National Champagne Day

Like me, you probably didn’t think there were any holidays to celebrate in August. It is true there aren’t any “traditional” holidays, but there are a handful of fun occasions that are definitely worth celebrating. In August alone there is National Watermelon Day, National S’mores Day, Left Hander’s Day, World Youth Day, Friendship Day, and my personal favorite, National Champagne Day on August 4th. National Champagne Day is a relatively new holiday, but it has already become a great way to celebrate a time honored delicacy that goes all the way back to the 5th century. Many people celebrate the day with a champagne breakfast, brunch, or a lovely picnic. It is common to send a champagne gift to friends, colleagues, family, or clients, on this holiday. Gifts can range from the extravagant like our Cristal Champagne & Caviar Experience, to more basic like our Champagne & Confections. There are tons of choices, just make sure you save some for yourself! More Great Champagne Gift Choices The Royal Champagne Gift Basket Champagne Luxury Champagne & Fondue for Two Champagne Wishes Gift Set Dom Perignon Champagne in Signature Gift...

Featured Employee – Nicole Nebeker

Nicole is a busy-bee here at GiftTree. As a Customer Service Team Manager, her job is to help oversee the call center and make sure everything is running smoothly. Luckily for us, she was able to take a few minutes out of her day to answer some important questions! 1. What are your  favorite things to do during summertime? I love to be outside, barbecuing at the river or just stomping around with the kids. I like to take full advantage when it is not raining here in the Northwest! 2. What is your current fave GiftTree gift to give? It really depends. My little sisters love the cookies, but I always send the Metropolitan or the 5th Avenue when I want to impress someone! 3. Would you rather sing every word you speak OR always speak in rhymes? Definitely sing every word. I do this from time to time, and while I am a good writer I was never much of a poet. 4. What’s the best part of your job? I really like fixing things. Sometimes things go wrong, and making it right for a customer feels really good! A close second though, trashing my boss’ office. Because it’s funny. 5. If you were immortal for a day, what would you do? I think I would jump out of a plane or go diving in shark infested waters. Something I would never have the guts to do otherwise Here’s why we love Nicole… Nicole always has a positive attitude at work.  Her personality makes you instantly drawn to her… which is why she is so great at...

Top-Five Wedding Gifts

I have never been married myself, but I’ve had the pleasure of going to a lot of my friends’ weddings.  I’ve found through experience that giving the right present is difficult in this day-and-age when most couples getting married already live together and have everything they need for their home. The best thing you can do is give them something unique and thoughtful that they would never buy for themselves, and at GiftTree we have a lot of options that fit that description. Here are my “Top Five Favorite GiftTree Wedding Gifts”:  Engraved Chopsticks for Two: Talk about unique! I love these wooden chopsticks with free engraving. Get the couple’s names engraved on them for something really personal, or wish them good luck, fortune, success, etc. Engraved Toasting Flutes: A more obvious choice, but a good one. The flutes are silver-plated and engraved with the couple’s initials so they can remember their special day forever. Wedding Blessings Box: For the more eco-friendly couple, give them a gift that is truly from the heart. The Wedding Blessings Box is made from beautiful bamboo, comes with 20 recycled linen “blessed” notecards to write personal messages on, a bamboo pen, and other trinkets that express your blessings for the happy couple. Riedel Black Tie Decanter: If they are wine drinkers, they will love and truly appreciate this Riedel Black Tie Decanter. Made from the highest quality of crystal, and absolutely stunning to witness, this is a gift that will blow all others away. For a personalized touch, you can even add a message or their names on a satin ribbon. Champagne &...

Spanish Summer

Summer comes kind of late in the Pacific Northwest. It always feels like the season waits until the last minute to begin, and then condenses itself into a few brief weeks of sweltering heatwave after the 4th of July. When the sun finally comes out I love being able to keep the doors and windows open all day and night, letting the warm breeze and fresh summer scents flow through my house. What I love even more is heading outside to sit in the sun with a good book. On days like these I enjoy doing as little as possible, and the last thing I want to do when it’s a hundred degrees in the shade is cook a hot meal in the oven. I crave cold dishes: fruits, salads…popsicles! And one of my absolute favorite summertime things is Sangria. It’s light and refreshing and fruity, and goes perfectly with those cold summertime dishes. I’ve tried making it myself, but there’s something about the authenticity of real Spanish Sangria that just can’t be matched. That’s why the Spanish Sangria with Handmade Ceramic Pitcher is such a great summer gift! Not only is the Sangria genuine, it comes with a beautiful handcrafted pitcher made by Spanish artisans. Just add some fresh oranges and strawberries for a perfect summertime...

