I was originally going to stop this series after Christmas, but I have one more to share, one that I think makes an incredible gift any time of year, but it’s sentimental enough to think about for your love this Valentine’s Day. Not that any of the gifts in this series wouldn’t make your sweetie melt—like the things that made Scott and I emotional, a sentimental map, a homemade gift, a thoughtful addition to a collection, a piece of childhood, a treasure passed down, a family tradition, jewelry, or an heirloom.
Jessica Teves, managing editor at Refinery29 shared a family oil painting that had been passed on to her several years ago. You can read the story here.
It made me think of something my brother has in his home.
Posted by Wendy
I recently finished writing my favorite story. Ever. I asked some of the bloggers I follow to tell me about the best gift they ever received and wrote about them on CountryLiving.com. Today, starts the first installment of the best gifts gift guide.
It got me thinking about the best gift I’ve ever received. I asked Scott about his, and without hesitation, he said the money we received to buy Miles, our golden retriever puppy (thanks, Kent!).
Mine is a wee bit more sentimental. Several years ago, my mom converted all of our childhood home movies from VHS tapes to a collection of DVDs for me. I cannot tell you how special it is to have my dad’s voice, laughter, humor and jokes on something I can watch—and eventually share with my children.
Blogger Angie Gubler also named something sentimental as her favorite gift: A painting her husband commissioned that captures Angie’s favorite spot in the world, where she made fond memories as a child. You can read the full story here.
Want to give something similar? Finding a fantastic local artist to commission is actually a lot easier than you may think. Check Etsy first. Scott and I both love La Jolla Cove, where we were married. I did a quick Etsy search for La Jolla Cove art, then narrowed the search to paintings, and found these two.
You could also search local art festivals, like San Diego’s Art Walk, the Old Town Art Festival or La Jolla Festival of the Arts. Scope out the artists’ works, then ask them about creating something custom for a loved one—or you!
Posted by Wendy
I confess. I procrastinate. A LOT. I always say that I am most creative when it’s the 11th hour and I’m on a deadline. So it would only be natural that I write a story for This Old House about super fast fixes, quick upgrades and easy DIY home improvements that you can do on your home before company arrives. Haven’t yet hung pictures on the wall, even though you’ve lived in the place for months? Gave up on a set-in carpet stain (you don’t have to!)? Need to rid the guest bath of rust? All these answers—and 32 others—are in the November/December issue of This Old House and here too. And you can do most of them in a few hours. Don’t wait until Aunt Bethany comes knocking to get your home in entertaining-ready shape. Start on this list this weekend.
Here’s a peek at some of my favorites that are super cheap too:
1. Perk up your front or back landscaping with potted boxwoods. Could be my favorite plant of all time. Why? Because boxwoods grow like living sculptures in a pot, look just as good in January as they do in June and require almost NO maintenance (they’re drought tolerant). Oh, and they’re incredibly affordable. Home Depot and Lowe’s have them for about $7.
I planted four on our patio last December (part of Scott’s Christmas gift; full post on that coming in a few weeks).
2. Hang some photos—or not. I have a trick for hanging heavy items with two hooks on the back. It involves painter’s tape and a level and can be found here. But why hang when resting and layering looks incredible and requires no quick—and rash decisions—and zero commitment, like I did in this dining room. Or here in this office, resting photos on a bookshelf looks modern, fresh and relaxed.
(Photo courtesy of CasaSugar)
3. Light the walkway with lanterns instead of standard landscape lighting. I like the flexibility that lanterns give. We lit the aisle at our wedding with lanterns, and now I have those same lanterns scattered around our tiny patio to create a bit of ambiance when we’re using the space at night.
What do you have to fix, repair or upgrade before family arrives for the holidays?
Posted by Wendy