12/06/16

Great “Little” Christmas Gifts for under $25

I am of the firm belief that the best things do come in the smallest of packages. I love small, thoughtful gifts that you can stuff in a stocking, attach to the outside of a larger wrapped package, give as a hostess gift at the office party or holiday open house you plan on attending, or tie up in a small bag to give to anyone in your life that you need a last-minute, they-will-love-it gift.

Here are some of my favorite gift ideas this holiday season… and they are all less than $25!

Who doesn’t love a good bar soap for gifting? Especially one as darling & delicious-smelling as this one!

Snowfall Gifting Soap

Snowfall Gifting Soap for just $9.

Cutest luggage tag ever from Kate Spade for just $11! Perfect for that constant-traveler in your life.

Image result for petula luggage tag

Floral Coaster Set, a set of 8 Coasters with 4 different Floral Designs, on sale for $9.80. Regularly priced at $14.

Floral 8 Coasters Featuring 4 Designs

Roommate Katie gave these to me as a hostess gift for her Engagement shower and every time I use them, and I use them a lot, I think of her and our friendship. Isn’t that such a sweet reminder for your recipient to think of you?

I love little beauty collections. You know small lip colors, lip stains, eye shadows, or even nail polishes? It’s actually how I have discovered some of my favorite beauty products over the years.

Here are a few of my favorite picks this year from Sephora:

Sephora Mini Cream Lip Stains, $12

The Romantic Eye Shadow Palette, $12

Living Proof, Spread Cheer & Perfect Hair Tool Kit for $25

I love Living Proof dry shampoo! Great products there and a great value.

For the home cook you love, Santa Salt from Beautiful Briny Sea (on sale on Etsy for $8)

Santa Salt

A holiday themed seasoning that is a tasty combination of sea salt with pink peppercorns and dried rosemary. Perfect for poultry, vegetables, potatoes, or even salad dressings.

Williams Sonoma Classic Hot Cocoa for $19.95

Because, after all, what is the holiday season without a few mugs of classic hot cocoa gathered around the family tree? And, Mom has been buying this Hot Cocoa “Mix” for some years now, and the thing is, it’s not even a mix. It’s semi-sweet and bitter-sweet chocolate shavings that you melt in steaming milk of your choice. Froth it up for an extra decadent treat.

Pommed Chevron Socks for all the Christmastime lounging. $20 online at Anthro.

Pommed Chevron Socks

You can never have too many pairs of socks…

Gorgeous 2017 Wall Calendar from Rifle Paper Co. now on sale for $18.20!

2017 Paradise Gardens Features 12 Original Illustrations

The Paradise Gardens is my favorite, but they are all great.

For the tea enthusiast in your life, Harney & Son’s Fine Tea Tins, in Holiday for $10.98

Holiday Tea Blend, 20 Sachets in a tin by Harney & Sons

Plus, look how beautiful those tins are! I save mine & I am brainstorming what I want to do with them now.

Herb Garden Illustrated Recipe Cards from Rifle Paper Co., a pack of 12 for just $8.40. On sale now! Regularly priced at $12.

Herb Garden Package of 12 Illustrated Recipe Cards

Aren’t those just beautiful? I love getting recipe cards from people. So personal & thoughtful.

For the precious “little ones” in your life, this melamine plate set is just darling! The Animal Friend Divided Plate from Anthropologie is just $12! Utensils are sold separately and they are $5.

Animal Friend Melamine Divided Plate

I love anything with wooded creatures on it!

And, some of my favorite books as a child were Amelia Bedelia, the wise-cracking nanny that nothing every went quite right for, but she always had such fun! I loved her!

Amelia Bedelia I Can Read! Boxed Set, including 5 different stories, for just $11.59 now on Amazon. Let’s pass on the love of reading to the next generation.

Darling little Monogrammed Trinket Dishes are always a classic, little gift. I have one on my bathroom counter for bobby pins, earrings, rings, or anything else small I want to protect while in the bathroom.

Marble Monogram Trinket Dish

I love that these are personalized! And just $22!

Inductive Bible study is something that has absolutely changed my life, and I cannot think of a list of things I love, or great gifts to give, that did not include a study book.

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Precept Ministries has so many inductive study books and tools including, but not limited to, this powerful study on Romans for just $9.99. There is a study for virtually any book of the Bible that you want to study.

And finally, a Wool Dog Ball for our favorite furry friends, $8

Wool Dog Ball

You can’t neglect the one that is loyal & loves you the whole year through!

