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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...

Does Hallmark Have a Card for That?

Somebody with too much time on their hands must have looked at March and decided to create a few extra holidays. Some of my favorite odd holidays include: March 3rd – What if Cats and Dogs Had Opposable Thumbs Day March 4th – International Scrap Booking Day March 9th – Panic Day March 18th – Awkward Moments Day. It is also Forgive Mom and Dad Day. (It seems a little redundant. Most of my awkward moments are typically generated by my parents.) March 26th – Make Up your Own Holiday Day Now that you are aware of these holidays, I have you covered if you need any gifts to help the celebration process. Check out GiftTree’s pet gifts. If Cats and Dogs Has Opposable Thumbs, they would be able to get into the adorable Cat and Dog Treat Jars. For the scrap bookers, the Digital Photo Album is a must. If you ever panic because you have forgotten to send someone a gift, look into GiftTree’s Last Minute Gifts. There’s quite a selection. I personally like the Bear Hug. Everything on the site is tailor made to make gift giving easy and fun. Go ahead, make up your own holiday. GiftTree has a gift for...

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...

Popcorn + Chocolate = Heaven on Earth

Get a load of this. Popcorn dunked in layer upon layer of chocolate. That’s another description of Heaven for my family. I brought home the Popfections gift thinking it would be a good snack to share. Apparently it was a little too good for sharing. It took two days before my family was begging for more. Four different popcorn and chocolate concoctions are in a slick looking boxed set. The toffee is made with real butter. The truffles are huge. The Popsters are my favorite. They remind me of Milk Duds only they are individual pieces of popcorn dunked in chocolate. What’s really cute about them is the old fashioned milk can tin used as the packaging. The Popclusters are sort of sweet and sort of salty, but definitely delish. (They have dried sweet cherries inside so they are crunch and...

Signature Scent

I have a friend who lives for bubble baths. I think she was hooked from her first bottle of Mr. Bubble as a kid. Luckily, GiftTree has a more age appropriate version. The Luxury Bath Foam is a kit that permit the user to create her very own signature scent bath foam. The packaging is gorgous. I love the bowl and mother-of-pearl spoon. I’m thinking it is going to be at the top of my gift...

Using Amethyst to Celebrate February Birthdays

Amethyst is the birthstone for February and an easy characteristic to play upon when looking for birthday gifts. GiftTree offers several amethyst, or purple-colored, products that are especially clever and suitable for this theme. For starters, you can’t go wrong with Purple Passion, a large flower arrangement with every shade of purple you can imagine. Presented in an adorable amethyst-colored basket, this gift is both festive and sweet. Though wine is not considered to be a shade of amethyst, some darker varieties of wine, like merlot, do have a purplish-red hue to them. GiftTree offers two fun merlots that are already packaged in wood crates: Niebaun Coppola Merlot and Elvis Presley’s Jailhouse Red Merlot. Looking for something a little more playful? Check out these fun Yoga Chocolates. Not only are they inspirational and unique, but they come in a purple box! Any combination of these gifts will not only send a message of distinction, but will show that you put thought and effort into finding custom gifts for their February...

Table for Four

I find one of the biggest challenges of hosting a dinner party is setting a table. After spending most of my time preparing the meal, I usually have five minutes left before my guests arrive and I still have yet to set the table and go get the spaghetti sauce out of my hair. Not to mention I can never remember which side the salad fork goes on. I happened to do a search one day on the web and I found this great interactive site that shows a typical setting but then allows you to move them around to see what you like the best. The website is: http://www.free2explore.com/recipes/tab_dinner.htm. It also has a link to napkin folding ideas. To save time, I fold my napkins in advance so I can just grab them out of the cupboard when I’m ready for them. If I don’t, I end up with a dunce hat instead of a cardinals...
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