Gifts for Dad

Eleven more days until Father’s Day!  Who is easier to shop for than good old dad?

This post is chock full o’ links because I am spilling over with ideas for gifts for dad.

My dad is a grill master.  He loves to receive gifts like this  grill set, gloves for handling hot stuff, or Jim and Jack Together At Last.  If your family has a new bundle of joy any proud papa would love a father baby matching set.  Awww.

If your dad is a beer drinker he could probably use a bottle opener  , or maybe some helpful socks,  or a natural wood flight paddle.

What hobbies does your dad enjoy?  Does he like to play guitar? Maybe he would like a new guitar pick, or a key chain.  Every dad I know loves music and gadgets and would swoon over this little gift that covers both!

Or does your dad spend his spare time out hitting the links?  Why get him a magazine subscription when he could be practicing his game instead?

Uh oh –  Don’t get me started on dad jokes 😀 😀 😀

No matter what makes your dad tick.  I’m sure he is the

Best. Dad. Ever.

 

3 Terrific Gift Ideas

I want to share with you the gifts my children gave me for Mother’s Day because I think they are terrific ideas for birthdays, graduate, anniversary, or even bridal.

My oldest son lives in California and he and his fiance sent me the first two seasons of Pushing Daisies  and  The Big Book of Pies and Tarts.

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Pushing Daisies is new to me.  I’m part way through the first season and so far it’s meeting the description of quirky and fun.  I can’t wait to cook up some of the delicious recipes in the cookbook.

I think this could also make a great birthday, anniversary, or bridal gift.


My oldest daughter and my son-in-law live in Florida and they sent me a terrarium kit.

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My daughter recently joined a garden club and has been learning about succulents.  She knows I am interested in trying my green thumb on them too.

I think a terrarium would make a great gift for a birthday, anniversary, or the graduate going off to college.  A tiny little garden could give a touch of home to a dorm room or to anyone who occupies a small space.  Terrariums are a fun way to bring a little outdoor life to an office cubicle too.


My youngest daughter gave me a beautiful handmade card.  I love orange and pink together so this card is right up my alley.

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“Life comes with a mother, not a manual.  I think you are great at being the manual.”


These ideas can be used for a family member or friend that you know well, but they are also terrific birthday gift ideas for someone you aren’t as close to – like a neighbor or co-worker.

Here’s the video of me creating my terrarium.  Let me know how you think my terrarium turned out and I’d love for you to give me any tips you may have for keeping my little green friend alive.


Read our blog to find inspiration for gifts and life.

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Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

love makes all hearts magnet

I was listening to the radio on my drive to work yesterday.  The DJ was asking moms to call in and say what they wanted most for Mother’s Day.

Their answers? – The overwhelming response was SLEEP!

The moms that called in said they wanted to sleep through the night uninterrupted. They wanted to sleep in. They wanted a day without having to take care of everybody.  They wanted to be pampered.

If this sounds like a mom you know we’ve got some last minute gift ideas.

If she wants sleep why not give her pajamas or a fun sleep mask or some embroidered pillowcases?

If she doesn’t take time to pamper herself consider getting her a manicure or pedicure (or both!)  I don’t think I know any mom who wouldn’t appreciate this gift.

Here are some other great last minute gift ideas your mom or wife is sure to love:

A mug for her coffee or a new water bottle.

Bath salts, bath bombs, or lotion.

A picture frame with a funky flower.

A Journey of Grace angel.

A Willow Tree figure

A rose pin.

A flag for her garden.

A plant pick in a beautiful bouquet or pot.

A glitzy pen from Bauble Lulu.

Any soccer mom or baseball mom might like a new chair, spirit wear, a scorekeeper, or sunglasses.

Suzy Toronto coasters or prints.

Still not sure or need more ideas?

Check out our Mother’s Day  board on Pinterest.


Read The Real Truth About What Moms Want for some other simple ideas for Mother’s Day.


We’d love to hear what you are giving your mom this Mother’s Day?

Or tell us what was the best Mother’s Day gift you ever received?

The Real Truth About What Moms Want

Flowers are lovely.  Jewelry is exceptional.  Perfume is wonderful.  Chocolate is heaven.

