40th Birthday Swag Bag Blog Hop

My sweet friend – and Brit lit author – Pauline, contacted me about joining a blog hop and, considering my love of putting things together, I had to say yes! The idea is that you’re gifting a few items to your best friend, sister, etc. and money is no object. That sounds right up my alley 😀

The categories are: book, beauty product, snack food, music album, and “my choice.”

Book – It would have to be Outlander, the first in a brilliant series by author Diana Gabaldon. I gave away a copy a few months ago, and if you’ve been thinking of reading it or need something new to read, I urge you to give it a try, especially because Starz will be airing the miniseries starting on August 9! Here are the protagonists of the series, as portrayed by Caitriona Balfe and Sam Heughan.

Beauty Product – I have been completely won over by Nail Butter, a nail and cuticle enhancer that has turned my nasty, dry, cracked cuticles into soft and smooth skin. Love this stuff, love the gardenia smell, and it’s all natural and cruelty-free, which is also a great thing. Here’s the gross before, and I apologize in advance:

And the lovely after:

Snack Food – Being the complete Hershey bar-loving peasant that I am, I cannot possibly suggest something like Pauline’s choice of Hotel Chocolat’s Chocolate Dipping Adventure, but I do have something from England – McVitie’s digestives.

Of course, being me, I prefer the ones with milk chocolate. They are wonderfully filling and during my first trip to England, often kept me fed and happy during long days of sightseeing.

Music Album – Hmmm. This one is kind of tough. I like all sorts of music, from Classical to Country, and what I listen to often depends on my mood. I absolutely love the voice of one Ella Marija Lani Yelich-O’Connor, aka Lorde, so I will suggest her smash album Pure Heroine.

My Choice – Hmmm, trip to Paris? That would always be my choice, but if I had to pick a thing instead of an experience, I would choose something beautiful and endlessly versatile:

The Sutton Necklace in green.

Gifts from Paper Source

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I love Paper Source. I’ve framed a good number of their gift wrap and also used it for various crafts. During a recent visit to my local store, I made note of some items that would be lovely gifts:

paper source gifts

Clockwise from top left, then center:

– I love this chevron paper, it has the requisite holiday red, but the green is a mossy shade and it also has gold – the perfect holiday palette.
– My oldest is always arguing with me about who loves who more, so I might get this frame and settle this argument once and for all 😀
– These holiday tea towels are a delightful pop of color for the season. Such an easy and relatively inexpensive way to change the decor in the kitchen.
– Gee, I sure wish that this adorable prism phone case also came in a Galaxy S4 size! It is a little frustrating to see about 90% of the cool styles be only for iPhones.
– This pale turquoise and gold frame is just gorgeous. I love how ornate it is, and at the same time it looks like it’s decades old. I have been lusting for it for months and might finally get it this holiday season.
– We’ve actually given this cutting board as a gift – it is perfect not just for the “obsessive chef”, but also for someone who is learning how to cook.
– For those of us caught up in the fox trend, here is a sweet set of glasses. Maybe to toast in the new year?
– And last but not least, some lovely Downton Abbey-themed tea. I’m still not over Lady Sybil (sob).

I can’t believe it’s already November 20. It seems I wait so long for summer to be over and then fall rushes through in a snap. It is only 5pm as I type this and it is already dark outside. How is your holiday shopping going?