Category Archives: gifting tips

Gift of the Day: Sushi Lounging Gift Ideas

Gift of the Day: Gift Ideas

Gift Ideas for sushi lovers

Gift of the Day: sushi-slippers+pillows gift ideas

Today I’m trying something new with the Gift of the Day and I’m tapping into my love of gift pairings! I couldn’t resist when I saw these pillows – they immediately made me think of the sushi slippers from Uncommon Goods.

Do you have a friend who loves sushi? Maybe you have great memories of sharing stories and laughs over a Dragon Roll or some Salmon Nigiri. I have that friend! And I found these slippers several years ago when I was in search of her birthday gift. I only wish I had known¬†about these pillows from Society6 ūüôā

Gift of the Day: sushi-slippers gift ideasAvailable from Uncommon Goods: Sushi Slippers

Gift of the Day: soy sauce throw pillow gift ideasAvailable from Society6: In My Fridge – Soy Sauce Throw Pillow

These gift ideas are a fun setup for a snowy Sunday afternoon lounging on the couch.

I love any opportunity to take the perfect gift and supersize it by turning it into a gift theme. Whether you’re looking for an extra-special gift for an extra-special someone or maybe you’re in charge of the¬†group gift, gift pairings like these are a lot of fun for the gift giver and the receiver!

And because I can’t help myself, here are two more gift ideas to take this theme over-the-top!

Gift of the Day: beer and board game gift ideas

Now that they’re comfy and cozy with their slippers and pillows, complete the experience with a six-pack of Japanese beer¬†and this beautifully illustrated board game¬†where players are on a quest to¬†cross the East Sea Road, one of the most magnificent roads in Japan.

How To Celebrate National Siblings Day

April 10th is National Siblings Day. That’s right, there is a whole day to celebrate the giver of noogies, the person who read your diary, and in my case the master of that annoying childhood game where they refuse to say anything other than to repeat-every-word-you-say.

And hopefully, as¬†in my case, they are also the one(s) you built forts with, went¬†on adventures with and helped take¬†over Mom’s kitchen to try and recreate the slime from You Can’t Do That On Television.

If your brother and/or sister¬†are your oldest friend and confidant and one of the only people who¬†really get your crazy family, then we’ve got you covered with some easy and fun ways to celebrate National Siblings Day.

Me and my little bro. Weren’t we adorable?!

12 Ways To Show Some Sibling Love

Let your inner child out to play:

1. Check out attractions together like the zoo or an amusement park.

2. Get crafty at an art studio like one of the many Painting With a Twist locations or something like our local Pittsburgh gem Little House, Big Art.

3. Get competitive at the arcade (they do still exist!) Search for Arcades in your area on a site like Yelp.

Revisit a favorite childhood activity:

4. Go for a bike ride.

5. Throw the frisbee around or take it up a notch and find a local disc golf course.

6. Game Night! Dust off the Risk, Monopoly or old Pictionary board games.

Sibling Day Out – if you have significant others, kiddos or grandkiddos you may not remember the last time you had some sibling-to-sibling time:

7. Grab the fishing poles for a day on the lake.

8. Organize a round of golf.

9. Or the less physically demanding, round of beers.

Gather the whole family together:

10. Include the spouses, significant others, kids and grandkids, make some old family favorite recipes and pull out the photo albums. What a great way to demonstrate what you’re always telling your own¬†kids “Be nice to your brother! You’ll always have each other.”

Say cheese!:

11. When’s the last time you had professional family photos done with your sibling? Professional photography has¬†come a long way from small studios with the screen backdrops being pulled down behind the carpet covered wood boxes we all sat on. Today’s lifestyle photographers are more likely to meet you at a local park, landmark or your own home. The results are amazing and¬†BONUS – – instant Mother’s Day gift ūüôā

Have a virtual get-together:

12. Maybe like me, one or more of your siblings live in a different city. How about using FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Skype or even a good old-fashioned phone call to catch up with ole’ dookie head.

However you choose to do it, take the opportunity this National Siblings Day to recognize your brother or sister. It’s a sweet thing to do and it’s why you were always Mom’s favorite.

Anatomy of a Thank You Note

Have you ever found yourself sending a late thank you note – or maybe not sending one at all? Fortunately and unfortunately you’re not alone. And like many tasks deferred, they are often left undone all together.

A prompt thank you note is always best, but it’s never too late to send an expression of appreciation.

Thank You!

I’m not gonna lie, after my wedding I sent my thank you notes late – really, really – I’m still embarrassed about it – late.

I sent them late because I was avoiding them. In truth, I was uncomfortable – uncomfortable with everyone’s generosity. Not only had we received lovely¬†gifts, many friends and family traveled in from out of town. And more than a few people were instrumental in helping pull off our perfect day.

Every time I sat down, pen in hand to write in my beautiful thank you cards, I felt an overwhelming pressure to channel Emily Bronte or to find my inner Martha Stewart.

I spent hours googling thank you note etiquette, searching for the words to adequately express my gratitude for all of this love and attention. And with the crushing weight of expectation to write the perfect thank you note, dozens and dozens of individual notes, no wonder I procrastinated Рand I procrastinated for months.

Today I have a less intimidating approach to the anatomy of¬†a thank you note and I’ve come to really enjoy the process of writing a personalized note (even with my less than perfect penmanship.)

The more imperfect and casual your prose Рthe more personal the message.

Take it from me, your thank you note¬†is not likely to be a published work of art and it’s even unlikely that the recipient will frame it and hang it above their mantel.¬†So let go of the pressure to write the perfect thank you note. Find a cute note card that makes you smile and tell them how much you appreciate their thoughtfulness.

A thank you note is an expression of time – that you took the time to send a message and acknowledge the giver and the gift.

4 Easy Steps To Writing a Personal Thank You Note

  1. Use their name in the greeting.
  2. If they attended an event (party, shower, wedding) include a fun memory of the event of how great it was to see them.
  3. Mention the gift and how you look forward to using it and/or how it will remind you of them.
  4. End with a personal wish to see them soon or that your message finds them well.

Writing a personalized thank you note

My last piece of advice, take a cue from Jimmy Fallon, turn on some great thank you note music and have fun! I guarantee that your energy and enthusiasm will shine through in your message.


Celebrate National Grandparents Day with #grandparentbrag


National Grandparents Day is Sunday, September 7th¬†and this year we’re celebrating with a little grandparent bragging!

Shannon brags about her Pappy

You’ve seen the¬†dog shaming photos on email and social media. We’re turning¬†this fun creation on its doggy ear and initiating some grandparent bragging.

Anna bragging about her grandma

Anna bragging about grandpa

Instead¬†of tattling on our pooches, we’re¬†celebrating National Grandparents Day by bragging about the traits, hobbies, interests or quirky habits that we inherited from our family.

Emma bragging about her lil Papa

Did you get your Irish eyes from Granny?

Do you have your Granddad’s laugh?

Do you share Nana’s love of horses?

Do you attribute your Steelers pride to your PapPap?

Shout it from the rooftops!

Snap a photo and tag your brag with #grandparentbrag.

Hannah brags about her Grandma

Emma brags about her Grandma

Britt brags about her Nana

Emma brags about her Nana

Emma brags about her Papa

Tag giftbug on Instagram Facebook or Twitter for a chance to have your #grandparentbrag featured on our blog!