Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas: Date Passport

Valentine’s Day is dreadful to some people (most likely if you’re single…although I spent Valentine’s Day in Vegas with 3 girlfriends a few years ago and that was one of the best years to date!) but even when you’re in a relationship, it can be hard to think of gift ideas.  This year, I’m hoping to do a cooking class with my boyfriend, because we wanted to try something a little different and special!

Those who know me know that one of my FAVORITE things is to give gifts!  I look for any excuse to give gifts to people- birthdays, holidays, just because, you name it and I’m planning months in advance because it makes me so happy.  I also love MAKING gifts, because I think it’s so much more personal (and fun!)

Over the years I’ve made many gifts for my boyfriend (from photobooks to calendars to framed pictures with a map of the city we lived in) and this year I wanted to share a new and fun idea I did- and that’s easy enough for you to do, too!

I got some inspiration for a “Date Book” and “Restaurant Passport” from Pinterest, but of course I added my own touches.  You can do this for not just boyfriends, but friends and family members, too.  If you’re like me (especially being in a new city) you always think of new places you want to eat, visit or attend.  I used to keep a running list in my iPhone notepad, because I’d hear of all of these places and then when it came time to making a reservation, I forgot them all.  Also, my boyfriend and I are long-distance, so when we spend weekends together, we already like to know some of the things we want to do!

Here’s the Date Passport I made and how I did it:

I started with this Chevron Journal from Paper Source (it comes with 3 for $18.95) because it was simple enough (and not too girly!)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next, I bought Vintage stamps from Anthropologie.  These I bought a year ago to use for crafting, but I’m sure you can find some on Etsy or eBay as well.  They were on sale for $8.40 for the pack!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I used a gold paint pen marker and wrote out the inside cover page first (and added some ribbon for a little extra detailing), followed by the city then restaurant, bar, attraction, or name of the place.  I also added the address so it took one less step when looking up directions!

A peek inside!

A peek inside!

Restaurant Info and address, then I added a stamp once we've been!

Restaurant Info and address, then I added a stamp once we’ve been!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I added all of the items on our list, and then glued a cute envelope to the back inside page to hold the stamps in!

I started with NY but added other cities as well.

I started with NY but added other cities as well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I started with 10-15 places, but I’m sure we’ll continue adding along the way.  We’ve already “stamped” five of the places in just two trips!

 

 

 

 

 

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Gushing over Gold

After sparkles and sequins, my next favorite thing is Gold.  I find it takes any home piece to the next level and can make things classy and expensive looking.  My new best friend has become this gold spray paint.  It’s amazing and can literally take your home items from dull to dramatic.  Here are just a few things I have turned to Gold lately:

To Alligator, available online (or at your local Brother Jimmy's)

To Alligator, available online (or at your local Brother Jimmy’s)

Alligators after being Sprayed

Alligators after being Sprayed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bar Cart Before

Bar Cart Before

Barcart After!

Barcart After!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And of course the Bar Car stocked:

Veuve, Titos and POP are among the essentials...

Veuve, Titos and POP are among the essentials…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And a few things on my to-do list:

Gold Striped Plate, via Momtastic

Gold Striped Plate, via Momtastic

Glitter Votives, via 100layercake

Glitter Votives, via 100layercake

DIY Confetti Wall Art via MintLovesSocialClub

DIY Confetti Wall Art, via MintLovesSocialClub

Must Have Monday: The Clear Clutch

My newest obsession came about after hearing that the NFL has new regulations about what you can bring in to games this year.  You can find the new policy here.

I am going to a Cowboys preseason game this weekend, so I have been searching for the perfect clear envelope clutch to take with me.  Here are some of my favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or if you’re into DIY, you could make one yourself, too!  Here’s a link to follow if you’re daring enough!

DIY: Year in Review

Since January is almost over, I’ll finally post my DIY for the New Year..  This is my second year of making a “Year in Review” and I have to say it gets better each one I do.  I start by making lists of all of the big things that happened over that year.

