What’s On My Christmas List

For the longest time, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted for Christmas this year. The idea of getting lots of “stuff” just was not appealing. But gift-giving at Christmas is such a wonderful opportunity to be a blessing to others – not just just the person you’re giving a gift to, but also the companies and workers you support by your purchase. 
In years past, I’ve shared gift guides for gifts that give back, but this year, I don’t really have time for that. You know those “what’s in my purse” posts? I thought I’d adapt that, and share what’s on my Christmas list this year. 
My Christmas List

1. Black Metallic Desert Wedges. I love, love, love every pair of TOMs I’ve owned, but I’ve never tried anything other than flats. I’ve also never ever worn ankle booties. I could really use a new black pair of shoes for work, and instead of getting another pair of flats, I’d like to add these shoes that give a pair of shoes to someone else.

2. Rose Gold Round Watch in Pale Pink. I love wearing a watch, and this classy handmade watch is is sustainably made from new scrap leather that would otherwise go to waste.
3. #GIRLBOSS. “In the New York Times bestseller that the Washington Post called “Lean In for misfits,” Sophia Amoruso shares how she went from dumpster diving to founding one of the fastest-growing retailers in the world.” I think this is basically required reading for 20 something women these days, and it sounds fascinating.

4. Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms. Emily Henderson wrote a book! I’m an avid reader of her blog, and I’ve been awaiting this book release with great anticipation. 
5. Moscow Mule Mugs. Because, copper. I can’t get enough. Honestly, I could see myself drinking hot chocolate out of these. How cozy would that be? 
6. Causebox by Sevenly. This would be like Christmas every few months! It’s a subscription box filled with ethically made, goodies that give back. It’s not cheap . . . so a Sevenly Giftcard to go toward a shirt or print would also be much appreciated!
Not pictured: a lot more books, and some Disney/Pixar animated movies – namely, UP and Wall-E.

For more gift ideas that give back, you have to listen to The Happy Hour Podcast’s Christmas episode. So many great ideas! And Jen Hatmaker. Seriously, it’s a gift just to listen in! And, I’ve got a Gifts that Give Back pinterest board for more inspiration. 
How’s your Christmas shopping going? I have started … sort of. The problem I have, is that I find cool things, and then I want to keep them for myself. Anyone else? Let me know in the comments below!

Fair Trade Gift Guides All in One Place

First of all, I have to say, working full-time and blogging is hard. I have so much respect for all the bloggers out there doing it! Even after writing all day, surprisingly, I have no shortage of post ideas. It’s just the time it takes to put them together, when I need to do laundry, make dinner, eat, and all I feel like doing is taking a nap, drinking hot cocoa, and watching Christmas movies. 
For weeks, I’ve had the nagging feeling that I should be putting together fair trade gift guides, but I just didn’t have the energy. But why reinvent the wheel? There’s so many other great fair trade gift guides out there already! I hope you’re inspired!

1. Cyber Monday, The Fair Way by Mercy Ink. Even though Cyber Monday has come and gone, this post contains a compilation of 10 amazing fair trade companies to shop from!

2. 25 Days of Gifts, Made in the USA from the Fair Trade Fashionistas. Stunning and unique gift options that create jobs and support local craftsmen, including those fantastic tablet and laptop cases above! In addition to this post, I think she’s planning more gift lists in the future, along the line of this one for travelers.

3. Fair Trade Christmas Gift Links from Redemption Junkie. This mega list of 19 fair trade and ethical companies to shop from won’t leave you empty handed. 

4. Oxfam’s Christmas Lists. Shop for a Secret Santa present, a gift for “Mum” (if you’re British!) or gifts for kids. 

5. Rage Against the Minivan created a link up of shops and businesses that meet the criteria of at least one of the following: handmade, eco-friendly and/or recycled or upcycled, fair trade, portion of proceeds benefit those in need, made by artisans in impoverished communities who are earning a fair wage, gifts that give back. 

6. Fair Trade Gifts Under $50 from My Caffeinated Mornings. I love this girl’s style! 

7. Fair Trade Look Books. Gifts that Glitter, Merry and Bright, and more. 

10. Great gift basket ideas, for the cook in your life and that person you know who could use a little R&R. 

Of course, if you’re looking for more, check out my Give a Gift That Gives Back Pinterest board.

Let me know what you find in the comments below!

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Beauty Find Friday: Mother’s Day Gifts For Every Mom

Mother’s Day is nine days away, and if you’re still stumped about what to get for your mom or a mom you know, I’ve got you covered. Here’s a round up of gifts from Scribbles From Emily’s affiliates as well as some favorite Etsy finds for the young mom, the craft loving mom, the gourmet mom, and the fashionista mom.

For the young mom:

Mother's Day Gifts for a New Mom

These candy pink Kate Spade earrings will make her feel put together with minimal effort. The purity made simple one-step facial cleansing cloths will simplify her night routine. Speaking of simplifying, the One Bite at a Time e-book contains once a week projects for a simpler lifestyle, and it’s a quick, portable read. The Dexbaby Nursery Organizer keeps everything accessible, and the Kids Line Cascade Bow Diaper Bag that looks like a purse totes it around in style.

For the crafty mom:

She’ll need this for her craft room wall: Make What You Love print from LittleLow.

Craftsy classes are very reasonably priced, but with a craftsy account, she’ll also be able to enjoy the free Craftsy mini-courses, such as:

1. Modern Buttercream: Learn to use buttercream like a pro! Discover the tricks and tips to construct and create a beautifully finished buttercream cake.
2.Sewing Machine 911: Give your sewing machine some TLC with the help of this free course. Learn to clean and maintain your sewing machine with tips and tricks taught in this class.
Check out all of the other free Craftsy mini-courses by clicking here, and gift any class!