But do you want to know the real truth about what moms want for Mother’s Day?

It’s something more valuable than all that.

Mom’s want your time and your love.  Period.

It’s that simple.

We know we are hard to deal with sometimes.

We know we aren’t perfect.

We know we don’t always deserve it, but we want to know that you love us anyways.

We want to spend an hour or two (or as many as we can get) looking at the beautiful faces we brought into the world.

So instead of giving mom a cut bouquet, what about spending some time planting flowers with her in the yard?

Take her to lunch, dinner, or a movie.  Or make her dinner and afterward chat on the patio or in the living room.

Make something together or take a class together and learn something new.

Take an hour out of your day and give her a ring on the telephone or Skype or FaceTime.

Go on a walk with her.


 

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Photo by Jon Flobrant.

For the mom of young children I’ve heard of people giving time a different way.  They give mom time to spend alone – a day off from the kids.  This is a great gift too.  Moms need time for themselves, but be careful with this one.   Mother’s Day may not be the day she would pick to spend away from the kids.

It would be nice to have Mother’s Day off from cooking and cleaning and all the other repetitive mom chores.  So consider that as an option for the day.

The real truth about what moms want for mother’s day is that this is one of those days where your presence is more important than presents.

Spoil her with your presence so that she can’t possibly doubt that you love her.Tweet: Spoil her with your presence so that she can't possibly doubt that you love https://ctt.ec/oBZIf+


What’s your favorite way to spend time with your mom?

Feature photo by   Alexander Dummer.

Weedis Victorious

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Comic Latin Plant Pick

If you live in Ohio I hope it is too early in the season for you to be putting this comic latin weedis victorious plant pick in your flower garden.  Beware.  It won’t be long before the weeds will be victorious if allowed.

Now is a good time to be putting down a pre-emergent in your flower beds. Tweet: Now is a good time to be putting down a pre-emergent in your flower beds. https://ctt.ec/dyeHO+

At our house we use Snapshot which contains the active ingredients isoxaben and trifluralin. Another popular pre-emergent is Preen which contains the active ingredient of trifluralin.

Generally speaking these products do not kill weeds.  They simply keep new weeds from sprouting.  Don’t use these products on areas seeded with flowers that have not yet germinated.  It can be used after flowering plants have germinated and are 2 – 3 inches tall.

Taking the time to put down a pre-emergent now will save you from having to waste time pulling weeds later.  Instead you’ll be able to spend more time enjoying your flowers.  These products are not labeled for use on all vegetables.  Be sure to check the label before applying to a vegetable garden.  Also, be sure to check the label to know when it is time for a reapplication.

When in doubt, check the label.  Check the label.  Check the label.  Chemicals can be a great help, but when used carelessly they don’t work properly, or worse, can be harmful.

If by chance weeds become victorious in your yard or garden you know where to find signage for them.  Or maybe you have something magnificent that this would be appropriate for.

comic latin magnificus
Comic Latin Outofcontrolus Magnificus

comic latin bugus
Comic Latin Bugus Devourous

comic latin rabbit
Comic Latin Rabbitas Nibbleum

comic latin plantus
Comic Latin Plantus Unknownus

Which one is your favorite?


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Favorite Valentine’s Day Gifts

Roses are red,

Violets are blue,

What gift is your favorite

to give your Valentine from you?

 

5 Incredible Gifts Your Valentine Will Absolutely Love

It’s no secret that I love Valentine’s Day.

Happiness is having someone to share your ups and downs  with.  Tweet: Happiness is having someone to share your ups and downs  with. https://ctt.ec/gkU8a+

Valentine’s Day is the perfect time to celebrate all the special people who bring love and happiness into your life.

I’ve got 5 incredible gifts your Valentines will absolutely love.  (Plus, I’ve got a little bonus material to share with you.)

1. Usually you can’t go wrong with classics like candy or flowers.  I’m a sucker for chocolate and roses never fail to delight me.  If you want to change it up a little bit surprise your valentine with a balloon bouquet instead.   If roses and balloons aren’t your style consider a cookie or fruit bouquet instead.

