Halloween! My favorite time of the year

October 11th, 2012

Halloween is my favorite time of the year! The air is crisp, the leaves are beautiful colors and of course the thrill of trick or treating for kids young and old! I love to watch the kids enjoying Halloween, their faces full of excitement with what treats await them and faces filled with pride as they take on the role of whatever they have chosen to be.

Halloween is coming quick! This year Halloween is Wednesday October 31st and I have been on the lookout for unique Halloween gifts to send to all my ghosts and goblins that won’t be near this year.

Out of the Mouth of …..

November 22nd, 2011

Need help managing your business in tough economic times? This is a great post providing sound advice. At Occasionally Gifted and the OG Flower Market we are always looking for help in managing our business.

This post came to us from Spin Sucks and Lisa Gerber.

My stepfather and mother were visiting me this past weekend and I was looking forward to it. I happen to know my stepfather has been a bit concerned lately that I have taken, in his opinion, perhaps some unnecessary risks in my professional life. So I was happy to have the opportunity to defend my position, in person. You see, he’s a retired, successful businessman. He’s always been fiscally conservative, and given where he is in life, he is, justifiably, risk-averse. I have the utmost respect, and in the 20 years he has been in my life, I’ve always asked his advice on matters. But these past few years haven’t exactly been predictable. They haven’t followed the status quo. I felt a little disruption was in order and I share this with him, which is why we may not see eye to eye right now. I sat over a glass of wine explaining how it’s OK to live on the edge and not necessarily know what the outcome will be. I can’t worry too much about the risk I’m taking when the opportunity is great. And then, I had a sudden flashback to my three-year-old nephew’s visit earlier this year. We had asked him what he wanted to do that day: Would he rather go to the Museum of Science and Industry or to the Aquarium? He chose: “The bus!” And sitting there at that table, talking to my stepfather, I realized, in this particular situation, I think I’ll take advice from my nephew, thank you very much. He is not terribly concerned about where he’s going, but he does know he’d like to take a bus to get there. I’m not just talking about our personal lives, I’m talking about choices we make for our businesses, our employers, and our clients. We get so caught up in measuring outcomes, showing ROI, and minimizing risk but it has to be OK from time to time to throw it all up in the air, take a leap on something, and enjoy the feeling of freefall. (Hey, I said from time to time. I’m still a big fan of strategic planning and measurable outcomes.) I’m no spring chicken but given the past few years and the detours this economy has thrown in the road trips of our lives, (or train wrecks depending on who you’re talking to), doing something that is unexpected seemed in order. Minimize the risk, but don’t avoid it. Get the support of the people that matter most. Assess the worse case scenario and don’t focus on it, but be prepared for the worst. Take the leap! I don’t always want to worry about where I’m going to land. I know if I keep my head on my shoulders, I’ll land on my feet. Even if the desired outcome doesn’t, for any reason, materialize, it will open other doors along the way. Right? Enjoy the Ride originally appeared on Spin Sucks on November 2, 2011. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/spinsucks/feed/~3/JARSF7ZT9XE/ “>Flower Market we are always looking for sound advice.

