Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Great Gifts To Give

This is the first of what will be a series of Gifts to Give. I wanted to do it, as the holiday season approaches. We all look frantically each season for something nice to give, something that will be adored from yeasr to come. I am also in the process of making my list in it's entirety for quick glaces. I did one last year and had fun doing it. If you need to refer back to an idea, go to my sidebar, at the bottom and click in the archives in gift ideas, where you can bring up previous gift idea post.

I am currently on a lucky streak! I recently won two giveaways. One was from a blogger friend, whose blog I just adore, Whistlestop Cafe Cooking. It's the blog of Sandi & her husband Bill where they blog about the Whistlestop Cafe. It's about good home cooking, recipes and tips; food, family, and fun. If the Whistlestop Cafe sounds familiar, it should....It was once owned by Fannie Flagg (a personal friend of Sandi) and was loosely based on the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.
As a southerner, it's a blog I can relate to. And as a southern girl who enjoys cooking, I was ecstatic to find that I won a copy of Sandi's cookbook, Whistlestop Cafe Cookbook "Starting Fresh Fun and Easy Recipes", which she was kind enough to personalize to me. I will treasure this cookbook for-evah!

I also won a custom Whistle Stop Cafe apron. It retails for $19.95

The pocket reads, "Give me some Sugar!" How cute is that!?!

This cookbook has quickly become my favorite. I have quite a collection of cookbooks, and some have some good recipes, but there sprinkled in between those pages are recipes I would probably never make. This is Not the case in the Whistle Stop Cafe Cookbook, where I can and will make and use every single recipe in the book. The recipes are easy to read, they use ingredients found in any pantry, and sprinkled between the pages are some great words of wisdom. It's a great "go to" book when you need inpiration or ideas for the table. I will not be putting this one on the shelf. This one has quickly earned it's place displayed right on my counter top.
What? You want one too? Well, let me say don't just get one for yourself, pick up a few because this makes the perfect Christmas Gift for everyone. It is perfect for empty nesters, to picky families, to kids leaving for college. Which was the very reason for Sandie writing the cookbook. It is a "love letter" for her kids, if you will, by sharing these great family recipes with her own family.
Sandie sells the cookbooks along with many specialty food staples and seasonings through her web site A Pinch of This and a Pinch of That! You can email Sandi regarding cookbooks, and if you would like, request that she sign a book for you. Cookbooks sell for $15.95 each. Please, tell her that Leigh sent you!

Natalie at Marginally Bright participated in the bloggy giveaway by hosting an Etsy $50.00 shopping spree at her blog.

Natalie is a big fan of Esty. Who isn't, right? Well, guess what? I won! Natalie asked that I go to Etsy, shop around and email her back the items I wanted her to order. She would be willing to include the shipping charge, in addition to my purchases. What a generous giveaway. I wouldn't be lying to say I LOVED it. And I had a really hard time deciding. IN fact, I made myself a personal shopping list of the things I didn't make the budget that I still want to get. So.....into the savings my change will go.
These are the things that I loved and forwarded onto Natalie to purchase and have shipped to me:

I am huge on personalized/monogrammed items. This plaque caught my eye since the day that my fellow blogger, Shannon, at Bless Our Nest ordered her's from Etsy. Forgive me, I coveted. I cannot wait to receive mine. I will proudly display it on a plate holder in my family room. Of course mine will have the name and establishment date of my own family. It's quite an heirloom keepsake at $28.00

I have mentioned before my love of all things trees. I loved the stark contrast of the colors in this scrabble tile necklace with a sky blue tree against a black background. It's a perfect gift for anyone at $ 5.50

These are called the first date earrings. True, I am long past my first date with Big Daddy, but I will certainly grab these beauties to dress up an outfit. I love things that are different and I think these are so unique. They sell for $18.00

I cannot begin to tell you how fun that was! It isn't everyday, or week-or month or like ev-ah! for that matter that someone tells me to go shopping and get what I want. That was Fun with a big capital F. If you are interested in purchasing any of these items, you can click on the photos and it will take you directly to the Etsy store where they are available. Thanks Natalie, for such a great giveaway!

My new friend at Glitter and Bliss found this super cool website from My Green Notebook. You can download current pictures and it converts them to a vintage looking image that looks to be 100-150 years old. It was super easy. And just imagine what a cute gift this would be for someone. Just convert, print out the photo and put into either a store bought frame of one that you have made or custom embellished. You have a great gift that is personal and inexpensive!
Check out my examples.........

I actually have a program on my own computer that will do this, but for those that do not-this is a great way to do it and it's free! These pictures above were done through the web site.

While I am on the subject of great gifts and Glitter and Bliss, be sure to check out the Etsy website of Glitter and Bliss. There you will find some amazing gifts, for example her crystal necklaces for $12.00

My personal favorites are the ones that say "Moms Rock" and "Girls Just Want to Have Fun!". She is currently working on some cute expressions written in French. Tres'Chic!
Her vintage photo holiday necklaces are show stoppers too. These are also a bargain at $12.00. The backs are also decorated. There is great attention to detail in her pieces.