July Birth Flower

My beautiful baby girl is getting so big- on July 12th she is turning 4 years old! Gone are the days when I had to feed her by hand or get her dressed, my little firecracker is very independent and wants nothing more than to feel grown up. I decided that I am going to arrange her very first flower delivery on her birthday this year, so I started researching “birth flowers”. Apparently, like birth stones, there is a flower that corresponds to every month of the year. Perhaps this was a tradition created by florists, but it works! It just so happens that July’s birth flowers are the Water Lily and Larkspur. Now, I really don’t know where I can get water lilies for delivery, besides the Monet print hanging in the hall! But I do know about larkspur. What a beautiful delicate flower, that perfectly captures my little blondie’s kind spirit. I think we are going to splurge, and go for the Wonderful Day Bouquet. I can use it for a centerpiece at her party, and I know she will love the purple and pink flowers that so reflect her joyful heart.   Month Flower Symbolization January                     Snowdrop Love, fascination, and purity February                    Primrose Modesty, distinction, and virtue March                    Daffodil Rebirth, unrequited love, vanity April                    Daisy/Peony Innocence, loyal love, gratitude, and healing May        Hawthorn/Lily of the Valley Happiness, humility and sweetness June                     Rose Love, gratitude, appreciation July    Water Lily/Delphinium/Larkspur Joyful, fickleness, sweet August             Poppy/Gladiolus Moral Integrity September          Morning glory/Aster Daintiness, love, magic October         Marigold/Hops/Calendula Grief, Hopefulness, Grace...

A Family Friendly 4th of July

Now that I have an eight-month-old daughter this 4th of July is going to be much different than in past years. I used to look forward to the large celebrations, loud booming fireworks, and staying up way later than I probably should. Now I worry about the fireworks scaring my daughter, or even worse waking her up; I dread the crowded streets and people partying; and good luck getting me to stay up past 9pm. So I’ve decided to take the advice of my friends and throw my own child-friendly 4th of July party from the convenience of my own home. But where do I start? The best place to begin is with the décor. Nothing says Independence Day better than an America the Beautiful flower bouquet to use as a centerpiece for your table. And for outside, really impress them by hanging up Amazing Grace Wind Chimes that actually play the first six notes heard in the opening measures of the classic American hymn “Amazing Grace.” As far as food and drinks go, I love Sangria for a fun summer drink that is both light and tasty. Then if you really want to impress them, pair the Sangria with some delicious Maine Lobster Tails  that just melt in your mouth. And for dessert, end the night with some Cheesecake Pops that are fun for both the kids and adults. A perfect ending to a safe, quiet, and baby-friendly 4th of...

Why, Thank You!

A couple months ago I went on a road trip with my boyfriend. With gas prices, food and lodging, our trip was on a budget. We took the scenic route from Vancouver, WA into Nevada and ended up in San Diego before we made it back home. Our friends and family saved us several hundreds of dollars mainly in hotels alone not to mention food. When you’re trying to plan a road trip on a budget, or even any trip you take this summer remember to send a Thank You to those who fed or put a roof over your head. If you stay with a family member, a friend or even a friend of a friend. Tell them how much you appreciate them with a gift. Besides,  staying one night under someone else’s roof for free saved you at least $50! Here at Gift Tree we have numerous gifts under $50 that say “Thank you!” Take a look and send one...

It’s Summertime!

I love each season as it comes, but I really love summer. I look forward to it all year long! The long days, that big bright yellow thing in the sky comes out (if we are lucky!) and bare feet in the grass. One of my favorite summer activities is lounging in my parents backyard reading a good book, or playing a quick round of croquet. I especially love taking naps in the hammock.  Growing up everyone wanted to play in your yard because we had the biggest one on the block, or maybe it was because they knew my mom would have fresh baked cookies for us to chomp on… Regardless, our yard was the place to be in NE Portland. Be sure to take some time, kick off your shoes and put your feet in the grass. Top 5 Favorite Smells from Summers in My Parents Yard 1. Fresh cut grass 2. Camp Fire (fire pit) 3. Lilac trees 4. Charcoal Grill 5. Sheets drying on the clothes...

I Have the Best Dad Ever!!

I grew up a total Daddy’s girl. Wherever my dad was, I wasn’t far behind. I was supposed to have been his boy, but as fate would have it, it didn’t turn out that way. That didn’t seem to change the way we interacted however, I was his lil tom-boy. We went fishing together, chopped wood together, and as I got older, he taught me how to cook. That’s right I didn’t learn how to cook from my mom. Dad was the master cook and griller in our family, And still is today. So this fathers day, what better gift than the Fathers Day Gourmet Grill Basket! It’s perfect for the master griller in your life – with the assortment of gourmet spices and seasonings, and the gourmet cedar grilling planks he will surely be grillin up something tasty. Send your dad (or hubby, step dad, brother etc) something super special this year! Check out our unique gifts today and show him how much you truly appreciate him....

