Could You Be More Extravagant...yup if you are a celeb !

Could You Be More Extravagant...yup if you are a celeb !

Names and Brands sell ! Watch the celebs making clothes and selling stuff. If you love them you will love some of the gorgeous lines of clothing they have.
Worth a look ! Look at Gwen Stefani. The singer has added timepieces to her popular L.A.M.B. clothing line. “It was time to do something a little more luxurious,” says Stefani. Like clockwork... she delivered a posh-yet-edgy collection. The black enamel bangle watch retails for $475.
Celebrity Clothing Lines
Will.i.amThough he’s known for being a member of hip hop group Black Eyed Peas, has a background in design: he actually attended FIDM. His collection of offbeat suits is just as unique as his music. Shop I.Am clothing.

Justin Timberlake
Timberlack enlisted the help of best friend Trace Alaya to start label William Rast. Named after the duos’ grandfathers’ names, William Rast includes vintage-inspired sportswear for both men and women.
Victoria Beckham (a.k.a Posh Spice)
Beckham started out by designing a small line of jeans with denim label Rock & Republic, then unveiled her full collection, called VB, for Harvey Nichols and Harrods. She will be designing a handbag collection for Samantha Thavasa.
Gwen Stefani
The No Doubt singer's clothing line, L.A.M.B. debuted in Spring 2004 with handbags and accessories. Her line now consists of clothes designed after the singer's personal style.

Mariah Carey
It's not surprising that this diva has started her own underwear line, Mariah Kiss Kiss, that is to debut later this year. Each item will be available for women of all sizes.

The House of Dereon, Beyonce's new line, will follow it's own trademark, "Couture. Kick. Soul" Her mother, Tina Knowles (who designs her red carpet attire) will help in the designing of this new line.
I love her new song - Irreplaceable

Boy George
Famous for his own fashion statements, Boy George former lead singer of Culture Club, launched his new fashion line, B-rude during New York Fashion Week.
Lenny Kravitz
Still in production, Kravitz has teamed up with former Gucci designer, Tom Ford, to design an upscale fashion line. The clothes are slated to only be sold at top boutiques in London.
With the help of denim label Rogan, U2's frontman has launched his stylishly-earthy clothing line, Edun . Each product is made completely of organic materials.
So go ahead and indulge in your own fashion sense !
Happy Holidays !

Shirley Fraiser is one of the Gift Basket industry's leading voices

Shirley Fraiser is one of the Gift Basket industry's leading voices. She is an author and Professional Speaker. She has written 2 wonderful books one is How to Start a Home-Based Gift Basket Business, Third Edition (Home-Based Business Series) , which I have used a lot when I started my busines a few years ago.

The other one is The Gift Basket Design Book: Everything You Need to Know to Create Beautiful, Professional-Looking Gift Baskets for All Occasions and has hundreds of detailed step-by-step photos that illustrate basket-building techniques. I liked that one too.

I have learnt a lot from her and even met her at Cherie Reagor's Gift Basket Convention a few years ago. I saw her on Flickr the other day. She is a smart lady and has a very pleasant personality.

Her new Solo Marketing website has a lot of tips for marketing your business.

The ABCs of Management Gift-Giving - staff gifts can help retain employees

This a real unique way to look at Gift Giving !

Read, Enjoy & Follow !


The holidays are here and you'd like to show your appreciation to your staff. But you can't spend a lot of money. What can you do? Choosing a gift can be a headache--and an opportunity. We believe there's a wide array of gift ideas that any manager in any department of any organization can use to send a special, and important, message.

First, ask what you want your gift to do. Encourage? Open up some opportunities? Just say thanks? Your gift can double as a personalized retention strategy aimed at those employees you truly want to keep on your team.

Here are two gift-giving rules to keep in mind:

Rule 1. If your employees expect it, it might not be viewed as a gift. You may think that the annual bonus (often given at this time of year) is ample reward and recognition for work well done. Your employees may see it differently. In many organizations, bonuses--and even such perks as cell phones and health-club memberships--are no longer seen as special by employees, particularly those who have come to expect them. If that's the case, you'll have to get creative to find rewards that work.

Rule 2. Gifts need to match employees' needs and wants. Yes, different strokes for different folks. Don't guess at what your employees want. Ask them. Usually their requests aren't too difficult to grant and almost always are less than what you might have imagined. Think about yourself. What could your boss do that would really show how much he or she values you? It may be a small thing after all.

The ABC gift catalogue

To spark your creative thinking, we've created a list of gifts based on our research on the reasons talented people stay in organizations. You can use these ideas or let them be catalysts for your own. But do remember to customize them to fit your employees. You can also use the list to create a gift menu or catalogue from which people can select the gifts they want.

