Apr 19 2017

Baby Schey’s Safari-Themed Baby Shower

This past weekend my girlfriends threw me the most adorable safari-themed baby shower. I can not get over how absolutely perfect every single little touch was, so I wanted to share it with all of you. While I didn’t plan the party, it was definitely Gift Insider approved!

A shot of my 33 week baby bump and the sweetest hostesses: Lauren, Nicole and Lindsay.

They had colorful chalkboard signs for the food, mimosa bar and favors and gifted me the giraffe decor to use as bookends in our safari-themed nursery.

Eek! How adorable is this elephant fruit tray? Nicole DIY-ed this herself after spotting something similar on Pinterest.

To add some flare to the tables, they had green palm runners, mini gold animals and black, gold and white confetti. White roses were the focal point and they even put little stickers on the hershey kisses that tied it all together.

The desert bar was just insane! They had these green and gold safari-themed treats made that matched the whole party perfectly and we’re *almost* too pretty to eat. More close ups below.

Rice Krispies on top, chocolate covered oreos in the middle and chocolate covered pretzels on the bottom. All with edible gold animals.

And of course, cake pops.

I’m not sure what these are called, but they were delicious.

Nicole and Linds at the mimosa bar.

Lauren DIY-ed these animal cracker mason jar favors with little animals on top. They were delicious and I can’t wait to use the mason jars to store something sweet in baby Schey’s nursery.

Baby Schey was showered with so many cute gifts! He’s already such a lucky boy.

It was such a special day being showered with so much love. The thought that was put into the party meant the world to me.

We’d love to hear about your Baby Showers, tell us in the comments below!

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Nov 3 2016

TGI Parties: The Gift Insider Turns 30!

I celebrated the big 3-0 on Saturday October 15th this year (I lucked out with the Saturday, right?!) I wanted to do something a little different than your typical dinner party, so we decided to throw a loft party for 50 of our friends in downtown Detroit. We were going for a chic yet casual cocktail party vibe so we rented a raw industrial space and had apps, desert, plenty of cocktails and music. Thanks to the amazing crew who came out, and my hubby for making it all happen.

Below are some photos and links to where we found all the party goods!

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The event space we found was Orleans + Winder in Eastern Market. We loved working with them and highly recommend if you are looking for a raw space downtown. It was chic from the start, so no matter how we decorated the space had exactly the vibe we were going for.

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We found the tassel balloons at ConfettiHaus on Etsy. The raw wood tables and gold mirror we rented from the event space and the striped table clothes we had from a past shindig.

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I know, I know the mylar number balloons are getting a little overdone…but I couldn’t help myself. I added little tassels on the bottom to make them extra special.

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The gold glitter Sweets, Drinks and Eats signs we reused from our engagement party a few years ago. Turns out it’s a great investment to have if you throw lots of parties! We’re big fans of the “naked cake” trend and loved trying one out for the first time.

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The man who kept the drinks going all night long, Glen! Highly recommend splurging on help if hosting your own party so you can relax and have fun with your guests. Spotted! One of our favorite wedding gifts, our Lindsay + Jon champagne bucket. We have used this countless times.

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We found the perfect gold plastic silverware on amazon (obsessed!) and art decor plates from Target. We served mediterranean style apps and a Brushetta bar and the most-loved last-minute decision by hubby, boxes on boxes of Supinos pizza.

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The 30 Pinata we got from ThePerfectPinata on Etsy and used for decor and as a Photobooth prop later in the night.

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A party ain’t a party without the perfect photo backdrop! We have been obsessed with these grown up Pinatas from Chiciata and finally had the perfect party to use them for. We used the raw wall and framed a perfect photo-opp spot right when guests walked in.

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Here’s a shot of the photo backdrop, we also had a few triangle garlands to fill it out.

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We had photo props and a refurbished Poloroid Camera with polaroids for guests to take and take home.

