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Photo Thank You Card

- - Thank You

Everyone loves a handwritten thank you card, but a picture is also worth a thousand words!

thank you card photo gift ideaInstead of a traditional handwritten thank you card, have your child hand write his or her  thank you message  on a dry-erase board or chalkboard.  Take a picture of your child holding the thank you message.  You now have a thank you card that will likely go in a picture frame in someone’s home it’s that awesome!

This idea works also works well for younger children who may be too young to write very much, or at all, but can draw pictures.

If you try this idea, please let us know how it turned out and send us photos. We would love to hear from you!

 

Santa Sack | Gift Your Child Can’t Know is From You

- - Christmas, Kids

Now that I have my son Aiden, it’s so much fun to start our own family traditions – especially Christmas traditions! Growing up, I remember reading stories about Santa Claus pulling gifts made by his elves out of his toy sack and leaving them for children under their Christmas trees. The presents were always unwrapped.

I wanted Aiden’s experience on Christmas morning to be similar to those stories so I got him a personalized Santa Sack. It’s a large burlap sack that says on the front:

Santa Sack Family Tradition Gift Idea SPECIAL DELIVERY
FROM THE NORTH POLE FOR
AIDEN JAEGER
DELIVERY DATE 25th DECEMBER
FROM SANTA CLAUS

My hope is that the Santa Sack will make Christmas mornings even more magical and memorable for my son by making the story of Santa Claus come alive!

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Homemade Roasted Pecans | Edible Gifts

I love it when it’s pecan pickin’ time and this year is one of them! Right in the middle of my front yard is a pecan tree, and I’ve collected close to 100 pounds of pecans. I feel so proud – like a farmer who’s had a bountiful harvest. Except I didn’t have to sweat or toil or wear overalls or really do any work at all to make it grow and produce.

Homemade Roasted Pecans Edible Gift Idea But I do have to put in some labor of love when it comes to collecting them, shelling them, and roasting them in the oven. But I enjoy that whole process because at the end I have pounds and pounds of roasted pecans to give as edible gifts!

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Premium Olive Oil and Vinegar With State-shaped Cutting Board

My boss Holley and I are kindred spirits in that we both looove to cook. We like to tell each other about the new recipes we’ve tried and if any are rock stars we share them. Well, what do most recipes start with?

Extra virgin olive oil. So I thought I’d get her some premium olive oil this year for Christmas, along with some aged balsamic vinegar and a State-Shaped Cutting Board. OKLAHOMA of course! Represent.

Premium Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar With State-shaped Cutting Board Gift Idea for Cooks I visited a store that specializes in premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars and man was my mind buh-lown!  They had their oils and vinegars infused with all sorts of fantastic flavors – chipotle, jalapeno, lavender, espresso, chocolate and on and on. They even had butter infused olive oil. Perfect for drizzling over popcorn. Mmmmm.

It gets better. The store allows you to sample all of their flavors, and they even provide the bread. I was like a kid in a candy store!

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Birdseed Ornaments for Bird Lovers

My mother Robyn has always been very hard to shop for. She likes to lead a simple life and doesn’t desire many material things. I think she’s really cool that way. Because of that, I have had to come up with very thoughtful gifts to give to her over the years. Looking back, it really prepared me to start this blog. Thanks Mom!

Some people love dogs and cats. My mother loves her birds. In her backyard, she has created a bird sanctuary. Bird houses, bird feeders and a bird bath (and a cat free zone) attract all sorts of birds year round, and it brings my mother joy to watch them from her large kitchen window.

Birdseed Ornaments for Bird Lovers Gift IdeaMost people put up their bird bath in the winter but my mother keeps hers out year round, and she uses an immersion heater to keep the water from freezing. She also doesn’t just feed them bird seed. She has a special bird feeder that holds apples, and she peels off part of the skin so they have an easier time eating it. Moms think of everything!

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Refillable Advent Calendar | Christmas Family Tradition

- - Christmas, Experiences, Kids

Something I’ve learned about myself. I enjoy starting family traditions. Years before my husband Kevin and I even started our family, I already had several family traditions on stand-by.

