I have 3 amazing children. They are adults now, but I still take several things into account when shopping for their birthdays. One reason is because they are all individuals. Although they were raised in the same home, they are three different people. It is always good to take this into consideration when shopping for anyone. For now we are gonna speak on three things I take into account when shopping for my children and clients.
When you think of traditional gifts for kids what are some of the first things that come to mind? Savings Bonds, Bikes, Piggy Banks, Gift Cards, Etch-A-Sketch, Jacks or Legos. This could go on forever if we all chimed in (you can do so in the comments below). Yes, our first T is Tradition. Looking at the list above probably took you back down memory lane. Some of your old school toys are probably hand me downs that have been in your family for years. Nothing replaces memories.
What’s also a cool idea is to start your own tradition with your kids that they will pass down to their children. For one of my clients, I made a journal for her mom that the family wrote in telling her some things that each member felt for her and the impact she made on their lives, then leaving some pages blank in between entries for her to respond to what was shared and her thoughts about that family member. This journal then would be passed on for generations to come.
Another T that always gets crossed, that at times makes shopping very easy is the latest Trend. Some favorites are found this way, but most of these are fads and may fade with the announcement of the next big thing. Fidget Spinners, Hatchimals, LOL Dolls and Slime, to name a few, although we may have some contenders in the list, but I’m sure some will fade to black. If not, the child will out grow them. However brief, trends are still fun so these are still great options according to the child’s attention span.
Speaking of holding attention, the last T in this group is Talent. Nurturing a child’s interest is a great way to feed their soul. It also strengthens their confidence. Even if it’s not your child, knowing that someone has taken notice of something they enjoy encourages them to keep trying new things or stick to what they love. Talent enhancing gifts are things like sewing machines, cameras (beyond the cell phone), chemistry sets, books and journals for the writer are great, air sticks, because drum sets take up a lot of space and let’s not mention the noise (Scenstar Creative Children Lightweight Rhythm Sticks are reasonably priced if you’re in need of a pair on amazon.com for $14.99).
Several other factors may go into choosing the perfect gift, like, favorite color, age, maturity level, allergies etc… Tradition, Trends and Talent are just some other factors to help you find the perfect gift based on who the child is becoming. My three all could easily be put in one of these categories.
Cross these T’s for the remainder of this year when shopping for play dates and birthday parties. If you have any suggestions or other ideas when gift shopping please let me know. Feel free to share the above tips with friends and family. Tag me on social media @mercicadeaux if you use any of these tips on your next purchase.
It is upon us. The holiday of holidays. Nope, not Thanksgiving. Nor Christmas.
The shopping holiday of deals, dollars and debt.
So let's talk about these 3 D's and see if we can't bring some clarity (see what I did there?) without taking the fun out of the sport of shopping.
Deals - Most retailers have already put out teasers to entice you. The deals are great and can only get better. However, let's keep in mind when shopping, just because it's a deal doesn't mean it's a need or must have (buy). Remember your list, stay focused. Besides, if you're a Merci Cadeaux client we want to create an experience, so impulse purchases hardly ever happen. With the focus on creating a new memory or the experience, it makes it less likely for you to purchase unnecessary items. So, keep the individual you're buying for and how you want them to feel in mind when shopping this weekend.
Dollars - Keeping your budgets for gifts and the household on track is a direct result of the "deals" tips above. When we're not over spending the holidays are much more pleasurable without buyers remorse settling in our hearts. This way we can stretch our dollars and not our pockets.
Debt - No one ever wants to go in debt shopping for the holidays. If you've ever listened to a coach, podcast, or vlog on finance, you've heard the difference between credit and debt. Using credit for Christmas or any occasion that you can pay off under the terms is in some cases a good thing. However, if you're buying with credit and you won't be able to pay it off timely and in full, you may want to reconsider the purchase. What I don't want is for you to splurge (on credit) and then have to make gettin out of debt a New Years resolution.
So, plan out the deals, watch the dollars and don't go into debt. By all means though, enjoy and give generously (responsibly) from your abundance, however much that may be.
