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!

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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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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Vanilla by The Spice House

The Spice House :: Best Vanilla :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB

For the baker with a nose that knows: he or she will so appreciate the aromatic glory and deeply indulgent difference of Vanilla from The Spice House.

Also for your Starbucks or local grind junky who has an interminable weakness for Vanilla lattes.

16 oz. Madagascar “Bourban Islands” Pure Single-Strength Vanilla Extract $27.99

2.5oz Shaker of Madagascar Vanilla Powder $9.99

Note: I was introduced to the The Spice House by Chicago Food Planet Food Tours several years back, when I was living in the Windy City and my parents came to visit. The Vanilla they offer is miles away from what you can buy at a convenience grocery store. It is rich and layered and almost savory. Never in my life did I anticipate becoming a Vanilla snob, but I’ll freely and gladly take the title. When I found out The Spice House shipped its merchandise I immediately made a mental note to send a few jars to my Mom for Mother’s Day that year. It. Is. So. Good.

Either option works well for baking or coffee, but I’d recommend the liquid for the former and the powder for the latter.

If you’re ever in Chicago and you’re looking for something to do, treat yourself to a Food Tour by Chicago Food Planet. It’s brilliant fun, gets you walking, teaches you a great deal about a range of foods and restaurants, tells brick and mortar history, and comes with samples of the best tastes Chi-town has to offer. This company is so well loved that dozens upon dozens of food tour start-ups have mimicked them to find huge success in cities spanning the nation.

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Beer Jelly by Potlicker Kitchen

Potlicker :: Beer Jelly 3 Pack :: $21 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB

Whether he brews at home, hangs at the corner pub, or simply enjoys a cold one after a long day– send him a pack of beer jelly to braise meats or top his toast. Perfect for groomsmen, birthday boys and Dads on Father’s Day.

Buy the Dark & Berry 3 Pack for $21

Note: Potlicker Kitchen is the delicious gem of the Northeast corner offering a full array of artisan jellies and jams one small batch at a time. Nancy and Walter Warner have mastered the art of culinary surprise featuring mash-ups such as strawberry chipotle jam, blackberry basil jelly and wild sumac jelly. They look to six nearby craft breweries to get the best local flavor canned for your enjoyment. “Like” them on Facebook to find out what’s next on the Potlicker oven rack!

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Monogrammed Coffee Mug by The Joyful Peach

The Joyful Peach :: Monogrammed Coffee Mug :: $15.50 :: as featured on Gifts with Bows #giftswithbows #GWB

For her first day on the job to hold coffee or pens

Or say cheers to your sweet coworker on Administrative Professionals’ Day or Boss’s Day

Or for any one of your girlfriends who love gold, gold and more gold!

Buy here for $15.50

Note: With 130 perfect reviews on Etsy (5 stars!), you can bet on a perfect circle monogram from The Joyful Peach. Brooke Maltempi will ship her charming inventory from Chester, VA with a turnaround time of 2-3 weeks– but let her know if you’re short on time and she might be able to adorn your doorstep sooner.

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