Friday’s Featured Artisan – Steven Smith Teamaker

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. The temperature is dipping ever so slightly, the leaves are starting to get the tiniest tinge of gold on the tips and we’re starting to take the sweaters down from the top shelf of the closet. That’s right – Fall is coming. And what goes better with the cool Autumn air than a steamy cup of tea? That’s why this Friday’s Featured Artisan is none other than Portland, Oregon’s own Steven Smith Teamaker. As the co-founder of Stash and then a tea shaman at Tazo, Steven Smith gained worldwide recognition for his deep understanding and masterful blend of flavor and fragrance in fine tea. In 2009 with the help of his wife Kim, they created their own signature brand. Using a big-bellied, sterling silver antique ladle to taste, Steven Smith lovingly crafted and perfected the teas that would bear his name. Made in small batches, each tea is inspired by the many adventures he embarked upon, from India and Sri Lanka, to China, Africa, Provence and beyond. Though Steven himself passed on in 2015, his spirit and charisma live on in every aspect of Smith Teamaker, now overseen by his wife Kim. Smith sources only the finest tea leaves and botanicals from around the world, through the strong relationships and partnerships that Steven fostered with growers, exporters and...

The Perfect Cup: Gifts for Tea Lovers

With cooler days ahead, there’s nothing quite like a steaming cup of tea. It is an experience of the senses – the mug warming our hands, various flavor notes filling our noses, the steam dancing before our eyes. There is a method and a rhythm to steeping tea. Everyone has their own cadence, their own preference as to how their tea is made, to the point that it becomes ritual. More than that, tea is often the centerpiece around which we and loved ones surround ourselves. When company comes over or a neighbor stops by, when someone is under the weather or have had a bad day, it is often a hot cup of tea that we offer them as an extension of our generosity and care. The history of tea, including the ways we use it to bond with others, goes farther back than one may imagine. Chinese legend tells that the history of tea dates back to 2737 B.C.E. (yes, that number is correct!) when Emperor Shen Nong accidentally discovered the drink. While boiling water in the garden one day, a wild tea leaf fell into Nong’s pot. As an herbalist, the resulting concoction peaked his curiosity. He took a sip. And another. He loved the resulting drink so much that he began to research the plant. The legend ends by telling that the Emperor discovered tea’s medicinal properties during his investigation of the miraculous leaf. Since Nong’s discovery, countless traditions have stemmed from people’s love of tea. Before becoming the beverage of choice and a way of life, tea was considered a medicinal staple in China....

Why We Gift Wednesday (Encouragement Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. You know the old adage, “to have a friend, you must first be one”? There’s a lot to that statement – it’s a universal truth that the amount of loving-kindness we pour out is the amount that we ourselves receive. As we know all too well, life is full of peaks and valleys. At the peaks, everything seems like it’s going great and we’re on top of the world! And then there are valleys, where we’re convinced everything is falling apart. These are the times we need support from our loved ones the most. That’s why this Why We Gift Wednesday goes out to encouragement – sending comfort to a friend or loved one who is facing difficult times. A listening ear – one that’s not trying to fix everything – can be one of the most supportive and encouraging things you can do for someone you care about. Sometimes we may even be encouraging someone without even knowing it, just by saying hi or giving them a smile. You never know – the person you just greeted could be having a rough day, and really needed that smile to remind them that they’re not invisible and they’re not alone. It could be as simple as...

