Nov 4 2015

Wedding Wednesday: Finding The Perfect Wedding Invitations


How to Make Them YOU!

– Choose elements you can carry through the entire wedding – a monogram, colors, fonts you can replicate for other paper goods, liner patterns, ribbon.  Make sure to request a JPG of any design elements you want to carry through when you order.

– The liner and edges of the invite are a fun place to add personality. Bella Figura (where we got ours!) even lets you upload your own images or prints for their envelope liners. We adore the metallic edges trend that everywhere lately. Go for bright pink or rose gold to keep it less formal and more fun!

– Let the invite express the formality of the wedding.  Include casual elements if you want a more laid back vibe.  We added a “Dinner, Dancing and Happily Ever After” to ensure everyone knew this would be a non-stuffy affair.

– It took us a LONG time to find the perfect invites, browse online, browse our Pinterest Board or the inspo mecca of and if you find a line you love, search where they sell locally.

Our Black + White Gold Foil Save the Dates



Save The Dates are the time when no matter how formal your affair, you can add some fun,  creativity or quirkiness into your paper goods.  You can full-on coordinate with your wedding invites, use an engagement photo or go totally unique and send a custom drawn caricature, custom tattoos, a confetti popper or a vintage postcard. This is perfect place to include your wedding website.

Ours are from and foil stamps from Zazzle.

Our Letterpress Bella Figura Wedding Invitations

JO6A9739a copy





Ours are by Bella Figura from RSVP Plymouth.

Rehearsal Dinner + Brunch Invites


by Janice Cherkasky

Engagement Party Invitation

by PaperlessPost

Screen Shot 2015-11-03 at 2.12.31 PM


If you want to see more details from our wedding check out our post on Wedding Welcome Bags, or 17 Ways We Added Special Touches to Our Wedding.

Also check out our Pinterest board full of Wedding Invite Inspiration.



Dec 11 2014

TGI Tips: Ways to Stay Sane While Finding Your Holiday Gifts

Happy Holiday Shopping


  • Start the habit of having signature “go-to gift” for each type of person on your list: hostess, coworker, friend, etc.  It saves you time and you end up having your own style of gift-giving each season.


  • Can’t find a substantial enough gift for someone on your list? Find a few small gifts they’ll love and put them all in a cute DIY gift package.  Try using a practical vessel like a chic ice bucket or square vase.


  •  Don’t get too crazy with DIY gifts for the Holidays unless you are a seasoned DIY-er.   It’s easier to plan DIY gifts throughout the year vs the holidays when you have so many people on your list.


  • Know what apps to use – Huckster, track when an item goes on sale.  Poachit, a bookmarklet to find coupon codes, Swirl, deals when you walk in a store


  •  When shopping for gifts for out of town family and friends, try using national chains that have stores in their area so they can easily return or exchange if they need.

Aug 7 2013

Gifting Advice // Wedding Gift Etiquette Questions Answered

Wedding Gift Etiquette Questions

Q. Can you really send a gift up to a year later?

A. This is one of those completely old school rules that we think is totally ridiculous.  If you are a question mark on their gift list for an entire year it just comes across as rude.  Try to send something within a month or so after the wedding.

Q. What’s the difference between a shower gift and a wedding gift?

A. Shower gifts are when we really recommend stepping it up with something personalized and unique.  Typically the bride opens all her gifts in front of the guests, so it’s a fun time to give something people will ooh and ahh over. This can be a less expensive gift than the wedding gift.  Check out Creative Shower Gifts here.

Q. Should I bring the gift to the wedding or send it?

A. If it’s a destination wedding or a wedding where the couple lives in another state, we definitely recommend sending it before or after. If you bring it to the wedding, make sure to hand it to the parents or the wedding planner, not the actual bride and groom.

Q. How much should I give?

A. It depends on your relationship to the couple, cultural norms and your financial ability.  But we get asked this all the time, and to not beat around the bush, we typically recommend $50 – $75 per person invited. So if you are invited with a date, $150 – $200 is a nice amount.  And whoever is invited, pays for both.  If you are strapped for cash, give a creative or a personalized gift, if it’s something special the dollar amount won’t be what matters.

Q. Is it okay to go off the registry?

A. Yes!  If you are close to the couple and they are the type to appreciate something personal or sentimental.  Some creative ideas are a fashion sketch of the bride, personalized mugs or prints with their wedding song lyrics or give an activity gift that the couple can do together, cooking classes, wine tasting, etc.

Any questions you all have?  Ask away… 

photo credit: Jeffrey Simms Photography via photopin cc


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.


Sep 8 2011

Places to Get Pretty in Chicago

Getting Pretty in the Chicago City








Chicago is packed with spas, salons and heath clubs. We helped you cut through Health&Beauty clutter and here are our Gift Expert Top Picks from one of our favorite Gift Insider contributors and former intern, Alexx Miles.

Noel Rose – Feather Extensions


 Feather hair extensions have been a fad sweeping the nation and have finally landed in Chicago at Noel Rose Salon on Halsted. I originally came across the feather fad at the University of Colorado last fall and have had no luck finding any salons who offer the service until now! The ladies at Noel Rose Salon will apply these fabulous feather extensions, as well as glittered and colored hair extensions, for almost nothing – 3/$20 or $7 each. Get as many or as little as you please, and take them out by yourself whenever.

