Alternative Gift to Fresh Cut Flowers

Today’s thoughtful, heartful gift idea appears as a blog post on OklahomaWomenBloggers.com. Yes, it’s our first guest blog post!

flowering plant basket

Flowering plants are arranged beautifully in this moss covered basket.

Read Alternative Gift to Fresh Cut Flowers.

A little side note to the above blog post – my husband Kevin surprised me with fresh cut flowers from our own yard (two types of roses and irises) for my birthday this year.

He hand delivered them to my office when he picked me up to take me to lunch. He knows exactly what I like!

Share the Joy of Christmas! Shop Christmas Flowers & Gifts Starting at $19.99. Only at 1800flowers.com! (Offer Ends 12/24/2014)

Creative Date Ideas in Oklahoma

- - Experiences

Honey, let’s go out on a date this weekend.

        That sounds fun! What should we do?

I’m not sure. Do you have any ideas?

        I can’t think of anything right now. I guess I’m okay with going out to eat somewhere and then watching a movie.

undiscovering-oklahoma-date-ideas-book-sunburst-giftsWe’ve all had conversations go like this at one point or another. Despite our best intentions, our plans for date night is dinner and a movie.

BORING. And not memorable in the least.

But it’s not because we’re boring people. We’re just uninspired and out of ideas.

Thankfully, a fellow blogger named Dennis Spielman has come to save us from ourselves! He published a book called Uncovering Oklahoma’s 2014 Date Idea Book that describes all sorts of memorable places in Oklahoma to eat, visit, and share unique experiences with your date.

*View the updated version of the book.

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Home Reestablished Sign | Housewarming Gift

- - Housewarming

My boss Holley took off work on her birthday on this exact day last year – May 20, 2013. It’s a birthday she’ll never forget because it was the same day a deadly tornado ripped through her hometown of Moore, Oklahoma, wiping out entire neighborhoods and claiming 24 victims.

outside of house damaged by tornado

The Moore 2013 tornado destroyed Amy and Adam’s home. Luckily, they were not hurt.

Holley took cover in her Moore home when it happened, but luckily her house and her life were spared.

Many people she knew were not so lucky with their home, like her friends Amy and Adam. After living in their house for less than a year, the tornado caused one wall and part of their roof to cave into the rest of their home.

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Unique Money Gift for Graduates

- - Graduation, Money

Face it. Kids want money. Even though most people want to give a memorable gift, many times they end up giving money in a blah graduation card. I’ve come up with a fail proof “you will remember this money gift above all else” high school or college graduation gift.

Purchase the latest issue of Money Magazine which gives advice on how to save, invest and make money. Graduation-Money-Magazine-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsHide multiple crisp dollar bills (or higher!) within the pages. Now roll it up with tissue paper and tie it up with a ribbon like a diploma.

It never fails. When they open it, they say…”oh, thanks”… and this is where your part comes in.

You say something like, “There is a wealth of information in that magazine about how to manage money wisely. Now that you have graduated and you’re an adult, it’s important that you learn this skill.”

They usually say thank you and place the magazine to the side  – without even opening it.

This is when you enthusiastically encourage them to open it and find an article to read. They will oblige but unwillingly. (I have yet to have one person open a page with a dollar bill showing. I have no idea how that happens!)

Graduation-diploma-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsThey usually have to thumb through and when they discover some of the cash money, they’ll quickly flip through page after page to look for more and when they do that’s when you’ve done it! You’ve made them smile really big. (And that’s hard to get teenagers to do you know.)

Then they’ll get smart and go back to the very first page and methodically turn each page looking for more dollar bills until they’ve found them all. This gift is as much fun to give as it is to receive! The only way this gift gets a backseat to any other graduation gift is if the graduate gets keys to a car!

The safe way to double your money is to fold it over once and put it in your pocket.  – Frank Hubbard

 

Matching Graduation Day T-Shirts

My co-worker, Nikki, shared this wonderful idea that her family is doing for her son’s high school graduation this year. The family will wear matching Graduation Day T-Shirts. Just like a 5K race where a team wears matching t-shirts, friends and family attending graduation wear the same t-shirt in support of the graduate.

Graduation-Day-T-Shirt-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

Click on the photo to enlarge it

The front of the t-shirt can have the graduate’s initials and their very own unique signature. Printed on the back of the t-shirt can be the class motto, a favorite quote or a personalized message to the graduate. Continue Reading

The Gift of a Second Language

My native language is Tagalog because I grew up in the Philippine Islands until the age of seven. That’s when my siblings and I moved to the United States and started our new life with our adopted parents in Enid, Oklahoma. I started going to school and as I spoke English more and more, I spoke Tagalog less and less. Then one day I forgot the entire language.

