This week, I decided I was going to turn one of my best (read: useless) skills — online shopping — into something from which everyone else can benefit. Since September 1st, I’ve secretly been scouring the internet for new pumpkin products but now that October is FINALLY here, I can set my sights on Halloween.
No matter what holiday is around the corner, little things like coffee mugs, string lights and candle holders always get me in the spirit and make life just a little more festive. There are so many new knickknacks out there, I wanted to share with you some of my favorite internet finds that will get your Halloween off on the right foot:
Like many people, it wasn’t until I moved away for college that I realized how much my mom did for me. Suddenly her frustrations about not having enough hours in the day to go to work, keep the house clean and figure out what to cook for dinner every night make a lot more sense. And I don’t even have kids yet!
I’m not sure how she did it, but I’ll be eternally grateful. So even though there aren’t enough gifts and cards in the world to show my appreciation, I figure these are a good start. Check out what made our 2014 Mother’s Day gift guide and tell us what you’re planning to do for Mom this year in the comments below.
P.S. Don’t forget stepmothers, grandmothers and in-laws! They deserve your appreciation, too!
I wouldn’t really call myself a nerd, but I have spent many a Friday night with my nose in a book and I may or may not have dressed up as a Hogwarts student for the Harry Potter midnight movie premieres… But who hasn’t done that, right? So whether you’re an old-school Trekkie or a new Big Bang Theory fan, you’re sure to love these free Valentine’s Day printables that are simply “adorkable!”
Not only is this monogrammed leather valet easy to craft, you probably have most of the materials on hand like an old frame, some batting or foam and a spare bit of leather – this is a great project for upcycling a past-its-prime jacket or purse. The steps are simple, just disassemble the frame then use the backing as a template to cut out a small piece of leather and batting. Place the leather, suede side up, on top of the batting and secure it in the frame with strong tape.
I used an old trick from college printmaking classes to create removable registration marks on painter’s tape that would help me find the tray’s center before placing the adhesive stencils (these things are awesome, btw, you can find them with the glass-etching supplies at your local craft store). Fill in the stencils with a permanent marker and voila — a handy catch-all for dad to keep his keys, change, watch and anything else he needs to grab on his way out the door.
Mother’s Day is sneaking up fast (it’s this Sunday!) but you still have time to craft a handmade gift — especially one as simple as this sweet little jewelry box. Best of all, the materials for this project cost less than $20 and you’ll be ready to surprise her with your thoughtfulness in no time flat!
All you need is paint or stain, a decorative knob and a pair of fence post caps (1 flat and 1 raised). Yep, just plain old fence post caps. You can find them in the fencing department of your local hardware store and they look like this:
Thanks to the flat cap’s stepped design, it fits nicely inside the raised cap to create a lid – like so:
Finish your jewelry box with the paint or stain color of your choice, add a knob and surprise Mom with a charming personalized box filled with a small trinket or sweet surprise.
I haven’t even started thinking about doing my holiday gift shopping yet, but I’m not worried because along with our own excellent gift guide on HGTV.com, I’ve got an ace up my sleeve. That ace is called Svpply. If you’re not already familiar with it, think of Svpply like Pinterest, but for products. It’s tempting to call it a “social shopping site,” although I think the better way to describe it is a “retail bookmarking and recommendations” site with a clean, minimalistic design. You create an account, and drag the “Buy Later” bookmarklet into your browser’s toolbar. Now when you search the shopping sites you love and spot something you want to remember, you can click the “Buy Later” button, briefly describe the item, and it gets clipped and saved to your Svpply.
This is handy enough, but there’s also a social element. You can follow friends, stores, or even strangers with great taste, to see which products they’ve added to their accounts. Not to mention that there are features that allow you to see the trending products across the site and Svpply’s own Editor’s Pick. Best of all for this time of year are the gift guides, broken down by price point and type of product, and the new ability to make a set of items (like a Pinboard) — say, “In-Law Gift Ideas” — and either keep the set private (good if the people you’re shopping for are also on Svpply) or mark it public to share with other users (like I plan to do with my own wish list, hint hint). Svpply’s always been handy for my Daily Delight design spotting, but I think it might just make me the best Secret Santa of all time.
