Non-Couple Engagement Gift Ideas (Let Me Explain)

20130421-171206.jpgI’m seeing a friend today, and since we last were face-to-face, she’s become engaged. Now, what you also need to know is that her engagement was no surprise. Every time she’s even spoken of this guy, she simply lights up and the few times I’ve seen them together, impulsively and without warning, the phrase “meant to be” invades my mind space–this coming from a slightly-jaded, often guarded, once divorced (albeit now remarried), New Yorker.

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Colorful Engagement and Right Hand Rings

20120907-110718.jpgThe beginning of fall always makes me want to break out big beautiful gemstones like topaz, citrines, emeralds and sapphires. I love mixing, layering and finding gemstones that are meaningful either because of a birthstone or anniversary month…or just because a color speaks to me. I was browsing on one of my favorite sites to go to when looking at jewelry–my grandmother, aunt and mother are all Ross-Simons alum and turned me on at an early age–and came across these rocks (the lead image is a ruby ring I am currently lusting after) and had to share these pretty colorful finds since they are all so diverse and can be used for an engagement, right hand ring, anniversary, or just because you are fabulous. Oh and you know what else…most of them are under $1,000.

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Unique Place Card Holders (as Favors)

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.

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Wedding Shower Ideas

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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?

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