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Balloon Bouquet

2. Another idea is bubble bath, bath bomb, soaps, perfume, or cologne.  This can be a little more expensive and a little harder to choose for someone else.  I recommend sticking with something you already know your valentine likes.  If it’s for a child the risk is a lot less.  My kids are grown now, but they used to love to get some bubble bath or colored soap.

3. Write your valentine a love letter or give them a handmade card.  Maybe you could share all the secret reasons why you adore them.

4. Pajamas or slippers are a fun gift that my valentines love to receive.  You are sure to be in their dreams when they are nestled in bed all snug in the gift from you.

5. Give them a music CD:  A romantic collection of love songs.  Something fun to sing along with in the car.  Or maybe you are the type that likes to make a mix yourself and burn it to a CD.

Bonus Material:  On a personal note, this year I am ahead of the game with a gift for my husband.  No last minute shopping for me!  (This happens to be because I planned to give this to him for Christmas, but didn’t quite have my act together to get it done in time.   That’s another thing I love about Valentine’s Day – Any left over Christmas gift ideas that I couldn’t afford or didn’t have time to get can be given in February.)   My husband has a gold necklace that needed a new end cap so I took it to the jeweler and had it replaced.  I know he’ll be happy to have it wearable again.  It is kind of an interesting story how he got the necklace.   He is a golf pro and used to give lessons.  The wife of one of his clients gave her husband this beautiful gold chain as a gift on a special occasion.  The client then turned around and traded the necklace to my husband for a golf club! Boy did that client have some explaining to do when his wife found out.  That is my bonus material- A little free advice:  If your valentine gives you a gift please don’t trade it for a golf club.  It’s likely that wouldn’t go over well.

Have you ever received a Valentine’s Day gift that made your heart burst? We would love to hear about it in the comments below.


Read our blog to find inspiration for gifts and life.

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Header photo by Laura Ockel.

 

My Sweetie

It was love at first sight.  Ahh…  This story of romance reminds that shinier is not always better.  

It is up to me to choose to be grateful for what I have even if it is not perfect.  Tweet: It is up to me to choose to be grateful for what I have even if it is not perfect. https://ctt.ec/5GY0r+

This is a memory of one of my first loves.  I’ll share it here so that its memory will live on. I  first wrote it for a class assignment years ago.  Out of respect for that time in my life I’ll leave it unchanged.


A Sweet Camaro

When a light film of dirt settles on the dashboard I think, “Where did that dust come from? I just wiped the entire interior the day before yesterday.”  But as I grab a rag and the Armor All bottle, I feel a sense of warm pride inside as I gently wipe away the dust.  As my rag caresses the panel of buttons and knobs, I take a deep breath and feel the sweet, crisp, clean, scent tickle my nostrils.

Meanwhile, the headliner droops brushing my hair and face.  Somewhere deep inside I know this car is slightly beat.  I know the paint has chips and rust, and I know the sagging headliner is not the only flaw inside.  I hear the squeaks and groans of the door and seat springs.  I see the cracks in the dashboard and the holes in the apholstery.

But I see beyond that.

The dark navy paint shows you your reflection after a thorough wash and wax. As I place my rag aside, the black dashboard gleams.  The wire rim hubcaps shine, and the light blue pinstripes down the sides outline the sleek body.

When I walk toward my car in a parking lot, I do not turn my head to look after quieter, shinier, newer cars.  Instead I scan the lot and focus on the sweet Camaro that I bought with my own money, lock my eyes on it, and I think, “Oh baby, You’re mine.”

I can’t wait to slide into my own private sanctuary where everything feels good.

By the way that bucket seat cradles my body, it seems to be made for me alone.  The fresh polish leaves the vinyl slightly slippery, but in no way greasy, so that I can easily move around to make myself comfortable.  I can reach the glove compartment without difficulty to remove the vanilla air freshener which lightly mists the air leaving an almost sickeningly sweet perfume.

The radio plays familiar upbeat music with lyrics I know by heart.  The seatbelt fits in place perfectly, and even the shoulder strap refuses to annoy me.  As I drive along knowing exactly when to let up on the clutch as I deftly maneuver the stick shift into gear controlling the transmission which my father refers to as “a bear,” I smile.