Gift A: Private time with you. "A" for ask. An employee can select a lunch date and even the restaurant. It can be a time for you to get to know your staff better and tell them how important they are to you and the team. You might ask questions such as
* What can I do to keep you on my team?
* What part of your work do you find most enjoyable?
* What might make your work life easier?
* What can I do to be more supportive or help you be even more effective?

Gift B: Long-awaited request, done! Think hard about an employee who has asked you for something that you've put on your to-do list and there it sat. Stop passing the buck. Surprise that employee and just do it!

Gift C: Frank talk about the future. Offer to have a career conversation with an employee. Hold it in a quiet, private place--off-site if possible. Try any or all of the following questions to get the conversation started:
* What part of your current job do you enjoy doing the most? Least?
* Which one of your talents haven't I used yet?
* What different jobs do you see yourself doing in the future?

Gift D: Representing the company. "D" for dignity. Give employees the chance to attend an outside conference or seminar designed especially for their affinity group.

Gift E: Professional growth. Let employees choose from a list of potential projects, assignments, or tasks that could enrich their work.

Gift F: Recognizing family. Give employees a prepaid phone card (international for those with distant loved ones), or offer to have someone design a family Website and include a one-year subscription for email. Or give a free pass for X number of days or hours off to attend children's school programs or sports activities.

Or ask employees how they would like to honor family. An employee might want to bring a family member or pet to work one day, have a group work event that includes family, or invite you or have you invite his or her family to dinner.

Gift G: The next move. Offer to brainstorm alternative career possibilities, offsite if possible. Try to help the employee leverage options to reach his or her goals. Use the LEVERR framework: lateral, enrichment, vertical, exploratory, realignment (moving down to move into something else), or relocation (yes, ouch, but do talk about it).

Gift H: Interview participation. Let an employee participate in the hiring process for a new manager one level or more above.

Gift I: Professional interests. Give a free one-year subscription to an employee's favorite business magazine and have it sent to his or her home. Satisfy employees' need for information.

Gift J: Submit to pruning. This can be a tough gift to give. Nevertheless, ask the employee whom you never agree with, is least like you, to engage in some straight talk about how you might work together better. Yes, offer this to the employee who probably thinks you're a jerk. Listen carefully, and don't defend yourself. Then take a step towards changing at least one behavior.

Gift K: A unique perk for fun. Give an employee a "Kicks Coupon" that entitles him or her to spend up to X amount of money on a way to take a break or have some fun at work. It could involve the entire team. Or offer a menu of low cost possibilities and let employees choose.

For example,
* an afternoon off to see a movie
* ordered-in pizza and a rented video during lunch
* a golf coach to give a lesson.
Or is one of your staff a sports nut? An opera fan? A theater buff? Give tickets to see a favorite team, diva, or playwright. That's bound to rate higher than the holiday turkey and shows you care about employees as individuals.

Gift L: A priceless introduction. Ask the employee for the name of someone in the organization that he or she would like to meet, chat with, and learn more about. Provide an introduction, and encourage the employee to decide on, how he or she would like to spend the time. You not only show your appreciation, but you also create a link within the organization.

Gift M: A personal trainer session. Consider a gift certificate for an employee to have lunch with you or another mentor of his or her choice for the purpose of being coached.

Gift N: Three wishes. Think about a key employee that you don't want to lose. Run the numbers on the cost of replacing that employee. Now compute the cost of offering that employee some "stay here" incentives, other than money, and base the incentives on what you know about that person. Pick three incentives you'd be willing to offer and set a date to chat.

Gift O: A new door. Brainstorm an opportunity hit list with an employee about growing, learning, and stretching in some new way. Another opportunity could be seeing and learning about another part of the business. Prioritize the list and then open a door!
Gift P: Blending work and passion.

Have a "Passion Breakfast" for all employees, a team, or one-on-one. Ask, What do you love to do? At work? Outside of work? Brainstorm and commit to helping them build more of what they love into their workday.

Gift Q: An exception to the rules. Give a "Bend the Rules" pass that involves and encourages going against the status quo. Bend as much as you can when employees make their requests. Show you're willing to question rules.

Gift R: Genie in a bottle. Ask an employee to write down six ways he or she would like to be rewarded. Anything goes. The only rule is that half of the ideas have to be low cost or no cost.
Gift S: Feeling at home at work. Offer a shopping spree to a local office supply store for items to personalize one's space; no staplers or paper clips.