Finding the Perfect Father’s Day Gift

When I was a little girl, my dad pretty much got one of two gifts; either a novelty tie or a bucket of Old Spice. He always made a big show out of loving the light up penguin tie or bottle of cheap aftershave, but let’s be real- he never made any use out of my well intentioned presents. I think I finally found him a gift he will use, and like, The Man Can! This gift is funny and cool, in a manly paint can container. So long Old Spice, hello Bay Rum scented moisturizer! My husband is another issue entirely. We have two small girls who are just beginning to understand what Father’s Day is, and I really want it to be special for everyone. What is the perfect gift for Dad? He helped my daughter make me an awesome bird feeder for Mother’s day, lovingly hand painted and sprayed with red glitter to attract my favorite songbirds. I don’t think we can hand craft a lung wrench or a part for his ’62 Impala, so I have been racking my brain for a cool gift that will give us family good times. Then, as always, Gifttree saved my bacon! He is a barbecue master and we have a fabulous new gift called the Terre Exotique Oils and Salts Travel Satchel. It has herbs and spice mixtures, seasoned salts and infused olive oils. I can already see him using his goodies for a family meal. Happy Father’s...

Father’s Day Contest

How does the contest work? We want to know – what is the best advice you’ve ever received from your Dad? Go to GiftTree’s Facebook page and become a fan. Find the Father’s Day contest post and leave a comment! What are the prizes? The winner will receive a Father’s Day Gourmet Grill Basket for their Dad, along with a $50 GiftTree gift card for themselves! Are there other ways to enter? Yes! You’ll get extra brownie points (meaning extra contest entries) for each of the following you do: 1).  Follow GiftTree on Twitter and Tweet “@GiftTree, Your Father’s Day Contest Rules!” 2).  Find the Gourmet Grill Basket on GiftTree’s Pinterest page and re-pin it. 3).  Follow GiftTree on Google+ What are the rules? The contest ends on Sunday, June 17th, 2012. Winner will be announced on or around Monday, June 18th, 2012 and will be announced on Facebook. Open to US residents...

Congratulations, Graduates!

Me graduating High School was nothing short of a miracle. It took a small army of people (Krystal, Mr. Hollands, my mom bribing me with Senior pictures (my sisters think I’m a tad vain)), and many hours of talking my Spanish teacher into giving me a passing grade. School just wasn’t my thing, but somehow I graduated and with a decent GPA, got killer senior portraits done and managed to never go to a full day of class my senior year. If I could tell my 18 year old self a few things this is what I would say: – Pay attention in Spanish, you will grow to regret it later! – Don’t invite that boy to prom, that is not going anywhere for you. – Spend as much time with your friends as possible, next year you will all be spread out, these moments are precious. – Don’t worry so much, everything turns out just fine! Encourage your graduate to live up (responsibly) the last few months in town before they dive into adulthood. Check out our Graduation Gifts to help them start celebrating the right...

I Love the 80’s… and Gourmet Popcorn!

I was fortunate enough to grow up in the 1980’s. To me, this was the GREATEST time ever. The best movies, the best music, the best fashion… but I digress. I do tend to get stuck in the past. I don’t know if this is because I still can’t get over that Milli Vanilli wasn’t real (Girl you know it’s true…) or because this was a moment in my life when some of my biggest worries were if my jelly shoes matched my banana clip or if Gordie and Vern were going to make it across those train tracks in Stand By Me (they did. Whew.). Ah, the good ol’ days. Some of my fondest memories of the 80’s include movie nights with my parents. We’d eat cheese and crackers, make up the Jiffy Pop, and pop a movie in the VCR and make a night of it. On special occasions, we’d go to the movie theater and get a HUGE tub of popcorn covered in as much butter as we could stand. These were my favorite times! In fact, once I even cancelled going to a slumber party at the Most Popular Girl In School’s house in favor of going to see Throw Mama From The Train with my parents on New Year’s Eve (which also happened to be their wedding anniversary so I’m sure they were looking forward to a kid-free ‘date’, but they never let on… how sweet!). Okay, back to reality. I guess I can’t live in the past forever. And I do have to admit, over the years, my palate has matured slightly. While...

Unconventional Moms

Although my mom is amazing (see my Mother’s Day blog)  I feel the need to give a shout out to the other important “Mom’s” in my life because who says the only Mom you have is the one who gives birth to you? From the day I was born my Auntie Verna has been a constant in my life. My mom and Aunt had kids right in line with each other (pretty ideal for all of us cousins) and we all grew up within walking distance of each other.  My fist sleep over was at her house, she always made us take 3 bits of everything on our plate (even if it was nasty canned green beans smothered in cream cheese) and she punished me just like a mother would (hello wooden paddle that sits on the ledge of the wall just taunting us). 🙂  My Auntie Verna is the next best thing when my own mom isn’t there to comfort me. I know I can rely on her for anything and is the first to step up when I need an extra pair of arms around me. My best friend Krystal’s family took a chance on me when we were in High School, inviting a girl they knew little about to tag along with their family to Hawaii for a vacation. I am not sure if they decided to keep me around of if I just refused to leave, but Cheryl (K’s Mom) took me under her wing and never let go. Over the years I know she grown to love me as much I as love her....

