Birthday Gift Ideas

Someone buy these things for me okay? \\  www.cupcakesandcutlery.comMy birthday is this weekend!!  Yeah!!  I have no real plans at this point aside from a date night with my hubby.  This year doesn’t feel like it requires a crazy big celebration.  It does however, require a pedicure.  Here are some birthday gift ideas you all can buy for me.

Birthday Gift Ideas

A clutch that screams my name  .  a new sunbrella to keep me shady   .  cool shoes for my feet  .  this super fun picnic  basket/box  .  it’s time to start working on my summer wardrobe and this dress should be part of that  .  and this dress – I wear the heck out my other Novella Royale pieces and I love this print  .  and this fantastic gold tray wants to be in my house.

(You may notice that the link for the shoes is different from the shoe shown.  My husband explained that they change out their selection frequently.  And I’m too lazy to redo my collage.  And in fact I like the shoes in the link even better.)

See last year’s birthday post here.  It’s insightful.  I promise.

Great Kids Book About Abe Lincoln by Brad Meltzer

A fantastic book about Abe Lincoln written for kids by Brad MeltzerHappy Birthday, presidents!  Your kids are probably home today.  Your husband may even be home.  Because some pretty cool men were born a long time ago.  I really like presidents.  I’m not 100% sure why.  I think it might have something to do with the fact that it the most pomp and circumstance our country has.  I also think it is super interesting that people get so crazy about politics and certain presidents in particular.  Presidents are human beings, who make mistakes just like us.  They have families and friends and hobbies and interests.  And some are known for doing GREAT things.  Abraham Lincoln and George Washington are two of my faves.  That Lincoln was a stylish figure and George had curls for days.  I will generally stop to check out anything presidential themed.  So color me happy when I spied this ‘I am Abraham Lincoln‘ book at Target.  The moment I spotted the book I thought about not really knowing why I like Abraham Lincoln so much and I wondered what they say about him to the kids at school.  But I digress.  This book is freaking amazing. You MUST get it for your kids.

slavery is dumb.  thank goodness for abe lincoln.First off, Brad Meltzer is a legit writer.  But from the day his son was born, he knew that he wanted to share people he considered heroes with him at an early age.  Read more about his “Heroes for my Son” book here.  I believe this book was born out of that. These books show these important historical figures as young people not when they were famous.  This really helps the kid to connect with the amazing characteristics these exceptional people possessed.  The focus is also on ordinary people changing the world.  YES!  Let’s get our kids to know that they can make a difference!  The drawings are great, the writing is great and Abe Lincoln was great.  I read the book, standing in Target and knew I had to bring it home for my boys to read.  Abe truly stood up for what he believed in and stood out for fighting for the rights of others.  This book discusses that and shows great character.  All written in a way that children can easily understand.  And if they can’t, it is a great starting point for a family discussion.

Happy birthday Abe Lincoln.  And thank you! This book makes me so happy.  And we’ve read it several nights.  I am so glad I feel like I know a little bit more about this fine president.

other great kids books by brad meltzer about heroes.Turns out Brad Meltzer has written a few other books that I am sure are equally amazing.  I would love to pick these up as well.  Have you run across these?  I encourage you to pick these up and even think of donating these to your school library.  They are absolutely fantastic.

You can order the book here

How to Buy Last Minute Gifts for Your Wife or Girlfriend

how to buy last minute gifts for your wife or girlfriend.  Ladies - forward this to every man you know. Ladies.  We are just 2 days away from Valentine’s Day.  It’s crunch time for the men in your life.  Forward this to any man you know who could use some tips for shopping for their significant others.  And feel free to add your own tips in the comment section.  Let’s help husbands and boyfriends give better gifts!  (Really this post is just suggesting they put some thought and a little effort).

Hello, men

Valentine’s Day is in two days.  Do you know how you will celebrate it with your wife or girlfriend?  P.S. bookmark this site for future occasions (Do you even know when your anniversary is?  Her birthday?  The first time you held hands?  HOT TIP:  you will get even more brownie points for doing any one of these things for no reason at all.

First off, use your noodle.  You need to think for a moment about how your woman is.  Would she scoff at, what some might consider to be, smaller gifts, then this post is not for you.  Grab your wallet and head to your nearest luxury department store.  Buy a $400 pair of sunglasses, have them wrap them up for you and you are set.  But if your gal likes you to put a little bit of thought in to the gift, read on.

champagne and leopard is always a winning combo.  Add one little extra touch to make a so so gift, great.My husband and I decided early on in our marriage that the only real gifts that we would buy for each other, each year, would be birthday and Christmas.  We will potentially enjoy a nice meal out for our anniversary but we feel we have a lot of nice things already and don’t need any more stuff.  Depending on how your significant other is, choose one or more of these items to gift her.

