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Category "Retirement"

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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My Favorite Ergonomic Drinking Mug

OK… my favorite mug is not advertised as being ergonomic. I just gave it that name.

The word ergonomic means well designed, usable, user-friendly and comfortable. All the adjectives that describes my favorite mug!

Several years ago, while visiting friends we made when living in Albuquerque, we played tourist by visiting Old Town. We had fun walking around the Square checking out each gift shop.

In one store, we watched pottery being made directly in front of us by artists. It’s truly amazing how plain brownish clay turns into beautiful colorful pottery. I like to think of it as usable art!

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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.

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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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Lotto Ticket Get Well Card

Need an easy peasy fun gift idea for someone who is ill or in the hospital? Choose a get well card and insert lotto tickets!

Nothing lifts someone’s mood better than dreaming about how to spend the money if you win!get-well-card-lotto-tickets-thoughtful-gift-idea

Gift of Possibly Winning Big

My friend, Dick, had triple bypass heart surgery and I wanted to send a cheerful gift. I wrote in the card “possibility of a winning lotto ticket” because I won just a few weeks before his surgery.

I shared my experience in the card. I explained the whole episode of asking my husband to pull into a gas station as I wanted to check my ticket. My husband did his usual eye rolling thing because I have never won more than a few dollars. Continue Reading

Stepping Into Retirement Celebration

- - Retirement

My co-worker, Judy, retired after 36 years, and we wanted to celebrate her retirement in grand style.

retirement-theme-decorations-thoughtful-gift-ideaJust a plain retirement cake and punch would not do. We were looking for the WOW! factor to represent her years of service.

We decorated our agency’s conference room with fancy and fabulous decorations of heels, pearls and jewels with the theme of  “Stepping into Retirement and Kissing OHFA Goodbye.”

Judy’s favorite color is red so we provided red cut-out lips on popsicle sticks for all employees – to kiss her goodbye! Continue Reading

A Candy Bouquet for Any Occasion

Flowers bouquets are considered a perfect gift for any occasion. Although, realistically, women tend to appreciate the gift of flowers more than men. Not so with candy bouquets. Men, women and children love them equally!

candy-bouquet-edible-giftA candy bouquet is like a flower arrangement except it uses candy instead of flowers.

Think about it. Not everyone has a favorite flower, but everyone has their favorite candy (or candies).

If you’re like me, you have more than one favorite candy. My perfect candy bouquet would contain Twix, Sour Patch Kids, Sweet Tart Gummies, Hershey’s Hugs, and Hershey’s Candy Cane Kisses.

Candy bouquets are a beautiful sight! They look expensive, but they can be created simply and inexpensively.

You can purchase pre-made candy bouquets, but by creating your own you can customize it to contain the gift recipient’s favorite flavors.

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Custom Engraved Wooden Spoon

A wooden spoon is really a must-have in anyone’s kitchen. So make a wooden spoon special by getting it custom engraved and turning it into the perfect present!

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A custom engraved wooden spooncan be displayed on someone’s kitchen counter, adding a personalized and decorative touch to their home.

They’re a classic gift that can be given for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries or Christmas. They’re also great as hostess or housewarming gifts.

They can even be used as party favors. Think bridal showers or chili cook-offs.

Not all wooden spoons are created equally. I suggest purchasing a high-quality spoon made of dense wood so it lasts for years and years.

Ideas for what to engrave:

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Share Memories Year Round With Custom Photo Calendar

We all know that time flies, especially the older you get. So it’s important to preserve happy memories with photographs. Even better, share them with loved ones so they can enjoy them year round!

custom-photo-calendar-thoughtful-giftAs a birthday gift for our mother, my siblings and I collaborated to give her a custom photo calendar.

We all provided pictures so the calendar would contain photos of ALL of her children and grandchildren. We also included group family photos from when we were together during the holidays.

Many websites make it easy peasy to design a personalized photo calendar with your own photos and text. Just pick a template, drag and drop photos, and you’re done! I created mine using Shutterfly.com.

Since you can choose the starting month of your photo calendar, you can give this gift at any time of the year. They make excellent gifts for birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and family exchanges.

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Custom Quote Canvas Art Gift

Everyone has a favorite quote or words to live by. It’s something that inspires us and speaks to our soul.

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My favorite quote since college has been “Accept the challenges so that you can feel the exhilaration of victory” by General George S. Patton.

I now have a new favorite quote, “Thank you for playing with me” by my son Aiden Jaeger!

Aiden first said it to his grandmother. I told my husband what our son had said and weeks later after an enjoyable One Day Staycation together, he said it to me that night. I’ve repeated that quote myself too.

I love that quote for so many reasons! It shows appreciation to someone for spending time with you, and it’s a reminder to play like a kid again.

Family Motto

It’s not just a quote anymore. It has become our family motto that we say to each other.

I wanted the quote to hang in a permanent place in our home so I created a Custom Quote Canvas Art. It displays the quote in a stylized font on a cool background.

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Jewelry With Special Meaning

It’s that feeling you get every time you touch the pendant around your neck or glance down at a bracelet, and you’re reminded of its special meaning.

symbol-jewelry-special-meaning-gift

A piece of jewelry with special meaning tells a sentimental story of who gave it to you and why.

It’s not just a fashion accessory. It symbolizes a relationship, a feeling, an event or a memory.

For my mother’s birthday, I wanted to surprise her with a new piece of jewelry since it’s not something she often buys for herself. I decided to browse on the Rustic Cuff website since it’s an Oklahoma company.

I came across this beautiful gold and silver cuff. The center is a gold hexagon with a smaller, silver hexagon inside it. Immediately, this thought popped into my head.

The six sides of the gold hexagon represent her six children. She is the silver hexagon in the middle because she is our center that holds us together. The other special meaning is her influence on us and the people we’ve become. We became a hexagon because she is a hexagon.

It’s what I will tell my mother when I give her the bracelet. Every time she wears it, I hope she thinks of her six children and how much we love her. Continue Reading

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