Martin’s Musings: GiftTree’s Milestone Wine Trio Crates

I’ve always loved to celebrate anniversaries and birthdays by popping the cork on something memorable. For anniversaries, there is something particularly important about the mutual acknowledgement of love, commitment and experience together. Ogden Nash once said it humorously, “Marriage is the bond between a person who never remembers anniversaries and another who never forgets them.” My wife and I are lucky to have gotten married on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, so we never forget to toast the occasion. Twenty-two years and we haven’t forgotten yet! With GiftTree, you can make it easy for every couple to remember their anniversary and all the special little relationship milestones that they share. We’ve recently launched two gifts that are perfect for wedding or anniversary gifts.   I love our new Milestone Anniversary Wine Trio as a creative option as a wedding gift. For year 1 (in our “Best” version), pop the cork on the iconic crisp apple acidity of Veuve Clicquot Brut Champagne. The couple can celebrate Year 5 with a perfectly aged bottle of Silver Oak Cabernet Sauvignon. In Year 10, the enduring unctuous glory of Fonseca LBV Port will be ready for action when the time comes for their 10-year anniversary. Above all, this gift is all about the symbolism of a celebrating each day and looking forward to a joyful life together.                 For other milestones, we have similar but more versatile gift that is designed to let the couple choose when and for what they’d like to celebrate; called the Evenings Together Wine Trio. The wine choices are the same as the...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Wisdom Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. This Sunday September 10th is Grandparents Day, and it got us thinking about all the wisdom and good advice given to us by our grandparents and the other elders in our families. Huffington Post ran a great article of reader-submitted pearls of wisdom imparted from grandparents, and some given by grandparents themselves. One of our favorites in the bunch was this: “I would like my grandkids to know that everyday is an opportunity to be better than they were the day before.”  Isn’t that so wonderful and true? It’s little bits of wisdom and advice like this that make us so grateful for our grandpas and grandmas, and so happy that they got to see us grow up. To see more bits of sage advice, check out The Pioneer Woman’s blog post about wisdom from grandparents. Want to thank and honor your grandparents for all the wisdom and advice they’ve handed down to you over the years? Explore GiftTree’s collection of baskets, delicious goodies, flowers and keepsakes for every grandpa and grandma!   Comment Below What was the best piece of advice or bit of wisdom given to you by your...

Get Ready for Grandparents Day!

Sunday, September 10th is National Grandparents Day, a special day where we honor those who have contributed to the shape of our character, and to show our gratitude to these role models for their immeasurable acts of love, care, and understanding. The official commemorative Grandparents Day is the Sunday after Labor Day, first established in 1978 when President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. Having wonderful grandparents is one of life’s biggest blessings. Not only do they see their grandchildren with eyes of unconditional love, but the care they put into raising our parent and the wisdom they impart is what raises us into upstanding people with integrity. And the chain continues as we grow older and have our own children, becoming grandparents ourselves. Want to honor your Grandparents with a gift? Explore our collection of gift baskets, keepsakes, bouquets and more, specially curated just for Grandparents Day. Here are some of our favorites!       As Good As Gold Crisp dried pineapple slices, rich almond roca, zesty lemon rolled wafers and so much more are collected in this keepsake basket with leather handles – one that we’re sure will end up full of Grandma’s knitting supplies, long after the goodies inside this basket have been devoured!   There’s just something so homey and comforting about the Full Leaf Tea Tasting Crate. Full leaf teas and herbal infusions from the world’s best tea makers are arranged with a porcelain teapot and teacup set for one, along with apple blossom honey and shortbread cookies in our exclusive gift crate. Make Grandparent’s Day truly spectacular the Wonderful Day Bouquet – a large and gorgeous bouquet of richly colored...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Comfort Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many meaningful moments. On this WWGW, we’re actually turning our attention to a not-so-celebratory event. Yesterday, August 30 was Grief Awareness Day, and it got us thinking that not every meaningful moment is a particularly joyful one. Grief Awareness Day was founded in 2014 by an American woman named Angie Cartwright. Through her own grieving processes, she saw the importance of grief and dedicated her life to bringing support to those who have suffered like her and enlightening others to the realities of bereavement. “There is a cliché that is said often: ‘Time heals all wounds,‘” she says. “This is far from the truth. Time cannot heal a broken heart. The grief may ease up, but I believe it’s because we have learned how to manage it.” Losing a friend or a loved one is never easy, and the emptiness that is left behind affects everyone in a different way. That’s why its so crucial to recognize the time it takes to heal from a loss, and to be there for those who are suffering. How do we support those who are grieving? When someone you care about experiences the passing of a loved one, it may be difficult to know what to say or how to comfort them....

