Scents for the home, body & laundry
Today is the perfect day to do some online Christmas shopping, with just about everyone running a Cyber Monday sale. You’re sure to find what you need at a great price!
One site to check out would be www.usarmyband.scentsy.us run by a local business woman. Heather Gregory is ready to help you find the perfect Christmas gift. By shopping Scentsy you support small businesses and families.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t use candles or scented wax with a warmer to make their house smell wonderful! But Scentsy is even better than candles, with no smoke, it keeps the air in your home clean and healthy to breath while making your home smell wonderful.
They also sell items beyond wax warmers, like laundry liquid and washer whiffs to make your laundry smell good too. Along with body scents, cleaning supplies and gift ideas for the kids!
Make sure you check them out today and support a local business!
This is our last gift idea in this series and I hope it has inspired you to start your Christmas shopping. Remember to SHOP SMALL & SHOP LOCAL first if possible and support local famililes at the same time! Happy Holidays!
Small Pocket Wallet
Do you know someone who never carries a purse, complains their wallet is too heavy or who likes to throw some money and credit cards in their pocket and head out the door. If so, one of these fabric credit card holders would be perfect for them, lightweight and small enough to fit in a pocket. They come with the option of two or four pockets and they are perfect for a stocking stuffer or to mail. Shop here: Two Pocket & Four Pocket.
Tomorrow is our last day of the series and we are featuring a local family run small business so make sure you come back to find out who it is!
Is there a teenager in your life that has just started driving or is about too? A roadside emergency kit would be the perfect gift for them. Its keeps them safe and makes you feel better about them driving. Search Amazon, Google or shop local retailers and your sure to find what your looking for.
Day 6 tomorrow, don't forget to stop and see what it says!
Handmade Kitchen Linens
Do you know someone who loves to cook? Do they use cast iron skillets or often put their frying pan in the oven. These little skillet handle covers make a great gift or stocking stuffer! Check them out here.
See you tomorrow for day 5!
A movie night out or a movie night in, this gift basket is sure to please anyone from a dating couple, teenagers to a family of four or more! There are several ways to accomplish this fun gift.
Movie Night In: Purchase a popcorn bowl, gourmet popcorn, movie sized boxes of candy and include a gift card for a rental or movie purchase. For gourmet popcorn from a family run business visit Dell Cove Spices. Include a personalized popcorn bowl like the one above from EarthlyChic.
Movie Night Out: Package a theater gift card, restaurant gift card and some candy together in a cute little bag or box! Perfect for the one the go family or couple.
Stop by tomorrow to see what's in store for day four!
I love to give my stepsons a Christmas ornament each year, chosen just for them. It’s a fun way to make memories and it also means they will each of a small collection of ornaments to take with them when they move into their own place.
You can find Christmas ornaments as unique as the person your giving it to. From themed to personalized, Etsy has it all.
See you on Thanksgiving for day three in The ART of GIVING!
Do you take a lot of photos of the places you have been, the ones you love, nature, rustic old buildings or just things that catch your eye? Do you ever wonder what to do with all those photos? Why not make them into a personalized gift for someone special? Did you know that it’s really very easy to do?
All you need is a jpeg of your image, a computer, an Internet connection and a debit/credit card and you are ready to go. Now you are thinking but where do I go to make these personalized gifts? Well look no further than this post! I have some resources for you that will be helpful for you. You can personalize almost anything with your own photos, your name, your initials and more! You can have your photos printed on wood, metal, glass, and canvas or poster paper! You can customize a cell phone case, cutting boards, serving trays, giftwrap, note cards and the list goes on!
I have used these sites for just about every special occasion in my marriage to make my husband a photo book or calendar that captures all our special moments. These are gifts that will be held on to and looked at over and over for a lifetime.
My first recommendation is www.zazzle.com. Zazzle allows you to customize wedding invitations, save the date cards, cell phone cases, leggings, tote bags, t-shirts, watches, tissue paper, gift wrap and a lot more.
