September 30, 2011

The Surprise Revealed

Remember yesterday's random act of gifting kindness?

Here's what was inside!

A collection of printable cards and tags, including some of the one's already featured on The Petit Cadeau, like the Every Occasion cards from How Does She and the Just Because card from Susy Jack.  You also get a little sneak peak at some of the other cards that I plan to feature in the future!

What do you have planned for your weekend?  Something fun I hope!

September 29, 2011

Guest Post on St. John's Kid!

Image Source: Just a YA Girl

Today I am very pleased to be guest posting over at the wonderful blog St. John's Kid (in the process of transitioning from St. John's Toddler)

My post is all about creating "Memory Gifts" for children.  Keepsakes that they can have to look back on for many years to come!

So please head on over and check out my post!!!

A Surprise!

Someone I know is going to come home from work today and find this brown paper package on their door!

It's a random act of gifting kindness. Who is going to get it? and what's inside? Stay tuned tomorrow for the big reveal!

September 28, 2011

Card Inspiration

Do you make your own cards?  I do, and I'm always looking for a little inspiration!

Image Source: Design*Sponge
I like the simplicity of this card, using scraps of patterned paper to look like a stack of presents.  It would be really easy to make.

I love taking the time to make handmade cards - and I know many of you out there do too!

Speaking of "taking time", yesterday I took the time to write some little messages to people and let them know I was thinking of them.

  • I e-mailed photos to some family members living away.
  • I sent this Reflections of Motherhood video to a friend who is due to have her baby any day now
  • I ordered some hard copies of family photos that I will be giving and sending out in the mail later this week
  • I packaged and mailed a little housewarming gift to a friend.  More on that in a week or so - wouldn't want to give away the surprise before she receives it!

This photo makes me happy like you wouldn't even believe!

Happy Wednesday Friends!

September 26, 2011

Saying Thank You

A reader recently asked me for some simple and inexpensive ideas for saying "THANKS".
First and foremost, I think you can never go wrong with a hand-written note!  It goes a long way.

If you want to add a little something extra, without spending a lot of money, here's a cute idea that I found from eighteen25.  It's originally intended as a teacher appreciation gift, but I think this would work for almost anyone!

Use some fish-shaped candy or goldfish crackers in a cute little box or bag, and you are all set!

I have found many great little ideas like this, so I will continue to feature them in the upcoming weeks!  If you have a creative way to say THANK YOU, I'd love to hear it!

September 23, 2011

Gift Wrap Inspiration

It's been a busy week - we are just back from a mini-vacation.  I promise more posts next week!

Leaving you with some gift wrap inspiration for your weekend.

Found via Kenzalicious
Use a butterfly punch (or any punch for that matter!)  Glue the centre of the shape and lift the outer edges to create a 3D look on your packaging.  So simple, yet elegant!

Happy Gifting!

September 21, 2011

Free Printable Cards!

I make a lot of my cards, but sometimes you just need a quick card and don't have anything on hand.

I absolutely LOVE these free printable cards from How Does She?  They are perfect for every occasion, and the check boxes are really cute (plus, you can check more than one box if you feel like it!)

I've used quite a few of these already!  Print some off, and keep them around the house for quick and thoughtful gift giving! Get yours here!

September 19, 2011

Personal picks for Mom-to-Be Gifts

Most of us have baby showers to gift moms and dads to be with many of the items that they need for a new bundle of joy, which is, of course, fabulous.  Everyone LOVES buying gifts for babies, and how could you not?  Cute little outfits, toys and all kinds of things for the baby nursery.

If you want to add a thoughtful gift, why not buy something specifically for the mom-to-be?  I know from experience that it would be much appreciated!  You can either forgo a traditional baby shower gift and give a gift to the mom-to-be earlier in the pregnancy, or gift 2 smaller items, one early-on for the mom, and one later for the baby!

Now that I have a little person of my own, here are some of my personally picked helpful gift ideas for moms-to-be while they wait out the months until baby is born.  Stay tuned for a future post on gift giving for a little closer to the due date!

1. Bella Belly Butter from local store Tval.  I can't guarantee that it will prevent stretch marks (although I didn't have any) but it does feel wonderful, especially as your skin starts to feel really stretched.  The good news is that in addition to having a local shop, Tval also has an online store.

2. Heidi Klum maternity leggings.  I lived in these in the later months of my pregnancy.

3. Stretchy Belly Bands.  Allows you to continue wearing your regular clothes as your belly expands.  Available from a variety of retailers like the Tummy sleeve from Motherhood Maternity and Bella Band from Ingrid&Isabel (available from local retailers Bellies & Bundles)

4. A Modern take on the baby name book "Beyond Ava and Aiden" by Rosenkrantz and Satran.  While we didn't own this book, we did read most of it while browsing the bookstore one day.  I loved the layout of the book, and the way the names were categorized into fun groups like "Girly-Girl Names", "So Far Out They're In Names", "Vintage Chic Names" etc.
(Side note: as I didn't write the book, I apologize to anyone who has children named Ava and Aiden.  I personally think those are both beautiful names!)

5. A custom bra fitting.  By far the best thing you can do while pregnant (in my opinion), making it an excellent, and unique, gift idea.  If the store offers free fittings, buy a gift certificate for all, or part (they can often run in the $100 range) of the cost.  For an even more personalized experience, make a girls day out and go with your friend.  It will be completely worth it!
Image credit: deepa's via penelope illustration

Bonus:  You can never, ever go wrong with a pedicure!

