courtney khail watercolor and ink botanical original art
Lydia Loves~ Gifts Ideas for Hostesses, Birthdays & Yourself

Having a great list of gift ideas is always helpful, and Lydia Loves is meant to be an ongoing list of ideas that are great for a variety of occasions. Some are small gifts and some are splurges, but most fall somewhere in between. I am always interested in what you find helpful, and so please let me know when you find something you love, too! Here are my 6 Picks for this week…

  1. Watercolor and Ink Original Art by Courtney Khail- Courtney is such a talented artist, and I love her incredible way with botanicals. You will often find Courtney mixing watercolor and ink- or sometimes she just creates with ink! I am a fan and would love to be a collector, too! There are so many gorgeous pieces of art to see- and the selection updates frequently.
courtney khail watercolor and ink botanical original art
original watercolor and ink painting courtney khail
courtney khail watercolor ink botanical original art

2. The ladies at Willow Park Boutique will help you have a “well-collected closet”, and I love their constantly changing selections of carefully-curated pieces. This Lavender Balloon Sleeve Top is tops in my book! What a great piece and price-point! I enjoy following along on Instagram to see what is new each day or week!

lavender balloon sleeve top from willow park boutique

3. Clearly Handbags Scrunchie in Blue Stripe– being able to pull my hair back and into a ponytail is always a good idea to me- and I especially love the scrunchie that doubles as a mini scarf or Twilly. Clearly Handbags offers these in a variety of patterns and colors and they always top off an outfit perfectly. What a great gift for a friend!

clearly handbags scrunchie stripe in blue

4. Macarons from Mac Lab in Atlanta (they ship!)- these macs are addictive! With so many flavors to choose from, you can find a selection to match your tastes. These make such a perfect gift or special treat for yourself. My daughter and I try to go any time we are remotely close to Mac Lab. I also love ordering for parties.

mac lab macarons variety

5. Sallie Holder’s Book- HITTING ROCK MIDDLE – if you follow me on Instagram, you probably saw the posts about Sallie and her new book. I listen to Sallie’s podcasts when I am driving, and I have taken classes taught by Sallie. She has such a way of developing a person and the realization of just what your capabilities are! A great read for women in business (men too, of course!).

sallie holder hitting rock middle photo with her best selling book

6. Stackable Colored Rings from Just a Little Surcee– my friend Sheila runs this adorable online shop and always has bright, colorful, happy accessories! These rings would be so pretty and fun to wear in stacks of 2 or 3. They make a perfect gift for a Galentine’s Day or girl’s birthday. I love the variety of colors and how uniquely you can wear them each time.

colored stacked rings

There you have my quick 6 picks! Click here for even more ideas from Lydia Loves. Have a great week, Friends!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle podcast pink
Sallie Holder~ Inspiring Women and Inspiring Growth

Sallie Holder is one of those inspiring women who energizes me daily through her podcasts and blogs. I appreciate positive attitudes with straight-forward suggestions, and Sallie combines both to help us grow! I want to share Sallie and the positive influence she has on me…with hopes that you will benefit from Sallie’s teachings, too!

sallie holder author hitting rock middle podcast pink

I met Sallie through The Southern C when we attended the Summit last year in Sea Island. Sallie is the business coach I never knew I needed until I spent time with her! I love listening to her podcast, “Hitting Rock Middle”– it is a great dose of advice, encouragement, and toughness all mixed in to one!

sallie holder hitting rock middle author quote divine trust

Sallie has also written a book that was recently released- also titled Hitting Rock Middle. It immediately became a best-seller because of Sallie’s winning combination of guidance and fortitude. Her advice and suggestions resonate with me, and I thought you may be encouraged and inspired by them too. I am sharing some of my favorite quotes and words to remember from Sallie…

sallie holder hitting rock middle author follow dream

The quote below is one that I have tried to express to others for years- I am so happy to see Sallie reminding the world that our uniqueness is what makes us be able to thrive together in businesses and life. I am often asked my thoughts on having my ideas copied by other creative businesses. I truly believe that we can all be given the same task and that we will reach different final products based on our creativity. That’s what creativity is, essentially! Our unique set of skills makes makes us produce outcomes unlike any other.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author unique skills favorite quote

