Hi, Friends! I am always excited to share the things that I find and love- and especially this week as we head toward Valentine’s Day! I wanted to send out some ideas early so that you have time to plan ahead or drop hints ahead of time!
Nicola Bathie Jewelry– My sister introduced me to Nicola Bathie’s designs, and I literally can’t get enough. The daintiness of the petals, flowers, and pieces + the gorgeous layout of each design makes me want one of each. I’m drawn to her feminine aesthetic and think these would be an extra-special Valentine gift! There are so many different designs to see- this is just one of many…
2. Sarah T. Moore Designs Champagne Bottles– these are really special to celebrate an occasion or milestone! Sarah will hand-paint a champagne bottle and customize your gift. Because these are handmade, remember to allow time for them to be painted by ordering early. Also- check into shipping laws and alcohol to know what is possible- I pick up these locally from Sarah, so please check/inquire to know what is allowed in your state.
5. Caramel Milk Chocolate Marshmallows from SugarWood– Homemade marshmallows topped with homemade caramel and milk chocolate…what Valentine dreams are made of! Sugarwood offers these special treats each year at Valentine’s Day but they don’t last long! This is on my list for my caramel-loving son. What a treat!
6. Wrapping Paper and Gift Tags from Ruby Stripe– If you love a pretty presentation for your packages, Ruby Stripe has so many beautiful design options. The shop is a mother-daughter duo, and each design is hand-drawn. I have loved the paper that I have used from Ruby Stripe and think their latest collection is beautiful!
I have so many more ideas I would like to share with you- and so, I may be back again soon with a continuation of Valentine ideas. I hope you love these- and I would love to hear your favorites!!
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.
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!
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… 🙂
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“.
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.
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!).
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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!
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!
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!
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!
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
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
Take a look at this unique and FRESH idea for teacher gifts and hostess gifts this Easter!
CARROTS!!! These are no ordinary carrots, I tell you! These carrots are pickled and delicious and homegrown right here in Georgia. A delightful little gourmet company, called PHICKLES PICKLES has taken pickles to a whole new level! They make great gifts all year round, but I couldn’t resist getting a few jars fixed up for Easter!
And it has the Bunny’s “stamp of approval”!
There are so many other garden varieties from Phickles- Bunny Heaven!! The “Sweeties” on the left are new and are pickled sweet peppers. Phickles Pickles creator and owner, Angie Tillman, suggests topping your deviled eggs with these little pepper rings to dress them for Easter. Yum!
And there are more garden goodies…
Phickles Pickles is a small, family company that prides itself in its family recipe and the fact that everything is grown close to home and pickled with pride by its owners in their facility they call “The Pickle Parlor”.
The name “Phickles” comes from Angie’s husband’s name Phin. It was Phin that first introduced Angie to his homemade pickles and Angie who developed the concept of the company. Keep it fresh, homegrown, and (as Angie says) PHUN!
Angie definitely keeps it fun! She loves doing tastings and sharing her products with everyone.
One of my favorite ways Angie and Phin share their pickles is the PICKLE PORCH! They put pickles on the porch and you come pick them up and pay! Locals in the Athens, GA area are big fans of the Pickle Porch!
Phickles Pickles can also be found in boutique stores in Atlanta, Athens, and several stores around the country.
Visit Phickles Pickles on the web, Facebook, or Twitter.
And if you can’t bear to give away the pickles as gifts, use them for your own Easter lunch…
To find PHICKLES PICKLES near you or order directly from the company, check out their blog and website.