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Category "Going Away"

Cozy Fleece Photo Blanket

Years ago, my sister, Julia, and her family moved to the East coast away from her parents and siblings.

custom-photo-blanket-thoughtful-giftIt’s tough living far apart from family, but especially hard when someone has young children. Finding child care is harder, and holidays can be a bit more lonely.

My sister though experienced tremendous luck! She found an older woman in her neighborhood who ran a small in-home day care. “Miss Pat” has cared for my sister’s three daughters for 14 years now, and they have a very special bond with her.

She loves those girls like her own granddaughters, and they love her like a grandmother.

“Miss Pat” and her husband “Mister Pete” have become family.

Custom Photo Blanket

For Miss Pat’s birthday this year, my sister gave her a custom fleece photo blanket with a beautiful collage of her three daughters and Miss Pat.

The photos printed really well and show how much the girls have grown up since Miss Pat has known them. So many cherished memories gathered all in one place!

Miss Pat can literally wrap the girls around her any time, day or night! Continue Reading

Plan A Surprise Party on a Holiday

My husband, Kevin, graduated with this Master’s degree this year. To celebrate such a major accomplishment, I decided to throw him a surprise party.

plan-surprise-party-holidayI schemed with his parents who was hosting the graduation party in their home. After checking with each other, the only date in May that worked with both of our schedules was Mother’s Day. Oh no!

That was my initial reaction. But after thinking about it, I realized there is NO WAY he would see this surprise party coming.

A graduation party on Mother’s Day? Who would do that?!

Planning a surprise party on a holiday provides the perfect cover story.

The Perfect Cover Story

I simply  told Kevin we needed to go to his parents’ house because for a Mother’s Day brunch. He easily believed it. I didn’t need to concoct some elaborate story to get him there.

Do you have people coming from out of town? They can say they’re coming into town for the holiday.

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Personalized Luggage Tag & Handle Cover

Every time I hear of someone graduating school, I think how exciting it is they have their whole life ahead of them.

I’m also reminded of Dr. Seuss’s book “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Such as classic and accurate description of this journey we call life.

I have a family member, Sidney, who is graduating from high school. With her graduation gift, I wanted to encourage her to take the opportunity to travel and collect experiences while she is in college.

personalized-luggage-tag-graduation-gift

The college years are well suited for traveling since the school year has built in Spring Break, Summer Break, Fall Break and Christmas Break. Once you’re in the workforce, you only have one or two day holidays and limited vacation days to fit in all your travel plans. Boo.

When I think back to my college years, the highlights include spring break trips to Florida and South Padre and summer trips to China and Costa Rica. I’m so glad I experienced them all!

Personalized Luggage Tag & Luggage Handle Cover

For her graduation gift, I gave Sidney a personalized luggage tag and luggage handle cover for her future travels.

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Monogrammed Duffle Travel Bag

Over the years, I have received two duffle bags as gifts. A beautiful girly duffle bag monogrammed with my initials and the other is an animal print personalized with Queen Darlene in rhinestones. I love them both!

A monogrammed duffle travel bag is a perfect gift for overnight trips or a week long vacation.

duffle-bag-monogrammed-thoughtful-gift-idea

They are so roomy and hold a ton of stuff! I use them as my go-to bag for quick trips and as a perfect carry-on bag for longer trips.

You can personalize the bags with a person’s name or the name of a college, fraternity, sorority, sports team, cheerleading or dance group, bride or bridemaids.

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Add Your Own Message to Hand Stamped Silverware

It’s fun to have our own special silverware to use for eating cereal, ice cream or dessert.

personalized-hand-stamped-silverwareThe mundane task of grabbing silverware out of the drawer gets a little bit more exciting as you search for your special spoon or fork.

Last Mother’s Day gift, I gave my mother and mother in-law custom hand stamped silverware with the message: A mother’s love is beyond measure.

Every time they use the spoon to eat with or to stir their cup of tea of coffee, I hope they’ll think of me and know how grateful I am for their love and kindness.

You can make your message sentimental like mine or pick something funny like Cereal Killer for a breakfast spoon.

For a wedding or anniversary present, you can give the gift of His and Her spoons with corresponding messages like: I love you and I love you more or Good morning handsome and Good morning beautiful.

