6 Naturally Quick Ways to Relax & Rejuvenate

Katie Taylor48 comments
6 Naturally Quick Ways to Relax & Rejuvenate even when you feel like relaxing is "Mission Impossible."

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Gift Ideas for Long-Distance Love

Tish Benjamin



When it comes to finding the best gift for a long-distance love, there are many options to choose from. You want to choose something that will make your love think of you as well as something he or she will genuinely enjoy. There are a few examples you should think about.


Phone Holder With Photo Frame

This is not only a practical gift but also one that allows people to put their favorite pictures inside. This blue photo frame has a stand that makes it perfect for holding smartphones and personal digital assistants. You may even want to include a picture of yourself or a picture of the two of you together so your love can see it all the time.


30-Piece Auto Emergency Set

It’s comforting to know your loved one will be safe if he or she has a vehicle emergency, especially if they’re traveling to see you. This set includes essentials such as jumper cables, gloves, an emergency sign, electrical tape and much more. There are few things worse than being stuck on the side of the road with no plan of action.


Love and Heart Necklace

When it comes to expressing your feelings about someone, jewelry is a lovely way to do it. This silver-tone necklace with the word "love" etched into the pendant with two cute charms is a great way to tell someone how you feel. This is designed to work with many different jewelry collections, so it can be worn almost all the time.


Chalkboard Coffee Mug Set

This is a perfect and useful gift for someone who loves coffee or hot tea. It is fun because you can write a message on the chalkboard section. The owner can then write little messages or cute sayings that remind him or her of you. Since most coffee drinkers enjoy their daily coffee, this is something they will use daily that will remind them of you.


Decadent Chocolate Strawberries Gift Box

If your significant other loves chocolate and strawberries, this is an awesome gift. The dozen strawberries are carefully chosen and coated with chocolate and various toppings to give a wonderful taste that will be remembered long after the strawberries are gone. The berries come in romantic packaging that includes a gold box and red bow.



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Pink or Blue, a Baby is Due!

Tish Benjamin



There are few occasions in life as momentous as the birth of a new baby. Everyone wants to get in on the joy and honor the new little one and the new parents with special gifts. It can be confusing to know what to give and when to give it. To make the celebration simpler, try these tips on baby gift-giving etiquette.


Baby Showers

Be it a gathering of gal pals, a family party or an office luncheon, a baby shower is a time of celebration. Since showers usually take place one to two months prior to the due date, they are the perfect time to help mom and dad accumulate all the practical items they will need. Consider teaming up with a group of friends or coworkers to purchase one large item, such as a stroller or crib. Gift baskets that combine practical items, such as shampoo, comb and brush sets and manicure sets can also serve as great shower gifts. The Sweet Baby of Mine New Baby Basket is a perfect shower gift, because it includes a book of handy parenting tips for mom and dad. However, don’t rely on attending a baby shower to give your gift. Some new parents choose to skip the traditional shower, and showers are often held only for first babies.


The First Visit

Who can resist a whiff of new baby scent or a cuddle with a chubby newborn? The first time you meet the little one is an excellent time to give a gift to the family. If you've already attended a shower, you may choose to bring a small token rather than a full-scale gift. By the time the new addition arrives, the family will have already spent nine months preparing and will probably have all the baby basics. Instead, give a sentimental gift that will help them remember this time. Right now, mom and dad are falling head over heels for their little one's tiny fingers and toes. The Our Precious Baby New Baby Carrier includes a footprint kit, perfect for preserving the moment. However, as much as you want to meet the new baby, remember that this is a busy, exhausting time for the parents. Consider skipping the hospital visit, and be sure to call the parents before stopping by the home.


Parents’ First Day Back to Work

After a blissful first few months with baby, many moms and dads struggle with returning to the realities of work. Make the day a little smoother with a sweet present delivered to the office. The A Baby Is Heaven Sent Gift Basket contains a small photo item that will let parents keep a few photos of their sweet one right at their desk and ready to show off at a moment’s notice.


Visit our Baby & Toddler Gift Sets or view all of our Baby Gifts for other wonderful gift ideas.

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August is Romance Awareness Month

Tish Benjamin



While most people think of spring as the perfect time for romance, you might be surprised to learn that August is Romance Awareness Month. It's the perfect time to put a little extra effort into your relationship and show your partner how much you care. The month has already started, so that means you're running out of time if you want to celebrate Romance Awareness Month. You don't want to settle for waxy chocolates from the drugstore!


