Posts in the 'gifts' Category

Ask Heather: When’s the Right Time to Say Thank You?

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Image courtesy of Creature Comforts

Dear Heather,

I just got a notification that a wedding guest pledged a large amount of money towards my honeymoon fund registry. This person is a new friend of my fiance; I’ve only met them once. Do I thank them right away or just send a thank you after the wedding, which is in two months? Is it weird to call them now and thank them? I’m not sure about the “proper” way to go about this. If it were a close family member or close friend, I would feel more comfortable calling them right away to thank them, but I don’t know how to handle this particular situation.

Leia

Dear Leia,

I don’t know of anyone, anywhere, who would object to being thanked for a gift, nor do I think it’s possible to thank someone too soon. If you don’t know them well, though, it might be a little awkward for them to be called by you and thanked profusely. However, I see nothing at all wrong with having your fiance give them a call to say thanks.

Regardless of whether your fiance calls them or not, though, I suggest writing them a lovely thank you note tonight and mailing it as soon as possible. Make sure your fiance contributes to the note, since these are “his” people. This way, they know their contribution was received and appreciated, and you’ll have one fewer thank you to write after the wedding.

For other folks in a similar situation — I’m a huge fan of opening wedding presents as they are received and writing the notes right then. As I pointed out to Leia, it lets the gift givers know that their present was received, and it takes a task off of your to-do list for when you return from your honeymoon. I’m also in the “divide and conquer” camp when it comes to thank yous — if someone is closer to your future spouse than they are to you, hand over the pen. There’s no reason why one person should feel obligated to write every single note.

Did you open your presents the moment you received them? (If not, how could you resist?!) How did you handle the timing of your thank you notes? Let us know in the comments below!

Ask Heather: What Do I Do with Store Registry Cards?

Wedding presents

Image courtesy of Asdrid

Dear Heather,

I have all these cards and slips from the stores where we registered that I want to distribute, but all of the books and websites say to not include them with your invitations because it’s rude. My save the dates already went out, so I can’t include them with those. What am I supposed to do with these cards? How do I let people know where we registered? I’m mostly referring to my guests who are not computer literate. Thank you!

Confused about registry

Dear Confused,

In some areas, it’s customary to include those registry cards with the invitations. However, if you don’t know for certain that it is what’s done in your social circle, I would avoid including them. Personally, I sort of feel like the stores give them to folks who have registered just to drive up business at their own stores, but that might be just me :)

There are a few ways to let people know where you registered. First, if you’re having a shower, it’s totally acceptable to include registry information with those invitations. After all, the whole point of a shower is to “shower” the guest of honor with gifts. Second, if you’ve made a wedding website, you can definitely include a page with registry information there. As for those guests who are not computer literate and who will not be invited to a shower, the best way to reach them is to make sure your immediate family knows where you are registered, so they can spread the word when asked.

No matter what you do, though, odds are some folks will go “off registry” and buy something you haven’t specifically requested. My husband and I received gifts that definitely don’t go with our aesthetic, but we know the people who gave those presents meant well. And one of our “off registry” gifts was one of my favorites; a friend of mine had one of our invitations custom-framed using stained glass. It’s nothing I ever would have asked for, but I absolutely love it. So, give them a chance — your guests might surprise you!

How did you let your guests know where you registered? Is it the norm in your social circle to include registry cards with the invitations? Did you get anything fantastic that wasn’t on one of your registries? Let us know in the comments below!

BAB Must-Haves For The Home!

Ohhhhh, friends. A few months ago, I moved in with Paul, and thanks to his good taste my new home came pre-stocked with some pretty rad shizz. Compound that with what I’ve brought in or suggested/demanded that we augment our supplies with, and I’ve forged some serious bonds with these homemaking house-savers. I’m pretty sure would make strong candidates for your wedding registry or new home of your own, and I’m such a nice lady that I’m gonna let you in on some of that right…… now!

 

Must-haves for the home

 

1. iRobot Roomba Vacuum

I’m not really sure there’s much more to say about why I love the Roomba other than this:

Seriously, what’s better than pushing a button, and walking away – knowing that when you come back into that room, it will be devoid of all schmutz on the ground, as if by wizardry? We have two, and like to run them together when a room is in dire need. Or we can run one in the bedroom and one in the living room for double duty at the same time. My favorite is when they come on by themselves and I’m just chillin’ somewhere else in the house. I hear those suckers start up and heave a deep sigh of gratitude for the inventors of something that provides so much satisfaction with so little effort. With two dogs that love to disembowel plushy toys and leave carnage in their wake, these little robots are a real lifesaver. And, I can’t help but appreciate their cute twitter banter. Gotta love that.