I also praise Sallie’s ability to help others believe in themselves- she has a magical way of helping women find their self-worth and intention. I attended one of Sallie’s classes hosted by The Southern C, and I was astounded at the progress that was made in the room in such a short amount of time.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle believe in yourself

Sallie Holder believes in you and her goal is to help you believe in yourself, too. Through physical acts of understanding your paths and progress, she hones in on the direction you will find most appropriate for your goals and happiness.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author quote believe in self

The business world feels so much bigger now with the advancements in technology- Sallie encourages us to not be afraid of something that may be new or new-to-us.

sallie-holder-author-podcast-hitting-rock-middle-quote

The quote from Sallie below is such a great reminder. It isn’t either/or throughout life. We are capable of building a lifestyle that incorporates a variety of choices at the right time.

sallie holder author hitting rock middle business coach quotes

Impatience often gets the best of so many ideas, hopes, wishes, dreams… if we stop trying to force everything and take a minute to look at the pathway (in both directions), we are more likely to succeed. Respect for your dreams and the time and effort they take can be a game-changer.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author podcast quotes

Courage…Sallie builds courage in each of her clients, students, and peers. Just being around Sallie is enlightening!

sallie holder author hitting rock middle quote on courage

Bottom line, we have to show up and be ready to work…

sallie holder author hitting rock middle photo in pink

Focusing on what we can control rather than what we cannot is pivotal to achieving your goals. Sallie inspires us all to keep our attention where it should be and continue forward.

sallie-holder-hitting-rock-middle-quotes

The never-ending pull of wanting to always say yes can be summed up in Sallie’s quote below…

What are we missing when we say an obligatory yes rather than choosing what truly helps you bloom and grow?

sallie holder author hitting rock middle quote saying no

I really love this truth from Sallie…we do have threads that run through our entire lives. When we start paying attention to them, our purposes and intentions become clearer.

sallie holder hitting rock middle author career dreams
sallie holder author hitting rock middle book in hallway

After listening to Sallie’s Hitting Rock Middle Podcast, I couldn’t be more excited that she has put so much of her wisdom into a book for us all to read and reference. Sallie drives us all to be a better person who focuses on a grateful heart and recognizing our value. She and her book are a valuable part of my inspiration! I love being a part of Sallie’s circle of wisdom and hope you find her helpful for yourself, too!!

sallie holder hitting rock middle photo with her best selling book

You can find Sallie Holder and Hitting Rock Middle here.

sallie holder logo

Go, Sallie! I am so proud of you- and so thankful to know you!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

handmade jewlery by mae wearable art
Handmade Jewelry by Mae Wearable Art

Handmade jewelry is always so interesting to me. Knowing the person behind the hard work and each beautiful piece makes it even more meaningful! Margaret (Mae) Mewborn is one of those hard-working ladies that creates earrings and bracelets that have become my go-to pieces for everyday wear.

handmade jewlery by mae wearable art
Mae Wearable Art Earrings displayed on Ashley Longshore Painting

Mae Wearable Art is exactly as the name states- art that you can enjoy wearing each day. Handmade jewelry pieces that are carefully created to be stylish and unique. Perfect for a casual look or for a dressy look- just pick your pair and instantly amp up your wardrobe!

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art the lydia earrings
Mae Wearable Art “Lydia” earrings displayed on painting by Ashley Longshore

I met Margaret at The Southern C Summit and we instantly bonded over tacos. I was drawn to her charisma and enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to see what she created. Margaret kindly sent me a box full of gorgeous earrings- some for casual wear and others for a dressier look. I loved each one and started wearing them right away. Now, I literally reach for one of the pairs of earrings each day as I head out for the day. The earrings that Mae sent are highlighted in these photos that I took. I tried to photograph the jewelry as I wore it, but realized they would show up a little better in photos on a still painting! Below you can see why… 🙂

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia menzies the party wagon

What is so sweet and special is that Mae saw that I enjoyed wearing these earrings so much and she named this particular design after me. I must say that has never happened before! I am really honored to say that these are the “Lydia Earrings“.

