Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Gifts. Show all posts

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Gifts Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

Treasures from the Archives of Review This Reviews!


 Gifts Reviewed on Review This!
We all buy gifts for many different occasions.  The Contributors of Review This Reviews frequently review the gifts they have purchased and given, as well as gifts they have received and loved.  Therefore, you will find a wide range of recommendations by exploring our gift reviews, for a wide variety of recipients.

Whether you are searching for gift ideas for women, men, children, friends, co-workers or even pets, you are sure to find some excellent suggestions on Review This Reviews!  

From birthdays to Christmas gifts, Father's Day, Mother's Day, anniversaries, and even gifts for communions, these gift reviews and more, are all included.  There are reviews for specific personal preferences like "Gifts for Tea Lovers" or "Gifts for a Vegan Teen" that make it easier to identify what someone will like.  

Most often, you will find the gifts we have reviewed are unique.  They are not the items you normally see listed in the gift category of many shopping sites.  Yet, they are the items we have given or received that have made a bit hit with the recipients.  We hope our reviews make your gift shopping easier and fun.  Don't be surprised if you find a few things you want yourself.



Welcome to Our Gift Library of Reviews!



A Preview of the Pinterest Board - Gift Reviews 

There are dozens of gifts reviewed on Review This Reviews!  This small board features the most recent 50 reviews. 




Links to Additional Pinterest Gift Boards from Review This Reviews! 


Birthday Gifts Ideas & Suggestions

Christmas Gifts

Gifts for Mothers

Gifts for Fathers

Valentine's Day Gifts

Easter Gifts



Gifts Reviewed on Review This Reviews!

For a written list of the gifts reviewed on Review This Reviews, please visit our Site Directory and select "Gifts" from the "Fast Click" category tabs on that page.




Read More Product Reviews at
ReviewThisGifts.com  





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Sunday, August 26, 2018

10 Small Gifts that Fit in an Envelope

Gift Ideas that Will fit Inside of an Envelope by Funkthishouse.com
Photos: Via Pixabay
The recipient of your card might say, cash, insert cash! But when cash isn't an option, the next best thing is something personal and thoughtful.

This list of small gifts that fit in an envelope include physical products versus those typical insertions; gift cards, money or tickets.

Below are a list of items you can insert inside of a card, and then into an envelope for mailing or personal delivery:

1. Personalized Magnets

At Zazzle make your own magnets with your own message or photo. Or if you'd rather, you can choose a pre-made design. Depending on who the card is for, at Zazzle you'll find magnets in various sizes with a multitude of messages or designs to choose from.

If the card is for mom from daughter, this magnet says it well. "I Am My Mother's Daughter". It was designed based on the title and lyrics to a song I wrote decades ago. 

You could also a send a magnet that delivers a message of reassurance. The fridge magnet 'Angels on Duty' with it's blue sky background was designed to give comfort that angels are watching over. It too was based on a poem I wrote decades ago.


2. Key Chains

Key chains can also be personalized. You can find them pre-made with a thoughtful message or photo, or as in point number one, customize them yourself. Key chains make a practical and long lasting keepsake.

3. Pocket Tokens

Pocket Tokens come in various shapes and sizes and carry messages of love, remembrance, memorial and even good luck. They'll easily fit inside an envelope. Include several if you can't decide on one.

4. A Necklace

Don't send an expensive necklace in the mail via an envelope without checking whether your local post office offers an insurance option. If you're hand delivering the envelope go for it. If you've been given strict instructions to not bring a gift, then this is one way to get around it! After-all, it's just a card that happens to have a gift inside.

5. Flower Seeds

A package or two of flower seeds makes a lovely insert into a card. However, mailing seeds internationally could be an issue, so double check before you make this choice. Of course, you can order them online to be delivered directly to your recipient.

6. Guitar Picks

For the guitarist, guitar picks are the perfect token gift to add to a card. You can even get them personalized. Have your own words engraved on the pick(s) and you've gifted a lovely keepsake.

7.  A Small RFID Wallet (Keeps Credit Cards Safe from Electronic Thieves)

These make a unique gift idea when you want to send something more substantial than a token gift. They come in choices for men and women, are thin and are small enough to fit into a card. You may need a larger card depending on the one you choose, but they're thin enough to fit in an envelope. Because there's more substance to this gift, add extra tape on the envelope to ensure it stays sealed in the mail.

8. For Kids, Temporary Tattoos

Temporary tattoos are a gift givers gift. In other words, mom and dad may roll their eyes at the body art on their little one, but the little one will love you. You can also get candy or gum that includes temporary tattoos.