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I couldn’t have imagined a better way to celebrate this milestone! We’d love to hear some of the creative ways you guys have celebrated your milestone birthdays in the comments below!

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Aug 30 2016

How to Host a Boho Themed Picnic Party

It was my turn to host our monthly dinner club last month. Each month the host chooses the theme, so I decided to go with a Boho Picnic theme. I wanted to make it really laid-back with a cozy vibe. I told the girls to wear something casual and comfy and we all sat outside on a low table piled with pillows and blankets under our string lights. Each girl brought an easy picnic food (pasta salad, skewers, roll ups). Below are some photos and things you’ll need if you want to host your own boho picnic.

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1. Low Picnic Table: We found these low portable picnic table’s at Crate and Barrel and put three together to make enough room. We added a runner from West Elm and some lanterns from Target with citronella candles.

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2. Plastic Tableware: We received these Melamine Michael Aram Orchid plates as a wedding present, and have used them everytime we entertain outside.

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3. Rugs + Pillows: To make the it all work you need to make sure it’s comfortable for everyone to sit without chairs. We love the look of piling lots of different textures and patterned rugs and pillows to really give off that boho vibe. We used things we had around the house, a round beach towel, a picnic blanket, etc.

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4. String Lights: Lights are a must for the boho picnic vibe. Check out our Housewarming Party post to see how we did those.

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5. Drinks + Plastic Glassware: This line of plastic glassware we found on our Honeymoon in Capri, Italy but you can order on Amazon! We did lots of Rose and Pelligrino, but Sangria would a fun way to go for this theme too.

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6. Cheese Boards: For our dinner club each girl brings one dish for everyone to share. For mine, I decided to go for my first attempt at an #instaworthy cheese board. The key is to pile the big pieces on first and then fill in with the smaller fruit, nuts and crackers. And of course, a pretty cheese board never hurts.

It was such a lovely night, we can’t wait to do it again next summer.

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May 30 2016

Our Housewarming Party: DIY Watermelon Kegs, String Lights and a Painted Giant Jenga

We had a blast this past weekend hosting a big Housewarming BBQ at our new home. We wanted to add some fun and whimsical DIY elements to the party and thought we’d share how we did them with all of you! To spice up the bar we made a DIY Watermelon Keg, we brightly painted a Giant Jenga and kept the party going late-night with some outdoor string lights. We had a boho outdoor pillow seating concept planned, but unfortunately a last-minute rainstorm hindered that one a bit. So we’ll save that for next time! Now on to our tips and tricks for adding these elements to your party.

How to Make a Watermelon Keg

Step 1: Cut the Top Off

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Step 2: Scoop it out

Making a Watermelon Keg

Step 3: Get your Watermelon Keg Tapping Kit ($23) ready!

Making a Watermelon Keg

Step 4: Use included cutter to punch hole in lower part of watermelon and insert tap

Making a Watermelon Keg

Step 5: Fill with drink of choice and enjoy! We chose Margaritas to make it extra fun.

How to Set Up DIY Party Lights

Supplies:

Quickrete concrete

– Wood poles 8 ft or taller

– Big planters or buckets

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3-4 Sets of Outdoor String lights 

Step 1: Put concrete in buckets with wood poles

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Step 2: Add water, make sure poles stay straight and let dry over night

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Step 3: Attach hooks to poles and wherever else you are hooking string lights (we did poles on one side, attached to our garage on the other and zig zaged them.)

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Step 4: Hook lights aroung hooks, attach to eachother and plug into electrical

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Step 5: Wait for the sun to set and enjoy! (We highly recommend a hammock as well!)

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How to add some DIY flare to a Giant Jenga

Step 1: Paint around 1/3 of the pieces of your Giant Jenga ($99) bright and happy colors! We chose to match the colors of our party: teal, purple and green

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Step 2: Let dry overnight

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Step 3: Let the games begin!

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We’d love to hear ways you guys have added fun flare to your summer parties in the comments below!

