Tag Archives | gifts

swapping mugs {MUG SWAP 2014}

mugswap2014

I recently got to take part in a really fun and simple Mug Swap {I did it last year too}. The lovely Kim @ ACUPPAKIM hosted her annual swap again this year {over 1,ooo people signed up to swap mugs with strangers all over the country} to my delight! It’s pretty simple. You buy a mug and some goodies for someone and another gal does it for you. I got to shop for and surprise a sweet Mama in Texas. I tried to find things that fit her life, interests and favorite sweets. and of course i found a mug for her. I was totally spoiled by a different Mama in Southern California. Sharon totally got me. She must have a gift for giving gifts. It was really fun to get to know these two ladies through their social media accounts. I also loved the chance to give a total stranger some special goodies {just for her}!

Beyond just the swap Kim asked us to donate money to a friends adoption fund this year and seemed to raise a bundle for this sweet family. There were even some great giveaways! It was a fun experience yet again this year.

So here is what I gave & what I got!

What I gave the lovely Tammy because she sews & loves Disneyland and these candies and coffee and I felt totally Inspired by her beautiful sewing! {blog:www.karamatsews.com} {instagram:karamatsews}

mug sharonWhat I got from the lovely Sharon! {blog:bug & belle} {instagram:bugandbelle}

sharon loot 448 sharon box 1000Here is what I wrote in response to opening up my box of goodies:

Dear Miss Sharon,
I do not have words to describe how well you understood and blessed me with the #mugswap2014 loot you sent my way.  First of all the mug is gorgeous and totally my style. The dark chocolate and candy for the kids…to die for. The Katy Daisy print is so perfect for our home and simply divine! And honestly I cannot believe how adorable the California onesie is for my Blake. Each member of our little family has one and now he will too. Did you make it? Wow. So thoughtful! Thank you a million times over for such a gift {and truly a gesture of very thoughtful loveliness from a practical stranger}! I look forward to getting to know you better through IG!
Love, *laura* {everydayVALENTINE}

If you want to join in on the fun you can follow Kim on Instagram {username: cuppakim}. She is saying there might be another swap in January {and you don’t have to be a blogger to participate}!

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make your own {DISNEY} t-shirt

design your own t-shirtDo you want to make a custom t-shirt that your kids will love? You can do it. It’s quick, cheap and easy!

IMG_1213This is the shirt I made my little boy for one of our Disneyland trips.

He loved it and did not want to take it off! And it was so easy to make! Win/Win!

::what you will need::

iron-on transfer kit

{I used one from Target designed for dark-colored shirts}

printer for a printed image

{use a free printable or graphic and print on your kits provided transfer paper-be sure to look at your kits directions to see if it needs to be printed right side up or in reverse}

 shirt of choice {pre-washed}

{I used a plain, black, long sleeve cotton t-shirt from Target}

iron, lint-roller & scissors

::directions::

 It’s very important to follow the directions from the purchased iron-on transfer kit. As you will see in my pictures below I simply washed and dried the shirt {I removed lint as well}, printed the image, cut it out, ironed it on the shirt and let it set.

DSC_0898 DSC_0888 DSC_0887 DSC_0256 DSC_0157 DSC_0156 DSC_0154 DSC_0152 DSC_0148IMG_0151

::my printed image source::

I used a template from the our printer that was connected to Disney’s family fun website {unfortunately I cannot find it online for y’all}…but you can check out their website HERE

Here are some extra printable ideas!

Make sure you are using something considered a FREE printable and not a copyrighted image.

Just remember to follow the directions of your iron-on transfer paper before printing, as some need you to reverse the image first. This can be a little more tricky and requires some extra steps so check it out before you print.

Find FREE Disney printables that could work great for t-shirts, canvas bags or even pillow-cases HERE, HERE & even HERE.

Please note that you may need to get creative {and not all of these images will work} but you can find a colorful & complete graphic to make almost anything work.

If you like this method the possibilities are endless…find tons of FREE unique, vintage and decorative images HERE at the Graphics Fairy {great for your home, pillows, cloths, prints and/or homemade gifts}.

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it’s the most wonderful time of the year {besides Fall, of course}

Dear Christmas,

You are right around the corner. While we love you and are counting down the days until you arrive, we always seem to get caught up in the hustle & bustle. Sometimes we lose sight of your true meaning come December. Perhaps I can work hard to plan now so that our focus will be on the gift of baby Jesus and not on buying presents for our loved ones. Thank you for being the most wonderful time of the year. I want to savor every glittering light, special cookie, dazzling tree, choo-choo train, gift of service, lit candle and sacred Christmas carol this year.

All my love and devotion,

*laura*

Here is some content that I have posted before.  I hope it inspires you to get going on those gifts so that you can enjoy the holiday season as well.

Our goal (for Christmas & birthdays throughout the year) is to give gifts that express our love but also make less of an impact on landfills and clutter in our homes. This is not always possible and yes I know that some people find this impersonal but let’s be honest for a minute. How many gifts do we get every year that just fill up our home with more stuff? Not that stuff is bad (we Americans love stuff) but with the exception of a few things…here or there…I for one really do not need more of it!