So, I hope this little list of tiny, sweet, & thoughtful gifts gets your wheels turning of some gifts that might be appropriate for those in your life. What you give isn’t as important as the thoughtfulness behind the gift.

The spirit of giving is just contagious this time of year!

… it truly is better to give than receive…

xoxo…

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12/01/16

Curb-sitters

My Monday night small group has been doing an in-depth study into the Gospel of Mark and walking through both the book chapter by chapter as well as a devotional written by Lisa D. Harper, The Gospel of Mark: the Jesus We’re Aching For. 

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And is has been a study that has made my mind twirl in some much-needed arenas of my heart, mind, and spirit.

The first half of the book of Mark, as Lisa so eloquently puts it, is all about the compassion of the Christ. Jesus, as part of His brief ministry here on this earth, takes man’s form and lives among man so that He can serve mankind. He came not to be served, but to serve.

In doing so, He feeds the 5,000, heals the blind, makes the lame walk, soothes the sores of the lepers, and touches the minds and souls of many. They are all perfectly drawn to this man- this unknowing, all-loving, all-merciful, Savior.

And the second portion of Mark is consumed by the passion of the Christ; His sacrificial death on Calvary as the ransom for many.

There is a particular story in Mark chapter 10 that got my attention afresh and anew. It’s the story of Bartimaeus, a bling beggar that would sit at the gates of Jericho and plead for alms along with the other beggars in this ancient city.These men and women were cast-outs, dregs of society, forgotten, and completely alone. Hundreds would pass by in  a day without even a notice of who sits at their very feet calling out for mercy, and help.

46 Then they came to Jericho. As Jesus and his disciples, together with a large crowd, were leaving the city, a blind man, Bartimaeus (which means “son of Timaeus”), was sitting by the roadside begging. 47 When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”

48 “Many rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”

49 Jesus stopped and said, “Call him.”

So they called to the blind man, “Cheer up! On your feet! He’s calling you.” 50 Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus.

51 “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him.

The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.”

52 “Go,” said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.” Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus along the road.”  – Mark 10: 46-52 

So, for additional context outside of these few verses, Jesus’s earthly ministry is winding down and this stop is one of his final pit-stops on His road to Jerusalem; on the road to the cross, to His betrayal. Instead of being internally and self-focused, Jesus was always, always others-focused and even as the crowds are moving in, He hears the cries of a lowly beggar and he stops and asks His disciples to “call to him & bring him to Me.”

The unnoticed and the cast-outs are always welcomed in the arms of Jesus.

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This man identifies Jesus as the Christ, mentioning Isaiah’s prophecy and that Jesus was the fulfillment of all the prophecy foretold; calling out “Son of David!”  He believes Jesus to be the Messiah and his faith is found pleasing in His sight and it heals him.  And I love the last Scripture that states he immediately received his sight and what does he do? … follows Jesus along the road. He plucks himself up from the streets of Jericho and, without a second thought, joins Jesus in the mission.

The stark contrast of Bartimaues’ condition pre and post his encounter with Jesus hit me between the eyes and caused my heart to swell.

From curb-sitter to Jesus’ disciple and joining him in the cause along the way.

Which begged the question… Are you sitting on the curb? 

Am I sitting on the curb? 

In so many aspects of my life, I feel like I am off the curb, fully engaged, chasing dreams, in pursuit and participating in causes that are important to me. But, in my spiritual life, I am often sitting or hovering over the curb; somewhere in between full-engagement and watchfulness. That old saying that it’s easier to talk the talk than walk the walk is not a saying for nothing. It is absolutely, 100% true.

Curb sitting is constant. Predictable. Safe. Secure.

Joining in the mission is uncertain. Unpredictable. Adventurous. Unforeseeable. Unsecure. But, it’s also in His Will, part of His plan, soul-enriching, and fulfilling.

I want to have the faith, strength, and courage to hop up from the curb and join Him in the mission. In fact, I have begun to include in my prayers asking for the strength to get off the curb and stay off the curb. I want to be as far away from the curb as possible. Full present. Fully engaged. Fully a participant in His plans, in His will, and an active disciple for the kingdom. May my heart always overflow with thanksgiving, my spirit edify His name, and may I always be obedient to follow through on the proddings of my heart and the nudgings of the Holy Spirit within in.

I encourage you all to no longer be curb-sitters! Now is the time for us, all of us, to join in on the mission! He is always calling us to join him. Let’s have the courage and conviction to step up and step out into that unknown space.

xoxo…

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