Transparency Time….

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:

STYLE YOUR MIND by Cara Alwill Lebya

Style Your Mind
Don’t downplay the greatness of a classic workbook. Written by Cara Alwill Lebya (author of Sparkle and writer of The Champagne Diet blog) this thought-provoking guide has really helped me craft out a true vision for myself. It takes a while to get through – if you’re serious about it – because the questions are serious. It’s like having a life coach on your terms. It’s great gift for any woman plotting her way. I think that everyone should go through this type of exercise at least once every five to seven years.

YEAR OF YES by Shonda Rhimes

So I’m about a year late to the game on this book – BUT – everything happens when it’s supposed to happen and I’m reading it at the perfect time for me (don’t judge me). But I’m finding that there are others who haven’t read it so it makes a great gift because it’s an AWESOME read. I enjoy the writing on her shows, but I’m loving her book even more. It’s honest, transparent, and I can see myself in parts. I’m inspired – not necessarily to say “Yes” – that’s her journey – but to chart my own course fearlessly, which is a great gift for anyone.

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


There’s nothing like a prize inside…

It’s always great to receive something unexpected and this gift offers the perfect surprise.  If you are planning to send a card (birthday or otherwise), consider adding a little untraditional twist because although I love to get a card with a cash or a check, I’m not opposed to jewelry!

You can pick up a simple (and flat) piece of jewelry on its own card from a local store – try Lou Lou or even Marshall’s or TJ Maxx.  So just grab your greeting card and simply tape the jewelry card to the inside of the greeting card so that it doesn’t shake in the mail.


It’s simple and relatively inexpensive.  Just don’t forget to add a little extra postage (just to be safe).

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


Because I am a feminist….

And frankly everyone should be – not because it’s a political catch phrase – but because equal rights are so important to global development.  Today is the Women’s March on Washington and even though I am a resident of the DC-Maryland-Virginia (DMV) corridor I will miss it (today’s my birthday and I have some family plans).

So if you’re like me and will miss it due to obligations or travel issues, I encourage you to “Wing It”.  

These pencils had me at “Michelle Obama”. But I’m a sucker for any gift that is pretty and useful.

I fell in love with the Wing this past fall when I came across a few articles discussing a members-driven, Manhattan-based multi-purpose space for women who needed a place to transition from engagement-to-engagement without having to inconveniently run home (be it across town or across the river to New Jersey).  

The Wing also hosts inspiring events and activities for the community.

So imagine my excitement when they opened up a store and it is exactly what I would have expected from such a cool place.  The items are thoughtfully curated, inspiring, and a little irreverent.  

At $5 this poster makes a great (and very reasonable) gift.

So if your favorite feminist is longing to show that she and all women (and girls) can do it, consider a gift from the Wing.

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


Gift Perfection…

If you’re looking for a go-to bridal gift look no further.  I’ve found that most brides don’t buy this item until the the last minute (or don’t actually get around to it) – making this a great gift.

It’s especially good for brides having destination weddings where they may not have all the comforts and conveniences of home near and dear.

Personalized Brides has some of the best options available (color and fabric) and even does sets that include slippers.

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


The Best Gift for a Bridal Glow…MTMxMTA1OTY4MzU5NTEyNTQy

If your best girl is planning a big wedding, gift her a new Clarisonic.  Countless sites (especially the comment sections) recommend that brides start getting facials early – months before the wedding – to get a little help with that perfect bridal glow.

So by gifting her a Clarisonic, you’re giving her a daily facial and investing in her bridal beauty.

Shopping Suggestions

  1. The Clarisonic Site.  The home of Clarisonic – allows you to choose from all of their facial devices including the Mia, SMART profile, and Plus.  Brushes are also available on the site and so are gift sets.
  2. QVC (Shopping Network).  QVC offers an entire collection of Clarisonic products including some funky gift sets in great patterns.  In addition, the prices are often slashed by about 10 percent due to ongoing sales (every little bit counts).
  3. Retailers.  Local retailers like Sephora and Ulta both offer Clarisonic offerings – typically in it’s own section of the store.  This is helpful if you’re running short on time and don’t have it to waste on shipping.

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


Cause Fitness Folks Love New Gear…


UnknownI almost didn’t list this one here because it’s more what I would call a “hybrid” box.  While fitness is a part, it also includes beauty and fashion items from companies like Dermalogica.  But I have to admit I like the concept – “look good, feel good.”

At $49.99 this shipment comes every three months.  You can also buy a year-long subscription for someone at $179.99.  In addition, all of the products are full-sized, which can be a benefit (or a curse – but re-gifiting a gift is always an option.)

Barbella Box

Unknown-1A pure fitness subscription site that offers fitness gear, snacks, and supplements.  This is a monthly shipment site that allows you a “subscription payment plan” – a monthly plan for $49.99 (that can be cancelled at any time), a quarterly plan for $141.00 (saves almost $10 over three months), and a yearly plan for $540 (that saves the subscriber about $60 over that timeframe).


G22A1157_largeA new discovery for me, FitBox is the most expensive subscription out of the three sites profiled, sending two workout garments each month for $59.99.  It does offer the opportunity build complete workout outfits and the added benefit of being able to cancel the subscription at any time.  They also have an app.

Be Inspired.

Continue Reading


You can craft a gift and make it even more special…

Years ago when I was in my friend’s wedding a few of the bridesmaids came together to build her an awesome basket of goodies to get her ready for married life.  That gift inspired this blog.  Pull together a gift of travel accessories that will get your bride ready for the honeymoon.Bridal Shower- Honeymoon Ready


Shoe Bags from Melissa Beth Designs

Toiletry Kit from Fossil

Luggage Tags from Zazzle

Travel Wallet from JCrew

Travel Blanket from Horchow

Passport Cover from MochiThings

Continue Reading


Favors make the party…

After all they are the gifts that guests take away from the event as a memory.  For bridal showers they are especially important as the shower often sets the stage for the big day.

Here are some of my go to spots for favors (and more)…

Bridal Shower Favors Gridbeau coup     l     ideeli     l     etsy     l     paper mart     l     oriental trading co.     l     ebay     l     dollar tree     l     vistaprint
Continue Reading


There’s no stress like a bride’s stress….

It’s supposed to be the happiest time of your life but somehow things like late shipments, unexpected out-of-town guests, and last minute seating changes are threatening to steal your joy.

As your bridesmaids, we completely get it, but know that in the midst of your nuptial-induced stress, you’re stressing us too.

So, if you’ve been that bride, take the time to take care of your girls.  As a bridesmaid gift get them personalized robes (that they can keep and use after the wedding) and arrange for massages (you know they need them after dealing with wedding drama for the past 6 months or so).

Caution – this gift isn’t the cheapest, but hearken back to my “Rules for Bridesmaid Gifts” and make the gift commensurate with the type of bride you’ve been.

Pamper Your Bridesmaids

WeddingPrep  Gals  –  Get Unrobed  –  Personalized Brides  –  Classy Bride

Continue Reading


Every bridesmaid needs a place for her lipstick…

If you haven’t already noticed I love gifts that have utility.  Event spaces are typically drafty so the wrap will come in handy and as already said, any good bridesmaid is going to touch up her lipstick during the wedding, so give her a place to stash it.

These gifts are especially great because they can be used post-wedding. 

Purses and Pashminas for Bridesmaids

PeachCouture  –  World Market  –  Etsy   –   The Dessy Group  –   BeeGee Bags  –  David’s Bridal
Continue Reading