Posts Tagged ‘gift guide’

Uncommon Gifts

uncommon giftsToday I’m sharing one of my favorite gifts ever, which came from my uncle. It’s a make-your-own tea sampler that lets you mix and match different flavors of green tea and herbs to come up with flavors you love. It’s from the online shop Uncommon Goods, which is a great source for birthday gifts for people who are hard to shop for. And you can make a registry there too for wedding or baby shower gifts.

The products are made my craftsmen and small business owners. I like this because it means the goods are high quality and each purchase supports the artists. In addition to handmade products, there are also organic and recycled choices. I feel good supporting this company for all these reasons, plus the fact that it uses environmentally friendly practices in everything from the catalogs to its workplace.

I chose some gifts ideas from Uncommon Goods to highlight. There are so many great uncommon gifts that it is almost impossible to choose favorites!

1. Box of Flowers Soaps Made from pure ingredients and dried flowers, this is a fun twist on high quality soap.

2. Himalayan Salt Plank Perfect for someone who loves to grill, this beautiful block of salt seasons the food it’s served on while looking amazing.

3. Reclaimed Wine Barrel Serving Tray Upcycled oak wine barrel staves are transformed into this unique tray, giving it a unique and vintage look.

4. Trophy Head Wouldn’t this look great at the cabin? Celebrate nature without harming any animals!

5. State Cheese Slate Adorable and functional! Slate cheese boards can be written on with chalk to specify the which cheese is which.

6. Hand Embroidered Country Pillows This brings back memories from my own trip to Italy seven years ago. I bet it would be a great gift for anyone who has a favorite place to travel.

7. Envelope Wall Vase Add this to the list of things you didn’t know you needed until you found out that it existed.

8. Letters to My Future Self Did you make time capsules growing up? This is a time capsule to yourself! I picked this one because anything airmail always seems to make its way into my gift guides.

9. Banyan Leaf Table Lamp This one makes the list because of my childhood favorite book Tales Told Under the Banyan Tree. Also because of its recycled materials and organic dyes. Plus it just looks plain awesome.

10. Personalized Travel Map Just think of the satisfaction of placing a pushpin when you finally make it to that dream destination. Personalized gifts like this are always a nice gesture.

11. Upcycled Sari Duffel Bag I love upcycled goods so it’s no surprise to find this one on my list. This colorful bag is handmade by a Fair Trade Cooperative in India. It reminds me of that time I wore a sari.

12. Literary Scarf Made by Storiarts, an Oregon company I am newly obsessed with, these scarfs have excerpts from your favorite books! Watch for a post about my own Storiarts scarf soon.

Thanks to Uncommon Goods for sponsoring today’s post! They have so many fun and unusual gifts that I could never fit them into one post. Which one is your favorite?

Twin Cities Valentine’s Day Picks

Twin Cities Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Updated February 2017

Twin Cities Valentine’s Day date ideas

Need some ideas and inspiration for Valentines Day in the Twin Cities? Here is the Valentine’s Day round up of the gifts to give and places to go for Twin Cities Valentine’s Day date ideas in Minneapolis, St. Paul and the surrounding area. Whether you’re a local or visiting MN for a special trip, here is some of the best of what it has to offer.

What to Give

I’m a gifts person, so obviously I’m gonna start with this one. One of the fun things about the Twin Cities is the abundance of makers and small businesses.  These are some made in Minnesota gifts they will love:

Twin Cities Valentine's Day date ideas and gift guide

What to Send

Write your love notes on handcrafted cards from Raindrop Paperie.  Made in the Twin Cities, the modern take on handmade paper craft is something unique and heartfelt.

Twin Cities Valentine's Day date ideasWhere to Eat

For a more casual celebration that needs no reservation, drop in to your local cupcake shop. My Twin Cities favorites are Amy’s Cupcake Shoppe (I’ve been a fan since I attended the grand opening) and Nadia Cakes. Both offer gluten free options and aesthetically pleasing (ahem, instagrammable) spaces  to sit and chat.

What to do

In the city: Enjoy one of the many theatre shows in the Twin Cities. The Guthrie Theatre has weekday matinees, and a local arts blogger recommended The Royal Family which is playing there this week.

Outside the city: I’m going to let you in on the most amazing secret: Swan Park, an area on a lake in Monticello, attracts thousands of swans in the wintertime. Visitors ready for a romance overload can view and photograph the swans.

If you’re not local, you can still get the swan experience with your sweetie–grab a blanket and hunker down in front of the Swan Cam. To access the Swan Cam and information on Swan Park, head to Monticello Chamber of Commerce’s website.

Twin Cities Valentine's Day Ideas

For more ideas on how to personalize your Valentine’s Day, make a cake banner, personalize your own artsy envelopes and get inspired by vintage Valentine card messages from the past.

Twin Cities Valentine's Day Day Ideas for Minneapolis and St. Paul