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Archive for December, 2014

Regifting: Taboo or Socially Acceptable

Posted on: December 26th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Now that the holidays are over, you’ve likely acquired more never-to-be-used stuff. The question now is what to do with it all. Packing it into your already full closets which contains more unused, unworn gifts from holidays past seems like a waste.  Instead of keeping items you’ll never use, consider regifting that unwanted item to someone that will love it.

Don’t Become a Hoarder

It was once considered quite the taboo to regift. After all, the spirit of gift giving is to show your love and appreciation to the receiver. And what does that say if you discard the gift. However, according to the Spending & Saving Tracker survey by American Express, 76 percent of people now say regifting is acceptable.   Unless you want to end up on an episode of “Hoarders”, you’ll need to dispose of these unwanted gifts in some way. Why not give it to someone else that will really love it. Your only reason for keeping a gift should not be because of an assumed obligation to the gift giver.

Who can I give this to?

If the first thought that comes into your head after receiving a gift is – Who can I give this to? – you are probably a chronic regifter. Perhaps you are the person who has everything or maybe you are just really picky. Whatever the reason, regifting is a great way to pass along wonderful, sometimes even expensive gifts that might be perfect for someone else. Just be sure to keep track of who gave you what. There is nothing more embarrassing than regifting a gift to the person who gave it to you.

Host a regifting party

Instead of avoiding the taboo of regifting for fear of offending family and friends, host a regifting party in the new year.  The only requirement is that each attendee bring an unwanted gift to exchange for one they will actually use.  After all, regifting is the origin of the white elephant gift exchange. So at the very least you’ll all get a good laugh when someone opens your gift from Aunt Martha containing three ceramic kitten bowls.

Ceramic kitty measuring cups found on Amazon.com

Ceramic kitty measuring cups found on Amazon.com

Whether you choose to regift, remember it is the thought that counts. No matter how much the gift may seem like it couldn’t possibly be intended for you, it was. Smile, say thank you, and place the ceramic kitty bowls in your cupboard.

 

Gift Guide for the Men in your Life

Posted on: December 22nd, 2014 by Leah No Comments

Figuring out what to buy the men in your life is no easy task. Especially if your dad, husband and brothers are the type that seem to already have everything. To me, men always seem a bit more difficult to buy for. Then too, it may be because the perfect handbag wouldn’t exactly knock their socks off.  This year, instead of buying him another fishing lure or cooler, consider one of these man-worthy gifts.

It’s the season to sparkle

Most women swoon over little blue boxes wrapped in tiny white bows. They call their girlfriends to gab over what could possibly be inside the obvious jewelry box. Small boxes can be equally as exciting for men. Plus, they’ll never guess that the gift is even for them. Blue Marlin Jewelry in Islamorada offers beautiful jewelry for men including men’s watches and cuff links. So if you have a guy who likes to get dressed up, consider buying him something to sparkle in.

Stop into to Blue Marlin Jewelry’s new location at 81549 Old Highway in Islamorada, open Monday through Saturday 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Capture Memories

A GoPro is the perfect gift for the adventurous men in your life. These small, lightweight cameras are wearable and mountable to shoot action photos and videos for a lifetime of memories. If you have a sportsman or outdoorsman in your family, the GoPro is a great gift to help them film their next big catch or back country adventure. Starting at $299, GoPros are available at Divers Direct located at 535 Greene Street in Key West. Open Monday – Thursday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For the Adventurous

Help your guy try something he’s always wanted to do by buying him lessons to try wakeboarding or kiteboarding. Keys Cable and the oTHErside Adventure Park is the Southernmost cable wake park in the United States offering rentals, coaching and passes to try these fun pastimes. This experience is also one the whole family can enjoy.   Open 7 days a week from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Located on Grassy Key, call (305) 414-8245 for rates or appointments.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Green Egg

The best gift I have ever given my husband was a Green Egg for his 40th birthday. He was dying to buy a Green Egg and after our old grill rusted out, I splurged for this funny looking ceramic grill, roaster, smoker, and baker extraordinaire. The reason it has been the best gift, is that it truly is the gift that keeps on giving. Beyond the normal steaks and burgers, he’s made smoked ham injected with pure maple syrup, brisket, leg of lamb, smoked turkey, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, fire roasted pizza, smoked BBQ ribs and the list goes on. The aroma coming from our house has the neighbors mouths watering and has turned my husband into the cook in the family. I now just get to watch with a glass of wine in hand. Although I’m starting to get concerned that he may run off and join the BBQ competition circuit, these chef-like meals has made us into quite the foodies and cooking together has been fun.

Forest Tek Lumber located at 88521 Overseas Highway in Tavernier carries Green Egg’s starting at $799. They’ll deliver and if you’d like more than just the base the Egg sits in, they also make custom tables for all your grilling needs.

And don’t forget the gifts that don’t cost a thing. Plan to watch the sunset together while enjoying his favorite bottle of wine. Give him a kind compliment or note to let him know how much you love him. Or provide a helping hand to do a chore he normally does alone.

No matter the gift, large or small, it’s the thought that counts.   Happy Holidays.

The Perils of Holiday Shopping

Posted on: December 20th, 2014 by Leah No Comments

I have a confession to make. I hate shopping over the holidays. The long lines, abundance of shoppers, and packed parking lots instantly turns me into the Grinch. Lucky for you, we live in the Florida Keys, far far away from those crazy shopping malls packed with overzealous holiday bargain hunters.

Our shopping options consist of beautiful boutiques where you’ll find friendly locals eager to help with everything on your shopping list. For a pleasant shopping experience this holiday season, take a look at a few shopping tips to help you get into the shopping mood.

Wear comfortable clothing

Whether you’ll be shopping in the Florida Keys or traveling to the mainland, comfortable clothing is a must. I recommend dressing in layers as stores are usually air conditioned and can get cool. Also, make sure your footwear is appropriate for the hours you plan to spend perusing racks of ugly Christmas sweaters, candy canes, ornaments, and stocking stuffers. You may also want to pack a hair tie to pull your hair back in case you have to fight someone for the last $5 bejeweled tree topper.

Create a List and Budget

Make a list of all the gifts you need to purchase for the holidays. By having an idea of what you need and writing it down, you can save both time and money. When you don’t have a list, it’s much easier to over buy and over spend.

Look for the Bargain but Don’t Buy Just to Buy

Bargains are great but you should never purchase something just because it’s a deal. If the item is for you, make sure you will absolutely use it and are not just buying to buy.

Just because it’s the holidays doesn’t mean you have to buy cold weather festive items. After all, we do live in the Florida Keys were its warm year round. Instead of sweaters and boots, consider a more fun approach and buy some new swimwear this holiday season. The owners of the Waters Edge Gift Cottage opened the new Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in October. Located at mile marker 99 at 99228 Overseas Highway in Key Largo, this new boutique offers cover ups, beach fashion accessories, beautiful swim wear and unique gifts. Plus, your cold weather based friends and family will love receiving something beachy along with an invitation to come visit. It will help them get through their cold winter knowing they have something cute to wear or enjoy on a future trip to the Florida Keys. Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique is open Tuesday – Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in Key Largo

Immerse: A Swimwear Boutique in Key Largo

In the Iconic 80’s flick Troop Beverly Hills, Phyllis Nefler says, “I may be a beginner at some things but I’ve got a black belt in shopping.” By following these tips, you too can earn your shopping black belt. Remember, no hair pulling…after all it is the season to be jolly.