Bananas

I brought home a new kitten named Bananas a little over a week ago from the Humane Society. She was very sick with a cat cold and losing weight, so on Saturday we had to take her to the vet. She really disliked the trip but I am glad that we took her. The vet put her on antibiotics and she is doing much better. She barely sneezes now and she is starting to get the family belly. Ever since we brought home Bananas, we have been buying all kinds of cat toys and treats for her. We have feather toys and toys that roll, along with four different brands of wet food. We have been researching everything on the Internet about kittens and while perusing the GiftTree site, I rediscovered the Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul Gift Basket. I think this is really the perfect gift basket for new and experienced cat owners a like. The basket contains the book Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul and snacks for the cat owner. It is also packed full of special treats for the kitty like a variety of cat toys, a rhinestone collar and catnip filled sparkle balls. I’ve never seen a gift basket for both people and cats before working at GiftTree. I think I am going to have to bring this basket home. Every cat should have a rhinestone collar and sparkle balls AND sometimes cat owners need treats...

I Scream, You Scream…

We all scream for ice cream! Many argue back and forth as to how good of a president Ronald Reagan was, but one thing is for sure…he definitely gained a loyal following in 1984 when he designated July 18th as National Ice Cream Day! Speaking for myself, I do not need a president, or anyone else for that matter, to tell me that it is alright to have a day set aside to celebrate ice cream. If it were up to me everyday would be ice cream day. After all, I have been quoted as saying that ice cream should be it’s own food group. Ice cream is a very wholesome and nutritious food item. It covers your dairy requirements and if you get the varieties that have nuts in them your fiber requirements will be met as well. The creamy, smooth, velvety texture of ice cream has been known to have a calming effect if you are feeling frazzled or anxious and will definitely put a smile on your face. If you are feeling old on any particular day all you need to do is enjoy some ice cream and lick the bowl when you are done…this will have you feeling like a kid again in no time! The benefits of ice cream consumption are amazing. By just consuming ice cream on a daily basis you will no longer need to take calcium or fiber supplements and you can throw out your anti-depressants as well. Of course I would run all this by a medical professional first! Since Americans consume more ice cream per capita than any other...

Update – Here Comes the 4th of July

The Fourth of July has now come and gone. I did end up having a small get together at my apartment. It was really fun. We snacked on GiftTree treats, listened to music from local artists, drank homemade Blueberry Lemon Lime soda, talked about our plans for the summer and then went on the roof of my apartment building to watch fireworks. Everyone was impressed with the snacks I brought home from GiftTree and the view of the fireworks from the roof. I had a great night. Next weekend, we are thinking of having a few people over to watch independent short films. I get a DVD magazine in the mail quarterly which contains rare unseen short films. I have been wanting to have small get togethers to coincide with each new issue of the magazine. For this gathering I think I am going to purchase a gift basket with wine to share. I am leaning towards the Toast of California Wine Basket or the Vineyard Select Wine Basket with Merlot & Chardonnay. I have decided it is much easier to buy a GiftTree gift basket then to fight the crowds at the grocery store. Plus GiftTree’s gift baskets contain treats you can’t really find at the store. For example, the toast of California Wine Basket comes with a bottle of Sycamore Lan California Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay, Aaron Bell Rosemary Garlic Crackers, Auberge Camembert Cheese Spread, Brown & Haley Almond Roca, Petit Soleil Bonbons au Chocolat, Aaron Bell Seasoned Almonds and more. The Vineyard Select Wine Basket with Merlot & Chardonnay comes with Parmesan Artichoke Cheese Biscuits, Saraivanov Smoked...