Some of the Categories I’ve done are Trips Taken, Things I’ve Crossed Off of my Bucket List, Charities Donated to, and other Milestones (or Top 5 Memories of the Year).  It’s something fun I do and frame for my room and a way to reflect all of the many things I have to be grateful for.  Being that I love to play around on Adobe programs, I put all of the numbers and categories in Illustrator and made a PDF which I then printed out.

Throughout the year, I’ve started to take notice in all of the big (or little things) that happen, and it makes life even more enjoyable!  Here’s a look at my 2011 and 2012 “Year in Review.”

2011

2011

2012

2012

 

Friday Fiesta: Pop Fizz Clink

On Wednesday, I had a group of girlfriends over to have Cocktails, Champagne and to celebrate the Holidays before everyone starts their travels.  My sister was in town (thank God because she was such a big help) which made it extra fun.

I’m so lucky to have such wonderful girlfriends in my life- they truly are incredible.  Here’s a look at some of the party!  Happy Holidays!

Here's the Invite that I made and sent out (I have a hobby in making easy PDF files)

Here’s the Invite that I made and sent out (I have a hobby in making easy PDF files)

Mini Champagne Bottles with fun straws, Peppermint plate (so easy to do!), Candy Cane Roses, and Homemade Irish Cream (thanks to the help of my wonderful sister...and our family friend's secret recipe!)

Mini Champagne Bottles with fun straws, Peppermint plate (so easy to do!), Candy Cane Roses, and Homemade Irish Cream (thanks to the help of my wonderful sister…and our family friend’s secret recipe!)

All of the girls at my apartment, our cute table, Mini Strawberry Santas (NOT an easy task), Goat Cheese Santa, and my wonderful co-host (my sister!)

All of the girls at my apartment, our cute table, Mini Strawberry Santas (NOT an easy task), Goat Cheese Santa, and my wonderful co-host (my sister!)

 

 

 

DIY: Wedding Gifts

 Wedding Gifts

Since it’s summer and that means wedding season, I think everyone could use some tips or ideas of how to make it special.

I had three weddings in the span of two weekends and they were all in the Midwest so it made it even harder to think about planning the trips, gifts, and making their day special.  I found some fun and creative ways to be a part of their special day (and their special days before) even from far away.  I will share one thing each day this week so come back for the rest of the ideas.  Here is what I did:

Cards, cards, cards.

I am a huge believer in handwritten cards.  Whenever a friend gets engaged, I immediately send a card.  Of course the phone calls and texts are important but they hear it from so many people that it’s nice to get a card a week later.  I also find it to be the first (and easiest) time to tell your friends how happy you are and how much they mean to you.  The further in the planning, the busier they get so it’s important to say those words early on.

Bachelorette Party and Bridal Showers

It is really hard to get invited to these events and not be able to go.  If you’re in town, you’re lucky because it’s much easier but when you live far away it’s hard not to be able to make it to all of the celebrations.  What I like to do is to still be a part of the day in other ways.  If I can’t be at the bachelorette party, I usually set up with the planner (or maid of honor) to buy a round of drinks at one of the bars for everyone.  It’s easy to just send a check to someone and they’ll be more than happy to arrange it for you.  It’s not quite the same as being present but at least they’ll all think about you for a few minutes!

Pre-wedding Gift

Like I mentioned earlier, the bride and groom get really busy and stressed the closer it gets to the big day.  This year, I made “Wedding Emergency Kits” for the three brides.  I went to Target and bought all of the essentials I could think of and then bought these boxes at The Container Store and wrapped them up and sent them two weeks before the wedding.  I got so many grateful texts and calls after, and I heard how handy they were for the big day!

Wedding Day Essentials: Eye Drops, Gum, Mints, First Aid Kits, Ponytail Holders, Bobby Pins, Lint Roller, Notepad, Tums, Advil, Clear Nail Polish, Deodorant, Tissues, Hairspray, etc.

Box from the Container Store, tied up with a cake tag and bow. I wrote the bride’s new last name too!

Before and After…now ready to send!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Honeymoon

Lastly, I like to send another card while the bride and groom are away on their honeymoon.  That way, they’ll come home to another card (this time addressed with the bride’s new last name).  They were used to getting all of the cards and gifts on the day of so it’s nice to come home to a new piece of mail with their new name on it!