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For Newlyweds – Who Love to Eat but Can’t Cook!

I wish I had been given the Engraved Chopsticks For Two as a wedding present because when I first got married I knew how to make a few dishes, but not many and my husband was so helpless in the kitchen he burned toast. We have since honed our cooking skills and discovered our love for sushi, which is great because there is no cooking involved! I would recommend the Engraved Chopsticks For Two for any couple, but especially the young who have yet to develop their culinary...

A New Home – No Unpacking Required

The Grande Gourmet Fruit Basket is a great gift for people who are moving into a new home. It is filled with all sorts of fresh produce, crackers, gourmet chocolate, tea, and even a tea pot (no unpacking required). After all, one can only live off of pizza and take out Chinese for so long when there’s no time for grocery shopping. I know I would have loved to receive this gift when I recently...

Bottled Pleasures: Giving the Gift of Wine

A friend of mine recently told me that, now she that is in her mid-30’s, she only drinks wine because beer and spirits make her tired while wine has a “happy” uplifting effect on her. Maybe it was because we were drinking great Pinot Noir while dining on award-winning Peruvian food, but what she said resonated deeply. Wine, in relative moderation, does make a person feel good, and this makes it such an easy gift to give with a variety of potential applications. Lovebirds can share a bottle over candlelight and truffles, gourmands appreciate how wine enhances foods, and, well, some of us just need a glass or two after a hard day’s work. In any case, wine does often uplift the spirit and soothe the soul, and has done so for centuries. The tricky part to giving wine is choosing what kind of wine to give. Red varieties are numerous and range from Syrahs to Zinfandels to Merlots. Each variety is classified according to the grapes they are produced from, and have dramatically different tastes. White varietiels are just as numerous, not to mention rosé or sparkling wines. If you do not know your recipient’s preferred variety, a good idea is to overshoot the mark by sending a collection of wine. A great example for accomplishing this is our Wine and Gourmet Gift Basket. Featuring three kinds of wine from three different vineyards, there is sure to be a wine to please even the most finicky palette. If you do know the recipient’s preference, be assured that they will know which vintages are of high quality. Focus on...

Peace Lily and Quiet

Have you ever received a plant as a gift and within a week it was starting to look puny? By the time you call the gift giver to thank them the plant has been mulching in the compost for a few days already. As a person with not much of a green thumb I constantly look for plants I can’t kill and the Peace Lily is a perfect choice. The Peace Lily is a plant whose stem and leaves will die at the end of each season but will come back for two or more years. It has white blooms and large glossy deep green leaves. It is easy to care for, as it does not require much light or water to survive which is perfect for those of us with brown thumbs! Not only is it beautiful, it has the ability to filter the air better than most plants. So even a novice gardener can breathe easy when they receive a Peace...

Was I Always a Gift Giver?

A friend of mine asked me if I send gifts to people more often now than in the past, being that I work for a gift company. The truth is, I do. I’ve always been the type of person that likes to send friends and family gifts to congratulate them on a new job or house, say happy birthday, or just make them feel special for no reason. But now that I see how the internet gifting business works and am right in the middle of it, I have to admit I do find more reasons to send out gifts than I did before working here. Whenever we have a new tea product out, my Mom gets it. Whenever I want to say hello to my grandparents, they get a gourmet basket (followed up with a phone call). Whenever one of my sisters needs to send a gift to someone, they call me and I set it all up for them. Yeah, working here does make sending gifts easier and I do admit I send things more often. But I do stand behind the product, and every gift I send still has the sincerity my gifts had before working...

For the Couple Who Has Everything!

My uncle recently got married to a woman whom he had been dating for seventeen years and had already built a home together. Which isn’t necessarily the norm for the general population but I do notice an increase in couples getting married or remarried later in life. So what do you get a middle age couple that already has practically everything? The Monogrammed VIP Silver Rabbit Corkscrew! My aunt and uncle love having dinner parties and often serve wine. What a better way to honor their union than by engraving the plaque with their initials. I think this is a great wedding gift for any couple, but especially those who have...

What Month Were You Born?

I was reading an article the other day about how most babies are born in the fall. I decided to check into it and it seems to be true. From 1990 to 2002, August and July were when the most babies were born every year. July only made the list 4 out of the 12 year study. This is just for the United States though, Europe has different trends. They tend to have a higher birth rate in the spring. As far as the high birth rate months go, no one is sure why. Weekdays are busier for births than weekends. They know why this is; it’s because there are so many c-sections vs. natural births these days. What doctor schedules a c-section on a...

