books

Some Gifts Leave You Speechless

My daughter was almost two when I became pregnant with my son. She was curious and fiery, sassy and sharp, creative and snuggly, and (although I may be biased) strikingly beautiful with her fair porcelain complexion that could sprinkle with freckles in even a drop of sunlight, red curls framing her face and hazel blue eyes.

All of these things were glorious. But my very favorite thing about my daughter is her kindness and her compassion (now I’m not saying all day, everyday–she is still human–and her brother may dispute this claim, but when it happens it is truly spectacular).

When my son arrived, it was earlier than expected, almost six weeks in fact. So my then-husband and I were in a bit of a scramble the morning I went into labor. We had not planned for his arrival this early… What to do with the baby (our daughter, in this case), so I was off to the hospital solo. And as I left the apartment, I could hear her crying “mama” as I entered the elevator.

When Commencement Commences: Celebrating the Graduate

This month both of my children will be graduating–one from elementary school and one from middle school–and entering a new phase. It’s an exciting time that comes with anticipation, reflection and even a bit of sadness.
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Smart and Meaningful Reads

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Lead image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

I’ve been preparing for a work offsite event that is taking place this week. If you’ve ever been to one, you know these things tend to happen away from the regular office environment and can sometimes involve one or more overnights.

If you’ve ever planned one of these events, you’d also know that the organizing end can feel like simultaneously having a party and a performance review: it’s exciting, you want everyone to have a good time and you personally want to have chance to enjoy and get the most out of it.

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Unexpected Treasure

20130707-221405.jpgAs I was searching my basement this weekend for suitcases, I found myself in a nostalgia detour. My inner procrastinator happily combed through boxes and Ziploc baggies brimming with the past, and as each vessel surfaced with archives of long-lost treasures (treasures maybe a strong word for old pictures, “Welcome Home Baby” cards, baby teeth and hair, positive pregnancy tests from my first and second born–yes, I kept them–and umbilical cord stumps, but one person’s treasure is another’s trash) another hour was almost surely lost. But then I came across something else quite unexpected.

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Summer Thank You Gifts: Perfect Pairs

20130620-233054.jpgI’m going to a few summer parties and I can’t wait. It’s alway such a blast to party in the warm weather and enjoy some fun in the sun, especially since now my kids don’t need constant supervision. I always like to bring something for my hosts that contribute to the meal, but what about hosts that tell you: “just bring yourselves.” That never seems right, right? Right.

IMHO it’s always important to express thanks with gratitude for an invitation with a gesture. I also want to make sure that what I share with my recipients aren’t run-of-the-mill. These ideas are gift pairings that are fine alone, but are truly better together

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Goodbye Gifts

20130215-141828.jpgI’ve been contemplating transformations a lot lately. There are ones that take time, courage, wisdom and energy to step into–and sometimes we do a dance stepping out of them until we can call them our own. Then there are the ones that are sudden, perhaps because circumstance foists them upon us or we force immediate change. Regardless, transformation can be scary, daunting, invigorating and inspiring…not only us, but those around us.
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Unique and Fun Valentines Day Gifts

Screen Shot 2013-01-22 at 9.48.18 AMAs I pondered what to include in this post, I immediately scratched off anything that could be considered a “stand-by” or a given for a couple reasons:
1. You already know what these are before my finger even brushes a key.
2. I would not be satisfied with that list, because that would not be delivering on the promise or purpose of this blog.

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Gifts That Celebrate Resolutions

Image courtesy of marekuliasz

Image courtesy of marekuliasz

Ah, the promise of a New Year… Opportunities abound, a clean slate, a blank page, a chance to start anew. I used to despise the idea of making resolutions. They usually lead to disappointment and can set us up for failure…but that was until last year. Last year, I made a little list on my tumblr that included a line about starting my personal blog, which low and behold became what you are reading right now — so much for resolution failure (just ignore the other items would you please?)!

Not all resolutions have to end in disappointment and some can support your recipient in a new venture or a new beginning.  Here are some ideas for consideration.
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One For Them, One For You: Book Gifts

Image courtesy of Kittisak / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Call me old-fashioned but there’s something about a reading a text with a cover and a spine that can be folded back and dog-eared that is so comforting. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve read a number of books on my iPad and that was a great experience, but sometimes I need a real tactile read–I guess I’m book-polar. These books are some new and new-ish picks that make great gifts, and–as the title of this post suggests–ones you may also want to get for yourself: one for them and one for you.

Happy reading!

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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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