As a general rule, I’m a sucker for a great gift (big surprise). What makes a “great gift” though–that seems pretty broad. To me a great gift has three principles nailed:
– Relevance: the right gift for the right person, on the right occasion, in the right season, (and if this is really a practical gift, you could also call this Usefulness)…
– Timelessness: it’s so quintessential to the recipient that it will still be special to them years from now
– Sentiment: a theme has been encapsulated (often subtly, which is best) that transcends the object and brings the recipient back to another time and place instantly (more…)
Must-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.
It’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).
Ok, don’t take this the wrong way…but I’m a sucker for a deal. Case and point, I spent about an hour trolling the aisles at DSW earlier this afternoon. So how psyched was I when I found out there are sites to buy discounted GIFT CARDS…yep, you read that correctly. Gift cards. Apparently it’s a whole amazing exchange system that I won’t go into (but I do link off to resources that will tell you more if you’re interested) which can result in some serious savings if you do your research right.
The other part of the process, which I’m not going to focus on because its not the bent of my blog but file under “nice to know” is that you can sell those gift cards you’re never going to use on most of these sites and get cashola back in your possession for stuff you really want. Ok, moving on…
I hate to admit it but a hefty shopping trip is often times my cardio for the day–hey, don’t judge lest you be judged. I do live in the city so walking 40 blocks with 4-5 bags in tow is no easy feat, so I can get an elevated heart rate and break a sweat especially in the August heat but recently I’ve been hit with a wave of gratitude that has me looking for more ways to give back and it’s so much more fun to do so when it involves something you enjoy. For me, it’s shopping and gift-giving.
Here are some ways to do both while also giving to others in need.
Nothing gussies up a table like place cards and a holder can serve a couple functions. There’s the obvious, of course, but some holders can be favors transforming into paper weights or picture frames after your guests have gone home. I had gold cherubs at the dinner party following my wedding which today holds a small family photo on our coffee table. This last Christmas Eve I used little snowflakes on my table that held a mini Polaroid photo my kids snapped of each guest as they walked through the door paparazzi-style. Guests took their snowflake and photo home as a keepsake. But that was then… These are place card holders I’m looking at for future dinner parties (or fantasizing about). Psst… Look for any savings opportunity marked with an asterisk (* or **), details in the footer.
When I was a little girl, I was given a set of Crane’s stationery for my First Communion from someone I don’t now remember. Because of the simple and clean look of the stationery, that gift really came in handy at that time because I used them to send thank-you notes. However, stationery has come a long way, and the web has given shoppers and gift givers options like never before from variety to customization and crowd sourcing. Here are some options on my list to give AND get (remember, even if you get stationery, you’re going to be giving it to people over time).
This last April I ran into a colleague I hadn’t seen in a very long time. When last we spoke, he had been trying (with his partner) to have a child and because physically together they are unable to conceive, “trying” is really not the fun “trying” that some of us get to do. When I saw him in April, he told me they were finally expecting and then through the modern miracle that is Facebook, this last week I saw a beautiful picture surface of him as a proud Daddy cradling a precious newborn baby. I was so overjoyed for him I started to tear-up, all I could comment was “So beautiful!” And now…what to give? (more…)
I must confess, most of my friends are past the wedding stage–although a handful are in the second marriage stage–but planning a wedding shower is one the most amazing things you can do for a friend and today there are so many more options for revelry than when I first got married. The list below includes some I have personally tried, but first a few questions to ask yourself:
– How adventurous is your friend?
– How many other showers will there be?
– What special interests or hobbies does the couple (or just your friend) partake in?
– Are you inviting family? How open-minded are they?
– Are you trying to make this a surprise?
Who doesn’t love to give and get thoughtful, fabulous, amazing gifts? The getting is the easy part… it’s the giving that can stump even the best of us. And how INCREDIBLE does it feel when you know without a doubt that you’ve selected the perfect gift for someone? You just know they are going to L-O-V-E it.