Let Them Eat Cake

Sure – you looked gorgeous in your dress. The flowers were beautiful. The food was delicious. But do you know what everyone asks about when they hear about a wedding? They all ask “How was the cake?” It is THE statement piece of the wedding reception. Today’s bride and groom have more options than ever thought possible just a few years ago. Couples may choose cakes inspired by fabrics, china patterns, lace and embroidery. Pulled sugar can be used to emulate ribbons, real ribbons can be applied directly to frosting for a charming affect. Cakes no longer have to be round or rectangular. They don’t even have to be all cake. Many couples opt to have one layer made from cake for eating with the remaining tiers simply decorated styrofoam. (A clever solution for saving money and materials.) Even cupcakes are being used – no need to ask a cousin to man the cake cutting table. White is out, color is in. Vibrant citrus colored frostings in combinations of lime green, bright orange and shocking pink are a hot combination especially appropriate for tropical destination weddings. Chocolate cakes with dark chocolate frosting are delish. Unlimited budget? A diamond studded cake created by Mimi So Jewelers and cake designer Nahid La Patiesserie Artistique created for the Luxury Brands Bridal Show on Rodeo Drive was valued at a whopping $20 million. Diamonds are, after all, a girl’s best...

Who Are You Drinking?

By now we are all familiar with the line “Who are you wearing?” It is the question most often asked of celebrities when they walk down the red carpet. Soon we will be asking each other “Who are you drinking?” More and more celebrities are entering into the world of wine. Greg Norman Arnold Palmer and Ernie Els have the golf scene covered fairly well with their superior wines. Film director Francis Ford Coppola produces wines from California’s Napa Valley and enjoys frequent high ratings. Graceland Cellars, a line of Elvis Presley brand wines are fun for diehard Elvis fans. Martha Stewart is on the verge of releasing her own wines. The domestic diva has partnered with E&J Gallo Winery to produce a chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Paul Newman has partnered with Rebel Wines and now produces a chardonnay and a cabernet sauvignon. Rebel wine is a joint venture between Three Thieves and Trinchero Family Estates, one of the largest wine producers in the Bay area. As with all Newman’s Own products, all after-tax profits and royalties are donated to charity. So, who are you...

Doggone Good!

In Portland, OR, dogs are a big deal. We have pubs dedicated to dogs like the Lucky Labrador, over 15 holistic pet stores in Portland metro alone, 31 off-leash dog parks, upscale dog boutiques, and a host of dog friendly bakeries. Logically, dog birthdays are also a big event and it is not uncommon to spend $25 to $40 on a personalized birthday cake. This year I gave my girl a gift that will last a lot longer than a bag of treats or a fancy birthday cake. She was thrilled to receive The Good Dog Gift Basket. It is filled with a ton of hard rubber chew toys, human-grade cheddar cheese dog treats, a fancy new leash, rawhide, squeakie toys, plush toys, and rope, all in a shiny new bowl. Plus she got the thrill of barking at the Fed Ex man when it was...

The Art of Phoenician Pastries

Everyone loves a sweet treat and yet most Americans associate baked sweets with cookies and cakes. Enter Phoenicia Patisserie, a traditional Mediterranean bakery with an incredible variety of exotic confections. Using century old family recipes, bakers blend the rich flavor of pine nuts, pistachios, and cashews with delicate phyllo, crunchy shredded pastry, and a touch of sweetness. The result is a sublime marriage of textures and tastes unlike any American pastry you’ve ever had. Not only do these delicacies taste fantastic, but they have beautiful presentation. Take for instance the “Pine Nut Bird’s Nest,” which features golden baked pistachios encased by shredded pastry. Also be sure to see “Pistachio Nut Diamonds,” which is a bed of finely chopped green pistachios crowned with so many layers of phyllo that they defy counting. You can find these sumptuous delights in a number of our gift baskets, but a customer favorite is Gourmet Feast, where the pastries can be found alongside raspberry cookies, truffles, lemon drops, and almond...

Celebrating Your Health and Your Cat

WebMD recently posted a news report claiming that, compared with cat owners, people who had never had a pet cat were 40% more likely to die of a heart attack and 30% more likely to die of a cardiovascular disease, including stroke, heart failure, and chronic heart disease. Unfortunately the researchers found no such link for people who had a pet dog. As a cat owner, this obligates you to immediately buy something nice for your kitty. Just think of all the money they are saving you on medical bills! A great place to start is the Good Kitty Gift Basket. It is chocked full of yarn animals, catnip-stuffed mice, sparkle balls, lattice balls: the works! Your cat will also love the fancy rhinestone collar and kitty treats. A shiny new bowl and brush for pampering seal the deal. Here’s to your cat and your...

