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Posts tagged with: gift giving

Money Down The Drain


First, thanks for the responses, comments, and helpful feedback on my last post.

Edited update: I did type up a full proposal and email but, after thinking better of it, I never sent it. Instead, I sent an email asking for a brief meeting sometime in the next couple weeks and already received a reply that we’ll meet on the 20th. Further out than I’d like, but better than nothing. Then we can discuss the changes in roles/responsibilities and the mis-alignment between contract and current duties in person. One commenter suggested asking for the changes to be implemented in the next financial cycle (like future planning) instead of insisting on immediate change. I think that it makes sense for me to be flexible and open to that, if thats what’s necessary. Ultimately, though, all this will be discussed in person. Not via email. I’ll keep you updated. I sincerely thank you for your suggestions!


Today I just wanted to tell you a little story of how being more aware can save you money (or, rather, how failing to be aware COST me money).


One of my friends is due with a second child in October. She had a baby shower over Labor Day that I had to miss since I was in Austin. I still wanted to get her a gift so I decided to shop Target.com since 1) she is registered there, and 2) I have a Target card so I get free shipping and 5% off all purchases.


So I log in and pick out a couple things for her baby (a book for big brother and a 3-pack of onesies for the new baby). I thought it was a nice touch to throw in the “big brother” book. I try to stay around $15-25 for most gift-giving occasions (weddings, baby showers, birthdays, etc.) and the total cost of the gift was right at $25, so I was in that range.


I have another friend who is organizing a big Lego drive for kids with cancer being treated at our local children’s hospital. One of her friends (an acquaintance of mine) has a son who has been battling cancer for 3 years (after 3 relapses at only 4 years old). I generally don’t do “Go Fund Me” or similar such things, but I felt moved to donate to this Lego drive for kids fighting cancer. So I added two $12 Lego sets to my Target.com order. My idea was to let my girls help wrap them up and go to drop them off at the Lego drive (they’d each have one to give).

With the legos added to my cart, my total was now right around $50. The Legos, alone, were about half of the total amount.

After placing my order I received the standard email from Target (I order from Target.com for most of my gift-giving occasions, so I have an account with them, etc.). The order looked correct, I saw the dates things would ship, and all was good.

Then a few days later…

I get a text from my friend with a ‘thank you’ and a picture of her son playing with one of the Lego sets I bought!!!


It turns out that since I ordered off her registry, it automatically shipped my order to her house. I didn’t even notice!!! Because I have an account with target.com I never have to enter my shipping information (it’s all saved), so I didn’t even realize that the gift wasn’t coming to me as I’d intended!

I immediately texted that I was so embarrassed it had gone straight to her – I thought it would come to me so I’d have an opportunity to wrap it, etc. She lol-ed and that was basically it. But because her initial photo was of her son playing with the open Legos package, I didn’t feel like I could ask for the other one back to give to the kids with cancer. And she didn’t inquire about why I sent 2 identical Lego packages (clearly not intended for a newborn baby). Left it at that.

Lesson learned.

Failing to pay more attention to what was going on caused me to spend an extra $25 (basically doubling the price of my “gift”) AND means that my donation didn’t happen. Not sure what to do about that one, as I feel guilty not donating to the cancer kids, but I also didn’t have planned to donate an additional $25 worth of stuff. Thoughts on that one?

Have you ever experienced a similar shipping snafu? If it were you, would you have asked for the other Lego package back, or just chalk it up as a lesson learned?

Using Found Items to Make Gifts


I can’t wait to share with you some of my gifts I’m making.  But I’m really enjoying the process of finding things around the house, mostly things we would normally trash or recycle and seeing what I can make out of them that would be both practical and a craft worth giving.

So I’ve got these 1/2 gallon milk jars, glass, that I’ve been trying to find something to do with.  For this I have LOVED Pinterest.  So I’m stuck between painting them and making them – gratefulness jars – you know where you write little notes of praises or compliments and drop them in the jar.  I thought if I did one for each child, then on Christmas they’d get a decorated bottle full of notes to read.  Or doing some kind of recipe in a jar of some sort for teacher gifts.  I see lots of these with the smaller jars, but not sure it would work with this size.

My other thought is to take some plain clipboards which I have around from homeschooling and decorate them with paint, paper and other stuff for teachers at the co op.  I’ve actually done this in the past, but we’ve got lots of new teachers, and more importantly I’ve got ALL the supplies on hand to make them.

I’m also making a ton of homemade soap.  This was more of  a practical way to save some money.  I buy the supplies in bulk and have made my own for years due to the kids sensitive and dry skin.  So I’m thinking I can maybe wrap some of it up nicely as gifts too.

So I’m really working on this…it takes my time and attention off the difficulties at hand, uses up supplies I have on hand, and most importantly gets me set up for what could be a nice Christmas.

Two questions…

  1. Have any great craft, gift ideas I could do with 1/2 gallon glass milk jugs?
  2. What are your go to crafty gifts that you are proud to give?

I am thankful for this season in my life.  I get to spend every moment with my children. I continue to make improvements to how I manage my “stuff” and my money, learning more every day.  And I’m super excited on what is coming right around the corner for us!