2. The Shark Sonic Duo Carpet & Hard Floor Cleaner

I met the fine folks from Shark at BlogHer and right away knew I had to have one of these! Lucky for me, they were kind enough to hook me up. This business is a magical mystery tour of easy cleaning. Just pop on the pads, insert the cleansing solution, and let ‘er rip. With 1,000 scrubs per minute, and “airglide” technology, it literally takes little more than the pressure of a fingertip to maneuver it across your hard wood floor or carpet, gliding as if it’s on ice, but powerfully demolishing dirt and grime as you go. It easily erased the dried, old puppy piddle stains on the carpet outside our front door, and was a savior on the area rug in our living room where one of the pups had puked. It swivels beautifully, and cleans our tile and hard wood floors without streaks or film. It has made cleaning almost too easy, and I love that you can just pop the pads in the wash for reuse. In fact, once we run through the official cleaning solution for hard wood, I’m gonna make one from scratch using a vinegar/water blend! I can’t imagine how great this would be for people with back issues for whom mopping is a literal pain. One machine to clean all the floors is too efficient and easy for me to ever give up!

3. Microfiber Cleaning Cloths

I used to run a “paper-towel free home,” and am trying to get back there. The key is microfiber cloths. Reusable and super-absorbent, you can score a big bundle of them for practically nothing, and they’re great for everything. They clean windows and glass like it was their job, they mop up spills and accidents like champs, dust better than any swiffer cloth I’ve ever seen, and step in for napkins at a moment’s notice. I’ve seen people on etsy get super crafty and velcro them together on a roll for “tear-off” reuse as if they were paper towels, but I’m happy to just have an ample stack in my laundry closet – ready for whatever task they might be assigned that day.

4. Sodastream Home Soda Maker

I quit my 3 super-big-gulp-a-day Diet Coke habit in May of this year (sober 4 months, yo!), and there is no way in the world I could have done it without this incredible gadget. Just fill the bottle with water, put it in the machine, and watch it carbonate before your very eyes! If you’re a regular imbiber of the bubbly water, you know this baby pays for itself within about a month of use. The canisters can be turned in for a sweet discount on refilled ones, and (pro-tip alert:) if you do it at Bed, Bath & Beyond you can use your 20% coupon from the mail for an even deeper discount! The newer models allow you to customize how bubbly you like it… and if you’re like me and Paul, you like it so bubbly it burns. Oh it burns so good. Everyone needs a soda stream, if only to please guests of their home who live off the stuff, like me. Thanks in advance.

5. Half Gallon Mason Jars

Like my switch from paper towels to microfiber, I’m moving away from plastics and closer to glass. This size in particular is perfect for storing and organizing dry goods like rice, baking soda, salt, flours, and pasta and eliminating their baggage. Or I use them for storing leftover soups/stocks, sauces, or teas in the fridge and freezer. I love the way they look in our cabinets and on shelves and the high visibility factor of clear glass. They even make a great flower vase or candle holder in a pinch! They dishwash beautifully, and don’t absorb scents or stains like plastic tupperware does. And in the event that I need to preserve a large batch of something, I can use them for that, too. They’re real workhorses in the home, and I love them in all sizes. For the price, the value is extremely high. Paul’s starting to worry I have a mason jar hoarding habit. And he might just be right.

6. Keurig Single-Cup Home-Brewing System

Another life-saver in my Diet Coke detox, right here folks. In an instant, it brews up cups of coffee or tea in a variety of sizes. And every day it seems more companies are teaming up with the Keurig folks to come out with k-cups in innovative new flavors and styles, from Snapple to Starbucks to even Campbells Soup (coming 2014). But even if there’s a tea I want that doesn’t come in k-cups yet, like my favorite teas Good Earth Sweet & Spicy Tea (omg so delish) and PG Tips, I just drop the bag into the k-cup slot, brew, and drink it hot or pour it over ice. Or you can use the Refillable K-cup for the coffee grounds or loose tea of your choosing. So much smarter than a pot of coffee stewing in it’s own juice all day, drinks on demand is the way of the future.

AND, if you’re thinking to yourself: “gee, Dana, that all sounds great! But how do I register for stuff like that from…. all over hell?” Well, hie thee over to Thankful Registry, friends! In my experience, it’s the most easy-on-the-eyes and easy-to-use curated registry site around. With it’s handy bookmarklet, you can basically “pin” items you find across the interwebs to your registry, and allow your guests to buy directly from the merchant. Their interface is beautiful and customizable with various cover images and categories for every facet of your life. So, there. Now you have no excuse not to treat yo’selves to some super handy household shit! You’re welcome.