I watch the sunlight sparkling off the new glass buildings I pass and glisten on the hood in front of me.

I listen to the engine running and feel it working through the slight vibrations under me.

I know that I am aware of how grateful I am to be here in this car, at this moment, content in my own solitude.


 

Since then I haven’t been romanced quite so beautifully by a car.  In fairness, as my life gets busier, I probably don’t romance my cars in the same way that I did my Camaro either.

But it goes to show that there can be romance in unpredictable places.  You just have to choose to look at life with a grateful spirit.

Do you have a Valentine in your life who is grateful for their car?  You could get them revved up with a simple gift for their car.

Holiday Gift Guide 2016

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There are only three more days until Christmas!!!

If you need to find any last-minute gifts or if you are just thinking about starting your shopping let us help you with our  Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 Holiday Gift Guide.

Sleep Masks 

Pillowcases

Favorite Drink

Books

Laughter

Aromatherapy

Hand Made Gift

Inspiration

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Make It With Your Own Hands

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Handmade Bookmarks

This week’s Wrap It Up Wednesday 2016 gift idea is a handmade gift.  Some people have the misconception that if they make something the gift won’t be as valuable because it doesn’t cost as much.  We find this can be so untrue!   Sometimes it is less expensive to do it yourself (DIY). Other times it is more expensive to gather all the supplies you need and make a gift yourself.  Not only that, but making the gift you are giving can be time consuming… and we all know time is money.  So please don’t think that just because you make something for someone that it won’t be valued.  Many people can appreciate the time and money spent on a handmade gift and will cherish and remember it even more.

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Handmade Disney Bookmarks

Today, however, we are picturing a gift that will likely only cost your time. This assumes that you already have some paper to use and something to draw and color with. Recently we had some fun making bookmarks for those people on our list who we are giving books to.  I admit this is just me scratching a personal itch.  Over the years it has become annoying to me how much bookmarks cost.  The same goes for greeting cards, but that will have to be another post for some other day.

Making a bookmark is just one example of a handmade gift that you could give someone for Christmas this year. Handmade jewelry like bracelets, necklaces, or earrings are some ideas you might think about giving this year.  Handmade wood items are also popular to make.  You could make a frame, bookends, or a piece of yard art.  Speaking of art, draw a picture and you can easily put it on a mug,  canvas, or mouse pad and give it as a gift.  Baked goods are another popular handmade gift that I’ve often received and enjoy.

I think handmade gifts are a great way to personalize a gift Tweet: Handmade gifts are a great way to personalize a gift.https://ctt.ec/jaUn1+ making it inspirational or perhaps funny.  I always appreciate and remember a personalized gift.  To me it shows that thought and love was put into the gift.

Maybe you don’t have a do it yourself bone in your body.  Maybe you think you don’t have an ounce of creative energy in you.  In this case (although I doubt it is true), I recommend doing a little shopping at local craft shows or perhaps take a look at Etsy.

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Here are some of my finds from doing a little bit of shopping at craft shows this year.  This is a pair of earrings I bought for $12.  One thing I like about them is that while I was browsing the woman who made them said, “Yes, I like to make things that are unusual.” This is a reminder to me that everyone has a different perspective.  To me there really isn’t anything terribly unusual about them.  I picked them out for the exact opposite reason.  I thought they looked like a neutral pair of earrings that I could wear with lots of different outfits. (Perhaps that was just part of her spiel and she says it no matter what a person picks up.)  Another one of my jewelry buys was this ring made from the handle of an old piece of flatware.

wp-1480958248800.jpgThis ring also has a little story to go with it.  I like it because it reminds me that I don’t have to get everything perfect on my first try.  Also, to me it is a whimsical piece that makes me smile.

I bought a flu bomb made from essential oils which ended up leading me to a Twelve Sprays of Christmas make and take party.  Earlier in the fall at another craft show, I bought a Frankenstein made from wood which went nicely with some wood pumpkins that I already had.

As you might guess the problem I have with being a vendor at a craft show is that I sometimes spend my earnings before I even get home.

Maybe you have a handmade gift that you love to give.

Or maybe you have received a handmade gift in that past that touched your heart.

Feel free to comment and tell us all about it.