Are you on Svpply, or are you planning to join? If so, leave your user name in the comments! Happy gift hunting, all.
It’s party season! If you are planning on attending holiday parties this year, be sure not to show up empty handed. I’ve compiled 10 Fabulous Gift Ideas for the Hostess to share with you. These are easy to find, easy to order or just might inspire you to find something similar. Let’s start with edible gifts. Sweets and treats are abundant this time of year and they are especially great when they come with pretty packaging. Baking yourself? Buy cute plates like the elf one and present your goodies on the plate.
I always love personalized gifts! Think ahead and order monogrammed gifts for any upcoming events you are attending. The monogrammed mugs can be filled with candy, treats or a gift card and wrapped with cellophane and ribbon for a perfect hostess gift.
For those of you who struggle until the last minute with what to get Dad for Father’s Day, I’ve finally figured out that it’s all in the card and a handmade present. Craft him something he’ll love and use for years; then pour your heart out in the card. So, for all you procrastinators, HGTV’s here to help!
While I totally think the world of my father and his slightly-off sense of humor, I absolutely loathe buying gifts for the man. And as I creep into mid-thirtysomething territory at warp speed, I start to think of what exactly I’d want if/when I have rugrats of my own. Sure, I work in the design industry, so it’s pretty much a sure thing I’m gonna want something decorative, personal and meant for my home; however, there’s a fine line between classic masculine and cliche dude styles. Beer steins and pool tables? No. Pinstripes and Milo Baughman-esque finishes? Oh, why yes, yes indeed, that sounds remarkably wonderful. If you’re struggling, trying to think of timeless home-related gifts for Dad, check out some of these great finds available online or through showrooms. Then, after that, toss those beer can koozies in the trash or set them on fire. Happy Father’s Day!
If you ever thought picnics and Big Daddy mixed together just sounded kinda wrong, think again. Boxsal creates eco-conscious, disposable picnic sets that rock, literally. One of them, Urban Picnic, is a cardboard replica of an old-school boombox. The other, Office Escape, is a cardboard version of a classic leather briefcase. Both open up to reveal components essential to enjoying delicious bites outdoors.
Buck the velvet artwork of dogs playing poker and instead consider wrapping Dad in something classic. The Scotland Forever Throw available through Amazon.com is something that will keep any father warm and snugly as well as timelessly cool at the same time. Made of lambswool, it’s available in several colors and retails for $105.
When it comes to gifts, I’m a firm believer in going big or going home. This can often super-suck each holiday season when trying to one-up the previous year’s mega-present. A self-proclaimed procrastinator when it comes to shopping, last year was an exception as I was able to order my that’s-so-clever-I-must-have-it showstopper online weeks, even months before the big day. So just what did I get for both that top drawer individual and myself? Custom Muppets from the Muppet Whatnot Workshop. Whatchutawkinbowtwillis?
Yep, I said Muppet. This brilliant concept is housed on FAO Schwarz. With a few clicks, you can create your very own Jim Henson style doppelganger through an assortment of characteristic categories; they even arrive in vinyl drawstring bags, which eliminate the need for gift-wrapping.
When it comes to choosing holiday gifts for others, sometimes I’m the WORST and sometimes I’m the BEST. Being a creative type, I only get into the gift-giving spirit once inspired by something — or someone. Unfortunately, this usually leads to procrastination, which leads to added stress, which leads to…GIFT CARDS.
Although I always try my hardest to avoid the G-word, some people are just too hard to read; rocking the pocket plastic is both safe and practical. Perhaps that vintage Bionic Woman lunchbox your TV-obsessed boss stalks on ebay is too personal a choice from an employee. Or maybe that jelly/crackers/cheese basket you picked up for the in-laws suddenly seems more fit for the gal that does your nails than the people who watch your kids.