A Day in the Life of GiftTree’s Production Team

Have you ever enjoyed a product without appreciating the amount of work, dedication and passion it took for the product to be produced? For instance, I love to eat crab and used to take for granted how it ended up on the menu for me to order…until…I watched Deadliest Catch. I now have a whole new found appreciation for the sacrifice and commitment it takes for me to enjoy crab cakes. I normally spend a great deal of my day interacting with our resellers and eFlorists, blogging for GiftTree and responding to our charitable donation requests. I had little understanding, or appreciation, for what it takes to produce our end product. In an effort for me to be able to have a better understanding of our products it was decided that I should spend a day in the life of our production team. Besides the fact that we chose the hottest day of the year for me to spend in the warehouse, it was an enlightening day. I started the day working with Amy Edwards in our personalization area. Amy takes the time to make sure that every personalized gift looks perfect. She is an amazing bow maker and pays attention to the little details that I wouldn’t have thought about. Like making sure the GiftTree scissors, that are a complimentary gift with every gift basket purchased, are arranged on the gift just right and that the message on the ribbon is centered and spaced perfectly. Her attention to detail is impeccable. After lunch I had the privilege of working with our production team as we assembled a couple...

Top 5 Ways to Say Thank You

A lot of orders placed at GiftTree are for thank you gifts. There are numerous reasons to send a thank you gift. Sales managers can send thank you gifts to sales professionals to thank them for a job well done. A sales person could send a gift to a potential client to thank them for taking the time to meet with them. Event planners can send gifts to sponsors or volunteers to thank them for their help. Companies can send thank you gifts to customers to thank them for their business. A thank you gift could even be sent in response to a thank you gift. There are many reasons to say thank you, which is why GiftTree has an entire section dedicated to thank you gifts. We have thank you petit fours, thank you gift baskets, thank you balloon arrangements, thank you wine gifts and more. Actually, a large number of our gifts can be personalized with your message so I would have to say that the majority of our gifts could be thank you gifts. Just so you aren’t overwhelmed, here is my list of the top five thank you gifts: 1. Macadams’ Gourmet Thank You $29.95 This is a very popular thank you gift. It contains a bevy of snacks separated into eight individual boxes. When the boxes are all together, they spell out the words “Thank You” in large letters. The snacks in this gift are: Sugared Peach Slices, Spice Guadalajara Mix, Mixed Jelly Beans, Candy Berries, Toffee Peanuts, Sour Cherries, Jordan Almonds and delicious Island Mix. 2. Deluxe Thank You Gift Basket $54.95 This basket overflows with...

More Fun 4th of July Trivia…

As everyone is getting ready to share in the festivities of America’s birthday we wanted to share some more fun trivia about the 4th of July with all of you trivia buffs out there! How did the Liberty Bell get it’s crack? It acquired it’s crack on it’s first ring. In what year did Congress recognize the Pledge of Allegiance? 1942 Which two presidents, both of whom signed the Declaration of Independence, died on July 4, 1826? John Adams and Thomas Jefferson What is the name of the oldest commissioned U.S. naval vessel? The Constitution Estimated number of 4th of July cookouts? 150 million The dollor amount of all U.S. fireworks imported? $211 million How many people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776? Two How tall is the Statue of Liberty? 151 feet When the Liberty Bell was cast, how much did it weigh? 2080 pounds What New York Yankee threw a no hitter on July 4, 1983? Dave Righetti Which president of the United States was born on the 4th of July? The 30th president, Calvin Coolidge What color smoke balls are prohibited in California? Red What American politicion spends almost $1000 on fireworks each 4th of July? Jesse Ventura In what year did “Cherry Bombs” become illegal in the United States? 1966 How many people in the United States suffer serious injuries from fireworks annually? Approximately 9,300 In the Vancouver, WA/Portland, OR area a lot of people are excited because the Fort Vancouver 4th of July Fireworks Show is returning this year after a hiatus in 2009. This display is advertised as one of...

