that is what my top ten will be focused on today. but first i have a couple of random things...since i took a few days off from blogging.
what we've been up to: friday, tom sort of surprised me by taking the day off. we had been talking about a day roadtrip and so that's what we did. we hit the road with a very tenative idea of where we were heading. we did take the truck, just in case :) and it's a good thing we did, because we found 2 gorgeous chairs! one is already in place in our living room and the other is at the loft.
i love this chair so much! it is worn in all the right places, and yet, it's a solid chair. i have learned through trial and error a few tips about purchasing upholstered furniture. i always get down low and lo0k closely and always, always make sure i smell it. because if there is a musty smell, it's pretty tough to get rid of that smell. tom checks the stability and workmanship. i love the worn velvet upholstery and tufted back on this one. the other chair (which i haven't gotten a photo of yet) is a cool gold/green combo with wood trim. it will be beautiful for photos. i found the adorable vintage tutu in the chair at "dimestore days", (which is right next door to the loft) while i was waiting for the heat to kick in before a shoot wednesday. i also snagged a chest at dimestore days that i have between tom and my chairs in the family room. i'll photograph it soon. i need to finish up a few more details in that room first.
tom and i went to a couple of Christmas parties over the weekend, and i went to my mom's annual Christmas coffee on saturday morning. i don't think there's anything like being with friends and family during this festive season, to make one feel the magic. i'm such a homebody, but i recognize that i need to get out and do all the social activities to really get into the right frame of mind. getting out of myself and into what others are thinking and doing during this season. last night, tom and i went on a little Christmas light tour after his company party. we only did two areas, so i think we'll probably go on a little neighborhood drive again some evening this week.
i realized this weekend, that i still have quite a bit to do before the big day. i'm not done shopping, i haven't baked a thing and i haven't wrapped a single gift. BUT, my cards are out, and the house is pretty decorated, plus, my house is fairly clean. this week i should be able to get a lot done and even enjoy the process. i figure if you don't enjoy the process, what's the point?
on wednesday, i took photos of a real cutie. she was not only adorable, but charming as well-
i wanted to take her home with me! so sweet! hope you like these jill!
and because i said i would.
top ten *b* list on gift giving (even though i'm not always consistent on this myself : )
1. more thought than money anyone can spend a ton of money and buy a "good" gift. i think the really great gifts that i have given or received have been because of the thought and effort. paying attention to what our loved ones are saying or even paying attention to things they have laying around (i wish i could explain this one, but if i do, i will give it away!)
2. give gifts that a person can't really go out and buy for themselves, or at least maybe they wouldn't there are certain things that people don't buy for themselves. ex: most women won't buy flowers for themselves, so for an anniversary, birthday, valentine's day and maybe just because. or jewelry-especially fine jewelry. you may want to have a good idea of what she would like before you spend a lot.
3. personalized or custom gifts. i always love to give gifts that aren't available, off the shelf at walmart :) i think some good gift ideas are photo canvases, custom art, calendars with photos and important family/friend's birthdays highlighted, handmade gifts (i personally LOVE to receive things that were made by my peeps!) donna knitted me a scarf for my bday two years ago and i LOVE it! i think some people are blessed with the *gift of giving good gifts*...several people come to mind, kelly (last year for my bday, she gave me a photo album with *beckynovacekphotography* embossed in the cover) not only was that a great gift, but she had listened and made note a month or so earlier, when i told her i was having a hard time finding the type of photo album i was looking for, for a porfolio. this year, she gave me the sweetest custom made soldered pendant that has a whimsical girl on one side and says "they call her camera girl" on the back side. i adore it! i wore it all weekend! gabby is another great gift giver. the thing that amazes me about gabby, is that she does it on a budget! she gave me the cutest, most comfy jammies a couple of years ago for my birthday and she has given me awesome hair products in the past for gifts (she does our hair, so she knows what will work for us). when we worked together, i always loved hearing what she was giving everyone, because there was always such thought and ingenuity in her gift giving. i have lots of good gift givers in my life. i hope i'm not making anyone feel bad by not mentioning them! i just think of these two as gifted gift givers!
4. gifts from your heart. i know that sounds cheesy. BUT i really mean it! i love gifts that are not necessarily costly, but generous from the point of view of a person's time or effort. when i was a kid, i would give my parent's coupon books from time to time. i would spend hours making them...always a crafty artsy one :) i always thought they were just humoring me when they made a big deal of them, but now that i've received a few gifts like that, i know it was geniune. well, at least i think so! i love when my kids and grandkids give me heart gifts. our pastor's wife terry, gave me one of my favorite birthday gifts. she noticed my wall of frames, and gave me a gift bag full of painted frames! she took frames she had, and painted them in colors that i love! awesome gift!
5. gifts of talent. this one is one of my faves. my friend denise (who is an amazing, amazing artist!) gave me one of my other favorite bday gifts-a watercolor painting of sophie and scooter! i love it so much! you can see it, if you click on the link to her blog. we all have talent(maybe not like denise's!)...whether it's cooking, baking, painting, woodworking, computerish, photography :), or whatever. sharing our talents may be a stretch for some of us, because i think we question whether our loved ones will "want" whatever our talents are. i remember when i was first getting into digital photography, and had no clue about burning CDs and ryan and jennifer came over and ryan installed my CD burner. great gift! tom and i had no idea where to even start. so maybe you could give a gift of time working on someone's computer issues, or time helping them paint a room, or whatever your talent is. not having money, is not an excuse to not giving gifts!
6. truly thoughtful gifts i think one of the most thoughtful and appreciated gifts are the ones that you can tell were well thought out. and sometimes they do cost a bit to make happen. but what better way to show your love, than through a gift that takes a bit of a monetary or time sacrifice. here are some examples that i can think of:
a full week/month monetary gift to your housecleaner.
a generous extra tip to your hair stylist, newspaper carrier, mail carrier, or server at a restaurant you go to regularly.
a one time housecleaning (that you could do yourself or hire to have done)to a young busy overwhelmed mom.
you get the idea. something sort of over and above what a person would expect or even dream possible.
7. wrappings. let's face it, a gift that someone hands you that is still in the target bag, isn't as well received as one that has been thoughtfully wrapped. i personally love the gifts that the men in my life, wrap themselves. all awkward and sort of messy-i love it, because i can tell that they did it themselves. now, if they buy something at borsheim's and it happens to be beautifully gift wrapped, that's great too! i just don't really think a bag from the store is very thoughtful. even though i've been known to do that myself. i always feel like i'm flying by the seat of my pants when i do that. it always feels good to show up at a party with a well wrapped gift.
8. go out of your way sometimes just going to an out of the way store, or locating a favorite store of a loved one, online ,shows some effort and thought that is always appreciated.
9. think ahead and make a dream come true. if you know that someone you love, has a large item that they really want, make note and maybe make some phone calls to other loved ones in their life to try to make it happen for them. this wouldn't always be appropriate, but for close friends and family i think it's totally acceptable. i can think of another great example of this, but it will have to wait until after Christmas to share. think single mom of a teenage boy, and a large school related item. ha!
10. so basically get out of yourself enough to really think of another person's desires and FOLLOW THROUGH. simple, right? yes, but i think we all get caught up in our own lives, and the busy-ness and lose sight of what we can do to brighten someone else's day or year! of course, i'm speaking for myself and maybe this list is just for me. maybe everyone but me, is good at gift giving! i think sometimes i nail it, and other times i totally fail. i'm a work in progress!
have a great day and God bless!