I can’t believe it’s almost mothers day again.

This will be my second mother’s day as a mother, which is really inconceivable.  This past year has been full of fear and frustration combined with infinite joy and love. But most of all, this year was full of wonderful gifts such as, first words (Mommy included), baby steps and loads of hugs and kisses. Today something really special happened and I want to share it with you. Eli who is 1.2 years old, went to my desk, reached out for my sketch book and a pen. He was trying to draw, but nothing came out since the pen still had the lid on (Surly he knows that mother’s day is coming up). I instinctively took out some crayons from the drawer and gave them to him. He made his first artwork and I was there to record the moment on film (I was so amazed by this beautiful moment that I forgot that I left the water in the tub running). I thought that it was such a shame that his father wasn’t there to see it and made up my mind to give him the drawing later today. After I bathed, dressed, fed and put Eli to bed, I took an envelope and used a “Winnie the pooh and piglet” puncher to make it pretty. If you look at the picture below you will see why I thought that this image is suitable.

Now I’m waiting till he comes home so I can give it to him. 

 

Mother's-day

 

What about Mother’s day you ask? Well, if you would scroll down a little you will find an article I wrote a few weeks ago about Giving time.

If you are looking for the perfect mother’s day gift, you will find it there.

For me, this beautiful moment with my son was better than any gift in the world… and what better way to celebrate such a gift, than to share it?

This blog is all about gifts. Gifts of all sorts: Some are cheap, some are expensive, some are hand made, some are functional or beautiful. But the best gifts regardless of their price, are meaningful.When I had my baby a year ago I received many gifts. Blankets, toys, cloths and Oh too many Teddy-bears. Today, the gifts keep coming and I must admit that I prefer a bag of diapers over a new toy.

Last month when I was planing Eli’s first birthday party I knew I wanted to have a “Hungry Caterpillar” theme. I also knew that there is no way that I would  have time to make the decorations. I was smart enough to Have a professional make the cake and to ask for help from a friend who loves to make party decorations. It meant so much to me that I even offered to pay for her trouble, however, she refused saying that it was her gift to Eli. This got me thinking about service gifts. When I had Eli, My mother cleaned the house, my mother in law cooked healthy meals and my dear cousin washed the dishes. They were contributing their time and I received some peace and quite.

 

The-Very-Hungry-Caterpillar

 

Christine the owner of IOU, offers you a hint to what new mothers and probably all women, want most; A fraction of your time, to help with the endless chores. Here lies the power of the written word. Most women, when offered help, would say that there is really no need. However, if your offer comes in a thoughtful card, with a set date and time, it will be harder to refuse. This is a great example for a low cost gift that may mean the world to someone else.

Share with us, how did you give of your time to a special someone?

 

 

I can’t believe that this is my 100th post! I was saving one of my DIY projects just for such a joyful occasion, though I must admit that I almost didn’t notice that I hit 100 posts. It was a real surprise realizing that I did,I guess it’s kind of like forgetting that it’s your birthday.

So here it is a special DIY project that I call: Our friendship in a nutshell.

There are several reasons that this post is very dear to me. First, it was a gift to my oldest and dear dear friend. Second, I came up with this sweet idea all by my little self. Third, I wasn’t sure I’ll be able to actually make this gift, so you can imagine how excited I was to see that it came out real nice.

The idea is based on the phrase “In a nutshell” which refers to describing something using as few words as possible. The idea came to me when I saw walnut perfectly broken into two shells. I thought to myself that it could be used as a little box to contain a secret message. And then it hit me! It would be such a cute gift to write down a summery of the relationship, pointing out special occasions, shared phrases and long lost memories, using a nutshell as the box. Hence, “Our Friendship in a Nutshell”.

Once I thought of the idea it was obvious which friend is going to receive it, my oldest friend. Going back almost a year and a half ago, I wrote a post about a gift I received from my oldest friend, using a shared phrase that became sort of legendary phrase among our friends: Tuna Fish Need Love. I think that the “friendship in a nutshell” gift is similar in concept to the book she made me, since both gifts are like a time capsule of memories. It was so much fun trying to remember all the silly things we did together.(Initially I thought about using pictures but then I realized that they would come out too small and probably won’t fit in the nutshell).

 

 

This is a quite simple DIY project. Follow these few simple steps:

Step 1: Break a walnut into two pieces

Step 2: Coat it with a color of your choice. I used gold leafs, but I think that a simple acrylic color would be just as good.

step 3: This is the tricky part. I wanted to be able to open and close the nutshell. At first I though about using a hinge, but that was too small. So I took a piece of ribbon and glued it to the inner side of one of the shells. This way I was able to tie the two pieces together in order to open and close the nutshell.

