Category Archives: gifting

favorite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes, snowflakes that stay on my nose and eye lashes, brown paper packages tied up with string, these are a few of my favorite things.

Inspired by the Sound of Music (& yes I’m been to the Sing-A-Long) and by Oprah Winfrey’s unforgettable favorite things giveaways I started hosting my birthday party about three years ago and it was so much fun it’s become an annual event.

I like to imagine how fun it would be to buy my girlfriends all my favorite discoveries each year, lipsticks, scarves, subscriptions, natural remedies, recipes, beauty treatments and more. In case you didn’t know, I love to give gifts.

At my Favorite Things birthday party everyone goes home with a few treats. A favorite thing is a clever little item that makes life easier, more beautiful, solves a problem or is just plain fun. Something you couldn’t resist telling a friend about. The limit is $10 per item so guests have to get pretty creative. Sometimes the most practical gifts are the surprise hit of the evening. Each guest brings three of the same item and puts their name in the hat two times. When they introduce themselves they tell how they know me and all about their favorite thing. Then she draws two names and those two women get the item and yes, the birthday girl gets one too (insert guilty smile).

It’s always an entertaining evening and this year was no exception. Some women seemed to get lucky early and often, am I right Ms. Long? One of my favorite practical gifts was the Randomorder usb charger. This little puppy was a slightly over the budget (you can buy 2 for $29 at Costco) but we’re going to forgive Ms. Kruse. I’ve already used it to charge my phone while I sit on the football field and watch practice, I mean how cool is that!

IMG_5809The award for best presentation goes to Ms. Powell for the jingling belly dancing wrap skirt. She had her music all cued up and put on a rousing tutorial. You never know what will happen at a favorite things party.

I’m also already a big fan of the Elf High Definition Powder, for under $4 that’s a GREAT FIND!

And who doesn’t love a facial mask, this one is by Que Bella and includes dead sea mud (now I’m feeling very cosmopolitan and moisturized).

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So thank you to all the women who made this year’s party so much fun.  And you thought I was joking when I said you’d have to come visit my website for the complete list of items. I’m nothing these days if not a shameless promoter of bliss! I should have taken pictures of all of you but I was having too much fun to stop and think about that. So here’s the complete list of your 2014 Favorite Things. Remember, everything on this list is $10 or under and came with rave reviews. And for those of you who couldn’t make it, there’s always next year. Happy Shopping!

 

Barnes & Noble gift card (& the book ‘Cleaning House: A Mom’s 12 Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement)

Randomorder charger with cord

Elf High Definition powder

Waxed Dental Floss

Sinus Rinse by NeilMed

Electric candles (found at Bed, Bath & Beyond, ok I admit I horde their 20% coupons)

Hand-made lavender drawer sachet

Egg cuber & square ramekin (found locally at the Wooden Spoon in Edmonds)

Brown faux fur infinity scarf by Grandma Ballard

Que Bella dead sea mud mask

The Detangler wet/dry brush

Evergreen Soap by Third Day Naturals

Eos lip balm

Oribe dry texturizing spray

Essence eyeliner pen (black)

Krave Pork Jerky – Black Cherry BBQ

Floral Drink Marker by Charles Viancin (found locally at the Wooden Spoon in Edmonds)

Sistema plastic lunch containers

Mary Kay lipstick samples

Day Spring Journal

Handmade greeting card by Michole Mattix

Belly dancing jingle-skirt

Café Ladro coffee gift cards

Starbucks coffee gift cards

Wild Basil & Lime hand soap

Sprayway World’s Best glass cleaner

Purell

Silver and Gold necklaces ($5 each at H&M)

Daily Luxuries Loofa

Pumpkin votive candle

Chocolate with carmel

Trader Joe’s organic garlic olive oil

Dishtowel with crochet button loop by Grandma Mattix

 


it’s a giveaway

10411887_729468313778674_3646812354830982011_nEvery mom loves a good deal and we all love free stuff so here’s a chance at both! I’m excited to, once again, be a part of the very popular Jack & Jill Consignment sale coming up on September 26–28 at the Lynnwood Convention Center. I got very lucky at the last sale, so I can’t wait to see what I find this time!

