How To Put Together The Perfect Galentine’s Gifts This Year

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SendingYourLove #CollectiveBias

I’ll always remember my worst Valentine’s Day.

I was 16 years old and I’d just broken up with my first boyfriend, who I’d been dating for over 6 months (I laugh at that length of time, now, but if you ever dated in high school you know that’s an impressive amount!). I was a cashier at Walmart at the time and was scheduled to work on Valentine’s Day. Sure enough, they stuck me on one of the 20 Items Or Less registers, and my night was one continual stream of cute guys with lavish gifts for their significant others. After about the 30th beautiful card and bouquet of roses, I was ready to burst into tears.

To put the final crown on the evening, the guy that I had my first and only serious tween crush on for about 3 years came through my register….with, you guessed it, a completely gorgeous and touching card and a bouquet of flowers, plus delicious chocolates for his current girlfriend.

Can’t a single gal get a break??!!

I feel like people are becoming more aware of how painful holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be for those who are alone, or recently lost a loved one. Valentine’s Day, however, is really easy to forget about, as long as you’re in a happy, fulfilling relationship. For the recently or always single, bereaved, or not-so-happily coupled, however, it can be a day of glaringly unfulfilled dreams and crushed hopes that every social media post and couple picture just further inflicts pain upon.

Now, please don’t get me wrong. I LOVE love. I love my marriage, I LOVE it when people are happily coupled whether they’re in the “You’re so perfect” stage or whether they’re in the “I love you even though I know you’re not perfect” stage. If you are blessed to be in a relationship right now, by all means, be sure to pick up one of the amazing Signature Hallmark cards at Walmart for your spouse or boyfriend, too!

Right now they have an awesome offer going on! $2 off a 2 card purchase (min $2 purchase required), expires 2/15. This means you can buy for everyone this Valentine’s Day!

No matter what your personal relationship status will be this Valentine’s Day, I have a sure-fire way to make sure your day is filled with joy, guaranteed. Want to know the secret????

Fill your Valentine’s Day With Joy, By Sending Love To Others!

This year I wanted to send some love to two amazing and beautiful women in my life, for completely different reasons. Though your Galentine’s Day packages will be completely unique to the amazing women in your life, I want to provide my gifts to give you ideas and springboards into who to bless, and what you can give–whether they live next door or thousands of miles away!!!

My first Galentine’s Day package that I put together was for my amazing little sister Hannah! As you know, she’s actually a contributor for this site now, so be sure to go say hello! She’s my “baby” sister and the last of the Romero kids to still be single. Because the rest of us were a little odd and all married off by the age of 25 (I got married at 19), she feels a little odd having not gotten hitched in her very young 20s. While she’s perfectly content to fan girl while she waits for Mr. Awesome, I know how it must feel a little awkward for her and all her single friends to see Valentine’s Day come each year along with the latest announcement of who is dating who and who just got engaged. I’m thankful I was able to live my single and dating life pre-social media days!

So sadly we’re thousands of miles apart as she’s back in Wyoming while I’m down here in Texas. So here’s my best advice for putting together a Long Distance Galentine’s Day Gift Package!!!!

Of course, every Galentine’s Gift has to start with the perfect card. When I saw this gorgeous Signature Hallmark Card at Walmart I knew it was absolutely perfect for both of the beautiful gals in my life! As you can see above it says “Loved & Lovely” on the front. Then when you open it up is says “Lots of things can make you pretty But your good heart makes you beautiful”

Love. It!!!!!!!

Don’t just sign your name and call it good, though! That empty side is there for a reason–so you can include a sweet, beautiful, and heartfelt message in your very own handwriting. Let the person know exactly why you’re sending your love, and how much they mean to you!

Now that you have the most important part taken care of, it’s time for the gifts! I’ve mentioned before that I take great pride in my family as being known as the “bestest gift giver”. There’s a big secret to this–do you want to know it?