Along with this newfound service, Noel Rose offers refreshingly great deals on cuts and colors. If you’re looking for a new salon or are interested in feather or glitter extensions, Noel Rose is the place to go. Located at 2631 N. Halsted #1 in Lincoln Park. Walk-ins are welcome if you’re ever in desperate need, but to make an appointment call  (773) 325-1695.

Wonderful Lashes


I’ve always heard of people getting eyelashes put in, but never knew what it was about until I tried Wonderful Lashes. I was a little nervous at first, but after getting them done I am extremely happy with the result. Jocelyn, who does Wonderful Lashes out of her in-home spa, put 40 lashes put on each eye, which is the minimum treatment, and my eyelashes never looked better. My eyes always looked like I was wearing eye makeup and I didn’t notice that the lashes were even on. Jocelyn said the lashes would remain on for 3-4 weeks, but as I write this a month and a half after the treatment I still have plenty of the lashes on and haven’t noticed any loss of my actual lashes. If you’re sick of putting eye makeup on, want to have thick, full and long lashes all the time or are just looking for a fun new spa treatment, be sure to check out Wonderful Lashes at

 or call Jocelyn at (847) 508-0684.

The Elysian Hotel – Spa


If you ever feel like splurging, the spa at the Elysian Hotel is, hands down, the best place to get pampered in Chicago. I recently went to get my eyebrows waxed, and ended up being in the spa for 2 hours and left feeling so relaxed. Elle Magazine backs me up, ranking it as the forth best spa in the United States. Whether you’re going in for a simple treatment or a head-to-toe facial, the atmosphere at the Elysian will make you want to stay forever. Go ahead and treat yourself, (or better yet, let someone else do the honors) and visit the Elysian Hotel located at 11 E. Walton. Call (312) 646 – 1300 for reservations.

CorePower Yoga

Core Power

Hot yoga has been all the rage lately so I had to try it out for myself. My friend and I tried out a couple different popular places and didn’t have the best experience; we felt uncomfortable and left feeling dirtier than expected. We figured we’d give hot yoga another chance when we were recommended to try CorePower Yoga. Needless to say, we are now hooked! Though we still left feeling dirty, being that we had just done one of the hardest workouts of our lives, we were refreshed and cleansed and ready to take on the world! The locker rooms are CorePower are fully equipped with everything from shampoo to blow dryers, in case you are going straight from hot yoga to a hot date (which I do not recommend). The staff is welcoming and understanding to the fact that you’ve probably never done something so intense on a 5×2 mat. They made us feel as comfortable as possible while we sweat out our body weight in downward dog position. I could go on for hours about my feelings for CorePower, but you’ll never really know until you try it out for yourself! You will love it – I know it and they know it, which is why your first week at CorePower is FREE! There are several different locations throughout Chicago, to find one closest to you visit their website at

 Good Shepard Advocate Health and Fitness – Air Brush Tan

While Good Shepard Advocate is a little out of the way for city people, it is a must go-to if you’re in need for a GOOD air brush tan. Having worked at a tanning salon before, I know that machine spray-on tans are never good, so don’t even try it. Because of all the bad hype about tanning beds and the spray-on orange machines, many salons have started doing air brush tans which have shown great results, IF you go to the right place. To avoid an air brush nightmare, listen to us and get your glow on by Krissy at Good Shepard in Barrington. Its comfortable, quick, affordable and the best tan I’ve ever gotten. Because Krissy is the one spraying you, you can tell her exactly where you want to be sprayed and how dark you want to be. It’s perfect for special occasions or whenever you want to have a little color. Krissy books up quickly, so make sure to call in advance. (847) 381-9600

Locally bred House of Noyes

Designer and diva Meghan Noyes of the northwest suburbs of Chicago has always had a passion for jewelry. After attending the University of Colorado, she enrolled in the Gemological Institute of America in NYC where she started began her jewelry collection. House of Noyes is edgy yet refined, bold yet sophisticated and nothing short of fabulous. Whether you’re looking for the perfect piece for an upcoming event or are in need a unique gift idea, House of Noyes is sure to make heads turn. Visit

or email for inquiries at

Daniella Cherie Art

Locally Bred

Locally Bred

I was looking for some funky, over-the-top art for my new apartment and got exactly that from local artist Daniella Meyer. Using everything from house hold items to water colors and acrylic paints, the goal is to “force the viewer to be connected with the artwork,” she says. Danielle has a huge gallery of pre-made work but is also happy to do custom designs to fit your needs. Daniella specializes in abstract paintings as well as illustrations, portraits and free-hand drawings, so if you’re ever looking for something in particular she is the girl to call. For as little as $15 to no more than $100, these unique, one of a kind pieces will brighten any room. And hey, who doesn’t like helping out a struggling artist? Contact Daniella at

 or visit her website at

We really wanna hear, where are your favorite places in Chicago to get pretty??




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