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia menzies the party wagon

I love how pulled together they make an outfit feel while also being casual enough to wear everyday. The Lydia Earrings are ivory and champagne with a tiny bit of metallic. They feel like a combination of pearls and champagne.

handmade jewelry by mae wearable art lydia earring

The idea for creating Mae Wearable Art came to Mae when she wanted to have the look and feel of vintage costume jewelry without the pain of a clip-on earring. I think she nailed that as you look through all of her designs. Hollywood has taken notice, too! Mae Wearable Art has graced the actors of Dynasty with a bit of old-world glamour and on-trend style! You can find this exact pair of earrings here (and the price point is on point!).

handmade jewelry mae wearable art as seen on dynasty

One of my favorite collections of Mae Wearable Art is the Anna Collection. Anna is the name of Mae’s dear friend who passed away from kidney cancer. Mae was inspired to create this line in an array of colors to honor the memory of her friend. 100% of the proceeds from this line is donated to cancer research. Mae not only has an artistic talent, but she also has a giving heart. I am fortunate to have a pair of these earrings in green, and I love the symbol of the cross and the lives represented. With three different shapes and sizes, there is a wide range from which to choose- and they make the best gifts for friends and family.

handmade jewelry mae wearable art anna collection
handmade jewelry mae wearable art anna collection on ashley longshore
Mae Wearable Art “Anna” earrings displayed on art by Ashley Longshore
handmade jewelry by mae wearable art ashley longshore painting
Mae Wearable Handmade Jewelry Earrings displayed on artwork by Ashley Longshore

I think each pair is stunning, and Mae’s selection suits a wide variety of tastes and styles. I love the price point, the creativity, the beauty, and the generous and giving spirit behind each piece. I hope you will check out Mae Wearable Art and let me know what you think! I hope you love the jewelry as much as I do!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

P.S. And, if the earrings weren’t enough, Mae has expanded into creating bangles and bracelets, too! Be sure to see her latest endeavor!

david burtka life is a party cookbook
Lydia Loves-Gift Ideas for Birthdays, Hostesses, Pets & You
  1. Life is a Party by David Burtka – I am a sucker for a beautiful book that doubles as a party guide! With so many ideas, you are bound to find some that will add a sparkle to your soirees. A fun and usable gift idea!
david burtka life is a party cookbook

2. LifeJacket by Cara Brown Designs- Talk about a one-of-a-kind, very special piece of clothing… this LifeJacket by Cara Brown is sentimental and and classic! Cara works with you closely to choose a design that reflects your life and the milestones along the way. What an amazing gift for yourself or to mark a special occasion! You may also remember Cara from these necklaces that I adore!

cara-brown-life-jacket-tweed-with-patches

3. Stationery by Loralee Lewis– Loralee designs elegant stationery along with her fabulous party suites. You will see Loralee’s designs throughout my site. Loralee has an eye for beauty and a fabulous sense of humor to go along with it! Here is only one example- you can find many more of her designs at the link above. You can see a similar design in this Easter Supper Club.

loralee lewis paper stationery with monogram and quatrafoil design in blue

4. Tweezers with a Light I don’t know what took me so long to get these tweezers with a light. I will do you a favor and encourage you to grab a pair, too! Ha! They really do make a difference for me because I struggle in the vision department. I hope they help you, too!

lighted-tweezers

5. The Tiny Tassel Earrings (and more)– The adorable Mimi at The Tiny Tassel makes accessorizing more fun with her selection of jewelry adorned with handmade tassels. There are many different styles of earrings and you can choose the color tassels that you would like! Here, I am sharing the scalloped tortoise shell earrings- but be sure to check out all of the varieties!

