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Category "$20 or Less"

“I Love You” Jar Filled With Handwritten Notes

During a family reunion this summer, my family wanted to let my Grandma Anna Marie (our amazing matriarch) know just how much we love her and to thank her for bringing the whole family together. I came up with the idea to surprise her with an “I Love You” Jar.

jar and notes written on leaf-shaped paper

Fill any container with handwritten notes to create a sweet and sentimental “I Love You” jar gift.

I bought a beautiful glass jar (this one happened to be made of mercury glass) and some die-cut paper in the shape of leaves. The leaves represent our family tree.

During the family reunion when my Grandma was out of earshot, I asked everyone – even the little kids – to write Grandma Anna Marie handwritten notes on the leaves that said something along the lines of:

  • I love you because…
  • I remember when…
  • Because of you…
  • Thank you for…

That was just to get them started because really they could write anything that conveyed “I Love You.”

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Like Father Like Son | Rain Gauge for Birthday Gift

Why would anyone want a rain gauge? You can Google the rain fall in your area to find out. Do you want to know the answer? It’s because we become our parents.

My husband, Randy, is just like his dad. He talks, walks, thinks and laughs just like him. So it is no wonder he likes the same things as his dad. I just didn’t see it coming!

rain-gauge-birthday-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

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When we first started dating, Randy’s great sense of humor attracted me! His mother is funny too so I thought he got his sense of humor from her but through the years I saw glimpses of my father-in-law’s humor. Looks like Randy got it from both of his parents!

Randy’s dad was a “thinker.” He would mull around on a problem for as long as it takes and when he figured it out in his mind, he would fix the problem. Once! That’s it – no do overs.

When we were younger, it would drive the entire family crazy because some of his projects took so long to complete but in the end it was done perfectly. These are the things I see in Randy. He’s a thinker too.

Randy’s dad became our family’s weatherman since he followed the weather and would tell us how much it had rained by using his E-Z Read Jumbo Rain-Gauge
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Teacher Survival Kit | Back to School Gift

Summer = sleeping in, relaxing and hanging out. Back to School = alarms clocks, homework and regular routines.

Making the switch from summer vacation to back to school definitely takes some adjustment for all parties involved – students, parents and teachers. Don’t forget about the teachers!

back to school teacher survival kitMy son is starting Parent’s Day Out again this fall, and I wanted to give his teacher a present to make adjusting to spending all day with a room full of kids just a little bit easier.

I started making my Back to School Teacher Survival Kit by filling it with caffeine and chocolates. Two must-haves for enduring long hours and stress of any kind.

But being the healthy living person I strive to be, I wanted to add some healthier options for the teachers that would still provide them with a good pick-me-up.

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Thank You Card AKA Birthday Card

I received a call from my son’s friend, telling me Dustin’s friends were throwing him a last minute surprise birthday party. I had 45 minutes to get ready, call my husband home, and drive across town. There was absolutely no time to purchase a birthday card if we wanted to arrive on time.

thank-you-card-aka-birthday-card-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsI rifled through my drawer full of cards. (You have a drawer like that at home, right?) No birthday card. Panic sets in. I’m his mother. I can’t show up without a birthday card for my own son!

I noticed a thank you card. I thought, “Aha! This will do!”

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Surprise Someone By Hiding Gifts Inside a Balloon

Presentation! Presentation! Presentation! We are always trying to find new ways to be creative in gift giving, right? Here is one that is easy, inexpensive, colorful and makes a noise that goes POP! Gifts inside a balloon!

Pop-the-Question-Wedding-Proposal-Gift- Idea-Sunburst- Gifts

Hiding an engagement ring inside a balloon is a creative way to “pop the question!”

In a previous post, I talked about a unique wedding proposal idea. Get a decorative box that has an attached lid that will perfectly fit a blown up balloon. Write or type a note that says “POP ME” and attach it by using a stick pin to the inside of the lid.

She can use the pin to pop the balloon. Place the engagement ring inside a blown up balloon, put it inside the box and close the lid. When she opens the box, pops the balloon and sees her beautiful engagement ring, that’s when you get on bended knee to “pop the question.”

Gift cards have become a common way to give a gift. Usually it is placed in a card, an envelope or a gift bag. BOOOORING!

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Carry Your Memories With You | Coin Purse

pink coin purseMother passed away in 2012 at the age of 84. She was a very important part of my life. We spoke daily – using email or telephone relay service since she was deaf.

Mother was instrumental in developing my creativity. Ever since I was a little girl, she would ask me to think of ideas for gifts or games to do for birthdays, anniversaries or family gatherings. (Now I’m blogging about those ideas she encouraged me to come up with. Thanks Mother!)

When she died, I felt lost and missed her terribly.

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Worth Every Penny | Pennies From Birth Year

On my 50th birthday, my dear friend, Susan, gave me 50 pennies all made in 1952 – my birth year!

Heart-box-with-pennies-gift-idea-sunburst-giftsThe pennies came in a small heart box. I cherish that gift because it was so unique and thoughtful.

I have used the penny idea many times for birthdays and anniversaries. I use the pennies on significant birthday years such as 30 – 40 – 50 – 60 year old and up.

By the time a couple has been married for 50 years or more, what can you give that they do not already have or that is unique? Fifty pennies from the year of their wedding placed in a heart box is a for-sure-keepsake gift! Especially seeing and remembering those wheat pennies! They bring back the memories of simpler times. Continue Reading

A Going Away Present Anyone Will Love | Best Pizza in Town

When my friend Bose’ told me she was moving to Chicago to start her life anew,  I felt sad for me but excited for her. I also felt proud of her for being so bold and courageous. Moving to a big city by yourself is no small thing.

pizza gift card taped inside pizza box

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You have to find a new place to live, start a new job and make new friends.

With my going away present to Bose’, I wanted to help her make new friends while experiencing an important part of Chicago’s food culture – Chicago-style deep dish pizzas.

I bought her a gift card to Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, a restaurant many people claim makes the best pizza in Chicago, especially if you order The “Lou.”

I thought Bose’ could use the gift card to invite a new friend to lunch or dinner.

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Kleenex Tissue Flower Bouquet for a Sick Friend

Flower vases – we have them stashed everywhere in our kitchen just taking up space. We occasionally – more like never – use them for flowers but mostly they sit hidden with no future and collecting dust!

Here’s a gift idea for your round or square vases. Colorful vases work really well. For plain clear vases, I like to bedazzle them with rhinestones!Kleenex.flower.bouquet.gift.idea.sunburst.gifts

Use your imagination when decorating. Try all one color or multicolor. Create a heart shape or place them at random. Rhinestones and glue are all you need. It’s easy peasy as Princess Diana likes to say!

Purchase facial tissues in the small square box, pull them out all at once, and place them in the glass vase. Take a single tissue from the center and pull it up. The tissues are also available in different colors too!

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