9. Old Time or Current Day Candy

There are so many vintage and current candy items to choose from! But you'll need the flat ones that fit inside an envelope; Lik-M-Aid Fun Dip, Airheads, Bottle Caps, Chicklets, Laffy Taffy, Razzles, and Skittles. Essentially if it fits in the envelope, go for it.

10. Personalized Stamps

Send a sheet of personalized stamps that say what you'd like to say, or have a personal photo of the person, couple, or event put on the stamp. The process for creating these stamps are thorough and professional, so your friends or family members are sure to be surprised and impressed with your thoughtful gift. It makes a lovely added gift for wedding showers. The couple can use their postage for thank you cards, invitations or as a way to advertise their just married status.

Additional Reminders:
  • Remember to weigh your card to ensure you've put enough postage on it for mailing.
  • Add extra tape on the envelope if you think the envelope could accidentally open in the mail
  • Don't mail food or garden products internationally without checking, otherwise they could get stuck at a border!




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Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Anniversary Gifts For Him Reviewed

Celebrating Your Marriage

Anniversary Wine image courtesy of Pixabay.com
My husband and I are about to celebrate our 20th Anniversary so I have been looking for gifts for him and I thought I would share some of the finds with you today. Although the ones that I sought out were for a specific milestone, most of these anniversary gifts would work for any year. 

I don't know about your special sweetie but mine is rather difficult to buy for. If he sees something that he wants, he just goes out and buys it. If you ask him for ideas, he says that a gift card is just fine. Well, dang it; gift cards are not much fun to give! Sure, they are practical and the person can spend them on whatever they want but there just isn't any excitement in the entire process. Since a couple doesn't celebrate a milestone of 20 years but once; I want to give him something better than a gift card. I plan to give him several small gifts instead of one big one.

One gift idea that I think he will really appreciate is a new wallet. Now, hold on! I saw you roll your eyes! This isn't just any wallet, it has an inscription on it that I think will make him smile and think of me every time he takes it out. 

We both enjoy watching the birds in our back yard. He likes to sit in the chair at our table that looks out at your yard. So I found a terrific coffee mug that he can use in the morning while he drinks his coffee and eats his breakfast. I chose one that says "Sharing the nest for 20 years." I won't show you a picture of it because they are just about sold out of that one. There were several options for an anniversary sentiment if it is something that you would like to give to your dear hubby. Getting a mug might seem a rather silly choice but in this case it fits with the tradition of the 20th anniversary being the year for giving china as a gift.

My sweet man wears a lot of t-shirts so I found one that fits our anniversary for him to wear. It has the sentiment of "Cruising together for 20 years". We don't go on ship cruises but we have cruised through life together quite happily. We used to cruise down the back roads just enjoying the ride and each other so that shirt just seemed to fit. I am sure you could find one that fits your marriage, too.




I'm still shopping around because my thought is that I will give him 20 gifts to open on our anniversary. There are so many things that I think will say, "I love you" in both romantic and humorous ways. I do like to pick whimsical things for him because that is one of the things that brought us together and has held us together; laughter. He has always made me laugh even when we were kids in school. Before we started dating, he came to me as a friend to help me heal from the loss of my first husband. He was so very sweet (still is!) in offering his shoulder for me to cry on. He made sure to tell me a joke or a funny story every time he called or stopped by. He still tells me jokes and funny stories and I still laugh. It is one of the many things that I love about him; his sense of humor.

In my search, I have found some key chains and different items that have anniversary sentiments on them that I think you will find easily too. Personally, most of those 20 gifts that I will give him are not necessarily traditional gifts for an anniversary. Instead, they will be little things that I know he likes. Something silly like his favorite candy bar. Think about that, when I give him his favorite it tells him that I know him well enough that I know that it is his favorite. To me something like that screams "I love you" even more than the words do. I know when he comes home grinning and hands me my favorite chocolate treat that it is yet another way that he is telling me that I am still the love of his life. He doesn't need to say the words at that point. I know because he obviously thought of me and wanted to make me smile.

So, I guess my point is that when it comes to finding anniversary gifts for him that it doesn't have to be something one might think of as a traditional gift. It honestly, doesn't even have to be something that you purchase. Perhaps fixing him his most favorite meal is something he will find very romantic because you made it for him and knew that it was his favorite. I think that it becomes easier when you think of your man and why you fell for him and still fall for him and know what will make him happy. 



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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Disney Descendants Gift Ideas Reviewed

Gifts For The Under Twelve Kids

maleficent descendants
Disney's Maleficent Sculpture courtesy of Pixabay.com
Children under twelve, especially the girls, are most probably huge fans of the Disney Descendants movies. I know one of my granddaughters absolutely loves the characters and stories. She has asked for some items for both her birthday and Christmas. 