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Mar 24 2016

11 Major Wedding Registry Trends: Macy’s Registry Series

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For our third post in our Wedding Registry Series with Macy’s, we’re talking about our favorite wedding registry trends of 2016. Whether you are the happy couple-to-be or are gifting the happy couple-to-be, we’ll walk you through the trends you need to know.

1. Home Decor Elements

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Couples are adhering to less strict registry rules than decades of the past. Many already have the basic home essentials, but would prefer some fun items to express their new style as a couple like photo displays or wall decor.

2. Al Fresco Dining Options

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With the shift in more casual and outdoor entertaining, high end designers like Kate Spade and Michael Aram are creating chic lines of melamine plastic, eco-friendly and party approved tableware that is both design and budget-friendly. It’s perfect for the couple who loves to entertain.

3. Copper Everything

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Whether choosing new pots and pans, a french press or barware, copper is definitely the metallic hue of the moment. We love how it mixes well with a range of other metals for a fresh and eclectic look.

4. Kitchen Space Savers

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With all the gadgets, mixers and large serving pieces couples get for their wedding, it isn’t often there is *extra* space in a newlyweds kitchen. These Joseph and Joseph cutting boards and mixing bowl sets are a both stylish and space-saving kitchen solution.

5. Faceted Designs

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We’ve been seeing the faceted design trend everywhere, from vases to light fixtures and we can’t get enough. For the on-trend couple, a few home accents in this style is the perfect way to add fresh and functional elements to their happy home.

6. Cast Iron Cookware

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As far as cast iron cookware, Le Creuset is the gold standard. A french classic, you can braise, simmer or roast almost anything, they have a last-forever quality and the most beautiful range of colors. It’s the perfect way to add a cohesive pop of color that will stand the test of time.

7. Time-Saving Gadgets

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The tech world is exploding with ways to make it easy for couples to keep their home in top shape. Couples are adding time-saving gadgets like the iRobot to their registry to keep their newlywed homes clean as easily as possible.

8. Gold Flatware

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It’s all about gold flatware for the dining table these days. The modern couple is mixing and matching metals for a less formal but still cohesive look when entertaining.

9. Bar Cart Essentials

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The bar cart has made a serious comeback. Bar tools, decanters and assorted style glassware are at the top of many couple’s wish lists.

10. Experience Related Ideas

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Many couples are asking for more experience related gifts that they can enjoy together outside the home, like a fun picnic basket, blanket or hammock.

11. Marble Inspired Serveware 

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Marble inspired looks aren’t only for fancy countertops anymore. The style is newly trending for serving essentials like cheese boards, cake stands and cutting boards. It’s a less expensive way to add the same chic and clean feel to any budget home.

This post is part of a new, exciting wedding collaboration with Macy’s.

 

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Mar 14 2016

5 Essentials For Your St Paddy’s Day Party

Spring is right around the corner and finally getting us out of our winter funk! Over here at The Gift Insider, we love any and every excuse to celebrate holidays (and warm weather) to the fullest. This year, we’re throwing our own St. Patrick’s Day themed party and wanted to share what we found to be 5 crafty DIY essentials to kickstart the perfect day.

Let’s be honest, St. Patrick’s Day is just an excuse for us to all justify spending an entire day drinking and eating with our friends and families. Between the parades, fireworks, and booze-filled festivities; there is no better initiation to the spring season.

The Essentials: 

1. The Perfect Cocktail 

These HoneyDew, Cucumber Mint Mojito’s are the perfect light and crisp cocktail for day drinking.

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Via Thyme Food Blog 

2. Great Decorations 

No party is complete without a little bit of decoration. These fun centerpieces are eye-catching and simple to make!

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Via Two Twenty One 

3. A Themed Snack 

These Pot O’ Gold Oreos are decorative and yummy desserts for guests.

