Entries in Gift Ideas (56)

Tuesday
Jan122010

Valentines Inspired Pillows

Yet again, one of my favorite blogs (Bliss, to be exact) introduced me to an adorable little textile company and blog today: Chocolate Creative. Ok, first of all....GREAT name, right? Second of all...these pillows are just PERFECT for Valentine's Day! Here are some pictures from inside part-owner Margarita Lorenzo's home (which is, well, fantastic!):
You can purchase this Messages 100% Hemp Eco-Pillow here

And you can also purchase this Red Heart Stitch Pillow here!

{all images from here via here}


Monday
Jan112010

Sponsor Feature: Tara's Vintage Kitchen

Welcome to a new week, friends! Today, we are totally thrilled to feature one of our sponsors:
You may recall this darling little shop from our Handmade Holiday Gift Guide. Stocked full of deliciously vintage goodies for your kitchen, it's run by the sweetest mother and daughter team (Sharon & Tara) - appropriately referred to as The Vintage Shoppe Keepers!

From linens to silver to bakeware, Tara's Vintage Kitchen has impeccable taste and offers only the lovliest of lovely vintage treasures from kitchens past. Our current favorite (perfect, in fact, for a Valentine's Day gift) is this 1950's Vintage Red Apron:
Please do stop by Tara's Vintage Kitchen.
We are sure you'll adore their finds as much as we do (not to mention the photos are just perfection!).
You can also check out the shoppe keeper's blog here.
{all photos courtesy of Tara}

Monday
Dec282009

Christmas Traditions Part II

Hello! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday and enjoyed some time off of work and fun with your families and friends! I cannot BELIEVE it's almost 2010...can you? Alas I am feeling inspired and motivated and totally energized for the new year to come. Stay tuned for some BIG things from F&F! I honestly cannot wait!

{image from here}

In the spirit of Allegras last post, I (Emily) thought I would share a little about the new Christmas traditions we made this year in my family. It was a daunting holiday season as a newlywed, to say the least. Sharing time with two families seemed nearly impossible and, to be quite frank, didn't really excite me. Anxious and stressed that my quarter century of Christmas traditions would be ruined this year, the hus and I began the dreaded task of planning our double-holiday. In the end, even though both of our individual traditions may have been reinvented, altered, or even left out, our NEW traditions proved to be equally (if not more) special and memorable.

New Tradition #1: "Christmas Adam" and As Seen on TV + Gourmet TV Dinners!

Yes, my sisters and I coined the term Christmas Adam (the day before Christmas Eve) a LONG time ago when we thought the biblical reference to Adam and Eve was oh-so-clever. But it stuck, and December 23rd has forever been Christmas Adam in our family. Usually this day is filled with baking and wrapping and last minute decorating...and of course my dad's amazing cooking. THIS year, we decided to throw a crazy spin on Christmas Adam. We turned it into an As Seen On TV gift exchange and gourmet TV Dinner night! Everyone had to purchase a gift that had the official "as seen on tv" logo on the packaging. After the exchange we watched EVERY SINGLE infomercial on YouTube to judge who's gift earned the best and CHEESIEST infomercial award. It was hilarious! Then we dined on Salisbury Steak, green beans and mac & cheese, all compliments of my dad's fantastic chef-skills. It was like 1950's Swansons Dinners done gourmet!

This is one of the goodies I came home with:


New Tradition #2: Christmas Eve Pedicures & Starbucks Date - NO BOYS ALLOWED!

{image from here}

With the addition of two guys who married into my family this year, the three-girl sister dynamic has definitely changed. In order to preserve some precious alone time and girls-only bonding, my sister Aly gifted us a pedicure and coffee date for Christmas Eve. She handed out matching candy cane flip flops from Old Navy and handmade gift certificates for our date to be had on Christmas Eve Day. This was one of my favorite gifts of all this year and the time with my mom and sisters was incredibly special to me!

