The best (and most personal) way to kick off an event…
Regular Gift About Town readers know that I’m a sorority girl. I’m also proud to be a little crafty. So when my chapter president wanted to kick off our retreat with a fun get-to-know you game I volunteered to help.
The concept: Flavor-flav style medallion lanyards cut out in one of our symbols (a rose).
Card stock (8 1/2 x 11 is best)
Ribbon (your color choice – one 15 foot roll makes about five lanyards)
A Decent Printer
A Hole Puncher
Colored Sharpie pens (my preference).
Here’s how you do it:
STEP 1: Choose your image and insert it into a blank document or presentation. I chose a rose because it offered more writing space and is one of our sorority’s symbols. After you insert the image use your “Format Picture” option to lighten the photo or wash it out.
STEP 2:Print copies of your image on card stock (available at any office supply store) then use scissors to cut it out (or if you’re a scrapbooker and have a Cricut feel free to use it). You may have to test out a few sizes before you settle on the perfect one.
STEP 3:Use your hole puncher to create a hole for your ribbon/lanyard and cut enough ribbon to comfortably allow the lanyard to fit over a person’s head. After you’ve inserted your ribbon tie a knot and you’re done!
TEAM-BUILDING EXERCISE: Since we used the name tags for a team-building exercise, we also created a key so that sorors would be able to fill out their name tags when they arrived at the retreat. That’s where the colored sharpies come in.
Because sometimes you just want a cool Christian tee…
My life is divided into four pretty equal quadrants: 1) God 2) Family & Friends 3) Sorority Life 4) Teen Ministry (with other ministries coming a close second to them).
When it comes to giving gifts, I’ve got it down to a science but teens are much harder. The older I get the younger they get and to add insult to injury I’m not as app-savvy or snapchat-worthy as I would like to be. Suffice it to say that finding the perfect gift of a teen growing in God is a challenge.
So I hit a gold mine when I discovered Beacon Threads. Beacon Threads is a Christian-based brand on a mission to give the world a makeover by sharing light and love. Through clothing, Beacon Threads offers a trendy way believers can share God’s love or us and their faith with others.
I happen to go to church with the owners (and I still actually work with one of them). They’re just as cool as their shirts and their boys, who are often featured on their Facebook page, are totes adorbs.
I recently gifted their Child of God shirt to one of my teens for her birthday and she was wearing it the next time that I saw her.
Featuring the 4F’s of Christmas (My own guide to great Christmas gifting).
FAITH/PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT. Whatever your faith or lack there of, it’s always a good idea to gift something that contributes to someone’s personal development. Last year a friend gave me a Happiness Journal. It was lovely and an awesome gift whether you’re spiritual or not.
FINANCES.Money is never a bad gift. Let’s face it, the times that we live in are not easy for everyone and I always know someone who can use a quick infusion of cash or an American Express gift card. So get a great card and slide in a couple of bills.
FOOD.This is a new gift area to me, but I really enjoy receiving either food items (Cheryl’scookies anyone) or food gift cards. My mom loves Panera Bread – you can’t go wrong with a gift card that buys her breakfast and lunch. If I was shopping for my sister it would be P.F. Chang’s all the way. In short, we all have fave foods – why not make it a part of a gift.
FUN.This gift takes a little more creativity. Maybe it’s a Groupon deal or a gift certificate to a dance class. Maybe it’s movie or concert tickets. Perhaps a friend needs a new golf club or set of balls. Either way you can’t lose when fun is part of the gift.
Christmas will be here before we know it. Although the weather is still warm (at least where I live) and the days are long, I’ve found that great gifts take some planning. Especially when it comes to the holidays and multiple gifts.
A Simple Guide to Creating Your Christmas List
A good friend who knows that I have a gift blog shared a clever method of selecting gifts for kids. But it’s so great and simple that I think it will work for anyone. So I dusted it off and included it here.
It’s quick, easy and relatively inexpensive (pinky promise)…
My team at work had a major success last month (hence the lack of blogs, my bad). I was able to sign off on some bonuses/awards for them – which is great. But I prefer something just a little more tangible to show my appreciation for all of their hard work.
Et voila – Cupcakes!
Gourmet cupcakes make a great thank you especially for small office get-togethers.
I got these from Kupcakes and Co. (a great spot not too far my from job that opens up at 7 a.m.) Their cupcakes are so good and they have gluten free options.
I also had the opportunity to thank some of our non-profit teammates who helped us reach our team success. If you’re familiar with this blog then you know I love sending Cheryl’s Cookie Cards. I went a little bigger this time and splurged on a cookie pail.
I was completely charmed by this cow-themed one “Moochas Gracias” – that cow face still cracks me up!
Chef’s Closet. Has the cheapest aprons that I found. You can also embroider them. If aprons are going to be your go-to gift for summer events, I suggest you buy in bulk. If you’re crafty and handy with clothing paint, purchasing from this site also allows you to do your own thing with minimal investment.
Because the hosts are typically running around – sometimes weeks before the event – all other activities often get put on the back burner. So I suggest a gift card for dinner at their favorite restaurant or a movie gift card. Something that can be enjoyed after everyone has gone home.
In my past life of planning conferences one of the biggest stressors was finding the perfect speaker gift. In my personal life, this comes up again and again as I look for gifts for church and sorority event speakers.
This past weekend one of the ministries I serve on had an event with multiple panelists. So on the hunt I went for nice (and inexpensive) thank you gifts. Between Hobby Lobby and Walmart I was able to come through with cheap and easy speaker gifts (that only took me about an hour to put together – I promise).
Candy (M&Ms or mints – but if you go the chocolate route keep the candy cool)
Colored Markers or Pencils
All you have to do is clean the jars and drop in some candy. The special touch comes in the gift tag. Using your colored markers or pencils write a nice message on the gift tag. Tie it around the jar and voila, a fun speaker gift.
Because gifts should include a little kid sweat equity…
I’m a big fan of gifts. But when it comes to Mother’s Day I get immediate throwback feelings to my childhood and the fun and creative exercise of making cards for your mom. In school all we were given was construction paper, glue, and markers but somehow as children we all managed to make Mother’s Day magic.
So when it comes to this holiday I like to go a little old school and back to my kiddie roots with the adult benefit of letting someone else buy the materials and do the clean up.
I grab my nephew (the resident kid in my life) and head out for an afternoon of ceramics painting and lunch. We usually visit Color Me Mine or All Fired Up. But the good news is that there are craft centers in every state.
He picks out a gift for his mom, I pick out a gift for my mom (his nana) and we go to work. I also do a little grown up magic and add in a gift card or two (from me).
If you’re looking for a great Mother’s Day gift idea and a way to occupy kids for an hour or two it’s a great option. Just don’t wait too long – firing the ceramics usually takes about a week.
I will turn 40 years old in less than a year. Most days I’m good with it – really good with it. As in excited, can’t wait for this next decade and all of the confidence and peace that all who have gone before me swear comes with this age.
But then there are days when I’m not okay and not because of the number. After all, Aaliyah said that “Age ain’t nothing but a number” right? And she was right (or maybe it was Timbaland or Missy Elliot or whoever wrote the song) – but either way I am fully on board with this sentiment.
So it’s not about the number, it’s all about ME. And being completely, wholly, authentically me and whether I have reached this place or not.
These two books – in their own unique way – have spoken to that anxiety. So if you know someone coming of age (it doesn’t have to be 40), I think these books make great gifts: