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gifts

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Mother’s Day Gift Giving Guide

Mother’s Day is coming up quickly! It’s the one day out of the year we set aside for honoring the hard work of moms everywhere. Take a moment to think about the mothers in your life and give them all a mental high five for their patience, kindness, toughness, and kick-ass ability to love unconditionally.

Longtime readers of this blog know that we believe gifts ought to be Interactive, Fun, and potentially Thematic. Mostly, they ought to be from the heart. We believe in making things by hand, creating memorable experiences, offering up items that are as useful as they are beautiful, and using gifts to tell a personal story. We distinctly do not believe in filling people’s homes with things they will neither use nor appreciate aesthetically.

If that seems like a tall order, never fear! We’ve put together a Mother’s Day Gift Guide to help you give props to your favorite mamas.

Art! Moms are people, and people love art. We don’t know what kind of art your mom likes, but perhaps she’d be into one of these.

For cake-loving moms.

For cake-loving moms.

For vintage-loving moms

For vintage-loving moms

For artsy moms

For artsy moms

For penguin-loving moms

For penguin-loving moms

Or consider this personalized art idea—a visual representation of your heartfelt spoken message. It’s cute, meaningful, and one-of-a-kind.

Your voice, visualized.

Your voice, visualized.

Track down a hard-to-find copy of a book she read to you as a child. Get ready for the waterworks as she unwraps this bit of nostalgia.

Did anyone else read this one as a child?

Did anyone else read this one as a child?

Culinary-minded moms will appreciate a great cookbook. Not sure which one to purchase? Amazon has helpfully created a map of the best cookbooks for different regional cuisines in the U.S.

This one from the Pacific Northwest section seems appropriate.

This one from the Pacific Northwest section seems appropriate.

For play-loving moms, consider adding to the family game closet. A new tabletop game is an investment in future fun. 

A new family favorite

A new family favorite

Help a mom learn something new. What fits best with her particular interests and available time? A three-hour cooking class? A “How to Program” book? A wine tasting? An art appreciation tour at her favorite museum? Perhaps software to learn a foreign language? Help her explore her passions and develop new skills!

Tell her you love her in any language

Tell her you love her in any language

To help a great mom get a bit of perspective, how about a hot air balloon ride? It’ll create a lasting memory and is guaranteed to amp up her sense of adventure.

This awesome photo was taken by one of my favorite moms, my friend Maddie

This awesome photo was taken by one of my favorite moms, my friend Maddie

No fail gift idea: homemade cookies. It’s easy, fun, delicious, and we swear, you can taste the love.

How about these oatmeal, chocolate chip, pecan cookies from Smitten Kitchen?

How about these oatmeal, chocolate chip, pecan cookies from Smitten Kitchen?


How about these oatmeal, chocolate chip, pecan cookies from Smitten Kitchen?

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Creative, low-budget, DIY gift wrapping

photo found on decoist.com

photo found on decoist.com

Once you’ve finished your holiday gift shopping, the real work begins! Presenting a beautiful or uniquely wrapped gift is satisfying in a way that reindeer wrapping paper and those ubiquitous little stick-on bows just isn’t!

Here’s some low-cost, mostly DIY, creative inspiration! (Check out our Holiday Gift Wrap Pinterest board for more.)

Ribbon ExplosionMake use of all of your old ribbon scraps and create something one-of-a-kind and festive.

found on boakart.com

found on boakart.com

Light It Up!Oh Joy! had the brilliant idea of wrapping gifts with mini-LED light strings.

from Oh Joy!

from Oh Joy!

Cameo AppearanceWe love the idea of using old cameos or brooches as ribbon centerpieces.

seen on sortrature.com

seen on sortrature.com

Searching for the Perfect GiftMake your own version of this multi-purpose word search wrapping paper and circle the appropriate message.

found on decoist.com

found on decoist.com

Cheerful Washi WrapUse grocery bags and washi tape to create your own masterpieces.

found on elizabeth doo-dah!

found on elizabeth doo-dah!