Is it just me or does one of the most amazing times of year seem a little more intense (for most) than any other? Yes, it's holiday season. 12 weeks till Christmas!! Yay! Guest lists, to-do lists, shopping lists and the grocery list. Checks, but at times no balance. We get all wound up and by the time it's over, it feels like we missed the memories.
This year, might I suggest a different approach? Of course, prepare. By all means, have your lists because a prepared host is a great one. My suggestion, however, is that we have a different perspective. Focus on the experience instead of things being perfect.
Let's start with guests - Sure you want towels, seating and definitely food, but most of all you want it to be memorable and fun. So, for instance, if your in-laws are visiting, have a gift, card or dessert that reminds them of something special in their marriage that will have them enjoying each other while you get a brief break as they travel down memory lane.
Now moving to dinner - The big shindig meal is all planned out, but no one wants to spend the whole time in the kitchen. So for nights leading up to the family dinner plan a night out for everyone. Then have a pizza night and include a kids choice dinner. Still staying within your budget, but out of the kitchen.
Last but not least, gifts - Presentation is everything! Have a wrapping session. No silly, not of each other's gifts. This wrapping session is for gifts to coworkers, neighbors, teachers, best friends, etc... You've got all these extra hands, why not share in the fun of making someone else's holidays special. You and your family can wrap up the holidays on a high note.
These are just a few ideas to make your holidays a little less hectic. Most of all be sure to capture moments for more than Instagram and enjoy!
Now I'd love to hear from you. Tell me which of these suggestions will be in your holiday happenings or if you have any holiday hacks, please share in the comments below.
New planners, great stationery, even my ink pen obsession helps me create awesome (at times massive) to do lists. No matter how cute, these lists, at times would be overwhelming. Even when I wouldn't admit it.
I wear a lot of big hats, which require a great deal of my attention. Where I wasn't paying much attention was to me. My self-care was lacking. Yeah, my hair and nails were cute, but with all the joy I displayed, I wasn't attentive to my needs, which kept me from presenting my best self to the world. I knew something had to change when my caffeine rush from Starbucks refreshers pushed me into high blood pressure meds. I love me some Starbucks, so I had to make some major adjustments if I wanted to enjoy the gift of life more abundantly and Starbucks from time to time (shhh....).
So what did I do you ask?
1) Prayed - repented for taking the days given to me for granted, not counting them as precious, but also not living at my best. Then asked for the wisdom on how to proceed.
2) New planner - that suited my entire life, not just business or just life, but all the facets of who I am. The Day Designer is my planner of choice. The Heart Goals section is what sold me.
3) Move more - I rely on my Activity function on my Apple Watch to encourage me to stay active, as well as keep my heart rate and blood pressure at normal healthy levels.
4) Eat better - this has been a fun and enlightening experience. I'm learning more about myself through my taste buds. Having more fruits and veggies with less meat has been life-changing.
5) A huge contributor, only second to my relationship with God, is feeding my mind. Books! Yes, reading truly is FUNdamental. Three books that have changed the trajectory of my life thus far are:
a. The Four Agreements
b. The War of Art
c. Present over Perfect
The Four Agreements - life overall perspective shift.
1 - Be Impeccable With Your Word
2 - Don't Take Anything Personally
3 - Don't Make Assumptions
4 - Always Do Your Best
The War of Art - to strengthen your focus and hone in on your craft this book is the GOAT for moving from amateur to Pro.
Present over Perfect - Is the book to seal the deal on it all. Slow down and dig within to find the source of what was keeping you from what you needed prior to reading the first two book recommendations.
Less is more is so fitting here. I slowed down, took inventory of my life, stopped multi-tasking when I can and got laser focused on what matters most in each moment. No matter if it's a staff/business meeting or dinner and a movie night with my kids, I want to give it my best. Being present is the only way to do that.
When I sat down to write this blog post I knew I was heading down a new journey of growth which meets us all with new challenges, but with an exceptional reward. The following quote was born out of this day of awakening... "Your inner workings determine your outer winnings."
May your journey meet you with inspiring change.
Yes, your favorite diner with the bomb milkshakes is now closed. Where do you go know for that creamy confection? It had the right mixture of milk to ice cream, thick enough to be called a shake, but no need for a spoon. What's one to do?