Stay tuned for a post in the near future on picks for baby!

What is/was your favourite, must-have item for pregnancy?

September 16, 2011

Happy Weekend!

We are enjoying a lovely little vacation, but I can't leave you empty-handed without a little wrapping inspiration!

Image source: The Party Studio blog

How much do you love the simplicity of this?  A brown paper bag, punched with an edge punch of your choice, and tied with a little hand-stamped tag.  Beautiful.  This has made me realize that I don't own an edge punch - one more for the shopping list!

Have a wonderful, happy weekend!

September 13, 2011

A New Home

Seems like I know a lot of people buying Real Estate this year!
I always like to give a small gift as a housewarming - nothing fancy or complicated, just a simple gesture.  After all, it's a really significant step in life.

A few years ago, Steve and I received the fabulous BBQ cookbook  - Grilling Made Easy.  It's one of those great cookbooks where the recipes use easy-to-find ingredients, are simple to make, but yet the food takes on a gourmet quality.  As 2 of the new homeowners love BBQ, but haven't previously been able to own a BBQ, I knew this was the perfect gift!

Inspired by this photo, to wrap the cookbook, I found pretty dish towels to use instead of paper. I folded up the dish towels exactly as I would wrap with paper, then used lovely green ribbon to tie everything up.

The finished product

In order to make this gift more personal, I wrote a personal note inside the front cover - with the date and the significance of the gift - so that the new homeowners can reflect on this joyful time for many years to come!  

Do you have a favourite cookbook that would make a great housewarming gift? Please share!

September 12, 2011

34th Birthday

This week was my husband's 34th birthday and I tried to add a little creativity to his gift.

Our little girl isn't big enough to speak or write yet, but I wanted part of the birthday gift to be from her, so I created a card in the form of a little book "34 Reasons Why I Love My Daddy".  Inside was a photo, along with the 34 reasons!

Instead of a cake, I opted for cupcakes with fun cake toppers.  Anyone who knows him, knows that he loves superheroes.  I was lucky to come across these GREAT superhero-style printables at One Charming Party.

I had the images printed on card stock, cut them out (slightly painstaking, but completely worth it) and then glued them to wooden pop sticks.  VOILA - Superhero cupcake toppers.  Visit One Charming Party for the full-sized downloadable version!

The cupcakes were "Cookies n Cream" from my dear friend Cyra of Faking Fancy Cupcakes.  Thanks Cyra!

It's fun to add celebration to birthdays, even as we get older.  What do you do to add a little fun to your spouse/partner's birthday?

September 09, 2011

Wrapping Inspiration

Can you imagine how special you would feel receiving this gift.  Just LOOK at that  - amazing!!!

Image via PaperCrave

I love the combination of the colour with the brown kraft paper wrapping.  It perfectly fits my gift-giving style.  While I haven't attempted this one yet - it's saved in my inspiration projects folder.

Amazingly, this is actually a DIY tutorial project - paper gift topper - from Martha Stewart.  Would you attempt this?  If you do, please send me a picture!  What kind of gift do you think would deserve such amazing wrapping?

Happy Weekend!!

September 07, 2011

Gift of the Month

For some reason I love the idea of "item of the month" gifts!  If you Google "gift of the month club" you can find a variety of options - mostly food related.  It's also very unfortunate that many don't offer shipping to Canada.

I also searched "gift of the month" on one of my favourite ways-to-waste-an-afternoon - Etsy.  If you are not a DIY type, and want to get creative, they have some really interesting purchase options, including:

1. Cupcake wrapper of the month (how creative!)
2. Garland of the month (I love this one - how crafty!)
3. and another personal favourite Letterpress of the month

This whole concept also makes a fantastic DIY project.  What's more thoughtful than delivering a gift to a friend or family member once every month (also makes a great excuse to see or get together with that person on a regular basis).

Here are some of my thoughts on "of the month" gifts that you can do yourself.

Image source: Canadian Family
Muffin or cupcake of the month - bake and deliver 1 dozen muffins or cupcakes each month.

Image Source
Coffee or tea of the month - source out local or interesting coffees or teas (or both!) and deliver a package each month.  Locally, Britannia Teas and Gifts, Jumping Bean Coffee,  and Rocket Bakery would all be great places to start!

Image Source
Magazine of the month - Pick a different magazine each month and deliver it to your giftee, maybe combine with a little sweet treat.

The possibilities are endless!  I think this would make a fabulous wedding gift idea!

What would you choose as an "of the month item"?

September 06, 2011

Free Printables at Susy Jack

I absolutely love free printables!  There are so many beautiful designs out there, and a unique, printed card really adds a personal touch.  If you don't have a colour printer, you can have cards printed on card stock from a local printing/office supply store. 

Today we are featuring 3 beautiful cards from the blog HeySusy*.  First up, a lovely "Just Because" card, perfect for all occasions. 

The second card is a perfect & fun "Happy Birthday" greeting card.

Finally, a gorgeous pink and (my favourite) orange "Thank You" card.

Happy Printing!

*All images from heysusy*

September 02, 2011

Happy Friday

Happy Long Weekend!  We hope you enjoy Labour Day - wherever you are in the world!

Leaving you with a little gift wrap inspiration!  Back on Tuesday!

Image Source: Design Sponge