#1 Gift Giving Tip: To be an amazing gift giver you have to give people what they like, not what you like.

I know, it seems so simple but often people don’t follow this advice that seems like a no-brainer. That’s why registries and wish lists are often ignored and instead you wind up with something you would never use, want, or wear.

There’s great news, though! These days it’s so easy to find people’s likes, interests, and tastes! It’s called social media! For Christmas, I wanted to give my sister-in-law a pair of earrings. The thing is, that while I *love* her gorgeous style it is totally and completely different from my own. So instead of guess what she “might” like or give her something in my taste that I knew would “look great on her” I did a little investigation. Profile pictures are an amazing thing! Through going through all her pictures I was able to pinpoint exactly what her favorite earring style and color are and picked out a pair that “were so perfect” in her own words.

So your gift bundle will and should look completely unique to the lovely lady you’re gifting it to! Here is what I included in my sister’s far away package, along with why I chose each item and some that different ideas in the same category.

Great Ideas For a Far Away Galentine’s Day Gift Package

  • Cozy Hat & Sweater — Wyoming is having a record breaking year for snow and cold! My sister is also working nights at a newspaper during all of this, and so she’s having to go out into that a lot! Because of this, I got her this adorable hat and scarf. Bonus??? Down here in Texas we’re reaching the 70s already, which means that my Walmart has all cold winter gear on clearance already! If your recipient isn’t into hats and scarves (for example, I never wear either item) then you can substitute another fun item to wear. Maybe she loves boots, long tunics, or a cozy sweater!
  • Earrings — If your recipient wears jewelry this is a perfect Valentine’s Day gift to include! Walmart has pretty items at low prices, and by doing a little snooping you’ll find the perfect necklace or pair of earrings! To make it feel even more upscale take it off of the plastic holder and place it inside of a cloth or gauzy bag, you can find these inexpensively in the craft section of most Walmart’s.
  • Journal — My sister graduated last May with her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Because writing runs in her blood, like mine, she usually has a million different things she’s furiously working away at. She, like me, also loves to use pen and paper. Because of this journals are always appreciated and used by her! For your recipient, you might gift a new best-selling book, a few magazines, or an adult coloring book!
  • Masquerade Mask — If there’s one thing Hannah loves, it’s plays! She has an entire wall dedicated to the plays that she’s seen. When I found this gorgeous mask in the clearance aisle (It was originally a Christmas decoration!) I knew it would fit right into her room and that she’d love it! Don’t forget to check out Walmart’s clearance aisle! Stocking up year round makes for generous gift giving come special occasions!
  • Pampering Mask — All girls love to be pampered and feel beautiful! Hannah doesn’t do a ton of makeup, so this relaxing mask was the perfect pampering touch to include! Simple and fun she can use it during her next bath and feel luxurious and beautiful! This is great for any woman, but feel free to include makeup, perfume, or nail polish in place of this!

Put all of this together and it makes what appears to be a lavish gift bundle. By choosing items that they will love, and purchasing them at Walmart, it’s completely possible to put together this epic gift without going beyond your budget!

The next Galentine’s Day Gift Package I put together was for my sweet & beautiful Mom-in-Love. As you might remember, this sweet lady let my family live with her for 4 years while my husband got his Bachelor’s Degree. Amazingly, not only did living together go very well, we came out of it as best friends!

She truly is loved and lovely, and has one of the most beautiful hearts I know!

She’s a totally different case, as she has been married to my father-in-love for ages now (over 30 years). But even if you’re in a happily ever after marriage, you know that the longer it goes, the more likely it is that you won’t really be celebrating or celebrated on Valentine’s Day. Leave that as you will, it’s just kind of the case with most of the guys in my families. Because of this, I wanted to give her some special love on Valentine’s Day. We owe them so much, that I’ll always be looking for ways to let her know how thankful I am and how loved she is!