My stepfather and mother were visiting me this past weekend and I was looking forward to it. I happen to know my stepfather has been a bit concerned lately that I have taken, in his opinion, perhaps some unnecessary risks in my professional life. So I was happy to have the opportunity to defend my position, in person. You see, he’s a retired, successful businessman. He’s always been fiscally conservative, and given where he is in life, he is, justifiably, risk-averse. I have the utmost respect, and in the 20 years he has been in my life, I’ve always asked his advice on matters. But these past few years haven’t exactly been predictable. They haven’t followed the status quo. I felt a little disruption was in order and I share this with him, which is why we may not see eye to eye right now. I sat over a glass of wine explaining how it’s OK to live on the edge and not necessarily know what the outcome will be. I can’t worry too much about the risk I’m taking when the opportunity is great. And then, I had a sudden flashback to my three-year-old nephew’s visit earlier this year. We had asked him what he wanted to do that day: Would he rather go to the Museum of Science and Industry or to the Aquarium? He chose: “The bus!” And sitting there at that table, talking to my stepfather, I realized, in this particular situation, I think I’ll take advice from my nephew, thank you very much. He is not terribly concerned about where he’s going, but he does know he’d like to take a bus to get there. I’m not just talking about our personal lives, I’m talking about choices we make for our businesses, our employers, and our clients. We get so caught up in measuring outcomes, showing ROI, and minimizing risk but it has to be OK from time to time to throw it all up in the air, take a leap on something, and enjoy the feeling of freefall. (Hey, I said from time to time. I’m still a big fan of strategic planning and measurable outcomes.) I’m no spring chicken but given the past few years and the detours this economy has thrown in the road trips of our lives, (or train wrecks depending on who you’re talking to), doing something that is unexpected seemed in order. Minimize the risk, but don’t avoid it. Get the support of the people that matter most. Assess the worse case scenario and don’t focus on it, but be prepared for the worst. Take the leap! I don’t always want to worry about where I’m going to land. I know if I keep my head on my shoulders, I’ll land on my feet. Even if the desired outcome doesn’t, for any reason, materialize, it will open other doors along the way. Right? Enjoy the Ride originally appeared on Spin Sucks on November 2, 2011. http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/spinsucks/feed/~3/JARSF7ZT9XE/ “>OG Flower Market we are doing our best to follow good advice.

Originally Posted by Lisa Gerber on the Spin Sucks Blog

My stepfather and mother were visiting me this past weekend and I was looking forward to it. I happen to know my stepfather  has been a bit concerned lately that I have taken, in his opinion, perhaps some unnecessary risks in my professional life. So I was happy to have the opportunity to defend my position, in person.

You see, he’s a retired, successful businessman. He’s always been fiscally conservative, and given where he is in life, he is, justifiably, risk-averse. I have the utmost respect, and in the 20 years he has been in my life, I’ve always asked his advice on matters.

But these past few years haven’t exactly been predictable. They haven’t followed the status quo. I felt a little disruption was in order and I share this with him, which is why we may not see eye to eye right now.

I sat over a glass of wine explaining how it’s OK to live on the edge and not necessarily know what the outcome will be. I can’t worry too much about the risk I’m taking when the opportunity is great.

And then, I had a sudden flashback  to my three-year-old nephew’s visit earlier this year. We had asked him what he wanted to do that day: Would he rather go to the Museum of Science and Industry or to the Aquarium?

He chose: “The bus!”

And sitting there at that table, talking to my stepfather, I realized, in this particular situation, I think I’ll take advice from my nephew, thank you very much. He is not terribly concerned about where he’s going, but he does know he’d like to take a bus to get there.

I’m not just talking about our personal lives, I’m talking about choices we make for our businesses, our employers, and our clients. We get so caught up in measuring outcomes, showing ROI, and minimizing risk but it has to be OK from time to time to throw it all up in the air, take a leap on something, and enjoy the feeling of freefall. (Hey, I said from time to time. I’m still a big fan of strategic planning and measurable outcomes.)

I’m no spring chicken but given the past few years and the detours this economy has thrown in the road trips of our lives, (or train wrecks depending on who you’re talking to), doing something that is unexpected seemed in order.

Minimize the risk, but don’t avoid it.

Get the support of the people that matter most.
Assess the worse case scenario and don’t focus on it, but be prepared for the worst.
Take the leap!
I don’t always want to worry about where I’m going to land. I know if I keep my head on my shoulders, I’ll land on my feet. Even if the desired outcome doesn’t, for any reason, materialize, it will open other doors along the way.

Right?

Enjoy the Ride originally appeared on Spin Sucks on November 2, 2011.

