Friday, August 29, 2008

Time keeps on slipping slipping slipping.....

I need to get some things done this morning before an appointment. So, I'm giving everyone the gift of time today so we can all get this long weekend started as soon as possible. Have a weekend worth remembering.

photo credit

photo credit

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Don't hate me. I don't like sunflowers. There I said it. I know so many people love them. They are big and cheery....what's not cheery about yellow....but, to me they are just a big weed. Too many summers pulling them out of the crop fields in Iowa where they didn't belong, I guess.

photo credit

Flowers have and will always be a staple gift. They mark the day or occasion in a way that says, "I was thinking of you." However, it doesn't take much added effort to putting some thought into just what kind of flowers to give. There are all kinds of websites on the different meanings of types of Sometimes it's as simple as selecting a flower you know they had at their wedding. Whatever flowers you choose, let them know why on the tag. Just like everything else, let the flowers tell a story. Extra thought goes a long way.

photo credit

I do happen to love lilies. Not hard to figure out since my daughter is Lily. What kind do you love....or much?

*Floriography - the language of flowers.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Pencil me in...

These have probably been all over the blogosphere already, but I have to tell you about them just in case you haven't seen them before. They are pencils....that's right...pencils. It is a graphite writing tool (pencil) that is cleverly disguised as art. The San Francisco sculptor signs and dates each piece. The molded graphite is smudge proof and will last for years and years. Not only is the artist committed to making art from materials that are part of your daily life, but he designs each piece with the history of its origin in mind.
I think if you were trying to land a big client or get an all important appointment, you could send them one of these and ask them to "pencil you in". Maybe a little corny, but effective. Besides, who wouldn't love to have one of these on their desk?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No More Wire Hangers

I've been thinking a lot lately about how a home should be practical and beautiful. It should function in a streamlined way, but be an expression of the people who live there. It should be warm, but yet free of excess. Since a home should be a personal reflection of who lives there, a thoughtful housewarming gift should meet the practical and beautiful criteria. Have you ever thought of giving wooden hangers to a new homeowner? That is a gift you know they would put to use and have for years. Definitely meets the practical. Imagine stepping into your closet and seeing everything on wooden hangers......definitely meets the beautiful.

Besides who wouldn't want to move from this.....

to this?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Gift of Gab

After a weekend of my kids accidentally raising their hands to speak, (you have to love school) I thought of this quote. This quote that is said so often in my house that if I had a nickel for all the times I said it, well.......let's just say, I would have a lot of nickels.

Write the quote on the gift tag along with, "Here's something I like to listen to" and give anything from an ipod to a favorite CD or two. It could even be tickets to a concert.

Have an abundantly productive Monday!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pez...cherry doubt about it

A friend is having a birthday and you want to make sure the day doesn't go by unrecognized. What do you do? Why not fill a container with nostalgic candy? Remember these?
Pick out your childhood favorites here and fill a container. I always think it is important to give something that lasts. When the candy is gone, they will have the container to make the lasting impression. You could fill it with all different kinds or just one if you know they had a clear favorite. If I was doing this for either of my brothers, it would be filled with pez containers and pez doubt about it. Unclear what to put them in? Have a look here if you need some help.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Okay, BIG BIG for us! We have been working towards wholesaling some of the items that are exclusive to us and the first one is ready! Here is the announcement as it will be sent out.

It doesn't always take a pea to recognize a real princess. A true princess only needs her crown to set the magic in motion. Use every birthday and it won't even take a magical mirror to recognize who is fairest of all. Each crown is as unique as your princess. Handcrafted in the USA.

We really are hand selecting stores. As retailers, we know that it's important not to sell to everyone in an area. Actually, if any of you know of a store you think our crowns would be magical in, please let me know. As you can tell, we are very excited about this!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

That's Mine!

I was going to post about these yesterday to compliment Monday's gift of gab, but was unfortunately distracted. When giving books as a gift, I am a firm believer in signing the inside to mark the occasion. I also think you can take it a step further by adding a bookplate. You can download and print them here at no charge (as long as you don't use them commercially). However, I know there are a lot of very creative artists out there......yes, you know who you are.....who could custom design bookplates to go along with their gift of books. Wouldn't that be a nice touch? This idea is not limited to children's books.
Here's a couple that I thought were cute.
I love how this girl is saying, "That's my book....back off!"

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh, Fay you shouldn't have...

No really, you shouldn't have!

You gift us by:
1. Keeping us cooped up inside
2. Cancelling school (on day 2!)
3. Bringing annoying winds, rain, and tornadoes
But, worse than that....because we can take it.....we've seen much worse make it so we have to stay off the computer to preserve battery and stay clear of lightning. How annoying you you shouldn't really shouldn't have!

Monday, August 18, 2008

The Gift of Gab

Here it is Monday again already which means it is time for the gift of gab. Every Monday we feature a quote and then pair a gift with the quote. Inspiration for gifts can come from anywhere...quotes are just one of many ways to get inspired.

If I would have left off the author in that quote, everyone would have still known it was Dr. Seuss. His ability to create words and use his imagination in ways that no one can match has made me a life long fan. Dr. Seuss books are a great baby gift or even a young birthday gift. Tie a group of them together and put the quote on the tag. Be sure to sign the inside of the books and date them. You will have just given endless hours of entertainment.

Update: Welcome all Dr. Seuss lovers. Go here for a fun green eggs and ham post.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What'd you get?

