Gutsy Woman


Fact: Gusty women like pancakes.

This morning I met up with some girlfriends over brunch to wish our friend good luck on her upcoming travels. She’s definitely the definition of a gutsy woman:

marked by courage or daring, plucky

It takes courage to go off to South Africa for an extended length of time on your own, and I’m full of admiration. I chose the travel book Gutsy Women as a bon voyage gift. Amongst other things, this book has tips on keeping safe while travelling as a woman alone. I wrapped it in world map paper (from Paper Source), showing Africa on the front of the package. Then under South Africa’s Cape of Good Hope I added my best wishes:

HOPE your travels are GOOD!


A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Sometimes a simple thank you is all that’s needed.

My Mum returned to England this week. As always, while here she did so much for us. We of course treated her too, but I also wanted to express our gratitude in the old-fashioned way. We love taking photographs and she loves receiving them, so I selected some pictures we took during her visit to create a custom photo card. I like to do this for our visitors; we are always glad to see them and appreciate the effort that travelling involves. This then leaves our guests with a memento of their time away – a significant place on the front (here a memorable brunch spot), and a more personal selection on the inside (pictures of us all together). – A reminder of fun memories.


Think Pink









This birthday card called out to me in Paper Source. I laughed out loud. My sister and I spent many hours perfecting our hairdressing skills during childhood. I preferred a more subtle approach, inching the blades upwards in considered increments. She adopted a chop-and-see technique that often resulted in an asymmetric cut that was way ahead of its time.

But we had no vendetta with Barbie – or Sindy, as the British equivalent was called. Sindy had more realistic proportions, a plumper face, and generally less striking features. Considered the girl-next-door to her stateside cousin, to us she was the epitome of glamor.

My sister still retains an affinity with those days of dolls and role playing, for her favorite color is pink. Her wardrobe is full of it, her electronics are coated with it, and her house is filled with as much of it as her husband will bear. So once again I’m channelling pink in the birthday wrapping, adhering to her motto: you can never have too much pink.


There’s No Place Like Home


Dorothy knew it:

No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful.

There is no place like home.

– The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

As a British native living in America, to me home is not just where you are from, but also where you park your ruby slippers at night. Whilst in England it was the place I shared with a sister and parents, the place of tea and biscuits, of games and stories. Here in the States it is the place I share with a husband and friends, the place of brunch and laughter, of nights in and tranquility.

A new home can also represent a new beginning, as with two friends who have recently moved: one newly single, the other relocating. I plan to send handwritten cards to each. This is certainly a time for sending good luck and best wishes, as they travel along the yellow brick road, each into their chosen Emerald City. May they find that the grass is greener.


Mr. Nice Guy


“With sincerity and fondness…” This week we received a heartfelt thank you from our friend Guy – Mr. Nice Guy.

For Guy’s birthday party recently I had compiled a gift based around his name:

a man or youth; a fellow, man or boy; a male given name

I searched the Treat website for the word ‘guy’ and found this appropriate card. Searching for ‘guy’ gifts I felt that The Other Guys DVD, starring Will Ferrell, added a dash of humor to the mix – something Guy most definitely has. Our Guy is also smart so some Weisz Guy beer seemed a perfect accompaniment to movie night in.

Cheers to the birthday Guy!


Grape Shake

ImagePantone hue 18-2109, otherwise known as Grape Shake, is the color of people whose birthday is today, September 21. A color that straddles the warmth of red and the coolness of blue, this shade reflects the opposing qualities of excitement and calm.

I recently purchased the book Colorstrology, what your birthday color says about you by Michele Bernhardt, thinking it could provide inspiration for some fun and unique birthday presents. This morning I opened it and word association struck: grape… wine! Bold, interesting reds are on my mind since we received our shipment from the Robert Mondavi Winery Spotlight Wine Club this week. We are passionate about good wine in our household, but often bottles can be just so-so, relegating it to an adequate fall-back gift, but rarely inducing an overtly positive reaction in the receiver. Adding in elements of colorstrology could help liven up this tired offering.

Grape shakers apparently make excellent producers and writers so this provides a starting point: Producer… wine producer of course! Writer… how about adding some words directly onto the bottle with a special pen? The perfect prose is already printed on the purple page: “sense of humor”, “creative intelligence”, “innovative” and “ambitious”.

Adding cellophane wrap would allow the elements of the gift to be seen, whilst providing a finished appearance. Fixing this in place with an amethyst bow would seem appropriate, while a gift tag (in toning lilac) could explain the gift:

Your birthday color is


Enjoy the vine & shake a leg!