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  • Maggie Wallem Rowe

Need a Gift for a Friend, Dad, Mom, or Grad? Plus a Travel Organizer Giveaway

Hi friends!

 

Tis the season for graduation parties, wedding receptions, family reunions, and special occasions of all kinds.  Could you use a few gift ideas?

 

In a total departure from my typical Tuesday letter, I thought it might be fun to recommend a few gift items I’ve purchased recently. In the next three months alone, our immediate family of 13 has seven birthdays plus three anniversaries to celebrate.  Online reviews aren’t always trustworthy, so I appreciate gift recommendations from friends.

 

Our community would love to hear yours as well—please add them in the comment section. We also haven’t done a giveaway in a while, so I have a new travel makeup bag to share with one of you!

 

For Gardeners

Mike using his new standup weeder

Mike just had a birthday, and I gifted him with this Fiskars 4-claw stand-up weeder with a 39” ergonomic handle after a friend recommended it. This is a back- as well as time-saver. Prices vary on Amazon, but it’s currently available for $48. You can also try your local hardware store. (I’ll repeat the links for online shopping at the end.)

 

And here’s a gardener’s hack: I love succulents because they thrive on neglect, but even drought-resistant plants require water occasionally. Last year I purchased this boot planter, and it did great until we were away the past three months.

 

I ordered a set of 16 faux succulents ($16.99 on Amazon), and in a couple minutes I had my planter back plus enough extras to pop into old teacups or coffee mugs to brighten dark corners of the house.


Boot with real succulents 2023 Ideas for use Boot with faux plants 2024


For Mom, Daughter, Friend, or Yourself

 

This past year I’ve subscribed to the quarterly Walmart Beauty Box. For $6.98 and free shipping, you receive a seasonal box of 5-7 mini or full-size samples of various name-brand products.


 My Spring box was here when I returned from Norway, and it contains 3 oz. tubes of John Frieda Thickening Shampoo and Conditioner, a facial mask, water cream moisturizer with hyaluronic acid, and Dove dry spray deodorant. These are perfect for my travel bag, and I enjoy anticipating the surprises in the box. Can’t beat the price.

 

Another fun gift for women of any age is Loreal’s Lumi Glotion – a slightly tinted moisturizer that illuminates your skin with a healthy glow. Dry skin is aging – why look older than we have to? AZ has a nice-sized tube for $12.99 but you can also find it at most drugstores.


After baking for over 50 years with the same set of battered measuring spoons on a ring, I purchased a set of magnetic nesting cups and spoons with a leveler last year. What a game-changer! Each spoon is double-sided for wet and dry ingredients. I wish I had bought these years ago.


 

For Snack-Lovers


My new favorite snack (and it’s so cheap!) is Dark Chocolate Edamame, a Gold Emblem brand stocked at CVS pharmacy. A 5-ounce bag is only $3.19 and has at least four servings.


These treats are sweet and crunchy, low in sodium and gluten-free with 4g protein per serving. Unlike many “chocolatey” products, the chocolate that coats these healthy little legumes is really good!

 

For App-Lovers (free)

 

Ok, you don’t have to actually love those little applications we download for our devices, but most of us use apps daily. Here are my two new faves that are free.

 

Duolingo (look for the green owl), is the online educational app that Mike and I are using to learn Norwegian (they offer courses in over 40 other languages too.) This app makes learning fun, but you do have to endure ads unless you spring for the paid version.

 

Lectio 365 (teal square with white octagon and arrow), is a Christian daily devotional resource with both morning and evening meditations set to soft music that help you pray Scripture every day. It’s produced by Pete Greig’s 24-7 Prayer movement in the UK. Mike and I appreciate the theologically rich content and the variety of voices that lead you through each day’s devotions.

 

And now for a giveaway! 


Travel is easier when you’ve got your gear organized, and this large makeup bag makes it easy. Plus it’s cute. If you’d like to win it for yourself or a friend, please leave a comment below with one of your favorite gift recommendations. I’ll notify the winner on Monday, May 20!

 

-       Maggie Wallem Rowe, 2024

 

NEXT WEEK we’re returning to a more serious topic:  How do you find peace when your family is fractured?

 

Shopping Links:


Walmart Beauty Box: https://beautybox.walmart.com/


(Note: I don't receive a commission for recommending these products; it's just fun to share gift ideas. Please tell me yours! )

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10 Comments


Lynn Eib
Lynn Eib
6 days ago

These are great, Maggie, although I feel compelled to make one correction. I’ve purchased that bag of dark chocolate edamame and it definitely is not four servings—more like one. ❤️

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Maggie Wallem Rowe
2 days ago
Replying to

Lynn, good catch! I can eat an entire bag at one sitting, too. They are so good!

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Pinky Rines
Pinky Rines
6 days ago

I was given a year’s subscription to Master Class and can’t wait to take some new courses. For teen girls, a skin care fridge is a winner. (Yes, there is such a thing!) As a knitter, I usually pick one thing (like hats, slippers, or mittens) that I can make lots of and give everyone the same thing for Christmas.

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Maggie Wallem Rowe
6 days ago
Replying to

Pinky, that's a wonderful idea. If I do a future post on this topic, I'll include these suggestions. Thank you!

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diattaway
6 days ago

In recent years, I’ve tried to give ‘consumable’ gifts or things that can be enjoyed and passed on. I do this because as someone who is trying simplify and downsize, I do not want something that I feel guilty for not displaying or for giving away. I give a friend who loves her coffee a Starbucks (or other) gift card. For my mother (before she passed) it was snack items that I knew she enjoyed — or a favorite lotion or soap.

I do like your gift to Mike as it’s something that seems to be immediately helpful and appreciated on his part. Me, personally, I’m trying to get away from that yard work. 😉

And, while I love beautiful…

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Maggie Wallem Rowe
6 days ago
Replying to

Dianna, I agree about how welcome consumable gifts are, even for millennials who are all about not collecting stuff. I personally love gifts cards, and I guard them carefully in a designated drawer so I don't forget I have them. I agree about plants. My friend Jill says she never sends flowers to a funeral because she doesn't want the family to have one more thing that will die. I have also started giving away some things that I collected for years, like nativity sets from all over the world. I gave a particularly nice set from Kenya to a niece as a wedding gift. Thanks for adding to the conversation here!

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Judith van der Eijk-Peters
Judith van der Eijk-Peters
6 days ago

A Bambook makes a really nice gift. You can use it as a (prayer) journal and erase what you wrote and reuse it endlessly. I will pm you a funny insta video on Duolingo 😝

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Maggie Wallem Rowe
6 days ago
Replying to

Judith, I have never heard of a Bambook before. I will look that up. And I loved the insta video you sent about Duolingo! I like the app but could do without all the rewards and animated stuff. And those notifications get a little bossy!

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Edwina Cowgill
Edwina Cowgill
6 days ago

I like to match my gift to my friends’ likes/hobbies. For example, I live in the south US, and there is a wonderful magazine, “Southern Lady,” that I’ve given to my sister. If my friend loves to garden, a gift subscription to Home and Garden is really appreciated. If my friend likes to do adult coloring, a new coloring book (Christian themed) and colored pencils is always well received. It’s always a blessing to give something I know my friends will enjoy!

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Maggie Wallem Rowe
6 days ago
Replying to

Edwina, those are such thoughtful ideas. I like to give magazine subscriptions as well, including Southern Lady or Southern LIving to someone new to the South. Thanks for sharing these suggestions!

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