I have a store on Zazzle, www.zazzle.com/EricksonDesigns* where you can order, photo Christmas cards, stationary, home décor items, tissue paper and more. My collection is still growing so check back often! If you see a design in my store that you would like to see on a different product feel free to send me a message and let me know. I love customer feedback!
Next, www.snapfish.com which is primarily a photo driven website. They allow you to put your photos on fleece blankets, mugs, canvas, metal, wood, Christmas cards, gift items and create photo books to hold all your memories. I have found that Snapfish photo books make wonderful gifts.
After that, www.shutterfly.com. They pretty much do the same items as Snapfish but allow you to personalize stationary, cell phone cases and gifts. They are affiliated with TinyPrints and Wedding Divas.
Along with all these websites you can also visit Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Costco and Rite-Aid to have your photos printed or put on special gifts. It all really depends on the price you want to pay and the quality you want to receive. Another option is Etsy. There are many shops on Etsy where you can work with a designer one-on-one and they will design your item for you and even help you order the end product if you need them too. Visit my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com to see the item I offer or contact me for a custom order.
The steps to customize your items really are very simple and each of the sites work pretty much the same way. I will run through the basics with you below.
Step One: Chose the site you want to order from. Click a link above or search or a site on your own. There are many more companies out there than I have room for in this blog. A search on Google will highlight most of them for you.
Step Two: Create and account on the site you choose by clicking their “sign-up” now button.
Step Three: Search their site for the product you want to customize.
Step Four: Once you have found the item, click through to the customize page for that item. Once you are there, there will be buttons that either say customize, upload, edit or something along those lines. Click the appropriate button.
Step Five: Upload your photo by clicking the appropriate button on the page and navigating to your computer and the location in which you store your photos. Choose the correct photo and wait for it to upload.
Step Six: Check to make sure you photo is positioned the way you want it, resize, rotate and crop it using the tools on your chosen site, add text or other elements until you like the way your item looks.
Step Seven: Place your order and pay.
Each site will be a little different in how it operates, but these are the basic steps you need to know to create your own personalized photo gifts. All of these sites have extensive help pages to help you learn how to use their site and customer service agents you can contact. I have found that these sites are very user friendly, I hope you find them to be also.
Consider turning your photos this holiday season to the perfect gift for someone you love.
More holiday ideas still to come! I love Christmas!
What has Christmas become in your home? Is it all about what you can get instead of give? What do your children think Christmas is all about? I have really been thinking a lot about this lately. I am not perfect in this area, so please don’t feel like I have got it all together. I mean I already have a list on my fridge of gifts that people can get me!
The truth is Christmas in not about getting, it’s about giving! So, what if the perfect gift could also give back to someone one in need? What if it could support a family in a third world country, save someone from sex trafficking, support a village in need, provide clean water, help a single mom or the family next door.
I am making it my goal this year to have my gifts help others. It may not be possible for each and every gift I give to do this, but I know it’s possible for some of them to help others.
I want Christmas to mean something more than just getting. I want it to be about serving, sacrificing, loving and caring about others. I want my gifts to say, I thought of you when I saw this and I wanted to support someone in need.
In the hopes that you will join me in this endeavor this year I have complied a list of places where yo can purchase gifts that give. I have included each organizations mission statement or description as found on their website. Please understand that I have just skimmed through their websites to see what their mission statements say. Please do your own research and make sure you fully support the organizations goals before purchasing.
Prodigal Pottery, www.etsy.com/shop/prodigalpottery
Prodigal Pottery started from the dream to create jobs for women fleeing homelessness and domestic abuse in a safe and therapeutic environment. Kings Home is home and safe haven to over 50 women who are seeking hope and restoration from pasts riddled with abuse and homelessness.
Mudlove Pottery, www.mudlove.com
Through our partnership with Water for Good, every product you purchase provides one week of clean water to someone in need. The Central African Republic is a country in desperate need of hope, love, and basic necessities. Access to safe, clean water has the power to transform communities and save lives.