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Via Happy Hour Projects 

4. Party Favors

Give your guests something to remember the day by. These Mason Jars are simple to make and the perfect party favor for everyone.

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Via Uncommon Designs 

5. Jello Shots

What party is complete without Jello Shots? While this recipe gives you the choice of making them kid-friendly, TGI definitely suggests making them boozy!

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Via Hoosier Homemade 

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Mar 10 2016

The Few Things We Wish We Had Registered For: Macy’s Registry Series

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There are quite a few things to consider when registering for your wedding: what’s your style? how many people do you plan to host? where are you going to put it all? Let’s be real, no couple aces it without any help. Even gift experts, like myself, rely on the experiences of past brides and online checklists to help guide us. For our initial post in our wedding registry series with Macy’s, we walked you through what we registered for and what we loved. Now we are going to walk you through some of the the little things we totally forgot about, but wish we had registered for.

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1. Cellar Everyday Glass Pitcher ($40):

A few clear pitchers are perfect for brunches or casual parties where you are serving multiple drink options. We made the mistake of only choosing pitchers that are gorgeous on a formal table, but since guests can’t see what’s inside, we’ve been stuck with many untouched jugs of mimosa-ready juices.

2. Nambe 3-Piece Serving Set ($65): 

Get extra serving sets! No matter how many you think you need, register for a few extra. You will never have enough. Feel free to mix and match textures and styles that work with a variety of your serving pieces, we did a mix of golds and hammered silver. Try a few less expensive options that you can use everyday and some higher end styles that compliment your formal pieces like the Nambe of Michael Aram lines.

3. Chilewich Placemats ($15):

Multiple style placements are such a fun and easy way to spice up your table and your look. We registered for one style, but would have loved a few different options to switch up our look for different seasons. Chilewich is definitely the line to browse.

4. Godinger 3-Tiered Serving Piece ($100)

After hosting our first buffet-style brunch, I realized we needed some pieces that offered some varying heights on the table, both for aesthetic reasons and so I could get some more space out of our table. While traditionally for desserts, it’s perfect for displaying pretty much anything. 

5. Cellar Cake Stand ($29):

This was another thing I didn’t think we *needed*, but now, wish we had asked for. It seems every time we have a gathering it’s around someone’s birthday, so there is typically a cake involved (and my hubby just loves cake!). A clear stand is both a practical and pretty place to keep sweets.

6. Joseph Joseph Carousel Tool Set ($79):

Don’t forget to register for some new kitchen tools. While you may already have some current options, once you have new pots, pans and everything in between, you’ll wish you had upgraded that beat-up spatula too. We love the chic, happy and practical designs of the Joseph Joseph line.

7. Reed and Barton Flatware Chest ($150)

A flatware chest is another item a lot of couples don’t think to register for. It’s useful and timeless for any flatware you don’t want to keep out everyday. We purchased one post-wedding after we decided we wanted to keep our old everyday flatware in addition to our new set, just in case we needed a few extra sets for entertaining.

8. Tumi Travel Satchel ($445):

We waited a few months after our wedding to take our European honeymoon, so it wasn’t at the forefront of our minds when registering. Before we jetted off, we realized we desperately needed some key traveling essentials. We ended up last-minute shopping for the quality luggage we needed right away.

9. Dyson Heating/Cooling Fan ($749):

Space heaters, vacuums, humidifiers and the like are a common category that couples wish they had registered for. It’s totally okay to ask for a high-ticket item that you really need. My home office is always FREEZING, summer or winter – so this heating/cooling fan could have saved me lots of bundling up.

For those of you who have already went through this process, tell us the things you wish you had done differently if you could do it again!

This post is part of a new, exciting wedding collaboration with Macy’s.

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Feb 25 2016

What The Gift Insider Registered For: Macy’s Registry Series

As a newlywed and professional gift expert, I thought I’d offer a little guidance and insight into how we tackled the registry process and what we learned along the way. We partnered up with the folks at Macy’s and we’ll be sharing a series of posts focused on: gifts we chose, gifts we wish we had chosen, the latest registry trends and some essential registry must-haves.

