I tend to be a stressed out gift-giver. You can often find me walking aimlessly around hobby lobby or thrift stores the day before someones birthday, holding picture frames and little tea cups, examining each one closely - trying to find the one that "speaks" to me.
"They like plates with little ducks, right?"
Then there's the craft aisle. I'll try and channel my inner scrapbooker or jewelry maker [I know you're in there, somewhere] and imagine all the pinterest worthy things I could make - in less than 24 hours.
I come to my senses.
"Candles! Yes. She LOVES candles."
It all comes to an end, rather abruptly. I get hungry or tired and head to the grocery to pick up the ever handy, won't let me down, gift card.
What I've come to learn, is it isn't the gift-giving part I loath [I actually really love this part]. It's the buying folks things they might already have or don't really want. The things that might just end up stashed away in a junk drawer later.
So, I have been on the hunt lately for gifts that give back. I'm always looking for trinkets that support a mission or are downright awesome and made by really creative folks deserving of our support [in my humble opinion]. I also LOVE the idea of giving a gift that isn't a thing, rather an experience - an opportunity to celebrate or be pampered or feel beautiful.
Here's what I'm loving lately.
The Shine Project // A gal served as an aid in a High School. What she found were smart, gifted students who lacked the funds to go to college. So, she taught herself to make jewelry and then taught those same students how to make jewelry. Now she owns a shop that is run by students who've earned scholarships through the non-profit. Ah-mazing. Read the full story here.
Naptime Diaries // A family run and owned print & design shop. They sell canvases with encouraging verses, diaries to help keep you inspired, and even have a Mother's Day bundle. Even better, they give back. The business supports church plants and a rotating cause each month - a neighbor in need, short term missions trip, etc. The founder, Jessica Connolly, is incredibly encouraging and honest - check her out. I love following along on her blog & instagram.
Stitch Fix // I'll be honest here. I didn't know about this until roughly a week ago. I thought it was a new app...it isn't. It's more like having a personal stylist - online. You send along your style and measurements and then they mail you cute outfits that you can either wear for the night or keep for a discount. Someone else to pick out your clothes? Count me in.
Savor // One of my all-time favorite authors Shauna Niesquist wrote this 365 day devotional. It's all about celebrating the now, trusting in what's to come and finding beauty and purpose in the day to day. A daily dose of Shauna is a good thing.
jessicaNdesigns // This momma taught herself how to stamp silverware and make custom jewelry. Now she has darling mugs and shirts too. One of my favorite mugs says, "I just want to drink coffee and make pretty things."
The Fringe Hours // I'd recommend this book to any lady struggling to find the time to stay organized or do the things she loves. And maybe, it's more than a lack of time, it's a guilt thing. We can feel guilt for pressing into our passions and callings because life demands so much of us. It's really helped me create more space and time for myself outside the 9-5 work day to press into what makes my heart beat.
Hope Spoken // I love experiences. Particularly women's conferences centered around lifting each other up and sharing our stories. I stumbled upon this conference while doing a hunt online for one I might like to go too. If the extra funds are there, why not treat your mom [or a mom you know and adore] to a weekend of being refreshed and encouraged? What a treat if you go together.
I'll stop there y'all. There are SO many worthwhile causes and businesses to support. Which ones get you fired up? What causes do you try and support?
I'd LOVE to know.