Mercy Jewelry, www.etsy.com/shop/mercyjewelry
M.E.R.CY Jewelry is a ministry that exists to provide the women a life with dignity. Through this ministry, they hear about Christ's love and His healing
Threads worldwide, www.threadsworldwide.com
Creating life-changing work for women around the world through the fair trade of artisan jewelry.
Love Sees Collection, www.etsy.com/shop/loveseescollection
Love Sees Sterling Silver and Gold Vermeil Jewelry with Love Phrases! The Gift that Gives Back. 10% of proceeds donated to teen suicide prevention and awareness.
Bead for life, www.beadforlife.com
Creating sustainable opportunities for women to lift their families out of poverty by connecting people worldwide in a circle of exchange that enriches everyone.
Feathers & Grace, www.etsy.com/shop/feathersandgrace
We have a profound & beautiful purpose here at Feathers & Grace: To Celebrate, Encourage, Love, and Cherish every beautiful life! With every purchase, you are helping make a beautiful difference in the lives of children and families around the world!
Live Love Studio, www.etsy.com/shop/livelovestudio
We have a big passion to spread goodness to the world in a tangible way. With each purchase, you are providing ONE MEAL to a hungry tummy in East Tennessee Appalachia, through the efforts of Second Harvest Food Bank.
Purpose Jewelry, http://www.purposejewelry.org
Purpose jewelry is handcrafted by survivors of modern-day slavery. 100% of the proceeds benefit International Sanctuary, a non-profit that provides holistic care for young women rescued from sex trafficking.
Mercy INK, www.etsy.com/shop/mercyink
Mercy INK is happy to support the ministry of Restore Elikia, a non-profit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ten Thousand Village, www.tenthousandvilaages.com
Every purchase improves the lives of makers by supporting their craft and providing a fair, stable income.
Gifts With Humanity, www.giftswithhumanity.com
Gifts With Humanity is a brand of Global Crafts. Our mission is to offer income-generating opportunities to craftspeople in developing countries by following fair trade practices including paying in advance at least the market price for items, ensuring that craftspeople receive payment, and ensuring that the craftspeople work in fair working conditions. We work directly with artisans, craftspeople, and producer groups to achieve these goals and hopefully help improve the lives of some of the people with whom we share this planet.
Cross Culture Market, www.crossculturemarket.org
Cross Culture Market buys hand-made crafts from native artisans through Christian missionaries and humanitarian organizations. We sell these unique products in our store and online at www.crossculturemarket.org. You can find jewelry, home decor, purses, body products, holiday decorations, stationery, gourmet foods and other gifts made in every corner of the globe on our shelves!
Serrv is a nonprofit organization with a mission to eradicate poverty wherever it resides by providing opportunity and support to artisans and farmers worldwide.
Earth Divas, www.earthdivas.com
Earth Divas, a fair trade company that is 100% focused on providing women in the developing world opportunities to earn a decent wage. We are unlike most businesses in that we exist not to make a profit. Our goal is to pay artisans as much as we can, and if we do show a profit, we give 100% of it to the artisans.
My own Etsy site, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com has a handful of hand beaded snowflake Christmas ornaments, three dollars from each ornament will go to Women of Purpose, Camano Island Chapter, who help bring life, hope and opportunity to women and children in developing countries. Currently this group supports a village in Southeast Asia. Through their financial support, the village of Thongkouang will be transformed into a thriving, self-sufficient community with healthy, safe, educated children. Women of Purpose also supports child protection work in Asia. Both of these programs help to prevent the human trafficking of women and children.
This list just scratches the surface. There are many more places you can purchase gifts that give. A simple google search will give you places to shop right at your fingertips. If you purchase from one of the organizations listed here, please mention you read about them on my blog! Happy Christmas shopping! "He is the reason for the season!"
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Yes, I know, Thanksgiving has not even been celebrated yet! But if you don't start thinking about Christmas gifts now, the next thing you know it will be December and you will be running out of time. You will really be out of time if you want to give handmade gifts. So, even though it’s early, let’s get started! Who knows, maybe you will have all your gifts done before Thanksgiving and you can just look forward to enjoying the hustle and the bustle of the holiday season without the stress of shopping at the busiest time of the year!
