This is an exciting time in the life of an always busy, sometimes exhausted, and occasionally slothful adult. There are many occasions that (culturally) call for a gift of some sort. Weddings. Baby showers. Birthday parties. Graduations. Add to that Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Bosses’ Day, Sibling Day, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday…there is always something to celebrate and the accompanying gift-buying urge…or panic.
If you have mastered life, pay your bills in advance with a nice little gift cushion in your budget, have your time managed down to the minute, an updated calendar and never forget anything, then this doesn’t trouble you.
If you are like me, monthly bills, project deadlines, family obligations, home and human body maintenance takes precedence over the majority of your brain use. If this is the case, then you are constantly surprised by showers, birthdays, holidays and the like. Until you arrive to the place of being able to order, assemble, hand-wrap and saunter into the party early with the perfect gift, I am here to bring you ease.
Here is a list of thoughtful, life-enriching, innovative and affordable gift ideas that are literally a click, phone call or a drive away.
Sproing Sport River Oaks
Sproing is an innovation of high-intensity cardio training on a patented air bladder that brings relief to the joints. Former athletes love it because they can work out with the power and explosiveness they used to, and not aggravate old injuries or cause new ones. My friend Aryol says you can “Burn calories without burning out your knees.” Treat the athlete in your life to a week at Sproing by taking them to a class, or purchase a package in their name and have it waiting when they get there. For now, the first week is FREE.
If you want people to worship you and follow you with praises, send or bring them these treats. Ella Russell, Baker/CEO has taken the treat culture to new heights with over 50 original cookie and brownie recipes, and –get ready for this--the “Stuffed Cup,” a cupcake with a cookie baked inside. She rises to the occasion of custom orders with creativity and exceeds your imagination. This is the sweetest way to say “Thank You,” “I Celebrate You,” and even “I’m Sorry!” She ships and delivers upon request. Her store, Crumbville, Texas is located at 2316 Elgin Street, Houston, TX 77004.
Joy To The Table
This is my go-to wedding and housewarming gift these days. It is a gratitude kit of sorts. The big mason jar has a table runner or placemats in it with little pockets. Included are cards on which to write moments of joy, thankfulness, and happiness. Stick the cards in the jar and repeat. Think about the conversations that will shift as this practice becomes family tradition! Shipping and delivery options available.
The no-brainer for newborn going-home outfits, holiday party onesies and family pictures: Obababy. This upcycled line of little clothing merges vintage fabrics with present-day baby garments and make wonderful gifts for mommies and daddies and tiny new people. She ships and can be found on the shelves of a few boutiques in Houston and Indianapolis, IN.
The Quiet Picture Show
For the musichead in your life, this album is a soundtrack to courage and good choices. Michele Thibeaux is a writer, composer and singer. A convergence of R & B, Afro-Jazz and the spirit of hip-hop, every song is a gem. You can trust her to start at track 1, let the album play and not be disappointed. Download the album and send it as a gift.
Jillian “JJ” Simmons has been a radio and television personality for 24 years. Working for Hot97, and landing on Houston’s 97.9 The Boxx, she experienced a mid-vocational shift this year to focus on her true passion: educating and empowering young women. Her first book, Without Bruises, documents her journey through and out of a mentally and emotionally abusive relationship. The book reads like a heart to heart with your best friend, and is a good gift for anyone who is hurting, healing or supporting a survivor of abuse.
You Are Still A Winner
JJ’s daughter, Alani is a 10-year-old innovator. Her many gifts include starring in how-to films on her Youtube channel, AlaniRocks! She wrote a book about the lessons she learned after losing a contest and discovering unforeseen blessings in the process. How great is this?
Mandarin Positivity Shirt
Alani is learning Mandarin as a second language, and wound up being her group translator on her recent trip to China. She has designed a line of shirts that display positive messages in Mandarin characters. Kids can learn, teach, and stunt at the same time.
The Feminine, Focused and Free Collection
Quiana McCray is a dedicated to helping women achieve success in business, and in life. She has released a line of apparel that represents the ideals she strives to embody. It checks off so many things on the list: chic, comfortable, meaningful. Joining her movement means receiving more than fabulous apparel. She is a master strategist and can equip you to live the message of the line.
Kombucha is an ancient Eastern blend of fermented teas designed for healing the body and restoring it to its maximum function. Houston has its own Kombucha factory and Kickin’ has managed to maintain a consistently delicious taste while using organic ingredients and operating with the utmost business integrity. One flavor, Cultivate Arts, donates $.25 from every bottle sold to Folklore Films, a non-profit film company (wink).
Andrea Harrell Styling Consultation
From her work with June Ambrose, to her rapid ascent up the ranks of Jones Magazine, Andrea styles clients for every occasion, ranging from street style to the red carpet and all the stops in between. She keeps her finger to the pulse of the fashion world and works with you through closet consultation, event styling and personal shopping. Her services make an unforgettable gift for someone who has an idea where they want to go but has not a clue how to get there. (photo snagged from her online portfolio)
Jessica and Felton, friends and partners, have collaborated on a line of women’s apparel that is innovative, functional, and demonstrates a keen mastery of garment construction. Pieces from this line are great for women who have sophisticated taste and little time. These vestments are so well-made, she can put them on and shift focus to other things! Houston is home to this design duo, and is the city from which your precious package will be shipped.
Now, relax, place your orders, and show up to the party (or don’t). Know that your choices go beyond providing yet another thing; you have gifted your loved one with a significant, worthwhile experience and supported a local, hard-working entrepreneur while you’re at it.