One of them was a refillable advent calendar. I wanted to be able to customize the treats inside for my family each year. Plus, advent calendars started as a German tradition and since Kevin’s side of the family (their last name is Jaeger) is from Germany, it seemed like a perfect fit! It’s also a fun way for the entire family to count down the days until Christmas Day.

Refillable Advent Calendar GiftI bought a wooden advent calendar with larger compartments so I had more flexibility with the size of my treats. I specifically picked this one though because it shows the Nativity Scene – a wonderful reminder of what Christmas is supposed to be about.

For treats, I like to include a variety of edible treats, small gifts, quotes and family activities. The activities I write down on cute paper.

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For Mommies Everywhere | Babysitting Certificates

Mommies want to take bubble baths. Mommies want to go on date nights. Mommies want to go shopping. Mommies want to get more sleep. Mommies want some precious “ME” time. What makes it possible for us to do these things? Babysitters!

Sunburst Gifts Babysitting Gift Certificate Yellow SampleIt had been 13 months since my son Aiden had been born and I had not been to the movies. That sucked because I looove movies.

It was just that my husband Kevin and I lead busy lives so we needed someone to watch Aiden for more important events than going to the movies.

It was an instance of not wanting to bother friends or family to watch him and not wanting to pay for a babysitter. I mean babysitters are NOT cheap these days. Teenagers have to be able to pay for gas and college. Neither of those are cheap either.

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Books of Significance & Meaning

Earlier this year, my husband Kevin, our one-year old son Aiden, and I all flew to Boston. Kevin is a pedorthist – a pharmacist for the feet – and his colleagues from all across the country were gathering in Boston for their annual foot conference. (Foot fetish, anyone? Just teasing, honey!) I better call it the event by its proper name- the Pedorthic Footcare Association’s 54th Annual Symposium and Exhibition.

Personalized Books of Significance and Meaning GiftWhile Kevin worked, Aiden and I entertained ourselves one day by taking the subway train to Cambridge to tour Harvard University. (*ahem) I mean Haaahvard.

It was raining when we got off the train so we ducked into The World’s Only Curious George Store. Aiden didn’t own a single Curious George book so I looked through all of the different titles looking for just the right one. And I found it. Curious George Takes a Train

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Oh, the Places We’ll Go! (And Been) | World Travel Map with Pins

When my husband Kevin and I were dating in college, he studied abroad in Costa Rica for five weeks so he could learn Spanish via language immersion. One day, I opened up my email and read, “When I’m finished with my classes, why don’t you fly down here so we can travel the country together?” How totally romantic!

Kevin in Diana hiking in Costa Rica

Kevin and I hike the rainforest in Costa Rica in 2003.

But so last minute. He was talking about a date two weeks away and I had an expired passport!

I made it happen – but barely – because my passport literally arrived in the mail the day before I left. My plane landed in San Jose where my very tanned Spanish-speaking boyfriend met me.

We traveled for nine days together staying in beach towns, zip lining through the rain forest, and eating fresh papaya and drinking mango juice for breakfast. Traveling with my personal translator, we avoided touristy areas so we could experience Costa Rica culture up close and personal.

Being half Filipino, I am often mistaken for being Hispanic so locals would sometimes just randomly start speaking Spanish to me. When they did, I would get this embarrassed I’m-sorry-I’m-your-typical-spoiled- American-who-only-speaks-English look on my face. Then I would politely say, “No hablo espanol” and then quickly point at Kevin – “El Gringo” (you know, Spanish for “The Gringo”).

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Thanksgiving | My Favorite Holiday

- - Catch All

Princess Diana (Diana Rogers Jaeger) co-founder of Sunburst GiftsSince college, my favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving. Why? Because people don’t give presents. I know that sounds silly coming from the co-author of a gift ideas blog but hear me out.

Instead of giving presents on Thanksgiving, people give their TIME to spend with their family. Nothing says “I love you” or “You are important to me” more than taking time to sit, talk and laugh together.

But the gift of time is abstract. You can’t see it or touch it. So that’s why there are many occasions where we want to SHOW someone we love them and care about them with an actual gift. Something they can physically unwrap.

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