Gift T: Listening to the truth. Talk about gift giving. This one--the truth--is powerful. We know of one division head who gave each employee $50, said to choose a restaurant and take their managers out to lunch for some straight talk and honest feedback about performance and development needs.

Gift U: A chance to download. Give 12 coupons for listening time--one for each month, in which an employee can talk about anything for 20 minutes. Your job isn't to understand, just listen.

Gift V: Honoring values. Over a cappuccino, glass of wine, or cup of tea, try asking one of your employees any of these questions:
* What do you think makes a perfect day at work?

* Looking back, what has satisfied you the most?
* What does the word success mean to you?
Take notes, and read them back to the employee. What did you both learn about his or her values? How can you put that information to use?

Gift W: A day of health. Have a limousine pick up an employee for a full day at a spa. Give gift coupons for Tai Chi, yoga, or golf lessons. You get the idea. Encourage wellness.

Gift X: Playtime. Give a fun-loving Gen Xer or anyone a series of "Get out and Play" cards they can redeem at their discretion--to leave work early to go to a movie, shop, or play Frisbee.

Gift Y: The starring role, for once.
Give an employee the chance to lead a project you've been hoarding for yourself. (You know which one!) Offer the spotlight, yield, coach when necessary. What did you and the employee learn?

Gift Z: A promise to repeat the gift. If this kind of gift giving works, offer to do it again--before next December. Now you've reached the gift-giving zenith.

Doesn't it feel great when you give a gift that is right on target? You get a double reward: the return on your investment of time, energy, and (little) money is the promise of building a more productive and fulfilling workplace. And you do it while increasing your own team's commitment and loyalty (yes, employee loyalty does still exist).

Happy Holidays.

Written By Beverly L. Kaye

Beverly Kaye & Associates,

Sherman Oaks, California

Typing made easy for texting ! Smart Idea !

Yes, I hate to text, it just takes too long. I could be done with it and more with just a simple call. But there are times when I just want to send a message...ok sometimes a long one ! So Here is a neat idea....a roll out FABRIC KEY PAD with Bluetooth technology. It can be rolled up to take with you anywhere! It also opens up to a standard-size keyboard.

So you can hook it up to you PDA and go crazy typing away !

Ha ! What a neat idea !


For those of you who are doing the shipping this season to either your clients or your friends and family, you want to make sure that the address is correct and that the package reaches them on time. I have used their service many times for checking addresses in and out of the country.

This website will help you cross reference the address you have.

This is what they say : Simply type in the address you wish to verify, and click Verify Address. The results will be listed below. You can also choose between countries: United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and Australia.

Do you actually know:

  • How many dollars your company throws away on returned mail?
  • How much budget is wasted paying UPS and FedEx shipping address correction fees on packages?

If the addresses your Web site collects are deliverable?Address Quality is the result and benefit from using a Post Office™ certified process to clean and standardize your data, by correcting spellings, abbreviations, city, state and ZIP Code™ entries.Within your organization, address data is found everywhere. You encounter it when you interact with customers, prospects, vendors, donors and Web visitors. The basis of much of your business communication comes via the address data used for your contact. This interaction includes invoices, marketing campaigns, shipments, newsletters and general correspondence.The effectiveness of this interaction can be greatly affected by the quality of the contact address data you are using to conduct this business. If your data is inaccurate, your ability to communicate will be diminished.

Creative Wrapping Ideas ! Recycle Recycle Recycle !

This is a great article in Real Simple online. Since I love being creative this article really grabbed my attention.

Turn old jump rope, dish towels, newspaper, and more into great gift packaging

Wrap Wine Bottles with Dish Towels

Original Purpose: Drying dishes. Aha! Use: Transforming a bottle of wine into a gift. Reality check: A crinkly Mylar bag makes a wine bottle look like it came from outer space, not from the heart. By wrapping a bottle in an attractive dish towel (or linen napkin, fabric remnant, or piece of craft-store felt) tied with a nice length of ribbon, you can turn the perfunctory hostess gift into a proper holiday — or any-day — present. How to Do It: Place the bottle along one side of the fabric so that the bottle's top meets the top of the fabric. Fold up excess material at the bottom over the bottle, forming a pocket of sorts. Then roll it evenly and secure at the neck with ribbon. Reward: Good taste and tastes good.

Here are 5 More !

  1. Tie Up Kids' Presents with Jump Rope I love this idea. Its great to use a present to wrap another !
  2. Tie Up Gifts with Ponytail Holders If its a gift for a young clever is it !
  3. Wrap Presents with Newspaper I have been doing this for years. I love the comic section as it is colorful and vibrant.
  4. Greeting Cards as Gift Tags I think nowadays the cards are so nice and glittery and have so many pop-ups. My daughter saves those pop ups and uses them to decorate the present. But this is a neat idea too !
  5. Use Old Calendar Pages as Gift Wrap Ok this may seem easy but I think the calender pages are not that big and this might not be the greatest idea for large presents.

