Place Like Hope is now known affectionately as “the little blue book” in cancer circles and support groups throughout the country. More than 100,000 patients (including myself) have relied on Vickie’s book to calm our fears and light the way on our journey to wellness.

“I have come to tell you that we can and must stand up to this bully called cancer,” she writes in the introduction. “We must stop speaking of cancer in whispers. We may have cancer, but cancer does not have us. Cancer is a beatable, treatable, survivable disease—and we should yell our success stories from the rooftops, so that others will take hope and fight too.”

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Celebrate the Good Things

by Amelia · 09.17.2013

Celebrate: All-Occasion Guest Book

Be Happy ThoughtFulls Boxed Set


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Big Inspiration in a Small Package

by Amelia · 09.04.2013

In the mid-1980’s, Compendium’s founder Dan Zadra watched as McDonald’s updated its slogan to read “50 Billion Served.” He remembers thinking, as he stood on a Seattle sidewalk, “If someone can serve up 50 billion burgers, someone else ought to be able to find a way to serve the world something a little more inspiring.” Later that week, Dan wrote “One Billion Messages of Hope and Inspiration Served,” on his white board. He knew that the moment you set your dream to paper, you invite the world around you to help you make that dream come true.

Within a few months, we designed our first “window card.” The concept was simple: Hide a message of hope and inspiration behind a die-cut window in a small pop-open card. And then encourage people to give them away to others.

People all across the country quickly discovered our powerful little cards. Within the first year, we circulated almost 10 million cards, and the numbers just kept growing. Our cards were carried into space by American astronauts, to the top of Mt. Everest with international climbing teams, to the bottom of the ocean with U.S. submarine crews. Our cards were handed out at Ground Zero to help raise the spirits of the courageous 9/11 response teams. And our cards are given by parents and teachers to children, and to countless patients at hospitals and cancer treatments centers throughout the country.

And this season, we’re happy to introduce a newly designed version of these classic window cards—ThoughtFulls. Outside, you’ll find elegant designs to brighten you spirit and catch you attention. Inside you’ll find timeless messages of inspiration to capture your heart. It’s our same message of big inspiration housed in a new (and still charmingly small) package.

In the meantime, we’re making room for our new line by offering a close-out sale on our much loved, best-selling classic window cards. Check out our website for more details!

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Share & Post Your Child's Artwork to Our New Story Lines Website!

by Amelia · 08.29.2013

We’re excited to announce the launch of our Story Lines series and website. These illustrate-your-own books are just waiting for kids to bring them to life—because they get to create the cover and illustrate the entire book! Every book has its own special theme and story, from riding to Egypt on a giant kangaroo to cheering on grandma when she saves the day as a real-life superhero.

After drawing and creating each masterpiece, parents can upload their children’s artwork to our fun and inspiring gallery for the whole world to enjoy. Every title is shown with adorable characters, wonderful drawings, and quotes directly from the kids.

Every piece is one-of-a-kind and every book will become a wonderful keepsake for families to treasure for years to come. So take a look around, explore, and get inspired at the Story Lines website today!

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Back to School is Here!

by Amelia · 07.31.2013

From kindergarten to higher education, a new school year means a lot of excitement, new learning, and bold discoveries. Prepare for all of the adventures ahead by creating an inspiring space to work, create, dream, and discover.

Whether you have a young student at home or are a student yourself, try to set aside an inspiring work area that’s motivating and free from distractions. You can energize and uplift your space by adding more light, hanging a list of priorities so they stay top of mind, and getting a comfortable chair. Be mindful of noise and even smells. And be sure you have everything you need nearby so you don’t have to leave your space to get individual items, such as pencils or paper.

In addition to your physical space, don’t forget to create an inspiring mental space. Journals, sketchbooks, or notebooks are wonderful places to write down your daily to-dos or your big ideas. It can also help to keep separate notebook for different projects or classes.

And don’t forget to celebrate the successes. Display a “You Did It!” board next to your child’s desk or create a collage of achievements for yourself. No matter which methods you use, just be sure that you find what works best for your needs so you or your child can stay motivated and truly enjoy the adventure of learning!

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Celebrating Friends & Laughter

by Amelia · 07.17.2013

Frank & Funny Cards

Lucky Us: (For Being Such Good Friends)

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Love & New Beginnings

by Amelia · 06.27.2013

2: How Will You Create Something Beautiful Together?

On This Day: A Book for My Bridesmaid


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Hearts the size of an ocean

by Meredith · 06.12.2013

Once in a while, a story finds us... and it changes things. Those stories tend to be the ones that people tell because they simply have to be told, and they tend to be the ones that are still settled into our hearts long after the story is over. They're the kinds of stories that leave you with something to do.

A while back, we received an email from a woman who had just such a story to tell. Shirley told us that last year, just before Father's Day, she was inspired to create a greeting card on behalf of her Dad. Though he was lost at sea, along with her brother, when Shirley was ten, she says he "made all the difference in my life." He introduced his family to the beauty of the outdoors--with hiking, camping, beach combing, and visiting local and national parks. Both parents lovingly taught them to respect nature inherently, for its own beauty.

When she came across the Rumi quote, "your heart is the size of an ocean," she knew it was perfect. So she contacted us. "Would you be interested in refining this card from a watercolor image I've sketched?" she asked. She drew a sea turtle on the front--a creature that represents, for her, a symbol of ancient wisdom, in touch with the rhythms of the earth. She imagined the card as "a gift of gratitude and preservation"--a fitting honor for a man who lived with a full heart and deep respect for nature.

Shirley felt it was essential that the card be ecologically printed, with a percentage of the proceeds going to organizations that protect the environment, and thought our Positively Green cards were the perfect fit. We knew what we had to do.

As this card was being completed, Shirley discovered that her twin cousins volunteer for a sea turtle conservation center in Georgia, restoring and preserving habitat for these creatures. She imagines that with so many big hearts coming together, perhaps the fate of the endangered sea turtles can be reversed before it's too late.

We leave you with Shirley's dedication: To Marvin and Milton, beloved father and brother, whose treasures run wide and deep... long after they have walked this Earth.

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Celebrate the Man Who Makes Anything Seem Possible

by Amelia · 05.29.2013

His strong hand on your shoulder. His smile of support. His warm presence. Fathers have such a special role in the family, and sometimes words don’t feel like enough to express just how much he means to you. But sometimes, they’re exactly what he needs to hear. This Father’s Day, here are few thoughtful ways to repay him for all of his words of wisdom throughout the years:

  • Create several “Father’s Day Coupons,” each with IOU coupons for small gifts: mowing the lawn, getting a special cup of coffee on the way home, taking out the trash, letting him pick the flick on movie night.
  • Personalize a favorite or well-used item—such as a set of golf balls, grilling tool set, or a travel bag—with his initials or a simple, loving phrase.
  • Frame a meaningful quote for his office or bedroom, such as “Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad.” –Unknown
  • Ask several friends and family members to send you notes or letters about a favorite memory they have with your father; then gather them all into a scrapbook.
  • Create a family keepsake with My Dad: His Stories. His Words.—a unique interview book where you can record his stories.

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Loving Who You Are

by Amelia · 05.22.2013

10: What's on Your Top 10 List?

Her Words Composition Books

Live Good.

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