Christmas Countdown: Favorites from Paisley + Sparrow

Christmas Countdown :: Paisley & Sparrow Favs :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBChristmasCountdown #GWBI was very lucky this week to offer a giveaway with some pretty extraordinary companies. One of the owners gave me quite a welcomed education on how to gift well. Well in that the gift serves far beyond the recipient. Best part? She doesn’t even realize the impact her shop made on me. But by so carefully crafting her online shop and explaining every item’s PURPOSE, I got a very special reminder of the heart of giving. This one’s for you, Jen!

I’m so delighted to make this introduction, so let’s not waste another minute! Paisley + Sparrow’s shop has a PURPOSE because it has been handcrafted by a survivor of modern day slavery. Owner, Jen Biswas has diligently searched high and low to discover organizations that have “matched her heart for marginalized people,” thus finding the loveliest and most giftable items all curated for your ease and enjoyment. Here are some of my favorite things in her shop:

1. Chevron Gold Necklace $36 | This 22″ charmer would look great with a plain tee on a bold and extroverted gal. Get it for someone who will use it as a conversation piece. It is made by Purpose, whose “jewelry tells a story of hope, strength, and perseverance” in the face of the sex trafficking.

2. Arrow & Copper Wood Journal $22 | Inspire the singer-song writer (or otherwise creative darling) with this intricately carved wood and leather journal by Raven + Lily, who “employs over 1,500 marginalized women at fair trade wages to give them… a real chance to to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their families”.

3. Jivana Peony Necklace $40 | Another darling option from the Purpose brand that is work and special event ready! “The word Jivana means life in Hindi. This stunning necklace represents new life and a fresh start for young women rescued from modern day slavery.”

4. Acai Tassel Bracelet $26 | This bracelet was handmade by an artisan in Ecuador employed by Faire Collection, a company “founded to bring sustainable change to impoverished communities in South America.” Give it to your favorite bracelet-stacking girlfriend, because c’mon, who doesn’t love a tassel?

5. Wild Flower & Fern Soap $9 | Hello, soap. Get in my stocking. Also, perfect for office colleagues and babysitters. This vegetable-based shea butter soap makes a lovely little promise: “For every bar purchased, Hand in Hand will donate a bar to help save a child’s life, donate 1 month of clean water to a child in the developing world, and save 50 square feet of rain forest.” Wow.

6. Assefa Scarf $48 | This cotton scarf from the fashionABLE Miriam Collection was handwoven in Ethiopia and named after a woman whose life has been changed because of your purchase. The colors in this scarf tell a story for every season making it perfectly wearable year round. From winter– bare tree branches speckled with new fallen snow, to summer– hunting for shells and rocks on sandy beaches. Nothing like a soft, neutral color palette to keep you cozy.

7. Ashoka Make Up Bag $22 | Another gem from Raven + Lily. This multi-use pouch is made of 100% organic cotton and detailed with the sweetest screen printed pattern. Fill it with favorite desk supplies, toiletries, or other P+S goodies and make this gift into a gift set.

Bonus: If you’re new to Paisley & Sparrow you can take 20% off your order just by signing up for their newsletter. Also, be sure to follow along with @paisleyandsparrow on Instagram for gorgeous photos and encouraging words.

Happy holiday shopping, loves!

But First, Coffee: How to Make Coffee a Legit Gift

Gifting Coffee :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #butfirstcoffee #GWB

A bag of coffee makes a decent gift in a pinch, but add a few more parts and you can give someone a full-on coffee experience. This is what you need:

1. Set of 2 Glass Double Wall Mugs $29.95 | Because you want to see this charming cup of coffee you’ve just crafted  (cheaper option). A set of two also makes your coffee gift set very couple-appropriate (think weddings!).

2. One-Cup Porcelain Pour Over Cone $8.99 | I like it because I don’t have a second cup, or if I do it’s at the office… so I only make a pot when we have company at the house. Plus I was never a barista and so this is how I get my kicks.

3. Sleek, Cordless Stainless Steel Electric Kettle $79.95 | You can totally wait for all eternity if you just can’t do without the shrill whistle of a stove top kettle, or you can press one button on this bad boy and have boiling water ready faster than you can switch your laundry… but still switch your laundry because coming home from work and realizing your clothes having been sitting in the washer all day will give you a serious sad face emoji (cheaper option).

4. 100 Ct. #2 Filters $6.92 | If you’re committed you can save and buy in bulk. But don’t forget to grab a pack of these because you cannot make the coffee without them. Don’t give new meaning to #nofilterfail

5. 12oz. Bag of Brazil Beans by Cafe Kubal $12 | A medium roast from the Mogiana region with peanut and milk chocolate notes = yes. And here’s a decaf option. Kubal is my favorite local coffee shop. If you’re in the greater Syracuse area, check it out. Otherwise, at least they sell online. Also, if you give whole beans, consider whether your giftee has a grinder at home. Often people buy ground coffee or use the grinder at the store, so it’s not a guaranteed appliance.