 

This top rated consignment sale is an opportunity to find deals on tens of thousands of gently used and even new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, baby gear and much, much more! Check out the Jack & Jill website for more details at www.thejackandjillsale.com.

Moms who are selling the clothes make 65-80% of their sales and at the end of the sale left over items will be donated to local families in need, so really everyone wins! But first we want you to win!

At gift bliss our mission is to support moms with amazing gifts, so here are the rules:



PRIZE: 

2 passes to the exclusive pre-sale shopping event on Thursday, September 25 @ 7pm

HOW TO ENTER:  

Read and comment on one of our blog posts, and viola you’re entered to win

WINNER:

We’ll draw and notify the winner on Tuesday, September 23rd

 


Even if you don’t win we hope you’ll attend the sale

& tell your friends!

Jack & Jill

GOOD LUCK & HAPPY SHOPPING!

 

 


father’s day gift guide

securedownloadWhy are dad’s so hard to buy for? Most of the men in my life don’t like a big deal made of them but it’s still important to show your husband, your own dad, pops, daddy, or grandpa your love and appreciation. So here are a few bright ideas for Father’s Day gifts he doesn’t even know he wants!

When I was a child my grandparents had a grocery list very much like the one in this picture. Every time I was at their house, and I mean EVERY time, I would steal a moment and write my name on it. Actually, I always wrote the same thing, “Hava was here”.

I had the pleasure of introducing my grandparents to my first two children and the times that the three generations spent together where always special. A few years ago, before he passed, my grandfather was at my house and wrote on my chalk board. Can you guess what he wrote?  I left his “Grandpa was here” handwritten message on the board for a long time and did my best to erase around it. After a while it became very difficult to part with his little scribble. Before I erased it I took a photo (that I can’t currently find). It’s amazing how meaningful our loved ones handwriting can be. That’s part of why I love this first Father’s Day gift idea.

get sentimental

As usual, ETSY.COM is an amazing resource for creative gift ideas. There are many metal artists who offer custom handwriting engraved in jewelry, key chains, guitar pics and even fishing lures. It may be a little late to get this gift delived for next Sunday but I bet if you give him an extra hug or a phone call on the actual day he won’t mind receiving a late gift, delivered by mail!

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date night

I always knew dating my husband was fun and important but after our third child really started talking, I mean incessently, the concept of ‘date night’ quickly became a priority. Whether it’s a drink and trivia night at your favorite bar, a long walk, or a dinner out, the main point is to reconnect and get the chance to have uninterrupted conversation. Plan a date night for your baby-daddy (or a few months of pre-paid date night plans, a Pinteresting idea found HERE) and remind him why you had kids in the first place!

 

 

dapper dad

A subscription to Birchbox is the perfect gift for the dad with timeless style, you know, the man who always looks great and likes to keep you on your toes. Here’s your chance to get ahead of the curve and have a box of classy gadgets and made for men styling products delivered to him monthly. At BIRCHBOX choose 3, 6 or 12 months of style for the man who always spoils you.

 

 

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mountain man

If your dad or husband participates in Movember every fall, this may be the gift for him. The BEARDO is the original stocking cap with a knit beard attached. Perfect for skiing, east coast winters or just something humous to wear to the ball game. Dad will get rave reviews whenever he sports his beardo around town.

