Guest Gifter: Kateri Allard on Get Well Gifting

Okay ready? No really, are you? Because today I’m handing over my gift giving baton to the quick-witted and clever Kateri Allard. Kateri is currently working as an RN in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at a large teaching hospital in the Manhattan area AND she writes an incredibly inspiring blog, According to Kateri. She has been published by Huffington Post several times, and you may just recognize her unique name from her viral article, Don’t Call Me Just a Nurse.

Today she is going to teach us a little something about giving get well gifts, because let’s face it, a stuffed bear with a crooked nose holding a miniature balloon will not suffice! Alright, lady– school us!

Get Well Gifting :: Guest Gifter Series :: Kateri Allard :: #giftswithbows #gwb #getwellsoon

 iTunes Gift Card from Apple | Bonzai by From You Flowers $59.99 | Carina Kimono Robe by Eberjay $106 | Balance Bar Bracelet by Dogeared $26 | Gardenia Bonzai by From You Flowers $59.99 | Summer Weight Moc by Acorn $34.98+

We all know the feeling, that anxiety you get when someone you love is experiencing an illness. No, it’s not the “will I catch it” mayhem we all experienced during Ebolagate last fall, it’s the how the heck do I let them know I am thinking of them without being insensitive or offensive.

As a former patient and current Nurse, I have seen the successes and failure of Get Well Gifting. So at the request of Gifts With Bows I have compiled a few never fail items that do more than fill your friends home with dying flowers!

When feeling under the weather, it hard to also feel comfortable, and even worse, presentable. Hospital gowns open in the back, and even home on the couch it can be hard to find the right balance of warm but not too warm pajamas. So this is where a perfect robe comes in. I love anything Anthropologie, and to be honest, just feel better wearing it! So this robe seems like the perfect gift to throw over pajamas while recovering from an illness or surgery! And it will be useful afterwards too! Go with a soft thin fabric so it isn’t scratchy or too warm!

And what goes better with a robe than slippers? Most people already own a pair, but you can put a lot of miles on a pair of slippers when you are suddenly wearing them 18 hours a day! I love this Acorn pair in the white and grey stripe! They go with anything, are warm as well as supportive, and come from an eco friendly company based in Maine!

If you’re looking from something more generic, but equally useful, you can truly never go wrong with an iTunes gift card. You get the pick the amount, and the recipient is sure to make use of it. A playlist that may have carried them for the last decade may suddenly seem very repetitive as it plays on a loop through ear buds, drowning out a roommate’s family or filling the time until the next dose of pain meds. Plus, they can use it for music, movies, TV shows… It really is the gift that keeps on giving.

Another item I had to include is something that doesn’t say sorry you’re sick at all! Sometimes, its best to just take the opportunity to send a gift. I have been a friend of Dogeared for years, and find their bracelets and necklaces to be excellent Just Because gifts. This would be a sweet way to let someone know you are thinking of them wishing them the best.

Finally, if you still feel inclined to send flowers, choose something that will last. I suggest going with something potted and low maintenance. A flowering Bonsai Tree is beautiful, they aren’t finicky as far as light is concerned, and most importantly, they only need water when the soil is fully dry. So let’s hope your friend is fully recovered before the next watering! I always use From You Flowers for my flower delivery needs, they have great selection sourced from local florists, and fill my inbox with discounts and deals I make use of often!

When it comes to get well gifts keep away from anything edible! Especially for hospitalized loved ones, nurses and doctors love to change diets on a regular bases from low fat, to liquids, to absolutely nothing at all! So all of those sweet gift baskets you come across, full of tasty snacks that make your healthy mouth water, just say NO.

Most importantly, when in doubt, ask yourself, will this gift cause more work for the recipient?

If the answer is no, pick it up and send it along with a simple card complete with a personal and thoughtful note!


Love her thoughts and writing as much as I do?

Follow Kateri’s blog here.

30 for 30 Gift Guide: Part Two

30 for 30 :: Thirty Gift Ideas :: GWB Editor turns 30 :: as feaured on Gifts with Bows :: #giftswithbows #gwb

Ready to Wear

Salt + Light Tee by Walk in Love $25 | Elea Ring by Gorjana $75 $49.90 | Diamond Pendant by Mark + Graham $178 | 16 Stone Bangle by Margaret Elizabeth $165 | Berry Bliss Bracelet Set by Market Colors $15 | Ripley Bracelet by Kendra Scott $95 | Jersey Dress by Joules $53 | 360 Monogrammed Earrings by Swell Caroline $44

Happy Home

Turkish Towel from Design Darling $45 | Brass Planter by School House Electric $50-65 | Monogram Pillow by PB Teen $28.99 | Wish Eau De Parfum by Lollia $44.50 | Marble Cleat Box by West Elm $26-35 | Hello Object by West Elm $29 | Spring’s Eden Soap from Anthropologie $8 | Ginger Jar from One Kings Lane $119 $89 |

Today I’m bring you part two of the 30 for 30 gift guide. See an explanation of the guides, how I feel about turning 30 and part one here! Happy gifting!