Fourth of July Wedding Anniversary

Fourth of July is just around the corner! I am so happy because it is my absolute favorite holiday. Why you ask? Not only is it the celebration of declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, but it is also my wedding anniversary and this year is number 7! The traditional anniversary gift for the seventh year is wool, brass or copper. But if you want to get the perfect anniversary gift, regardless of tradition, you can never go wrong with flowers. That is one of the reasons why working at Gift Tree is so much fun! We have some very unique floral arrangements suitable for any holiday or special occasion. The Fourth of July Fireworks bouquet reminds me of exploding fireworks and would be the terrific way to say happy anniversary to that special couple or to decorate for your Fourth of July celebration this year. There are also more unique summer fun gift ideas available at GiftTree. Here are some fun facts about the Fourth of July for all you trivia fans: Only two people signed the Declaration of Independence on July 4th, John Hancock and Charles Thomson. Most of the rest signed on August 2, but the last signature wasn’t added until 5 years later. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national animal but was outvoted when John Adams and Thomas Jefferson chose the bald eagle. Over an estimated 150 million hot dogs will be consumed July 4th. That’s roughly 1 dog for every two people in the U.S. More than 74 million Americans bar-b-que on the Fourth of July. The stars on the...

It is Better to Give than to Receive

Hmmmm. While I suppose there is some truth to that saying, the task of choosing the right gift to give can be very overwhelming. The best gifts I have ever bought were ones that were never planned. In some cases the person wasn’t even on my list to get a gift for. I love it when I am out and about, minding my own business, and all of a sudden I see something that automatically makes me think of someone in my life – friend, relative, new acquaintance – and the first thought that goes through my mind is: That would be the perfect gift for that person. It is always an item that reminds me of that person’s uniqueness, their specific likes, their personality. And it always seems that I find this perfect gift when I am least expecting it. This happened to me last weekend when I attended the Vancouver Farmer’s Market for the first time. It seems that our friends had been after us to go every weekend since it opened this year, but I kept sticking my head in the sand and refused to go. Then I heard that there were fresh berries and they were amazing…so I went…and that is when it happened. I found the perfect gift. We were walking along and there was this display that had garden art made from old rusty tools and then, out of the corner of my eye, I saw it…the most perfect gift. It was a very simple gift, a colored wine bottle that was melted flat so that it looked like a cutting board and...

Weddings, Weddings and MORE Weddings

It’s June again, and that means weddings, weddings and more weddings! I adore weddings. I think it’s so fun how each one I have gone to is unique and tailor made to fit the bride and groom’s personality and style. I am currently helping a good friend with her August wedding and it’s so exciting to be behind the scenes, helping plan all the small details. My friend and I were discussing all the different wedding customs and traditions and we wondered where some of them originated. Here are some of our favorites: Carrying the bride over the threshold: Actually, we found several answers for this one! Two of our favorites were: To protect the bride from evil spirits and to prevent the bride from tripping on the way into her new home, as this is considered bad luck and can lead to a bad marriage. The bouquet toss: In the olden days, it was considered lucky to touch the bride and people who were over zealous, in attempts to get some of her luck, would rip and tear at her dress, flowers, veil etc. To ward off the crowd, the bride threw her bouquet and ran off with her new husband. Giving away of the bride: Back in the day of arranged marriages, the father of the bride quite literally ‘gave away’ his daughter in exchange for a piece of property or other valuable. Throwing rice/bird seed at the newly married couple: Back in the medieval times, rice was a symbol of fertility. Wedding guests would throw rice at the newly married couple to bring them good luck and many children. Tying...

Here Comes the 4th of July

The Fourth of July is already coming up again. I can’t believe how fast this year is going. Last year, I was able to stand on the roof of my three story apartment building and watch fireworks go off all around me. There aren’t any other tall buildings around so I had a 360 degree, unobstructed view of fireworks going off in two different states: Washington and Oregon. This Fourth of July I plan to have a few friends over. It would be great if we could watch 80’s movies, drink homemade sodas and eat GiftTree fruit baskets until it is time for fireworks. Here is my list of the top five snack foods available from GiftTree: Party Perfect Gift Tower The name says it all. This tower has Jordan Almonds, Savory Pretzels, Toffee Peanuts, Cherry Almond Caramel Popcorn, Bonbons au Chocolat and Island Fruit Mix. The City Block This popular gift has Caramel Almond Popcorn, Candy Coated Jordan Almonds, Toffee Peanuts, Country Style Popcorn, Sour Fruit Candies, Cajun Peanuts, Old Fashioned Kettle Corn, Salted Pretzels and Swedish Chocolate Mint Cookies. Healthy Chocolate-Covered Strawberries These strawberries are extremely delicious. Sampler Cheesecake If you decide to go with the Sampler Cheesecake for your party, then you will probably want to purchase two. One for the party and one just for you! Macadams’ Confection Collection The Macadam’s Collection is filled with Sugared Peach Slices, Spicy Guadalajara Mix, Mixed Jelly Beans, Candy Berries, Toffee Peanuts, Sour Cherries, Jordan Almonds, and Island...

