How cool are dinosaurs? I’m quite sure that my alternative career path could have been  paleontology. When I was a little girl I was fascinated by dinosaurs and knew all the names of all the different kinds. My favorites were Plesiosaurs and Pterodactyls (which technically isn’t a dinosaur, but still totally awesome). When I saw the wonderful personalized prints by Dinoprints, all the different sides of me were thrilled! First, the dinosaur lover in me, wanted a self portrait on a Pterodactyl. As an interior designer, I believe that your home should reflect your personality, and the same goes with your bedroom. Therefore,I thought it would be cool to wallpaper a child’s room with a huge dinosaur print. As a gift specialist, I love personalized gifts, I believe that it is the key to a great gift, when I saw this I was trying to think of a nephew or niece with an upcoming birthday. My nieces and nephews aren’t into dinosaurs so I’ll have to wait till Eli is a little older. I really wish there were more prehistoric animal options such as a cyber tooth tiger or huge dragonflies (did you know that prehistoric dragonflies were half a meter (1.6 foot) long?? I would love to ride one of those).

Dinoprints

Anyways, if you are looking for a cool gift for a Dinosaur loving kid, look no further since this is it!

I was telling a new friend about my blog and he immediately sent me a link to Child’s own studio. Here’s the deal, Wendy made a doll for her 4 year old son, based on a sketch he made. Her son was so excited about the softies and Wendy realized that this was her calling, making dolls out of children doodles. If you’ve been reading this blog since I started it, you will surly remember the post about my avatar doll. Unfortunatly I just learned that the game I love is shutting down. Thanks for my friend i’ll have my pet stay with me, long after the game is gone.

 

Doodle-Friends

 

This gift is similar, but even more moving since it uses the child’s own imagination in creating a doll that is truly unique.

What a great way to celebrate creativity!

I truly believe in positive thinking. I think it is a great way to achieve the goals in your life, big or small. In the gifting world, wishlists are a great way to turn your dreams into reality. How does it work? All you have to do is  make your wishlist known to the world.

My friend was thinking positively. She posted several times on her Facebook wall, that she would love to get a Cinderella Dress  for her upcoming birthday. Seeing an opportunity to make a wish come true, I arranged a few friends and we got the gift together. It wasn’t simple since the dress that we saw in the store wasn’t the deluxe version presented online. I didn’t want to settle for second best, therefore, I found the dress on Amazon. Unfortunately, shipping to Israel wan’t available. I wasn’t ready to give up and I kept thinking that I can find the exact dress my friend wanted. Luckily, my dad was visiting my grandmother in the states. I shipped the dress there, and he was able to bring it back with him just in time for the birthday party.

 

A dream is a wish your heart makes

Photograph: Eitan Ben-Haim

This is an excellent example for how positive thinking works. I could have said: “It won’t work”, “It’s too hard”, “I’m never gonna get it”, etc…. But I kept thinking positively and so was my friend. Together, we managed to make this dream of hers come true, Simply by the power of positive thinking.

Look how beautiful she looks in it, a real princess indeed!

 

 

 

Whenever a friend of mine needed a little vote of confidence, (you know, before an interview, audition, test, etc)…I would say:

“You can do anything!All you have to do is try,try and then you’ll make it”.

After they would get the Job, gig, etc… I would say:

“I told you so and now you owe me a Shnekel  (The two New Israeli Shekel coin equivalent to 50 cents)”.

For some reason this almost always worked and so, any friend who was facing a new beginning, came to me for a  sort of “Shnekel  blessing”.

One of the first gifts I posted about in this blog was a travel booklet that I gave to my friend who decided to follow her dream and needed to travel in order to pursue it. Traditionally, I told her that she will find what she needs in order to pursue her dream and that when she does she will owe me a Shnekel. I finally got to see this friend whom I haven’t seen in a very long time. We were catching up and I was telling her that I’m opening my own interior design studio and that I’m totally freaking out about it… When all of a sudden she said:

” I have to give you something”.

 

 

scheduled-gift

 

She started by apologizing since she had this gift made long ago and didn’t get the chance to give it to me. Since the trip really put her on track with her dream, she “owed me a Shnekel”.

