Category: Gifting Tips

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

Mother’s Day is this Sunday! So, there’s still time to get mom something special. Whether your mom is into food, fitness, or fashion, I’ve got seven gift ideas for you to suit your mom’s unique style PLUS a bonus Mother’s Day idea for daughters on a serious budget!

FASHIONABLE MOM

Images courtesy of Hot Mama

Images courtesy of Hot Mama

Where better to get some stylish items for your fashion forward mom than from Hot Mama. If you don’t live in the Midwest, you might not be familiar with this boutique chain, but they have a website you can shop that ships to all fifty states! Hot Mama is a concept boutique created by a mom for moms. From the design of each store to their buying techniques, Hot Mama keeps moms in mind. Needless to say Hot Mama is gearing up for the holiday honoring moms with 10 Must-Haves for Mom, one each day in May. So, you’ll have to stay tuned to their Facebook page for picks 7-10, but here are their first six must-haves for mom!

1. AG Middi Ankle, $215

2. Summer Scarves, $28-$48

3. Graphic Tees, $38-$68

4. Ray Ban Sunglasses, $115-$160

5. Sanctuary Shorts, $69-$79

6. Prairie Underground Sweatshirt, $199-$268


FOODIE MOM

Image courtesy of the Food Network

Image courtesy of the Food Network

If your mom loves to cook and entertain, there’s a brand new cookbook that just hit the shelves in time for Mother’s Day: Extra Virgin – Recipes & Love from Our Tuscan Kitchen ($20). I’ve been watching Extra Virgin with actress Debi Mazar and her Tuscan hunk of a husband Gabriele Corcos on the Cooking Channel since its debut three years ago. Finally this gem of a show is getting the recognition it deserves! The couple just released their first cookbook, and I imagine every recipe is sinfully good given I can’t help but swoon over every single dish they prepare on the show.


FOXY MOM

Image courtesy of Salon DM3

Image courtesy of Salon DM3

What mom doesn’t love a day at the salon to make her FEEL GOOD and LOOK GOOD? Get her a gift certificate to her favorite salon so she can enjoy a day of pampering and beautification! Not sure which salon your mom loves? If you live in the Atlanta or Athens area, I recommend Salon Dm3. They’ve got an amazing deal going on for Mother’s Day Gift Certificates! Buy a $50 gift certificate for $40, a $100 gift certificate for $75, or a $200 gift certificate for $150! Salon Dm3 offers cuts, colors, blowouts, extensions, waxing, and other treatments. Visit my amazing stylist of over six years, Catie McWhirter! Head to their site to purchase and book. Offer is good through this Saturday, May 10!


FIT MOM

Image courtesy of MyBOD Wellness

Image courtesy of MyBOD Wellness

Is your mom into fitness? Does she travel frequently for work or play? Does she live across the country from you? If you answered “yes” to any or all of these questions, I might just have the perfect Mother’s Day gift for you. You may have seen me feature my favorite online fitness program, MyBOD Wellness, in a post or on social media. MyBOD offers Personal Training, Pilates or Yoga sessions via Skype or Google+. Simply set up a computer, smart phone, or tablet in your living room, office, hotel room, or anywhere on your time, and one of Mybod’s certified instructors comes to you over Skype or Goggle+ for a personalized workout session. Needless to say this gift is ideal for busy, jet setting moms. MyBOD believes consistency is crucial for good health, and their online mindful fitness allows an activity plan to be maintained on the go. Better yet, MyBOD offers semi-private sessions, so even if mom lives across the country, you could have a duet session together! Please visit MyBOD’s site for a FREE 20-minute consultation before purchasing and booking


PHOTOGENIC MOM

Image courtesy of Suburbanite Photography

Image courtesy of Suburbanite Photography

Recently I realized my mom and I haven’t had our pictures taken together since the days when we wore matching outfits, so I decided to gift her a photo shoot for the two of us. You may have seen me dote on my all time favorite photographer, Angie Webb of Suburbanite Photography in previous posts. While Angie’s specialties are senior portraits, boudior, and wedding photography, she is up for any challenge and has the creative mind and talent to tackle any shoot, which is evident throughout her amazing photography featured on this blog! Contact Angie for scheduling and pricing!