To keep us all from resorting to the G-word, my friend and Casa Sugar editor, Julia Walsh, put together a list of 12 last-minute gifts for design lovers. From the notoriously late party guest to that special lady who loves to entertain, Ms. Walsh has gotcha covered. Unless you’re shopping for someone who prefers gift cards. And if that’s the case, maybe you should just buy them a gift card to the gift card store.
Ready or not, Christmas is coming. In fact, it’s almost upon us which, of course, means there are stockings to stuff. I searched the blogosphere and found 5 cute (and easy) crafts that you can quickly create to fill ‘em up.
Brenda Ponnay of the Alpha+Mom blog says these adorable snowglobe soaps ”are just about as easy as making a batch of homemade popsicles except you get to melt things in the microwave.” A cute craft that involves melting and is easy to create — sign me up!
In my last post about the NY International Gift Fair I mentioned my finds at the Japanese Pavilion. I found a few more goodies that I wanted to share. Although most of my correspondence is done electronically these days, I tend to be old fashioned when it comes to writing thank you notes. I always feel like my gratitude is best expressed with a handwritten card. I found a few which are so lovely; they’ll inspire thank you notes for sending one.
I am not a klutz but accidents happen, especially at home and a well stocked first aid kit is a good thing to have around. But I find whenever I need something I’ve got to sift through a drawer filled with creams, ointments and bandages to get to exactly what I need and hope I’ve made the right choice for the situation. I’ve just discovered a solution to all this. The Intelligent First Aid Kit has the usual elements of a kit (which are all filed and color coded) and it also has an audio component, so you get instructions to go with it. That way you know the right thing to do when you get injured. As in my last post I think this is another perfect housewarming gift that’s practical and cool.
What’s the best housewarming gift you’ve ever received?
Things I love include: seeing how people live by visiting them at home, hor d’oeuvres or tapas and great conversation. That’s why I’m usually the first to accept an invite to a house warming party. I like the idea of helping someone to turn a house into a home. The hard part of this is choosing the perfect gift.
You want to give something useful, attractive and appropriate. I’ve found something that I think fits the bill perfectly (and I’m a little obsessed too). Take a look at these stylish and practical fire extinguishers by Fire Design. Every home should have at least one.
So what’s the worst house warming gift you’ve ever received?
It’s almost Father’s Day — again! Seems like we were just faced with the age-old dilemma: What to give the man who has everything? No worries, we’re here to help with suggestions for dads who are into tools, kicking back, gadgets, the great outdoors, beer (yes, shocking I know, but some dads like their beverages foamy and fermented) grilling and more.
We’d like to know:
Be sure to check out our Father’s Day feature for hundreds of out-of-the box gift ideas sure to please all sorts of dads.
I find Mother’s Day the easiest of all holidays to shop for. The timing is so perfect — gardens have come far enough into spring to reveal their gaps, and nurseries are overflowing with goodies. Although my mama is now gardening in another realm, my husband’s mother, whom I adore, also loves most green things (a few exceptions include the kudzu which lurks at the boundaries of her yard).
This year I think she’ll love the new Flower Carpet ‘Amber’, which is a combination of peach-apricot-gold-yellow, depending on the age of the flower. Like the others in the series, it’s a pretty easy rose to grow (as in “plant it and ignore”). The ones in our garden haven’t looked quite as floriferous as the plant pictured here, but that’s because they’re in shade for a good part of the day.
There’s still a party going on with all the old-fashioned shrubs that have been made new again. It used to be that grandmas had to accept that the price of loving their flowering shrubs was waiting through the other three seasons of the year when not much was happening or putting up with disease-prone varieties, too-tall plants or floppy flowers. So now you can find tidier habits in just the size you want, with more disease resistance and even more flower color selections and interesting foliage.