Monday, March 14, 2011

let the sun shine in...

1. Don't forget your furry friend! Find great gifts in Martha's favorite color Martha Stewart for Pets
2.Every girl should have a proper Easter Basket! Hello Sunshine Willow from Kate Spade
3. Some Spring garden hair pins from Liz Hutnick on 
5. Pucker up buttercup! Orange Jelly Bean Lip Shine
6.  Spring Flowers Betsy Johnson Toggle Bracelet
7. Philosophy Sugar Chick Shower Gel, Shampoo and Bubble Bath
8. Gummi Panda's in great flavors and spring colors Bissenger's Gummi Pandas

Yesterday our clocks had to "Spring" forward and for me that means Spring has arrived! Time to make everything fresh in my house, open up windows and let the crisp air and gorgeous sunshine in. I start to think ahead to all of my fun spring plans and begin to lighten up my wardrobe with more yellows and pinks. 

Easter and Mother's Day will be here before you know it, time to start thinking about gifts. I am in my late 20's so my mom tries not to send me very much candy (since my metabolism isn't what it was in my teen's!!!) but she always tries to stay with the Spring/Easter theme with whatever gift she gets me. If she makes me an Easter basket she will fill it with little things she knows I will love. I think it's a good idea to mix non-food items into children's baskets too. This way they don't have too much sugar, and they will be left with something fun long after Easter Day is over.

Small non- edible items that are great for Easter Baskets and egg filling:
- Pretty hair pins and hair bands. You can find sooo many of these beauties on 
- Lip balm and lip gloss. My favorite lip balm is Burts Bees. I can never have enough lim balms, I am always losing them!
- Dollar coins. I remember as a kid getting Susan B Anthony dollar coins in some of my Easter eggs. They are just more fun than regular paper dollars. Ask you bank teller for dollar coins, they always have some!
- Movie tickets. Movie tickets area great item that you can roll up and put inside of an egg. Everyone loves movie tickets!
- Jewelry. Earrings, necklaces or bracelets. Doesn't have to be anything fancy! Look for fun spring pieces.

Easter Basket Ideas for Adults:
- Cooking Basket. This is a great idea for a couple. You can stick a cookbook or a cooking magazine in with a great cooking oil, some spice grinders, and a bag of fun shaped pasta. You could even put in a gift certificate to their local super market so they can purchase items to create  masterpieces your cookbook gift inspired.
- Grill Basket. Is someone in your life a "grill master"? A grilling basket will be a huge hit! The weather has warmed up just enough so they are itching to get outside and grill (although the true "grill masters" were grilling outside even in the snow). For this I would fill the basket with rubs, sauces and a few grilling tools (meat thermometer ect.).  I highly recommend Neely's BBQ Seasoning (you can purchase it here:
-Car Care Basket. This basket idea is great for someone that loves their car, someone who just bought a car or for a young adult who you want to get started on the right foot with car matainence. You can put in car fresheners, car wipes, vouchers to a local car wash. This talking tire presser gauge would be a fun addition: talking tire pressure gauge.

Fun Ideas For Kids Baskets
- Art basket. Crayons, paints, different colored paper, fun shaped hole punches.
- Klutz basket. I love Klutz books for kids. They have so many options, there is a book to peak any child's interest. Also fun to add items that go along with the book you bought them. Example, if it's a book on how to make jewelry, buy some nice beads to go with it.

If you are going to go the candy route, make it awesome candy! Make the extra calories worth it! Of course if it isn't Easter at your house without the Reece's Peanut Butter Eggs or other mainstream Easter favorites, then be sure to include them as well! More is more!

My Easter Candy Picks:
- Bissenger's Gummi Pandas. Love these! They come is so many great flavors like Apricot Green Tea, Blueberry Acai, and Pink Grapefruit to name a few. These organic gummi's can be found at Whole Foods or purchased directly from their website: Gummi Pandas
- Fran's Smoked Salt Caramels. Rich, indulgent and addicting! These smooth creamy babies are a favorite of President Obama too! Fran's Chocolates
- Hammond's Mitchell Sweet's. Most people are familiar with Hammond' ribbon candy, but this classic gets overlooked. It is a small handmade treat of  handmade marshmallow enrobed in vanilla caramel. Sometimes simple things just taste the best! They also make it it with chocolate caramel but the vanilla is my favorite.
-Knipschildt Mini Chocolate Quail Eggs. White chocolate with a milk chocolate nougatine center. Mini Chocolate Quail Eggs

I hope this helped someone... also don't forget to get your favorite 4 legged friend something too. Just keep the chocolate far away from them, it's puppy poison! I think it's poison to me too, my butt gets huge, like an allergic reaction or something...

Easter is April 24th
Mother's Day is May 8th

Friday, March 11, 2011

i heart jeffrey (& hoboken)

My boyfriend and I just celebrated 3 years of "us"!!! In the words of Nicki Minaj "No, I'm not lucky, I'm blessed. Yes!". I love gift giving and I always have to put a lot of thought into it. I think I am actually really good at it. (If I have given anyone a bad gift, I am sorry! hee hee)

This anniversary we decided to scale back a bit because we are going to London and Paris this September (woo hoo!). We agreed to go to a nice dinner and get each other something small. I still wanted to wow him so I thought really hard about what would impress him and be something special he would remember. I needed my little bit of money to work magic.

Jeff and I met shortly after I moved from South Bend, Indiana to Hoboken, New Jersey. We more recently have moved in together, and out of Hoboken to a nearby town for more space and lower rent. We have a great place, but I still miss Hoboken a little bit. Hoboken was good to to us, very good to us. It was the perfect town for a new couple. We would take walks to pick up fresh bagels on Washington Street, go to the dog park with my puppy, inhale cupcakes at the local bakery after a few cocktails, watch outdoor movies on the pier on weekends, and go out for fancy dinners made by celebrity chefs. Did you notice a trend there??? Yes, I mentioned a lot of activities that involved eating. My boyfriend and I share a love for GREAT food! Jeff is a hobby chef and a foodie (he totally hates that word f.y.i.). So let's see here HOBOKEN, the place where we met and fell in love and food appreciation. Hmmmmm... I got it!

I found this great shop on etsy that makes wooden cutting boards in the shape of states and even countries.  And the best part????! They will carve a heart into the cutting board on any city you tell them! I ordered a New Jersey cutting board and had them put the heart on Hoboken.

The cutting board is made to order so AHeirloom requires 2.5 weeks lead time. It was well worth the wait, I could not believe the quality! The wood was absolutely beautiful! I bought a small card  and wrote a little note about us and Hoboken. 

Jeff loved it!

He even said we should hang it on the wall like a work of art! Men do not feel the need to hang stuff on walls people, this is HUGE! (AHeirloom, if you are reading this, a small hook on the back might be a nice optional add on to these beautiful boards!

Jeff and I ended up going to The River Cafe in Brooklyn, NY to celebrate our anniversary. (Brooklyn... the same city where his cutting board was made... coincidence? I think not! There are great things in Brooklyn my friends!) The food was amazing, the view was breathtaking and enjoying it all with the love of my life was... perfect.