Many people head to the florist when they want to be romantic -- or even to apologize -- but flowers eventually wilt. A scented candle may not look as appealing as flowers from the florist, but will more-than-likely last longer and smell just as good. The Red Hot Romance Gel Candle isn't rose scented, but it's just as sweet with its floating hearts and cinnamon sent.


A gift basket is a great idea for your spouse or partner, too. Romantic gift baskets like the Romantic Massage Romance Gift Basket includes lovely smelling massage products so you can physically and emotionally connect with an intimate massage. Whether you're giving or receiving, you're sure to feel the stress melt away.


Lovers who really want to make an impression can light candles in the bathroom, spread synthetic rose petals on the floor and play soft music for their loved ones. In fact, the Heart To Heart Couples Romance Gift Basket contains almost all of the things you need for that special night. Create a playlist of songs that remind you of special memories, which will show your partner that you're still romantic after all these years. If you're in a new relationship, a show of romantic affection can help ensure it becomes a relationship that makes it through the years.


Often times, loved ones simply want to know they're still cared about, so making a little time for romance shows that your relationship is as strong as it ever was. You don't have to go completely out of your way to leave a positive, loving impact.


Romance Awareness Month is also a great time to celebrate your employees. Give them a little time off for a date night or send corporate gift baskets that they can take home and enjoy with their partners.

View our
Romantic Gift Collection for other great gift ideas.



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Win $150 Shopping Spree

Katie Taylor32 comments



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The Etiquette on Re-Gifting

Tish Benjamin


Re-gifting is a nice way to utilize unwanted or unneeded gifts that others may value. Re-gifting is a crafty means of 'giving back' and it can also save you a significant amount of money. While you must always re-gift with care, it is extremely important not to hurt the feelings of the original giver or the new recipient. Always show gratitude when someone gives you something and always thank the person for thinking of you. Here are 8 basic rules you should follow when re-gifting:


  1. Send a Thank You Note as Soon as Possible. You should mention the thoughtfulness of the gift, but don’t mention what you plan to do with it.

  1. The Item Needs to be New and Unopened. Don’t re-gift Hand-Me-Downs or used items.

  1. Make Sure it’s Appropriate. “Only give someone a re-gift if it's something you would have gone to the store and got for the person anyway."

  1. Unwrap and Inspect the Gift. You don’t want them to find anything addressed to you on the gift.

  1. Prevent uncomfortable situations. You don’t want to give something back to the original person, so keep track of the person that gave you the gift.

  1. Never Re-Gift Something Personalized for You. This is something you might want to keep for times when you’ll be with the person who thoughtfully took the time to create something for you.

  1. Never Give within the Same Circle of People.  If there is any chance that these people may meet and discuss this gift, then don't give it.

  1. If in Doubt, Consider Alternatives. You might be able to return your gift to the retailer and get store credit.  You can sell the item on eBay to someone who will enjoy it. Or you can donate to your local charity.


Only you can decide when it is ok to re-gift. Think through each situation carefully, and if you're still in doubt, don't do it.


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Tea and Sympathy

Katie Taylor



When dear friends, hundreds of miles away, faces major illness, hardship, or worse yet, a tragedy, first on my mind is hopping a plane to be there for them.  Not always practical, is it? These days, I so appreciate electronic chats, texts, and the hours-long phone calls.

Wish I could do more, though, to offer comfort only a friend can give. Like a “cup of tea and a long chat” type of comfort. Since time and distance won’t allow it right now, I’ve got a few ideas that will send a “smile across the miles”...

  • Just to show that I care, recently I sent a dear friend the “Friendship” LED Press Flower Candle. This lightly-scented vanilla flameless candle is accented in real pressed flowers in tints of tan, lavender, and orange.  She loved it!
  • Another family we know are grieving the loss of a loved one after a lengthy illness. Thinking of sending the Gift of Grace Sympathy Gift Basket with an assortment of herbal tea, sweet confections, and encouraging meditations for those quiet times of grief.
  • For our friend who’d love a pick-me-up, the A Cup Of Joe Coffee Gift Basketmay just hit the spot.  It’s filled with coffee, chocolate, and more chocolate -- my idea of the ultimate comfort food!

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What Happened to My Princess?!?