FEISTY MOM

Limited Edition Hand Pressed Mother's Day Card

Limited Edition Hand Pressed Mother’s Day Card

Mom’s love lingerie just as much as any girl, and of course my all time favorite lingerie brand is Hanky Panky. They’ve got an exclusive Mother’s Day pack of two V-Kini panties for $54, and while supplies last, you can get a beautiful, limited edition, hand pressed Mother’s Day card with the code MOMSDAY for FREE with any purchase. If mom’s not into lacy lingerie, Hanky Panky has lovely tanks and sleepwear to suit any mom’s style.


FANCY MOM

Rolex Datejust and Chanel J12

Rolex Datejust and Chanel J12

If your mom likes the finer things in life, gather your siblings and your dear old dad to go in on a gift together. Buy her a luxury timepiece for Mother’s Day. Last Mother’s Day, I compiled a list of ten fabulous ladies watches that would be perfect Mother’s Day gifts for Crown & Caliber, the premier place to buy and sell high-end luxury timepieces. As you skim through this gift guide and find something that catches your eye, head over to Crown & Caliber’s “Watches for Sale” to find a stunning pre-owned timepiece to purchase for your mom!


BONUS: For a Daughter on a Serious Budget

Images courtesy of Hello Giggles, Food Network, and Fashionista respectively

Images courtesy of Hello Giggles, Food Network, and Fashionista respectively

If you’re on a super tight budget this Mother’s Day, remember when it comes to mom, it’s truly the thought that counts. Get mom a great card, like the ones featured in this post on Hello Giggles. Make your own Mother’s Day brunch by trying a new recipe like this one for Cream Scones with Currants from the Food Network. Give mom a mani/pedi by creating an at-home spa treatment like the one I featured in this post back in March. If you get creative and infuse it with love, it will be the perfect Mother’s Day gift!

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Complete Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Alright men, hopefully some of you bought some sexy lingerie for a serious steal after reading my post last week, but I know some of you may still be searching for that perfect gift for special lady. And ladies, don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten you! Men can be hard to shop for, and let’s face it, if you’ve been in a relationship for at least a few months you already used up all your great gift ideas at Christmas. In this complete Valentine’s Day Gift Guide, I’ve got some unique ideas to get your loved one from Etsy!

GIFTS FOR YOUR GIRL

etsy beauty

Pamper her with a Beauty Bundle: Badass Candles, $18.00 each or 2 for $30.00, and Lippydudu Lip Lube, $3.50 each

etsy glass flowers

A New Twist on Flowers: Untamed Rose Glass Flowers, $35.00 each (TIP: I recommend 3 for a total of $105.00)

jordan grace owens

Ultra-Thoughtful Personalized Art: Jordan Grace Owens Custom Couple Portrait Gift Certificate, $150.00

GIFTS FOR YOUR GUY

etsy regular guy

So Fresh and So Clean Product Assortment: Regular Guy Beard Oil and Men’s Lotion, each are $10.00

etsy robot mugs

Warm and Loving Mug Set: The Printed Surface Robot Mug Set, $25.00

etsy iphone dock

This Gift will be Music to His Ears: Schuttenworks Acoustic Dock for iPhone, $45.00

UPDATE: If this Valentine’s Day Gift Guide isn’t luxurious enough for you, check out my Valentine’s Day Gift Guide for the luxury watch retailer, Crown & Caliber

Gifting Tips for Men

Holiday Gifting Tips Part V – Tips for Men

In the fifth and final installment of my Holiday Gifting Tips, I’ve got tips for men. Why did I save this portion for the last installment? Because if you men are anything like my boyfriend, you’ve yet to buy that special gift for your girl. I’m gonna try to keep it simple, with 3 easy tips and 10 gift ideas all under $100 for the leading lady in your life.

You can never go wrong with jewelry, perfume, or lingerie.

man guide 4

JEWELRY $95.00

PERFUME $60.00

LINGERIE,  Camisole $46.50 & Thong $25.00

If you really want to impress her, get her clothes, shoes, or accessories.

man guide 2

DRESS $98.00

SHOES $62.27

PURSE $98.00

For the girl who has everything, here are some more suggestions:

man guide 3

iPHONE BATTERY CASE $79.95

JEWELRY STAND $38.00

GIRLS SEASONS 1 & 2 $29.92

EVERYTHING FITS GYM BAG $48.00

3 DIY Gifts

HOLIDAY GIFTING TIPS PART IV – DIY GIFTS

In Part III of my Holiday Gifting Tips, I discussed 5 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for a Gift PLUS a bonus 6th way: DIY. So, in Part IV I’ve got 3 DIY gifts for anyone left on your list PLUS another bonus 4th DIY way to jazz up your presents! Whether you’re a DIY diva or novice, the holidays are the perfect time to delve in to DIY project to gift. Regardless of your skill level, I’ve got your covered!

