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Category "Birthday"

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

One Line A Day Journal | A Twitter-like Diary

I’ve loved scribbling about my thoughts, feelings and the highlights of my life into a personal journal every since I was a young girl. I’d write until my hands ached because it was important to me to capture every detail of whatever I was writing about so down the road I could recall the memory completely.

one line a day journal Many times I have laughed and cried from reading what I’ve written down. It really is a lot of fun to go back and read through your journal and be able to relive your thoughts and experiences from years ago.

Some people have never kept a personal journal. They might not like to write or they don’t feel like they have the time to write regularly. But think of the memories and important events they’ll forget because they didn’t write it down! Don’t let that happen.

I found a perfect solution to getting people to journal who haven’t done so before or who want to but can’t find the time – the One Line A Day Journal.

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Mother & Me | Copycat Photos

Mother was a very visual person. She was deaf so her eyes were truly her window to the world.Mother-&-Me-copycat-photo-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

She loved to look at everything and she filled her home with lots of beautiful and unusual things! There was not a spare inch on the bookshelves, hutch, desks, cabinet counters, windows sills or walls. She even collected more than 10,000 owls! (But that will have to be another story.)

Pictures were important to Mother. My brothers and I learned to stop whatever we were doing right then and there to take a picture if Mother wanted it. It was just easier to get it over with than to fuss with her. (Funny how history repeats itself. My boys stop and turn on the smiles for me – click – then they are off and on their way).

Mother cherished her pictures, and they brought her much happiness.

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All Day Flower Deliveries

My mother-in-law Betty was turning 80. Seriously, what do you get someone who has everything?

Betty loves roses so I decided to get her a LOT of them.Birthday-Mother's Day-Roses-gifts-Sunburst-Gifts

We found a flower shop willing to make deliveries to her home every two hours on her birthday. Each bouquet of roses was delivered with an “original” poem from a family member.

Don’t let the poem part stress you out. They were simple. Like this one.
Roses are Red
Violets are Blue
Happy Birthday
and We Love You Too!

The first two deliveries were a dozen roses. The next four deliveries were 14 roses each to equal 80. One was from my father-in-law, three from each of her children and their spouses, and the last two were from her grandchildren.

Her living room looked like a flower shop there were so many different colored roses everywhere!

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Mother’s Day Gift Idea | Digital Photo Frame Containing Sweet Messages

When digital photo frames came out, I loved the concept and thought, “Why didn’t I think to invent that?” (I thought the same thing about Snuggies and Pillow Pets, and I bet you did too! We totally could have been millionaires by now!)

Digital Photo Frame Containing Sweet MessagesInstead of having to look at the same photo each day, with digital photo frames you can view a slideshow and swap out the photos without making a trip somewhere to get prints made.

I don’t think I need to go into how mothers love having photos of their children and other family members on display.

sweet message for Mother's Day

Download this image to use as one of your sweet messages.

From my experience, it’s pretty much a universal thing!

Giving a preloaded Digital Photo Frames as a Mother’s Day gift is a great gift but not unique on its own. So let me tell you how to make it unique!

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Custom Personalized Name Ring | Mother’s Day Gift Idea

Coming up will be my second Mother’s Day. My son will be 19 months old, and I just love him more and more with each month that passes. (I’m surprised my heart hasn’t burst out of my chest yet!) I wanted a piece of jewelry with his first name – Aiden – and middle name – Dragen – (he was born in 2012 the Year of the Dragon) and decided on a ring so that every time I looked at my hands, this ring and my wedding ring would remind me of the two most important people in my life.

personalized name ringI found a store on Etsy.com that makes custom personalized name rings but what made them stand out is that you get to pick out the font! With so many stylized fonts in existence, a person’s name can look like a beautiful custom piece of art.

You can also choose a font style that best fits the personality of the mother. A script or cursive font might be better for one mother while a retro or handwritten font might be the better choice for another. My favorite font website is Dafont.com because they have a wide variety of font styles. You can also type in names or words and see what they will look like in a certain font.

By selecting what goes on the ring, the metal the ring is made of, and the font, you can tell someone you custom designed the ring for them!

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25 Ways to Pay It Forward| Random Acts of Kindness

The idea behind “pay it forward” is that everyone can make a difference in the life of someone else. When you pay it forward, you make an effort to positively impact a person’s life through a random act of kindness and love.

laundry detergent in laundromat

Leave a container of laundry detergent at a laundromat with a note saying, “Feel free to use!”

Last week, I wrote about my friend Erin who wanted to inspire 34 pay it forward random acts of kindness in celebration of her 34th birthday. In case you were inspired to do the same thing, I thought I’d share with you some ideas of what you could do.

  • Buy a movie ticket for the person behind you in line
  • Send a card to someone in the military overseas
  • Put something you no longer need on Craigslist.org for free
  • Tape a bag of microwaveable popcorn to a Redbox machine with a note saying “Enjoy some popcorn with your movie!”
  • Drop off a toy or game at a children’s hospital
  • Buy a lottery ticket and give it to a stranger
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Time is the Best Gift of All

Time is the best gift of all. When I was 21, my 16-year old brother and I were on our way to the gym when we decided to visit our deaf  grandparents. I asked them if they would like to go and exercise too.

Grandparents-Time-Best-Gift-of-All-gift-idea-sunburst-gifts

Walter & Julia Cleaver in the 1970s.

They had no workout clothes so when Granddaddy came out in Grandma’s baby blue shorts, sleeveless undershirt, black socks and black street shoes, my brother did not want to take them. When we arrived at the club, the walk from the parking lot was the longest walk ever for my humiliated brother.

Entering the gym, we had to fill out guest forms for them. Putting their birth dates of 1896 and 1902  raised eye-brows. We wanted to take our grandparents to the exercise room on our own, but the club insisted a trainer take them for their first visit. When the big, muscular trainer came in, he was shocked at the age of his clients – ages 77 and 71.

Grandma’s trainer soon had her doing sit-ups and leg lifts, riding a stationary bike, and relaxing in the sauna. We finally made it to the pool.

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