Also, unlike my sister, my Mom-in-Love *loves* to shop and self-confessedly has more books, knick-knacks, clothes, and well, everything, than she needs. For people like this, I love to gift mostly consumable items, along with just one special piece. Since she’s still close by at just an hour away, I can easily gift food and flowers to her!

  • Homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies — A nearby gift from me almost always contains some of my “famous” homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies. They’re one of my mom-in-love’s favorite desserts, so of course, a big plateful is always a great start to a gift for her!
  • Flowers — These are a Valentine’s Day Cliche for a reason! There is just something about gorgeous cut flowers that brightens up the world! When buying flowers for another gal I always forgo roses. While they are my very favorite flower, they’re also the most expensive, and they also have the shortest cut lifespan. If you opt for flowers like baby carnations, or daisies, you can get gorgeous colors like these, they last for weeks, and when you buy them from Walmart you can get a gorgeous bouquet for under $5!
  • Necklace — As I mentioned, I love to give one “keep it” gift in a bundle/basket like this one. Diane loves beautiful, long, fun necklaces and when I saw this one it just screamed “her” to me! It was just the right amount of bling and sparkle and colors I know she loves and wears often. Look for one piece, no matter what it is, that you know your girl will love and cherish and that will remind her of you each time she wears or sees it!
  • Lunch Date — For all my close gals I love to give the gift of delicious food and time together to round this package all out! Whether it’s meeting up for coffee or taking her out to lunch, plan a girl date so that you can have the most precious gift of all–conversation, connection, and making memories together!

Here are some ideas for how to let the girls in your life know that they are loved and lovely this Valentine’s Day! Here’s a list of some of the ladies you might want to send a card to this year!

  • Singles
  • Those who recently went through a breakup
  • Widows
  • Women who have been married for a very long time
  • Military & Law Enforcement Spouses (they usually have to celebrate the day with their husbands working long shifts or completely away/deployed)

Looking for more amazing Valentine’s Day ideas AND additional coupons and offers here!

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Noble the Movie

 

11225476_632326746910094_8538954598486186242_o
Source

The movie Noble is about the life of Christina Noble, an Irish woman from the mid 1900’s, who has had a very difficult and trying childhood and life growing up in Dublin and then moving to England, but throughout it all she holds onto, even if just by a thread of hope, her faith in God.

In the midst of her suffering and crying out to God for understanding and beseeching Him with questions about if He has forgotten about her, she has a vision of children from Vietnam consumed by war and devastation that their little innocent hearts does not deserve to have to endure through. She dreams of children, who are desperately in need of love, protection, and help. She vows that one day, somehow, she WILL go to Vietnam and carry out her vision that God has placed within her heart. The movie goes through her journey in Vietnam in 1989, as she is trying to set up a home for the street children so that they can be safe, loved, nurtured, educated, and receive any medical care they need.  The movie also has many flashbacks about her life as she was growing up and all the intensity and sorrows she went through to make her into the woman she was destined to be.

Her spirit is one truly comprised of gold to go through all the pain she went through, and yet to still have a song on her lips, radiating joy in her heart and love for the “least of these”, the poor and abandoned children, in abundance. She is such an inspiration in how she pours and selflessly gives out of herself to these children in desperate need on the streets of Vietnam. She is as bold as a lion, and in the movie, she even rescues some young girls from being preyed upon by evil predator type men who have nothing but the vilest intentions with these young girls, which adds for quite the dramatic plot twist as she “storms the castle”, so to speak, for these young souls. She is a hero in the truest form of the word, in my humble opinion.

The movie was such an inspiration and very moving.  I found this movie to be quite surprisingly splendid and refreshing because sometimes, with more feel-good/faith films, they can be quite cheesy and low quality, but this movie was quite the opposite. I loved the more serious parts, and how they were expertly broken up by little scenes of humor and amusement that left me giggling and smiling.

The actress who portrayed Christina Noble, Deirdre O’Kane, was delightful! She had such a passionate and vibrant acting personality, and the Irish accent in her voice, both singing and speaking, was beautiful to watch and hear!

