baby gifts

Hello Readers!  Crystal here with a super easy DIY growth chart.

I have been on the look-out for a really great growth chart for months.  I came across Miss Natalie’s Heirloom Growth Chart and loved it immediately, but knew the paper tags would not last long in my house with two rambunctious boys, and I really wanted foot markings on the chart so it would be easy to track my children’s height.  I kept searching but didn’t find anything that really fit the bill.  A few weeks later, it dawned on me that I could make my own version of Miss Natalie’s!  Here is my method:

Gather your supplies:

  • 6-feet of jute webbing (can be purchased online or at craft stores.  I bought mine at Hobby Lobby.)
  • Dowel
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Fabric (not shown)
  • A small amount of Tyvek (or other suitable material.  I think these would be cute, as would canvas.  I choose Tyvek because it is lightweight and super durable)
  • Safety pins

Iron the fusible interfacing onto the fabric and cut out numbers.

I started my 1-foot mark 6-inches from the bottom of the webbing, and then measured every 6-inches for the subsequent marks.

After all six feet are labeled, start adding tags.  I used a green marker for Lincoln (his favorite color!) and a blue marker for Henry (who is still too young to voice a favorite color.)

I hung the growth chart with a dowel and a strip of the same fabric I used for the numbers.  But how great would it look hanging from a grommet??  I wish I would have thought about that before I finished the dowel/fabric set up!  I also added a dowel at the bottom to keep the chart hanging straight.

And viola!  A growth chart!

Have you ever DIY’d something when you haven’t been able to find certain features on a product?  What did you create?  What alterations did you make?


Darling Clementine

Crystal stops by GiversLog a couple times a month to share her fresh ideas. When she’s not writing for GiversLog, Crystal can be found mothering, knitting, and cooking, and is currently navigating the unknown waters of woodturning.


Now that I’m on baby number three, I don’t have the arsenal of supplies I had with babies one and two. I finally switched from a diaper bag to a purse a year or two before this baby came (when my other son was THA-REE), and I guess I was afraid that if I went back to the diaper bag, I may never carry a purse again. I’d be a seventy-year-old woman still meaning to buy myself a nice bag. But there are a few things I keep in my purse for baby just incase, and this is one of them. I’ll have my baby model.

Just two barrettes on a ribbon. It’s perfect for turning a napkin into an impromptu bib. For a friend’s baby I used this tutorial at mairuru (found via noodleheads) to make a pretty version. It’s a super easy project, and nice for people like me who like to give something handmade without exposing our poor friends to our amazing INability to sew. Visit mairuru to get all the details. All I did was add a ribbon.


I am a fan of family game nights.

And I love the idea of making games from pictures of all of your family’s favorite people, places, or things. Here, a few of my favorite personalized game ideas. With one more coming tomorrow.

Totally beautiful memory game by Say Yes to Hoboken. Get the full tutorial here.
Also love this bottle cap version.

I was completely blown away by the method for making these photo bean bags.

And a few favorite ideas for photo puzzles from here,


and here (via here).


Welcome Kits


I think this welcome to the world kit over at Made is one of the dearest things I’ve seen.

Also had to share these simple summer gifts from Blonde Designs. Matching swimsuit coveralls as a vacation welcome (how much do kids love to match?) and thank you kits sent post-vacation.

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This gift is too good not to share. This particular idea wasn’t submitted to me. It’s one I sort of scouted out.

I went to a baby shower along with this talented lady. The shower was for a friend of ours, an amazing mom who just had a sweet, summertime baby and who also has a houseful of other kiddos who are going to need a way to stay busy this summer when they’re not helping mom. So what did this adorable woman give her? A summertime busy basket, packed with activities to keep the kids happy while mom is attending to baby. How thoughtful is that? My friend’s daughter was good enough to hold the basket for me while I snapped a shot.


If you have an idea to share, we’d love to hear it. Stop by here to submit. Below are a few of the categories I’m always looking for:

Handmade Gifts | A Giver’s Log Tutorial | Big Surprises | Little Surprises | Happy Mail | Thoughtful Gestures | Pretty Packaging | Party Favors | Food to Make and Share | Simple Entertaining Ideas | and of course, a story for Give That Man a Hand


One reason I love writing this blog is that I find out about some of the coolest companies and their offerings. This sponsor is one of those. When I found out about Audio Heirlooms, I had to run here and share. Just wait, I’m sure your mind will be racing like mine, running through possibilities and people who you could completely delight with this new find.

Meet Evan Roberts.

Evan has pieces on radio stations  across the U.S., and has worked for a couple places that may sound familiar, like WNYC and the New York Times. He’s worked on some weighty pieces, ranging from refugees in the Middle East to exonerated prisoners in California. You can see a few more shots of Evan at work on the Audio Heirlooms Facebook Page. Including a shot of him gathering audio in a chicken coop (Evan?) I’m telling you, the man takes this job seriously.