So hope you find an inexpensive way to wrap your gifts !

Happy Thanksgiving & A Poem ~ In My Dreams !

In My Dreams
by Steven Robert Heine

In my dreams
all wrongs are righted,
all sins are forgiven
all wounds are healed.

In my dreams
all lost friends are found
all loved ones are united
all pain is forgotten.

In my dreams
laughter replaces anger
smiles replace frowns
and love replaces hate and fear..

But then I awaken
and I realize that I cannot fix
everything that is broken in the World.
And I decide to try to make it just
a little better somehow.

Holiday Shopping Made Simple

For many people, finances and schedules are turned upside down during the holidays, and that can make get-togethers, gift-buying and even gift-receiving a stressful time. It can be difficult to smile when spending is out of control. Getting yourself organized and contentious of what you are spending can generate a lot of peace of mind.

For the nearly half of all shoppers who find gift-giving the most challenging aspect of the holidays comes some simple advice.
  1. Creating a budget early in the year, or at the very least, at the beginning of the holiday season. Include all holiday-related expenses in that list. Keep it from year-to-year, and write down actual expenses as they incur. Don't forget Holiday parties for which you have to buy hostess gifts too.
  2. Create a list of the people you plan to buy gifts for and establish your budget. Include notes on each person's hobbies and interests to help build unique or creative gift ideas.

  3. Combine shopping trips to minimize your store visits.
  4. Shop and browse online and see the new items for the Holiday season before you go to the store.
  5. Eliminate the hassle and pick up great gifts at "unexpected" locations that you are already visiting.
  6. Don't fall into the trap of trying to match or out-spend those with whom you exchange gifts.....Stick to your budget! Watching expenses in November and December can decrease stress in January when the bills come due.

So if you have done your planning right you will have the time to enjoy the holidays and the days that follow ! Happy Shopping !

How to make a Gift Basket ? Tips & Tricks

Gift baskets are extremely easy to assemble, but the final result looks stunning - a true labour of love (without the 'labour'). Suitable for any occasion, gift baskets can often be just the solution when you can't decide on a particular gift item. You can use different shapes of baskets, with or without a handle, and the size depends on what you want to put into it.

We at Elegantly Expressed use a lot of different kinds of git baskets. Decide what the basket 'theme' will be first, then look for a sufficiently sized basket, and purchase all the items for it.
  • Cut 2 yards of cellophane and lay it on the table surface, right side down, and place the basket in the middle of it.
  • Arrange all items inside the basket; you can place a cloth napkin or paper doily in the bottom.
  • Ensure that breakable items are secured or wrapped in cloth or tissue to prevent breakage.
  • Position tall items in the centre, with medium items on the outside, and small ones in between. Individually-wrapped candy sprinkled throughout the items, adds a nice sweet touch.
  • Gather up the cellophane, pulling up the short sides first, then longer sides, and secure with a long twist tie. A helper is great for this step.
  • Add the ribbon, making a nice bow with long curved tails. Or attach a ready-made bow. No need to remove the twist tie.
  • Attach the gift tag with string or tape it to the front cellophane.
  • If one of the short sides of cellophane is gaping, you may be able to adjust it by pulling gently on the top section, or secure with a small piece of clear tape.
  • Resist the urge to 'play' with the cellophane to get it just right - the idea is to gather the cellophane which produces an array of varying sizes of cellophane 'petals' - a unique 'bouquet'. If the 'petals' are too long for your liking, you can trim them with scissors.
  1. Cellophane is sold in either clear, colored, print or festive. The clear with a small gold pattern is very versatile for any occasion.
  2. Ready-made bows are great for taking the hassle out of making one, but make sure that the size is right for the basket - a large basket requires a larger bow. Likewise, don't hide a small basket with an over sized bow.
  3. Other items can be used instead of a basket, such as a casserole dish, pie plate, serving bowl, or gift box bottom. If the basket or container has very low sides, you may require a helper to gather up the cellophane.
  4. The gift tag can be attached by a string from the gathered bow, or taped to the front of the basket.
Its a great activity with your kids and family. For a professionally done Gift Basket, do come to us. We pack and ship baskets all over the US

Light Up Your Monitor with Cool "Hot" Christmas Lights

Gifts for your computer ! :)

Christmas is coming! You can celebrate this festive season while you are working. Decorate your working desk with this cute Christmas LED USB powered light kit!

