The sun is finally shining brightly again here today in the beautiful Smoky Mountains! I love sunshine - it warms my heart just like a smile! I think when the sun is shining, God must be smiling at us from heaven!!! There are few things on earth that make me feel as good as sunshine and smiles! How about you?
Well, I CAN think of one other little "belle and whistle" that warms my heart like sunshine and smiles: I know you've totally guessed what it is by now! I listed it in the title - SURPRISES! "Surprises" is just my trick word of alliteration for saying "gifts!" I love gifts! I especially love giving gifts! Nothing puts a smile on my face faster than when I find the perfect gift to give to someone that I love! In fact, I think it is hard to be a Christian and NOT love GIVING!!!
As some one who loves giving little surprises, I have discovered some inexpensive ways to be able to give gifts without bursting my budget. One of my favorite budget-saving tips for giving "boutique-like" gifts is to have your items personalized! Let me show you 3 examples of fabulously personalized gifts from my "belles ands whistles" repertoire:
- A simple way to create a "boutique-y" gift without breaking the bank is to buy something inexpensive and get it monogrammed! In the picture above, I purchased 2 onesies, 2 pairs of bear booties, and 2 matching bear blankets at The Dollar Tree - that's right, The Dollar Tree, for a total of $6 + tax. I took the items down to my local monogramming store, You Name It, in Sevierville, TN and had the twin boys' names monogrammed to the blankets and "Two Peas in a Pod" with a cute pic monogrammed to the onesies for a grand total of just under $20! I had some matching green ribbon at home, so I tied a stylish bow around the blankets and removed The Dollar Tree tags. For roughly $26, I was able to give each twin a personalized boutique gift for at least half the price of something similar online! That averages out to $13 per gift! The even better deal was that since I was hosting the twins' baby shower at my home, I was also able to use the gift as a decorative focal point! By letting the gift also serve as a decoration, I saved even more money by "killing two birds with one stone."
|Get It Monogrammed!|
|Meagan wearing her Personalized Valentine's Shirt from Elise Claire Designs!|
|Add a Personalized Custom Boutique Piece!|
- Another way to add "belles and whistles" to a gift package, is to add one personalized Custom Boutique Piece to the ensemble! In the pictures above, I purchased some ready-to-wear tutus and wings for a ridiculously low price at http://www.haloheaven.com/! If any of you have little girls at home, you understand me when I say, "Tutus and Wings are HOT right now!" I have priced tutus, pettiskirts, and wings for a whole lot more than the range of $1.50 - $9.00! If you are a parent to a little girl, please check this website out! I scored the entire tutu/wing/accessory set shown above for just around $10.00! Then, I went a step further; I added one personalized Custom Boutique Piece to each ensemble! I called upon my trusty friend, Julia, owner of Elise Claire Designs, found at www.etsy.com/shop/bowsandholders and hired her to create personalized shirts and bows for each ensemble! If you do not know anyone who can do this for you locally, I highly recommend her! Her work is BOUTIQUE quality and it is impeccable! For another $24.00 for the shirt and bow set, I was able to give a very expensive looking SET with all the "belles and whistles" for under $40 with shipping included! As you can see from the pictures, one gift was for my daughter for Valentine's Day! She loved it!!! In fact, after naptime, we changed her out the tutu/wing set into a simple and inexpensive pair of leggings (purchased for around $2.99 off-season at The Children's Place) and she had a whole seperate outfit! The other ensemble was used as both a gift and a decoration at another baby shower! The Mother-to-Be flipped for the gift! I still have a smile on my face for pulling off that surprise!