Mother’s Day

I attribute a lot of who I am to my mom and her guidance and love. She taught me how to rock a baby to sleep, to properly clean a bathroom (the key is bleach), and to let my hair down and have fun (though I’m still learning this one). She makes a mean chocolate chip cookie, can hit a softball out of the park and is always the first to step up when someone is in need. When I was growing up my mom didn’t have a conventional (read: out of the home) job. She and my dad had a small side business and we cleaned a dental office on the weekends. I loved that my mom was always there for us, not hindered by a work schedule or pressing deadlines. She was the neighborhood mom (everyone came to play in our yard, eat snacks and occasionally take a much needed hot bath), she was the one all the kids ran to for a band aid or a hug. In elementary school she helped in our classrooms and volunteered with students in a special program that was helping them reach their reading goals. When classmates didn’t have grandparents or special friends show up for events, she proudly proclaimed she was there to support them. As I grew older, and more defiant, my mom helped my through those awkward, “coming into your own” years. From advise on boys to convincing me that everyone should have 2 eyebrows (yes, I believe I got only the worst of my fathers Italian genes), she was there to guide me out of the...

Featured Employee – Summer Quatier

Summer is our Featured Employee for May! She works in the Business Development Dept here at GiftTree, and has been with us since 2008. She’s usually pretty busy, but we bribed her with chocolate and she agreed to answer our questions. 😉 1. If you had to live at GiftTree, and had friends over for dinner, which basket would you open for their enjoyment? If I had to choose one basket for dinner, it would hands down be the Gourmet Extravagance Gift Basket. That one is PACKED with delicious goodies. Can I add a bottle of wine too? 2. What are your top 5 favorite smells? I love the smell of fresh brewed coffee. If someone in the office makes a pot, I will be at their door with a cup in hand. 🙂 Other smells I like are the ocean, flowers, fresh cut grass, and wood burning in a fireplace. 3. If you had to pick, would you rather always be hot or cold? This is hard, but I’d rather be cold and layer up. 4. If GiftTree said they were going to send you on an all expense paid trip to anywhere in the world, where would you go? For my birthday? Thanks!! I would love to go to Bali. It has amazing tropical beaches, I could definitely spend some time there! 5. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be? Homemade ceviche.(Not the raw kind) It’s delicious with a lot of flavor, yum. This is why we love Summer… Summer is a hard worker who performs a...

Picture Perfect Mother’s Day Contest

I remember when I was little, my Mom could do no wrong! She was my hero, my best friend, my everything. She cut the crusts off my PB&J’s, walked with me to the store to pick out candy, and didn’t complain when I threw slumber parties with 12 screaming pre-teens. Moms are awesome, and we want to celebrate them! Enter our Picture Perfect Mother’s Day Contest by “Liking” us on Facebook and uploading your favorite photo of Mom to our Mother’s Day Contest page between May 1st, 2012 and May 12, 2012. The photo with the most votes will be declared the winner. Winner will be notified by announcement on our Facebook page on or around May 14, 2012. Prizes: The winner will receive a $150 GiftTree Gift Card for them, and a California Signature Wine Gift Basket valued at $174.95 for Mom.  In the event the winner requests that the prize be shipped to a state that cannot accept shipments of wine/champagne, the winner will be given the option of a non-alcoholic gift of equal value. Contest open to legal US residents...

Engravable Wind Chimes

I have the worst memory in the world. Let me rephrase that, I have the worst memory when it comes to things that matter. Somehow I hold onto random bits of knowledge that won’t ever help.. I mean they aren’t even the useful kind that might help me win Jeopardy, I can recall every episode of certain TV shows (ahem….Full House),  I grew up watching on TGIF and maybe most embarrassingly when it comes to DJ’s dating life….lets just say I am an expert. My sisters like to say I have made up memories because sometimes I just fill in the blanks to family stories I should know, or insert a new event in my life timeline, tho most often my “memories” are about what people wore.. Im not exactly sure where I come up with the outfits but my sisters assure me they aren’t real….. but i still think they might be…… Like I said, important memories (to the real world) are not something that come to the forefront of my mind. When I was in 3rd grade the only Grandmother I have ever know passed away from a long battle with cancer. While I remember painful details of her illness while she lived with us, sometimes it it hard for me to remember her healthy. My older sisters and cousins can recall special camping trips up to the lake, time spent watching her put her hair in pin curls at night and even the way she smelled. The bits and pieces I can put together are slim to say the least. I remember her husky laugh, they...
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