What are your favorite discoveries for the home? Fess up, people. I need to feed my ever-growing addiction!

Dana

{Partner Love} Add Some Sexy Sizzle To A Bachelorette Bash

Adam & Eve

Ladies, these are the days when anything goes for your bachelorette bash. Want a prim and proper afternoon tea? Go for it. Looking for something a little more … sexy? No need to bring in the male strippers. Why just ask for lingerie when you can ask your favorite ladies to get you something to help spice up your life in the bedroom?

Adam and Eve sex toys run the gamut from completely discreet to scandalously outrageous and everything in between. From the famed Rabbit to smaller buzzy buddies, your girls have a wide range of options to leave you giggling at the party and blissed out in the bedroom.

You may be a little shy to go get your own secret pal, but surely you have a gutsy girlfriend who has no qualms about bestowing you with a helpful bedroom aid. And hey, no need to fly solo with your new toys…your partner may want to get in on the action, too!

Adam and Eve also offers a range of lingerie and other accessories to help keep life interesting between the sheets. Don’t be shy, your sexy spouse-to-be is sure to thank you…over and over again.

{Partner Intro} Grab All Your Shower, Party, and Wedding Favors From WeddingFavors.org!

There’s a lot of ways to reward the ladies in your life – you know, the gals that are gonna hold the tiny bouquets, host your bridal shower, and plan your bachelorette party. Sure they’d love lots of hugs, a few sincere “thank you” cards, etc. etc. But do you know what people really love? Favors. And not the chintzy, plastic tokens that usually get conveniently left behind when the night’s winding down. You wanna give your bffs a little gift that’ll make them remember how truly awesome that evening was. WeddingFavors.org has a wide range of adorable, quality favors that hit that sweet spot of meaningful, yet affordable gift giving.

Check out these super cute “Lucky Elephant” candleholders! They’d be ideal bridal shower favors for Bollywood-themed shower or bachelorette party.  Or if you wedding is going to be a circus-themed fete, they double as placecard holders! Or, if your besties are planning a sophisticated, Parisian-inspired bridal shower, might we suggest these “Evening In Paris” silver finish favors?

Or maybe your only bridal shower theme is BOOZE? We can’t say we blame you…and of course, WeddingFavors.org has a wide selection of champagne flutes, bottle stoppers, even eco-friendly bamboo coasters! Personally, we’re quite partial to these Personalized Stemless Wine Glasses:

Whether you’re shopping for favors for a bridal shower, a wedding, or any celebration, WeddingFavors.org can hook you up with tasteful mementos for any occasion. And we’ve saved the best news for last – most of their best-selling favors are under $1.50 each! They’ve definitely earned the Broke-Ass stamp of approval, AND they’re showing BAB readers some love with an exclusive offer – get 15% off any order of $50 or more when you use the discount code “BAB15″.

 

{Partner Intro} With e.l.f. cosmetics, your wedding day make-up is in the bag

If you’re anything like me,  you have a tiny bag of beauty necessities that you use everyday – a trusty lip balm, concealer, a light mascara, your fave lipstick, something to zap blemishes, etc. – but when it comes to your wedding day, you’re gonna need to give your glamour routine some serious OOMPH. When I look into my “special occasion” make-up bag, it’s kind of a disaster zone. Eye shadow dustbunnies everywhere, lip gloss stains, finishing products I’ve barely used, and a billion tiny samples sizes. There’s obviously a giant make-up disconnect between my day-to-day and my wedding day. Well, a little e.l.f. is coming to the rescue.

You might’ve seen e.l.f. cosmetics in stores, but they also have a full range of beauty products available online, including fabulous beauty kits for your big day! If you want to grab all those make-up must-haves in one simple step, check out their Modern Bride Collection – 6 essential pieces, one ridiculously low price – only $20! Why sacrifice hundreds of dollars from your wedding budget on pricey department store make-up? At some point, every gal realizes that $35 for a single lip color is a little…excessive. But at the same time, we can’t blame you from not wanting to pick through that dusty ol’ make-up bag full of forgotten beauty finds on your wedding day either. So allow yourself a little splurge. And why keep it to yourself? e.l.f. beauty kits make fabulous gifts for your bridesmaids!

