ALL POSTS IN Gift Guides

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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.

snowglobe soapBrenda 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!

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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.

Cavallini.com or TouchofEurope.com

Cavallini.com or TouchofEurope.com

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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.
intelligent-first-aid-kit

What’s the best housewarming gift you’ve ever received?

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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.

freshome.com

freshome.com

So what’s the worst house warming gift you’ve ever received?

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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.

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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.

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About once a year, I feel the urge to do something crafty. Perhaps it’s my memory of making a Mother’s Day gift at school and trying to get it home before it fell apart. But, right on time, the mood struck me last week when I saw some lovely spring-colored translucent soaps that looked to me like perfect Mother’s Day fare. But they needed a little something, a little personality.

Soap

Embellished Glycerin Soaps

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