If you are not familiar with this very popular Disney story line, let me give you a brief little synopsis. When the Beast and Belle (Beauty and the Beast) marry they unite all of the kingdoms into the United States of Auradon. It is an idyllic place hidden away where the "good" characters of Disney tales reside. The villains of those same stories are imprisoned on the Isle of the Lost with their sidekicks and various accomplices in evil. Some time has passed and those characters that we all grew up with have children of their own, the Descendants. 

Prince Ben who is the son of Beast and Belle is about to become King of Auradon. He feels that it would be beneficial to invite four of the troubled teens from the Isle of the Lost to come be educated at Auradon Prep and to live among the residents of the peaceful kingdom of his father and mother. He chooses Carlos (son of Cruella de Ville),  Jay (son of Jafar), Evie (daughter of The Evil Queen) and Mal (daughter of Maleficent). So the first movie is about the transition of those teens into the Auradon realm. 

A sequel was released in 2017 called Descendants 2. It continues with the plot of the Villain Kids trying to fit in. Mal becomes frustrated with the expectation that she be Royally Perfect and returns to the Isle of The Lost. New characters are introduced with Uma (daughter of Ursula), Harry (son of Captain Hook) and Gil (son of Gaston). Uma is resentful of not being chosen by Prince Ben and is the self proclaimed leader of the Villain Kids on the island. She isn't real happy about Mal returning, as you might imagine. 

So, if you have a child on your gift list who loves Disney; I would imagine that they are quite familiar with these two movies. There are all sorts of gift ideas for these little fans. Of course, there are action dolls that they can collect and play with. If they do not already have one, a DVD of each of the movies is a great idea. There are all sorts of activity books to color and create with and there are even costumes for the various characters of the movies. They can carry their items to and from school in a Descendants backpack and they can wear socks and other clothing with this theme. As with all Disney brands, there are many items that will make a child happy to have.

This brand is not going to go away anytime soon as a Descendants 3 is scheduled to be released in 2019. You might ask your little one which of the characters they love the best and start to stock up for gifts. My little one loves Uma. I wonder which one your little one loves. 



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Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Gifts For Writers Reviewed

Ideas For The Writer On Your Gift List

writer gifts
Writing Gift suggestions image from Pixabay.com
With Christmas coming closer by the day, I thought I would review some ideas for gifts for writers today. You probably don't have many on your list but if you have just one you might not be sure what would be useful to give to them. 

Something that is relatively easy and won't hurt your wallet very much is to get a few notebooks; you know like the ones the kids use in school. Add some pens and pencils and wrap them up as a gift. Now, you might be thinking that this seems a little old school because they most likely use a keyboard to write their stories. Well, yes but those notebooks come in pretty darned handy. I can never have enough of them! I used them to jot down ideas but I also use them to start to define my characters. I will use a page to jot down the physical characteristics, personality traits and the name of the character. It makes it much easier to refer back to while I am writing. Jotting this all down in a notebook helps me to visualize the character and breaths life into their existence into my crowded and addled brain. Trust me, a writer will appreciate getting them.

Last Christmas one of my daughters gave me this book and I really loved it!

I admire Stephen King a great deal and my daughter knows that. Now, I don't read his horror books because quite frankly I am sure he would scare the daylights out of me. What I admire is his absolute genius with words. I digress. The reason I think this is a good gift for a writer is that Mr. King talks about his process and his history as a writer. He doesn't go into the real mechanics of writing in the book. It is like he says, there aren't really any classes or books that can teach you to write. You either have it in you or you don't. What he does share are the struggles of a writer, especially in the early years. He talks about the number of rejections he received in the beginning and how he didn't give up. Sure, in his early years of writing, he hoped to make money but as any writer will tell you, there is more to it than that. There are stories in you that you just have to get out and you just keep at it. Anyway, I truly think that any writer would both enjoy and benefit from reading this book.

Another gift idea for the writer is a whimsical mug that has some sort of saying about writing. I particularly like the one below for the authors of fiction:


I am quite sure that your writer will get a chuckle out of this one every time they pick it up to drink their coffee or tea while writing. Our characters are really no different than those imaginary friends that we had as children. You may not be able to hear them or see them but they are very real to us. It may sound strange to people who don't write fiction but to an author it makes total sense. In order for us to be able to make them come alive with our words; they have to exist in our psyche.