Remembering Dad

I remember when I was a kid, my Dad was my hero. He could do NOTHING wrong. When I was younger we lived in California and my dad was a huge fan of baseball. I remember going to the ball park to watch the Dodgers or the Angels play and how he’d always buy me popcorn and hotdogs and how much of a belly ache I’d have later that day. Those are still some of my favorite memories! When I was 10, we moved up to the Pacific Northwest…as the years passed, and I grew into a teenager, my Dad’s love for baseball continued. He rooted on the Seattle Mariners and would be so excited when they won. I remember thinking how embarrassing he was – but, at that time in my life, everything my parents did or said embarrassed me! Eventually his infectious laughter and excitement melted me and, as I began to grow out of my teenage years, I began to get into the spirit of baseball with him. We’d sit together and watch the Mariners, so excited when they did good, and SO heartbroken when they didn’t make it to the playoffs. Baseball was ‘our’ thing, and it made us grow closer as I grew up. Tragically, my Dad passed away unexpectedly when he was only 42 years old. It was a very devastating time and how I wish he was around today to see and enjoy his grandchildren, he would be so proud. Recently here at GiftTree we got this wonderful gift that reminds me so much of my Dad. The Take ‘Em Out to...

Best Customer Service

Yep, “BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE!” was the subject line in Jeanette Richardson’s email to enter our May review contest. With an entry like that, how could she not win? Ok, I’ll admit it. We’re vain. We like to hear how awesome we are. Jeanette’s Review: “I just wanted to send this email to advise that GiftTree saved my day…your record keeping is exceptional. I left home today without my mailing addresses to place my order and the representative was able to pull up my account and retrieve the addresses. My order has been placed for a last minute request and expedite delivery set for tomorrow. Now that is service! Thank you so much!” No Jeanette, thank YOU for totally making our...

School’s Out for Summer

School is almost out in our area and while my son is thinking about all the fun he’s going to have this summer, I’ve been reflecting on the last year. My son’s school counselor is fantastic and I’ve decided to send her a gift to thank her. She started as the counselor for the students in my son’s grade in middle school. Then she bumped up to high school so she could stay with them through graduation. While that’s pretty darn commendable in itself, I can look back to the last year and think of several times that she went above and beyond. Let’s see, there was the time during class scheduling for the next term that my son wanted to sign up for an easier math class rather than staying on his honors math track. His counselor told him absolutely not and took all the heat. Yay, I’m not the bad guy for once! Then, there was the countless times that she encouraged, almost insisted, my son do volunteer work to help with his college applications in a couple of years. As a result, my son’s time with the Boys and Girls Club has been priceless for him. And of course there have been times that, since my son is no perfect angel…well, let’s just say she’s been there for us all. So this year, we’re sending her the International Beer Chest. Seriously, this woman deserves to have a beer on us! I hope she goes home after the last day of school and cracks one open while lounging in the sun in her back yard. Then, just...

Remembering My Graduation

When the link was added to our website for Graduation Gifts, I realized that it has been five years since I graduated high school. My senior year seemed to drag on forever, but now that I look back, it happened very quickly. At the time, I didn’t think graduating was really that big of a deal. But on graduation night, when my family was gathered around the stage with the look of pure excitement and pride on their faces, I knew it was a really big deal. It was an unbelievable and unforgettable experience that I will one day pass on. OH! and I can’t leave out all the great graduation gifts that i received at my graduation party. Which brings me to a gift we offer here at GiftTree, the Monogrammed Mug. I like this gift because it can be personalized with the grad’s initials and because it reminds me of the gift I received from my grandmother. She gave me a coffee mug and told me that I was going to need this to help me get through the rough years of studying in college. Leave us a comment and let us know what your most memorable graduation gift...