I like to ask people about their favorite gifts. So today I'm going to start a new game that we can play from time to time called "what'd you get". Here's the rules......there are no rules. Just tell me about a gift you received that pops right into your mind as being a favorite. It might be something that cost nothing that had incredible meaning or something that you know set the other person back a bit. Whatever it is, I just want to know why it was thoughtful and meaningful to you. So here goes...what'd you get?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Kiss Me

It probably won't come as a shock to any of you, but I love clever product packaging. If the packaging is good enough, it's actually one of the times I think a present can go without being gift wrapped. Take for example these chocolates. Frankly, you can never go wrong with good chocolates as a gift, but these by Hagensborg take clever up a notch. If you haven't seen these before, be sure to check out their's worth a look. Tie a red ribbon around the box and tell that someone thanks for being your fairy tale ending. Sometimes it's the unexpected gifts that get remembered the most!

Have a Ball

Made popular in the 1950's, the original surprize balls are back with this handmade version. This is the ball you have to "destroy to enjoy". Unwind to discover keepsakes, fortunes, and prizes. Another "layer" to making any party special. Put one on each person's place setting to use as place cards or get one and pass it around the table. They are perfect for all kinds of parties. Going to dinner to celebrate an "older" birthday....bring one of these to have fun with as you wait for your food to arrive.

The photos show just a couple of ways to use them. These are a favorite because they are so versatile with endless possibilities. The balls can be decorated for any occasion or theme. Add the words, "have a ball" and you can say just about anything. Have a ball with your new baby. Have a ball with your new job. Have a ball in retirement. It's your birthday, have a ball.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

It's all clear

When you're unclear what to give someone, your answer might just be right there in front of you....something clear. Glass pieces offer clean design and maybe more importantly, versatility. Simple and clean will end up being a piece they have long after trends and styles have changed. If you want to up the presentation, fill it with something.

available here

available here

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Gift of Gab

Today's Gift of Gab is in honor of school starting one week from today. Did you hear that? Listen carefully.......screams of horror and sighs of relief simultaneously happening in homes everywhere!

Are you going to have trouble adjusting to getting up and out early again? This alarm clock will end all that! Clocky is the alarm clock that "flies" off your nightstand and runs away and hides when you don't wake up. When the alarm sounds, Clocky will start beeping. You can snooze once for your chosen number of snooze minutes, but then if you don't get up, it will start beeping again and run away. If 0 minutes was chosen as your snooze minutes, Clocky will run away as the alarm sounds. He starts by moving off of your nightstand and onto the floor and keeps moving in different directions making different sounds until you get up out of bed to shut him off.

Friday, August 8, 2008

have a great weekend

I'll be back on Monday with a new Gift of Gab. Today I am off and running. I'm setting up a luncheon for 35 people at MacArthur Beach State Park to honor one of their volunteers.

photo credit

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I am stuck on band aid....

She gets it! Yea! It really is a cheap thrill for me when my kids say something that makes me know they understand gifts. While putting a band aid on my daughter's knee (AGAIN!) she says, "If I had a friend who got hurt, I would write cute little things right on the band aids to make them feel better. Then I would give them a box of personalized band aids."

Okay, I just might have to use that!

Crunch time

Now and then you have people who have worked so hard for you that it just shouldn't go unmentioned. We all have times when work is full of stress and deadlines. When that happens and your employees step up, be sure they know how much their dedication is appreciated. Just acknowledging their work goes a long way for employee moral. Okay, so what do you do.....depends on the situation. If you really just want to say thanks, you can do it in a silly way. Why not a big bag of chips for everyone with a note attached that says, "Thanks for being there at crunch time."

A couple of my favorites.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Addict or Fanatic?

I am a coffee addict....well, let's say fanatic since that sounds better...even though, addict is probably more appropriate. After doing some serious blame-storming, I've decided that it is my Grandpa's fault. He was a mailman in rural Iowa. I used to go with him now and then on Saturday mornings to deliver the mail. (Boy, do I have stories about that, but that's for another time) He always kept his glove compartment full of Brach's coffee candy. I loved those candies. I must of gotten hooked on that flavor because to this day I love coffee flavored anything. There is nothing like a good cup of coffee in the morning. Now, I have a very nice $1000 coffee machine. No, I did not buy a $1000 coffee was given to me........long story. Even though, I have this incredible machine, there is still plenty of times I use this. This carafe is ingenious. You simply put the coffee in, pour in the boiling water, wait four minutes, and pour. You don't have to remove the grounds or press anything. The filter keeps the grounds in the carafe and the lid is even drip proof. I love when something has a simple classic design, but is so functional.

If you are in need of a thank you gift, you can't go wrong with this coffee carafe. Tell them how glad you are that they are a part of your daily grind. Don't forget about your corporate gifts. This could easily transition over to clients.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Gift of Gab

It's gift of gab Monday so here is today's quote to inspire your gift giving.

I would put together some earth friendly cleaning products and maybe even throw in some all natural lemonade for fun. Put the quote on the tag and add "since you are the real deal, you deserve the real thing."

Friday, August 1, 2008

Where in the world?

This past spring, we were asked to come up with a gift idea for a class of graduating seniors. A blue leather traveler's atlas was chosen. (Blue because that was the school's color) Each senior's name was embossed on the cover along with the school's logo. To give the gift additional meaning, I made a gift tag with a world map on it and wrote, "Wherever the world takes you, we're glad you started here. Congratulations!" What good does this do you months later....well, I really think this idea could be fine tuned to other scenarios. How about for someone heading off for about for a friend moving out of the about for someone taking on a new career?