You’re a Star!The tutorial is in Danish, but the pictures make it pretty clear how to make this cute fabric star.

found on Sofie Legarth

found on Sofie Legarth

Meta DIYYou provide the crayons, the space, and the instruction, but let your gift recipient do the DIY part.

found on misswebbie.gr

found on misswebbie.gr

There are many more ideas on our Holiday Gift Wrap Pinterest Board!

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2013 Holiday Gift Guide

It’s time to get your holiday gift shopping on! While we don’t believe gifting is a necessary part of the holidays (spending time with or sending love to all your people is the important part!), it can be fun to spoil people with a little storebought (or internet-bought) holiday cheer. If you need some inspiration, check out our list of Everybody’s Invited-approved holiday gifts—each one is radder than the last.

Ready, set, put a bow on it!

For people who play with their food: These 3D dinosaur cookie cutters create the most impressive cookies around, and offer a new spin on the popular Paleo diet.  ($12)

Roar!

Roar!

For accident prone literary types: Getting a boo boo can hurt your pride. Fortunately, these Jane Austen bandages can help you keep your sparkling wit intact. ($5)

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, is still in need of a good bandaid.

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, is still in need of a good bandaid.

For the most whimsical person on your list: This art print will make dolphin fans, frequent travelers, and people with imaginations smile. ($19)

Wheeeee!

Wheeeee!

For crafty couples: What duo wouldn’t want a set of cute custom paper dolls?  (Since she’s got a backlog of orders, consider making your own.) ($35, or kinda free if you make your own.)

Oh, the twee!

Oh, the twee!

For creative kids: Can you imagine how cool it would be to have your childhood drawings turned into real, 3-dimensional, plush toys? Child’s Own Studio can make that happen for a kid in your life. Also check out the “Softiemaker Showcase” for other companies that do the same. (between $90 and $140)

An amazing likeness!

An amazing likeness!

For circus enthusiasts: This book about the circus looks like high-flying fun. ($47)

Step right up!

Step right up!

For those with wanderlust: This travel scratch map lets you scratch off the gold layer to reveal all of your amazing destinations underneath. So motivating! ($17)

The fun of travel meets the fun of lottery tickets!

The fun of travel meets the fun of lottery tickets!

For Star Wars fans with a sweet tooth: These Han Solo in Carbonite Truffles look ridiculously good. Choose between Nutella, peanut butter, or marshmallow cream filling. ($9 for a 3-pack)

“I love you, truffles.” “We know.”

“I love you, truffles.” “We know.”

For those who like to savor: I’m  going to pick up a copy of Julia Child Rules: Lessons on Savoring Life by Karen Karbo for myself (!) because I’m all about savoring during the holiday season. ($19)

When Julia talks, I listen.

When Julia talks, I listen.

For those who can’t get enough of Back to the Future: We can’t recommend this game highly enough for a game-loving BttF fan. ($20)

BttF is always a good idea.

BttF is always a good idea.


BttF is always a good idea.

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Everybody’s Invited Holiday Gift Guide!

It’s time to break out the bacon wrapping paper and send off holiday gifts to your favorite people. If thinking about all of the gifts you need to find puts you in a holi-daze, you might want to take a gander at our gift guide. We’ve got loads of awesome things that people you know might like to have. Just scroll down the list until you find a good description of your loved one. Here we go!

If your loved one:

Loves chess AND insects, you’ll want to pick up Hive, a fun and challenging two-player board game that requires chess-like strategizing, but has more bugs ($30)

See what all the buzz is about

See what all the buzz is about

Is a style-conscious ping-pong player, they’ll love toting around this designer ping pong cover and paddle ($72)

Winning style

Winning style

Isn’t quite ready for “Johnny B. Goode” (but their kids love it), ask them for their t-shirt size and order up one of these Enchantment Under the Sea tees ($20)

This is heavy (cotton).