You share your news with a friend who has been privy to the frothy goodness. After they share in your grief, they suggest a deli that has opened a few blocks away. You're open to new things, so you explore.
Turns out, not only are the shakes good, but now you've found the perfect deli sandwich. Turkey w/Swiss on rye, add bacon of course, tomato, lettuce and mayo! Yum!! (I totally made this sandwich up, but it may be lunch today lol).
So what's my end game to this blog post you ask?
Sometimes we get so comfortable with our norm that we never explore new possibilities. You go to work, perhaps you enjoy what you do, so you're cool. Maybe you're entrepreneurial efforts are moving in the right direction and your clients are amaze balls! No need to rock the boat. So you don't, not knowing that just around the efforts corner awaits a promotion or an even dreamier client that would catapult your success to the top 30 under 30 or put you on the next 40 and fierce list.
In some cases it takes doors to close for us to get outside our comfort zone. I've been challenging myself to walk out before that happens (STEP out on faith) so I can design my destiny on my terms and not because I was forced. Don't get me wrong, some great products and services have been created this way, but I'm sure had they known or explored the possibilities early on, they may have been a lot further than where they are now, sooner.
Its been quoted "Good is the enemy of great." (James C. Collins) So I say to you, things may be good where you are now, but greatness awaits. Peek around that corner or through the window of possibilities and find an even better option. Just think if that shake met that turkey on rye... oh the nap you could've had after that lunch.
Don't sleep on your options though. Don't let your good entrepreneurial pursuits get you in an invisible rut. Innovate your niche and end the game on your terms while savor Inc sweet success!
Hey everybody!! Just a few clutter clearing tips to expand your creativity!
1. Unsubscribe to at least 5 emails today that you don't need. Yes, the ones whose coupons you never print or pull up in store. The ones whose information you've never used for ANYTHING. Or that list you signed up for just to get the ??% off. (Yes that email number👇🏽 inspired this post 😂🙈)
2. Delete 3-5 apps on your phone you haven't used in the last 30 days. They're distracting when you're swiping to find the one you do need (and if you're swiping it may be deleted next lol) Most apps you frequent are available at a glance.
3. Get rid of 20 random photos you took for the moment. You know the ones... "Yummy taco night!" "Pamper me pedi!" Or "Why did they let them leave the house in this?!?!"
You're on your phone anyway, why not free up some space and make room for more abundance! Plus, it's 3 quick wins to motivate you to move on to that closet you don't want anyone to see. 😬❤️
Have an extraordinary day!
OMG! It's been waaaaaay too long!
This is my first effort to blog monthly and send you guys a newsletter of all the deets and fun happening behind and on the scene of Merci Cadeaux!
Please forgive my absence and allow me to earn your love and gift you some great experiences from now on!
Spring is here! I know, I know it snowed for the last two days here in Michigan, but it's Spring nonetheless. Pretty colors, clothes and all things new are budding all around us!
Even new ideas! My son was headed to a baby shower this weekend and was gonna settle for a gift bag to deliver his style ideas for the little one, but if you know me, that was not enough to present such cute selections. So...
I created a custom closet (gift wrap) to adorn the darling outfits!
It was so fun to create! Plus it sparked more ideas! Who knows perhaps I'll use those for your next baby shower gift! 😘🎀💕🍼💝🎁
With all the hustle and bustle of life moments can get lost. Not just time with loved ones but even being present for ourselves. Truly taking in the experience that is "everyday" life. I decided before I get into the busi-(busy)ness of preparing for work I would sip some blueberry infused hot tea and flip through a magazine. Just to slow down and revel in the now. How do you slow down? What pleasures of the day have you indulged in this week? Let me know! I'd love some new ways to be present!
A lot has happened since I posted last.
I moved into a 3 bedroom home! My children all have their own rooms and momma lucked out and got the craft room she's been praying for!
Shelving and table created by yours truly!
I'm looking forward to creating and further developing my brand and glad you'll be along for the ride!
Look for more content, giveaways, DIY projects, YouTube video tutorials, surprises and much more!
Merci Cadeaux has lots in store!
"Memory Lane never looked so good!"