Mar 5 2015

Step-by-step Guide for Writing the Perfect “Thank You” Note

Before anything else, the number one rule when writing a proper “Thank You” note is it must always be handwritten.  The shows personalized and effort at first glance.  Once you have this down, you are ready to get started!

Dear [insert name],

1. Thank you so much for the [specific name of gift], it was extremely… generous, kind of you, thoughtful, etc. – make them feel good!
2. It is perfect because……I love jewelry; it is my favorite color – tell them why it was a great gift for you!
3. Get a little more specific…Why is it a great gift? How are you going to use it?…It looks awesome with my other bracelets; it is going to look perfect in my bedroom!
4. Add a little something extra…If they came for an event, say how much you appreciate their attendance. If they sent the gift in the mail, tell them how kind it is of them to put in the extra effort!
5. Always end with some type of appreciation…“You are an amazing friend” “I’m so happy we got to spend some time together” “Miss you and hope to see you soon!”

Best,
[Your name]

Check out some of our favorite Thank You Notes to stock up on.

*TGI Extra Tip: If you are receiving a number of gifts for a special occasion, ALWAYS keep a list when unwrapping! It is never fun to guess who a gift came from. Happy writing!

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Nov 24 2014

TGI Advice: Shopping Tips for Black Friday

Shopping Bags

Holiday season is officially upon us! With celebrating, comes gift-giving and TGI is here to help. Thanksgiving dinner may be the main event this week, but we’re most excited for Black Friday. To make sure you get the most of your shopping, we’ve created a guide on how to navigate this crazy day. (Insider Tip: It’s all in the planning!) Happy Shopping!

Get a good night’s sleep. Deals start as early as 12 AM and you MUST be well rested to make it through this crazy day. Let the turkey do it’s job and hit the hay earlier.

Do your research. Got a favorite store? Get to Googling! Check and see if your favorite shops are offering any good deals to determine if they deserve your precious time (and money!!) on Black Friday.

Make a list and check it twice. Black Friday is not a day where you can just “wing it”. Know the stores you want to hit and the gifts you’re hoping to purchase.

Don’t give in to impulse buys.  Think before you buy.. a great price does not necessarily make a great gift!

Avoid products that only have minor discounts. Don’t be fooled. Some of your go-to Black Friday purchases are not as steal-worthy as you think and Black Friday is about scoring the BEST possible deals! We’ve done some research and determined some key items you should steer clear of…

  • Airfare & Vacation packages (January is a better month to plan your vacations)
  • Chocolates & Flowers (Purchase perishable gifts closer to the holidays)
  • Exercise Equipment (December is a better time for calorie-counters to purchase new equipment!)
  • Designer Clothing (Hit the outlets instead!)
  • Winter Gear (Winter is still in full swing, silly! Winter clothing is in stock everywhere and you’ll be able to find better deals later)
  • High End Laptops (You’ll score a better price on a fancy laptop during the “Back to School” sales)

Understand the store return policy. Beware! Stores often implement “Final Sale” policies on Black Friday. Make sure you can return items that you are unsure of. If you’re buying a product as a gift, make sure the recipient can return the item if it’s not something they’re crazy about.

Products that we ALWAYS go for on Black Friday. As we’ve already stated, Black Friday is what we’re REALLY excited to celebrate. We’ve listed some items that we always hunt for on our shopping days!

  • Beauty Items (Stores like Sephora and Ulta always have some fun steals! The perfect time to buy the product you’re dying to try)
  • Apple Products (They’ve always got something new we want…)
  • Luxury Items at an even Cheaper Price (We’re headed to Neiman Marcus Last Call and Off 5th!)

Don’t stress if you don’t find ALL of your gifts this Friday.. there is always Cyber Monday, right?!

 

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Apr 16 2013

Wedding Out of Town Gift Bags // Ideas We Love From Pinterest

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Photo by: Brides.com

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Photo by kateheadley.com

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Photo by blog.embellishedweddings.com

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Photo by Charlotte Elizabeth

 Items to Include:

  • Thank you letter from bride and groom
  • Wedding itinerary
  • Local map with restaurant and activity recommendations
  • Water bottles (personalize them with a custom made sticker!)
  • Local Goodies (ie. Garrett Popcorn for Chicago weddings)
  • Snacks, candy, fruit
  • Chapstick
  • Tums and Advil
  • Mouthwash, lotion, mints, gum, kleenex, Shout wipes

 

 

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Mar 18 2013

Gift-Giving Expert Tips // Office Gifting

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Forget the booze- Alcohol can be a touchy subject. Avoid giving officemates booze unless you know for a fact that they drink alcohol! Wouldn’t you rater be safe than sorry?