The Basics of Wine Aeration

Wine is all around us, from visiting wineries to enjoying a glass with a friend, it is a popular drink. Even with its popularity, wine still has some mysterious elements to it. One of the lesser known intricacies of wine is proper aeration. To help de-mystify the process we are here to explain the basics of wine aeration; such as when to aerate your wines, which wines can benefit from aeration, and helpful tools to allow you to fully enjoy that special bottle you have been saving.   First, let’s start with the basics: what does wine aeration do and what is the purpose? Wine aeration is the process of exposing wine to air which causes two things to happen: oxidation and evaporation. Oxidation is beneficial to wine because it helps mellow out strong, overpowering flavors. In combination with oxidation, evaporation removes ethanol from the wine which can overwhelm more delicate flavors and aromas.   Next, we’ll talk about how to aerate your wine and different ways this process is done.   Opening the Bottle Aeration occurs when the wine is exposed to air, but simply opening the bottle isn’t enough. However, this limited type of aeration doesn’t have a noticeable effect, so usually the wine is further aerated in two ways: decanting the wine, or pouring the wine through an aerator.   Decanting Decanting is the process of pouring the wine into a wine decanter and letting it sit. A decanter usually has a wide base which allows a greater exposure to air helping the wine oxidize and “breathe”. This process takes anywhere from 20 minutes to 3...

Friday’s Featured Artisan – Ruffino Italian Wine

Welcome to Friday’s Featured Artisan! Each week, we focus on one of the many talented individuals and companies whose perfect products are proudly featured in GiftTree gifts. It may be a master chocolatier, a gourmet cheesemonger or a talented artist – GiftTree is here to connect their meaningful stories to the discovery of your next great gifting moment. This Friday’s Featured Artisan, Ruffino Italian Wine, is a company with a rich history of producing award-winning wines in the heart of Tuscany. In 1877, cousins Ilario and Leopoldo Ruffino decided to embrace their passion for winemaking by starting a small winery in their tiny village in Florence. With Tuscany’s mineral-rich soils, cooling breezes off the Mediterranean Sea and dry summers, Tuscany was (and still is today) a region renowned for its tradition of growing exceptional wine grapes. Today, more than 135 years later, Ruffino is still at the top of its game, with wines exported to more than 100 countries around the world and varietals named one of Wine Spectator’s Top 100 Wines. Winemaker Gabriele Tacconi and Global Brand Ambassador Beepe D’Andrea write, “Our founders Leopoldo and Ilario Ruffino were among the first in Tuscany to recognize that the best wines come from the best vineyards. We honor that philosophy today as we meticulously choose top vineyard sites, carefully manage the vines and the yields, and use non-interventionist practices in both our vineyards and in winemaking.” GiftTree is honored to carry Ruffino’s Moscato, a sweet white wine with a crisp taste. Ruffino Moscato d’Asti is pleasantly sweet and fragrant with distinct notes of peach and orange blossoms. This wine is perfectly tempered by...

Amazing Gift Experiences

There have been so many viral videos popping up lately of people opening gifts and their overjoyed reactions. Have you seen the one where a pre-teen girl gets adoption papers from her foster parents? Or how about all of those new puppy gift videos, where everyone cries tears of joy (and inevitably, so do we)! It’s no wonder that people love to watch these videos of amazing gift experiences. A huge part of the joy of gifting is the process of opening up a present from someone who cares about you. It’s the initial excitement of “what could this be?”, the grand reveal and the recipient’s reaction that make generosity and gift-giving so much fun. The next time you need to celebrate a special occasion with a gift, remember that giving a tangible gift can be so much more – sometimes we can extend that extraordinary gift-giving moment and make the gift itself a part of the experience. When you pair a gift with an experience, you’re setting the tone for something that will be remembered long after any tangible gift has been enjoyed. Here are some of our favorite ideas for giving a gift as an experience.   A gift certificate for a massage or facial at a local day spa goes perfectly with the Bathing Sea Salts Collection! Mersea & Co. presents a collection of irresistibly scented bath salts in a beautiful boxed gift set. Each mineral-rich single-use salt soak serving is lovingly packaged in a charming glass tube. Just pour one of the six individually-scented tubes into your bath and enjoy.                 Taking a...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Just Because Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. Thus upcoming Sunday, August 27 is National Just Because Day, so this Why We Gift Wednesday is going out to all those special people who don’t need a special occasion to be told that they’re loved, appreciated and thought about often! Just Because Day is a chance to do something nice for someone, not because you’re under any obligation, in fact its sole purpose is about making a nice gesture without any rhyme or reason at all.  So this Sunday, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make someone’s day, just because. Whether they’re neighbors, friends, family or clients, there are so many people who deserve a nice gesture. Here are some ways you can celebrate National Just Because Day! 1. Pick up the phone and call someone you haven’t spoken to in awhile – just to catch up! Even if they don’t answer, they’ll love hearing from you. 2. Can’t keep up with all the ripe tomatoes or other veggies in your garden this year? Bring some extras to your neighbors! 3. This time of year is great for wildflowers – is there someone who would love a fresh bouquet? 4. When was the last time you wrote a real letter to a loved one? Sit down...