If your gal likes to have a cocktail, grab a bottle of bubbly, something that most people do not splurge on or buy for themselves.  The Veuve is a nice, recognizable bottle and crowd (in this case, your lady friend) pleaser.  In my opinion, it is far better to purchase gifts that fit in to your price range than just trying to impress someone (who knows how much you really make).  So if you can’t swing the $40 bottle, look for the La Marca.  It is an Italian prosecco, $12-$14, and tastes delicious.  But how much effort does grabbing a bottle of alcohol really take?  Consider adding on an auxiliary gift.  The auxiliary gift can be inexpensive but should be something that either goes with the drink you are giving or be something that the gal would love.  These leopard print coasters actually came from the Dollar Tree.  Remove all packaging and tie up with string.  Simple.

Stance socks are super fun and a great quick gift idea for your lady friendSocks?!  You say.  Yes, socks.  Browse the internet for a humorous saying to go on the gift tag or use the old stand by, “cold feet, warm heart” or say something about snuggling.  While socks are a practical item, there are some really fun, design forward pairs out there.  You can’t go wrong with Stance socks.  You can find these at most of your local skate or surf shops including the larger chains like Zumiez.  Look for pairs that remind you of her.  Pick a flower from the garden to give along with one -3 pairs of socks and get ready for a hug.

jazz up store bought flowers for your sweetieStore bought flowers are totally ok.  This particular bouquet came from Wal-Mart.  But she doesn’t have to know that.  Most women like their men to put in a little bit of effort to make them feel special.  This was seriously the tiniest bit of effort.  First, remove the store-bought wrapping.  Then cut part of  a paper grocery sack, wrap it around the stem and wind some pink nylon string (found at both Home Depot and Lowe’s) around it.  How easy is that?

fill her favorite candy in a cute box.  Show a little tiny bit of effort.Does your gal have a sweet tooth?  Chances are you know a few of her favorite candies.  This box was from the Target dollar bin. All you have to do is repackage things to make them look like you spent time on it, even if you really didn’t.  She likes something salty instead?  Take a moment to look around for a larger divided container (perhaps in the home decor or kitchen areas – even a divided dish would work) and fill with savory snacks.  Add a note that says something about her being sweet and you are totally getting lucky tonight.

A gal loves a pedicure, so give her some cash and send her to pamper herselfThis one is especially great for women with children.  Sometimes the best gift for a mom is getting some time by herself.  It might seem tacky to just hand her some cash but hear me out.  Most women love to get pedicures.  And there are little nail places all around town.  Chances are, she has a favorite.  She may have even mentioned it to you before.  But wait, was it Lucky Nail, Nail Lucky, Happy Nails…the chances of you getting that one wrong are high.  Tell her that you know how much she does for the family and that you want her to go pamper herself.  The fact that you be taking care of the kids and planned this out will show her that you care and she will be beyond excited.  And she will have the choice of where to go.  Nail places are not created equal.  Are you seeing some gifts or combos of gifts that might work for the lady in your life?

Have your significant other set up a 'wishlist' on pinterest for easy gift buyingThis last suggestion is not something for last-minute purchases but will surely help you on your gift giving journey.  Suggest that your gal pal make a “wish list” board on her pinterest.  You can look at this like a personal gift registry.  You can ask her to begin pinning things that she would like to get as gifts from you or even others.  Then whenever you need to, you can check out her list and potentially buy them straight from the link.  What is also cool about this is that it still leaves a little bit of the surprise factor for her when opening gifts.  Do you see that, up there?  I have 40 things on my wish list so I would never be able to guess what things I might get.  I’m sure she will happily show you how to navigate to that board (but you really should bookmark it or save it as your home page).

I hope this has helped you learn how to give gifts to your significant other.  All we really want is a little thought and effort to know that you care.

*Ladies, feel free to leave other suggestions in the comments section!

 

Easy Gift Giving with Store Bought Treats

*This post is sponsored by Rich’s Products as part of the Bakery Because “Give the gift of deliciousness” campaign.
Easy gift giving with store bought treatsIf you know me well, you know that I over think everything.  Often, I get an idea and it spirals out of control until it is so big, and such a production that I don’t have the energy to do it anymore.  But if I can get out of my own head, I can simplify things and not lose the intention behind it.  Take for instance, sweet treats.  I love sugar.  And most other people do too.  But I don’t need to spend days baking special treats to show someone my appreciation or love.  Store bought treats are there for me, ready to use.  While they might be a little plain for my liking, all it takes is a moment to jazz them up and put a little “me” in it.

cinnamon-rolls-and-sugar-cookiesYour local grocery store’s bakery section is an untapped resource.  For real.  Mine has a crazy amount of baked goods, decorated cakes, cookies, and even accessories (the coolest candles and sprinkles!)  So why not embrace it and take some of the stress off of yourself.  And guess what else?  These things taste amazing!

use duct tape and cardstock to create cookie pouchesI decided to pick up some goodies and give them a little repacking makeover.  All I needed was some cardstock and Duck tape to get me started.  Super easy.

store bought cookies are perfect for gifting to othersThese little cookie pouches were really quick to make and I LOVE how they look!  Who wouldn’t want to get a bright pink cookie package?

