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Are you hosting or attending a New Year’s Eve party? (I know, it’s not even Christmas yet but humor me because there is a giveaway involved here!) If so, then you could take a cute homemade gift for the party host. If the celebration is at your house, you could make small gifts to serve as prizes for those wild New Year’s Eve card games or present your party snacks in a unique way. Think Garnish has some great packaging products to add pizazz to your party.

If you love to be creative, check out the Think Garnish web site and blog. They have adorable ideas for homemade gifts. You say you don’t like to bake? Even better, they have great ideas for little gift packages you can put together such as ‘Smore kits, homemade soup gifts, even spa kits and more.

Here’s the best part: (For those who are regular readers, you know those are the code words for “Announcing a Giveaway!”) Think Garnish is giving away a $25 gift certificate for all their cute packaging products. To register for this giveaway, go to the Think Garnish website and check out their “Our Ideas” section. Then post a comment on my blog telling me your favorite idea from their site. Registration for the giveaway ends 12/25 and I’ll announce the winner on 12/26.

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Actor Matt Damon has a message for you:

When you treat your family and friends to a Water.org, CamelBak bottle, you’ll also be giving a life-changing gift to someone in need.

  • The bottles are a limited edition design, environmentally friendly and great holiday gifts.
  • And 100% of the profits go directly to support nearly a billion people in the world who lack clean water.

Give just one bottle and you help a child get clean, safe water. Give more and you change even more lives – forever. The need has never been greater and you can make a real difference simply by shopping now.

Sounds like a wise investment to me! 

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Day 17: Cold but Cute!

by Cathy on December 11, 2010 · 0 comments

in Fashion,Ideas,Shop

Oh baby, it’s cold outside! The weather here in Kansas City dropped about 25 degrees overnight. Chances are your loved ones live somewhere equally chilly so send them some style with these cute knit hats from Rosey Posey. If a young lady on your list has an American Girl doll, you can even order a matching hat and scarf for the doll!

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Have you thought about buying a cow for your aunt for Christmas? There’s a family in Appalachia who hopes you will. How about a llama for your best friend? A family in Peru would really appreciate it. Through Heifer International, you can purchase livestock on behalf of a loved one. The animal is given to a family in need who makes their living in agriculture.

People just like you have helped impoverished people worldwide improve their situation with the gift of livestock and their own hard work:

  • A cooperative of 50 beekeepers has partnered with Heifer in Honduras to help small farmers develop beehives and plant flowering trees. The bees boost crop production and produce family income through the sale of honey, pollen and beeswax.
  • In the parched highlands of eastern Guatemala, many young girls are forced to quit school after the sixth grade. Thankfully, Heifer’s goats are helping to put an end to that custom.
  • Albania is a country that underwent a deadly period of civil unrest and social upheaval in 1997. Through a unique, collaborative “Guns for Cows” project, Albanian villagers now receive one pregnant Holstein or Jersey dairy heifer for every three weapons they hand over to the government.

Check out the Heifer International website for details. You could purchase a Christmas ornament representing the animal you are donating and give the ornament to the loved one. If you can’t find a cow ornament for your aunt, you could make an ornament by purchasing a tiny cow stuffed animal and then attaching a loop to transform it into an ornament. (Hopefully, your aunt won’t be offended receiving a stuffed cow!) I just went to Crate & Barrel and found lovely globe ornaments for only $3.95 each. I plan to give one to each person for whom I purchased a Heifer animal.

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When you are purchasing Christmas gifts, there is someone who resides in your home that must not be forgotten. He faithfully retrieves the newspaper each morning, greets you excitedly at the door every time you return home … No, I’m not referring to your husband. (He’s ALREADY on your gift list!) I’m talking about your dog. He doesn’t want much, maybe just a new toy this year. And when everyone is dressing up in their fancy Christmas duds, your faithful furry friend needs a new outfit. Poochie Heaven can help on both counts. They sell a variety of cute holiday clothes, toys, dog furniture, jewelry (I kid you not!) and more.

Best of all, Poochie Heaven is offering a giveaway! You could win this Frosty the Snowman Dog Tie plus a dog toy! Go to the Poochie Heaven site and then leave a comment on my blog noting your favorite dog outfit. Registration for this giveaway ends December 14 and I’ll post the winner’s name December 15.

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Day 12: A Tasty Discount

by Cathy on December 6, 2010 · 0 comments

in Food,Shop

Breakfast just got clever thanks to MixMyGranola.com Start with your choice of a granola base and add dried fruit such as kiwi, mango or apple. Then mix in nuts such as cashews or hazelnuts. What have you got? Approximately 16 ounces of yum! There are 75 mix-in options. You can even add a picture to the package, such as one of your cute kids. Grandma and Grandpa will love this. They also offer specialty mixes, such as their Reindeer Munchorganic granola, roasted almonds and cashews, mini yogurt pretzels and chocolate expresso beans. UncommonLifestyle.com readers also get a 10 percent discount. Simply type in the discount code GRANOLA 10 when you place your order.

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Day 11: Thirty Days of Gifts and Giveaways

by Cathy on December 5, 2010 · 0 comments

in Shop

If you have a sorority girl on your gift list — and that includes grandmothers and aunts — then Greek U is your go-to source for gifts. In addition to all kinds of cute clothes, they have a variety of gift items.

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Day 10: Thirty Days of Gifts and Giveaways

by Cathy on December 4, 2010 · 2 comments

in Food,Shop

If you’ve ever been to the City Market in Kansas City, chances are you’ve walked past the Planter’s Seed Market, a charming old-fashioned brick store. I learned from a friend’s food blog that they offer a variety of gift baskets of spices and other tasty treats. If you can’t figure out what to buy someone, a gift basket of food items is always a safe bet. Behold their Chili Lover’s Basket …

And my personal favorite, the coffee and chocolate gift basket …

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Day 8 and 9: Necklace Giveaway!

by Cathy on December 2, 2010 · 56 comments

in Contest,Giveaway,Shop

I love the name of the company I’m featuring today: Stamped Under the Moon. I don’t know the artist who creates this beautiful hand-stamped jewelry but I’m guessing by the name that she works into the late hours of the night. With family activities, my business and this blog, I can certainly relate to that, though my company name should be “She Wakes Up WAY Before the Dawn!” But I digress … the purpose of this post is another giveaway! In fact, it is such a good giveaway that we are counting it for two days of our 30 day campaign!

We are giving away this lovely Eternity Circle with Birthstones Necklace valued at $46! To register for this giveaway, go to the Stamped Under the Moon website and then leave a comment on my blog post telling me your favorite piece of jewelry (other than the Eternity Circle with Birthstones Necklace!). The company offers some very unique pieces including jewelry for new moms, pet lovers and even personalized jewelry for those who have loved ones with autism. Half of the sale for the latter goes to autism research.

Registration for this giveaway ends December 10 and I’ll post the name of the winner on December 11. So start commenting!

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The producers of Sex in the City 2 loved these Swanky Aprons so much that they featured one in their movie. We are sure the people on your gift list will love them too! Take a look at these cuties. Some are so adorable that you could almost wear them as a dress – except that they don’t have a back so be sure to wear leggings underneath!

You can purchase one for a gift and one for you to wear as you are slaving away in the kitchen making Christmas dinner. Go ahead and treat yourself. This is a crazy busy time of year for us gals and we deserve it. (You can tell your husband that Cathy at Uncommon Lifestyle MADE you buy the apron!)

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