College is Coming

The transition to young adulthood can be challenging for many of our children; what better way to let them let you know that you’re thinking about them than sending a college care package? Whether it’s the start of a new school year or deep into finals, sending the special young adult in your life a surprise is a wonderful way to let them know that they’re in your thoughts. Dealing with all of the rigors and new experiences that college brings can be stressful, and a surprise treat can be just what the doctor—or in this case, the teacher—ordered. It is also a period with many exciting moments that should be celebrated. Many of us here at GiftTree have gone through the same trials and have many similar memories, here are a few of our favorite gifts to get through the school year and celebrate the specials moments.     Perfect for penning their next masterpiece or recording all of the exciting firsts that college has to offer (or possibly even notes from Bio 101); the Embossed Fine Leather Journal is sophisticated yet rugged journal that features free embossing on the cover. Crafted from soft, supple leather and featuring 192 pages of high quality paper, this will become the constant companion to the budding wordsmith in their exciting college journey.     The Fresh Fruit and Cookies Basket is sure to satiate the sweet tooth of any college student (not just sophomores), as well as help them get their daily serving of fruit. This gift makes the perfect college care package and features fresh baked cookies in a variety...

Define Generosity with GiftTree – Our Story

When much ado matters, leaving a lasting impression is the cornerstone of the GiftTree mission. When you send an exclusive gift from us, you’re sending more than a basket or a box – you’re sending a gift with intention. We hope you appreciate our easy-to-navigate website at GiftTree.com, our exclusive branded packaging and streamlined aesthetic, our food and wine of uncompromising quality, and our enduring, beautiful containers, designed to be repurposed after the contents of the gift have been enjoyed and devoured. But above all, we hope you embrace celebration, renew relationships and define generosity with GiftTree. Check out this video below to see our story – enjoy!  ...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Wish Them Luck Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. This Why We Gift Wednesday, it’s time to wish them luck! As our kids, grandkids and others head off to college to pursue their career goals and aspirations, they need all the encouragement they can get. It’s the little things like a small token of love, a message of well-wishing or just a simple hug that make going off to college or transitioning into a new school easier.   How about something personalized? It’s a thoughtful way to give them something they’ll really use, and they’ll think of you every time they reach for it! Send them off to college with an encouraging gift from GiftTree, and wish them the best of luck on their future endeavors! Comment Below:  What was your first year of college...

Friday’s Featured Winery: Far Niente Estate

This Friday’s Featured Winery, Far Niente Estate is one of Napa Valley’s most renowned wineries, producing award-winning chardonnays and cabernet sauvignons since the 1980s. Nestled in the rolling hillsides southwest of Oakville, the historic three-level winery was built in 1885 by California gold-rush forty-niner John Benson, the uncle of the famous American impressionist Winslow Homer. Built on the hillsides of western Oakville, Far Niente originally functioned as a gravity flow winery, gently moving the grapes through each stage of production. The winery prospered until 1919 when Prohibition began, and there it was abandoned and eventually fell into disrepair. Sixty years later, in 1979, Gil Nickel purchased the winery and its adjacent vineyard, embarking on a three-year restoration of the property and placement on the National Register of Historic Places. During the restoration, a stone was found in front of the building with the Italian phrase “Far Niente” (do nothing) engraved on it. This gave birth to the winery’s name and the same stone lays in that same spot to this day. Far Niente’s past rose to the surface again in 1998, when a bottle of Far Niente Sweet Muscat from 1886 was discovered in a private cellar in Marin County, California. The bottle exhibits the original label, cork and capsule, and is believed to be the oldest intact bottle of California wine in existence today. Amazingly, the label is believed to be designed by one Winslow Homer! Today, the labels at Far Niente bear a distinct art-nouveau-style parchment label designed by artist Tom Rodrigues, who also designed the labels for Far Niente Estate’s sister wineries, Nickel & Nickel, Dolce, and EnRoute,...