In this movie, I laughed, I cried, I was, to say it again, very much moved by this movie.

Watching Christina’s story drew something out from within me, it reignited a passion, so to speak. Children are the future, and we are called by God to love the children, widows, and orphans (James 1:27 and Psalm 82:3 in the Bible), and for someone to embrace that divine calling so selflessly and fully with a wide open heart and boldness of a lion…that is true faith and religion in my opinion. Serving with abandon and loving everyone you come across with and protecting them from themselves even. There is no greater calling, than to be NOBLE and BRAVE and to LOVE, no matter the personal cost (John 15:13)!

Have you seen this movie yet? What were your thoughts on it?

Beloveds, my ending question is one that convicts me to the core and puts my priorities in alignment, and that is: What is something both noble and brave you would accomplish with your life if you were guaranteed NOT to fail because God was on your side?????

To find and connect with other “noble” women, search the hashtag on your favorite social media “#sheisnoble”.

Now may I add this as a follow up to that question?

GREAT NEWS!!! He IS on your side, and if He has placed a dream within you…no matter how huge or minuscule, if it is from Him…NOTHING can get in your way. Fear has no place where love is (1 John 4:18), and God LOVES you and is FOR YOU! Go be bold and brave like Christina, and do great things for the Kingdom and for His glory alone! You are VICTORIOUS in Jesus!!!

Source
Source

 

Now for some homeplay (homework but better):

Here is the trailer for the movie and a link to their phenomenal, beautifully done website! Go check them out and give them some lovings and go watch this movie!

Here is the official synopsis from their website:

“They broke everything but her spirit. They took everything but her dream. NOBLE, the award-winning feature film, is the incredible true story of a fearless Irish heroine driven by her daring vision to escape the slums of Ireland and risk everything on the streets of Vietnam.

Winner of six U.S. film festival awards, including the Panavision Spirit Award at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, the powerful biopic drama written and directed by Stephen Bradley is heralded by critics as “raw and genuinely powerful,” “captivating” and “moving.” The Hollywood Reporter calls it “a joyful and rousing affirmation of the human spirit that will resound widely.”

With great affection, as always,

Rebekah M. Clark

Christmas Gift Guide 2013 ~ The Perfect Gift for Any Baby

Christmas Gift Guide

Yes–that’s right! This is the kick off post to my Christmas Gift Guide!

Now, now–before you start hurling rotten tomatoes at me and shouting the virtues of Thanksgiving hear me out! I agree–the Christmas trees up in the mall already *are* a bit much. But when it comes to shopping–well I’ve been Christmas shopping since February!! If you were around last year you’ll know I believe in shopping early and staying organized, and then using the month of December for traditions and family — not fighting the crowds and focusing on the material! Every year I try to have ALL my Christmas gifts bought and shipped by December 1st–I’m nearly there!

So with that disclosure I’m super excited to bring you ….

 Graco Little Lounger
Legalese Nonsense: I will absolutely drive to Dallas if it means I get to meet other bloggers, have 3 hours of drive time sans kids singing at the top of my lungs, get fed, learn exercise tips from a pro, and walk away with one of the coolest baby products I’ve ever seen. All mommy thoughts, lack of pregnancy announcements, and before mentioned erratic behavior is all my own.

First off I will preface this post with the fact that NO — contrary to what you seeing me with a baby swing that holds infants up to 30 lbs. might lead you to believe — there will be NO big, exciting announcements from me concerning the expansion of our family at any point within the next-couple-of-years future! (unless you all know something I don’t?!) *However* I know that most of you do have babies, will also at some point in the next-few-years future have one, or know someone who is pregnant right now. I seems like every time I turn around another friend or family member is announcing their pregnancy, so there is a lot of use for the Graco Little Lounger in my life and I knew there would be in yours as well!

