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!

Anniversary Gifts – Traditional vs Sentimental

I love traditions.  That said, neither my husband or I followed the traditional list of anniversary gifts.  If you have never seen the list, check it out.
  • First: Paper
  • Second: Cotton
  • Third: Leather
  • Fourth: Fruit or Flowers
  • Fifth: Wood
  • Sixth: Candy or Iron
  • Seventh: Wool or Copper
  • Eight Bronze or Pottery
  • Ninth: Pottery
  • Tenth: Tin
  • Eleventh: Steel
  • Twelfth: Silk or Linen
  • Thirteenth: Lace
  • Fourteenth: Ivory
  • Fifteenth: Crystal
  • Twentieth: China
  • Twenty-Fifth: Silver
  • Thirtieth: Pearls
  • Thirty-Fifth: Coral
  • Fortieth: Ruby
  • Forty-Fifth: Sapphire
  • Fiftieth: Gold
  • Fifty-Fifth: Emerald
  • Sixtieth: Diamond
Instead, we both gave from the heart. I look to the past, he looked to the future.

I gave Denton a pair of cuff links.  Why cuff links?  Before we were dating (and just co-workers), Denton bought me a techie gift. Basically, it was a cord to allow my Treo to connect to my laptop that syncs and charges, all at the same time.  Smitten, I felt the need to give him a gift as well.  I had a two pairs of identical DKNY cuff links that came with the identical shirts.  Although they are nothing special, he wore them on our wedding day.  The pair I gave him for our anniversary were purple and black, very modern and very Denton.

Denton gave me a tote bag.  Why a tote bag?  I have needed a new laptop bag for ages.  However, he was thinking to the future because he said “it will convert into a stylish diaper bag”.  Seriously, I don’t know if I have been so happy to receive such a gift!  Like any great gift, it wasn’t the present itself but the thought behind it.  We’ve been talking about having a baby next year and the idea of having something to prepare just thrills me!  

We had a blissfully happpy anniversary.  Sadly, I am a newlywed no more.

Wedding Presents We Adored

Besides getting a slew of gifts off our registry, we received mostly money.  It’s a Chicago thing.
We did get 3 presents that were neither cash or registry items.  They were all wonderful, heartfelt gifts. I already blogged about the fabulous earrings my best friend bought us (read me). 
I was adament about no brunch/ breakfast/ luncheon the day after the wedding.  I’ve seen brides with bags under their eyes trying to be a gracious host.  No thank you.  We let everyone know in advance that we preferred not to be bothered.  
Well, I made such a big deal about wanting to be alone that my Greek Mom gave us this FABULOUS gift of an in room couples massage for two.  Hotel Allegro offers in room spa services

It was amazing!!  
The morning after the wedding, we awoke to breakfast in bed.  Then, the two massage therapists arrived to set up in the living room of our suite.  Finally, I hopped into the jacuzzi until I turned into a prune.
The hotel let us have a late check-out so we finally emerged from our suite around 3PM.  Our first day of marriage was off to a fabulous start.

Tis the Season… to give a gift

As many of you are probably out making a few last minute holiday gifts, I thought you might enjoy this article from CNN, “Here Comes the Bride, There Goes Your Wallet”.  It talks about gifts such as cash VS registry gifts VS non-registry gifts.

What do you think?  Would you be happy with a blender?  Or do you prefer cash?

Our Second Wedding Gift

…is really just for me.

That’s ok, the first gift was really meant for my fiance. His friends, whom we affectionately refer to as J&J, bought us a wrought iron skillet. Denton is quite pleased with his gift. I was told under no circumstances may I touch said skillet.

My best friend slash Maid of Honor, Nichole, has been there for me, through thick and thin, for the past 18 years. I couldn’t imagine my life without Nichole. She and I have grown into two different personalities but she is the only one that I could image standing their by my side on my wedding day.

While one never expects a gift, I knew that in my heart of hearts that my best friend would give me a gift and that it wasn’t going to give me cash or something off the registery. It just isn’t her style nor would it reflect our relationship. With the expense of throwing me a shower and a bachelorette party, I didn’t think she would spoil me…at least not like this!

When we found my dress, we found small drop earrings that looked perfect on me. Not wanting to rush, I didn’t purchase them on the spot. I saw some earrings on White Aisle and showed them to her. Nichole told me NOT to get them. Why is that?

It is because my best friend bought me the most beautiful diamond earrings. She told me that they can be past down to my daughter or son’s wife. Here are some pictures of the absolutely fabulous earrings. I absolutely love them!

Diamonds are really hard to photograph!