Alcohol May Help Fight Weight Gain in Women

The next time you reach for a glass of wine or send one of our fabulous wine gifts, you may be comforted to know that a recent, long-term study found that women of a normal weight who consume alcohol in moderation appear to gain less weight over time than nondrinkers. The thirteen year study of over 19,000 women yielded surprising results since alcohol, with its high caloric density, is typically considered to be a culprit of weight gain. Nearly all women in the study gained weight over time, with those who did not drink gaining an average of eight pounds. What I love and find fascinating about this study, however, is that the women who drank 30 to 40 grams of alcohol a day – or the equivalent of three to four glasses of wine – gained the least. The effect carried across all categories of alcohol, though red wine did show the strongest link to less weight gain. Socioeconomic status did not appear to be a factor in the results. Of course the publishers of the study issued adamant warnings about the dangers of regularly consuming alcohol in excess, but nonetheless the findings are of comfort for us girls who enjoy a few glasses of wine on a Saturday night....

First Father’s Day

It’s my husbands first Father’s Day and I know that he is excited no matter how hard he tries to act cool about it. I really want to make it special for him so I got him a thing or two off of his wish list. I also got him the Engraved Savings Bank for Dad because I always find his change laying around. Now that McKinley is starting to get around, my husband is going to have to put it away! I really think he will enjoy his gifts but I am also looking for ideas on something to do. Something a bit original that he isn’t expecting. I really want to make it a special day for him. Any ideas? I would LOVE to hear...

Father’s Day Contest

Dads are pretty special guys. I know my dad has been there for me over the years. Yeah, of course with money, but in other ways too. Like the time he had my back when I stood up for myself, but thought I was going to be in trouble. Or the time I wanted to go to a concert across the state with a van full of people and he actually let me go. Or the time that it was snowing and for some unknown reason, I lost all confidence in driving in the bad weather, so he drove 25 minutes to my house to take me where I needed to go. Seriously, dads have a way of showing up for you when you need them. This Father’s Day, GiftTree would like to help you say, “Happy Father’s Day” to your dad. Tell us why your dad is the best or what you appreciate about him. My dad? I appreciate that he has always accepted me and supported me in my decisions. It didn’t matter if he really thought I was crazy for buying that fixer upper, going to that school or dating that one guy. If I made a decision, he was on board. That has always made it easier to take calculated risks and proceed in life with less fear. I knew I already had someone in my corner. So thanks, Dad and Happy Father’s Day! Now it’s you’re turn. Leave your comment below and you’ll get extra brownie points if you post your entry on GiftTree’s Facebook page too. The winning Dad will receive a $50 GiftTree...

Memorial Day

And I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.~Lee Greenwood Freedom is never free.  ~Author Unknown As Memorial Day approaches this weekend many of our thoughts turn to those that have served, are currently serving and are getting ready to serve our country. We live in a time where there are very few people who have not been directly affected by the service of someone in our military. Here at GiftTree there are some of us who are getting ready to welcome a loved one home from Iraq this weekend and some of us are still waiting for close friends and loved ones to arrive home safely at a later date. Memorial Day has it’s roots all the way back to May 5, 1866 and was originally known as Decoration Day, a day to honor those that lost their lives in the Civil War. It is now observed on the last Monday in May. GiftTree has a nice selection of Memorial Day gifts that can help you find that special way to commemorate the loss of a loved one who has served in the military. While there will be many people observing this holiday by visiting cemeteries and memorials, most businesses observe the day because it marks the beginning of the summer and all the fun that goes along with it. There will be picnics, barbecues, family gatherings and sporting events taking place all across America this weekend. The Indianapolis 500 has been held on Memorial Day since 1911, and...
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