Step 4: Print out a small note with the friendship description and in a separate thin piece of paper the phrase “our friendship in a nutshell”. Roll the note up like a little scroll and use another string of paper, to keep the note rolled. I simply glued one end to the other, making enough room to slip the scroll in.

Step 5: Place the note inside the nutshell, allowing the thin paper with the phrase to stick out. Tie the ribbon in a pretty bow and there you have it! Your friendship in a nutshell.

Step 6: Hide the nut in a bag full of nuts and give to your friend.

 

I made this for a close friend but this really is a wonderful anniversary gift for your husband/wife, niece/nephew, Parent, teacher or anyone sharing a long history that can be described in a nutshell. Since it’s small, you can give it as a keepsake for a traveling loved one. It is a great gift for the end of the year or a new beginning.

Most importantly it is real easy to make and although it’s cheep and easy to make, it’s actually priceless.

 

 

I’ve been wanting to start an animal category for some time now… I sort of did an animal bit on Shark Week, and I did do a Fantastic Mr Fox article… But I think I want to start a regular  theme such as color code, dedicated to all you animal lovers. I know I already had a fox article, but I know that there are lots of fox lovers out there in desperate need of a foxy gift. OK OK you got me… I’m the fox freak! But I’m also obsessed with deer so that just might be my next animal article. I searched the web and gathered my top ten foxy gifts. In case you were wondering, 9 and 10 are my personal favorites,what can I say? I’m a girl, I love shoes…

 

 

After we established that the gift recipient loves foxes… all that is left is to match the gift to the occasion…

1.  A lovely home decor piece such as this Artwork Plate with a vintage fox illustration, is great as a house warming gift.

2. Did someone get a new job? This cute little Tail Me More Mug is a sweet conversational piece and therefore is great for the office…

3. When thinking of a house warming gift we tend to neglect the outside…Be original with this little Garden Figurine will make a great addition between some garden gnomes.

4. Have a house warming and you want something for the kids room? A lovely Fox Pillow  will work for both genders…

5.Need a stylish gift for a stylish gal? Fox Earrings,For the eternal Fashionista.

6. I love this Fox T for a foxy little boy. It’s a lovely design, I wish it would come in Medium for my man… Then he and my little one can match T’s…

7. A Fox Blouse to go with the lovely Earrings at No 5.

8. Fox iPhone Case for any occasion.

And last but not least…For me… No 9. & No 10. Fox Boots Fox Ballet Flats, Size 6.5 please…

I’ve been meaning to write another color code post ever since I posted the black and white one. The problem is, there are so many colors, I didn’t know which one to pick (Choices, choices). Then I recalled that at my last shopping spree, after going through all the stuff I got, I realized that I bought mostly blue clothes with gold accessories (isn’t that weird?). SO, why not? Let art imitate life… I’ve decided on Royal blue and gold, a very lively combination that would work for the elegant, yet colorful person. When I started browsing for items, I didn’t think that the roundup will end up being so lovely.

 

 

1. For boys, men or dinosaurs fans such as myself. A whimsical planter by crazy couture adds a pop of color to any room. Great as a housewarming gift for a bachelor’s pad.

2. Scarfs are almost always a fun gift, that would fit any woman. I love a scarf that gives a splash of color, you can find this one at Periay’s store on Etsy.

3. Oh jewelry…need I say more? Lovely Peacock bangle by Max&Chole

4. Not quite my style, but what the heck… It’s Miu Miu shoes, in blue or gold glitter.

5. Another one for the boys… A beautiful hot air balloon model.

Have a royal weekend, and remember, Give with love.

Life in the digital world is getting easier in almost every aspect of life. It’s getting hard to think about a world without emails, Facebook, blogs, Apps and well, basically the internet. In this digital world there are many websites and applications that are trying to help us deal with the elusive task of gifting, not to mention blogs such as this one. Here are three examples for such wonderful sites which hold a promise for an easier giving experience.

 

 

Wantful, is a personalized pop-up shop that you create for your recipient. After answering a few questions regarding style, relation to the recipient and your budget, you choose sixteen products which are presented in a cute little gift book. All your recipient needs to do is unwrap it, decide which product they love most, and the product will be sent to them. Wantful is a great website, it is user friendly, well designed and actually fun to use. They really managed to turn the gifting experience to something you would like to do. If you want to experience it without actually buying the gift, you can go through the process without checking out. Try it, it’s fun.

Giftly, is an phone app that allows you to give experience’s such as a dinner at a restaurant, concert tickets or even a cupcake. I wish I could tell you how and if it works or not, unfortunately, this app isn’t available in Israel so I can’t check it out… But it sounds great! I love the idea of giving an experience rather than a gift. Imagine getting perks fro your friends on your birthday. You could go to different stores and receive fun little gifts, ending the day with dinner and a movie all prepaid by your friends…  I think this is what this app is all about, if it isn’t then that’s a great app idea.