the tiny tassel tortoise shell scalloped earrings

6. Doggie Tail Dog Toy by Hyper Pet – Lots of you asked about the dog toy that I shared on my Instagram Stories. This toy has been a huge hit with our 2 dogs. I recommend going ahead and buying some extra batteries! 🙂 Tuck literally can’t get enough of it. I take it away if they start to chew on it- but mostly they run around chasing and tossing it. It has been a fun one!

doggie tail dog toy hyper pet

Please let me know what your favorites are! I love sharing ideas for gifts and always welcome feedback. I am a member of the Amazon Affiliate Program, and so I share the items that I purchase from Amazon with you. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Would you like more ideas? Go here for so many other Lydia Loves!

Thank you for being here!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

Hello Gorgeous Cup by Natalie Chang
Lydia Loves- My Favorite Ideas for Parties, Gifts, and Self-Love

Hello, Friends! Sharing ideas for ways to make life more enjoyable is one of my favorite things to do here at The Party Wagon. Some of the questions that I am asked most often pertain to where to find gifts, party items, home decor ideas, or special treats for yourself. Here is my latest list of my favorites- I hope you love them, too! As always, let me know if you try these items or if you know of something fabulous that you would like to share! Enjoy! And if you would like more, find all of the “Lydia Loves” Editions here

  1. whiskey in a teacup by reese witherspoon

    2. Old Whaling Company Body Butter – This body butter (made in Charleston, SC with roots in New England) is the perfect moisturizer- especially in the winter months! I love it year-round and I love that they sell travel sizes in addition to regular sizes. There are 10 different fragrances as well as a fragrance-free version!

    old whaling company body butter

    3. Coffee/Tea/Cocoa -to-Go Cups by Natalie Chang The handwriting on these cups gets me every time! Not to mention that I love the idea of gifting these to my friends and family. What a perfect pick-me-up for anyone in your life! Natalie hand-letters her designs- and these to-go cups also come in pink writing!

    4. Harney & Sons Tea– I was told about this tea from my friend who knew I loved tea- and my friend’s maiden name is Harney. 🙂 She told me I had to try it, and she was so right! I love the tea and I love the beautiful tin canisters! This tea is always on my birthday and/or Christmas wish list!

    harney and sons tea earl grey

    5. Art Prints sold at Parker Kennedy Living– these whimsical and beautiful prints sold at PKL The Cellar make me want to create a salon-style grouping! There is something dazzling and unique about each one. I linked you to the group of them that are available at PKL!

    janet-hill-at-parker-kennedy-living

    6. Luggage Tags Designed by Joanna Baker– Joanna designed my logo for me- based on my bar cart that I styled and photographed for her. If you are planning a winter getaway, spring break trip, or summer holiday, then check out her stylish designs for luggage tags. The tags will make your luggage easy to spot in the baggage carousel while helping the airlines keep up with it! There are so many cute designs!

    luggage tag by joanna baker nyc

    7. Disco Ball Ornaments– if you follow me on Instagram, you saw the disco ball ornaments that I shared. So many of you asked where I bought those- I actually bought them 20 years ago in a small shop in Pine Mountain, GA. But, I found similar ones for you on Amazon and I am sharing the affiliate link for you if you would like to use disco balls for party decorations. I have loved mine! In addition to New Year’s Eve, I have used the disco balls for dance-themed parties and for rockstar/popstar parties. They work for a variety of themes and occasions.

    easy disco ball decorations for new years eve chandelier decoration
lady in front of blue door with computer and boxes introducing her square online store
Welcome to My New Shop with Square
Several years ago (about 5 years, I think), my children’s school hosted its first-ever Holiday Market. I was asked if I would be interested in having a booth to make and sell something to help raise money for the school. I decided to go for it; even though I didn’t have a product to sell. I then went to work to figure out what I could make. After asking about the Market’s offerings, I realized there weren’t many options in the children’s toy category.