First up — a peak at what the hubby and I registered for.

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We took a more casual approach to our registry and focused on mixing and matching patterns, textures, metallics and finding pieces that we loved that we could use for both entertaining and everyday. We made sure to add in some quirky and personalized items, a few pops of color and some keep-forever items that we knew we’d never splurge on for ourselves (e.g. a pistachio KitchenAid & crystal candlesticks.)

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1. Marquis by Waterford Vintage Ice Bucket ($79):

We loved this entire line of vintage-inspired barware. Bar cart essentials were some of the first things to fly off our registry and the under $100 price point will be appreciated by your guests.

2. Mirrored Tray (similar version $200):

You can never have enough trays. A mirrored style can instantly glam up a dull coffee table or cluttered counter. We have trays in every room of our home to keep everything neat, tidy and organized.

3. Simply Designz Bowls ($43):

The different textures combined with the unique metallic shade of these bowls will add a spark of interest to any neutral palate. The trio is perfect for nuts, dips and sauces or even outside the kitchen to keep trinkets or knick knacks organized.

4. Marchesa Caviar Gold Hostess Set ($105):

I loved the idea of having all gold flatware for our table settings, but since the hubby wasn’t sold on the trend, we comprised and went with classic Juliska silverware combined with a few sets of gold serving pieces.

5. Villeroy & Bosh Sushi Set ($170):

We are big fans of sushi carry out and having a set of washable chop sticks, soy sauce dishes and perfectly-sized plates makes sushi nights in much less of a mess.

6. Michael Aram Melamine Plates ($13):

They don’t look it, but these Michael Aram designed plates are melamine (plastic!) They are perfect for outdoor entertaining when you want to step it up from paper plates, but don’t want to have to worry about using anything breakable.

7. Pistachio KitchenAid ($499):

There is nothing like the beautiful rainbow of KitchenAid mixers to help you find your dream kitchen accent color AND help turn you into the Pinterest-perfect baker you always knew you could be. This is the prettiest thing in our kitchen.

8. Michael Aram Bowl ($179):

The brushed texture of the Michael Aram Frost Collection mixes perfectly with golds, coppers and silvers, so we chose a few different pieces from this line and use for both serving and decor.

9. Matching Storage Baskets ($229):

A set of coordinating storage baskets is something most couples forget to add to their registry. Choose a style that goes well with your home decor (we stuck with gray tones) and be grateful you have a solution to store those extra wedding gifts.

10. Lighting By Design Candlesticks ($58):

Some items are just a special treat, saved for a special occasion. These crystal candlesticks are just so, so pretty and one of those things that if we didn’t register for, we would never have bought for ourselves.

If you are looking for more registry inspiration check out our Pinterest Board with some more of what we registered for and some of this season’s must-haves.

This post is part of a new, exciting wedding collaboration with Macy’s.

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Feb 4 2016

Valentine’s Day Gifts for Each Stage of a Relationship

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It can be tough to navigate the waters of what to give at different stages of a relationship.  We’ve rounded up some ideas to give at different stages to help avoid any uncomfortable gifting exchanges.

1. First Starting to Date – Lovepop Pop Up Greetings ($8-$13)

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You may have seen these beautiful handcrafted works of art on a recent shark tank! LovePops are not your typical greeting card, they are intricate 3D sculptures that lay flat and pop open to display incredibly designed teddy bears, flowers bouquets, tree scenes with a couple swinging underneath. It’s the perfect step above your average greeting card, perfect for when you are just starting out in a relationship.

2. Dating But Not Overly Serious For Him – GiftCrates ($25 – $145)

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The solution for new relationship gifts is to think of their interests or hobbies and go from there. For him, choose a themed crate from GiftCrates from the bacon lover to a Chicago Bears fan and give him a whole crate full of snacks, gadgets and manly gear related to his favorite things. *note price in video is incorrect, bacon crate is $59.99

TGI Deal // GIFTINSIDER10 for 10% off.

