New Year Renewed Love Activity Gifts

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

December 26th I walked into my local CVS and what did I see on the shelves replacing candy-canes and holiday cards–Valentines sweets and greetings up and down the aisles. The cynic in me was shocked and appalled at this hyper display of consumerism. The Christmas pots still soaking in my sink, New Years plans still up-in-the-air, and now I have to look at conversation hearts? Really, Hallmark… REALLY?

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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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Two Finished Lists

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Yesterday was a landmark day, I did two things:
1. I finished my getting all my holiday decorations up when I purchased an extension cord, this allowing us to turn on the lights (see lead image) and yes, we did correct the slanted star (see second image below)
2. I finished my gift shopping

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Last Minute Gifts

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Even the best laid plans can fall flat. My holiday shopping hit a major snafu this year and I had to recalibrate a bit. This lead to my not starting until last week so I’m scrambling now. Luckily my kids are into a few big gifts as opposed to lots of little things…but I digress (gee, I say that an awful lot).

Anyway… planning and writing task lists then scheduling and organizing those tasks can sometimes lead to one, ok maybe five dropped balls. So when that happens here are some ideas to add to your gifting arsenal that don’t lack for style, substance, thoughtfulness or originality. Enjoy!

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Holiday Party Fashion

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I’ve been feeling very festive, so I thought I would round up a few of my favorite party looks. These are ones I’ve definitely rocked this season and my New Year’s Eve look is even included below (dress, shoes and beauty stuff included)…I like to make the most of my formal wear–feel free to guess.

Sequins just scream “celebrate” to me—and if I’m being 100% honest I sometimes even sneak them into my everyday work wardrobe so I’m definitely biased, (oh and if you’re looking to try that out I love the way French Connection and JCrew add evening embellishments to everyday pieces). These dresses show off shine in a variety of colors, cuts and styles and you can layer them with a blazer, wrap, moto-style jacket, or cardi.

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Holiday Gifts For Teachers

20121206-235044.jpgBecoming a parent made me appreciate two distinct contributors to a child’s life like never before: the mother and the teacher. As a younger-self, I had teachers who made me look at life differently and encouraged me to pursue passions–I also had ones who taught me how to overcome criticism, but that’s another post. When you’re a parent though and your child has a teacher who has directly impacted how they related to the world in a positive way you want to dedicate a shrine to them and have a parade in their honor.

I’ve been abundantly blessed in that department. My children have the incredible fortune of having had unbelievable educators who loved and supported them, and some of them are still in their lives today. Additionally, because my brother-in-law (also my daughters’ godfather) is a teacher, these heroes are near and dear to our family.

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Pet Alternatives: Gift Ideas

20121203-212031.jpgLast week my kids wrote their Gift Lists (it’s the first year we don’t have at least one Santa List, but that’s another post so I won’t get all weepy here about that). When they were done, I graciously took the folded lists smiled and took them upstairs to unfurl and consume them and to my horror saw the dreaded three letters written in CAPS on both: P-E-T. And to put the crown on this proverbial animal kingdom, of course, they both wanted different species.

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10 Films About Love: Movie Gifts


This video made me incredibly happy when I saw it posted on Facebook, so I had to share, but it also got me thinking about my all-time favorite movies about love… and not storybook love.  Love as it really is–unpolished, messy, often tragic, doesn’t always end perfectly, but sometimes is better than you could have planned it.  In the spirit of the holidays, here are ten films that celebrate love in it’s many forms and make greats gifts–stocking stuffers, anyone–or great movie nights with the one(s) you love.
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Totally Awesome Gifts for Babies, Kids and Teens

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This Holiday season I have a total of ten kids to buy for (one is still in-uterero), and that’s before I get to my own two. I love shopping for kids…no really, I do. What I don’t always love–but actually do appreciate in a weird kind of way–is how brutally honest kids can be about whether a gift truly is cool or not. They have no filter at all and don’t feel the need to pretend to love those argyle socks and brown braided belt. Why should they…psst: don’t get a kid a belt and socks from Crewcuts when they want a Transformer from Target. Anyway, I went on a search for some cool kid-picks that could pass-muster with even the most brutally honest recipient and I have to say I think there might even be one or two adult cross-overs in contention, (does that make them automatically uncool though??). *Sigh*

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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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