Sling the string of LED lights across your monitor and voila you have CHRISTMAS!

This USB Decoration Christmas Kit contains a string of colourful LED lights, a cutie Christmas hat and a mouse pad for you to decorate your working desk!


PETS ! The Best Gift You Can Give Your Family - 10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy from a Pet Store ~ by Catherine M. Sheeter

Pets make great gifts. :) Scenes in so many Hollywood movies glamorize pet giving especially during the holidays. The puppies behind the glass, all floppy ears and paws, madly scramble over each other trying to capture the shopper's attention. The temptation is too great. The shopper whisks into the store and impulsively purchases an animal for her beloved.

But here are some great tips on why not to buy a dog / pet from a Pet Shop ! This is an eye-opener ! Below are the 10 points. You must read more.

  1. Health- That adorable puppy in the window of the pet store is hard to resist, but you may be paying a lot of money for a dog that you know very little about. Pet stores generally rely on impulse buys to sell their "product".

  2. The myth about AKC papers - Most pet shops would like you to believe that if a puppy is registered by the American Kennel Club, this guarantees the puppy will be healthy and a good example of the breed. This is not so. The only thing that AKC papers certify is that the puppy is a purebred and produced out of AKC registered parents.

  3. The pet shop guarantee - Many pet stores provide a form of guarantee for people buying puppies from them, but their guarantees may be as bad as none at all. A not-so-uncommon scenario goes something like this: after your family has become attached to your adorable new puppy you find out it is sick.

  4. What will that puppy look like when it is full grown? You may have seen specimens of the breed that you are buying, but this does not guarantee that this puppy will fit the breed standard. You do not know if the parents fit the standard either and cannot see the faults that each parent has. There is no perfect dog, but a good breeder will be willing to discuss the faults and strengths that each of their dogs possesses.

  5. What do you know about the breed? Employees of pet stores generally know very little about the dogs that are in the store. They can probably tell you a little bit about the breed and then point you to a rack of generic dog books. What do you do after you bring the puppy home, only to find that this breed is not the right one for you and your family? Good breeders are full of information about the breed of puppy that you are considering. They should be able to tell you the general temperament aspects of the breed and help you predict whether this breed of dog will fit into your lifestyle.

  6. Housebreaking and training problems- This puppy that you are buying from a pet store has most likely spent much of its life in a cage. Many pet store puppies have never seen carpet and may never have even seen grass or dirt. Due to the conditions that puppies are kept in at pet stores, they have been forced to eliminate in the same area that they sleep and eat.

  7. How about Socialization? Your pet store puppy may well have never been in a house before. If this is the case then everything will be new and scary for them. The doorbell, vacuum cleaner, and children playing are all new sensations that can be terrifying to an unsocialized puppy. Good breeders will expose their puppies to many situations so that the puppies are used to them by the time that they go to their new homes.

  8. What is a pedigree worth? Some pet shops make a big deal out of their puppies' pedigrees. This is interesting, as the pedigree is really just a piece of paper with names on it. Unless you know the dogs behind those names the pedigree is really quite useless to the new owner. Can the pet store tell you what your puppies grand- parents died of, or how long they lived? Do any of the dogs in your pup's pedigree carry genetic diseases? Most pet store employees do not know any more about your puppy's background than you do. A reputable breeder can tell you all of this information about your pup's family tree and more.

  9. Do you want to support puppy mills?
    Almost all puppies that are in pet stores come from puppy mills. These operations are exactly what the name implies. Most mass produce puppies with money as the prime motive. Their breeding dogs are often kept in very poor conditions and are sometimes malnourished. The dogs are almost never tested for genetic diseases and may not receive vaccinations. Puppy mills often obtain their breeding dogs from people in a hurry to get rid of their dogs for some reason, often through "free dog" ads in newspapers or public auctions.

  10. After the puppy goes home- Once you take the puppy home from the pet store they do not generally care what happens to the puppy. Most pet shops do not care if the dog is left to run loose and kill livestock, or if it dies of liver disease at one year old. If you have a training problem they will often be unable or unwilling to give you training advice. Most do not care if you take your dog home and breed it continually. Responsible breeders are more than people who sell puppies, they will also be good friends to you and your puppy. They care what happens to their puppies' once they are sold. Almost all good breeders sell on spay/neuter contracts or limited registration.

So please next time you are looking for a new puppy to buy, do your research. Please read the entire article here

If you have a pet please do come visit us to see how we can make your pet's Holiday wishes come true !

Housewarming Gifts ~ Advice for gift giving !