Another option for a mug for that writer on your list is this one:

This one really made me laugh! Authors have to do a lot of research when writing a book. Well, let's  say that they should do research. When I was writing my first book and wanted to use poison to kill someone; I did a lot of browsing on types of poisons. As I was talking my ideas over with my husband he made the comment, "Babe, you better hope that nothing suspicious ever happens to me and the cops start looking at your browsing history!" We both laughed, but he had a point. Seriously!

Something else that every writer should have is a Thesaurus. The writer on your gift list may already have one but a second one would be appreciated; I am sure. You can find one in a local book store or even in the school supply section of your favorite store. It might be something that you could add to those notebooks and writing utensils as a gift.

Of course, you could get books that have to do with the mechanics of writing. My guess is; they probably already know the mechanics, though. It is like Stephen King intimates; the ability to tell a story is inside you or it is not. A person can know all of the ins and outs of grammar and punctuation but if they don't have a story to tell; what good is it?

There are all sorts of little writing aides in the form of books and game like activities that are supposed to help with story ideas. I have a few that have been given to me as gifts. They are kind of fun to use. I find them helpful in just practicing writing. I guess I look at them as sort of an improv type of activity like a comedian might do on stage. They don't really help me come up with an idea for a book but they do help me use my imagination to just write something. I do keep them because you never know when you might read through what you have done and come up with a plot in the future.

Well, I hope I have sparked some ideas for you if you have a writer on your gift list this year. Let me know in the comments if you have some other ideas. 



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Monday, July 9, 2018

Reviewing Handmade Rag Rugs

Handmade denim rag rugs by StudioAtRedTopRanch
I love rag rugs and have always loved rag rugs. Occasionally, I have made my own using strips of recycled cloth (bed sheets) and a super large crochet hook. Recently, I have learned about the hand-woven rag rugs made by StudioAtRedTopRanch. They are such beautiful rugs that I wanted to share with you.


StudioAtRedTopRanch on Etsy


This Etsy shop offers hand-woven placements, table runners, and rugs. The rugs are my personal favorite. 

Tracy is the owner/artist at StudioAtRedTopRanch.  About the rugs, she writes:


"I began making handmade rag rugs as a way to use up leftover and unloved fabric. As I studied rugmaking, it became a way to learn and preserve an art developed by women who made-do by repurposing clothes and curtains because they had no other materials available..."

One of the reasons I love her rugs is because they look a little more "finished" than my crocheted rag rugs do. I guess because hers are woven they lay flatter and looked more finished than my lumpy, thick rugs.

Another reason I really like these rugs is because they are handmade - but didn't take me weeks to make!  I enjoy making my own crafts but I just don't make much time for crafts and I have the attention span of a flea. 

One more reason I like these handmade items is because I like to support women who have small, home businesses. Besides, when someone is making something they love, and something that is meaningful to them, the quality is so much better. 

These rugs, runners, and placements are perfect gifts for people who have a country farmhouse or rustic cabin living style. Or a perfect gift for yourself - adding a touch of "home" in your favorite room. My favorite "color" (and style) is the denim rug but she offers many colors to choose from.


some of the color options at StudioAtRedTopRanch




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Sunday, June 24, 2018

When You Need Ideas on What to Write Inside a Greeting Card, Check Out These Words of Inspiration

Find a Collection of Sayings for Cards Here
When Words Fail You

One of the quirkiest things I've enjoyed doing as a hobby for decades is coming up with sayings to write on the inside of cards.

Since my friend and I were young twenty-somethings, we've been drawn to card shops. You could usually find us in a local card shop pulling the funny cards, laughing as we blurted the creative sentiments to each other.

In those early years, I remember thinking, if I had to do it all over again, I'd go into the advertising business so I could write funny lines for cards and create commercials.

Then came the internet, where I discovered I could put all those useless one liners rolling around in my head to good use.

Thus Was Born My Hobby - Writing Sayings for Cards

You'll find sayings for many types of cards: For a new home, a new driver,
Review These Sayings You Can Write in a Card
engagements, bridal showers, weddings, birthdays, sympathy, friends, to say thank you and much more.

It's a crazy knack to be able to write card sentiments in no time flat.

On a good day I'm able to sit down and pump out 50 to 100 ideas in an hour or less. Sometimes those crazy one-liners just keep coming. Of all the skills, THIS is the one I got??

When You're Stuck, Use These Sayings

For those who struggle with what to write inside a card, don't sit there racking your brain trying to find the best words.

Simply go to one of my card saying pages and choose something to put on the card, or just use a blurb as inspiration to write your own personal note.

Writing funny card sayings is my favorite thing to do, however, I've written just as many that are serious and even somber.

If I had to select, I'd say the sayings I've written for Sympathy Cards are the most useful. When dad passed away we received cards from all over the country with personally written notes and they meant so much to us.

