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!

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.