New Spin on an Old Tradition #3: TisBest Charity Gift Cards from the "Philanthropy Phairy"
My family has always given back each holiday season...I'm sure you remember my post awhile back on the memories I have growing up of giving to others at Christmas. Well this year my dad found the greatest idea ever to carry on this tradition: TisBest Charity Gift Cards! He purchased a gift card for each of us, and just like any other retail gift card, we get to "shop" with any charity we like and "purchase" our donation with it! It's completely personalized and fun and really allowed each of us to choose a cause we connect with. I am LOVING this idea for future gift giving (year round!)!

Well, those were just a few of the new traditions my family created this year that I hope we carry on in the years to come. All in all, it was a lovely Christmas filled with laughter, joy, and family...and that is all I could ever ask for. I hope you enjoyed your holiday traditions this year, both old and new!

Thursday
Dec102009

Inspired to Give Back this Season

{image from here}

'Tis the season to shop, and buy, and wrap, eat, and drink, and laugh, and be merry...right? But 'tis also the season to GIVE to a cause or family or person who may need a helping hand.

This is a conviction I feel often, but it's especially strong during the holidays. Just ask my family...as I've been known to go all out buying goat's for families in Africa in their honor as Christmas gifts...an "interesting" gift to receive, to say the least!
(If you're in the market for creative giving, check out World Vision).

{image from here}

Growing up, my mom had my sister's and I participate in Operation Christmas Child every holiday season. I LOVED this as a kid because it meant going shopping for a little girl or boy's Christmas presents which I would be allowed to thoughtfully pick out all on my own! Everything had to fit in a shoebox, which we would wrap carefully, and send off to a child in need.

{image from here}

These are just a few of the ways I have given back over the past holiday seasons.

But this year I started to get lazy.

I started to wallow in the "how can I even afford a Christmas gift for my husband?!" and "I'm canceling my December birthday to save time and money" thoughts when I realized:
I have lost sight of one of the REAL reasons for the season--GIVING OF MYSELF TO SOMEONE ELSE WHO NEEDS IT!


Inspired by The Blind Side (which is an AMAZING movie, if you haven't seen it - GO NOW!), and then by Great Full Day's blog series called The Great Give which challenged bloggers to DO SOMETHING (however great or small) for someone else, I started brainstorming WHAT I could do this season...

Last night, I read an AMAZING article in this months "O" Magazine on the practice of tithing to charity. It was an excellent piece (read it here) which encouraged giving what you CAN and then a little more - making it "feel like a sacrifice." I know with the economy, everyone is pinching pennies this season, but it's important to not overlook those who are hurting far more than we might be.

So...the hus and I have decided to adopt a local family of 3 to purchase gifts and groceries for this Christmas. If you live in the Bay Area and are interested in the organization we went through, click here. I cannot WAIT to receive the names our family and go shopping for them! This IS one of my favorite parts of the season...giving the gift of love, time, and a portion of my paycheck to make another family's Christmas SPECIAL!

Let's get to GIVING, shall we?!

We want to know, what are YOU doing to give back this season?


(P.S. This is the LAST DAY to enter to win a gift certificate from The Urchiness & THANK YOU to the ever thoughtful blog Stylestance for the feature today!)

Friday
Dec042009

Loving Felt this Season!

I am OBSESSED with Felt right now.
It's everywhere and I'm loving all of the creative uses for it!
Here are some of my favorites...

Felt California Pillow from Love, California's Etsy Shop

Felt & Lame Gold Mix Corsage Brooch from A Alicia Handmade's Etsy Shop

Rose Felted Stretch Headband from Snugar's Etsy Shop

Eco Friendly Felt Stockings from Rikrak's Etsy Shop

Felted Wreath from Hershey is My Baby's Etsy Shop

Bird Ornaments from Squirrel's Nest's Etsy Shop

Felted Cupcake Pin Cushion from Made in Lowell's Etsy Shop

Felted Bowl from Anthropologie

Fiat Luxe Felted Soap from Anthropologie

xoxo,
Emily & Allegra