Presents

Same Day Delivery

We’re rejoicing in our household over the news that Amazon will soon be offering a same day delivery service here in Chicago (as reported yesterday in Crain’s Chicago Business). I realize that most things are not so urgent that you need them immediately, but it is nice to get (reasonably) instant gratification when making a retail purchase. Where same day delivery really does become more valued, though, is when you’re making a gift purchase.

I tend not to leave gift buying till the last-minute, since I’m a believer in giving truly appropriate presents, and finding those does not tend to occur when you’re under pressure. But when things come up at the eleventh hour or life just gets in the way, same day delivery is a wonderful option to have. I’m sure there will be occasions when a last-minute invite appears and I don’t have the time to physically go out and find the perfect little something. Then I’ll definitely be making use of this service.

In the meantime, here are some gift options that can already be delivered the same day:

2015-04-30 Same Day Delivery - Favorites

a – Cookies by Design – imaginative cookies galore for all sorts of occasions

b – Nordstrom – personal deliveries for the lucky few (in certain zip codes)

c – GiftRocket – online gift card which allows you to merely suggest what to purchase

d – Gift Blooms – floral and other traditional gifts delivered to the door

e – Magazines.Com – magazine subscriptions that can be emailed to your chosen recipient

Presents

Champagne Charlie

Colin Champagne - for posting

While purusing the shelves at our local wine store recently I came across a really appropriate gift, a bottle of Champagne ColinI then started to look for other names that might make excellent gifts for their namesakes. Here are a few of those that caught my eye:

2015-04-28 Alice Wine

2015-04-28 Aubry Wine

2015-04-28 Julia Wine

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With a truly personalized gift like this, little else is required. You want the name to be showcased so I would suggest using some clear wrap so that the impact upon giving is immediate. Then I would simply use some twine to secure it, allowing the bottle itself to be the most dominant feature.

Cheers!

Presents

What On Earth

It’s Earth Day today, a day set aside to “broaden, diversify and activate the environmental movement worldwide” (www.earthday.org). In recognition of this I’ve put together a small sample of gifts for the environmentally inclined:

2015-04-22 Earth Day - Favorites

a – Egg Bird Feeder – a stylish garden addition that comes in several different colors

b – Chrysanthemum Trowel and Fork – beautifully elegant gardening utensils endorsed by the Royal Horticultural Society

c – The Art of Natural Building – a book full of information for the sustainably inclined

d – Smart Planter Trio – a set of minimalistic planters that remind you when you need to water

e – Apple Tree-To-Be – a grow your own apple tree, a plant known to promote bee populations

f – Recyle Tray – just one of many options for collecting your recyclables

Presents

On The Move

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Moving is widely considered to be one of the most stressful life events. This week it’s moving day for a friend. She’s always so kind and there for everyone else when they need her, so I wanted to do something to make her stressful day a little easier.

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I put together a basket of snacks for the big day: iced coffee, breakfast muffins, flavored waters, cereal bars, nuts, mini pretzels, and child-friendly goodies. These are all things that can easily be eaten on the run, without the need of any prep, glasses or utensils. They also include the essential caffeine dose (the frappuccino), liquid for hydration (the water), some protein for sustained energy (the nuts), and a treat (the muffins).

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To personalize it I added a new home gift tag, wishing them lots of happy memories in their fabulous new place!

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Presents

Words Are Golden

In our house we love The Color Kittens and The Saggy Baggy Elephant, characters in the Little Golden Books. They’re not something I grew up with in England, but I like the fact that they have heritage and have entertained children for generations. Plus the illustrations are just so appealing.

Now Random House Children’s Books has teamed up with The Land of Nod to promote the books while at the same time giving to kids that don’t have the same access to literature. For every one of these books purchased at The Land of Nod the publisher will donate another book to Milk+Bookie, a non-profit promoting childhood literacy. For me the appeal of this organization is not just that they give books away, but that they seek to involve children in the process too, suggesting that they take part in the “choosing, inscribing and giving”. My girls are very young but I want to cultivate a culture of caring and sharing as they grow, and this sounds like a program that would allow that to happen. I’m looking forward to taking them into our local store to make a purchase.

Prose

Write On

April is National Letter Writing Month.

This week Paper Source promoted their support of the Write_On Campaign, “a campaign to promote joy, creativity, expression and connection through hand-written correspondence”. Challenging everyone to write a letter a day for 30 days, this campaign appealed to my traditional values. All too often we use excuses to avoid creating written notes (“I’m too busy”, “it’s quicker to e-mail”), when a piece of snail mail would be so much more appreciated. I get tremendous pleasure from receiving a paper note and I’m always encouraged when others feel the same. Although I’m not sure I will be commiting to a letter a day, this is a good reminder to hold true to my values and make the extra effort to hand write greetings to friends.

Write_On have created writing kits to get you started. I’ve also put together ten prompts to inspire those letters, and have come up with some other notecards that might be fun to use. Happy writing!

Just wanted to say hi – it’s been a while… (Paperchase)

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Don’t you miss the days of receiving real mail? (Greer Chicago)

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Want to do coffee? (Paper Source)

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I’m having an open house – please join me. (Minted)

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How’s being a mommy treating you? (Greer Chicago)

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I just read a great book and thought of you. (Paperless Post)

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Wanted to share this fabulous recipe with you: (Williams Sonoma)

2015-04-09 - Recipe photo

It’s springtime! Let’s plan to get out on the water again… (Paper Source)

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How’s the photography class going? I’d love to hear all about it. (Papyrus)

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Here’s a quote I thought you’d appreciate… (Paper Source)

2015-04-09 - Jane Austen photo

Presents

Personalized Presents

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This exciting looking gift box arrived on our doorstep last week, a parcel from England for our newest daughter. I’d not come across My 1st Years before – a British online retailer offering personalized baby goods – but their products are delightful. This particular box of goodies is labeled My 1st Sleepover Set, a cute selection of fluffy robe, plush bunny and sheepskin booties. The soft pink footwear is my particular favorite with the rich fuchsia embroidered lettering on the back – absolutely adorable.

Gift personalization really shows the receiver that you thought of them when purchasing their present, and took a little extra time in the process of making your selection. Mark and Graham have an excellent resource on their website to help with your creation: a monogramming etiquette guide. This provides “rules” on how to arrange initials and also offers styling suggestions. Below are some other sites which offer monogrammed items that make excellent gifts:

Some Favorite Things - Monograms

a – Monograms on Webster – a delightful independent shop specializing in all things monogrammed

b – Aspinal of London – a British retailer that will ship high end leather goods worldwide

c – Personalization Mall – an online option that has personalized products galore

d – Pottery Barn Kids – the retail staple will monogram for custom gift giving