Month: October 2012

Giving Back: Hurricane Sandy

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The city I love was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy. I’ve lived here my whole life and never have I seen anything like this before. The entire tri-state area–New York, New Jersey and Connecticut–as well as areas from North Carolina all the way up north through New England saw devastation and damage, loss of lives, homes and personal property.

I feel incredibly lucky that my family is safe, warm and together having weathered the storm unscathed. Not everyone was as lucky and my heart goes out to those who have woken up this morning to a life phenomenally different than it was just 48 hours ago. If you too were fortunate, please join me in donating to the Red Cross-no amount is too small.

Related Links:
NYTimes.com: Tracking The Storm
RedCross.org: Sandy Forces Cancellation of About 100 Blood Drives
I Love New York: Gifts For My City
Giving Back: Gift Shopping For Good

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October Top Toys: Get Holiday Gifting Ready

20121029-212904.jpgRemember when Holiday shopping started AFTER Thanksgiving? Me too! This year I started getting catalogs and emails after my kids went back to school. Then the panic started–have I been asleep at the shopping wheel, should I be more prepared? Every year it seems we get inundated with Christmas promotions and Chanukah sales earlier and earlier but what this also means is that ultimately people ARE shopping so there is more competition for selection so starting to think about your gift list now is prudent. That’s why I’m dedicating my regular end-of-month toy feature to gifting ideas and thought starters, as always from Amazon.com. Enjoy!

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Unique Gifts for the Love of Your Life

i_love_you.jpgThe romantic love of my life was born on Halloween so it’s fast approaching. Every year it’s so hard to identify a gift that illustrates how much he means to me… How when he came into my life it debunked (much to my then dismay) all my firmly held beliefs about relationships… How much he taught me by encouraging me rely to on him and that ultimately helped me believe in romantic love again. And when we eventually got married, I never looked back.

There are a few gift lists my hubby has inspired, like this one on baseball and this one on football. But below is a list of intimate gift ideas when you want to give a piece of yourself, and more importantly, when the recipient is ready (and dare I say worthy) to receive such a prize. So it’s fair to say he is the muse for this one as well, but for entirely different reasons. Happy birthday my darling, I’m grateful for the day you were born and that I get to celebrate each passing year with you.

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Must Haves: Your Gift Arsenal

20121016-003058.jpgMust-haves are powerful things. I didn’t realize how so until the last ten years, give or take a few–I call these the mommy years–but drawing from your go-tos almost always (I did say almost) can make a great gift if you keep it in context. In short, wisdom trumps cute every time especially when it comes to parenting and (pre-wedding) bridal. Here are my must-haves for your perusal and consideration. Feel free to share yours in the comments below as well.

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Gifts For Resetting and Recharging

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© Luchschen | Dreamstime.com

This week was full of emotional highs and lows. A really rough week at work was followed by a fantastic 20th grammar and high school reunion with friends–some I’ve known since third grade. Between saying goodbye to departing colleagues and catching up with old friends, I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller coaster and so a reset was in order. STAT. It was time to press recharge, even just for a day…ok maybe two…and indulge one or more of these tried and true outlets.

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Halloween Inspired Gifts

20121007-111243.jpgWhether you’re going to a Halloween party, hosting one of your own and need favors or want some Halloween themed gifts for a birthday or other fun event, this is a fabulous time to get thematic with spook-tackular treats, accessories and more. I’ve selected confections, hostess ideas, personal accessories, books and movies that incorporate one (sometimes more) of my favorite Halloween themes: spiders, skulls, black cats and pumpkins. I’m still not sure how we are going to celebrate–house party, trick or treating or going to a local block party–but you’ll be one of the first to know, of course, and would love to know about your Halloween traditions in the comments.

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Halloween Gifts: The Most Boo-tiful Time of Year

It’s no secret, I love skulls. In fact, my aunt–the cool one I wrote this post about–surprised me with a cutting board the other week that had a sugar scull carved into the front an its almost too pretty to use.

Halloween is a special time of year for me because it’s when I can indulge my bizarre passion for skulls and its also the birthday of my beloved husband so when I’ve had birthday parties and dinners for him I go a little nutty with the thematic elements. Here are a few picks for Halloween-y gifts and party accents you that are more hip than haunted house (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

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Home Entertainment Gifts: Sick and Rainy Day Helpers

20121002-165327.jpgIt’s week two of having sick kids in the house and as any working mom who is trying to multi-task, playing mommy-nurse, tele-commuting, doctor appointments, and making sure everyone (yourself included) doesn’t go insane in the process is a tall order. These are devices and services that will make your sick days, rainy days and even family movie nights so much easier to navigate so if you know a new-mom, mommy-to-be (or Dad) or know of a home-bound family in need of some respite, these are my recommendations to bring-on a smile (or induce a nap).

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Gifts That Encourage Courage

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Arsen Kurbanov
“David and Goliath”
152×152 cm, oil on canvas

We all know those four-letter-words that shouldn’t be said, at least not within earshot of our kids, parents, grandparents, in-laws, clergy, teachers… you get my drift. In my experience, the most destructive word of them all isn’t one the aforementioned list at all. Simply said, it’s fear. Fear is crippling, it’s blinding, it makes you believe things that aren’t real and question things that are true. But cheer up, it’s not all doom and gloom.

What is brilliant and not-so-bad about fear is that the opposite doesn’t have to the the absence of it–courage by it’s nature usually means still being afraid, but acting IN SPITE OF IT. So anyone can have courage. It’s an equal opportunity state-of-being that’s completely opt-in. Such great news, right?!? That said, it wouldn’t be Gifting Whisperer without a list so here are gifts that encourage courage and acknowledge when someone you love is finding the fight in spite of fill-in-the-blank. We’ve all been/are/will be there sometime.

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