Repackage store bought treats to share the love easilyI used plain cookies and then picked up other supplies at the store to create individual cookie decorating gifts.  For no other reason than to make someone’s day.  But of course these would work as Valentine’s too.  But guess what?  The store also has frosted cookies!  Instead of these kits, you could just pop the pre-decorated cookies in clear cello bags – letting their cuteness show through.  Even easier.

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#UnwrapWonder Holiday Shopping Event at C. Wonder

*This post is sponsored by C. Wonder and Mom Trends.  I was part of a nationwide campaign to provide holiday cheer and gift ideas along with other great bloggers at my local C. Wonder store.  All opinions are my own.

c-wonder-store-fashion-islandLate last week I got the opportunity to host a really fun holiday shopping party at the C. Wonder store in Fashion Island.  C. Wonder is a small chain that combines outstanding quality with value in a super inspiring space.  It is a specialty retailer with a well curated collection of brightly colored and patterned clothes, housewares etc. with a preppy vibe and a bit of an edge.  The perfect combo in my opinion.  It is an amazing wonderland for people who love to shop.  It has clothes, shoes, jewelry, home goods, gifts, stuff for your dog, a monogram shop and more!  I had been in the store before so I knew that my friends and readers would really enjoy it too.

Bear-banks-at-c-wonderThey asked me to put together my list of favorite gift items and then during the party had a table displaying some of those items for shoppers to take inspiration from.  I died over those gold teddy bear banks!  So cute!  And those little pink boxes next to them were 3 pairs of stud earrings in fun shapes.  But as the party went on, and I had the chance to browse the store with my guests, I found SO many more things that I wanted to add to my table.

Christmas-Tree-at-C-WonderTo start, the stores are bright and cheerful and, right now, decorated for Christmas.  This store nails it with their mix of bold patterns and graphic elements.  It is inviting and cool all at the same time.

sweet-treatsThe C. Wonder staff set out sweet treats to keep the shopper’s energy up.  I think you know how I feel about sweets so this delighted me to no end.  The kids who came through were especially interested in these treats.

c-wonder-with-party-guestHow fun is my blouse?!  I was so excited when the store asked me to wear one of their silk blouses for the party.  And since I have never met an animal print I didn’t like, I had to go with this one.  My wardrobe has been lacking in the color department so this turquoise just had to come home with me.  It was a hard decision as all of the blouses were gorgeous in really fun patterns.  Some great friends came out to support me and explore the store and it was a super fun night.

bracelets-at-c-wonderThe jewelry!  You have to go in and check out their jewelry displays.  Amazing bracelets, chunky jeweled necklaces, great cocktail rings, initial cuff bracelets!  So many amazing pieces.  And there is a great range of price points so you can find things for yourself or many others on your gift list.  Check out what Dinah picked up for herself.

Christmas-decor-at-c-wonderAlong with all the great everyday lifestyle items the store carries, they also have seasonal decor right now.  Their ornament selection is glitzy and fun and would add a ton of pizzazz to any tree.  The holiday items would make great gifts.  They also had gift kits, like the hot chocolate kits I meant to pick up as teacher presents.  But in all the fun, I forgot!  Looks like I’ll be making another trip to C. Wonder.

ram-purse-from-c-wonderThe big winner of the night seemed to be this ram.  It could be found on these cross body bags or a smaller clutch (one went home with Lauren) and they were a favorite among most of the shoppers.  I have it on good authority that this is going to be under my Christmas tree…

kristin-taking-picture-of-jewelryKristin took it upon herself to make sure that my husband knew what my favorite things were.  Here she is taking a picture of a necklace that I liked so she could send it to him.  Now THAT is a good friend.

delovely-from-c-wonderAnd aside from doing a little holiday shopping, it was super fun to meet a few people in person that I hadn’t had the chance to meet yet like Raquel or Nicole (pictured here with me and Kristin, photo courtesy of Nicole).  I was so into mingling that I forgot to stop and take pictures of people enjoying the party!  You can see what happened at all the parties by searching the hashtag #unwrapwonder.

The best part of the event was that the store agreed to donate 10% of sales during my event to Operation Shower!  How cool is that!

If you haven’t been to the store, check here to see where the closest one is to you.  But you can also always shop online.

Here are links to my top gift picks from the store:  Sparkler Bling Necklace, Phrase Cheese Board, Animal Dessert Plate, Leather Studded Card Case, Cashmere Heart Gloves, Small Camo Printed Travel Case, Monogram Jewelry Box

C. Wonder Fashion Island

347 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA  92660

(949) 644-4376

A huge thank you goes out to Mom Trends and C. Wonder for a fantastic event and to all those who came out to share in a little holiday celebrating and shopping!