Now I’d like to introduce you to what Evan does.

Evan makes personalized Audio Heirlooms. Do your realize what this means? You can have a personalized audio documentary (ahh! I love documentaries!) An audio documentary with crisp audio, artful timing, and all of that good stuff, made just for you. Audio Heirlooms has dropped in and recorded a baby’s early moments, bridesmaids prepping for a weddinga pre-wedding manicure (how great is that?), and more, which you can check out on their site.

I love that Audio Heirlooms makes the whole process simple and fun. With an audio card, for example, Audio Heirlooms will give you a toll-free number to pass out to all your friends and family who you want to make an audio appearance in your piece. Everyone can dial in from home and leave their fond wishes by  phone, simple as that. This would be so ideal for my family, we are spread out everywhere.

Audio Heirlooms has all kinds of happy customers, including Scott Hamilton (the Scott Hamilton) and Kimberly Williams-Paisley (wife to Brad Paisley, the Brad Paisley). I already feel cooler just for knowing about this company.

If you’re like me and are stowing this idea away for a few big upcoming celebrations and honorees, you can subscribe to the Audio Heirlooms newsletter to stay posted and get some samples and inspiration. Or contact Audio Heirlooms and get a free sample CD.

I’ve already started putting together my Audio Heirlooms wish list.
I would love an audio of memories of each of my grandmothers. One I’m really close to and the other I never got the chance to know. (These are a couple pics of them. Aren’t they lovely?) Would love to pass this on to my daughter.

I’d love to get an audio card of wishes either for my baby or for my daughter when she is baptized next year.

Do you know whate else I would love? An audio cookbook. I have some relatives who can share a recipe the same way some people tell a good story or joke. Would this not be the perfect grad gift?

Also, would really love to get a series of bedtime stories for my little ones to drift off into their dreams to the sound of beloved grandmas and grandpas, uncles and aunts.

I’d love to hear, who would you like to get on tape? and what would you want them to share?


I have a reader question today from an expecting reader. So exciting. Btw, I love the reader questions I get from you. They are always proof of how thoughtful you all manage to be.

“Do you have any good suggestions for newborn gifts? When I have my new baby I’d like my kids to bring her a gift when they meet her and I’d like to have gifts for my kids when they come as well (a toddler and preschooler). I’ve been racking my brain for something special, but thought you might have more insight.” —Vanessa

Vanessa, I love that you are planning ahead for this incredible, magical moment. One of the gifts I’ve seen and loved is this simple handmade board book by Jordan Ferney at Oh Happy Day. It’s so sweet and something the kids could look forward to reading to her right from the start (Rachelle mentions making a modgepodge board book in this post). I also am in love with this 100 Wishes Blanket, and have been hung up with the idea of somehow making a custom version.

And for gifts from baby, I’m thinking a really cool bath toy. Because, for one, you are going to need something to keep the big kids busy when baby comes, and two, there will be nothing cuter than getting all three of them in the tub together someday for a group splash session and, of course, a group bath photo.

What about you readers? Any ideas to help Vanessa? Vanessa and I would love to hear.



If you are looking for an heirloom gift, pi’lo is not to be missed. Truly some awe-inspiring pieces, like a few of my favorites.


I’m thrilled to introduce you to my new sponsor, which  may already be a favorite shop of yours, like it is mine.

Pi’lo is chalk full of handmade goods made by Heather Shaw in her home-based Toronto studio. If you’ve never seen her work, prepare to be awed. Everything she makes and everything she blogs is a breath of fresh air. She creates one piece after another that will instantly become an heirloom. Below just a few favorites.

toothfairy pillow

alphabet book

pretty hankie

reusable crackers

party goodies

photo ornament

pretty apron

printed napkins

So much gift inspiration. Be sure to stop by her shop.




Mom Wants a Bra


Alright ladies, tell me truly, have you ever gone to be fitted for a bra? And then, afterward, did you go out and buy a really nice, really comfortable one? Has your mother?

Confession. I haven’t.

But incase mom might like a fitting and a bra, here is a great resource. The Undie Awards. Every year thousands of women and men weigh in on their favorite bras and undies. You can find 2009’s winner right here. Check out their bra fitting guide here. What a handy resource.

And here are a couple other great resources I’ve come across.
Petit Elephant has an excellet guide for fitting your bra to your body type right here.
—Never one to be left behind, Opra does too. You can find it here.
—And for brand new moms, Cake lingerie makes the most lovely nursing bras you’ll ever find, and they also do their own a great fitting guide. The helpful diagram above is theirs. Who knew that there was so much to know?

p.s. This gift might be best coming from a daughter to a mother. What do you think? Men, if you’d like to get something for the mother of your children, you may be safe going with a great sports bra.


