Mother’s Day Gift Guide

By Leslie Dinaberg

Still struggling with what to buy your mom for Mother’s Day (or her birthday, or just to say “I love you” any time of the year, for that matter? Stress no more, here are a few things she’s sure to appreciate.

Once Upon a Book Club, courtesy photo.

Once Upon a Book Club, courtesy photo.

Put a new twist on her summer reading with a monthly subscription to Once Upon A Book Club! I loved this gift so much I bought it for both my mom and my mother-in-law (don’t tell …).  The way it works is you sign up for a monthly box to arrive at her front door.  You can do it once, or multiple times, it’s up to you.

Once Upon a Book Club, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Once Upon a Book Club, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

She’ll open the adorable book-shaped box and find the selected book, along with 3-5 perfectly wrapped gifts with page numbers.  They even have shredded book pages for stuffing. It’s so cute! Want to know what is in the gift? They are carefully curated to enhance the book.  For example, one of the characters in the story pulls out a magical stone from a leather bag at a heightened moment in the book. As mom reads this, she is signaled to open one of the gifts: a replica of the described stone (that’s actually a bar of soap) inside a useful/trendy leather purse!  You get the idea. It’s really fun!

Yummy Cupcakes in a Jar, courtesy photo.

Yummy Cupcakes in a Jar, courtesy photo.

Yummy Cupcakes are another favorite recent find. These are not your ordinary cupcakes (which she also probably loves), these are delicious gourmet cupcakes that come stacked four in a jar. The packaging is adorable (almost too pretty to eat), with flavors ranging from brown sugar cinnamon to French toast, nutty red velvet, Snickerdoodle and more. They even have a vegan version. I tried the Vegan Chocolate/Vanilla which was very tasty. And they deliver everywhere! 

 

Dear Heart Designs Jewelry, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Dear Heart Designs Jewelry, photo by Leslie Dinaberg.

Dear Heart Designs is a beautiful way to give your loved one with a necklace that will remind her how you feel about her every time she puts it on. The company is faith-inspired jewelry brand whose feminine yet minimalist pieces have garnered the attention of celebrity designer Joanna Gaines, among others. The You’re a Gem necklace (pictured) is one of my favorites, and they also have customized versions with the names of your children inscribed, or special messages with scripture verses just for mom.

The PediPocket Blanket, courtesy photo.

The PediPocket Blanket, courtesy photo.

For moms on the go, the PediPocket blanket is great for travel. These lightweight and easy to pack fleece blankets are nearly 6 feet long, so it covers her shoulders and her feet at the same time and a special 20” pocket keeps her feet extra warm and snuggly. With 10 different colors and patterns to choose from, these are actually great gifts for everyone in the family and are perfect for tailgate parties, beach barbecues, and outdoor concerts as well as on her next trip.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Originally published on May 11, 2018 in Santa Barbara Seasons.

Seasons Greetings: AwesomeBox = A Great Gift

Here are some examples of AwesomeBox designs, courtesy photo.

Here are some examples of AwesomeBox designs, courtesy photo.

It’s always tough to find affordable, creative gifts for loved ones—especially during the holiday season—but the AwesomeBox (www.awesomebox.com) is something unique and well, ahem, awesome. More than a simple photo album or personalized photo gift (both of which are also great for the holidays), AwesomeBox allows users to build a customized box of memories, stories and photos packaged into a one-of-a-kind printed gift.

It’s also a great group gift to collaborate with family or friends, because you can send out invitations to multiple people to contribute their photos and their memories. In fact, one of the most unique parts about the AwesomeBox experience is how easy it is to get everyone involved in the gift giving process.

Receiving a special gift like an AwesomeBox can evoke a powerful response, courtesy photo.

Receiving a special gift like an AwesomeBox can evoke a powerful response, courtesy photo.

I made one to surprise one of my family member this year, and lots of people are getting in on the fun. In fact, recently, fans have collaborated to make AwesomeBoxes as gifts for Beyoncé, DrakeJon Stewart and Leonardo DiCaprio’s birthdays, and fans are currently making one for Taylor Swift. But, you don’t have to be a celebrity to get an AwesomeBox.

Add pictures from Instagram, Facebook, your phone or computer, and send out invitations to others to contribute. Then design your cards and sequence them to tell a compelling story. You can even add music to your card to co-create a custom playlist. Best of all, a 10-card AwesomeBox is just $19.

Receiving a special gift like an AwesomeBox can evoke a powerful response, courtesy photo.

Receiving a special gift like an AwesomeBox can evoke a powerful response, courtesy photo.

