Unique, fun, AND sustainable? Sign me up!

I have recently fell in love with a really great website that I would like to share with the world! It’s called UncommonGoods, and they are totally committed to a lot of issues that are important to me (sustainability, corporate responsibility, and just being an ethical company, in general). That’s great and all but really keeps bringing me back is that they have really cool, unique products!

UncommonGoods prides itself on treating every living thing with which they have contact with dignity and respect—from providing a living wage to not offering products that contain leather, fur, or feathers. They’re also big on sustainability, offer a wide array of recycled and organic products, and source their catalog paper from only sustainable forests. I think that supporting companies with beliefs and ethics such as these is incredibly important—then, if these companies succeed, maybe the rest of the world will take notice and move towards a more sustainable, compassionate lifestyle.

Their curated collections are a great resource if you’re looking for specific types of gifts, but don’t know exactly what to get. For example, their picks for groomsmen gifts are incredibly well thought-out and diverse. Check out that collection here. There are some real gems in there, like this beard maintenance kit (gotta have those groomsmen looking spiffy on your big day!)

…and this necktie travel box (another way to ensure spiffiness)!

On the flip side, if you’re looking for a little something something for yourself and your significant other—or even for a couple you know—their Personalized Wedding collection has a ton of cute, unique ways to commemorate togetherness. You can explore those here. Some of my favorite pieces are this cute tree trunk vase…

 and this unique thumbprint guestbook!

I admittedly have spent a lot of time browsing this site—what can I say, I love fun, responsibly-sourced home goods and gift items! I hope you enjoy one of the newest websites in my “shopping” bookmark folder. 

Turkey Day Sale at Erin Gallagher

One of my favorite shops for jewelry is Erin Galllagher.  The store has a wide variety of necklaces, bracelets, and rings including a design your own bar, which is totally fabulous for bridesmaids.  They are having their annual Turkey Day Sale with 40% off everything including custom orders.  

Tukey Day Sale
November 23rd to 25th
Erin Gallagher
1013 W. Webster Street
online using code THANKS12

Since post earrings are having a moment, I am in love with these beauties!

Best mani + pedi in Chicago…forreal forreal!

If I have a bride that wants to take her maids out to get their nails done, I always recommend ZaZaZoo.  Ever since my first manicure a little over a year and a half ago (thanks Lindsay), I have been hooked.  The Bucktown shop is so pretty that it makes the experience a nice treat than the nail shop around the corner.  And of course, I wouldn’t come back unless they do good work and leave my nails chip-free.  

Imagine my delight when I woke up to find out about the Gilt Groupe Chicago deal! They are offering a spa manicure and pedicure for $30!  I checked with Gilt and as long as there is space available, they will accept the deal for a group of girls.  ZaZaZoo takes reservations in advance so hopefully, you can take advantage of this offer.  Seriously girls, I haven’t had a better manicure/pedicure in the city.  They really do a fantastic job.

If you haven’t joined Gilt Groupe, you are, ahem, behind the times.  Join.  Immediately.  Click here for an invitation.

What should I buy for a Bridesmaids Gift?

With only two months to go, there are decisions that I have put off for too long! I have told my self that I must purchase bridesmaids gifts by next week, but of course can’t make a decision. I don’t want to give meaningless items that they will never use again, yet I don’t want to brake my bank. I have a few ideas that are from Etsy. I have never bought from the site so that leads to more hesitation. Since I got engaged in the winter and love scarves, I have already bought silver pashminas that I will give the girls to keep warm with, so I am looking to complete my gift.

Option 1: Victoria Secret robes. I think that these would be a fun gift for all the girls to wear while we are getting ready in the hotel. The other benefit is that they can wear them again and again!

Option 2: Jewelry from JewelledPeachDesign on Etsy. The earrings would be a great accent to their black dress. If I went with the earrings, I think I may try to find another small gift.

Option 3: Clutch from LeelaPurse on Etsy. I love these clutches! The shop offers multiple different fabrics, bows, and rhinestone broaches so I could make each bag fit the girl’s individual style. They could use it on our wedding day but also again on a night out!

Which one should I get?

Jewelry Discounts

Until June 22nd Erin Gallagher Jewelry is offering a 25% discount on custom jewelry. You can order the pieces online or at the West Loop studio at 1017 W. Lake Street. To order online, use the coupon code “bridalbling” to receive your 25% discount. To make an appointment, call 312.492.7548.
Although I never order online (not here, I just don’t shop online), I love Erin’s website. You can peruse the perfect jewelry by neckline, stone, or color. What more could you ask for? Instead of being overwhelming, the website is really fun and inspiring. I’m not even into jewelry and I just spent an hour designing some pieces for fun.
Here are my top three picks:

Something Blue. Olivia bracelet.

My Bestie would love the Gwen necklace with a blue topaz.

Long earrings usually overwhelm my petite frame but the thin Meg would be perfect for me.

Baby, it’s cold outside!

Many brides opt to get their bridemaids a pashima to wear to their early Spring or late Fall wedding.  Peach Couture has rayon pashimas starting at $10.  

Of course, if live in the city, it is always possible to get a good deal of a street vendor especially if you are buying in bulk.

I really enjoy getting pashimas from Benetton.  Think of the Italian version of The Gap, the store offers better quality at reasonable priced.  Unfortunately, their color selection is limited.

If I could have any pashima though, I’d opt for this pretty one from Tiffany.  Oversized and 100% cashmere, it would be a fabulous gift.

Ask the Bee: Bridal Party Gifts

I was wondering if you have suggestions for bridesmaids gifts. I was just in a fabulous wedding as a bridesmaid – and got a monogramed tote bag, 2 fancy bubble baths, fuzzy socks, and nice flannel PJs from VS. My wedding is coming up soon and now I’m nervous that I don’t have enough of a gift for my 6 bridesmaids. We do have a bridesmaids’ luncheon planned (the above bride didn’t have one), are planning on treating them to hairdos with a stylist, and I purchased monogramed robes for them…any other ideas? I figured the robe will be especially nice while they’re getting their hair done 🙂

First off, don’t worry about keeping up.  Every bride has a different budget. There is no need to blow the budget.  If you do want to give something else, why not give the girls a gift that isn’t wedding related?  
I prefer personalized gifts that reflect each girl’s personality.  And by personalized, I do not mean the exact same gift for each gift with her monogram!  If you are close enough to ask a friend or family member to stand beside you at the alter, you probably know their tastes as well.  Why not give a gift to reflect her personality.  Or, another source of inspiration would be to give a gift to reflect your relationship.  
Since I don’t know your bridesmaids, I have some ideas based on my three very unique maids. Here they are:

business card case, for the bridesmaid that is practical.  We went to business school together so the business card case reflects our shared interest of networking!

xo necklace from etsy, for the bridesmaid that appreciates the homemade.  My sister-in-law loves unique and and petite jewelry. I think she’d adore this piece.

Heart Vase, for the bridesmaid that appreciates modern design but is a romantic at heart.  I think my best friend/ Maid of Honor would have loved this for her home.

If you have a wedding related question, Ask the Bee.