Friday, December 2, 2011

Quick Takes Friday - These are a few of my favorite things!


Gift giving is very important to me! It is my love language, so when I am picking a gift for someone it isn't to simply check a box. It is with sincere purpose that I select a gift. I want the recipient to know through the item that I purchase, whether it is big or small, how much I care about and appreciate them. It is most important to me that the gift be meaningful and when possible, practical.

When I find a gift that works, I love to share it with others who may benefit from my find. Whenever possible, I buy from small, family-owned businesses. I thought a quick takes might be the best way to wrap-up some of my favorite things that I've found recently. I tried to think of a mix of recipients, I hope you find one or more of these helpful...

[ 1 ]

While in Philly, I came across so many cool Catholic products! To start off, I am going to share one of Joseph's favorites. He loved the comic book graphic of this  St. Michael pillowcase. We all know St. Michael is a favorite among boys, and this pillowcase uses a more modern image than I've seen. I know that Miles & Ander would both love this pillowcase, which also has the St. Michael prayer on it.

[ 2 ]

We have a whole bunch of girly-girls in our family! Do you have any of those in yours? And what do these girls love to do when they get together? Have a tea party, of course! 

These adorable felt cookies and tea bags are a perfect addition to a little girl's tea set. Genevieve has the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Say Please Tea Set, and it is a hit with every child that plays with it. For Christmas, she will be getting some of these sweet felt cookies, including one with her initial. How cute is that?!

The mom behind these creations attends my parish, and she has an Etsy shop where you can find her tea accessories here. She has lots of other cute stuff too!

[ 3 ]

It is my hope that we add a new ornament to our tree each Christmas marked with the year. Even though I would love to do this, I am not always willing to spend the money on something so unnecessary. Plus, I would want it to be special but inexpensive. 

The good Lord has provided this treat every single year. Someone has always bought us an ornament. Not the same person, but it is so cool to see God work, not only the big things but also the little things that he knows we delight in. He cares in every way!

This year, I came across a fabulous deal on personalized ornaments, and they are super cute! So, I bought some as gifts and one for our family. They are from an Etsy artist, and you can find her Christmas ornaments here, but she also has other cute stuff made of travertine tile, like magnets and coasters.

If you happen to take advantage of anything in her shop, use this link to get a 30% off coupon code. Christmas tree ornaments are a great hostess gift if you are attending any parties during the holiday season.

[ 4 ]

Let me just say, men are the most difficult people on my list! It does not matter the occasion or the man, they are just plain hard to buy for. 

Imagine my joy when I found a gift that every single man that I purchased it for loved it! Oh yes, it was my go-to gift for about a year until every guy I knew that needed a gift had one. 

It just so happens that every man I buy a gift for is a dad, so this super-cool personalized keychain was a hit! Among the many recipients of this keychain: I bought one as a thank you for the OB that delivered Jude (and saved my life!); I bought one for the 40th birthday of one of Joseph's college friends; and one for Joseph for Father's Day last year, and they all loved it!

If you are interested in this, the ordering deadline for Christmas is TODAY!

[ 5 ]

Maybe the man you need a gift for isn't a dad? Another gift I found that was also super popular with the guys were these personalized collar stays:

You could personalize with a graduation date or Bible verse or whatever would be meaningful to the man in your life. For Joseph, I bought a set for Father's Day this year and had all of our children's names added. He wears them in his shirts for work and loves them for keeping his shirt collar straight.

This is another Etsy shop and they have stainless steel too, if bronze isn't your thing. They also have cool things like personalized golf markers and guitar picks. Find all their gifts for men here.

[ 6 ]

Now that Aniston is a teenager, finding gifts for her peers is much more difficult than it once was. I was so pleased when I bought an owl hat, and it ended up being the birthday girl's favorite gift! Not only that, all the other kids loved it too!

There are several on Etsy to choose from if you search for "adult owl hat". Here is one in blue. You can find the one in the amazing photo here, but note that her turnaround time is 5-6 weeks unless you make arrangements in advance.