And of course,  there’s no need to wait around for an excuse to look fabulous! Need to flesh out your beauty repertoire with new accessories? Grab e.l.f.’s The Newlywed Look Collection! It comes with 11 fab studio make-up brushes, plus all the basics you need to turn your grumpy morning mug from “meh” to marvelous!

Whether you’re cosmetics crazed or just looking for a few fresh beauty finds to make your wedding day prep even more special, e.l.f. has everything you need for eyes, lips, and face – and at ridiculously affordable prices!

{Sponsored} Get everything you (really) want with SimpleRegistry!

cheap wedding

Admit it: limiting your wedding registry to one big store is just that… limiting. Well now you can put any item from any store into one convenient registry, thanks to SimpleRegistry! AND – in the event that you should end up with the dreaded double-toaster conundrum, you can redeem that redundant toaster (or ANY gift) as cash…. without having to ask for cash. SWEET ACTION for the broke-ass bride! Will you be using an online registry?

{Sponsored} Traveler’s Joy – Register…for a honeymoon!

Traveler's Joy Honeymoon Registry
Let’s face it – you don’t really want another set of monogrammed napkin rings, what you really want is an amazing honeymoon vacay, and now you can forgo the traditional bridal registry (or supplement the one you have) with a Honeymoon Registry from Traveler’s Joy! Whether your only prerequisite for maximum relaxation is a beach or mountain getaway, or you have a very specific destination in mind (Thailand, anyone?!), Traveler’s Joy allows your wedding guests to treat you to a bottle of champagne, a night’s stay at a B&B, a lavish evening on the town, or even a new digital camera!

{Giveaway} Score a Literati E-reader!

Did you ask Santa for a nifty Literati  e-reader this year? Well we hate to upstage the big guy, but kids, the Broke-Ass Bride gift-giving train is pulling into the station!

Literati e-reader from The Sharper Image
That’s right, this week we’re giving away one of the few full color e-readers on the market today – the Literati, from The Sharper Image! It’s slim, super portable, and easily integrates with your laptop or smart phone.

We got one to play with from the fine folks at Sharper Image, and its pretty darn fly! As someone who hates carrying a heavy book around, but hates to sit anywhere with nothing to do, its a great purse-friendly gadget. The full-color screen is enough to make you say, “oooh shiny!”, and its super easy to acquaint yourself with… very user-friendly. Its the only e-reader I’ve ever gotten to play with, but I’m definitely a fan.

Whether you’re a gal obsessed with gadgets, or you’re just dying to snuggle up by the fire with all that premium literature literally right at your fingertips, we’d like to give you one of this holiday season’s hottest gifts!

Granted, there are two types of people in this world – those who feel the fundamental need to own an e-reader, and those who still profess to prefer the look, feel, and slightly musty smell of an actual book. Well, if you’re not already swayed by the power of FREE, here are a few more reasons you should hop on board the e-reader bandwagon:

  • Convenience: Don’t break your back lugging around 4-5lbs worth of bridal books… just download your faves to take along for your hair trial or train rides, so you can plan on the go!
  • Your Honeymoon: Buy six bulky paperbacks and cram them into your beach tote at the airport book store, OR bring your e-reader and have over 2 million titles available in an instant.
  • Coffee Shop Cred: Put an end to shamefests brought on by publicly pouring over your favorite glossies. Browse your favorite gossip rags discreetly via your e-reader! If anyone asks, claim you’re reading A Confederacy of Dunces.
  • The Office: Pop in an SD card for an addition 8 GB of storage, and peruse important documents during the morning meeting! Or… you know, gossip rags.
  • Clutter!: Once all your favorite tomes are loaded on to your svelte little e-reader, you can clear out your bookshelf, and cart your space-sucking novel collection down to the nearest charity shop!
  • Domestic Bliss!: Read after-hours without disturbing your partner – you don’t even have to leave a light on,  just put your e-reader on “night reading” mode! Your partner will wake up refreshed and noticeably less cranky, and they’ll never give you grief for reading until 2 a.m. – because they’ll never know.

Now, are you sufficiently convinced that the Literati will drastically improve your quality of life? Awesome!

There are THREE ways to win! You get….

  • One entry for completing this sentence in the comments below: “If I won a Literati e-reader from Broke-Ass Bride, I would  ___.”
  • One entry for tweeting “If I won a @LiteratiReader from @BrokeAssBride I would ________.”
  • One entry for subscribing to our weekly newsletter, here.

So get it while the getting’s good! Don’t you think you’ve earned yourself the gift of knowledge?

This contest closes Tuesday, January 3rd, 2011.