I was completely shocked at how reading those notes eased my pain for a few moments. The thoughtfulness put into a few kind words meant more than I can express. That moment was my inspiration to put together a list of written sayings for sympathy cards.

Personally I always write a note when I give someone a card. You don't have to write long paragraphs either, just one or two lines of thoughtfulness can make all the difference.

Have fun finding the best sayings that fit your special someone. Here's a card already completed with the saying on it. It's oozing sarcasm for that friend who loves sarcasm :)



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Thursday, June 21, 2018

DIY Mercury Glass



It's time for a DIY project for the true romantics out there.  Is there anything lovelier than fresh cut flowers in an antiqued mercury glass vase?  Perhaps the reason mercury glass is such a popular centerpiece at weddings is the nostalgic effect it has on us.  I absolutely love the understated beauty and elegance of silvered glass.  The look, and the effect, is way too wonderful to save only for special occasions.  

I invite you to follow along with me and transform your own gorgeous flower vessels.  It takes very little time and money to create the beautiful mercury glass effect presented here.  In less than an hour, you can be enjoying your own timeless centerpiece.  If you're like me, you'll get hooked and create any number of these mercury glass vases for yourself and for gifting to friends and family.  This is a gift you can be sure will be used and appreciated.


What You Will Need
* Glass vase
* White vinegar
* Water
* Misting pump bottle
* Paper towels

Optional
* Tarp or plastic drop cloth
* Wooden dowel rod
* Gloves

Steps 1-5
  1. Mix one cup of white vinegar with one cup of water.  Pour into misting bottle.
  2. Use a paper towel or soft cloth to wipe your glass clean.
  3. Protect work surfaces with a tarp, newspapers, or a drop cloth.  
  4. Test mister to ensure you will get a very fine spray.
  5. Shake up your spray paint for two minutes.

Step 6
Depending on the type of glass container you are painting, you may find it very helpful to use a dowel rod.  Supporting your vase with a dowel makes it easy to mist and spray all of the surfaces at the same time (without getting paint on your hands or fingerprints on your vase).  It also enables you to spray the bottom of the vase without waiting for the paint to dry on the sides of the container.

When I was painting the test tube vases, I used short dowel rods that I stood on end in an old piece of wood.  All I did was drill some holes in a two-by-four.  Then, I stacked each test tube on a dowel, leaving enough space in between to give me room to maneuver with the mister and spray paint.



Steps 7-8
Spray a very fine mist of the vinegar water on your vase.  The key to success is to start with a very light coating of the mist.  If you get large, running droplets, go ahead and wipe it down with a paper towel and start again.

Immediately spray over the mist with a light coat of the Looking Glass spray paint.  You will repeat these steps two to three times, so it is important not to try to get all of the silvering done all at once.  Light layering is essential to getting the desired vintage look of mercury glass.






Step 9
Very gently dab all over the misted and painted surface of the glass with a clean and dry paper towel. You want to blot up all spots of water and any larger droplets of paint.  This step creates the aged look of the silvered glass.











Step 10
Repeat the misting, painting, and blotting process until you are happy with the final effect.  I repeated the process three times on the vases pictured in this tutorial.


Step 11
Once the paint is dry, experiment with arranging your favorite flowers in your gorgeous mercury glass vases.  They look really nice in groupings of various sizes and shapes.

In this example, I placed three mercury glass test tubes in an antique bed spring.  The addition of a beveled mirror base created stability and an interesting reflective quality.  Peonies seemed just right for this type of vintage floral arrangement.















Mercury glass centerpieces don't have to be expensive to look like you spent big bucks at a floral shop.  Use the glass you already have at home.  It is so easy to upcycle any ordinary jar or cheap vase into something extraordinary.  There is something incredibly satisfying about giving a face-lift to a common, plain item.

We all hold the power of transformation in our hands.  Let's go create and share some beauty today.



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Sunday, June 17, 2018

The Best Gift You Can Give Your Dad that Doesn't Cost a Dime

It's Corny. It's Cliché. But if You Can Give it, It's the Best Gift.

The best gift you can give Dad, is your time.

If you're one of the fortunate with a living father, and a father you enjoy a good relationship with, then it's a certainty that your voice or your company ranks highest on his list of wants.

This suggestion is not meant to sound preachy, it merely comes from the heart of a person whose father has passed on.

My dad loved when we visited, he often said to me, "Barb, I love it when you're here". That's exactly how we feel when our children are home as well.

Dad gave us the greatest gift, the gift of love, and we're passing that down from generation to generation. It doesn't get any better than that: Love, compassion and family.