Did you know that you can give Etsy Giftcards? Your mom can pick out her own crafty finds!

For the gourmet mom:

The Fresh Herbs reusable storage bag from Harvest Haversack is beautiful and eco friendly.

Gifts for the Gourmet Mom

Brightly colored and unique kitchen and hosting items are always a good gift.

For adding a little sunshine to the kitchen: Lemon Meringue Pie Recipe Painting by Lucile’s Kitchen. 

For the fashionista mom:

Gifts for the Fashionista Mom

Eye makeup / Beauty product / 83 Piece Essential Makeup Collection

hope in a jar is Philosophy’s most popular facial moisturizer, which claims to work perfectly with all skin types. The e.l.f. mascara shield is an inexpensive item for flawless application, and moisturizing Radiant Cosmetics lipsticks help fund rehabilitation for sex trafficking survivors.

There are many, many beautiful cards on Etsy! And did you know, I re-designed the Rose Mother’s Day Card to include a message inside?

On Monday, I also listed a new card: 

Plus, you could get Mother’s Day cards for free if you win the $20 credit to my shop in the giveaway going on now! It ends tonight, so enter while you can!

What do you do for your mom on Mother’s Day? Share your ideas with us in the comments!

5 Creative Present Wrapping Ideas

Want to go beyond store bought wrapping paper and stick on bows? Here’s a few of my favorite ideas. The best part? You can make these with recycled stuff you have around the house!

1. Embellish your gifts with Recycled Paper Flowers from How About Orange.

How About Orange
2. You’ll discover loads of ideas in this post for Eco-friendly and Green Gift Wrap from Simple Mom.
Simple Mom
3. Brown paper packages are my favorite, so I’m definitely going to use some of these ideas from A Pair of Pairs. 
A Pair of Pears
4. Add these DIY Adorned Glittered Clothespins from Creature Comforts to your gifts for a touch of sparkle and whimsy.
Creature Comforts
5. For a limited time, you can purchase reusable gift wrap like this at a reduced price from Pure Citizen! Chewing the Cud’s reusable gift wrap is handmade, organic, fair trade, and vegan. And also, beautiful.
How do you creatively wrap Christmas presents? Share your ideas in the comments!

Christmas Inspiration: Amp Up the Cozy Factor

To get out of the house and get into the Christmas spirit, Brian suggested we go to the mall. After a long week of work, I wasn’t thrilled about the prospect of being on my feet, but I didn’t want to spend another free night by myself while Brian slept on the couch at 7pm. (By the way, I still need suggestions for my winter bucket list! See link above. Please and Thank you!)

In spite of my sore feet, I had a wonderful time. I was totally inspired by Macy’s, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn! This was my first time in a physical Pottery Barn, and it was magical. But expensive. As were Macy’s and Williams Sonoma. Interestingly enough, I knew for a fact that Target had many of the same or very similar items, for considerably less. I enlightened Brian on this subject until he asked if I could please stop talking about Target.

Since you dear readers aren’t tired of me talking about Target, yet, here’s some of my favorite cozy decor:

Cozy Christmas

This winter I’m loving the red and white, the fair isle and plaid patterns, and the mix of silver and wood. It’s cozy cabin meets elegant country cottage.

While at Williams Sonoma, we did a little Christmas shopping. I bought the Peppermint Hot Chocolate, and for Christmas morning, peppermint pancake mix!

Brian wants a pancake flipper for Christmas, and I think this will compliment it perfectly.

In addition to the peppermint hot chocolate, Williams Sonoma also has classic hot chocolate, and salted carmel hot chocolate.

I think all those flavors of hot chocolate call for a hot chocolate party!

These lovely invites are free to download here from A Pair of Pears. Visit their post for matching labels, signs, and decor ideas. I think a hot chocolate party might be the perfect theme for a casual get together!

Even if I don’t have time to throw a hot chocolate party, I might get a few more flavors to give my parents and in-laws for Christmas. I never know what to get them, and I think anyone would really enjoy these.

Have you done any Christmas shopping yet? Who is the hardest person to shop for on your list? 

By the way, this is not a sponsored post. I just love Target, Williams Sonoma, and Pottery Barn and wanted to share the love! 

Scratch Off Cards Made Easy

You may have seen scratch off cards on Etsy or in Better Homes and Garden’s February issue, and pinned them to your “Crafts To Try” board on Pintrest. I know I did, but I hesitated to actually make them. Was it more work than it was really worth? And what is “contact paper” anyway? With a little google searching, I found some tips that made the process considerably easier. Today I’ll show you step by step how I made my first ever scratch off card for Brian’s birthday last week.

Read the rest of this post on Newlywed’s Bliss!

A penny for your thoughts? To leave a comment, click on “Links to this Post” below.

To Keep, or Not to Keep

Happy Monday everyone! Today on my other blog I’m talking about dealing with well intentioned gifts that you don’t want to keep. I’m specifically talking about wedding gifts, but it all applies to Christmas gifts as well, and I think it’s also very applicable to the Organized Simplicity 10 Day Cleaning I’m talking about this month. How do you decide what to keep in your home? What do you do with gifts from your aunt that are more clutter than decor? Or the third set of the same dishes? Or the family heirloom that you just don’t have the space for? How do you balance risking hurting the giver’s feelings and not being able to use or appreciate the gift?

Read the post here and share your thoughts!

A penny for your thoughts? To leave a comment, click on “Links to this Post” below.