A new home comes with a brand new beginning for the new owners. Bringing them good luck and a welcome gift is usually given within the first year or even 6 months of them settling down.

It is a time honored tradition that new owners invite their friends, family and relatives over for a housewarming party of sorts to share this moment of joy.

Housewarming gifts are different for different person. For your closest friends, housewarming gifts can be personal, humorous, and special, while for new neighbors or acquaintances you may want to make more generic gift choices.

5 Good Gift Ideas
  1. Plants make great generic gifts.
  2. Platters are welcome by any hostess.
  3. Candles and aromatics make a sensual gift.
  4. Coffee Table books make great gifts.
  5. Gourmet Gift Baskets are perfect as they can be customized.

3 Bad Gift Ideas
  1. Paintings make bad gift ideas as every one's perception of art differs.
  2. Small Kitchen appliances are very personal and therefore should not be given, unless you are sure of the make, brand and kind the person wants.
  3. Cleaning gadgets ! :) Although there are so many cute and useful cleaning gadgets that you might want in your house, refrain from giving those.
The gift that you give will reflect your values and class. So choose something that is personal if you know the people well or something generic. But always give them a gift certificate so that they are able to exchange it if necessary.

Christmas Tree Trimming Party! Getting in the spirit of it all ~

There's something festive yet casual about a Christmas Tree Trimming Party. Although it is hard to go through the motions every year of setting up the tree and getting out all the ornaments, it sure marks the onset of the fun holiday season.

So lets go about planning the event. Plan it ahead of time, near the first week of December. Purchase your tree or take out the one you probably have - one of those gorgeous looking fake trees. Get out all the ornaments and decide on a theme. See what you need to replenish and what you need to purchase ahead of time.

Now that you have all that set.

Send out Evites or actual snail mail invites. The party can be held any time of the day, although I prefer a weekend after dinner - 7pm-10pm.

Menu ideas - keep it simple. Keep the food buffet style with appetizer size plates.
  • Plates of cookies and sweets with festive holiday drinks
  • Healthy appetizers - Fruit platters, Vege platters
  • Simple hearty casseroles
  • Large crock pot of chili on your buffet table, and serve it with sour cream, chopped onions, grated Monterrey jack cheese, chopped cilantro, tortilla chips and salsa.
  • For drinks - gourmet coffee, punch, eggnog with optional rum :)

As the guests enter hand them a special take home ornament as a remembrance of the party. Light a fire in your fireplace and play Christmas carols as background music. If you have a piano, place Christmas sheet music on it in case any of your guests feel inspired to play. I think this would be a great time to have your Christmas entertaining done so that this way you are free - to-be-entertained the rest of the season !

Happy Halloween & 10 Ghoulish Jokes to CRACK U UP !

Happy Halloween
Originally uploaded by Thomas Hawk.

This picture by Thomas Hawk on Flikr is perfect to tell you some Ghoulish jokes ! ~~~~~ BOOOOOOOO ! HAA HAA HAA

  1. Who does a ghoul fall in love with?...His ghoul friend.
  2. Who are some of the werewolves cousins?...The whatwolves and the whenwolves.
  3. Why wasn't the vampire working?...He was on his coffin break.
  4. How do ghosts fly from one place to another?...By scareplane.
  5. What did the mother ghost say to the baby ghost?... Put your boos and shocks on.
  6. Why did the baby ghost go to the doctor before Halloween?...To get a BOOster shot.
  7. When do ghosts usually appear?...Just before someone screams.
  8. How do mummies hide?...They wear masking tape.
  9. What happens to a fast witch on a slow broom?...She flies off the handle.
  10. Why do witches think they're funny...Every time they look in the mirror, it cracks up.

Scary Gifts ! BOOOOOO Halloween is around the corner !

As a supposedly "gift guru" I scour the market place for the best and unique gifts for our gift baskets. It always amazes me when I find something out of the ordinary.

Here is one that proves that Halloween can be fun and scary...all-in-one!

It looks like a small plastic gift box, but when the unsuspecting person pushes the button to open the lid, out pops a skeleton head with red glowing eyes and scary sound effects! Comes complete with starter batteries to get you going. For $ 7.89 I think its great if you are a prankster at heart ! :) Link

What to look for when shopping online for Gift Baskets?

Gift baskets make great gifts because
  1. They are personal
  2. They have lots of mini gifts inside of them
  3. They are hand made and carefully designed
  4. Sometimes they are custom made for the recipient
  5. Its fun for the recipient to open them and see all the mini presents inside

But how do you know where to buy them online and what to look for on a site online, especially when the WWW is swarming with Gift Basket sites.