When He Hears Your Voice, I'll Bet Your Father Lights Up

There isn't anything your father wants more than to be with you or to at least talk with you on Father's Day.

When he thinks about you I'll bet dollars to donuts that he reflects upon every aspect of your growing up. I say that because, when I speak to my sons, I see every age and almost every moment of their life in that moment. 

With social media and personal devices, our habit of texting, emailing or posting our sentiment crosses over into expressing ourselves on special occasions. That's OK too. There's nothing wrong with posting a song for dad, or texting a personal note of love to him, but if you're able to, a phone call or a visit ranks at the top.

Although you can get dad a gift, and I'm sure he'll appreciate whatever you choose, when he looks around his kitchen table at his family sharing memories and laughing, that's the gift that beats them all. His heart is your heart.

Written for My Dad in Heaven - He Blessed Us With Love






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Sunday, June 10, 2018

A Gift You Can Give for Graduation that Doesn't Cost Any Money

Make this Cake?
If that's Too Hard,
Photo Via Pixabay
To the future graduate expecting cash, let me start by saying, I'm sorry.

For the gift giver aiming for 'it's the thought that counts', here's a thoughtful, personal and easy way to express your congratulations to the graduate.

Forward a Song by Email or Share it on Social Media with a Lovely Personal Comment to Honor the Graduate

Although it doesn't sound like much, the secret is in choosing a song with lyrics that suit the person receiving the dedication.

It can be incredibly time consuming to find the right song. Below you'll find a video playlist to quickly scroll through that features various songs about moving forward or looking back on life.

The songs featured below have been carefully chosen for their range in tempo and mood, so hopefully you're able to find something that suits the personality of your Graduate.

You can arrow through each of the 24 songs featured in the video below relatively quickly or go here to listen to a short preview of each song.



If I had to choose my favorite song for a graduation celebration or to honor someone who wants to make a difference in life, I would pick "I Was Here" by Lady Antebellum.

The lyrics to 'I Was Here' talk about wanting to make a difference in this world and wanting to do something that matters. Both the music and lyrics are inspirational.

Be sure to listen to 'I Was Here', it's a wonderful song:


You could of course send a graduation card with a lovely personal note inside.

If you need help in finding the right words, here are some sayings to help get those neurons moving. Use the sayings as is, or modify them to suit the graduate.





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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Outstanding Gifts for First Communions and Confirmations

April and May are the typical months for many "spiritual" exercises in the Roman Catholic Church, so let's review some appropriate and outstanding gifts for these special occasions!

gifts for religious occasions, Holy Communion, Confirmation,
Spring is that time of renewal and rebirth!  Everything seems to be coming to life again and so with Easter behind us, it's time to help our youngsters grow in their faith too!

Along with the profession of their First Communions and/or Confirmations, many families opt to host a small party for the child who is taking this big step.  Often times if you are invited to this kind of celebration, it is difficult to know what an appropriate gift would be for the child. As the parent and grandparent of a few children that have made this testament to their faith,  I can help you out!

Holy Communions and Confirmations are religious events,  unlike birthdays or other celebrations.  Gifts should be in keeping with the tone of the event.  For parents and grandparents, they may choose to give the child a Prayer Book and/or Rosary.  A nice cross on a chain for them to wear would also be appropriate.  Other invited guests may choose monetary gifts because they have no idea what an appropriate gift would be.

I like to give books and believe firmly that a child will enjoy a book given for a special occasion and maybe even treasure that book well into their adult life.  To that end, I'm going to suggest a  book that I really like and would be lovely for either First Communion or Confirmation


Brother Sun and Sister Moon is an adaptation from St. Francis of Assisi's song to God, by Katherine Paterson!  The original version was written in 1227!  This particular book has beautiful illustrations that are actually hand cut outs of paper by Pamela Dalton.  Each picture is a marvel in and of itself. This book is wonderful in both content and design.  The gorgeous pictures and beautiful words,  will be a nice reminder for any child of that special day in their lives. The illustrations are just so well done and an art form that we don't see too much of.  I had seen this book at the library, and I was taken by surprise at the beauty of the illustrations.  Mind you, I also happen to love St. Francis of Assisi!  He is the patron saint of gardeners (my other passion) and naturalists. 

The Bible Made Easy - for Kids,  is a great starting point for dialogue about faith.  When the children read what is happening in the Bible stories,  in language that they understand, discussion about faith topics is so much easier!  The Bible (while wonderful in its original form) is not a book that is easily understood.  Giving children the opportunity to read the stories and understand their meanings is a great way to start some interesting discussions about the life and faith lessons that we need to learn.