It’s so simple to create, and the memories last a lifetime. In three simple steps, you’ll have the perfect gift:

1.    Create a private online webpage to honor your special someone.

2.    Invite friends and family to upload photos and heartfelt messages from around the world.

3.    AwesomeBox turns everything into a box of 10 to 100 colorful printed cards that they’ll pour over for years!

We even have a special coupon code where you can save 25%: HOLIDAYGIFT.

Here are some examples of AwesomeBox designs, courtesy photo.

Here are some examples of AwesomeBox designs, courtesy photo.

Check it out, and let me know what you think.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 9, 2016.

 

 

Seasons Greetings: Reusable Wrapeez

Wrapeez reusable gift wrap is great for the holidays, courtesy photo.

Wrapeez reusable gift wrap is great for the holidays, courtesy photo.

There’s nothing better than a holiday product that keeps on giving, except perhaps one that also saves you time. 

There’s a new invention called Wrapeez, a reusable stretch fabric gift wrap! That’s right, now, you can have a nicely wrapped gift in less than 20 seconds. 

Just stretch it, wrap it, and reuse it. No scissors or tape required. It easily stretches over different shapes and sizes, such as toys, balls, clothing boxes, gift cards, and more.

Simplify your season with Wrapeez reusable gift wrap, courtesy photo.

Simplify your season with Wrapeez reusable gift wrap, courtesy photo.

Not only is it easy to use, there’s no paper waste, the produce is eco-friendly and reusable. Good for the planet, beautiful, and convenient—now that’s what I call a wrap!  

For more information and to purchase Wrapeez, visit www.wrapeez.com or Amazon.com.

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons on December 10, 2016.

SB Style File: Holiday Stress? Try Coloring Inside the Lines!

Excerpt from "100 Things to Draw With a Triangle," by Sarah Walsh.

Excerpt from “100 Things to Draw With a Triangle,” by Sarah Walsh.

When young children need to “settle down” there’s something very calming about focusing their energies on a coloring book, which is probably why adult coloring and doodling books have become so popular.

I finally got around to trying out some of the coloring books and, I have to say, coloring inside—or outside—the lines really is a great stress reliever. It’s also a fun gift idea.

Here are some of titles to check out, all of which are widely available at local bookstores and craft stores:

20 Ways to Draw a Star and 44 Other Far-Out Wonders from the Sky and Galaxy_cover_web_large

20 Ways to Draw a Star by Studio SSS – A new take on the world of sketching, doodling, and designing that encourages you to take a step-back and think about all the different ways to draw something.

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle_Cover Large

100 Things to Draw with a Triangle by Sarah Walsh – Think of all the possibilities! Stars, snowflakes, trees, gifts and more! Doodle your way to getting into the holiday spirit, this book includes 112 pages of art prompts and inspiration based on one simple geometric shape, a triangle.

adult coloring book

Adult Coloring Book: Stress Relieving Patterns by Blue Star Coloring – A book to let you relax, decompress, and let your inner child out to play for a while.

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time_Cover_Web_Large

Change Your Life One Doodle at a Time by Salli S. Swindell – Making small changes through this fully illustrated, interactive art doodle journal is about embracing change in many ways, and seeing it as a positive force. Features 150 art prompts.

Portable Color Me Happy_Cover_Large

Color Me Stress-Free, Color Me Fearless, Color Me Calm, Color Me Happy – by Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter – Organized into therapeutically­ themed chapters, these books examine the benefits of putting pencil (or crayon, marker, and ink) to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Also available in smaller, portable versions that fit perfectly inside a stocking!

9781633220515_Cover_WebLarge

Doodling for Bookworms by Gemma Correll – Your favorite book nerd will love this great activity book filled with literature-themed prompts from Shakespeare, George Orwell, and Jane Austen.

9781633220522_Cover_WebLarge

Doodling for Tree Huggers and Nature Lovers by Gemma Correll – This sassy journal is packed with more than 50 fun and inspirational prompts, doodling exercises, and outdoorsy factoids—perfect for those who love the great wide open.

enchanted_forest

Enchanted Forest by Johanna Basford – Fall under the spell of the #1 New York Times Bestseller with a magical coloring book that takes you through an enchanted forest to discover what lies in the castle.

Tangled Gardens

Tangled Gardens Coloring Book by Jane Monk – This book helps you create a warm and inviting garden while you wait for spring to return.

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book_Cover

Tangled Treasures Coloring Book by Jane Monk – Jump into the relaxing spell woven by Zentangles with the meditative action of coloring.

Happy coloring!

—Leslie Dinaberg

Originally published in Santa Barbara Seasons Magazine on December 17, 2015.