So here we go with a few ideas:
*Consumable Gift Ideas*
*CERTIFICATE for TIME SPENT
*CERTIFICATE for A HOMEMADE MEAL
*CERTIFICATE for a SPECIAL TRIP
*HOMEMADE FOOD (such as jams, breads, nuts, cookies)
*CERTIFICATE for a SPECIAL CLASS (such as cooking, sewing, dance class or swim lessons)
*GIFT CARDS (for meals, clothing stores, grocery stores, movies, spa treatments, shows, events or even flowers)
*GOURMET GIFT BASKETS (chocolate treats for a chocoholic or for a friend with a special diet like celiac you could group together specialty gluten-free products)
*For KIDS: Bubbles, Chalk, Art Supplies, Stickers (one can rarely have enough of these things)
***
DSC_0654
*Giving Back Gift Ideas*
*Have you heard about Operation Christmas Child from Samaritans Purse? Click on the link to check it out and look-up how it works and where you can drop off your box this year! Hurry because the deadline to drop off your box is in a few weeks. Our MOPS group is doing it this year as a fun way to give back and get our kids involved.  Maybe even consider giving a box in place of a gift for a family you know and on Christmas present them with a description of why you have a box in their name and a picture of what you put in the box and where it went.
DSC_0667
***
*Do you know about LOVE146 yet? Their mission is to END CHILD SEX SLAVERY AND EXPLOITATION.  I learned about this organization at Blog Sugar and have not been able to get it off my mind. Items can be purchased in their store as gifts (most of the money goes back to their organization).  Check it out and be ready to grab a tissue for this one.
***
*And of course you can give to Compassion right now. Year Round: Compassion is an organization that allows you to sponsor children all over the world in order to help them with basic physical (and spiritual) needs. You pay a monthly fee and are able to write letters back and forth and give extra money for their birthday’s and Christmas if you can.  We have really enjoyed doing this and wanted to spread the word!  Check them out if you are considering a new way to give-back this year!  And one more thought…if you have a baby or small child and are not sure what to get them for Christmas (because after all they are a baby and have no idea what is going on) consider looking up a Compassion child to sponsor by the birthday and gender of your child.  We did this for both the kids for their “Baby’s 1st Christmas” gift and it has been fun watching other children grow up with their birthdays (even though they are not their age)! It’s a nice way to have something in common with these beautiful children all over the world. Just something to consider as you make your lists!
31 days (250)
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art prints {so beeee-you-ti-ful}

I love all the beautiful Art Prints floating around the Internet and especially Pinterest these days. From beautiful quotes and verses to adorable graphics and images to incredible photos…I just cannot get enough.
Here are a few of my favorites:
And for a great cause check out this collaborative shop:
the joyful shop 

grace for grace to brighten our days in the kitchen

jones design company to greet us every morning in our bathroom

And don’t forget that Mother’s Day is next weekend…many of these would be great for a new mama or a grandma…or someone in-between!Who are your favorite Art Print Artists these days?

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mylittleGREENheart {GIFT GIVING}

Consider buying your loved one’s gifts that are consumable or that give back to someone or something else!

This year (for Christmas & birthdays) we’re trying to give gifts that express our love but also make less of an impact on landfills and clutter in our homes. Yes I know that some people find this impersonal, and I get that, but let’s be honest for a minute. How many gifts do we get every year that just fill up our home with more stuff? Not that stuff is bad (we Americans love stuff) but with the exception of a few things…here or there…I for one really do not need more of it!
So here we go with a few ideas:
*Consumable Gift Ideas*
*CERTIFICATE for TIME SPENT
*CERTIFICATE for A HOMEMADE MEAL
*CERTIFICATE for a SPECIAL TRIP
*HOMEMADE FOOD (such as jams, breads, nuts, cookies)
*CERTIFICATE for a SPECIAL CLASS (such as cooking, sewing, dance class or swim lessons)
*GIFT CARDS (for meals, clothing stores, grocery stores, movies, spa treatments, shows, events or even flowers)
*GOURMET GIFT BASKETS (chocolate treats for a chocoholic or for a friend with a special diet like celiac you could group together specialty gluten-free products)
*For KIDS: Bubbles, Chalk, Art Supplies, Stickers (one can rarely have enough of these things)
*Giving Back Gift Ideas*
*Have you heard about Operation Christmas Child from Samaritans Purse? Click on the link to check it out and look-up how it works and where you can drop off your box this year! Hurry because the deadline to drop off your box is in a few weeks. Our MOPS group is doing it this year as a fun way to give back and get our kids involved.  Maybe even consider giving a box in place of a gift for a family you know and on Christmas present them with a description of why you have a box in their name and a picture of what you put in the box and where it went.
***
*Do you know about LOVE146 yet? Their mission is to END CHILD SEX SLAVERY AND EXPLOITATION.  I learned about this organization at Blog Sugar and have not been able to get it off my mind. I’m going to buy a few items in their store as gifts (most of the money goes back to their organization).  Check it out and be ready to grab a tissue or two or twenty for this one.
*And of course there are two ways to give to Compassion right now. Year Round: Compassion is an organization that allows you to sponsor children all over the world to help them with basic physical (and spiritual) needs. You pay a monthly fee and are able to write letters back and forth and give extra money for their birthday’s and Christmas if you can.  We have really enjoyed doing this and wanted to spread the word!  Check them out if you are considering a new way to give-back this year!  And one more thought…if you have a baby or small child and are not sure what to get them for Christmas (because after all they are a baby and have no idea what is going on) consider looking up a Compassion child to sponsor by the birthday and gender of your child.  We did this for both the kids for their “Baby’s 1st Christmas” gift and it has been fun watching other children grow up with their birthdays (even though they are not their age)! It’s a nice way to have something in common with these beautiful children all over the world. Just something to consider as you make your lists!
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