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…
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!).
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.
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.
Hello, Friends! As many of you know, Amazon hosts “Prime Day” which is a big day for scoring BIG deals! Although I love shopping local and do so as often as possible, I also truly love and appreciate what Amazon can do for me when I need a hard-to-find product or when I need it fast! Sometimes I wonder how I ever made it without Amazon Prime- it is especially nice for those last minute creative ideas that hit me a few days before a party or a shoot! Today, I am gathering my favorites that I have shopped from Amazon and I am sharing them with you! I am an Amazon Associate which means I may receive a small percentage of the price when you buy (at no extra cost to you). Good news is meant to be shared!
Roomba Robot Vacuum – this vacuum has been literally life-changing for us at our house. I am not being dramatic- it has been one of the best things I have ever owned and has dramatically cut-down on the chore of sweeping and Swiffering. My mom-in-law loves electronic gadgets and she also noticed that we were always sweeping with the addition of our new pup- and so she surprised us with a Roomba! My kids programmed it to run twice a day and it picks up the dog hair for us now! It easily learns the map of your home or space and basically just gets to work for you. When it needs to empty the bin, the Roomba heads to its home base at the charging station and self-empties. We have all been so happy to pass off the sweeping and vacuuming chore to our Roomba- I really can’t say enough about how helpful this has been with our Golden Retriever type shedding! It has been such a game-changer that I am considering adding a second one to the upstairs portion of our house because the price break on Prime Day is considerable! I also think they would make a great Christmas gift if you are the type that likes to shop ahead for Christmas! Prime Day is the perfect time to splurge on a Roomba because of the savings you will find on Prime Day.
Another amazing game-changer for convenience and efficiency! I have been wanting an Insta Pot for awhile now, and my mom-in-law gifted us one this summer! What I love most is that she bought herself one, too! That’s how awesome it turned out to be! She said that when she cooked chicken in it and wanted to pull off the drumstick to test it, she ended up just holding the bone because it was so tender! Lol! What surprises me the most with an Insta Pot is the variety of recipes that you can make in it and the short amount of time that it takes to cook! You can literally cook meats and full meals and then also use an Insta Pot to make yogurt and to bake cakes. Such a range of uses- and with Prime Day, it makes it a perfect time to purchase an Insta Pot. I am so excited to have it for when school starts back and meal planning times are a little more hectic. What a great invention. Let me know if you try it! I would love to swap ideas and recipes with you!!
I have been waiting and waiting for a good-looking coffee pot to be made and finally, Smeg delivers! The variety of colors is so pretty and unique- you can find red, pastel blue, pastel green, cream, chrome, black, and even pink in some of the Smeg appliances! The original coffee maker needed some tweaks and so I waited some more to see if they would correct some of the little details (like the amount of time the coffee stayed warm) and they have!! I am so happy to find the colors that Smeg offers, too. The coffee maker looks so pretty on the counter, and I don’t feel like I need to put it away everyday like I do with every other coffee maker I have ever had. I also like that it doesn’t completely break the bank to get the appealing aesthetic that it offers. My husband likes the ease of using the coffee maker because he likes to avoid complicated gadgets whenever possible- this coffee maker suits both the attractive factor and the function factor- and so we can agree! I also love their espresso maker and their toaster! Cheers to pretty appliances and thank you, Smeg, for filling that void in the market!
Apple AirPods have been the most convenient use for traveling and staying connected. If you follow my IG Stories, you might remember that I was given a ticket for picking up my phone while I was driving. It was really just a matter of needing to move my phone at the time the police woman saw me touch it, but that is a different story. What I want you to know is that because I had Apple AirPods and the receipt that proved I had them prior to the ticket, I was able to have the ticket converted to a warning. It saved me money and insurance points by having these handy little things. I think they make an excellent gift for those trying to do their best with hands-free driving. I feel like my parents would like them so that they don’t have to rely on speakers in their cars when chatting with us. And, of course, with having a new driver in the house…I am definitely eyeing them for a gift for my daughter’s 16th birthday. Anything to help keep the focus on keeping her eyes on the road! Apple AirPods are easy to use and easy to charge. And, you can share them if needed! I think Prime Day is a good day to choose to buy them! There is a slight discount in the link that I have linked for you!
