Tag Archives: Holiday

2013 Christmas Gifts That Give Back

4 Dec

gift-giving

It’s that time of year again… Thanksgiving has come and gone and Christmas shopping is in full swing for many as they try to wrap up their holiday shopping. I definitely fall into that category and find myself thinking about my gift list too many times throughout the day while I should be working. If you’re like me, you want to find something special for each person on your list – something that you know they’ll love and appreciate. Over the past few years, I feel like I’ve realized the value of charity more, and of supporting a cause that you feel strongly towards. So this year I’m going to try to incorporate that as much as I can into my Christmas gift giving. And I’d like to encourage you to do the same!

So, how do you give a charitable gift? There’s always the traditional way of making a donation in someone’s name, which is an excellent way to directly support a cause. However, I like to have something wrapped up that my friends and family can open – the best part of gift giving for me is watching their delight while they open it!  I sought out items online that, when purchased, give back to a charitable organization but that are also sparkly enough to light up someone’s face when they receive them. Here are my suggestions for 2013 Christmas gifts that give back.

Sevenly

Sevenly.org has become one of my absolute favorite websites this year and I can’t say enough good things about this company. They are an organization that chooses a different charity each week, sells merchandise to support that cause for seven days, and donate $7 from each purchase to the charity. From child sex trafficking awareness, to ending teen suicide to supporting adoption in children with down syndrome, they support so many worthy causes, and help bring awareness to the growing needs of our world. Sevenly has some pretty awesome inventory, like the most amazing graphic tees, some fab prints, notebooks, jewelry, accessories and baby goods. You should be able to find something for anyone on your list from Sevenly – a cool tee for the guys, some beautiful jewelry or a print for the girls, and a onsie, tee or stuffed animal for the kids! Their current charity is  Operation Christmas Child, and remember to check back every week to see what they’re selling and who they’re supporting next!

(Bonus Facts: Your Sevenly package will arrive in the coolest designed packaging imaginable – they have some serious graphic designers over there. And each purchase comes with a nifty Sevenly sticker, asking the recipient to snap a picture of them in the product and tag themselves on one of Sevenly’s social media sites. How fun!)

Sevenly-tees

Sevenly cause tees

Sevenly-Prints-and-Jewelry

Sevenly charitable gifts including jewelry, bags, and prints.

Sevenly-charitable-gifts

Sevenly home decor, note pads, note cards.

Toms

Ok, let’s be honest – everyone loves a good pair of Toms! This is a real easy gift idea. Toms makes groovy shoes for women, men and children, and the best part is their motto: One For One. For every pair of Toms purchased, they donate a pair of shoes to a person in need. So you can walk around in comfort knowing that somewhere in the world there is another pair of shoes on someone’s feet who appreciates it more than you can imagine – all because of you. I recently received the leopard print pair as a gift (best gift ever!) and am currently crushing on the serpentine pattern.

But Toms is no longer just offering shoes; they’ve now added eyewear to their wheelhouse. And with every pair of Toms glasses purchased, you give sight to one person by way of prescription glasses, sight-saving surgeries, and medical treatments. There is also a Marketplace page, where you have access to tons of charitable gifts from organizations benefiting various causes. Jewelry, apparel, ear buds, this page has it all!

Toms-mens-shoes

Toms Men’s Classics

Toms-eyewear

Toms Women’s Eyewear

Toms-Marketplace

Toms Marketplace

West Elm

I was recently looking for a birthday gift for one of my dearest friends, and this particular girl (along with her wonderful hubby!) is very involved in St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital charity work. So, when I stumbled across the glass bird paperweight on West Elm’s site which benefits St. Jude, it was like serendipity! While on their site I found some other really nice charitable gifts. They have mugs with the designs on them that benefit various charities including ASPCA®Architecture For HumanityOceanaTeach For AmericaDoctors Without Borders, and It Gets Better. Seriously, something for everyone!

west-elm-st.-jude-gifts

West Elm charitable gifts benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

west-elm-charity-mugs

West Elm charity mugs benefiting multiple organizations

Some other great sites to check for charitable Christmas gift ideas are Project7, Sephora, Grounds For Change, and Build-A-Bear Workshop.

Do you have any suggestions for charitable gifts? Happy Holidays!

Mama Always Said…

11 May

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother’s Day! Tomorrow we celebrate Mom and everything that she has done for us. All our lives she has loved us unconditionally, hugged us tight and made everything better, told us we can do anything we set our minds to, and been there for us through thick and thin. Mom is the person who made us who we are today, and I think a day of celebration is definitely in order for this wonderful woman.