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/spinsucks/feed/~3/JARSF7ZT9XE/

How to Create Gift Baskets with Local Flavor

November 8th, 2010

If you are looking for the perfect Christmas present for a friend of the family or a relative visiting from out of town, consider creating a gift basket for them filled with local items. No matter where in the country you live, there are things about your local area that make it special. Filling a basket full of items your loved ones can only get when they visit you is a great way to remind them of how much you care. Not to mention if the basket contains something they love, it will encourage them to come back when the holidays roll around next year.

Gift baskets with a local flair can contain regional food and beverage favorites, sports memorabilia and team paraphernalia, bath and body products made with local ingredients, items from locally owned companies and items your recipient would normally only purchase if they were on vacation or visiting for a special occasion. This gives you plenty of options for filling the basket, so in order to not go overboard, you may want to narrow down your basket’s theme even more. Consider only filling it with local food favorites or items kids might like, instead of overflowing the basket with too much stuff.

Where you live plays a major role in how you will assemble your basket. Those living on the East Coast have plenty of options for creating an excellent holiday basket. Most of the areas along the coast are close to great seafood, and while fresh fish may not keep in a basket, you can certainly freeze a few items like crabcakes, conch fritters or New England clam chowder and include it in the basket. Seasonings like Old Bay for seafood are a great option to include with the frozen food items. You can also look for options like Key Lime Pie, Dutch apple dumplings, cheesecake, sweet potato pie and peach cobbler.

Midwesterners have their food favorites too, and a basket that features Midwest favorites might include Danish kringle, summer sausage or bratwurst, cheese curds, fresh cherries and deep dish pizza pie. Beer lovers would love a selection of microbrews from the Midwest in their gift basket or you can choose a bottle of wine from one of the numerous wineries throughout the area. If your loved one moved away from the Midwest and will be spending the majority of the winter in their new location, the hearty comfort foods of their hometown may be just the thing to cheer them up after the holidays.

While you are not going to want to mix food items with most other items, you could incorporate a few non-edible items in your basket. Consider team apparel featuring the logo of a local baseball or football team. Even if your recipient is not a huge fan of the team, it is still nice to wear the colors of a location you have visited. There may be an iconic business in your area that sells logo wear too, so think about what your gift recipient enjoys and determine if something is right for them. This is also a great way to include kids in the present and you can purchase a stuffed animal or other toy representing your local culture.

A final option for creating a holiday gift basket for a visiting loved one, especially if they are dieting or are picky eaters, is to use non-edible items to fill the basket. Many areas have products that are made regionally that may be hard to get elsewhere. Sometimes this is because the ingredients are only available locally. If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you can fill a basket with huckleberry lotions and bath soaps, a real treat for those who would normally not have access to this ingredient. Take some time to shop at local boutiques or visit a store mean to celebrate your region for the best Christmas basket ideas with a local flair.

Holiday Gift Ideas for Loved Ones Who Live Far Away

November 2nd, 2009

Once again, the Christmas season is right around the corner. As usual, it has arrived sooner than you thought it would. Instead of burying your head in the sand until the last minute, start planning now how you will deal with your gift giving obligations. Even though it may feel like just yesterday you were planning your Fourth of July barbecue, the hustle and bustle of the holiday season will be here before you know it.

Many families find their holidays especially stressful because their loved ones live far away. Perhaps you have children in school who are too busy to make it home for the season. Perhaps family members have moved away and started their own families, making it difficult for them to lug the kids and spouse thousands of miles. While you may not be able to spend time with them on the big day, you can still include them in your celebration. A great way to do this is by sending them a thoughtful, creative gift. I found a good article with tips to avoid the stress of holiday gift giving.

There are still a number of options for long distance presents. A variety of items that are local to you may be a special treat for those living far away. These may be comforts of home, or they may be a taste of things they have never experienced before. Foods with local flavor like spices, candies, and meats make great presents and allow people all over the country to enjoy unfamiliar tastes. Hockey Gift Baskets are often popular with sports fans.