5. Adaptil Calming Dog Spray for Travel- As many of you know, we have been traveling with our pups this summer. I worked with a trainer before we left to help our anxious boy Blue. Blue has a lot of anxiety and we have wanted to help him overcome it and enjoy the trip. The trainer suggested many products to help him, and I want to share some of those tips with you guys. They have truly helped us! One of these is Adaptil Calming Spray. I would have never believed in this if we hadn’t tried it ourselves. I was also afraid it would have a scent to it that would bother us in an enclosed car…but humans can’t even smell it! It is the scent of pheromones from a dog mother’s milk. The dog smells it and is instantly more relaxed. We spray it on his dog bed before he gets in the car. We also use it in any other circumstance that we feel like would be beneficial to him. I jokingly tell my kids to “prepare Blue’s cabin” before we go on a ride and they can easily take care of that prep for me. I have also been recommended to put on the collar for Blue, but I haven’t tried that yet. We do also spray the spray on Blue’s Thunder Shirt (see below for more on the Thunder Shirt).
The Thunder Shirt for dogs is another great product that has helped our dog, Blue, manage his fear and anxiety. He is very afraid of thunder and other loud noises such as trash trucks, motorcycles, horns, airplanes, etc. We have used it to travel in the car and the shirt has a similar effect of swaddling a baby. The shirt adjusts to fit snuggly around your pup and gives them that feeling of a cocoon of safety. It is amazing to watch Blue relax and become calm in situations that typically frighten him. We let him wear it during thunderstorms but also when we know he may be stressed. It has been a big help!
This next dog product is really helpful for us with both of our dogs. They love to stay busy and this mat is perfect for keeping them occupied. Simply spread peanut butter or greek yogurt on the mat and watch your pup work hard to get every lick of it out of the grooves. It is a great distraction for bath time. It sticks better on smooth surfaces if you want to attach it to the wall of a shower. I didn’t realize that licking is soothing for a dog (first time dog owner) and so I was really happy to know about these. It is something else I would have never thought to use without the help of the trainer- and so I wanted to pass it along to you, too!
Because Blue gets afraid often, he is a puller when we go for walks. Our dog trainer suggested the Freedom Harness to help us all. The harness definitely helps keep him safely in our hands and he can’t “back out of it” like he could with other harnesses. The way it attaches in the back and the front is what separates it from the others. It has been a big help for us and it comes with a great warranty. We ordered it as soon as Blue chewed through his last harness- we won’t go back to the regular harnesses now- this one is very helpful!!
These tablecloths are quite possibly my favorite ones to use! I love them in all of the colors that they make! Stripes are the most universal pattern yet always crisp and in style- I guess that is what makes them a true classic! You can search “Shellabration” to see how I used them for a recent party. The uses are endless- no “theme” needed…just a great buy to use over and over again! If you prefer other colors…here is a link to navy blue. I pretty much love all of the colors they come in! I don’t see these on sale for Prime Day, but I still wanted you to know about them if you need them for summer parties!!
Gingham napkins go so well with cabana stripes! I love the two patterns together and so I wanted to share this Prime Day deal with you! This is for green gingham, which is so great for spring, summer, fall, and at Christmas. I want to stock up now on the green gingham and have them monogrammed for Christmas. They also make great gifts at Christmas with a monogram!
Okay, friends! These are the things that are giving us the most help lately and that I am loving so much! I hope some of these products will be helpful to you, too! Please let me know what you try and what you love! Is there any topic or are there products you would like for me to research and share? I am happy to take requests!! I enjoy finding products that make life pretty and/or practical! Have a great week!
Hello, Friends! One of the things I love most is hearing from you! This edition of Lydia Loves starts with a useful and fun find sent to me from my friend Lee Ann who lives in Nashville, Tennessee. Feel free to share ideas with me when you find something that you think we would all enjoy knowing about- just like Lee Ann did! And, as always, let me know what you find on these lists that are new to you and that you have found useful for yourself or for others! It is fun to swap ideas and help us all live our best creative lives! 🙂
These placemats are perfect for indoor and outdoor entertaining! They dress up a table with beautiful patterns and colors, and they come in a large variety of themes! From sophisticated looks to whimsical children’s patterns, you will find one suited to your tablescape.
I really like that I can accent a particular look without investing in 12 placemats that I may only need a few times- and I can get the look I want without having to find a way to store them. You can use them and then recycle!
Both of these patterns would be great for summer. You can get colorful with the pattern shown above, or use a more conservative placemat like the one shown below and dress it up with tableware and patriotic decorations. I like the red, Swiss dot for many occasions- from Independence Day to Christmas to Valentine’s Day to family birthdays!