If you have a teen boy to buy for, check out these super cool saint shirts from Saints In The Hood. This is another find from Philly, and the family behind this business is really special. I enjoyed my brief time getting to know them at the Trade Show. 

I saw this Guadalupe shirt worn by a very cool guy who was in the booth across from us. He's from California and works in the movie business. He had that whole cool California thing going on. He wore the shirt with a neat leather neckace, worn jeans, and boots. If this one isn't your style, they also have St. Francis of Assisi and St. Maximilian Kolbe. You can also check out their items for women and children!

[ 7 ]

This brings me to the last group I thought I would cover, which is womenmoms, sisters, co-workers, ladies from Bible study, teachers, you know 'em. 

For this group, I feel like a book is always a good gift. 

This year, I picked up Lisa Hendey's Handbook for Catholic Moms, which I have loved! For the first few weeks of the school year it was my book to read while in the pick-up line. It is a great book for busy moms. 

Another book that has been nice to pick up when I need it is Saints on Call by Christine Gibson. When browsing through this book for a particular situation, you feel like you are reading about someone who lives down the street, a neighbor. But the book is full of holy women who have been there, done that. There are nice scriptural references too, which is a plus! 

The last book that I will mention is a Christian fiction book that Joseph bought me for Christmas a few years ago after hearing my sisters talk about it after Thanksgiving dinner. It is a romance like no other based on the Biblical story of Hosea. The book is Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, and I couldn't put it down. It speaks to the very heart of a woman! I have loaned it out to many Christian women of different denominations, and all were moved by this story of surrender and healing.

But maybe you want something more personal? 

Lists are an important part of my life. I have lists for my lists. And I keep them stuffed in a notebook, a fabric-covered notebook because I like pretty things. It makes the most difficult of tasks seem easier when I feel properly equipped. And yes, a grocery list written in a pretty notebook makes my shopping experience different, more special. Maybe it is because I am not rushing through the store with my piece of scrap paper scribbled all over it (although that happens a lot!). When I have my notebook and well-prepared list, I walk through the store with all the confidence of the mom I was designed to be. 

You can find this one on Etsy here. Or you can search "fabric covered notebook" for a variety of styles and colors. What I like about this type, which is the one I have, is that it's refillable with those composition books that you can find for $1 or less.

My last item will be a Pay It Forward special from my shop featuring a rosary that has been very popular. The timing of this special  is perfect with the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Juan Diego coming up soon.

The Our Lady of Guadalupe rosary features my premium size beads made of dyed stone. All the metal is pewter, and it comes with a St. Juan Diego medal, plus 10 letters of personalization. All of my handmade rosaries arrive in a gift box with card, making it an easy, ready-to-go gift. For today only, you can purchase this rosary personalized or not for only $24. Find it here.

Well, there you have it. Some of my favorite things. Christmas is not all about gifts. It is all about Jesus. The fact remains it is a season where we set aside time to recognize those who are close to us and express our love through giving. Maybe you do service projects together or contribute to charity in the name of those you care about. That's cool, whatever works. We are all different (Praise God!) but if you are a gift-giving person, I hope you enjoyed this list.

Is there anything you would add if you were putting together your favorite things?

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


  1. Love these ideas! Etsy really does have some of the most fantastic things. Also, I'm like you I try to by small business stuff whenever I can, and if it's made in America, well then I'm almost obligated to buy it. (Or so I tell myself...)

    Thanks for all the great gift ideas. Your rosary is beautiful!

  2. I just recently read Redeeming Love and absolutely loved it too! I thought the message was very powerful. I know reading it changed me in many ways.

  3. Katie, I can tell we would really get along! I tell myself the same kinds of things.

    I am always spreading the word about that book, Meghan. It really makes you think about so many things in a new way, a little deeper. Thanks for sharing, I enjoy knowing when someone else shares that reaction.

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  5. Thank you so much for your kind words and including my tea sets! I can't wait to get you yours!


The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Proverbs 12:18

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