Continue reading “Christmas Gift Guide 2013 ~ The Perfect Gift for Any Baby”

Unconventional Holiday Gifting

 Once upon a time there was a girl who loved all the of magic of Christmas. She loved the lights, the sparkles, the music, the movies, the books, the presents, the treats! In fact-she was hard pressed to find anything about the holiday that she DIDN’T love!

Then she married a boy who was, well, let’s just say that his view on the “most wonderful time of the year” was slightly different.

If you hadn’t guessed by now–of course I’m referring to me and my sweet hubby Bob! One of the biggest ways that we differ is that I love getting presents on Christmas day. If I didn’t have at least *one* present to unwrap on Christmas I think I might cry (true story). Hubby, on the other hand, is one of those guys who if he wants something anything and we can afford it-he buys it. He’s also very picky uh, particular about what he likes. He also doesn’t enjoy opening presents–he’d much rather have the experience of going to the store and picking out something for himself (he finds it a lot of fun!)

 The first few years we were married I got frustrated because I would try so hard to wrack my brains for something that he would love for Christmas-only to have him end up buying it for himself or never ever using what I did buy him. After this happened a few times I decided that I would tweak how I gave him gifts. Though it felt like completely unconventional holiday gifting to me, I told him that I wanted him to tell me what he wanted for Christmas–and then I wanted us to go buy it together (at least a few weeks before Christmas).

Surprisingly, it worked great! We always have a great and uh…..interesting time….(look above!!!) when we do his Christmas shopping together. He has fun browsing and trying to decide just what he wants “from Santa” and then selecting and playing with his new “toy”. He always gets so excited he makes me drive on the way home so he can rip whatever we got out of the package and start fiddling with it right away!

This year we headed to Academy Sports & Outdoors which is one of Bob’s new favorite stores since we moved here a few months ago-it pretty much sells anything and everything that he loves! Ever since getting out of the Coast Guard he’s missed getting to “play” with guns every day so he’s been browsing all kinds of guns–both real and air–since we got here. We decided on a Daisy Winchester Air Pistol Model 11. When I think of BBGuns I automatically think of Daisy Outdoor Products since we had a Daisy BB Rifle growing up that we would play with anytime we went up camping. I got pretty good at hitting that empty soda can if I do say so myself! I’ve always felt that some of the best memories that can be made are when you’re doing outdoor family activities-what can I say, it’s the “Wyoming Girl” in me!

Bob really liked the fact that this pistol weighs 1.9 lbs because it gives it the weight and feel of a real gun. The CO2 power makes it pack a punch and amps it up well above the level of a pump BBGun and makes it a suitable present for a 16 year old or a 28 year old! It also has a 16 shot bb clip that means he can hit up a target multiple times before reloading.

After picking up his Christmas present Bob wanted to go peek at “the real thing” Yeah–for 1/6th of the price I sure liked the price tag on the pistol we got Bob a whole lot better than this one!

Of course he couldn’t wait to get it out of the package so even though it’s freezing (for Texas that is) we went out and shot it today. Right now we’re living on 5 acres so it’s pretty cool that we can just head out back to shoot!

Having grown up around guns and hunting my entire life, and then as a military spouse, I’ve always been comfortable around guns and enjoy shooting them because I have a healthy respect for them. We keep all our guns locked in a closet in the house and both of the kids know that if they ever see a gun anywhere they are to NOT touch it and immediately come and get an adult. I firmly and deeply believe in the 2nd amendment and feel that people who are in healthy families who are around guns are actually far safer than those who are not—you all just need to be aware of the proper use and treatment of weapons. In our house you don’t point even an unloaded bbgun at someone-it’s just something you don’t do!

A little bit of an unconventional way to give hubby his Christmas present? Yes. Does it work for us? Absolutely! And really I think in creating a happy marriage-that’s the best thing you can possibly wish for!

You probably know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Daisy. As always I only bring you the best and my honest opinions! #CBias #SocialFabric #bb4me
 
Nicole Elliott