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minimalist tech

We love this EYN iphone case/wallet for the dad who has it all and likes to keep his stuff streamline. The case is made of a durable rubber for a manly grip and comes in a variety of colors and we found it on the hip website shopvault.com, check it out!

big kid

Does your husband shed his monkey suit in the evenings and get down on the floor to build legos with the kids? Yep, I know the type! We think he’ll love these accessories that give a wink to his moonlighting activities. Once again we found them at SHOPVAULT.COM.

lego cuffs

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day off

Sometimes the best thing to do for a hardworking dad is to just give him the day off. Send him off with a couple of buddies or if he’s the type to recharge alone, send him off with fishing pole in hand and tell him not to come home till dinner time! Making his favoritre dinner would be a good bonus!


welcome to summer

1003252_10201174862754946_1515641284_nThe last day of school is the best day of school, or so my sons like to sing.

While there are many great ideas out there showcasing easy and thoughtful end-of-the-year gifts for teachers like this or this, I thought I’d share one of my mini milestone family traditions.

The last day of school is a big deal and the kids deserve a pat on the back (we do too, but that’s another post). I can’t help but celebrate the begining and ending of each school year. And I’m compelled, as a gift giver, to acknowledge everyone’s hard work and the start off summer with a fun gift!

When my boys come down to the breakfast table on the last day of school they find a few items to celebrate the begining of summer. This year I’m giving them bubble wands, water balloons and good quality super soaker water guns. I’ve tried the cheep, dollar store version and they’re just no good. I’m also adding the girl into the mix this year with a beach ball, cute bandaids (like stickers for 3 yr olds) and a pink bubble wand all her own. Other items I’ve given over the years include:

  • sidewalk chalk
  • sand/beach toys
  • coloring books/puzzels (for road trips)
  • pool toys
  • playing cards
  • sunglasses
  • new swim suits (sometimes I just give them stuff I was planning to get anyway)

Little family traditions like this strengthen our family bond, enrich our lives and create fun childhood memories. I know my kids look forward to this little milestone as they tuck another year of school under their belts and welcome summer.

HOW DO YOU OBSERVE THE END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR & WELCOME SUMMER?

 


Jack & Jill Consignment Sale | GIVEAWAY

Gift Bliss is thrilled to be involved with the upcoming Jack & Jill Children’s Consignment event May 30 thru June 1 and we’re announcing our first ever online GIVEAWAY!

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This top rated consignment sale is an amazing opportunity to find deals on tens of thousands of gently used and even new clothes, shoes, toys, furniture, baby gear and much, much more! Check out the Jack & Jill website for more details at www.thejackandjillsale.com.

Moms who are selling the clothes make 65-80% of their sales and at the end of the sale left over items are donated to local families in need, so really everyone wins! But first we want you to win!

As you know, we love to giving gifts to moms so here’s the drill:



PRIZES: 

2 passes to the exclusive pre-sale shopping event on Thursday, May 29 @ 7pm

HOW TO ENTER:  

Read and comment on one of our blog posts, and viola you’re entered to win

WINNERS:

We’ll draw and notify 2 winners on Tuesday, May 27th

 


Even if you don’t win we hope you’ll attend the sale

& tell your friends!

bird_q0cfGOOD LUCK & HAPPY SHOPPING!

 


our day at the market

On the day before Mother’s day, my mom and I ventured out early, car packed with boxes, posters, a table and tent. I was so grateful that the day looked sunny and the rainy forecast had been wrong. We set up our booth and carefully created a display of signs and sample gift ideas for each of the bliss symbols. The vendors on either side of us were friendly and welcoming. No doubt they could tell we were new to all this.

The Edmonds Farmers market is a muti-generational, weekend gathering place in the heart of Edmonds. Grandparents, kids and grandkids (& even some dogs) stroll, eat, shop and socialize. There was no shortage of friends and curious parties stopping at the booth. My husband brought my kids down and

I’m not sure if it was because of mother’s day or maybe that I did not have to dress and shepherd everyone out of the house myself but they were absolutely delicious to behold!

My oldest son could not be more proud of his ‘author’ mom and wanted to stay at the booth with me while the others wandered.

