Category Archives: the guide

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.

 


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.

 

il_570xN.443528483_kaim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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!


book launch party

Thank you to friends, family and bliss fans who joined us for an evening of sharing and celebrating the publication of my little guide-book. I was so delighted to see family from far away walk through the door! Paper Delights was the perfect host and I think we all found something we needed from their beautiful selection of cards and gifts.

Alicia Olson’s bliss merchandise display delivered the perfect example of how bliss can partner with baby retail shops. Local shop owners were able to see more clearly how the new tradition of bliss symbols for pregnancy can actually promote the baby goods they already offer. A bliss display can elevate the baby section of any gift shop.

I wanted to toast several of the people who helped make my vision come to life. To Peter, my soul mate, for giving me three babies and for your support throughout my writing, designing and self-publishing ups & downs. To my mom, Debbie Kellogg, an inspiring writer and in this case my editor. Special thanks, to Alison Ashmead and Gretchen Cook, graphic design friends who offered critiques and advice and without whom this book would not be nearly as lovely. Thank you to Arlene Brown of Brown Foto Bug for the gorgeous photographs of the evening (seriously, call her for your next event). And to my dear group of girlfriends, you are a constant source of support and encouragement.

THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL EVENING!

 

 


stop over-thinking

thought-bubbles-web

I’m writing this blog to promote my recently released book, Bliss: A guide to unique gift-giving for the expectant mom.

During the process of writing, designing and publishing my first book I have determined that nothing worthwhile is done alone. So my first few posts here will include shout-outs to the many people who helped along the way. Thank you to the always inspiring KUOW radio and Ross Reynolds at The Conversation for interviewing Chris Guillebeau, his book was the jumping off point for my own.

When I first set out to write a book about the concept of bliss I’m pretty sure a few of my friends had their doubts that my very simple idea could possibly fill up a book.

Bliss is a basic concept; it takes about a paragraph to explain. In a sentence, bliss is a series of gifts given during pregnancy. So why write a book?

Well, I figure that a guide is the first step to sharing my idea with the world. I’d love to see bliss spread far and wide and become a tradition as popular as a baby shower. I also wanted to stop sitting on my hands and do something with this original idea I came up with over a decade ago.

The bliss story started eleven years (and 9 months) ago when the first pregnancy was announced in our large and generous family. We were all excited about celebrating this new life. In anticipation of many more babies to come, I knew I wanted to find a special way to mark the occasion each time. And just like that bliss was conceived.

Every time I shared my idea with a new person they would tell me I should do something with it. So one spring day while listening to an NPR program about people who had found success I decided I’d try the formula that the interviewed author was suggesting. These were the three steps:

 

+ USE EXPERTISE YOU ALREADY HAVE (meaning no research)

+ DO IT IN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME (30-90 days, which translated means stop over-thinking it, which I am very guilty of, and just move forward)

+ DO IT ON THE CHEAP (not much more than $100)

 

So I started writing the guide to bliss. At first I wasn’t even sure how to write it but the words just came flowing out. Turns out I know a lot about being pregnant, having been through the magical, emotional and sometimes undignified experience three times now (but that’s a whole other post).

I also seem to have a knack for finding great gifts. I often get a message from a friend who is stumped for a gift idea, and somehow that’s part of the information my brain stores away. Some of my friends still have all their multiplication tables from elementary school cemented up there or the ability to transform random items in their panty into a delicious meals. Well, I have gift ideas, creative solutions, and thoughtful little ideas pouring out of my brain.

I love giving gifts, thoughtful, appropriate, wow-factor gifts. I’m the kind of gift giver that searches for the perfect gift. I make a mental note of your passing comment about a specific want or need and then present it to you six months later when I draw your name in the holiday gift exchange. It gives me a natural high when someone tells me they use my gift all the time, or the ultimate success, that they have given the same gift to other friends. I’m odd this way.

I gave myself the goal of having the book done by the end of the summer but let’s be reasonable I have three kids and I wasn’t putting life on hold so my 90 days stretched into a year. But I never lost momentum, I kept moving forward. And the cost? So far the design for this blog and the cost for the photos in the book is all I’m out, so I did pretty well on that account.

I believe a baby is ALWAYS a reason to celebrate. There’s a whole lot more to the bliss story but that’s what a blog is for, right? I hope you’ll stay tuned.