Encouraging children to read and ask questions makes their faith life come alive.  It's not just something they do on Sundays anymore. 

So let me see if I can make it even easier for you to decide on the appropriate gift!  Here's a list that works for me:

Holy Communion or Confirmation Gifts:

1.  Faith based books! (Geared to the age of the child)
2.  Cross for Child's room
3.  Bookmarks with spiritual sayings
4.  Picture frame for the "Special Day Photo"
5.  Rosary (if they are Catholics, you can never have just one!)
6.  Necklace or charm with a religious tone (angels, wings, crosses etc.)
7.  Small statue of their favorite saint or namesake.
8.  Donation to a favorite charity in the name of the child.
9.  Child friendly Bible
10.Gratitude Journal

These are just my suggestions, I'm sure that you can come up with more! Teaching and passing on the faith we believe in is part of our duty as parents.  Milestones in that faith formation should be celebrated with loved ones.  Truly, it is home where our sense of faith begins and it is home where milestones should be celebrated too.
Holy Communion gifts, religious gifts, faith based gifts from family

You can read more about these sacraments and appropriate gifts in another review I did a few years ago.  Click Right Here and read some more if you feel so inclined!  Bless you all!




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Monday, April 9, 2018

Reviewing the Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact

Reviewing the Cotman Water Colours Compact.
Are your friends or family members artistic? Do you need a gift idea for that artist? The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact set is an appreciated gift.

The Winsor & Newton Cotman Water Colour Compact set comes complete with 14 “half pans” of watercolor, a small field brush, and a detachable water cup. Winsor & Newton is a respected name in the world of art supplies and paints. The half pans can be removed and replaced when a frequently used color runs out. Or exchanged for other colors that are needed for the current painting.  The case closes and is slim - easy to slip into a backpack, bag, or purse.

Over the years, I have found that it is difficult to buy gifts for the artists in my family. I would love to be artistic, but I’m just not. So I love to nurture the creativity of the artists who surround me and live vicariously through them. The only problem has been that artists usually have very strong opinions of the supplies they prefer to use. I have found it so intimidating to purchase art gifts over the years that I have usually stuck with the “safe” things. Gift cards. Or the pad of paper that they use the most frequently. Blah. Boring.

Artists are often very particular about certain brushes for certain projects. It’s so overwhelming that I tend to stick with the gift card safety net. However, I occasionally want to purchase something that, over time, he can think, “I remember when Dawn gave this to me”. That would mean that I’ve chosen something useful to him, something he likes, and of good quality.

Apparently, one year, I managed to do that. Time has gone by so I can’t recall what the occasion was. But, I gifted an artistic friend a Cotman Watercolor Compact. 

He is often outdoors; taking long scenic drives, camping, fishing, and hiking on a regular basis. When he goes out he often takes the Cotman Watercolor Compact along. If he sees something that interests him, he does a quick sketch or painting.

I asked him why he likes this item and he went on a long explanation about why certain paints (i.e Windsor Newton Cotman) are of such high quality due to the pigments and how they are made. My eyes glazed over. So he started over and summarized with the following:

“It’s high quality”

“It’s durable. I’ve sat on it and it’s fine”

“Any brand of half pan paint will fit”

“I love the portability”

“It doesn’t become stained except for the creases where you would expect some staining”

“I do prefer Cotman pigments”

“Although the Van Gogh pigments are good too”

“I really have no complaints about it” but then went on to say “the little brush was okay, not the best, but I take my own along anyway”.

Of course he does.




If you have an artist/painter on your gift list, consider the Cotman Watercolor Compact. I think your artist will love it too. I bought this gift years ago (in 2013 if I recall correctly) and have seen first hand that it is still in use and is appreciated. 


A riverside plein air painting (photo taken in 2013)




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Friday, February 16, 2018

Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review

 Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review
I enjoy cooking, probably because I enjoy eating, and the kitchen is my shared domain.  You see, I share my kitchen with my husband because he also cooks.  He has his specialties and I have mine. 

Not only do we share the kitchen, we share our pots and pans, one of which is the Copper Chef square fry pan that my parents gave my husband for Christmas this past year.   We both love our new skillet.  Note I said "our".   It may have been a gift to my husband, but I now claim it equally because it is so totally awesome.  As a matter of fact, I purchased the Copper Chef round fry pan for my husband for Valentine's Day.  Give it a few days, and I will claim it equally as well.


Why I Love the Copper Chef Fry Pan


First and foremost, I love the Copper Chef fry pan because it cleans so easily.  Seriously, I can easily clean the pan with a paper towel.  Of course, I still hand wash it with dish soap, but it could pass for clean before it ever hits the sink.  According to the packaging information, the pan is dishwasher safe.  However, I always hand wash my coated cookware to preserve the coating for as long as possible.


Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review


Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Reviewed
I also really like the square shape!  As you can see in the photo, I can fry 4 pieces of meat or 4 eggs at the same time.  With a round pan, I can usually only fry one or two pieces at a time depending on the size of the pan and I could only fry one egg at a time.  It is simply amazing that the square shape makes that much difference, but it does.

Another plus, you can put this pan in the oven, which means it is not just for stove-top frying.  

Oh, and lest I forget to tell you, it has a non-stick ceramic coating, which accounts for the easy cleaning.  And, it also has a hollow handle that doesn't get hot when frying.  That means I don't need a fabric pot holder to lift the skillet.  

Currently, we have the 9.5" square pan and the 8" round pan.   Now, I want the square pan with the lid!  Guess you all know what my husband's next gift will be.  

Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review
 




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"Copper Chef Square Fry Pan Review"  written by:
House of Sylvestermouse





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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Review of Zazzle

Have you ever wanted to make a special gift for someone using a photograph you have taken?  If so, Zazzle is a great way to go!


Sea after Storm Throw Pillow
Sea after Storm Throw Pillow
by mbgphoto

The above pillow was made on Zazzle using a photograph I took in Florida.  There is one photo on one side of the pillow and a second photo on the opposite side of the pillow.  Whether you'd like to make a special gift for someone or whether you'd like to open a store and make a little extra money the information on the rest of this post will help you to get started.  This information was taken from a presentation I gave to my photography club.

What is Zazzle?

Zazzle is a program where you can get paid for doing what you love best, creating photographs and art!  It is free to set up, you don't have to carry any inventory and Zazzle handles all the production and customer service issues.  Zazzle has three ways to make money, as a designer, a maker or an associate.  I work as a designer and will concentrate on that aspect in this post.

Designer Program

  1. Upload your photograph or artwork onto products.  Over 250 different products are available.
  2. A customer likes your design and buys it.
  3. Zazzle processes transactions and handles all customer service.
  4. Zazzle prints and ships to customers.
  5. Zazzle sends you a payment for a percentage of sales.

Pricing System

  1. You choose any royalty rate from 5% to 99%
  2. Base price is increased by that amount so you earn your royalty.
  3. Base Price +Your Royalty Percentage=Retail Price

My Experience with Zazzle

  1. Started my first Zazzle store in 2008
  2. Currently have 3 Zazzle stores: mbgphoto, lighthouseenthusiast,and Butterflyblittz.
  3. Example of sales on photo from 2007 of Cabo San Lucas.  From that one photo $1607.28 in royalties.  Sold

    • 836 mugs
    • 333 magnets
    • 52 luggage tags
    • 23 ornaments
    • 16 keychains
    • 2 puzzles
    • 12 buttons
    • 2 postcards

  • I currently have over 6800 products in my three stores and I sell something most every day.  Sometimes it is only a postcard and sometimes it is a bigger sale.    Here are some examples of my products.
  1. Go to zazzle.com
  2. Click on sell on Zazzle in top left hand area
  3. Choose from Designer-Maker-Associate

Steps in Designer Program

  1. Create a Zazzle Account
  2. Open Free designer store and pick a store name
  3. Create design, choose product, upload image, create text if desired, resize image as desired.
  4. Post design for sale "Post for Sale"
  5. Enter key words so customers can find your product. Good key words are essential.

Enjoy!!





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Monday, January 8, 2018

Birthstone Charm Necklace for Grandmother Review

Birthstone charm necklace
This custom grandmother necklace with a charm for each grandbaby is a sweet and thoughtful gift. It symbolizes and celebrates each grandchild through their Swarovski crystal birthstone.


Handmade Birthstone Charm Necklace for Grandmother



I received a handmade birthstone grandmother necklace offered on Etsy and made by powderandjade. I have three grandchildren (well...two and one on the way). They were born in May, August, and expected in February. My necklace has three individual charms.

The charms are strung on a dainty chain. Perfect for those grandmoms who don't tend to wear large pieces of jewelry. The card inside the box read: The love between a Grandma and her Grandchildren is forever.

Powderandjade's Etsy shop offers a large variety of necklaces celebrating the love of family members and friends: 
Birthstone charm necklace by powderandjade

  • mother
  • daughter
  • sisters
  • sister-in-law
  • grandmother and grandchildren
  • significant other
  • friends
  • and many more

These necklaces are thoughtful gifts for someone you love or for yourself. I know that I am happy to wear little reminders of my grands each day. And I am appreciative of my daughter-in-law who chose it for me.



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