Saturday, February 8, 2014

The Art of Gifting

I love gift giving! I love finding the right gift for the right person. If I could I would spend all my money on buying gifts for other people! That's not an option on my budget and I bet that's the case for most people. But it's not necessary to have an unlimited budget to be able to give great gifts.

Here's some things to think through when deciding what to get someone...
1. Who is the gift for?
2. What are you celebrating for that person?
3. What is your budget?
4. What is your timeline to give gift?

A gift to someone else is just that for someone else and not for you. Picking out the gift should not be about you. Think about the person, their tastes, their style, etc. It's okay if it's not what you would want. This is not always easy to do. Even if it's hard, it'll be worth it when they love their gift. 

There are so many reasons to give a gift. It can get overwhelming. Not all reasons really require a gift, some cases a sweet heartfelt handwritten note is all you need. Determine for yourself what events and for who you are going to do a gift.
Know your budget. This will help you adjust your expectations and not break the bank. Look over the upcoming month and make a list of any gifts that you need. This will help with timelines.
If you have to get a gift for a party that is starting in an hour, you're are less likely to be doing a homemade/crafty gift. Give yourself time. When you are rushing to get a gift, you spend less time thinking about the person and more about what can you get in the amount of time you have left.
Gift giving doesn't have to be a chore. It doesn't have to take much time. It doesn't have to take a lot of money. Have fun with gift giving. Be creative.

Let's face it, gift cards are a blessing and a curse. No, giving a gift card is not a bad thing...especially if that's what they want. Make sure the gift card is to somewhere they like and you can pair something small with a gift card that makes it a little more personal.

Some of gifts that I have given....
1.) Lingerie Shower - Can of Reddi Wip. Yep, that's right. Actually, to confess, I've done this twice now. Here's the kicker...It's $2, but the laughs and blushing that it causes is great for the right crowd.
2.) Housewarming - KY Bourbon and set of Whiskey Glasses. Why? Because I was bringing a little bit of what was their home (KY) to their new home.
3.) Christmas and Birth of baby - Personalized books. I See Me has fabulous selection of books that you can personalize with children's names and you can even include a special message. It's the gift that grows with them. I paired one of these books with a card to the baby.
4.) Moving Away - Dunkin Donuts Nashville skyline coffee mug. I'm the one that loves Dunkin, but I wanted them to remember me and Nashville every time they used it. Then a few months later, I sent a Nashville themed postcard. If they aren't living where you are anymore, you can always send a little of "here" to "there."
5.) Housewarming - Personalized Canvas. Using their art, put on canvas to display as art in their new home.
6.) Shooting Range gift certificate and ammo. Did you know that you can't buy ammo after a certain time of the evening? I now know. Ha!

Notice the difference in costs of gifts...starting at $2. It doesn't take much, just some creativity and knowing the person you're giving it to.
Here are some gifts that I've received that I have absolutely loved (in no particular order)...
1.) Birthday - Donation in my name to a non-profit. Every dollar given to a non-profit helps. Picking a non-profit that is close to my heart, even more special!
2.) Christmas - A Louis Vuitton purse. I may have drooled over a couple, but I have never asked for one. Never did I think I would get one as a gift. And there were no subtle messages was their own idea...extra swoon!
3.) For helping out - Tickets to a Jets vs Titans game. I'm love Football and a Jets fan from a young age. The Jets playing in Nashville made it a perfect opportunity to make me jump for joy when handed tickets.
4.) Birthday - Picture frame with a picture. Picture of a group of friends that I love dearly is priceless.  It is displayed right next to my bed for a few years now.
5.) Christmas - Advent Calender...yep, that's right...that's technically 25 gifts. I love Christmas...celebrating it every day in December up through Christmas day...yes, please!

Each of these gifts range in cost but each melted my heart equally. Why? Because they took me into consideration. They each knew something about me. They took time...even if it was a few minutes...they took time to think through what I would want. Even typing those out my heart swelled with joy! It was the thought!

Be the best gift giver you can be. You may find it brings you even more joy than just giving another gift.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Pepe Le Pew

I've been a little neglectful of my blog here recently. I've had to shift a few priorities over the past month for work, but it looks like I'm back into my routine.

I had the privilege of hanging out with two very cool dudes while their parents were away working for 9 days. It was an absolute blast. The boys are 8 and 10 and very well-behaved. They made me laugh all day! I tried to keep the boys' schedule full so that it would lessen the amount of time for them to realize that their parents were away. Treasure Hunts, Scavenger Hunts, sleep overs, play dates, school, basketball....FULL! It was great!

On the last day though...there was a little curve ball thrown. The boys spent the night at the neighbors on Saturday night...a treat for the boys and for me.  At 6am on Sunday I woke up to use the restroom. I jumped right back into bed to see if I could take advantage of another hour of rest before getting ready. It looked like it was going to work...until...6:30am came...when I was awakened by the not-so-pleasant smell of none other than...skunk.

It was breathtakingly pungent. Everything in me wanted to just get out into fresh air...even if it was 27'F outside. A skunk had made it's home in the AC/Heating unit that night and felt the need to spray his perfume. The house was covered. I was saturated. My belongings were drenched. All in the aroma of skunk! The boys were champs through it. We went to church....yep, smelling like skunk. They went to a friend's house after church while I went to the store. I bought Baking Soda and Febreeze...lots of it. When I got back I opened the doors to the outside and shut off the vents. Thankfully it turned out to be a gorgeous day in the 50's. I put on the diffuser with Peppermint oil. I mixed Baking Soda with Peppermint oil and coated all carpeted areas with that mixture. I did all that I knew to do to absorb the stench.

We took the smell with us wherever we went, including the airport when we picked up the parents. And it was the first thing my mom noticed when I walked into my parents house. My mom was such a gem to help me out...she will be getting some extra jewels in her crown for her help. She started washing all my clothes...we added a couple drop of Lavender oil to each load of wash. I went to soak in an Epsom Salt with Lavender oil bath to detox my skin and replace any scent that was lingering on me. Extra drops of Lavender oil went into my shampoo. Phew! I was beginning to smell like myself (or better) again. Some items (mainly plastic items) didn't make it. They were immediately thrown away. Some items are still airing out outside...a week later!

The whole week I have laughed and cringed. The mere whiff of skunk...even on the side of the road makes me want to gag a little. But overall I am reminded that it's just stuff that I'm fortunate to have. All of it is replaceable in time. I'm thankful that I'm blessed. I'm blessed because I have so much. I am blessed because I had people to help me deskunkify. I am blessed because I had essential oils to help me restore what I could. I am blessed because I get to laugh about it. I am so thankful. I am choosing to forgive that skunk. LOL! But seriously! Haha!

Guess what is my next essential oil purchase? It will most definitely be Purify. It's a cleansing blend that eliminates odors and cleanses. You can read more about it here. Wish I had this last week, but now will be prepared in case for all of life's smells. If you ever get skunkified...let me know...I now have some experience.