Gifts for People Who Don’t Want Gifts

Polaroid Picture

Because there’s always a solution…

I was having a conversation with a teammate a few weeks ago who found himself wanting to purchase a birthday gift for his wife who really didn’t want one.  Once I got over being flattered that he had actually visited my blog to come up with ideas, my mind started turning.

No gift – sacrilege!  (Well not really, but it’s my blog so I can say that.)

So if you’re in this position (as we all will be at some point), here are my personal go-to gifts for people who never want gifts:


I’m a huge fan of books as gifts – perhaps because I am a bibliophile and can never resist.  But what I love about the gift of books is that first, knowledge is power and gifting it is never a waste, but second (and most important) there is always a book to match someone’s interest.  Photography, travel, fashion, art, etc. – there’s always a great book on it.

A MEMORY (In Photo Form)

In this day of digital, printed pictures can actually be really special.  So if you have someone who doesn’t really want or need anything, find a great photo that epitomizes the best of your relationship (maybe a candid from a first date or a high school photo that you both had forgotten about).  Get it printed (it’s super cheap) and put it in a frame.  If you’re not that formal, you can always put it a card.  #herestomakingmorememoriesdi76z659T


I’m big on gifts of experience although I rarely highlight them on the blog…. mostly because they are so personal.  But they are also incredibly memorable.  So plan a dinner that the kids help with for mom’s birthday or schedule that hot air balloon ride that he’s been talking about for years.  Maybe you do a movie marathon.  The best part is that price shouldn’t be a factor.

….And don’t forget to buy a card (that’s non-negotiable).

Be Inspired.

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BLACK GIRL MAGIC: Brown Girls Unite


And Buy from this Site….

A lot of my inspiration comes from Instagram, which is where I found Brown Girls Unite. Even better the artist behind the IG has a shop that puts her art on wearable and giftable items.

She also has a pretty awesome mission statement. The artist’s goal is to empower girls of color to dream without limits and aspire to be great things in life – and indeed she does.

I’m partial to their Greek-inspired tote bags and have already gifted a few. But I also indulged myself by purchasing their beach towel and now I’m jonesing for a beach trip to unveil my new swag.

I love sites like this because they remind us that art isn’t just good for avatars, but that it should surround you.

It also makes awesome gifts.

Be inspired.

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Combining two of my great loves…

Transparency time.  I’m a nerd.  I’ve been a nerd, I’m still a nerd.  I’m a book reading, glasses wearing, teacher’s pet style nerd.  I would like to be cool and sexy and hip – but alas as Lady Gaga says, “I was born this way,” and by this way, I mean NERD.

But this blog gives me the opportunity to do something awesome and that’s combine two non-human loves of my life – giving great gifts and finding awesome books.  Hence this new addition to my blog.

Here are the books I’m loving and ready to wrap as gifts:

The Coveteur

First up, the Coveteur: Private Spaces, Personal Style. Created by the owners of the completely boss site – the book is gorgeous just the like their virtual space. They’ve chosen a diverse group of personalities to profile and each submission is extremely well curated.


Next, but no way second, is Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home. First of all, how happy am I that the magazine is back?! Second, how jazzed was I that they came out with a second book? The first one – nearly 10 years old – came out about the time I bought my house. This one doesn’t disappoint either. I’m already inspired. It’s a great gift option for a new homeowner.


The Bomb Life: My Brand. My Terms (Claire Sulmers)

Last, but most def not least, is The Bomb Life: My Brand. My Terms. by Claire Sulmers of Fashion Bomb Daily/The Bomb Life fame. I first came to know her from Instagram and came upon her book in my Amazon reading list by happenstance. If I admired her before, now I’m a complete fan and as a fellow writer I’m inspired. This books offers a fun and humbling look into how she came to create her eponymous blog and some #blackgirlmagic. Hint: there’s really no magic, but a lot of hard work and dues paying.

Be Inspired.

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In other words, what about your friends…. cue the TLC 90s hit song.

I’m a single girl and I try not to forget about my girlfriends on Valentine’s Day (single or not).  Because when it comes down to it, to paraphrase Charlotte from Sex and the City, girlfriends are often your soulmates.

“Maybe we can be each other’s soul mates. And then we can let men be just these great, nice guys to have fun with.”                        ~Charlotte, Sex & the City

If you ever suffered through the high school homeroom delivery of Valentine’s Day Grams and Carnations, then you know that it’s often your girlfriends who come to the rescue.  So when it comes to “Galentine’s Day” I’m giving your permission to keep it “high school” and don’t leave your girls hanging!  

Send a card.

“Galentine’s Day” cards abound in local chain stores like Target. But Valentine’s Day cards work just as well.

Send a little jewelry.

I’m partial to Alex and Ani bracelets as gifts. But there are so many choices available. You can be creative and look at too!

Treat her to a makeover or mani/pedi.

You can’t go wrong with a Sephora gift card (or your friend’s favorite makeup counter of choice).

Pay for her favorite coffee or tea drink.

You can also treat your friends to a latte at Starbucks. Best thing about this gift is that it emails well.

Be Inspired.

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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.

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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.

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So excited about this set of pearls.

Because I found an awesome new e-store…

I’m a proud sorority girl and wearer of pearls – and I’m definitely not the only one.  I was having some fun on Pinterest and came across a set of pearls that featured a central blue stone.  After a little bit of investigation I found the site that sells them.

Gratia Pearl, the aforementioned site, is a veritable treasure chest of uniquely classical pieces that make great gifts for any woman who has pledged herself to sorority life (or just loves pearls).  

The site features gifts for each sorority in the National Pan-Hellenic Council (or Divine 9) and also offers gifts for ladies who just like pretty pearls. zeta-full


So the next time you’re looking for charms for your favorite Greek, check out Gratia Pearl.

Be Inspired.

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It’s a New Year – So Get Gift Ready….

After the holidays the new year hits so fast.  One of the things that I do to get prepared is develop my personal gift list.


I sit down and list out my friends and family members and their birthdays and anniversaries.  I also include other memorable occasions like my sorority anniversary (which I share with my undergraduate line sisters) and even graduations if I have the date.

Writing it down helps me get gift ready early so I don’t miss the opportunity to share an important occasion.  So I’ve formatted my list and made it available for you.

Download and create your own list here.

Get Gift Ready.

Be Inspired.


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But not just any museum….

I finally made it to the National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) and it is all that it was purported to be and so is their museum shop.timed-pass-art

If you’ve never shopped in a museum’s (or other cultural organization’s) store you’re missing out on a great source of gifts.  New York’s Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) Store is so renown it has it’s own brick and mortar store a couple of blocks away from the actual museum and has an unbelievable online presence.

Here were some of my finds from the NMAAHC:


Socks abound. Throwback NBA heroes. Muhammed Ali. Jackie Robinson. Colorful. Fun. A great and usable memento and gift (my favorite kind).

Grouped Sections of Greatness: Got Soul?!?

One of the neat things about the store is that it’s organized sort of like the museum – an arts section (music, dance), a book section, fashion, etc. That’s my cutie patootie nephew point to the sweatshirt. Note the socks. Didn’t I mention there were socks!

Books, Books, and More Books!

They had the entire MARCH graphic novel series written by civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis.

I picked up a tee shirt for myself – I couldn’t resist.  But the store has some great jewelry and items that family and friends would love to have – especially out-of-towners who may not have access to this museum at home.

Be Inspired.


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