Sunday, October 18, 2015

Cash envelopes, Personalized Pillows and Camelpacks..... Gift ideas for the kiddos.

 As of the time I'm writing this there are only 9 weeks until Christmas.  If you're like me, you're absolutely NOT ready for all of THAT hustle and bustle.  Don't get me wrong, I love giving gifts and making the kids squeal in delight as they open their gifts.  I just LOVE fall, the cooler weather, Thanksgiving and holidays.  My day job starts picking up with the winter visitors and my time gets really short.  Plus, I'm not much of a "going shopping" kind of girl.  Anyway....I've actually spent quite a bit of time thinking about what to buy for the kids this year.  They are by no means spoiled, but they really just don't NEED anything in particular.  We've got 2 10-almost 11-year olds, and an 8 1/2 year old so it's getting harder and harder to think of things that they'll use a lot, and things they'll love.

We live in the Arizona desert, and we like to hike.  We did a few hikes last winter, a couple in the spring, and even this summer we went on a couple of "cooler" days because we all just love getting outdoors.  Plus we're on a pretty tight budget and hiking is very inexpensive.  Back in July I decided on one of the gifts I want to get for each kid, Camelbacks, which will in turn be a "gift" for my husband who won't have to carry ALL the water in his backpack. 
 I searched on Amazon a few days ago and found this one in 3 colors (perfect)....
 One other thing my husband and I decided on months ago is some kind of envelope system for the kids.  We follow Dave Ramsey's principals, (CASH is KING ;) lol.)  Last fall we made some Give, Save, and Spend envelopes for the kids to use.  I took some regular business sized envelopes, and found scrapbooking stickers from my stash and then laminated them when we were done.  The only problem with them is that they are opn on the ends, so they won't hold change.  Not really THAT big of a deal, but we tend to lose a LOT of change.  I've seen the Financial Peace Junior kits,

...and I would like them to have something that will hold up a little better.  Financial Peace Junior is for ages 3-12 and we're so close to the upper end of that, seems a little young for my kiddos (my step-daughter actually asked for one of the regular adult envelope systems).  I have given this set for birthday gifts before though, and people LOVE it, it's usually something that they remember because it's unique and very useful, so keep it in mind.

For our kids I've found something on Etsy that I like, and even though I'm sure with enough time and instructions I could make them myself, I'm just going to buy them from a shop.  These Give, Save, and Spend envelopes are so cute!  Plus you can choose a fitting theme, which is great for my kids who all have a love for art and creative things.  I like how you can hook them all together, or take just one when you go, it's a great way to keep them from getting lost.

 No matter what age your kids are, they need some direction with how to handle their money.  I love how Ramsey Solutions has books for every age, and any situation to teach people about money.  One of the newest books is the Smart Money Smart Kids book which will teach YOU how to teach your kids. 
So, here's just a couple of ideas for gift giving this Christmas.  Of course, if you want something super soft, cuddly, and personalized....and would like to support this small business, you can choose something out of my Cottonwood Lane shop.  My kids are also getting blankets to match the pillows I made them earlier this year (I'm going to have time for that, right?).  They all LOVED their pillows, took them on our car trip and they were just the right size for 3 kids in the back seat of an Altima.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Personalized Gifts

People love receiving gifts that have been personalized.  You can personalize things in a variety of ways, first/last name, nicknames, or even with a funny phrase or saying that they're known for.  Gifts like this show that you care enough to put a little extra thought into the gift and also lets the receiver know how important they are to you. 


 Step 1-  Decide on your budget.  Personalized gifts don't have to cost a lot.  A friend's birthday could be extra special with something like a koozie with their favorite saying, or even favorite sports team.  Koozies start at $10.  Maybe you need something unique for a kid who has all of the newest toys, kids LOVE a super cozy pillow with their name on it. 


Step 2 - Think about what your recipient likes, favorite colors, animals, sports/teams.  Pick out a theme or subject that they will likely want to keep forever.  If your best friend has a new favorite football team every year because they follow trends, maybe a team koozie wouldn't be the best idea.  When buying for kids, remember they grow and change interests fast, prints and patterns that are not so age specific will allow them to use their gifts longer, making them more economical.

Step 3- Decide when you need to have your gift by.  Sometimes you need a baby gift months before the baby is actually due.  Christmas is December 25th every year, you probably want to make sure you've got a few weeks to have something made so you can get it in time to wrap it up.  Personalized gifts can take a little longer to receive so give yourself ample time for ordering and delivery.  I spend a little more time on designing something to make sure it's exactly what the recipient will love, so 2-3 weeks is about average.  November and December are busier months, so ordering early will ensure on time delivery. 

Step 4- Place your order.  Sounds easy enough, right?  When you order from Cottonwood Lane it's as easy as sending a text, e-mail, or even a quick phone call.  You don't even have to know exactly what you want, I can help you decide whether you think a diaper bag is a good idea or maybe just a blanket, and if there's a gift registry I can even look it up to see if there's a certain theme.  I'm here to serve you and help you give a gift you'll feel great about giving, and the recipient won't ever forget.