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:

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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 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.

 

 

I am determined to succeed in combining motherhood with blogging. Therefore, I am forcing myself to spare a few minutes while my young one sleeps, so I can keep up with my blogging duties. Luckily, I saw and “starred” in my reader this beautiful and well executed gift idea by Michelle from Wood and Fabric. So not only do I get to share a wonderful idea with you, but it relates to my new role as a mother, allowing me to share my thoughts in the most authentic manner.

 

 

As a fresh mom, I am still getting used to all the new roles that come with motherhood, therefore, I don’t really have the time to document my baby’s “first steps” in this world as I wish I could have. I believe that if I had a scrapbook like this one, such that has all the info in it, that I just have to fill in, I would be able to document all the new changes my little one is going through. Regardless, I think that Michelle did such an admirable craftsmanship, paying attention to each and every detail. The cute shoes with cards for greetings, the cute pockets with notes and all the cute little ornaments she added.

Oops, duty calls…

Hope you liked this quick post…

Happy Valentines Day everybody,

Valentines Day is always very special to me since it’s the day I asked my spouse out. Our first date took place a few days later, however, if I hadn’t made the move on that day, nine years ago, I wouldn’t be in the state I ‘m in today.

 

 

I don’t know why I haven’t shared this yet… Blogging is still a new territory for me and I’m not always sure when to share personal things and when to keep them to myself. So forgive me dear reader for waiting until three weeks before my dew date, in order to share that I’m pregnant.

This Valentine’s my thoughts are with the new love that will soon enter our lives, the perfect gift of all…

I know I have been falling behind my blogging lately… Usually I post once a week but lately it had become once every one and a half to two weeks. I actually have so many pending posts and some followup posts I still haven’t gotten to, so I really don’t have a good enough excuse… So I hope to catch up a little. Even though I have many pending posts I found this lovely DIY project by hoot Designs, originally made in Design sponge. Since it is a great idea for new years, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

The concept is really cool! It’s your basic “Dear journal” for everything that happened on each day and if you keep jotting down highlights of your day throughout the month, by January 1st you’ll have a great record for the past year. Imagine how wonderful it would be in 2052 to open this box and reminisce. What I especially like about this project is that it’s a simple DIY. What I love about  DIY projects is not only that they are fun to do and make great personal gifts, but also because they really open your mind to new ideas, and you can alter the initial design according to your needs. I like both the hoot designs and design sponge calendars, but if I were to make one myself, I would probably add a little of my own flare into it…

I want to note that this idea can be great for almost any occasion that involves a  new beginning or end of a period. using the same concept you can make great gifts such as a Pregnancy journal, a graduation log, a teachers diary…. The sky is the limit.

Sometimes all you need is a little something in order to inspire someone. A key symbolizes opening and closing doors it represent the ability to uncover secret knowledge, illuminate hidden wisdom and gain entry to fortified places. You can give someone a key to success, to prosperity or even the key to your heart simply by adding a little note that indicates what the key is meant for.

A key pendent serves as a great charm for good luck, therefore, they are a wonderful gift for new beginnings and perfect for graduation. I always carry an extra key charm in my wallet, just in case I stumble into someone who is facing a new beginning and needs to open the door to their future.

I think that the most thoughtful gifts are the ones that you wouldn’t buy for yourself. We all have wish lists of items we secretly want, but won’t dare to purchase for ourselves. The trouble with secret wish lists is that they are hard to discover. Sometimes you don’t even know yourself that you would wish for something, unless someone else suggests it.

I am really happy with this next gift, since I managed to reveal a secret wish of a dear friend. Furthermore, I managed to surprise her with a special experience that she might have come up with herself.

So how did I manage to do this?

I gave it some thought.

I really wanted to do something special for her 30th birthday and I started thinking of things she likes to do. Finally, I recalled that my friend loves to document the special moments in her life by taking pictures. I remembered that she always carries a camera with her and loves to have her pictures taken. This recollection led me to the idea of sending her to a photo shoot with the very talented Noa Eisenschtat. Since this gift required a bigger budget, I organized a bunch of friends and we all chipped in.

I really wanted this to be a fun experience, so I joined my friend and her husband and we brought a bunch of cloths and accessories with us.

If you are creative, this gift can be recycled in many ways. In this case I got this gift for a big birthday. However, it can serve as a wonderful gift for a pregnant friend, a new baby or other special occasions. After you receive the photo’s I strongly recommend printing/making a photo book/scrapbook in order to seal the deal.

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