I know I always say I am going to start early this year and then it never happens. Well, I am hoping to change that this year and I hope this list of creative gift ideas will help you change that too! Some of these items will be things you can make yourself and some of them will be beautiful finds on Etsy! I love finding a few of my gifts each year on Etsy (www.etsy.com), because I truly believe that Etsy provides an avenue to find a gift the perfectly fits the person you are giving it too. Etsy may not have something for every single person in your life, but I do believe you can find at least one of your gifts there and also enjoy the idea of shopping small and supporting those who pour their time and energy into making something unique. I challenge you to find at least one gift on Etsy this year for someone special in your life. Okay, back to the list!
Handmade note cards: Make them yourself with wonderful instant downloads from Etsy or purchase completed notecards. A few of my favorite Etsy shops for purchasing completed cards are: CreationsKMP (www.etsy.com/shop/creationsKMP), HeartsEase2 (www.etsy.com/shop/HeartsEase2), or BlueVioletSentiment (www.etsy.com/shop/BlueVioletSentiments). To purchase instant downloads to create your own notecards try these stores: pointandpoem (www.etsy.com/shop/pointandpoem) or dariakonik (www.etsy.com/shop/dariakonik). These are just a few of the shops I found on Etsy that supply clipart or notecards, there are many more to be discovered.
Mason Jar Gifts: Mason jars can be used in a variety of ways at Christmas for gifts. A few ideas that come to mind are, cookie mix, hot cocoa mix, quick bread mix, an assortment of favorite candy or nuts, beauty products, art supplies and much more. Decorate your mason jar with one of these free mason jar wraps (Download here, 10 inch or 14 inch) or purchase a mason jar wrap from my Etsy store (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com). My mason jar wraps come in 10 inches or 14 inches, to print the larger size you need to have access to a printer that prints on 11x17 paper.
Unique Jewelry & Engraved Items: Etsy is home to many talented jewelry artists. Shop for beaded earrings, beach glass pendants, engraved sterling bracelets, key chains and everything in between. You are certain to find the perfect piece for the special person in your life. Visit some of these shops to see if they meet your needs: BethAnnErickson (www.bethannerickson.etsy.com), TimArtCreations (www.etsy.com/shop/TimArtCreations) or sweetstonesjewelry (www.etsy.com/shop/sweetstonesjewelry).
Crochet a Scarf: A soft warm scarf is the perfect winter gift and even better if you make it yourself. Don't know how to crochet? Did you know that www.youtube.com has instructional videos for beginners just like yourself . We are heading into the season where you will find yarn on sale at Michaels, Hobby Lobby and other craft stores, making this gift idea very affordable. So why not pick up some yarn today and try out a beginner’s video. I watched this video myself and found it very easy to follow. (Beginners Crochet Project) (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gx6oEOxOekI)
Baked Goods: We all spend time in the kitchen at the holidays, cooking and baking so we usually have the supplies we need on hand. Why not put some of that time baking to use finishing up your holiday gifts. Holiday tins are easy to find this time of year at Walmart, Fred Meyer and any craft store, along with holiday themed parchment paper. A few supplies and some time in the kitchen and you have some tasty holiday gifts that are sure to please. They are perfect for that one person in your life who is difficult to figure out what to give.
Some other affordable gift ideas are homemade candles, hand-painted kitchen utensils or a handmade Christmas tree decoration. I am sure I could come up with many more ideas for you, but I think this list will get you started. Etsy is a great resource for handmade gifts if you don’t have the time or inclination to make them yourself.
If you have an idea but are not sure how to accomplish it feel free to contact me and I will see if I can help. Good luck with your Christmas shopping!
Make sure to stop by my Etsy store, www.bethannerickson.etsy.com or my Zazzle store, www.zazzle.com/EricksonDesigns to see what other wonderful items we have for sale!