I’ve been meaning to post an article about the “experience gift” for over a year, since I love the idea of giving an activity as a gift. Some of you may remember the sky gliding gift or the Photo session gift, since I blogged about them. However, today I want to talk about the “experience gifts” I didn’t write about, the ones that striked out.

 
Experiance Gifts

 

 

I had a great gift idea for some of my more creative friends, a certificate for a craft class of some sort or another. I thought I had it all planned out: I arranged for a certificate with the art studio, made sure it was geographically close to the receiver, paid in advance for the class and gave the certificate as a gift. What I failed to understand is human nature to postponed unpleasant tasks such as calling to scheduled an appointment (Which always feels kind of awkward). This is what happened to the friends who received a gift certificate for a class or a dinner from me. They were really excited about the gift, but never fully redeemed it. Thinking about it, I  myself, received a dinner certificate more than six months ago, and I still haven’t used it. I was trying to understand why this came to be and I think I got it figured out. I would like to share with you some tips that would help you to successfully give an “experience gift”. I believe these tips would make the difference between a certificate sitting in a drawer and an unforgettable experience.

Tip number 1: Know your friend

Who is your friend? What kind of person is s/he? well organized? Has a lot of time? Social or independent? Bottom line, If you give this person a certificate would it sit in a drawer with all the other piles of things to do or will that person put it to use. Let me tell you that most people, including myself, would probably forget about it until it’s to late, even if it’s the most amazing experience on the face of the earth. This is just the way people are. Don’t give a certificate unless you are absolutely positive that this person would use it.

Tip number 2: Set a time and place

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Setting a time and place is very important. Once a person is invited to a specific time and place, he is more likely to arrive, as apposed to an open invitation that he may or may not choose to take.

Tip number 3: Make an event out of it

Planning the gift as an event is the best way to make sure the gift is fulfilled. You can invite a few friends, or have a privet birthday “date”. By planning an event or meeting you are making it very hard for the person not to come. This is the reason why the sky gliding and photo session worked, they planed as events, and sharing the experience with my friends was just an added bonus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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…

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

 

It’s been a while since I featured a kit… So I was very excited when an opportunity came to make one. I believe that I shared my love for kits already in previous posts, but I really do think that a kit is a great way to personalize a gift. The nice thing about this particular kit is that everything in it is bought; therefore you don’t need any crafting skills in order to create it.

The occasion:

My niece had her 12th birthday yesterday, which is called a Bat Mitzvah (in Hebrew), and is the Jewish coming of age (The age for boys is 13 and is called a Bar Mitzvah). Since the Bat Mitzvah party (which is a big deal in Israel, sort of like a sweet 16), got delayed due to a knee injury my niece had, my mother wanted to make my her granddaughter happy on her special day. She came up with the idea to send her a beauty kit and since she is still too young to start wearing makeup, we decided to mix and match some beauty products that would make her feel pampered.1. Wicker basket 2. Lip gloss 3. Mirror and brush 4. Heart Shaped Bath Bomb 5. Glittering Body Powder 6. Eye Mask 7. Perfumed Oil 8. Bubble Bath

We found a great “Girls Beauty Line” at Laline and hand picked the items into a lovely wicker basket. Since my niece was away, we left the basket on her bed, so she will have a nice surprise when she returned. As a grwon women, I was given similar gifts along the years… And although I know this isn;t the most original gift, sometimes, the most simple idea is the best one. Besides, since it was given to a 12 years old, I was able to use the fun, pink and girly factor and also use some glitter, glitter always upgrades a gift.

Yesterday I realized that today is our second anniversary!!! oops! I totally forgot about it and didn’t have anything ready… Some gift blogging wife am I! Thank god for the internet for quick solutions. I just Googled “anniversary gift for husband” and found a great gift on Etsy: The Eye Exam Chart Print.  I like a simple design like this one, the idea is smart and strong, the concept is simple enough: at first glance this looks like your average eye exam, but when you read into it you find a secret message hidden inside. Don’t you just love hidden messages???

Since I had no time whatsoever, I couldn’t order this online and had to make my own version. Luckily I had all the supplies. I needed a frame, colors, the print itself, (which you can DIY with Word, Power Point, Illustrator or Photoshop and print in black and white).

 

Making the gift myself gave me the freedom to check different text options, which was good since I wasn’t sure on how I wanted to phrase the sentence. You know how you use sentences differently with different people… Well, even though this sentence is  weirdly written, it is the outcome of the common language that my love and I share.

Since the first thing my husband does in the morning is sit by his desk and browse the internet, I decided that the best way to give him this gift would be to leave it at his desk. This way it is the first thing he will see in the morning. Since he wakes up before me I had to sneak it into his den at night and leave it for him to find. The surprise was almost revealed since he went to close the computer before we went to bed, but fortunately he didn’t notice that something was different.

I forgot to mention an important fact that made this gift extra personal. My dear husband has a condition that requires eye physiotherapy, hence, he has to go through the eye exam every few weeks in order to check if the treatment works. When he saw the frame at his desk in the morning, he initially  thought I was mocking him, but when he looked closely, and read the message, he realized that it was a loving gesture.

Keep in mind that I made this for our anniversary, but given the right wording, this gift can work for almost any occasion and anyone. Just use your imagination and personalize it any way you like.

 

How about sharing some sister love?

I love browsing Etsy for gift ideas as it is a great place to find inspiration. Check out these cute necklaces…Whether for a birthday, holiday or a farewell gift, these serve as a perfect token for a beloved sister.

1.  Fairy sister 2. Vintage sisters 3. My star 4. Locket 5.  Big & Lil

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