Lady in red shirt and blue jeans holding pan of brownies with square store logo and balloon letters spelling square

I’ve spent a lot of time with kids through the years. Before becoming a mom, I was a babysitter, nanny, second grade teacher, private tutor, and children’s event coordinator- I knew I wanted to offer something that would be fun, creative, educational, and hands-on.

Around that time, I had ordered hand-painted, wooden peg dolls to use as decoration on a table at my daughter’s Lilly Pulitzer birthday party. I didn’t realize the girls (11 and 12 years old at the time) would actually want the dolls to take home with them. I was happily surprised that 12-year-olds still found them interesting and adorable.

That party made me realize the appeal that these little wooden peg dolls had to a range of ages. The peg dolls also reminded me of something my mom would have painted or played with as a child. I was drawn to their tiny size and their vintage feel (with fresh Lilly outfits on, though :)…

I decided to paint my own dolls, enlisting my artistic mom in this little painting adventure. She is retired and often enjoys taking painting classes and so this seemed like a perfect fit for her, too. I thought we would be a good team- I could place the orders for materials and work the booth, and she could do the painting.

When the materials first came in (wooden peg dolls and paint), I couldn’t resist trying to paint one myself. My first one was a funny failure but I kept trying to get it- so that I could contribute to the “making” part of it, too. While I was showing my mom how we could do this, I became hooked on painting these little cuties. The more I painted, the more ideas I had of what I wanted to try to paint. It unleashed a side of me I didn’t know about yet. I learned to start simple and to learn along the way, and suddenly I had painted 100 peg dolls to sell for the Holiday Market.

Those little peg dolls raised a good chunk of change for our school, and I was gifted with a new hobby. The reactions of everyone who saw them also made me realize what a draw they were and that I should consider selling them year-round. The biggest hurdle that was stopping me was being able to organize the actual “selling” part of it- keeping track of orders, costs, profits, shipping, etc. I waited and waited- only selling at the school fund raiser, a few craft markets, and handmade shops- until Square came along.

hand painted dalmatian peg dolls

Originally, I was introduced to Square by asking merchants what they were using when they ran my card through that “little white square”. I was amazed at the simplicity of being able to take credit cards with a mobile phone or tablet. I was intrigued by how it worked and signed up for a Square account so that I could start learning about it.

Then, I began noticing that the system had become a lot more than just a little white reader, – I asked a shop owner about it once, and he showed me all of the things he could do with Square in his brick and mortar shop. I realized then that Square offered a host of operating options and systems. Everywhere I went, it seemed like small businesses were using and loving Square.

Fast forward a couple more years to where we are now, and I am ready to grow and open my own online shop- with the help of Square! The exciting part is that I am also expanding my shop offerings and adding a new line of items for children! If you follow me on Instagram, you saw that my kids and I made sensory boxes in lots of different themes.

We shipped them all over and asked for feedback. You all on Instagram helped tremendously this summer by answering questions and helping us realize what works best with this new product. I am so excited to unveil to you our new additions and our new shop! Here are 2 photos for a quick peek into what’s coming…

dinosaur sensory bin large by the party wagon
medium dinosaur sensory bin by the party wagon

Building my shop with Square has been easy and quick- I have had the best care with the Square platform. I have been so thrilled with their courtesy and patience. The directions have been thorough and the responses to my questions have been timely and helpful. What I have really loved is how encouraging Square has been as they see the shop coming together. We have hopped on calls when needed and emailed as needed to bring the store to life together.

It has been a wish come true to work with Square, and I am extremely grateful that they offered to create a shop for me. Knowing that I have a system in place and the tools I need to stay organized in every aspect of running the business makes me feel at ease about this step into owning my own shop. Square has given me the confidence to go for it with the support to back me up as I run this small, one-person business.

square spelled in gold letter balloons with lady working on computer in front of it

And, so…here we go! Welcome to my new Square Online Store! I hope you love what we have created!

lady in front of blue door with computer and boxes introducing her square online store

Thank you to Square for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.