I signed and sold a few books, gave out promotional bookmarks and shared the story of bliss with anyone who even slowed down as they passed. My favorite moment of the day was when a women stopping and said, “Wait, I just saw this book somewhere…” Ah, my grass-roots / shameless self promotion effort is paying off.

Overall it was a beautiful Spring day at the market and the perfect start to an unforgettable mother’s day weekend. If you see us at another market, stop by and see what’s new. And if you haven’t adopted the bliss tradition yet, I hope you’ll consider gifting bliss to observe the mini milestones in a loved one’s pregnancy.

 


mother’s day gift guide

Mother’s Day is just a week away. If you haven’t figured out your plans you better get started and gift bliss is here to help! We’ve put together a list of sure-fire gifts to please the mom (or moms) on your list. And as always, we make it easy to gift. If possible we have provided a link to the shopping source (just click on the photo)!

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long distance mom

If you’re going to go with a classic bouquet of flowers the trick is to make it personal and public. Every women loves to receive flowers at work, it’s a public display of love and affection. Flowers are a good choice if mom lives far away and you won’t be able to spend the day together.

The best way to deliver a personal bouquet is to skip the FTD route and seek out an independent florist in her area. Also, skip the roses, they are over-priced and too generic. Call the florist yourself and ask what’s in season, what they have on hand that’s beautiful and will last. They are the experts and they’ll be happy to give advice. Be sure the filler flowers are something modern like eucalyptus rather than baby’s breath and you know you have a good florist.

Make the note personal, add an inside joke or tell her something you don’t say often enough.

If you put a little extra thought into it, an ordinary bouquet of flowers can become the visual symbol of love it’s meant to be. Mom will be blown away by your thoughtfulness!

 

breakfast in bed

Another classic is made intimate by dad and the kids. Every hard-working mom should get breakfast served in bed on occasion. Let mom sleep in a bit while you cook and prepare a lovely tray. Remember a small vase of flowers and the kid-made cards! After the loving delivery and once mom has read cards and doled out kisses

leave her alone to sip coffee and savor your culinary creations in peace.

The best thing about this gift is that you don’t need much of a budget to give mom a taste of luxury! (click on the beautiful photo below and discover a clever recipe for egg in the hole toast served up by a cup of mai)

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daughter to mom

My latest gift discovery has a much longer shelf life than cut flowers. Birch Box is an online beauty store with the brilliant idea of a monthly samples subscription, customizable to each woman’s wants and needs.

Mother’s Day will last all year as she receives her little box of goodies in the mail each month.

It’s an amazing bargain at just $10 a month and at that price you may be tempted to buy one for yourself too! Don’t be deterred if you end up on the waiting list. Click on the women’s subscription and if they say you have to wait, no worries, it’s just like giving any subscription. Include a picture of a birch box inside the card to mom, explaining what she can expect to receive, and give her a bottle of nail polish or other favorite beauty product with the card as the symbol of the upcoming gift. Then when Birch Box contacts you that your subscription is ready sign her up!

daddy to mommy

Ok daddies, listen up! You can’t go wrong with thoughtful jewelery for your baby-mama as long as you pay attention to her style. Buy what she actually wears, don’t waste money on a bracelet if she never wears them. Also, take note if she wears silver or gold tones (some women mix and match which will make your job easier). Here are my favorites for mother’s day whether she’s given you a nest full of babies or just that first little heir. Baby’s initials in tiny letters or the number of kids she is raising are especially popular with young moms.

Check out Etsy.com for the best customized, hand-made jewelry on the web.

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foodie mom

Mom’s job usually requires a lot of time in the kitchen and for those who have made a passion out of this daily task here’s the perfect gift. There is a huge selection of customizable cutting boards on Etsy.com. The beautiful wood can be etched with a meaningful quote or cut into the shape of her favorite state or city. Mom will keep & use this quality gift for years to come.

