Monday, July 27, 2015

Made in the USA: Peg and Awl Lunch Bag

I wanted to share this made in the USA lunch bag that I got my husband when he started back working in an office environment. I was perusing Manready Mercantile here in Houston and spotted this Peg and Awl awesome lunch bag. Bryan has been using it for about 6 months now and loves it. It is a waxed canvas and has held up great. Cost $44. The top of the bag just rolls down or if you want to make sure it stays down you can always use a clip to hold it down. It has a front pocket so sometimes I'll leave a love note in there for my husband.

If you don't know about Manready Mercantile, it is a great mens store here in Houston that has all made in the USA products. Some things can be pricey, but you are paying for quality, durable goods.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Gift Closet: Gift Ideas and Items

For many years I have always had extra gifts for certain occasions  I have kept them in drawers, cabinets, closets, etc. They are often items I find I really like and want to eventually give to people or items I think someone will like and that were on sale.

Currently, I keep all items in some drawers in our guest room and in our guest room closet. These are items that are here for those unexpected times you need to bring a gift somewhere, whether that is a hostess gift, housewarming gift, birthday gift, or a thank you gift.

I also buy gifts throughout the year for family and friends and put them away for things like birthdays, mother’s day, father’s day, Christmas, etc. This way I don’t always feel rushed or broke when it comes to those special events. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely don’t always do it this way, but it is a goal of mine to try to always be prepared. The areas I have gifts and extra gifts in not completely organized at the moment, but hey what can say, shit happens. Sorry for the kind of shitty pictures as well. If you have been reading on here you know I don't always have the best photos. If I have any friends and family reading this you may recognize some of these items ;). 

Plus, since I do a lot of shopping for clients I am constantly trying to find unique and fun gifts that my clients can give to their business associates, family and friends. 

My favorite places to get gifts at in Houston are Kuhl Linscomb, Anthropologie, Manready Mercantile and Biscuit Home among other little local shops. Kuhl Linscomb is just an awesome store here in Houston that has a little bit of everything. Anthropologie always seems to have great sales especially when they have an extra percentage off their sale room, Manready is great mens store that has made in the USA items, and Biscuit Home is a great interior design store that has all kinds of home goods. I really try to find items that are on sale throughout the year, because really who likes paying full price if they don't have to. 

I love gifting Tiffany’s playing cards and Glassbaby (not pictured) items among many, many other things. Here are a few things I usually have on hand:

Wine or Beer Items. It always seems to be a good idea to have extra of this kind of stuff because you can give a bottle opener, cork stopper, aerator, etc. to go along with a bottle of wine or pack of beer.

Candles. Candles are the default gift because most people love candles, but you do have to be aware that the smells are not too harsh. Some smells give me an instant headache.

Small Trinket Bowls. I have gifted these small trinket bowls that I gold leafed myself.  They are great to put on a desk or console table to hold things like extra change, keys and odds and ends.

Games. Games are always a hit for the people who actually like to play games. Our favorites to give are Cards Against Humanity, Yahtzee, Settlers of Catan and Blokus.

Jewelry and Beauty Items. I usually get inexpensive, cute jewelry and beauty items I think my family or friends may like and save them for special occasions.

Book Darts. These things are great to give a long with a book. I have blogged about them in the past and absolutely love book darts. 

Legos. I love giving legos to the adults in our life. I personally love legos and always think it is awesome to give others legos that I think fits their personality. 

Pet items. I like to sometimes give small pet items like, treats or catnip, to friends I know that have fur babies. 

Small soaps. Everyone can always use soaps and I often give Claus Porto or Trader Joe's orange blossom soaps.

Kitchen items. Kitchen items are also things that people can always use. I love to give various scrubbers or unique kitchen tools.

Tech Items. My clients love giving tech items to others in their life, so I am always trying to stay on top of what the latest and greatest is. 

Baby and Kid Items. I always have baby and kid items on hand because my husband and I are now at the age where are friends and family members are popping kids out like crazy. I have books, toys, stuffed animals, diapers (Honest diapers are my favorite), clothes, coloring books, etc.

Donation Items. Every year around the holidays I like to give kid and art items to charities like MD Anderson and Texas Children's, so I buy cheap gifts on sale throughout the year and save them for around the holidays. Perfect time to get these kind of gifts is right after the holidays and save for the following year and when all the school supplies go on sale in September. 

What are some of your favorite gift items to give?