Here are some of the things you must do

  1. Check out the "About Us" section : you will learn a lot about the company from here.
  2. See if they have listed a "Physical Address". This means that they really exist.
  3. Google them and see what you come up with. Usually Google does a great job of getting relevant results.
  4. Check to see if they have a listed PHONE number. Many times you will see that the gift basket sites do not list their phone number. Well who would you call if you have a problem? I think customer service is THE most important thing in any business and if you don't have a live person to talk to about what you are about to purchase or to ask questions about your order then its a RED flag !
  5. Check to see if they accept major credit cards.
  6. Ask your friends or family if you have heard about the site.
  7. Look at the pictures on the website to see if you like what you see and if its something you want to give.

Shopping online has surely increased and you have so many choices that you really have to be vigilant and try not to be taken ! Happy Shopping !


As small business owners we try to accomplish so many steps throughout the day in order to keep all parts of the business running proficiently.

Right from taking an order to processing it, to shipping and followup. The people around us when delegated do exactly what has been taught the very first time and keep doing it the same way over and over again. It is for you to decide whether the process - working and two - is efficient.

Deanna R. Willis, MD, MBA has written a fabulous article on "Making Every Minute Count: Tools to Improve Office Efficiency" . Although the article that she has written has to do with a doctor's office, the principles behind it can be applied anywhere.

She suggests, To create a flow map, use whatever format is most comfortable to you and simply list the current steps in order of completion. Use "baby steps” to identify every subsequent step that occurs, and soon you will end up with a detailed description of the current process. Once you have identified each of the steps in your current process, you can begin to identify what is wrong with the process. As you identify problems with the current process, you'll need to eliminate steps that are simply waste and implement changes in your practice to make the remaining steps effective.Once you have mapped your current process, identified its problems and agreed on an improved process, your work isn't over.

For the new process to succeed, you'll need to take additional steps
  1. Staff education. Educating your personnel about the new process and equipping them with all the information they will need is vital to your success.
  2. Additional and ongoing training in this area may help improve the process.
  3. Job functions. You may also find that job functions need to be redesigned. and more.....
She concludes by saying..."Dream big, start small"
Link for the article.

Dr. Willis is an assistant professor of family medicine at the Indiana University School of Medicine and director of affiliate faculty for the Department of Family Medicine. She is also medical director of quality and medical management for the Indiana University Medical Group in Indianapolis.

The Gift Basket TAX for the stars !

How about a tax on the gifts we receive? You have heard about the taxes that the stars have to pay for the exuberant gift baskets from now on.

Well, Earlier in August "outstanding tax responsibilities" on Academy Awards gift baskets was enforced by IRS Commissioner Mark Everson who said in a statement "There's no special red-carpet tax loophole for the stars, the gift basket industry has exploded, and it's important that the groups running these events keep in mind the tax consequences."

The Academy and the IRS reached an undisclosed agreement to fore go any taxes on baskets received before 2005. Those individuals who received a gift at the most recent awards ceremony will be issued the appropriate tax forms and expected to cover the bill, the Academy said.

What do you think?

The Gift Of Voting ! Giving the world 7 NEW wonders !

I am fascinated with the wonders of the world.

The 7 wonders of the Ancient World are yet debated upon. The content of these lists tends to vary, and none is definitive. The seven wonders that are most widely agreed upon as being in the original list are the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which was compiled by ancient Greek historians and is thus confined to the most magnificent structures known to the ancient Greek world.
  1. Great Pyramid of Giza (still standing)
  2. Hanging Gardens of Babylon (destroyed by earthquake)
  3. Temple of Artemis at Ephesus (destroyed by fire)
  4. Statue of Zeus at Olympia (destroyed by fire)
  5. Mausoleum of Maussollos at Halicarnassus (destroyed by earthquake)
  6. Colossus of Rhodes (destroyed by earthquake)
  7. Lighthouse of Alexandria (destroyed by earthquake)
Did you know that you can now vote for the NEW 7 WONDERS OF THE WORLD ! There are 260 days left to vote as of today. Yes the 2 that I did vote for are the Statue Of Libery and The Taj Mahal.

Realted stuff

Wikipedia 7 Wonders Of The World
Stonehenge makes list in new seven wonders vote

So go ahead and don't forget to vote. It think its pretty cool.

5 Tips for STRESS FREE Holiday Shopping !

According to the National Retail Federation (NRF), the Saturday before December 25 is the busiest day of the holiday season. But that won't be you. Not this year.