3. Dating But Not Overly Serious For Her – Emoji Pillow ($15)

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This emoji pillow is a cute and flirty take on giving your lady a teddy bear for Valentine’s Day. It’s a little cheeky, a little romantic and just spot on for a just starting on Valentine’s Day. Add some unique and equally cheeky Valentine’s Day sweets like these “Hey Sugar Lips” gummies or “bear hug” gummy bears all available at Papersource.

 

4. You’re Committed!  For Him: Blackwood Wallets (50% off!) + Wallet Inserts
Blackwood Wallet
The easiest way to go for a first big gift is give something he needs, something practical. This brand new company Blackwood Wallets has genuine leather wallets that start at $55 AND we have a 50% off code for everything. Use code Blackwoodevent for 50% off! 
If you are looking to make it more personal, compliment with these personalized wallet inserts using your own handwriting from Etsy artist Vintage Branding Co.

5. You’re committed! For Her – Real Flowers that Last Blooms by Heinau ($10 – $449)

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These game changing flowers are the perfect way to step it up from the usual bouquets and show you wanna make this last. These arrangements from BloomsbeHeinau are real flowers last 6 months or longer. 100% fresh-cut blooms are cut at their peak & the water & sap in the plant cells is replaced by a moisturizer prolonging it’s beauty. 25+ colors of roses and hydrangeas w/ 50+ different arrangements. All natural, maintenance-free & requires absolutely no water. 

6. You’ve Celebrated A Few Key Milestones – GetWickd Candles Made From Your Own Bottle

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These custom candles made from your own saved bottles are the perfect gift as you are starting to celebrate some happy milestones together: 1st Valentine’s Day, 1 year, engagements, anniversaries. Get Wickd from NYC, repurposes your special occasion bottles of wine/champagne/alcohol & turns them into luxe eco-friendly engravable candles. Save & mail your bottle, email your message & they engrave & fill your bottle with a natural soy candle & you choose the scent. (Start at $59)

TGI DEAL // GIFTINSIDER15 for 15% OFF

7. You’re a Lifelong Pair – For Him: Customized Undone Watches

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We love anything you can personalize, which is why we’re very into Undone Watches. There 1 million unique combinations of customization, you can build your entire watch online from the color of the case & bezel to the hour and minute hands.We love that you can also upload a favorite photo or personalize the back of the glass caseback with a special message. Love that you can make this watch as individual as you are. ~$430 &

8. When You’ve Been Together Forever –  Heart Black Tie Decanter

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This elegant Riedel decanter has a special and perfect for Valentine’s Day twist.  The heart cut out shines through when used (especially with dark reds) which makes this it a beautiful, elegant and keep forever piece. Pair with your favorite bottle of red and it will be a perfectly romantic gift no matter how many years it’s been. $225

Check us out chatting on ABC Detroit on 2/6 about some of these picks.

Also, watch us chat w/ on Good Day Chicago about all these gifts. (with a little surprise appearance at the end from my new hubby!)

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Dec 21 2015

Last-Minute DIY Printable Gift Ideas

Printable Calendars

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via Etsy, Sunshine Parties 

Printable Wine Labels

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Via Design Eat Repeat

Banana Bread Free Printable Labels

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Via I Heart Naptime

For Your Mistletoes Tags

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via Bloom Designs Online

Printable Watermellon Wrapping Paper

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Via Brenda Bird Designs 

3D Printed Personalized Pez Dispensers 

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Via Makezine 

DIY Terrarium Kit w/ Free Printables

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Via Wit & Whistle

Perfect Printable Paper Blooms 

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Via The Pretty Blog

 

Any great last-minute DIY Printables you are loving and using this year!?  Tell us in the comments below!

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