The Old Standby: Skill Level Easy

Image courtesy of Food Network, 5 Ingredient Fix

Image courtesy of Food Network, 5 Ingredient Fix

When in doubt, go with something chocolate. No matter who you’re gifting – man, woman, or child – you can never have enough sweets during the holiday season. These truffles not only taste good, but also look good. In just 5 ingredients, you’ve got a refined and sophisticated alternative to your typical holiday sweets. Here’s the recipe courtesy of one of my favorite chefs, Claire Robinson of 5 Ingredient Fix. This gal knows how to knock out a recipe in five ingredients or fewer!

Holiday Truffles

1. 1/3C cream

2. 14OZ white chocolate, chopped

3. 1T butter

4. 8OZ dark chocolate, chopped

5. 1 1/2C topping of your choice

Directions: Place chopped white chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat cream in a saucepan over low heat. Add hot cream to white chocolate in bowl, then add butter. Whisk until mixture is smooth. Refrigerate for at least 2hrs, then form into balls. Refrigerate again for at least 1hr before the next step. Melt dark chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Dip each white chocolate ball into the melted dark chocolate, using a fork to remove the dipped ball and place on wire rack. Sprinkle dipped balls with topping of your choice: cocoa powder, sprinkles, chopped nuts, toasted coconut, espresso grinds, any or all of the above! SPECIAL TIP: Doubling the recipe is recommended for gifting to a crowd!

21 and Up: Skill Level Medium

Image courtesy of Hello Giggles

Image courtesy of Hello Giggles

Who doesn’t love decorative wine stoppers? Everyone is having a drink or two or three at holiday festivities and get togethers, so what better way to treat your legal ladies than with something fun and functional for their favorite bottle. Thanks to Zooey Deschanel’s positive online community for women, Hello Giggles, you only need 3 items to make an awesome personalized wine stopper to gift!

Decorative Wine Stoppers

1. Wine Corks

2. Decorative Knobs

3. Drill (electric or hand)

OPTIONAL: Hot glue or other strong glue

Directions: If you’re like me, you’ve got a collection of wine corks just waiting for a craft. If not, they’re cheap and easy to buy in bulk at your local craft store (about $3 for 12), or down a couple bottles in the next couple weeks, and bam! You’ve got your corks for Christmas! You might also have some knobs lying around that you’ve replaced with others. If not, you can go scouring at your local thrift shop or vintage market or purchase some at your local craft store or your favorite home store (Anthropologie comes to mind) for about $3-$12 each. SPECIAL TIP: The length of the cork must exceed the length of the screw on the knob! Once you’ve procured these two items and a drill, you’re ready to get crafting. Step 1 – Select the drill bit that most closely matches the size of the screw on your knob and drill down the center, not all the way to the bottom but enough so your screw will fit. Step 2 – screw your knob into the hole! For a little extra protection, screw the knob in almost all the way, and apply a small amount of hot glue to the top of the cork where the decorative knob head will rest. Complete that final screwing in, and allow the decorative knob head to adhere to the top of the cork.

P.S. Want to make your gift extra special? Give it with a bottle of wine!

Pamper Your Girls: Skill Level Easy

sugar scrub

I made this scrub for my girls a couple Christmases ago, they were all in love, and everyone wanted the recipe. So, now I’m sharing it with all of you! Be sure to make enough to gift and keep on hand for yourself – you’re going to want some!

Holiday Cheer Sugar Scrub

1. 1C Sugar (I like a raw sugar for a more coarse texture)

2. 1/2C Coconut Oil

3. 1/2tsp Vitamin E Oil

4. 1/4tsp Sweet Almond Oil

5. A few drops of Essential Oil of your choice for scent (Orange, lavender, or peppermint recommended!)

6. Containers and stickers

Directions: Combine all ingredients and place in 4, 2oz containers (about $15 for 12). Use holiday gift tags to label the scrub!