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30 for 30 Gift Guide: Part One

30 for 30 :: Thirty Gift Ideas :: GWB Editor turns 30 :: as feaured on Gifts with Bows :: #giftswithbows #gwb

On the Go

The Cape Elizabeth by The ROPES Main $75 | Floral Travel Mug by Ashley Brooke Designs $24 | Cedar Street Stacy Bifold by Kate Spade $100 | The Pastoso Flat by M. Gemi $178 | Ormsby Sunnies by Warby Parker $95+ | Key Chain by Baggu $9 | Color Block Stripe Phone Case by Pencil Shavings Studio $28.50+ | Monterey Watch by Kate Spade $295

On the Desk

Pink Metal Pen by Poppin $14 | Corta Maison Candle in French Bourbon Vanille by Voluspa $25 | Personalized Note Cards by Sophie & Lili $21.50 | Personalized Tumbler by Caroline Randall Made $18 | Simplified Planner by Emily Ley $58 | Sullivan Double Frame by Kate Spade $75

I just celebrated a milestone birthday on July 16th. In celebration of turning 30 I’m welcoming this brand new decade with 30 gift ideas. Today is part one: “on the go” and “on the desk”. Tomorrow you’ll see a new post with part two: “ready to wear” and “happy home”, so make a note to check back.

For me, turning 30 really could not feel better. I have felt like a thirty something trapped in a 20 something’s body for several years now. I got married at 24, bought a home and started having kids right away which turned out to be a pretty solid recipe for making friends with a slightly older crowd (which I love).

30 brings on a new level of confidence that closely resembles becoming a parent. When I had Zoe I changed. I never felt like a “real” adult until I was a mom. That’s just me. I know people have those moments in a million different scenarios, but something about having this incredible responsibility for this sweet, tiny human made me feel more responsible in all facets of my life. It wasn’t my first job out of college, or even getting married. Maybe it should have been, but it wasn’t.

Some friends have asked if I “feel old” now. It’s a playful and curious and standard question and the answer is yeah- I do. I really do. But in a good way. Game on! Let’s do this! And while we’re at it, let’s enjoy some really beautiful things that bring big smiles to our faces. Dan and I have had a few conversations lately about quality. Stuff quality, clothing quality, furniture quality. Coming into my thirties has presented a great opportunity to edit our house, closets and offices. Dear Lord may I never fill a shopping cart at Target with absolutely no forethought.

The 30 for 30 gift guides are inspired by great quality and really honoring my aesthetics all while being mindful of blending in small businesses and companies that pay it forward. I hope you enjoy it and pick up an idea or two!

REMINDER: If you haven’t entered the GWB Vilah Bloom Giveaway head over to this post and take two minutes to get your chance! Event closes TONIGHT, so make moves!

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KO Sticks Foldable Star Sculptures

KO Sticks :: Collapsible Star Review :: $24-170 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #kosticks

Six-Axis Star c/o KO Sticks

This foldable star sculpture may just be the most giftable item I’ve ever featured on Gifts with Bows. Why? Well it works for just about anyone on almost any occasion:

It’s office appropriate, making it suitable for work anniversaries and first days on the job.

It’s chic in the living room (gorgeous for newlyweds ready for sophisticated decor and entertaining for families with kiddos), making it a lovely housewarming gift or wedding present.

And yes, even kids can make perfect recipients. Imagine hanging a few from the ceiling in their bedroom or playroom. Or keep them in reach… because these hand made works of art are intended to be explored by hand (see the evidence in the photo story below).

But it gets even better. Not only are KO Sticks Stars a widely practical gift, they come in several sizes and materials. That means you can buy one for $24-170 hitting whatever your appropriate price point happens to be.

Note: KO Sticks is comprised of two great artisans (and mathematicians), Jane and John Kostick. Married for just over 20 years, they met at a geometry lecture and now construct geometric objects side by side. Now isn’t that an equation you’d like to support? Give KO Sticks a follow on Facebook to give your newsfeed a welcomed pop of art.