6. Madagascar Vanilla Powder Shaker $9.99 | You might remember seeing a reference to this several months ago. There is a reason I mentioned it yet again. It. Is. So. Good. (cinnamon option)

Now here are eleven more mug options to check out. Because the truth is that mugs really reflect upon a person and dare I say, tell a potentially revealing story about that person. So if a mug is given as a gift put a little thought into it:

  1. For the endless errand runner
  2. For the serial monogrammer
  3. GOLD ONLY (EVER)
  4. For your cheeky girlfriend
  5. For the so-right-now-ist
  6. For the classic neautralist
  7. For the urban minimalist
  8. For the mason jar-aholic gal (yes, that is a thing)
  9. For the mason jar-aholic guy (yes, also a thing)
  10. For the secret architect
  11. For the not so ordinary

Choose well, friends.

And if you haven’t entered the current GWB giveaway on Instagram, go check it out!

Red Earth Favorites

Red Earth :: Five Favorites :: $30-76 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #redearth

  1. Organic Link Bracelet $72 | 2. Rex Necklace $76 | 3. Square Studs $30 | 4.  Lite Link Bracelet $42 | 5. Thin Cuff $38

For a global traveler; someone who dreams in the colors of the continents.

She appreciates skilled craftsmanship, local artistry and handmade goodness.

She understands the power of hope and wishes to grow it where it is needed most.

NOTE: Red Earth was imagined and brought to life by Travis Gravette in 2010. He explains, “our name was inspired from the red dirt roads and footpaths of rural Uganda,” a place that became near and dear to his heart during college and thereafter. Over the course of several years working to empower local leaders in Uganda, Travis met a number of artisans whose excellent craftsmanship allowed them to support their families. Now five years strong this company assists artisans worldwide to grow their businesses and to create new job opportunities. Read more about Red Earth here.

PERK: Get 15% off when you join the mailing list & free shipping on orders $50+.

FOLLOW: Instagram | Facebook | Pintrest | Twitter

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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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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

Travel Mug by Ashley Brooke Designs

Ashely Brooke Designs :: Travel Mug :: $24 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWBGive her a little inspiration for her morning commute–

a darling gift that practically shouts, “Be happy! You’re awesome!”

Buy here for $24

NOTE: Ashley Brooke is a party. Her designs are the champagne. Ashley says she’s on a mission to make every day just a bit more fancy. Five minutes spent looking at her bright and cheery inventory can pretty much guarantee you feelings of extreme fanciness. Try it. Then follow her on Instagram.

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Queen Bee Creations Giveaway

Queen Bee GIVEAWAY :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB #QueenBee #Buzz

Oh, Portland. Must you keep everything cool for yourself? Not today and not on Gifts with Bows! GWB is back with another giveaway to kick off spring sponsored by Queen Bee Creations, a fascinating textiles studio lead by Rebecca Pearcy. Rebecca has been at it since 1996, stitching together a business that was set in motion in her teen years. After school sewing projects? Yes ma’am! This west coast wonder is a dreamer, designer and artisan and wow, I just couldn’t be happier that one Gift with Bows reader will be gloriously organized and darling when outfitted with a “Just in Case” zip-top pouch of her choice. Your choice of design & color!

How to win? Each action is worth an entry– up to 4 entries possible per person. If you do one action you’re in the running, but you can easily up your chances. Your call. Past actions count so if you already follow– you’re in luck! Either way be sure to tell me what you did and your handle on Pintrest in a comment below.

  • Pin the image above
  • Tag a friend when you pin
  • Follow Gifts with Bows on Pintrest
  • Follow Queen Bee Creations on Pintrest

If you don’t have a Pintrest account (honor code please!) and you’d still like to participate, do this instead (again, 4 entries max):

  • Like Gifts with Bows on Facebook
  • Like Queen Bee Creations on Facebook
  • Tag Gifts with Bows in a Facebook post
  • Tag Queen Bee Creations in a Facebook post

Can’t wait? Buy here for $24

UPDATE: A big congrats to Marissa C., our contest winner!! Thanks to all who participated– another giveaway will be posted soon!

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A Clean Car for Spring featuring GreenGoose

Green Goose :: Car Trash Bag :: $30 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB

For a friend or beau or with a new car and aspirations of retaining the glorious new car smell,

Or because you so generously share your car with your aloof teen, sticky-fingered toddler, and anyone else who needs a ride.

Buy here for $30

Note: Hang this handmade, 100% cotton twill (with optional oilcloth lining) on the gearshift and make your way into spring with a litter-free car following the longest, snowiest, saltiest winter yet! It comes in dozens of lovely patterns and colors, but I wanted to show the gray so that you can picture it in a guy’s car just as well as a lady’s. GreenGoose is comprised of a husband and wife team located in Columbia, Maryland. Stephanie and Kevin adore working together, and have proudly ensured quality and care to over 5,000 pieces sold.

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