Don’t be afraid to give DIY gifts- Why not make the gift yourself? Pinterest, one of our favorite sites, is full of personal DIY gift ideas on both ends of the price spectrum. DIY gifts express that you put both thought and effort into creating a unique gift for a special person!

Include a gift receipt if possible- Okay, so not every gift is a perfect match, but that’s nothing to be offended by! Why not eliminate the fuss of difficult exchanges for your gift receiver and get a gift receipt along with the gift? Tape it to the side of the box so it can be seen, but isn’t too obvious.

Don’t wait until the last minute- Try to avoid last minute purchases. People can tell if you just threw something together right before work. We believe a gift is something that should make someone feel special, so plan ahead and don’t take the easy way out.

Be aware of food allergies- Are you infamous for your chocolate chunk cookies? Baked goods are a great gift to give, especially during the holiday season, but make sure to be mindful of food allergies. You never want to give a gift someone can’t enjoy! Gluten free chocolate chunk cookies anyone?

*Check out our favorite delicious goodies that will be sure to satisfy any sweet tooth and tickle any foodies’ heart.

Wrap your gifts with pizzazz- Make your gift even more exciting to open by wrapping it in an innovative and fabulous way. Check out our Pinterest board with TONS of packaging suggestions or our time saving gift-wrapping tips!

The person who has everything- Why not give back while giving? Consider giving a donation in someone’s name to a charity. A “feel-good” gift to give.

Don’t go too overboard- So, you love gifting like we do? Unfortunately sometimes in an office setting you must be aware of how your gifting techniques reflect on your personality. You don’t want to be viewed as the “brown-noser” of the office!

Hey TGI readers- Can you think of a time when you found yourself in an interesting office-gifting situation? Let us know!

 

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Feb 12 2013

What to Give for Valentine’s Day When You Aren’t Super Serious

It’s tough, we know. What do you do if you just started dating someone right around Valentine’s Day?  Or if you are dating someone but don’t want to put out too serious of signals? We get asked this a lot, so we decided to give three recommendations of ideas you can give to a Valentine in these types of situations.

Huge Sweettarts

HUGE CANDY. It has the WOW and fun factor, but nothing serious about it.  Big SweetTarts, huge gummy bears, huge marshmallows.  Edible is always a a safe bet.

You are Intoxicating Keychain

You’re Intoxicating Bottle Opener.   This keychain is perfect for the dude in your life. Fun and cheap gift for a Boyfriend on Valentine’s Day.  No “I Love You’s”, just a funny “You’re Intoxicating” message on a beer bottle opener. When in doubt for non-serious gifts for guys, go with beer, scotch or whiskey related gifts.

Lobster Dinner Together

Stay in and Order Live Lobsters. Valentine’s Day dinners out are typically super romantic and expensive, but a great way to get out of having to do the “dinner and gift combo” is to make your gift the dinner.  Order Lobster to your door and have a fun night staying in and making it together.

Have any other sticky situations you aren’t sure what to give? Tell us and we’ll reply with some ideas for any type of relationship!

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Dec 20 2012

Gift Giving Traditions from Around the World

Gift Giving Traditions Around The WorldThis interactive gift giving map, brought to you by Cloud 9 Living, is meant for world travelers, study abroad students, those living in or visiting a foreign country; and anyone with curiosity about cultures, traditions and etiquette standards around the world.

The map specifically covers gift giving traditions in China, India, Japan, Brazil, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Italy, Sweden, Bolivia, Tibet, Morocco, Russia, Samoa, Israel and the English Commonwealth. With holidays ranging from Diwali to Christmas, and traditions from gifting yogurt to pulling on earlobes; everyone will learn something new.

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Dec 9 2012

TGI Tips: Decide On Your 2012 Go-to Signature Gifts

It’s a great time-saver to decide on some “Go-To” gift ideas during the season.  That way you will save time, effort and many times money buying multiples of the same products for similar people.

• For The Hostess- Stock up this winter on bottles of wine from local wineries. Couple a bottle of wine with fun and funky wine glass markers or cheeky beverage napkins from IMProperor !

