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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Spring Essentials and Welcoming Change

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A cherry blossom in midtown

The changing of seasons is always a signal for me that it’s time for change–change in scenery, wardrobe, attitude (even a minor adjustment can bring upon an entirely new outlook). It’s always wonderful when being a gift-giver can also be an opportunity to act as a catalyst for positive change, particularly for someone you love. Now I’m fully aware that meaningful change isn’t as easy as slipping into a new pair of pants, but sometimes small things can add up and that’s all we need to cobble together an attitude adjustment.

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Gift Ideas: Holiday Beauty

Guerlain powder I got for Christmas when I was 11 or 12. Isn’t it so pretty?

One of the my most memorable childhood Christmases was when I unwrapped cosmetics. I got a Guerlain Meteorites powder and a Georgette Klinger eye shadow chest with dozens of colors. Both were so spectacular, I took very good care of them and had them for a very long time. I learned a very important lesson that holiday: beauty gifts are special. For me at the time–I think I was 11 or 12–it marked embarking into young womanhood and also it was the first time I had the same items as my mom which was very special.

Beauty products embody the festive nature of the holidays and the spirit of the New Year–you can glam it up for a one-off party or totally reinvent yourself by trying a new look. And if you hate it, no worries, just as quickly as you’ve changed your look you can go back to your familiar self. Here are some of my favorite beauty gift ideas for the holidays, New Year and beyond.

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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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Celebration Ideas For Entering Womanhood

So it’s been a while since my last post, I know. But this one is a doosey I can assure you and may explain my absence in part… “Entering Womanhood” means different things to different people and in different cultures and I will spare you the gory details of what it means in mine but suffice it to say it’s one to be celebrated. I meant to write this earlier in the weekend but I kept crying every time I started.

However this moment is “checked off”–as a social occasion, a rite of passage, or a biological one–it’s bound to be emotional and one you don’t want to forget. So remember the day, month and year and do something special together. The idea is to do something experiential, open the lines of communication and begin a new dialogue that hopefully will continue as she–and you–embark on this new period (pardon the pun) of her life together. Most importantly she will come away knowing she can come to you and that you’re there for her no matter what. As my husband and I say to each other: All in, as is. In my experience, that’s what love is, any way you slice it.

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Discount Gift Card Shopping Sites

20120818-230926.jpgOk, 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…

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What I Bought With My Gift Cards & Other Presents

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What’s fabulous about a birthday? Gift cards! This year I got a few and thought it would be fun to summarize what I bought with them. Psst… There’s a money saving offer below too.

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