The other day I took our stars off of the living room bookshelves where they are typically on display (see above). And brought them to the park so that our three year old, Zoe could show them to her friends. Ready to see a few thoughtful and curious faces? And park adventures, too of course!

KO Sticks :: Collapsible Star Review :: $24-170 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #kosticks

KO Sticks :: Collapsible Star Review :: $24-170 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #kosticks

KO Sticks :: Collapsible Star Review :: $24-170 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #kosticks

KO Sticks :: Collapsible Star Review :: $24-170 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #kosticks

July 2015- Ari at the Park

July 2015- Zoe at the Park

July 2015- Friends at the Park

Photos: The bookshelf and park photos are my own and the product photos are by Design Within Reach, a KO Sticks retailer. A special thanks to Zoe’s pals for making their darling debuts on GWB.

Artist Credits: Featured above with the KO Sticks star, the lantern is Lauren Ritchie and the vase is Jen Gandee.

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Vilah Bloom Review & Giveaway

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloomHarbor Side Tote in ‘First Lady’ c/o Vilah Bloom $129

Hello, GWB readers! I have a major treat for you today! Vilah Bloom and Gifts with Bows have partnered up to offer you a thorough review and an amazing giveaway of the Harbor Side Tote. I can’t WAIT to give you the details on how to win one, but first let me tell you all about this supremely darling carry-all.

Before I got a chance to see this bag in person I had a feeling it was the one for me after reading this on their website:

“A Vilah Bloom mom is one that maintains her sophisticated yet casual style wherever she goes and is always prepared for life’s little messes.”

Oh yes. This is to a T what I imagine for myself. Can’t I please appear to be together? Goodness knows I’m human, but like many moms I do aspire to walk out of the house feeling organized and well assembled and… wait… where are my keys? Anyways, my hand is held up high: I am definitely a Vilah Bloom mom. Join me. I insist.

Moving on– When the bag arrived and I got a chance to check it out, look through all the pockets (there are 11!), and get to see up close that this is a seriously high quality, and chic take on the traditional diaper bag. Hello “fashion meets function”, I have found you at last! The style formula feels like 2 parts preppy, 1 part modern and a dash of “sneaky smart”, meaning even smarter than it (or s/he) looks.

Which leads me to my favorite part that gets me all “eeee” girly, bouncy, singsongy-voice. There is a built-in dispensing wipe system accessible from the OUTSIDE of the bag. That means with one hand (since you absolutely do not have two free hands when changing a baby or toddler) you can quickly grab your wipes without dealing with any zippers, snaps or containers. And get this– it is so intuitive that Ari figured out how to use it in a matter of seconds (as pictured below). For anyone new here, Ari is my sweet little one year old boy. He’s a peach of a model.

The genius behind this impressive technology is designer and founder, Jackelynn Garrett. She, of course, has two littles of her own, Vilah and Monroe. They all live together with her husband Travis and dog, Oscar in Northern Michigan. Jackie’s daughters serve as the inspiration for the function of her totes, while the designs are tributes to her childhood spent lakeside and express “a fresh, classic style that exudes the sense of effortless elegance- much like you would find along the shores at any lake house.” I think she nailed it!

A few quick bullets on the specs of the Harbor Side Tote:

  • Product Dimensions are 5” L x 13” H x 7”W
  • 11 spacious pockets (including 2 interior bottle pockets)
  • One handed access to wipes via the built-in, nontoxic dispensing wipe system
  • Exclusive Vilah Bloom monogrammed dispensing wipes case
  • Large, plush, wipe clean changing mat
  • Interior swivel key/pacifier clip
  • Water resistant lining
  • Premium nontoxic, 100% nylon exterior with faux leather accent trim
  • Custom nickel hardware
  • 3 carrying options: Shoulder, built-in stroller clips, and detachable hands – free cross body strap
  • Easy care: wipes clean with a damp cloth, let air dry

Tote Giveaway

And now what you’ve been waiting for… the GIVEAWAY. Vilah Bloom is giving away a Harbor Side Tote in Lil’ Duchess, which is an incredible, vibrant shade of blue. We wanted to make it really easy for you to enter, so we have directions spelled out here on the blog, and also on our social media channels. Giveway ends Sunday, July 26th at 11:59pm EST. Winner will be announced!

How to Enter (do all four!):

Want extra entries?

Get up to four extra entries when you:

*If the winner follows Violet Lucille on Facebook she will receive a darling BONUS!