  1. The key to a stress free holiday season is to plan ahead. Well isn't that with everything! Yup ! So that's what you do you to stay ahead of the game. So the first thing is to start making a list. Do you have a Holiday Gift Giving Folder/book/list? If not then you should start making one and start putting down names and budgets.

  2. "Leg Work" or nowadays "Power browsing"is key to finding the perfect as well as unique gifts. So if you are reading this in October you are sure to get a head start. :)

  3. Take the time to shop websites that offer FREE SHIPPING for shopping ahead.

  4. Use the time before the snow hits to find and browse smaller boutiques or antique shops. Make a note of 4-5 local boutiques and visit them. Remember shoping at your loacl stores will keep them in business and you never know you might even strike up a new friendship.

  5. Mark your calender with shopping dates. It is important that you shop after thanksgiving as the major sales start then.

Happy Planning !

Relationship Marketing ! What does it mean to you?

Please click on the PINK play button to listen to this week's edition of the podcast edition of our Gift Basket Newsletter - Relationship Marketing !

My Odeo Podcast

Here Comes The Bride...And A Hassle Free Wedding !

Every bride wants her day to be special. For the brides who are planning your wedding, make sure that you ask your event planner/mom/friend to find a local gift basketeer. You will be surprised to know that many of the local and individual entrepreneurs will go the extra mile to provide you with services you did not think were possible. For example:

  • Centerpieces
  • Place cards
  • Personalized cocktail napkins
  • Imprinted Ribbon for packing your personal gifts
  • Party Favors
  • Hotel Room Amenities
  • Attendant's gifts
  • "Day After" parent appreciation gifts
  • Bridal keepsakes
  • Pew bows
  • Thank you gifts
  • Bon Voyage Gift for you on your Honeymoon ... let your mom know ! :)
A creative gift basket business will be able to guide you in the right direction with colors, design and budget. So check out the yellow pages, internet and NSGA (National Speciality Gift Association) Gift Basket Directory for your local gift basket business. I would strongly suggest that you do not buy your gift baskets from the big retailers as their products are made way in advance and will not have the "WOW" effect you are looking for !

Are you creative? Do you want a residual income?

Are you creative? Do you want a residual income? Do you want to stay at home and work only part time? Turn your creativity into a profitable business, designing custom gift baskets for corporate and individual customers.

Research and reading are a big part of it all. Make a business plan. Go to SBA - Small Business Administration for tax info and on how to set up a small business. It doesn't require a great deal of startup capital--many successful gift basket businesses were started with just a few hundred dollars. What it does require is thoughtful planning, preparation and commitment fueled by a strong dose of excitement and enthusiasm.

Once you feel that you have a steady income (that will take 1/2/3 yrs - depending on the time, effort and money you put into the business). It surely does not support you at first as it takes time for people to trust your business enough to order with a credit card. Yup, you will have to take those, it is easy. There are lots of credit card Merchant Services. But start reading as much about it as you can.

10 Global Gift Giving Practices You Should Know Before You Give A Gift

Business & Personal gifts are given every year - but the customs and traditions of gift giving can vary dramatically from one country to the next.

BEWARE : Exchanging gifts may seem like a harmless practice, but in many countries, a gift given at an inappropriate time, or even one that is the wrong color, can be seen as offensive. In some countries, gifts are not given until negotiations are completed to avoid the impression that the gift is meant as a bribe. Elsewhere, gifts are exchanged only in private.
  1. In Asia - Gifts should not be opened in front of the giver; doing so implies greed.
  2. In China - Do not give handkerchiefs, as they imply grieving.
  3. In Japan - Gift wrap is important, but Western bows and ribbons are considered unattractive
  4. In Singapore - When giving a gift, your recipient may decline it at first. Your role is to keep insisting that they take the gift, and they will accept on the third insistence
  5. In France - An intellectual gift is considered a compliment to the recipient.
  6. In Italy - Do not give chrysanthemums, brooches, handkerchiefs or knives, because they are associated with sadness.
  7. In USA - when given a gift, it is not always necessary to reciprocate right away. You may wait until an appropriate occasion arises if one is coming up soon.
  8. In Mexico - Avoid silver gifts, which are associated with trinkets sold to tourists
  9. In Spain - do not give gifts with a company logo.
  10. In England - Choose your gifts carefully, because British retailers often do not give refunds or exchange goods.

Welcome to The Gift Gazette Blog

With the popularity and informal format of blogging I thought that this would be a great way to share The Gift Gazette with our readers. One is that you do not have to register to read The Gift Gazette. Secondly, Its always available and the older gifting ideas and posts are always available to all.

So hope you enjoy this new format. Since this is very new look for awesome new posts on gifting tips and ideas.