Ah, a shower cap makes me think of images of olden days and perfectly coiffed hair stiff with hairspray. But, it is time for me to think again. Have you seen these newly-designed shower caps that pretty much negate everything you ever thought a shower cap was? Meet SHHHOWERCAP! First of all, they have tons more style, but even better they have such better functionality!
In a nutshell, this new design keeps humidity from completely ruining your hairstyle. It dries right away because water is repelled rather than soaked into the cap. The elastic band is redesigned so that it keeps water out, and it doesn’t leave an indention around your head when you remove it. And so, to recap (lol), there is now a shower cap made modern with cool fabrics and function like no other! As a bonus, Shhhowercap will replace your cap if you have a problem- I love that!
Mae Wearable Art is a collection of jewelry handmade by Margaret Mewborn. I had the pleasure of meeting Margaret and having dinner with her at The Southern C Summit in February. I was immediately drawn to her happy disposition, enthusiasm for creating, and appreciation for life. Mae Wearable Art has a big variety of styles and collections to suit many tastes- and I was especially touched by her collection that was created in memory of her best friend. Here I am highlighting the blue cross earrings in medium, but be sure to see all of the colors and sizes… I love these for gift giving, and I also love the price range!
Margaret lets her spunk shine through in so many of her designs. Each one is extra-special because of its handmade nature. Supporting an art is one of my favorites because you truly receive a thoughtful, one-of-a-kind item that is created just for you. I am loving one of her newest designs. These earrings would be perfect for all summer …
Vivid, spirited, and fun is how Taylor Beach Design is best described- which also happens to be her tagline! I couldn’t agree more- and I couldn’t love her entire newly-designed online store more, either! You should definitely take a look at all of the fresh designs waiting on all of us to enjoy! I first discovered Taylor’s talent when she hand-painted Christmas ornaments for our Christmas trees. I love seeing what is new each time she expands her line, and now there is so much to see all at once. It was hard to choose what to share, but I decided on beach towels and totes…
Many of the beach towels can be personalized…and there are many beautiful and fun designs!
I love all of the beach bags/totes- they make us look pulled together and ready for the day when we pack our towels, sunscreens, and snacks. You can coordinate the tote and towel if you like- but I wanted to show you some of the variety that you will find!
One of my favorite food discoveries- Super color powders from Suncore are naturally beautiful fruit powders that are healthy, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO. My favorite way to use the fruit powders is with Greek yogurt and fruit- but there are so many creative ways to add a dose of pretty (and healthy) to your food! The fruit powder is also great to add to juice, smoothies, dips, and so much more. The natural colors will wow you! My very favorite is the Pitaya Powder, but I love ordering a set of 4 flavors at a time to try the different tastes…
I literally use pitaya powder each day with yogurt and fruit- and here is another way I have used the powders for my family…a fruit platter with a variety of fruit dip flavors. I will share a few more of my favorite ways to enjoy the fruit powders soon!
Having a tray handy for serving appetizers or snacks is always a nice touch- and this blue and white tray is an exceptional find from Parker Kennedy Living- The Cellar. It makes your presentation feel and look pulled together and polished- even if it only took a few minutes to assemble! I love it on a kitchen countertop or a bar cart. I also think it is a beautiful addition to a bathroom vanity to boost your design. The tray is a perfect accessory- and I love the combination of the stripes and the ginger jar patterns!
My mom began subscribing to Southern Lady magazine when the magazine first was published. I would tease her about it because my mom was (and still is) the epitome of a Southern Lady herself. It was as though they had created a magazine about her! When I would get the magazine out of the mailbox and bring it to her, I would use my best Southern drawl to let her know that her “Suthin Laydee” had arrived. Fast forward a few years and I was asking to “borrow” her Southern Lady magazines so much that mom decided it was time she sent my own to be delivered to my door. She gave me a subscription as a gift, I have loved it ever since!
Imagine how surprised and excited I was (and still am) when I opened the latest edition and found a photo that I had taken featured as part of a summer inspiration page. The photo is one that I took on Nantucket and it sums up this Southern girl’s summer fun in a quick click. I am grateful for the feature and so excited to be included in a fabulous publication like Southern Lady. The magazine is always an inspiration to me – I read it for the entertaining ideas, recipes, and business features that are always useful and gorgeous. Thank you, Southern Lady for the feature! I appreciate it so much!
And so, those are my loves for this week! I hope you have found something that you love, too. I would really enjoy hearing what you find helpful and useful- or if you have something you think I would love to know about, please share! We can help each other discover all of the fabulousness that is out there for us to enjoy! Have a great week!