Don’t Try This at Home

There are many creative people in this world, but let me dispel any myths right away – I am not one of them. And not everyone that works for a gift basket company is destined to be a designer. (GiftTree’s talented Design Team can attest to this). Since joining the ranks at GiftTree, I have often looked back to Christmas of 1995. This is the Christmas that I thought it would be fun to make a gift basket for a family member. Oh, the horror…I decided on an ice cream theme and went to a large “one-stop-shop” store where I purchased a wicker basket, some colorful shredded paper, and several ice cream related items to include in the basket. After spending more money than I was planning, I went home to attempt to put my inner creative genius to work. I just knew this gift basket would be my masterpiece and everyone would be appropriately impressed. I quickly realized that I did not have nearly enough to fill the basket. It didn’t occur to me to choose a smaller basket, so back to the store I went. This process took a majority of my day and by the time I finished, the gift basket was extremely heavy, it had every ice cream related product you can imagine, nothing coordinated, and it looked terrible. Unfortunately, I don’t mean it just looked bad. I mean it was painfully hideous and people were surely embarrassed for me. So, thank you GiftTree; thank you GiftTree designers, and thank you to my family member that graciously accepted that infamous gift basket of 1995. My...

Gifts for March Birthdays

The flower for March is the violet, and, luckily, violets come in many varieties. My mom is a diehard African Violet fan and also happens to be born in March, so every year I send her a new African Violet (her breakfast nook is teeming with them!). This year she will be receiving the European Basket, which not only has African Violets, but also Kalanchoe, a plant that is very easy to flower. March is host to two astrological signs with two distinctive dispositions: a March Pisces, born the 1st to 20th, is said to have an emotional nature while a March Aries, born the 21st to the 31st, is said to have an adventurous personality. A great sensual gift for your sensitive Pisces is Essential Healing: it pampers the body and soothes the soul. On the other hand, an adventurous gift for your Aries is Truth, Dare or Chocolate, a wickedly fun twist on Spin the Bottle....

Shut the Box!

Looking for something devilishly fun to accompany a wine gift? Check out our Antique Replica Pub Game with Merlot. This game is a total blast to play! Our version comes in a handsome solid wood box that can be engraved for that extra touch of class. And don’t overlook the included bottle of BV Century Cellars Merlot, which also adds a note of distinction. But let’s get down to the nitty gritty. The game is classically known as “Shut the Box,” and is one of the oldest dice games around. The premise is easy: players use two dice and a wooden playing tray with sliders numbered 1 through 9. A player begins by rolling the dice. The sum of the dice becomes the target value for that particular round. For example, if a 5 and a 4 were rolled, the player must close, or put down, the sliders that add up to that sum (ie., 9, 1+8, 2+7, 3+6, etc.). Each player rolls and closes the sliders accordingly. If every numbered slider higher than 6 is closed, players can start using one die per turn. The game ends when a player successfully closes the last slider and exclaims “shut the box!” OR when a player is unable to cover his or her roll with the remaining sliders, in which case the remaining sum of the sliders is a penalty score. Great for friendly betting or to challenge the wits, Shut the Box is an entertaining way to share a bottle of wine. We hope you enjoy it as much as we...

What’s New, What’s Hot

I recently returned from the Fancy Food Show in San Diego and the International Gift Fair in New York. What’s new and what’s hot? Going green and organics are red hot right now. Tea is going to run right over coffee in popularity. High contrast colors of orange, teal and brown are prominent on silhouettes as well as the combo of green, plum and silver. Designer chocolates are big, Big, BIG. Minimalist elegance, easy living comfort and nature inspired designs...

Stop Assuming Somebody Else Has It Covered

I’ve discovered something about diaper bags. Everybody (with a baby) needs one, but hardly anyone gives them as a gift. It’s sort of like the pretty girl never getting asked out on a date because it is assumed that somebody else has already asked her out. Everybody thinks somebody else has already given the mother-to-be a diaper bag. It’s also a little weird to me that people think there is a limit to how many diaper bags a new mom can use. Are you kidding me? It’s pretty much going to be her purse for the next two years. She needs more than one! GiftTree has a really great diaper bag. The Elegant Baby Diaper Bag is deep chocolate brown with white trim. It even comes with a baby on the go kit consisting of numerous lidded dishes, a striped changing mat and cute little bib (gotta catch the drool). I love it. It almost makes me wish I had a baby on the...
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