BONUS: Good Gifts Come In Good Packages

Images courtesy of ELLE UK

Images courtesy of ELLE UK

The best gifts come in the best packages. Use your creativity, craftiness, and all around DIY skills to make gift packaging that’s as good as the gift inside. Creating a gift box with these DIY gifts and other additions could be a great way to create a whole package (pun intended). These clear fillable ball ornaments (about $15 for 12) are another great way to jazz up a small gift.

5 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for a Gift

Holiday Gifting Tips – Part III

5 Ways to Never Pay Full Price for a Gift

In Part I and Part II we started preparing for the season by 1. Making a list of everyone you will likely be buying a gift for this year, 2. Assigning a budget to each person on the list, and 3. Making better use of your time and energy by thinking of 1 gift for all (or most) of the people on your list. Now, you’ve got the list, you’ve got the budget, and you’ve gotten at least 1 gift for every person on your list. By this point, your friends and co-workers are taken care of, and you can return your focus to your family: your parents, your siblings, your in-laws, your man, and your kids.

Unless one of your family members has a very specific item on their wishlist, to the extent they have sent you a link to the exact product they want, you should never pay full price for a giftYou will be tempted by endless gift guides of this year’s hottest products for the techie, sports fanatic, foodie, dog lover in your life. Unless the heading says something reasonable like, “Best Gifts Under $50,” look away! It is so easy to get caught up in the latest and greatest of the season. Companies specifically release  the best, most improved versions of products during the holidays to create a frenzy. Fall collections launch just in time for the holidays. Everything is telling you that these will be the perfect gifts to make the best holiday season ever, but deals don’t disappear at this time of year. There are still plenty of sales and steals to find all those perfect gifts, and you don’t have to wait for Black Friday to find them.

This month, I’ve shared some options in my Deal of the Day for your man (or your dad, brother, father in law, son) and your girls (or your mom, sister, sister in law, daughter). I also featured my first detailed post about utilizing members only sites. Over the next month, I will continue to share some deals I discover, but I want to help you find your own by sharing my secrets on how I score my awesome deals.

1. Members Only Sites:

Members Only Apps

Members Only Apps

I can’t stress enough that these sites are invaluable. You could honestly do one-stop shopping from the comfort of your computer and check everything off your gift list on one of these sites. Now, they’re also offering extended returns for the holidays.

2. Lucky Birthdays:

birthday donut

Are you luck enough to have a birthday in November or December? Many sites ask for your birthday when you register, create an account, place an order, etc. These sites are likely to send you a birthday discount. Instead of buying yourself a birthday present, use the deal toward holiday gift purchases. I have a November birthday, and I have done this for the past several years. The satisfaction of saving money is gift enough for me!

3. Price Compare:

Price Compare Apps

Price Compare Apps

The internet is a beautiful tool to price compare. If you have a specific product in mind and have the brand and model, you can simply use a search engine, such as Google. However, if you’re looking for something more general – blouse, bedding, blazer, blender – I highly recommend using shopping aggregators. You may be familiar with such sites, like Amazon and eBay. However, my personal favorite is a site called Shopstyle. It is best know for its women’s fashion, but they also compile products for men, kids, and home. The key to these sites is the ability to filter by a number of categories. Here’s an example from Shopstyle: Women, Categories, Clothing, Jackets, Leather, Refine by Brand, Store, Price, Size, Color. This can take 6000+ products down to a manageable 100+ products.

4. Emailing Lists:

mailing list

My boyfriend badgers me all the time about my inundated email inbox that is primarily filled with emailing list subscriptions. Little does he know how much money I save through the deals in those emails. Typically, sites will give you an initial discount for signing up. Many people register to obtain this deal, then unsubscribe. However, if you continue to subscribe, you will continue to reap the benefits of other exclusive discounts. If you have a Gmail account, you now have these promotions conveniently organized in a folder labeled “Promotions.”

5. Social Media:

Social Media Apps

Social Media Apps

Are you following your favorite brands and stores on social media? Many companies give early access to sales or exclusive deals to their followers.

6. BONUS: Make it Yourself!

Whether you’re a DIY diva or novice, the holidays are the perfect time to delve in to DIY project to gift. Learn some projects to try in my Holiday Gifting Tips – Part IV!