Lit

Best Gifting Practices – Uncommonly Good

For a long time now we have had a present cabinet. Yes, as in gifts. And, no, I am not super organized. It’s for when I need an emergency gift, you know, when you’ve forgotten an event is coming up – What, you don’t do that? Well, I do and sometimes the cabinet is stocked and I breathe a sigh of relief, and sometimes I am down to some hair ties and a pen.

So I clearly can’t leave special events like birthdays, graduations, weddings or anniversaries to chance, those need more planning, and, well, I have that covered, too. Actually, UncommonGoods does. When they contacted me to share my gift giving practices, I was thrilled – I love their site because they have cool, creative gifts in a wide range of prices, and make shopping by occasion super easy. Located in Brooklyn, NY, they select works from talented artists and artisans, and, as an added bonus, they’re a B Corporation. What is that? It means they do work on social and environmental problems, including wage levels, environmental impact, and giving back to the community. That’s to the good of everyone.

But you need gifts.

Our family just wrapped up one graduation season, and while the next is a ways off, the holidays are around the corner and I’m betting on UncommonGoods to help with my list. Love this dreamy retro camera that takes romantic, light soaked photos and will charm any photographer, artist or film student. The Diana Camera is super cool, dare I say hipster? – and uses 120 film.

The Diana Camera at Uncommongoods.com from Capabilitymom

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Math mug Uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Less art and more math? There’s fun with numbers in this math-y mug or great geeking out clock (equations included).

geek equation clock uncommongoods from capabilitymom

Looking for something a bit more personal? You’re covered there, too, with gifts that can be made to honor a special someone. And I love that the Uncommongoods site lets you search by occasion, interest, price, and category. No small feat, that.

And having just reached a milestone wedding anniversary, I also know a bit about great gifts for anniversaries (or weddings). Keeping it personal is key, and so easy to do here. My favorites for couples include these gorgeous faux bois personalized mugs, just pair with your favorite fair trade coffee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new go-to gift: Put together a mixed six pack of local craft beer, the beer labels are cool and the names are usually funny, and if you put that together with these wordy glasses, you have a really thoughtful gift. And you might even pick up a vocab word or two.uncommon goods wordy beer glasses

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feeling the sentiment? Me, too. Love this company,

 

 

Check out their blog  which features their artists, design inspiration, and even more gift guides.

 

Disclaimer: While I did receive payment for sharing this post, all opinions are always my own.

Summer Plans, Part One

For me, summer officially starts on the last day of school but this year was different. Our youngest graduated from high school in June, and there was so much more going on than the usual end of year picnics and the slide into camp schedule. All good things, just really, really different. Prom, graduation, graduation parties, award ceremonies, and family get-togethers- all wonderful but a super busy time. And I have a few part-time gigs going on… so lots of juggling on my part, and I am not really all that good at juggling.

And I always think that summer means slowing down, catching my breath and reading with my toes in the sand.

Do I ever have that summer? Have I ever had that summer? Definitely not, and while I do try to carve out at least a few beach days here and there – I have goals, people! I try to catch up on my reading, get to a Red Sox game or two, and hang out with my family. How am I doing so far? Reading, check – I have this great poster of 100 Essential Novels to keep me on track  – you scratch them off when you’ve read them – so fun!

Then it occurred to me to see how many of these classic books have been made into movies and to watch them this summer. Well, maybe I won’t finish this summer. Here’s what I am watching and reading and, in some cases, re-watching and re-reading. Make it a family movie night, and take turns choosing from your favorite adaptations. All are available on Fios – click on the image for more info.

To Kill a Mockingbird (Gregory Peck)

Pride and Prejudice – any version except the zombie one, but, hey, no judgement if you’re into that.

Gone With The Wind

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Great Gatsby (again, choose your favorite – Redford or DiCaprio). No zombie version available, thankfully.