UPDATE: CONGRATS TO OUR WINNER, BRITTANY C.!

Note: When you follow Vilah Bloom on Facebook you’ll get the latest in news and special deals. For example, today they have posted a major discount on the Harbor Side Tote ‘First Lady’ (code on page).

And now for a little photo story of Ari discovering the built-in wipe dispensing system! Plus, don’t miss a detailed look at everything I fit into this incredibly spacious bag at the very end of the post.

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom :: Review & Giveaway :: $129 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloom

Vilah Bloom ::What Did I Pack? :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #vilahbloomEverything here easily fits inside the Harbor Side Tote. Yes, ALL of it. But what is all this stuff?

Vilah Bloom Changing Mat & Wipes Dispenser (come with Tote) | Hand Knit Blanket (ours is a family heirloom, similar) | Denim Cap (similar) | Gap Ruby One Piece (similar) | Button-up Sweater (similar) | Carters Stripe Socks | Stripe Slip-ons (similar) | J&J Face Wipes | Lolla Cup | Grace Based Parenting Book | Turkish Towel (similar) | Happy Baby Puffs | Honest Diaper Cream | Honest Healing Balm | Banana Boat Spray Sunscreen | Pair and a Spare Bear | Aden & Anais Lovie | iPhone Pineapple Case (similar) | OPI Polish in ‘Kiss Me I’m Brazilian’ | Bare Minerals Moxie in ‘Rebel’ | 3 Bead Key Fob (DIY found Be Crafty) | Polo Dress (similar) | Pink Headband (similar) | Carters Kids Necklace (similar) | Pampers Diapers

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Little Sapling Toys Review

Little Sapling Toys :: My Top Picks :: $6+ :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #littlesaplingtoys

1. Personalized Camera $42 | 2. Memory Game $26 | 3. Personalized YoYo $6 | 4. Bowling Game $26 | 5. State Teether $12 | 6. Bow Teether $12

Hailing from Hunstville, Utah, Little Sapling Toys is less than 10 years old and it’s already the front runner in toy sales on Etsy. But what’s really cool about this shop is that it’s a family business focused on more than what they produce in their wood shop. Their concern for the health and vitality of the planet has inspired them to plant a tree for each toy sold. Having said that, they prioritize the quality of their materials and the developmental value of their toys for growing kiddos. Plus, they offer laser engraving so that you can personalize your gifts for an extra special touch.

I picked out some of my favorite toys and teethers in their shop, but there are literally dozens of adorable options and I insist you browse them all. There is a darling selection of teethers and rattles ready for your next baby shower, ride-on on toys and push cars for toddlers, and games for older kiddos.

Little Sapling Toys is offering Gifts with Bows readers a special 10% discount on an order from their Etsy shop until August 31, 2015. Use discount code GFTWBWS10 at checkout!

Play along on social media: Instagram | Pintrest | Facebook | YouTube | Etsy

Oh and FYI: this is not a sponsored post, and as always, all opinions are my own.

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Pineapple Everything!

Pineapple Everything :: Tropical Gifts :: #giftswithbows #gwb #pineapples

1. Bracelet by Alex and Ani $28 | 2. 10 oz. Candle by Modern Alchemy $20 $12 | 3. Earrings by Covet $22 | 4. iPhone Case by Kate Spade $45 | 5. Wreath Holder by Williams Sonoma $29.95 $12.99 | 6. Jar by Dot & Bo $31 $24.99 | 7. Necklace by Nasty Gal $18 | 8. Ice Tray Set by Sunnylife $22 | 9. Key Fob by Tory Burch $60 $42 | 10. Ceramic Jewelry Tray by JCrew Factory $19.50 $12.50

Give your next gift in true Florida form with a tropical delight that traditionally says, “Welcome!” and in more modern terms says, “Hey, girl!”. I can barely scroll Instagram for two minutes before I see a pineapple and you know what? I’m really okay with that. It’s fresh for summer and a sweet and citrus-y way to say congrats, happy birthday, or honey, I love you. Go forth and purchase your next punchy gift!

Trying to get your pineapple on for free? Okay I can help you there, too. Some ah-mazing bloggers and designers have made your pineappling adventures as easy as a quick download and print.

1. Oh So Lovely | 2. The Alison Show | 3. Glitter and Gloss | 4. Live Laugh Rowe

Pineapple Everything :: FREE Printables :: #giftswithbows #gwb #pineapples #ohsolovely #thealisonshow #glitterandgloss #livelaughrowe