This is heavy (cotton).

Believes games can change the world and knows how to read, set ‘em up with a copy of Jane McGonigal’s Reality is Broken. This enjoyable book is chock full of examples of games that make life better. ($16)

Yay books!

Yay books!

Likes to host parties and is science-y, make their day by gifting them these colorful test tube shot glasses which are sure to impress ($19)

Mixology!

Mixology!

Can moonwalk and loves to accessorize, help them relive the King of Pop’s glory days with this Michael Jackson Colorform set ($13)

Never forget. (MJ or Colorforms)

Never forget. (MJ or Colorforms)

Is a cat with unclipped claws and a natural sense of rhythm, they’ll purr over this cat scratch DJ deck ($29)

Mad skillz, y’all.

Mad skillz, y’all.

Is often bored at work and has a long hallway, they’ll appreciate thiscardboard bowling set for the office ($30)

Goes great with tin foil croquet.

Goes great with tin foil croquet.

Is a professional pillow fort architect, they’ll be glad to finally have a button to lend legitimacy to their important but oft-overlooked occupation ($1)

And I have a Master’s degree in Indoor Camping

And I have a Master’s degree in Indoor Camping

Is pretty much the most awesome person you know, they’ll look good in this cheeseburger sweater (priceless. No really, there does not seem to be a price on this item.)

I’m hungry….for fashion

I’m hungry….for fashion

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Baby Gifts

There are an abundance of babies in my life right now. Many of my friends and co-workers decided to have babies around the same time (wouldn’t it be funny if they had actually sat around and discussed it?)

Do you know what this means? It means I need to buy a whole lot of baby gifts! I decided to ask some new and new-ish moms about the best gifts they received when their children were born. Here’s a rundown of mom-approved gifts that are useful, unique, or just plain cute.

    When in doubt, go nerdy.

 

When in doubt, go nerdy.

Clothes
Anna (mother of Oliver, age 18 months) says a box of hand-me-downs from a relative was invaluable. “Clothes that were several sizes up (6-9 month, 9-12 month, even 2T) were nice to get as gifts since kids grow so quickly and it’s great to not have to buy an entire 9-12 month wardrobe.” Emily (mother of Elena, age 1) says that the cutest gift she received was a pair of baby Tom’s shoes.

Accessories
Anna and Tara (mother of Callum, age 3 months) agree that baby swings and bouncers make great gifts. Anna says her baby swing “was a lifesaver as it was the only thing Oliver would nap in for the first three months.” Tara says, “Callum is dozing off in his bouncer seat right now with a very satisfied smirk on his face.”

Strollers
Anna loves her BOB stroller, which was a gift from her father-in-law. “It’s really expensive, but you can drive it anywhere and it is incredibly easy to fold up and put away. If we didn’t get it from Travis’s dad I would have asked a group of people to go in on it.” Tara likes the Snap ‘n Go Stroller because it’s lightweight and easy to transport.

Most useful
Sarah (mother of Jadyn, age 5) says that the most useful gift hands down was a baby diaper service. Emily points out that baby music has been great for calming and eating, and that a special sewn cover for breast feeding in public was also a useful gift. Tara says the Miracle Blanket was great when Callum was really little because it helped relax him to sleep.

Most unique
Tara bought Callum a unique Christmas gift: a personalized book that includes his name and his family members’ names. Sarah says her personal favorite was her tattoo. “It was a little late and I gave it to myself but it’s the best baby gift. A gift certificate to a tattoo parlor would be a great gift for a tattoo-inclined new parent.” She adds, “My mother-in-law gave me my husband’s baby blanket (which his grandmother had made), and that was also really special.”

Baby Gift No No’s
Emily suggests avoiding baby sleeping bags because baby sleeping habits are quite specific to each baby. She also advises staying away from baby journals because, while they’re great in theory, she has four of them and hasn’t been able to fill any of them out properly.

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