I was so moved to get this, she most thoughtfully framed a Shnekel with the Shel Silverstein’s poem, “Listen to the mustn’t, child”.

You can immediately tell that she put a lot of thought into this gift. The gift tag, the wrapping and finally the gift itself, were all well thought and beautiful.

The funny thing was that she felt so bad for not giving me the gift before, she didn’t realize that she gave it to me when I needed it most.

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…

My nephew just turned eight and I wanted to be the cool aunt with the cool gift. I knew he was into spiderman but I wasn’t sure if He didn’t grow out of it… So I asked him which superhero he loves best and he said: “you know I love spiderman (duh!) since I love to climb on stuff”. I figured he is old enough to read so I got him some Spiderman comic books.

 

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I wanted to do something more so I used my crafting skills. I bought plain wooden letters (Spelling his name in Hebrew) and wrapped them in spiderman comic paper. Then I put them in a box and warped it with the same paper. You don’t have to do the whole name… The Initials are sufficient… I just felt extra crafty, so I did the whole thing. Yesterday I came to his house and helped him hang the letters on his bedroom door! He wanted to do it himself, so they turned out a little crooked. I think it’s cuter this way… And he was very excited about hanging them by himself.

My mother got him Spiderman Bedding’s which was also a big hit cuz now his room had a quick Spiderman makeover.

I’m always happy to know when my blog is an inspiration to someone. My friend sent me a photo of a clock inspired by the Quality time article I published a few months back. She personalized it by using a photo of Cookie Monster (Apparently that was their thing).

 

I’m glad she was able to use an idea featured in my blog but personalize it for her friend and I really love the way she placed the hands on Cookie monsters eyes, very whimsical.

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.

Love love love this milestone  poster by StrangeBirdyStudios I found at Kickstarter.

Charts, stickers and graphics oh my! What a great way to refresh the traditional scrapbook. Bordered by growth rulers to track your baby’s height and weight are colorful graphics and charts for you to color, write in or apply stickers to. Ranging from place of birth, motor skills, hairstyles, first Halloween costume, first words and much more.

This 20×30” print is toxic free, includes 100 stickers and in my opinion a great way to decorate the nursery. The best thing is that your child will have a cool art print to hang in their room even as they grow older, thanks to the cool design… Perfect right? Not quite… Since the poster is too expensive to manufacture, the good people at StrangeBirtyStudios need some support… So I thought I’d help with this post… Want to help? Follow the Kickstarter link and support them too.

 

 

 

Mother’s day is coming up and this year it has a whole new meaning for me since it’s my first as a mother. I always knew that mothers are a special breed but these first nine weeks as a mother made me appreciate my own mother in a different light. The thought of having to care for someone else for the rest of my life is very stressful and I don’t think that feeling will ever go away.

I would like to take a moment to say a few words about my own mother since she really is a special person. I really don’t know how she manages to do it: She works late hours and still finds the time to manage a household, take care of her elderly mother, her kids and help with her grandchildren. Whenever I need her she is there, and she always knows how to sort problems out. She is a true source of inspiration.

What are you waiting for then? It’s time to start thinking about a thoughtful present for your mother so you’re not rushing last minute.

Here are some idea’s to get you started…

 

 

 

  1. For the Soccer mom: She won’t miss a game with this Halftone Calender and by next mother’s day, she’ll fill in all the dots and complete the image. Make it extra special by using a photo of your face (unfortunately, it only works with a close up picture).
  2. For the mom who has it all a Gratitude necklace, for obvious reasons.
  3. For the mom who loves to cook a Measuring spoon set , so she can add those secret ingredients to any dish.
  4. This one is for any mom, Inspirational flip flops cause we all need a little vacation.
  5. For the sentimental mom: Personalized family tree.
  6. For the hip mom, Personalized paper dolls, these are just super cute, I would love to have these on my front door.
Now, as much as I love my mother, I don’t think she would enjoy any of these gifts, she is the old fashioned mom, for her a big flower bouquet or pictures of her grandson are the best way to go. Sometimes simple is better. And although it doesn’t sound like much, I’m sure that all your mothers would most appreciate some help around the house. I know I would…

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