 

 

day off

You know your wife is in the ‘trenches’ of motherhood if she wakes up with kids during the night, is potty training or changes more than 10 diapers a day. The gift of actual free time alone is the very best gift you can give this exhausted mommy, give her the day off! She may resist the idea at first but that’s just mom guilt kicking in about not spending mother’s day with her offspring. If you insist that you’ve got things covered on the home front and give her the freedom to pamper herself a bit she will thank you in the end.

You can even go the extra mile by scheduling a few services at a local spa.

Days like this are few and far between and she will remember your generosity for a long time.

 

Spa and Wellness

get active

Sometimes an experience is more valuable than any other gift you can give. A day together outside bike riding, hiking, or playing at a park makes for a memorable experience on mother’s day. Be sure to pack a picnic lunch and snap a few pictures with mom with her kiddos to secure the memory.

 

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A gift is a visual symbol of love, so however you choose to honor the mom(s) in your life this Mother’s Day be sure to let her know how much you love and appriciate all the things she is and all the things she does for everyone else.


gift bliss basket

6322995_xxlWondering about the friend who is due soon and her baby shower is fast approaching? Is it too late to give her bliss? Of course not, a baby shower is the perfect opportunity to put together a bliss basket. A bliss basket contains a gift from each symbol and is a fun way to introduce the new tradition. (If you’re new to the concept yourself, you can read more here) Plus, I always feel like gift baskets give the recipient a little more bang for her buck!

Fill a basket or stylish container of your choosing with all seven bliss symbols and give it at the shower. I like to be sure my ‘basket’ doubles as the wood or cotton gift. For example, fill your wood diaper caddy with a cotton swaddle blanket, baby lotion, a miniature photo frame, a silver coin bank, and a pile of homemade chocolate chip cookies for the food symbol. The guide to bliss makes a perfect paper gift to share the background of the tradition with the expectant mom. If you want to skip the shameless promotion of my book you can find a bunch of clever paper gift ideas here. And, viola, you have a wow-factor gift to present your friend.

 

 

Baby showers are a great way to share the gift bliss tradition with family and friends.

 

Here’s a set of free printable gift bliss tags to make your basket complete! Go ahead and drag them onto your desktop, print on card stock, cut and attach to each gift!

gift bliss free printables

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you enjoy the freebie! For more gift ideas feel free to visit our gift bliss Pinterest boards.

What will you put in a bliss basket?


it’s a movement | gift cotton

month 5 - cotton

 

I’ve been surprised and delighted in the last few weeks as I bump into friends (& friends of friends) who mention that they bought my book and started gifting bliss to loved ones. And for those of you who have listened, encouraged me and offered constructive feedback for getting the word out about bliss, I’m so grateful. Thank you for embracing my original gifting concept.

I wrote the Bliss guide to pass on my family tradition and I hope you will make it your own!  But I have a lofty goal. I always imagined that writing the guide to bliss was just the beginning of getting the ball rolling. My ultimate wish is that one day gifting bliss for pregnancy will be as common as a baby shower and that women who have never heard of me or my book will be gifting bliss. Bliss is not a book, it’s an idea… it’s a movement!

And it’s in this line of thinking that I’ve made some changes to this website. Gift Bliss is my attempt to help make STARTING and GIFTING bliss EASY FOR YOU. Not only is this site here to promote my book but it is a RESOURCE for those of you who like the idea of bliss but feel overwhelmed with implementing the concept. Through my blog and Pinterest boards (& possible upcoming products) I’ll do the heavy lifting for you.

Starting with a bunch of cotton bliss gifts! Cotton bliss gifts are given in month 5 | weeks 22-26 of pregnancy. The abundance of cotton baby items make it one of the easiest gifts to find. And the range of prices will work for any budget.

 

latchy catchy

As every mom knows even the best little sleeper seems to pop awake at the slightest click of their door. My first gift suggestion is small, hand-made and really reasonably priced at $9.95. The Latchy Catchy is a clever little mom-invented product that makes baby’s door nice and quiet to open and close.

