Different Valentines Day Celebrations

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Valentines Day can be celebrated a number of different ways and it’s meaning and purpose changes as our lives and roles evolve. This does not diminish the significance, but it does change the context, so I thought I would share a few different approaches to Valentines Day that may spark some ideas, certainly, but mainly shows how Valentines Day has morphed over time and circumstance for me.

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Gifts When Meeting A New Baby

20130119-133050.jpgOne of my closest friends from childhood had a baby last week and I’m meeting him for the first time today. Suffice it to say, I’m beyond excited–first, I love babies and second, I remember getting the text last June that she was preggers and have been following this pregnancy with much joy and anticipation.

When thinking about a gift for a new, first baby I always go back to my first year arsenal of must-have items that saved my new-mommy tush from meltdowns, helped me cram in a much-needed shower or just added some joy to our daily reprieve. Here are some of those items.
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Summer’s Top Rated Toys Ages 0-13: August 2012

20120813-232546.jpgAs promised, here are more top toy picks culled from Amazon. This time I selected five gems in each age group based on customer ratings (my sorting was 4+ stars–many with 5–and most had to have at least 100 reviews). I also tried make sure not to duplicate any products featured back in July–but feel free to check out that post again here. I’ve also included some personal gifts i gave to my own kids this month that did not make the top five list, but did make my family very happy. Enjoy!

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Giving Back: Gift Shopping for Good

20120804-205603.jpgI 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.

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Summer’s Hottest Toys by Age (0-13)

20120724-203407.jpgEvery month, I’ll recap the hottest toys for kids ages 0-13 based on Amazon popularity and, of course, will throw in personal choice picks culled from my own gifting that month. So whether you’re looking for a birthday gift, new sibling gift, graduation present, tooth fairy surprise or just want to make someone’s day special, here’s what’s cool right now for itty-bitty newborns to the toddler set, for preschoolers to grade schoolers, all the way up to tweens and (*gasp*) early teens. Then toys are not cool. Try these other guides on skulls and spikes instead.

NOTE: Prices listed are the manufacturer list price, and do not necessarily reflect the current purchase price on Amazon (read: AMZ is possibly cheaper–and always changing–so don’t let sticker shock stop you…check it out and see).

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Pregnancy Gifts (No, Not for the Shower)

Eventually it happens… our friends start having babies. For me, it happened AFTER I had mine which was a bonus on the gifting front as I had the benefit of knowing what was useful and what wasn’t. But this post isn’t about baby showers… that’s a whole other story. These are gift ideas for the mommy-to-be who has just announced her pregnancy. Inevitably you will see her for brunch, or dinner or something just after and want to give her a little something as a token to celebrate this special moment.

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