The holiday season is an opportunity to spend time with family and loved ones. If someone special cannot make the trip to your home for the holiday season, let them know you care with a thoughtful holiday gift. Just because they are not close does not mean you cannot share the spirit of the season with them. They will be surprised and comfort by your thoughtfulness, even if they are far away. Receiving a Christmas Gift Basket is sure to make anyone smile.

Unique Golf Gift Ideas for Father’s Day

June 12th, 2009

Summer is in full swing (but not here yet officially), the weather is warm and lots of Dad’s are out enjoying the links. Sometimes, it is all fun and play in the summertime. Lets not forget the important meal time preparation aferwards! Dad will definitely enjoy BBQ after a long round of golf. Grilling steak and burgers is what it’s all about. The 19th Hole golf gift for Father’s Day is a great example of a gift that Dad would truly enjoy this Father’s Day. Another option is the King of the Grill Father’s Day BBQ gift. Regardless of his interests and passions, remember Dad this week for his special day! 

Golf-themed Father’s Day Gift Ideas

June 5th, 2009

Golf season is upon us and boy does it feel great. Golf is sport that is relaxing but at the same time you get some exercise. Every time the girls are getting together for something guess where you can find the boys, you got it on the golf course. We offer a few golf items that are unique and fun for a golf Father’s Day gift. Send your favorite guy off to an afternoon of golf with a cup of Golfer’s Java from Chicago Coffee Roastery. When he returns serve him our Hole-in-one pasta from The Pasta Shoppe. Everyone will get a kick out of that, especially if he did get a hole-in-one. The Pasta Shoppe also offers some golf designer cookies that will be a fun little treat after dinner. Get out there and enjoy the day.

Unique Father’s Day Gift Ideas

May 31st, 2009

It’s that time of year, to celebrate Father’s Day with great gift ideas that he is sure to be pleased with – delicious chocolates, snack items too that he can enjoy while watching Hockey playoffs. It’s important to be selective in choosing your present because unique Fathers Day gifts can create memorizes that last a lifetime!

Ideas for Father’s Day Gifts

May 26th, 2009

There are lots of options for buying a special Father’s Day gift. While many people have the option of taking their father out for dinner or personalizing bringing him a gift they picked up in person, some people cannot be near their father. They have to send a gift. Father’s Day gifts are varied and many. Lots of online websites provide this service and the selection can be overwhelming. Remember to personalize the gift to his likes and dislikes.

Unique Mothers’ Day Gift Basket Choices

April 28th, 2009

Growing up in a small town as a child is a great memory for me. We had one general store in our town and I gathered up every cent I had and headed out to find perfect gift baskets for Mother’s Day. I was so pleased that I had found what I thought was the perfect gift and protected it the whole way home. I had spent 75 cents that day but it felt like a hundred dollars to me. I was on top of the world and knew that my mother would be pleased with my choice. I don’t really remember her initial reaction to my gift but I do remember over the years that I had to dust that little trinket every Saturday and it sat on the shelf until the day my mother died. I now own this little treasure and would not sell it for a million dollars but instead treasure it as a memory of my mother. I know that it wasn’t the cost of the item that mattered but the thought that I had chosen it and purchased it for her. When choosing a gift for your mother remember the cost doesn’t matter as much as the thought that you remembered and thought enough to show you care. Selecting from a great variety of Mothers’ Day gift baskets makes your task a lot easier!

Administrative Professionals Day

April 24th, 2009

Show your staff you care by sending a gift basket! Sometimes life is so busy that you feel you don’t have time to shop for another gift.  Keep it easy and simple by ordering a gift basket for your Administrative Professional right from your office.  When I worked in an office before my children were born the days sometimes were long and it felt like my hard work went unnoticed.  One year to celebrate Administrative Professional’s Day my boss decided to show us how much he appreciated us by treating us all to lunch and then when we returned to work there was a nice little gift basket of chocolates, cookies, teas and coffee’s to bring home to enjoy later.  It was very nice to know that I was appreciated and it seemed to boost everyone’s morale.