Wednesday, November 5, 2008

It's Not Where You Go, It's Who You're With

In the search for my own "perfect" gifts for the holiday I've come across several excellent options that I'd love to share with you. My personal favorite however? That's easy, it's the special overnight stay.

That's right, pack you and your favorite person's bags, scoop up those pre-purchased tickets and travel to another "new and exciting" town where you both can take in a show then spend the night relaxing away from the stresses that tend to surround you at home.

Here's some ideal locations/activities to consider:

P.S. Go ahead, jump on those beds!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Shop Now, Save Later

Hi All! It's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog, but with the holiday season quickly approaching I thought it was high time I stop by and leave a nice little shopping tip to help you out with as you begin to hit the stores in search of bargains and other exciting discoveries.

Today's tip is focused on taking advantage of store's layaway programs. Many stores such as Walmart, Target and K-Mart offer you the convenience of putting your purchases on hold within the store for a small deposit fee. Then, over the next few weeks, you pay a set amount towards the overall purchase until the items are all paid off. At this point, you will then receive your deposit back.

If for some reason you find that you cannot keep up with your payment plan, the items will be returned to the floor for others to purchase and after a inconvenience fee (and/or the deposit) is taken out, you will receive back all of your payments you've thus far made in full.

Now every store's layout plans vary, so I warn you to check out the exact payment plans, deposit and any additional fees you may have to suffer before taking advantage of your store's layaway. However, with the economy struggling this season, it just might pay to take advantage of this shopping opportunity.

As an additional tip towards savings, consider shopping for bigger ticket items while they're being offered at special sale prices. You then have the opportunity to put them away on hold for a lower price then you might get if you wait till the last minute to make your purchase.

Happy shopping!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Reading Themed Gift Basket

As a devoted patron of Barnes and Nobles, Borders and a slew of other book stores, it's my civic duty to promote literacy within the gift-giving community.

Almost every family has a book worm living amongst them, if not several dozen. For those loved ones who almost always seem to have their nose stuck in the pages of a book, consider the follow gift-giving idea.

Reading Themed Gift Basket

  • A copy of the book you recommend the most
  • A copy of a book that the receiver will easily relate to and most likely enjoy
  • Generous gift card to the receiver's favorite book store
  • Coffee-on-the-go mug
  • Hot chocolate and/or coffee packets
  • Gummy worms with a sweet note of theme-explanation included

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Create Something New Out of Something Old

Looking for some gift-giving inspiration I turned to my Plurk friends for a few innovative ideas. Asking for plurker's "favorite gifts received" I was sent several awesome ideas. I'd like to share one with you today that came from PritchardDesign.

Pritchard was once given earrings made out of her grandfather's cuff links from her mother. This is such a nice way to pass along not just a personal item from her family's past, but also a memory keeper. I bet that every time she puts those earrings on she gives a second's pause to her grandfather's memory.

I just love this idea. I also love how it can be used in other way if you'd like. For instance I've noticed in a few wedding magazines the idea of turning a relatives favorite necklace gem as a bouquet ornament in order to honor them in the bride's own special way.

Have you every received or given anything that was created from something meaningful and older?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Creating Something Yummy

To carry on the wedding theme I seem to have going on here from my last post, I have a fantastic idea for a wedding gift that both Bride and Groom will enjoy! Wish I could take credit for this, but to be honest, I know I read it somewhere quite a while ago, for the life of me though I'm nor sure where at. (If you come across that mysterious article, definitely let me know and I'll credit it here.)

In any case, if you're in a slump about what to purchase the newlyweds and are looking for something unique I suggest the following:

Consider buying a homemade ice cream maker. An ice cream maker will allow the two to come together to do something fun. It's a gift that can work for just the pair, as well as any future family members they may be planning to have. You're sure to be the only one who thought to buy them the gift, which is always a bonus in a world full of duplicate wedding gifts. Also, in the ice bucket you can take it a step further and throw in a few sundae toppings, or even a movie that the couple can watch while enjoying their yummy treat.

Of course, I always recommend that you start with the registry list first if one is available, but if you're looking for a little something unique and memorable that will stand out amidst the towels and cooking utensils I definitely recommend this "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream" gift.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Wedding Favors Everyone Can Enjoy

It's standard practice at weddings for the Bride and Groom to send each guest home with a little something to remember the day by.

These wedding favors can range from the expensive mini-bottle of champagne to less expensive items like water bottles (great for an outdoor wedding). There are a number of great choices to pick from, however, I've found that what a lot of couples are searching for is something unique.

Instead of just weddings themed gifts (think covered in doves, linked rings, or pictures of bells), couples are taking the personalization one step further. Their gifts are reflecting the wedding's theme colors, the couple's personalities or even the location of the wedding itself (ex. flip flops for a beach wedding).

If you're into going green, then there are a variety of options. I suggest you start here. My favorite eco-friendly favor idea is the plantable seed flower card. These come in a variety of colors, shapes and can be personalized with the couple's name and wedding date/location.

Of course there's always the growing in popularity idea of making your wedding favor a donation to your favorite charity. Nothing shows off a caring personality more than helping your guests to give a gift to others.

After pondering a variety of excellent idea, my fiance and I came up with something that would mean a lot to his family. There's nothing wrong with that.

We opted to spend a day or two hard at work in his grandmother's kitchen baking up her famous "galaxy" cookies. These cookies have come to be a much anticipated staple at every big family gathering on his side.

For both of us the best part of this gift idea, isn't just being able to please his family and provide something tasty to each guest, it's also the opportunity to spend some quality time with his grandmother doing something she truly enjoys... baking.

If I'm lucky, maybe we can even include a few of those homemade chocolates that I so adore of hers ;).

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Garmin: Getting Me Where I Want to Go

Normally I'm kind of a dud when it comes to new electronics. OK, any electronics. It's not that I don't want to buy them. If I had loads of cash I totally would. I just have a hard time justifying their purpose. In my mind these types of things go out of date so quickly, that, well, why bother?

That was my thought until I met Gertie—my GPS system. (She speaks so I named her... don't judge ;).

With my frequent cross-state travels my parents both thought it would be a worthwhile purchase to buy me a Garmin GPS system in order to get me where I need to go without a massive folding map and/or cell phone constantly at my ear. At the end of the day I'm not that awesome of a driver and this GPS system may just have saved my life already, if not saved me from getting lost multiple times. (I never could fold those darn maps.)

In any case, if you too have a habit of getting lost, awkwardly missing turns, and/or travel to new places frequently, then I would definitely suggest buying one of these bad boys.

Bonus: They have a wide price range and can be quite affordable.