Everyone learned pretty much everything they needed to know from their mother, right? Her words of wisdom have echoed in our heads  when faced with tough decisions throughout our lives, and today I’d like to remind you all of some of those wise words. Don’t forget – Mom knows best!

New Year’s Resolution Inspiration

1 Jan

Happy New Year! I hope your 2013 is off to an amazing start. I’m sure many of you are thinking about your New Year’s resolutions today, as I am. Our resolutions are made when we are full of hope and determination for what’s to come. I hope you feel that anything is possible, and look at today as a clean slate for the year that lies ahead of us.

From weight loss to getting organized, make your resolutions count and stay positive! Here is a little inspiration to help you get started and stay focused. Good luck!

Swoon Worthy Christmas Party Looks

8 Dec

Christmas is a little more than two weeks away! Tis the season for Christmas parties, so start planning on looking your best at your family, friend or work holiday function now. Stick with red, emerald (Pantone’s 2013 color of the year!) or gold and you can’t go wrong. I love a cute party dress, but my heart also melts for black skinnies paired with a festive top and sassy heels.

Here are my favorite Christmas party looks this year.

 The Sophisticate

Christmas Party Looks - The Sophisticate

The Life of the Party

Christmas Party Look - The Life of the Party

via polyvore

The Trend Setter

Christmas Party Looks - The Trendsetter

Pair any of these looks with a red manicure and lip color and you’re all set!

Christmas Party Looks - Red Lips and Nails

via polyvore

Which is your favorite Christmas party look?

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Pretty DIY Thanksgiving Centerpieces

13 Nov

Thanksgiving is just a week away and I for one can not wait for some turkey and homemade stuffing! Thanksgiving was always a big deal for me growing up – my family would all gather together to eat wonderful family recipes, tell stories, and just enjoy the company of each other. I have so many fond Thanksgiving memories of my cousins, aunt and uncles, and grandparents.

Each Thanksgiving in our home the main show stopper has been the food (mmm, Mama’s sweet potato casserole!). I remember the table always being decorated in a beautiful Fall tablecloth with little touches here and there to add to the spirit of the season. This year, I wanted to carry on the tradition and make sure my own Thanksgiving table look festive with a pretty centerpiece. I love the idea of bringing nature indoors, and found a few ideas that I really like. And even better – they are pretty easy to make, too!

Click each image for DIY instructions.

Acorn Votive – image via

via Mandy on Pinterest

 via Mandy on Pinterest

via Mandy on Pinterest

Which is your favorite? I really like the tree where each family member writes what they are thankful for on the leaves. What a great way to bring the true meaning of Thanksgiving to the dinner table!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Four DIY Halloween Costumes

26 Oct

Halloween is less than a week away! Do you have your costume picked out? There will be a lot of Halloween costume parties this weekend, and it’s not too late to throw together a last-minute ensemble. Here are some of my favorite costume ideas that I came across this year.

Black Swan

Click image for a makeup tutorial.

Katniss Everdeen

Don’t forget the braid! Click the image for a tutorial.

Lois Lane & Clark Kent (couples costume)

Lois Lane & Clark Kent Halloween Costumes

Don’t forget your Daily Planet Press Passes!

Walking Dead Zombies

(WARNING! This one’s scary!)

Rubie’s Costume Co. teamed up with The Walking Dead to create zombie inspired costumes! To get a serious Halloween costume, check them out here. Or create your own like so:

The Walking Dead zombie costume

Go all out with the makeup! Click the image for a zombie makeup tutorial directly from The Walking Dead producers.

What are you dressing up as this year? Do you have a favorite costume from a past Halloween?

Why I Love October

8 Oct

October is my favorite month, but not just because it’s my birthday month (I shouldn’t get so excited about that anymore seeing as I’m becoming an old woman and all). October means Halloween, which is my favorite holiday next to Christmas. Growing up, Halloween was always a big deal in my house. We always decorated, went all out with our Halloween costumes, and trick-or-treating was like, the most fun thing ever. But it also meant that right after Halloween we’d get Thanksgiving where I got to gather with all of my cousins, aunt, uncles, grandparents and just pig out. Then of course it is right on to the most wonderful time of the year – Christmas! Yes, October means the start of something wonderful in my world.

So, it’s no surprise that I’ve already started celebrating Halloween! The house is decorated, I have begun my annual scary movie marathon, and pumpkin carving ideas are underway. And to keep you guys in the Halloween spirit, too, I plan on posting Halloween related material all month such as: 1) my top 10 scary movies to watch at Halloween, 2) cool pumpkin carving designs, and of course 3) great costume ideas.

Be sure to check back, and let me know what Halloween traditions you have in your family!  

Happy October!

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