Because Great Gifts, Like Love, Don’t Have to Cost a Thing….

The pervasiveness of social media not only makes finding great gifts easy, you can also use it to create gifts.  If you’re running low on funds and want to celebrate someone may I suggest that you:


Here’s why:

  1. It’s Easy.  All you have to do is be a little creative in coming up with a moniker for the person you’re gifting the hashtag.  #BellesBookishBirthday (I just saw Beauty and the Beast, sorry).
  2. It’s Expansive.  Strategize the best way to share the hashtag with family and friends.  Send an email out to everyone with the hashtag.  Do a Facebook tribute using it and encourage others to do the same.  It also doesn’t matter what media you use the hashtag will trend.
  3. It’s Memorable.  As long as the hashtag exists the person being gifted the hashtag will be able to find those posts.  You could also create a Brag Book of some of the best posts and gift it.

Be Inspired.

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The best things in life are free and good gifts can be too…

Christmas just ended and we are already three days into 2018.  The holidays are over and along with them the sales and shopping frenzy that go with them.  But there are still good gifts to be had and given!  

So if after the holidays money is a little tight but you still have some gifts to give, have no fear my new blog series is here.

First up: PRAYER

Prayer is one of the best gifts that you can give someone, whether it’s including them in yours or writing down a prayer especially for them.  So here are some suggestions:

  1. Write a Prayer.  Sit down to write a prayer especially for the person you’re gifting it to.  Caveat: Prayers are personal so you have to know the person and be able to address their needs and the desires of their hearts.
  2. Email It.  Send them an email titled “Prayer for You” (you may want to warn them it’s coming so they don’t think it’s spam).
  3. Mail It.  If you have a card and a stamp, write the prayer in a card and mail it to them so that they can keep the prayer and the sentiment.

Trust me, it’s not a gift that will be returned.

Be Inspired.

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New Find: Eat.Drink.Host

For thoughtful guests interested in bringing something 


to the party…

Gift ideas are everywhere and this one came courtesy of Hautelook, the retail events site.  They debuted products from EatDrinkHost, an event tableware site that prides itself on being the best thing to happen to parties since paper plates. 

Their materials are fun and witty and not badly priced.  Admittedly, you can get great tableware from local chains like Walmart (love their stripes) and Target, but if you want to add some additional flourishes like placemats, EatDrinkHost is your site.

So the next time you have a party and you’re expected to bring the paperwork, consider EatDrinkHost – I think that your hosts will love them.

Be Inspired.

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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’s cookies  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.

Be Inspired.

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Because it’s never too early to start planning…

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.  

Simple Christmas List - Christmas in July

I’ll offer my take on this soon!

Be Inspired.

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The Sweetest Thank You

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.

And Cookies!

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!

See easy!

Be Inspired.



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Kiss the Barbecue Chef: Host & Hostess Gifts

Because Memorial Day kicks off the summer barbecue season….

Barbecue season is awesome.  It’s warm and everyone is able to enjoy a season of really great food.  So when someone opens up their home, try to remember to thank them.

Here are some thoughts:

Photo from Etsy Seller: Embroidered Stitches


A case of water or a couple of bottles of soda will do.  You can also go a little upscale and bring a bottle of wine or a case of beer (points for the hosts’ favorites).

If you want to be their favorite guest, bring two bottles or cases – one to enjoy at the cookout and one for the host/hostess to enjoy later.


I don’t know why I love this idea so much, but I do.  There’s nothing like seeing someone at the grill with a great apron on.  It’s handy and fun.  My favorite type of gift.

A couple of sites to consider:

  1. The Apron Place.  Has it ALL including a section just for men.
  2. 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.
  3. Etsy.  Etsy never fails.  


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.

Be Inspired.



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Cheap, Fast and Good – You CAN have all three….

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).

Here’s what you need:

  1. A Small Glass Container ( Hobby Lobby had them for IMG_027050 percent off – about $1.25 per jar)
  2. Gift Tags (the hanging ones, not the sticky type)
  3. Candy (M&Ms or mints – but if you go the chocolate route keep the candy cool)
  4. 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.

Be Inspired.

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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.

Be Inspired.


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