Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gift ideas galore!

    Summer always seems to be the time of year (other than Christmas) when you have to buy tons of gifts. Weddings, baby showers, graduations, housewarming and hostess gifts, Father's Day and more. And because I just love giving gifts, I thought it would be fun to come up with a list of ideas for all the many summer events. I tried to jump around at all different price points for each type of gift. Hope these suggestions give you some ideas when shopping for all your summertime occasions. 

Weddings: We have been invited to three weddings this year. I just love weddings and I really love buying wedding gifts. I remember how wonderful it was to stock our entire house with cooking supplies, shower curtains, and more when Tim and I got married and our home would be a far more pitiful place without the gracious gifts from our friends and family. Now, ordinarily I would say to stick with a couple's registry when buying a wedding gift, but if you know the couple well enough, sometimes it's fun to surprise them with something personalized or unique. Here are some ideas I have for fun wedding gifts.

This is a set of four mugs featuring a birch tree with carved initials and wedding year on them from Rust Designs. They cost $62 for the set. They come in chocolate and blue. Tim and I have these mugs and they look really great. And there's nothing sweeter or more quirky than carving your love's initials on a tree. There are tons of other designs in mugs, plates, platters, and more on this site.

This is an 8x10 unframed quotation or song lyric from Jenna Sue Designs on Etsy. It does not come framed, but you can find a cheap attractive frame pretty easily. If you know the wedding couple's first dance song, a print of the lyrics would be a really sweet and personal gift. You just specify the 20 or so words and then pick a background color and font color from a list of 28 beautiful colors. I recommend a nice neutral one unless you personally know the recipient's decor colors. I have personally ordered this before and the seller was really great to work with and super fast at shipping it to you. It costs $20 for an unframed 8x10. A frame to complete the look will run you another $5-$15 depending on where you buy it. 

This little book from The I Like Book is just for couples. It has space for every day of the year for the couple to write what they like about each other. It would be a cute way for the newlyweds to take a little bit of time each day to compliment one another and focus on their relationship. The book is $19.95.

Another cute idea for a newlywed couple that would encourage some sweet time spent together would be a nice throw blanket and a couple's devotional. These throw blankets are from West Elm and cost between $19 and $29. I would recommend the devotional "Devotions for a Sacred Marriage" by Gary Thomas. It retails for $10.19.

Father's Day: What to get for that special father (or two or three) in your life? It's hard trying to find something more original than a new tie to buy your dad each year. So here are a few fun ideas for all kinds of dads.

This would be a great gift for a dad that loves Star Wars. It is the book "Darth Vader and Son" by Jeffrey Brown. The book ponders what it would be like if Darth Vader had raised Luke. Imagine "Bring You Child to Work" Day on the Death Star and lightsaber baseball. It's not really a children's book, but more of a gift book for a Star Wars lover. The hardcover copy is currently listed at $10.17 on Amazon. 

Here's a great idea for a new grandpa for Father's Day. A "Great Dads Get Promoted to Grandpa" T-shirt from Cafe Press. The shirt retails for $17 and comes in nine different colors. There are also tons of other Dad and Grandpa T-shirts on the site among other things. And now through June 3, use the coupon code DADDA25 to get 25 percent off your order. 

How about tickets to your dad's favorite sporting event? And for the next two days, if you go to Plum District, you can pay $6 for $30 toward major league baseball tickets or other event tickets through ScoreBig. 

Baby showers or gifts for moms-to-be: Tim and I don't know any pregnant people right now (I know, shocker), but spring and summer are key times of the year for baby showers. Again, you can stick to the registry, but if you want to buy something a little more personal or fun, I say go right ahead. I personally love buying art for the baby's nursery.

A great gift for a soon-to-be mom would be a subscription to Citrus Lane, a monthly subscription box for moms of babies and toddlers. Unlike a lot of other subscription boxes, this one comes with a ton of full-size products and they tailor the boxes to your child's age.  Each month is themed and has really neat stuff inside. I personally would love a subscription to Citrus Lane. You can buy 3, 6, and 12 month packages for $75, $125, and $250, respectively. Your recipient will receive a gift code so they can redeem it and begin their subscription whenever they want. Citrus Lane also offers two special single time boxes: one for pregnant women with various gifts to get her through her pregnancy for $65 and a deluxe baby shower box for $35. 

If you're close to the person who is having the baby and have an idea as to how the nursery will be decorated, a piece of art might be a fantastic gift. One of my favorite artists is Kit Chase who has a shop called Trafalgars Square on Etsy.  I have three of her prints in Owen's nursery. Her prints feature tons of really cute animals, predominantly elephants, giraffes, bunnies, owls, deer, hedgehogs, and lions. The prints range in price based on size from $8 to $36. 

These fun hand-sewn journals are from May Books. The pregnancy journal on the left has inside pages that feature colored charts to track cravings, weight gain, doctor's notes, milestones, to-do lists, and registry must-haves. The pregnancy journal is listed at $15. May Books also features newborn journals for both boys and girls (on right) at $15 each, as well. Those journals help moms keep track of feeding schedules, pediatrician notes, sleep schedules and dirty diapers. I have a meal planner from this company and the quality is really good for a great price. 

This print is from the Etsy shop Amyjdelightful. An 8x10 costs $14 and includes the baby's initial, name, and a matching Bible verse. When ordering, you choose two main colors for the print.

Jelly Cat has some of the cutest stuffed animals around. The medium-sized style costs around $24 and they come in dozens of different types of animals and colors. Owen has the blue puppy and it's really soft and so cute.

Housewarming/hostess gifts: Tim and I know two couples that are currently buying houses right now, so housewarming gifts have been on my mind. It's so nice to be able to celebrate someone buying their first (or second or third, etc.) house. 

These paint chip-inspired linen lacemats are so colorful and cute. They come from Avril Loreti Modern Home on Etsy. The placemats come in four color schemes: purple, blue, green, and orange, and the paint chip color "names" are printed in English and French. Two placemats cost $36, four for $60, six for $84, and eight for $104. 

 These decorative prints are from Jenna Sue Designs on Etsy. They can be customized with the recipient's house number and a skeleton key design or various phrases such as "Welcome to Our Home" and "Home Sweet Home" There are several color schemes from which to choose. All 8x10 prints are $20. 

This would be a great gift for a couple that likes to throw parties, especially if they have a nice big backyard to hang out in and have cookouts. The drink tub is from Bespoke Custom Gifts. It is listed at $75 and can be personalized with the couple's last name. When it's not used as a drink tub, you could use it in the living room piled with blankets or toys or magazines.

How cute is this ceramic fruit container from Anthropologie? Add a dish towel and you have a great hostess gift. I have always thought these were so adorable. They are $14 each and come in yellow, green, coral, blue, and white.

How about a new monogrammed key chain for those new house keys? I love the chevron pattern and the bright colors. This one is from iselltshirts on Etsy. It costs $12.

Birthdays and just becauses. And just for fun, here are some gift ideas for various people on your list, from the pet lover to the book lover.

This doggie bowtie comes from Etsy seller Silly Buddy. Collars are $29, leashes are $39, and bowties are $42. 

This is actually an e-reader cover made from a book. They are made by Chick Lit Designs on Etsy. The covers cost $64. The site also has IPad covers and clutch purses made from books. There are tons of fun covers for all types of e-readers and tablets out there so if you know someone who has one, buying a personalized cover would be a great gift.

This sailor's knot necklace is from the Etsy shop Brooklyn Rehab. The necklace is listed at $20. It was an item featured by Umba Box a few months ago.

The Erin Condren planner is THE planner for the organization freak in your life. I have always wanted one. The 2012-2013 edition should be available in mid-June. The planner has so many different features, including tabs and various folders and zip pockets for more storage and organization. 

The shoe company TOMS now carries really cute ballet flats. They come in 22 different styles and colors and cost between $74 and $84. The cool thing about this company is that they donate a pair of shoes to a child in need for every pair they sell. 

Do you know someone who loves to take pictures? Then maybe a decorative camera strap would be a great gift. This one is from Ivy and A on Etsy and costs $25. There are tons of other fabric and color options on Etsy. Another great gift for a photo bug would be a really cute camera bag. This one is from Cheeky Lime and costs $98. 

Lastly, there are subscription boxes out there for nearly every type of person. Who wouldn't love receiving a surprise in the mail every month? I know I have been really interested in trying some of them and there are tons more subscription boxes available than the ones I list below. My favorites are For the Makers, Umba Box, Citrus Lane, and Conscious Box based on what I've seen online and reviews. The only box that I have actually tried is Bluum box for mothers and babies. It costs $11 a month, but I wouldn't really recommend it unless you get a discounted rate because it rarely has full-sized products and the samples aren't always that exciting. They are also mainly for people with little babies and some of the products don't really fit Owen anymore. Sometimes Plum District offers a three-month subscription for $18, which is a better deal ($6 a month).

For craft lovers, try Whimsey Box for $15 a month. It features 4-5 craft supply samples. Another really cool box for craft lovers is For the Makers, which includes the materials and instructions for four to six projects per month. A monthly subscription costs $29. The May box included all the supplies needed to make hair ties, a bracelet, a painted tea towel, and decorative bowl.
For lovers of Etsy and all things homemade, try Umba Box for $26 a month. Each month, you will receive either one large or several smaller handmade items. For a kiddo or mom with young kids, try Babba Box ($29.99 a month) or Kiwi Crate ($19.99 a month), both of which come with supplies for crafts and other fun activities for children. Owen is too young for these right now, but they seem really fun for a kid between 3 and 7, maybe. For lovers of all things green and natural, you could try Conscious Box for $19 a month or Blissmo Box for $19 a month. Conscious Box includes 10-20 samples per month. 
For people interested in make-up and beauty products, GoodeBox ($16 a month) and Birch Box ($10 a month) would be good ideas. GoodeBox features between 6-7 samples of healthy, sustainable beauty products per month. Gourmet food lovers might like Love with Food for $14 a month. The company also donates a meal to a hungry child for each box sold through No Kid Hungry. 

1 comment:

  1. I love all of these gift ideas! I have to get Moses a bowtie, but they are soooo expensive!! I also want an Erin Condren planner too, but waiting for a good deal on them. I love those mugs too and would make such a cute wedding/shower gift!