 

 

 

 

Unless she’s going old-school and waiting to be surprised in the delivery room, your sister, friend or daughter will find out this month whether she’s expecting a boy or a girl. So now you can get a little more customized with your giving. But keep her own personal style in mind too, many women aren’t ready to embrace baby colors and patterns just yet.

 

nursing scarf

For the expectant mom who plans to nurse, I love this scarf that doubles as a nursing cover! Hold Me Close is made in the USA and at the $20 price point makes an easy and stylish cotton bliss gift for mom.

 

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If your friend is expecting her second or third child and already has much of the major gear, a car seat slip cover is an inspired gift idea. Big brother’s car seat can get a girlish makeover and mom will get raves as she totes baby around town in a chic fabric covered ride. Chubby Baby is an Etsy shop that offers these covers in a wide range of fabric from $40-65.

 

hospital gown

And for the ultimate pampering give your expectant daughter a thoughtful, custom-made hospital gown from Annie & Isabel. The nurse, sisters who founded the company discovered that the generic hospital gown was often a patient’s number one complaint. In one of these beautifully designed creations (that cover the backside) she will look good and in turn, feel good!

Here a bunch more lovely cotton items to gift bliss … and it’s not just inspiration, you can click and purchase any one of these products. I told you I was trying to make it easy for you! I can also assure you that non of my opinions are paid for. Friends are always asking me for gift ideas and these are simply the cool items that I’m happy to share with anyone who is looking for a creative idea.

 

cotton toy

diaper covers

maternity fashion

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I hope you’re having fun giving bliss gifts and remember, if you need more ideas and inspiration, I’m here for you! Check out our Pinterest boards and pass it on, it’s a movement folks!


giving bliss | the lotion symbol

month 4 - lotionOk, you’ve started giving bliss. I hope your expectant friend was a little surprised and a lot excited by the concept. You gave her a thoughtful paper gift a month ago and now it’s time to come up with an idea for the lotion symbol.

Lotion is the second bliss symbol given in month 4 | weeks 18-21 of pregnancy. There are so many lotions and clever little potions that can make the transition into motherhood a little smoother. Giving a lotion gift is easy, I usually opt for one of two choices. Either lotion for mom’s belly or bath goodies for the babe-to-be.

Naturally, as an expectant mother’s belly (and let’s face it, entire body) expands, she may be getting nervous about stretch marks. There is no 100% guarantee that moisturizing can prevent these badge-of-honor lines from getting too out of control, but it can’t hurt to attempt preventive measures. There are two types of emollients that are considered the gold standard when it comes to preventing stretch marks, shea butter and cocoa butter. You can find a range of pricing and packaging for these products, so take your pick.

 

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products-pumpkin-body-butterFor a friend who loves all things pumpkin this time of year, consider a jar of Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Body Butter. For the girlfriend who appreciates handmade products Carriage44, a shop that specializes in handmade soaps and lotions, offers whipped shea butter in several different scents. Etsy.com is always a fun place to search for special gifts!

 

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Bathing a baby is an experience most parents quickly grow to enjoy and there is a huge array of bath washes, vapors, lotions and even water coloring tablets to make the experience truly blissful for all involved. Go for the classic (& budget friendly) Johnson & Johnson baby products or to go the extra mile, sign your expectant friend up for a subscription to The Honest Company’s eco-friendly baby products, how cool would that be to get as a new mom!

 

If you’re looking for a really creative lotion bliss gift, once again, I found it on Etsy.com! The Ouch Pouch is a beautifully designed, waterproof travel bag, perfect for organizing all of mom and baby’s essentials in the diaper bag. These handmade bags come in a huge selection of fabrics and it always makes me feel good to support small-business moms.

 

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So there you have it, whether you pick up some baby lotion next time you grocery shop or go online and search for something extra special, make sure you wrap it up and make it pretty. Bliss is a thoughtful tradition and you’re expectant friend will appreciate the extra effort you’re making to celebrate her little miracle.