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Easy Meals With Programmable Slow Cooker

When my nephew moved into an apartment after high school, he felt the pinch of not always having enough money to make ends meet. He complained about sometimes having to eat Ramen noodles just to make rent.

easy-meals-programmable-slow-cooker-giftHe’s not alone in his experience. Many young adults with limited income face a similar situation after moving out of their parents’ house, and they realize how quickly their bills eat up their paycheck.

My nephew also shared his goal to a eat better and live a healthier lifestyle.

Listening to him tell me all of this information helped me come up with the perfect gift for him!

I decided to purchase him a Programmable Slow Cooker. After double-checking that he didn’t already have one, I told him why I wanted to get him one, and I explained all of the wonderful benefits. Let me summarize them.

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Umbrellas With Personality

An umbrella is usually a practical gift, and if you give one that is the basic black, red or hunter green – it’s booooring. Don’t do it.

umbrellas-with-personality-thoughtful-gift-ideaI love red lipstick, and when my friend gave me an amusing umbrella with a gentleman’s hand holding a red lipstick, my jaw dropped! I had never ever seen anything like it. What a cool gift!

Today’s umbrellas have personality and come in all shapes, sizes and designs for adults and kids.

They’re colorful, cheery, fancy, whimsical, clever and fun. The kind of gift that will definitely bring sunshine to their day!

Did you know there are as many variety of umbrellas as raindrops? Well… maybe not quite, but the selection is endless.

There are delightful sky umbrellas to keep your skies blue, beautiful art umbrellas that are more affordable than the original famous museum paintings, and LED umbrellas that light up.

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Some Like It Hot, Some Like It Cold!

Looking for a gift for your husband or boyfriend that will keep things hot (or cold) all day long?

yeti-tumbler-thoughtful-gift-idea

Yeti Tumbler

Have you ever had a hot cup of coffee go cold because you were busy at work and didn’t have time to drink it? Or… your ice cold drink turned lukewarm because the ice melted?

If you haven’t heard or tried the amazing Yeti products, trust me, they would make a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.

My husband loves his 30 oz. Yeti Tumbler. It keeps his coffee hot from the time he leaves for work in the morning to throughout the day. If he happens not to drink it all, whatever is left is still warm when he gets home after 5 p.m.

We gave my brother a Yeti, and he uses it to keep his drinks cold. He drinks lots of water and loves it ice cold. The ice he puts in his Yeti Tumbler is still there even the next morning when he fills it up again.

Yeti Tumblers make wonderful gifts because they are made from stainless steel to keep drinks hot or cold and don’t sweat like plastic tumblers. My guys love ’em!

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Tell Someone’s Story With a Floating Charm Locket Necklace

The newest trend of charm bracelets are Floating Charm Locket Necklaces. It’s a unique way to tell stories with jewelry by giving a locket containing charms depicting someone’s hobbies or experiences, or commemorating celebrations such as birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day or weddings.

floating-charm-locket-thoughtful-gift-ideaI gave my girlfriend, Janet, a floating charm necklace for her birthday. The charms I chose were a cake with candles to celebrate her birthday, the letter “J” for her name and because she loves to take lots and lots of photos, I added a camera charm. She loved it!

Floating Charm Locket Necklaces come in different shapes such as round, heart or animal. You can choose from hundreds of cute, beautiful and colorful charms so it’s easy peasy to find charms that fit their personality and tell their personal “story.”

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Say Aloha to World’s Easiest Money Lei

Did you know that leis are commonly presented when someone is arriving or leaving? The garland of flowers is a common symbol of love, friendship, celebration, honor or greeting.

easiest-money-lei-tutorial-giftThat’s why money leis are perfect for graduation, going away parties and retirement parties. They’re pretty like flowers, but they have spending power!

They make for a unique and memorable gift that the gift recipient can wear on their special day.

There are many money lei tutorials out there, but this one is the world’s easiest money lei. It requires very little folding and assembling and still looks great!

The one I made using a standard Mardi Gras necklace only requires 14 money leis. Most other money lei tutorials require you to fold and attach 40-60 money flowers.

HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD’S EASIEST MONEY LEI

Items you will need:

  • cash (use crisp bills; iron if necessary)
  • beaded necklace
  • small rubber bands
  • ribbon (cut into 8 inch strips) (regular or curling ribbon)
  • glue dots or double-sided tape

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