The Scarlet Letter – Demi Moore or the 1934 version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Well, that should get you started with the classics. Also on my list:

The Fault in our Stars

Me Before You

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water for Elephants

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Help

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And no summer would be complete without the movie that made me afraid to go in the water for an entire summer.

Yes, Jaws.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disclosure – I am a member of a Verizon #BostonFios influencer team (a natural for me – a Verizon superfan!) and we are compensated for social shares. All opinions are, and always will be, my own.

The Wayfair Heart Home Conference

The Wayfair Heart Home conference was a wonderful combination of speaker, panels, brands, and hands-on sessions. On Friday there were great keynote speakers, Maxwell Ryan of one of my favorite sites, Apartment Therapy, and Christiane Lemieux, of Wayfair and another fave site, DwellStudio. Great breakout sessions, sponsors and people!

The breakout sessions Saturday were all hands-on and all were informative and fun. My first session was iPhone food photography with noted photographer Brian Samuels (@MyFoodThoughts). And while I take pics of food all the time (my family is used to it by now), I was happy for some instruction. Best part about it? Our subject was pie from the incomparable Rosebud Kitchen. And, yes, we got to eat the pie after the class. Best class ever!

The other two sessions were also wonderful, Google Analytics and SEO. There was no pie, though, so as wonderful as they were in terms of information and presentation (fantastic, by the way), I am easily swayed by sweets. Because the sessions were so well-presented and comfortable, we had a few side topic conversations and I learned that you can shred chicken with a Kitchen Aid mixer! Seriously! Can’t wait to try this! Thank you, Wayfair, for an all around wonderful experience.

Think It Up! Staples Donates to Local Area Schools

Thank you, Staples, for making me like you even more. Truth be told you had me, years ago, with this ad:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz56prGBiS8
It’s not enough that you are our go to for all things school and office, but now this?

Staples and Joe Kelly Support Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest Teachers with Think It Up™

Joe Kelly, Kirk Saville

Staples announced that it has funded 214 local classroom projects in the Boston, Cambridge and MetroWest communities, as part of its recent pledge (in the amount of $10 million) to Think it Up™, a new national initiative of the Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) is looking to start a new movement in support of students, teachers and schools, by creating a culture of excitement about learning everywhere in America. This fall, Think It Up, in partnership with DonorsChoose.org, will look to fund student-powered, teacher-led learning projects in classrooms across the country.

Red Sox Pitcher and Think It Up ambassador Joe Kelly attended the announcement in support of Boston’s students and teachers. “It’s great knowing this generous donation will help make meaningful learning projects happen in classrooms throughout the Boston area, thanks to Think It Up, DonorsChoose.org, and Staples’ commitment to supporting students,” Kelly said.

DonorsChoose.org  was founded in 2000, and has helped fund more than 236,000 classroom projects for teachers and helped more than 14 million students. Today, in the Greater Boston area, Staples fully funded every project on DonorsChoose.org in Boston Public Schools, Cambridge Public Schools and MetroWest communities. More than $204,000 was donated to help 173 teachers fulfill classroom needs and helped 14,063 students across 85 schools in the Greater Boston area.

“We’re thrilled to fund all of the projects in the Boston, Cambridge and Metrowest communities and to work with the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Think It Up initiative and DonorsChoose.org to ensure classrooms have the supplies and resources they need,” said Alison Corcoran, senior vice president, North American stores and online marketing, Staples. “Through our Staples for Students program, we’re proud to build on our rich history of supporting education with our $10 million pledge to Think It Up that will make a difference in America’s classrooms.”

I know a few teachers (I’m even related to a few) so I know it’s true that teachers spend their own money for their classrooms so this is an especially important initiative.

How can you help? Support Think It Up, you can donate a dollar at a Staples store or visit http://www.thinkitup.org to learn more.

I did receive a gift card from Staples (oh, happy day) which I plan on using immediately. Thank you, Staples. All opinions are, and always will be, my own, and my love for that ad is for always.

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