Spanish children's booksI feel really sad about the whole thing. Not only did I lose part of my heritage, I’m a believer that as global citizens we should all speak a second language.

Yes, I took French in high school and college. Je m’appelle Diana. Comment allez-vous? Je vais bien, merci!

But no, the language did not stick. I can hardly remember much at all. (What I wrote in French just now, I had to Google!) It’s much harder to learn a second language as an adult, and it didn’t help I never traveled to France where I could put it to use.

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Mother’s Day Love From a Special Needs Daughter

My sister-in-law Nancy is an amazing mother to her daughter, Whitney, who suffered from a brain injury at the age of four months. The doctors did not give much hope on her survival but she lived. She lives by a mother’s pure love for her child.

Then the doctors said she would never walk but she did. Nancy taught Whitney how to walk forward as she walked backwards while holding up her daughter.Mother's-Day-Banner-Gift-Sunburst-Gifts

The doctors said she would never talk but she communicates in a way her mother understands.

I am in awe of Nancy. She makes me want to be a better mother. I have also never met anyone with as much faith in God as Nancy. She praises Him for her daughter’s gift of life.

When you have a special needs daughter who is legally blind with poor hearing, your life is not considered normal. But Nancy and Whitney have created a life that is normal for them.

Did you know one in every 12 children in America is physically or mentally disabled? Mothers of disabled children earn a particularly special place on Mother’s Day, and disabled children sometimes need a little help in celebrating and expressing their love for their mother. And that’s where you and I can come in!

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Life Lessons Learned From My Mother | Custom Book

So much of who we are we owe to our parents. Through their words, through their actions, through their examples, they taught us life lessons both large and small that influenced us as children and still influence us as adults. Can I get an “Amen?”

life lessons learned from mother custom bookI contacted all of my siblings and asked them to email me the things they learned from our mother growing up. I told them it could be anything as long as it made an impact on who they are today or how they live their lives.

I told them I would use their answers and mine to create a custom book titled “Life Lessons I Learned From My Mother” that we could give to our mother as a Mother’s Day present.

Collaborating with my brothers and sisters on what to include in the book made the present even better because we each came up with life lessons that the others totally agreed with but forgot about. Through teamwork, we really nailed it!

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Jump Out of A Box – Surprise Mother’s Day Gift

I lived in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the late 1980s for almost five years. That was the only time I lived more than a few miles from my mom, and I missed her so much. One year I wanted to surprise her for Mother’s Day by coming home to visit. I wanted to do it by jumping out of a box for Mother’s Day because being me – Queen Darlene – simply walking through the front door is just not how I do things.

Darlene-Mother-jump-out-of-box-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsMy brothers, Harvey and Rodney, got a washing machine cardboard box, wrapped it and left the bottom open so I could crouch inside. My brothers told our mother and grandmother that they were bringing in the gift and that they needed to stay in the bedroom until they were called. That’s when I slipped into the box.

My brothers and I talked about how they would signal me to jump out. All the while my mom and grandmother were in hear shot but being deaf they couldn’t hear us!

Harvey brought them to the den as Rodney filmed the whole thing with his video camera. Harvey thought it would be a great idea to wrap a box of Tide detergent to give Mother the impression she was getting a washing machine. But before she began to open the small gift, my brothers started talking out loud and signing with our mother and grandmother telling them that before Mother opened her gift it would be a good idea to go out to eat first so they could miss the church crowds.

I heard my brothers and started yelling, “You better not leave me in this box while you all go out to eat!”

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These Are A Few of My Favorite Things | Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

This Mother’s Day gift idea came from my boss, even though it did not start out as a Mother’s Day gift. He asked me and several other female co-workers, “If you only had one item to choose as your favorite product, what would it be?”

I asked him, “What do you mean? Clothing? Jewelry? Makeup? A book?”Mother's Day-purse-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

He just said, “It doesn’t matter. It can be anything.” He was going to use our best products to choose gifts for his wife’s birthday. Awesome idea!

I had to think about it for a few minutes and decided it was my eye makeup remover. I have used several different kinds through the years but this one is by far the best in removing my mascara. No fuss, no mess! Dab it on a cotton ball and swoosh your makeup comes right off!

I have given the makeup remover as a gift many times since that experiment with my boss. Just never really thought about it as a gift idea until then. Everyone that I have given it to has loved it as much as I do. Continue Reading