Better Late Than Never: Perfect Belated Gifts

Welcome to GiftTree’s 20th Anniversary Blog Series: 20 Ways to Elevate Your Gift Giving. At GiftTree, we delight in taking ordinary gifting moments and transforming them into extraordinary ones. When a special occasion arises, giving a gift that doesn’t understate the sentiment is the cornerstone of gift-giving. Whether the gift-giving be professional or personal, throughout this series, we intend to focus in on what makes a good gifting moment great, as well as how you can learn to select the perfect gift for any milestone or cause for celebration. Maybe you’ve been traveling, or maybe the occasion simply slipped your mind – you missed a special occasion! We get it, life is hectic and we all make mistakes. You might feel slightly embarrassed, and that’s understandable. The good news is that even if a gift is belated, friends and family members will still appreciate being remembered and thought of, even if the acknowledgement comes a little later than expected. The truth is, there is no perfect belated gift – unless it’s specifically catered to that particular day, you can still give them the exact same thing  you would have given them on time! Really, it’s so much more about the message that you send. Here are some great “sorry I’m late” messages to write in a belated gift’s card. We used the “birthday”, but these types of messages can work for virtually any special occasion! I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date – and that would be your birthday! Hope it was a wonderful day.   How do you expect me to remember your birthday when you never look any older?...

Why We Gift Wednesday (Book Lover’s Edition)

Welcome to Why We Gift Wednesday! Each week, we celebrate one of the thousands of reasons that we truly love giving. Whether it’s honoring the relationships that we have, feeling grateful for an occasion or a special time of year, or relishing life’s simple joys, Why We Gift Wednesday is all about giving and generosity – the expression of appreciation for life’s many happy moments. Today is National Book Lover’s Day, and tomorrow is National Lazy Day, so we thought this Why We Gift Wednesday would be the perfect opportunity to give a shout-out to those of us who love to lounge around with a great book. Taking a few hours out of our hectic lives to relax with a book is something everyone should take the time to do  – a 2009 study from the University of Sussex concluded that reading can reduce stress by up to 68 percent! By lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles, reading works better and faster than other relaxation methods, such as listening to music or drinking a hot cup of tea.   We absolutely love reading here at GiftTree, so we made sure to have a special gift in our collection that’s especially for book lovers! Comment Below:  Which book have you read that had a profound effect on you and...

Memorable Wedding Gifts for the Newlyweds

Everyone loves the fun and excitement of a wedding – but picking the perfect gift for the newlyweds can be a challenge! Gift registries are very popular, but can take away the personal touch from the gifting experience. Many couples are so busy planning their special day that the gift registry can be the last thing on their list and may not contain an adequate selection of thoughtful gifts. If your goal is to give a meaningful gift that will be cherished for years to come we have a carefully curated collection of memorable wedding gifts that the newlyweds are sure to love! Help the newlyweds relax after the stresses of planning a wedding with our Bath and Body Invigoration gift basket. They can wash away the stress with a variety of natural soaps, cleansers, lotions, and more from Burt’s Bees.  Also, with the option to personalize the ribbon, you can send them a personal and meaningful gift that they are sure to love and appreciate. A great gift idea for the foodie couple is our Personalized Slate with Artisan Cheese. This gift will leave a lasting impression as they continue to use the slate and are warmly reminded of their wedding with every use. With a carefully curated selection of artisan cheeses paired with Bellentani Tuscan herb salami and stone ground mustard, it’ll be perfect for their first date as a newlywed couple. Help the newlyweds celebrate with this Champagne and Flutes Set! With a variety of high end champagnes to choose from, this gift is the is the perfect way to say “Congratulations!” while giving them something they’ll...
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