Check out her etsy store, Glitter and Bliss also has some precious custom frames and magnets there too.
If you are shopping for younger ones on your list, you will want to read my post on Marne Maykowskyj Nordean at Cat in an Apron She also has some great finds that moms will love. Her site had much to chose from for handmade items. And Marne is wonderful to work with, I know from first hand experience. She is a mom (of a brand newborn too!) that has created the web site as a place for people to shop handmade. Most items sold are from her region of the states in the North. It is an easy to navigate site and Marne is happy to answer any questions you might have.
Finally, I want to brag on my blogger friend, Valarie Lea from Tennessee Now From Alabama. She has a great Christmas Craft Idea over at her blog. If you want something personalized, it is way cute, something that will be cherished and doesn't require alot of skill. I know, because when I was a kindergarten teacher ions ago, I did this project as a Christmas Craft. It is precious. Although, Valarie's have much more artistic talent involved, it is something that anyone can do.
So, there you have it, the first installment of my Holiday Gift Ideas. Should you use any of these ideas, or shop at any of these places, visit any of these blogs, please tell them that you came by way of Leigh From Bloggeritaville. I would appreciate that!
Shop Mom and Pop.


Glitter and Bliss said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my blog and jewelry. Isn't the vintage photo website wonderful!!! I just had to share. Your pictures look great!! Thanks again my sweet friend..

Mari said...

I love the family name plaque! Can you tell me what Etsy shop it came from? I can't find one that looks like that or is that price. My e-mail is:
PS - I came here from the Whistle stop Cafe and have really enjoyed my visit!

Kirby3131 said...

I have been going through Etsy stores for the past week. As a matter of fact, I got one of my purchases in the mail today. I'll be heading over to your picks this evening - and I may just pick up a cookbook, too.

Thanks Leigh!

Tammy said...

Such cute things here. Ya' know this GRITS girl has nevah been to the Whistlestop. I am SO ashamed.

jennifer said...

Oh this is a GREAT give away! I love it ALL!

Have a great evening.

Leigh said...

Hey Leslie-I am all to happy to do it. And I LOVE that website. To cool! Glad you blogged about it.

Hi Mari!Thanks for dropping by Bloggeritaville! I always welcome new friends. I LOVE Sandi's blog!
The link to the etsy site with the family name plaque is
On the right of the large picture are smaller thumbnails that you can click on to enlarge those. In those pictures you will see the different font names (which is the family name). I had a hard time choosing between the Jacob and the Patterson. I wanted black no matter what. There are also some gorgeous photo frames on that site, but I was limited as to what I could spend. I am going to have to go back and order one of the frames. I feel like the name plaque is something I will display forever, and can one day be passed down. The family name plaque was $28.00.I hope you can find it by the link. Let me know if you did or not. Good Luck!

Kirby- You WILL LOVE the cookbook. It is awesome. I am so pleased with mine. I honestly will use every recipe in it. It is very well done. I so love etsy. I just wsih I had some $$$ to spend....

Tammy- For shame, girl! Call me when your in town (email me...) and I'll meet cha there for lunch!

Jen- I am so stoked about it!!! Ok, get some rest Jen and come back tomorrow. Oh! I sent cha a Bama thing that you're gonna love!

TROLL said...

That Make your photos vintage website is a Brilliant idea!

You should do a MM using it. I know I will if the website is easy to use.

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Hey, Leigh, thank you for coming by to see me! I'm here...just been so busy, trying to finish that room and get back to my gym schedule after being at the beach last week. Going out of town so much really has me behind in visiting all my friends. I just haven't been caught up in weeks!

We definitely need to just set aside a day and meet for lunch & a little shopping! How about it?

Melanie said...

cool stuff! Love the plaque! I started me new blog finally

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I am so glad you liked the cookbook and the apron. We really had fun with them!
I am housebound for a couple of days, Etsyville here I come!

jennifer said...

Ha! You are right about getting rest. I re read your post and understand a bit better. LOL I thought you were giving all of that away.

I blame Benadryl.


You were right... I LOVED the Bama thing. I forwarded the stew out of that email.

Mari said...

Hi again Leigh,
Thanks for the info. Can you believe that plaque sold out a few days ago? I'll try again later, or there are others that are similar. Either way - you gave me a great Christmas idea! Thanks!

ThursdayNext said...

Sigh...does it count if you give it all to yourself? I want it all!

Leigh said...

Troll- Good idea! I love the site too. To cool.

Rhoda- I can understand and relate. I would love to get together!

Melanie-Woot! I knew you;d be back. I am headed over soon.

Jen-its ok. I understand. Get well!

MAri- I think it said that because I used that link to purchase the one I got. It was my mistake. If you look on the right of the page there is a button you can click on that says "sellers other items" click on it and you will see you can then click the name board. To save time, I copied this link where you can order yours :
I hope this works. She makes them to order so I don't think that it is something she will sell out of. If you have trouble, let me know.
Good Luck!

Thursday Next - (Busted. I sooo am!)

"J" said...

I love love love what you picked out!!!! Congrats on your win!!!!! Way to go!!!!!

The photo thing is soooooooooooo cool!!!!!! =) Thanks for the link!!! I might have to try it out!!!