Wishlistr, is a sort of Pinterest of gifts. You add links to products you would like to have, and share it with your friends. The idea is really cool, but I wish that the website was more like Pinterest, offering a more visual interface. Instead you have titles and links which are not very inspiring and not easy to follow. However, I like the idea of letting people know what you would like to receive other than have everyone guessing.

Now all that is left for you to do is go online and start giving without leaving your seat…

Funny I thought I posted this…. Anyways, this was only a few days ago, now we are back home.

 

 

We are still visiting my grandmother and having a great time. It isn’t easy traveling with a baby but it sure us fun spending time with the family and creating great memories. Yesterday we went to the DIA to see the spanish exhibitions, Goya, Dali, El Greco,Picasso and Velázquez. The exhibition was OK but the best thing was that it was fake mustache day, which meant that if you wore a fake mustache, you got in for free! So we all wore our mustaches, even Eli, and created a great memory 🙂

 

I know that I’ve been writing a lot about family affairs lately, but I did become a mother only four months ago, and it was Mother’s and Father’s Day…. So I guess I needed to get it out of my system. In any case, allow me to share with you one more family related post (though I don’t promise it would be the last).

Let’s discuss babies. I love them, but when I have to get a gift for the new family, I often get frustrated. I never know what to buy… (Me! Can you believe?). I don’t like to get baby cloths since they grow right out of them; I received about ten teddy bears and five blankets when my son was born, so I stay away from those. And I hate to admit it but since I got a lot of stuff from my sister who had twins, I had to exchange most of the gifts I received. Another matter is that I sometimes feel the need to perk mommy, daddy and the siblings, and then I have to start looking for gifts at several places…Not ideal…

 

This is why, when I heard about Babatude boutique, I was happy to see that there is something for every member of the family. But that’s not all; the boutique offers unique, eco-friendly, handmade and personalized products by designers from around the world. They offer customized gifts, free world-wide shipping (love that!) and free gift wraps.  Some of the designers even pledge to charity, which gives you the chance to give twice, once for your recipient and back to the community.

 

 

Here are my personal favorites:

Like father like son: oak-tree and acorn tshirt set, a great way to give a gift for both daddy and baby.

Circle-of-Life-Bangle: I love keepsake jewelry, give mom something she can enjoy both fashionably and sentimentally.

A personalized hand stamp is a gift that the family will enjoy for years to come… When the baby grows old, s/he will have a wonderful keepsake (I think it’s my favorite of the bunch).

Being a big brother is a huge deal… A superman top will help him live up to his new title.

And for the big sister… I just think any girl would love these strawberry ballerina pumps… I wish I had a pair….

 

 

 

If you don’t want to focus on one member of the family, a great option is buying a decor item for the nursery, then everyone can enjoy the gift:

The wildlife mobile is wonderful if you don’t know the nursery colors since it’s plain wooden and therefore will work with any shade.

The felt globe is more than just wall decor, it is actually a great game for any age… So it’s great for older brothers or sister as well…

“How tall am I” height chart is another wonderful choice, especially if you are feeling philanthropic. This designer provides educational materials and resources to South African children in need. It’s so nice to know that you are giving to more than one person.

These are my choices but be sure to pay them a visit. Once you do, you will realize how difficult it was to choose from their wonderful products. Take your time and browse, I would love to hear your personal favorites.

Among other properties, color is a key element in choosing a gift. Therefore, the success of the gift may depend on that alone. This is why, when facing the challenge of finding a gift for a certain someone, I would advise you to find out which colors this person likes or more importantly dislikes. In order to find out which color’s one prefers, you should notice which colors s/he likes to wear, which colors s/he use for accessories and which color’s they decorate their home. Then coordinate the gift accordingly when buying cloths accessories or home decor. Soon enough you would find out that most people dress in black, the majority do it since it is the easiest most slimming effortless solution for cloths, other’s simply love black. In either case, when in doubt both black and white are the safe option.

Here are some B&W options I rounded up for you…

  1. Rebecca Minkoff ‘Striped Diamond’ Canvas Tote
  2. Hounds-tooth Check Lace up Brogues
  3. Tuxedo Cat Black & White Cat Stud Earrings
  4. Enhanced Black and White Diamond Bow Ring in 10K White Gold
  5. Black and White Clutch Handbag
  6. Polka dot Sunglasses Case
  7. Herve Lerger Bandage Dress Black
  8. Printable Cat Card Cat Art Black and White

 

May 12 is getting closer than ever, and I know that some of my readers are behind with their gifts. So I thought I’d help out with the cards…I am happy to offer you The Given Thought’s very first free printables, you can thank my dear husband for the idea!

I made three designs that you are welcome to download, print and give your mama’s.

 

 

 

Mother’s_Day_Printable1

Mother’s_Day_Printable2

Mother’s_Day_Printable3

 

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