• For Teachers- The chalkboard trend is huge and oh-so-perfect for teachers! Give a chalkboard frame, coaster or candle that your child can write a special note on.

• For People You Didn’t Plan For- Ideas to stock up on: Expandable Vases, Letterpress Coasters, Whiskey Stones, Herb Growing Kits or Electric Wine Bottle Openers.

• Go -To Treats for Anyone- We love Baked By Melissa super mini cupcakes, chocolate covered illustrated Oreos by SweetRexies and the huge hand dipped rice krispy treats by The Crispery.

• Have a Signature DIY Gift- Browse DIY blogs like P.S. I Made This to get your creative juices flowing! Pick one signature DIY gift to master and make multiples on the second or first Sunday of December. Only give to special recipients who you know will appreciate these handmade gifts.

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Oct 18 2010

Creative Gift Ideas for Friends’ Birthdays in Chicago

Traditional gifts don’t always cut it for the girls who have been most important in your life.

TAKER HER OUT FOR A GIRLS NIGHT ON THE TOWN

  • Before you hit the clubs, take her to one of the new trends in the salon industry – they specialize in Blow Dry’s only.  If you are in Chicago – try Blo Dri. They’ll make it super special and add in champagne, cocktails or cake.
  • If she has a sense of humor, take her to a burlesque or tranny show, if you are in Chicago check out The Baton Club
  • Throw her a surprise party or a surprise dinner – add in some fun extras like these funny/inappropriate Happy Fing Birthday Hats ir.gif
  • Or this way-chicer-than-average pinata.

MAKE HER SOMETHING

My personal favorite idea for making your friend feel as special as she is – make her something that she will cherish forever.  While I have been a fan of this idea since long before digital camera’s – now, your macbook can make it easier than ever.

  • Make here a comic book w/ comiclife on yourmacbook with quotes from all the girls.
  • Make her a photo flip book she can carry on her keychain
  • Make her a Photo Book from Picabooshow.gif
  • Make her a customized Jenga set – on each cube write something that you and your girlfriends must do when you pull out the block – chug a beer, text your ex, etc.
  • Make her a book filled with reasons you love her (make it even more special and have the number of reasons be the age she is turning).

HIT THE BEAUTY BAR

A few of my girlfriends surprised me for my birthday this year by taking me to The Beauty Bar.  It’s a trendy and fun place to take any girl who loves her martinis and mani’s – both of which are included in the price of one delish (but strong) Beauty Bar Martini.  The sparkly teal walls, the dance floor in the back and the completely beauty inspired hipster scene make it a perfect spot for a girls night out.

Beauty Bars are currently in Chicago, New York, San Fran, LA, Texas, Vegas and Denver.

http://www.thebeautybar.com

TAKE HER BY SURPRISE

If your bestie is someone who loves surprises, give her what she wants on her birthday and don’t give her the slightest clue of what you are doing. Kidnap her, blind fold her and then take her to do something she wouldn’t normally do.

  • Beer/wine making class
  • Tarrot card reader/hypnotist
  • Mani’s and Pedis at a BYOB nail salon
  • Cooking Class
  • Surprise brunch (mimosas and bloody’s included)
  • Talk to some of your out of town friends and family, arrange for them to come in town for her big day
  • Take her to a comedy show – try Second City in Chi.

The key to this one is knowing what she likes. Make sure to pay attention a few weeks before her birthday – is there anything she’s been dying to do? A place she’s been dying to try? It’ll be even more special if she knows you’ve been thinking of her.

LAST MINUTE?

Send her a birthday cake overnight – Gourmet Birthday Cakes from Bake Me A Wish!show.gif
Give Her a Gift Certificate From Experience Days and Let Her Pick – Shop-XD-Memorable
Everyone loves flowers – ProFlowers – Send ProFlowers starting at $19.99

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Aug 26 2010

The Gift Insider on Radio Go Girl

The Gift Insider will be doing our first radio show with Radio Go Girl on October 18th.

We’ll be discussing tips, advice and etiquette for creative and unique gift giving as well some fall and Halloween gift ideas.

A huge thanks to Radio Go Girl for giving us the opportunity to be involved in such a fun, innovative, women centered show!

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Feb 23 2010

Friends Pay Friends Online

This is the smartest idea I’ve heard in a while.

GREAT for buying gifts from groups on friends.

Paystr sets it up so you can do figure out expenses and pay people back.  Great for trips, bachelorrete parties, big gifts.

www.paystr.com

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