Katie Taylor
Midnight Fairy Figurine

Your little girl is now a teen. Yesterday, she was playing “pretend” in dress-up clothes, pink everywhere. Today? She’s still decorating with fanciful fairies but she's added dragons and skulls as well.  And she's talking about a room redo in shades of black!

Do you find yourself exclaiming, “What happened to my princess?!?”  

When the boss asked me to write on this topic, I needed a little help in thinking this one through.  Since our home is bursting with boys, I checked in with our friend and colleague, Amy, a recent Master’s grad in Psychology. (Congrats, Amy!)  However, it wasn't her expert opinion that I was seeking, it was to chat with her about some of her personal experiences.  You see, Amy was part of one of those "alternative groups" during her teenage years.  

“We were like the island of misfit toys,” Amy relates. "Rebellion wasn't the point.  It was more about acceptance within a peer group. I could be a bit goofy and that turned off the popular crowd. The alternative group wasn't judgmental; they accepted me the way I was.”  

As a counselor, Amy can understand the confusion that parents feel when their child does a sudden 180 turn.  (It sure wasn't easy for her mom, she notes.)  Without meaning to, parents can quickly go from being their kids' number one fan to their number one critic. "Students are searching for a place where they fit in.  And when they do find that fit, perhaps it’s with a group that families aren't happy with," Amy explained.  "Suddenly, kids can find themselves conflicted.  They've finally found a group that accepts who they are but now they aren't receiving that same acceptance from their families. Sometimes they are even being injured by comments that are well meaning but come across too harsh."

So what should a worried parent do?, I asked. “Take comfort in knowing that this is a typical growing pain," Amy advises. "Peer group acceptance is a part of teenage development; something that they won’t need as much as they mature." The best thing parents can do, she says, is support their child in their search for identity.

“For me," Amy concludes, “the need to be a societal outcast toned down as I began to be comfortable with who I was, towards the end of high school. I think then my parents finally let out the breath they'd been holding for a long time.”

So what's the bottom line?  Your princess never really left the palace. She's just maturing; finding her own way. (Whew!)  What to do?  Just keep those lines of communication open. Acknowledge and celebrate your differences. And together, explore her changing tastes in music, clothes, and decor.  You both may find more than a few things to agree on for a change!

For some great ideas to share, take a look at our Medieval Decor Collection.  





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Garden Gala and a Boon for the Brain!

Tish Benjamin


There’s just something peaceful yet invigorating about the smell, look, and touch of a garden.  Especially one that you’re cultivating!

Experts agree.  According to folks at Rodale.com, experts say that working in the garden, even two or three times a week, can reap a harvest of benefits as it:

  1. Reduces Stress

  2. Improves Mood

  3. Provides Exercise

  4. Promotes Relaxation

  5. Promotes Better Sleep

Not to mention improved nutrition from the fresh food.  A nicer looking yard with all the flora and fauna. Better communication with the neighbors (have to share all those zucchini!).

Hmmm...maybe we’d all better head outdoors to play in the dirt...

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Anniversary Gift Ideas

Tish Benjamin


We all know about getting Silver for the 25th and Gold for the 50th. But, what about all the anniversaries in between? Find the right gift for each year here:

Year Traditional Gift Modern Gift
1st Paper Clocks
2nd Cotton China
3rd Leather Crystal, Glass
4th Linen, Silk Electrical Appliances
5th Wood Silverware
6th Iron Wood
7th Wool, Copper Desk Sets, Pen and Pencil Sets
8th Bronze Linen, Lace
9th Pottery, China Leather
10th Tin, Aluminum Diamonds, Jewelry
11th Steel Fashion Jewelry, Accessories
12th Silk Pearls, Colored Gems
13th Lace Textiles, Furs
14th Ivory Gold, Jewelry
15th Crystal Watches
20th China Platinum
25th Silver Sterling Silver
30th Pearl Diamond
35th Coral Jade
40th Ruby Ruby
45th Sapphire Sapphire
50th Gold Gold
55th Emerald Emerald
60th Diamond Diamond
75th Diamonds, Gold Diamonds, Gold


Anniversaries are great moments for every couple and you don’t have to follow the traditional or modern gift list. Be creative! Consider putting together a scrapbook or a DVD of photos from your favorite moments together. Plan a couples spa or a romantic picnic. Anniversary gift ideas are truly endless, and with a bit of creativity and love, you will find the perfect gift in no time.

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