I just loved this story from Vanessa, an expecting mom, and knew you would too.


Leslie Patricelli is my favorite children’s author and illustrator. For last Valentine’s day, Paul contacted Leslie and asked to purchase an original painting from one of her books. The 2 kids in the painting look like my kids and the Teddy Bear in the painting is supposed to be baby #3 on the way! He had it framed and Leslie wrote ‘to Abbi, Jack & baby’ on the mat.”

Paul, you totally rock. This is for you.


If you’re new here, don’t miss the other swoon-worthy stories in this series. I have more great stories on the way, but am looking for more. Here, in particular, are a few I’d love to hear.

1. Mother’s Day stories: Anything special your man or dad did to make the day special? After we all ooh and awe over your story, we might happen to forward it on to our own men, you know, just to get them thinking. A subtle hint never hurt.
2. Stories of something special from your dad. Any special gift or thoughtful thing your dad has done for you or someone else.
3. Wedding proposal stories. I love a good engagement story. I’m hoping to feature one or two, if it involves a gift, all the better.


Just a few thoughtful bits I’ve come across lately.

Lauren of Lauren Makes made a paper chain with a link to count down each day until her first nephew arrives. She packed it up oh-so-pretty and mailed it off to the mom-to-be. (I always enjoy catching up on Lauren’s projects, I especially love this ingenious idea she designed for Lowe’s).

Erin of Bird and Banner shares this sweet little gift given by a friend for her birthday years ago. Proof that little gifts can last. Happy birthday, Erin!

Heather of the Coterie Blog was having a rough day, so her husband brought her something to help cope. (And today is her birthday, so be sure to pop in and wish her a happy one.)

Junie Moon got a surprise phone call from her brother, who is taking a pretty amazing birthday suprise into his own hands.

Amanda Joy surprised her neighbors with something yummy and homemade (be sure to check out the free printable she made and shared for the package).

Happy Lady Eats had her foodie friend drop by a dish of these, which look amazing. Hooray for friends who appreciate food as much as you do.

I love that SamanthaLee got a pair of these in the mail and used them to cheer on the Olympic athletes in proper Olympic style.

And since we’ve been discussing men who know how to make a girl happy this week, here is one more happy girl from one more man who did good.

Hope your day is a happy one. I wish you at least one little unexpected thing that brightens your day.


We have a family Christmas project to work on today. I wanted to do something meaningful for our baby’s first Christmas, but was having a hard time coming up with just the thing. After seeing this post from Amy of The Idea Room over at How Does She, inspiration struck! Today we’ll be making our baby a custom CD. Every member of the family gets to pick a story to read or a song to play for him. I’m so excited.  (I’m thinking of altering this free CD template found here.)

For our little recording session I’ll be using Garage Band on my MacBook, but if you’d like to record your own personalized CD, you have several choices of free audio recording software. Audacity seems to be a good one.

And since we’re on the topic, here are a few other keepsakes that would make a great first Christmas gift.
1. Give baby an album to fill with pics of people who love her.
2. Make a sweet little handprint, get the DIY here or buy a kit, available here.
3. Get a personalized melamine plate (found via here)
4. or sweet booties.
5. Give a piggy bank (more piggy banks here) along with his first stock certificate.
6. Have a blanket personalized
7. or pick out the perfect rocking horse.

1. Get or make her first Christmas ornament (I have reason to believe our baby may be getting one made by Grandma, yea!)
2. or get her started on her first growth chart like this one found via here (more beautiful growth charts here).
3. Have you ever heard of an add-a-pearl necklace? I love the idea.
4. Give a beautiful book
5. or personalized music box.
6. Love this personalized pendant (found via here) that also works to imprint a wax seal on a closed envelope.
7. Or make a personalized stocking, isn’t this one gorgeous? (found via here)




I have something important to tell you. Did you know you can go ice skating in the middle of Yosemite? It’s pretty fantastic. We happened across the rink while searching for a geocache there. When we saw the rink, my daughter and I looked at each other like “are you thinking what I’m thinking?” We rented some skates and got on the ice (the boys opted out). It was her first-ever time ice skating, and she was delighted by every part of it. She kept pointing out how pretty her skates were, and was in the most infallable mood the entire time. Of course it wasn’t hard to feel blissful, gliding across the ice in the shadow of half dome in the setting sun, with Journey playing over the loud speakers.
F-smallIMG_6161So partly in honor of that and partly because these are just some really cool ideas, here are some skating ideas that would make pretty great gifts.

-flashback_rollerskates_katieCraftzine posted a tutorial a while back for making skates from sneakers. I think a little skate-making kit would be about the coolest gift ever.

classic roller skates gifts

And here a few more:
Classic skates from here (men, this would make a pretty romantic gift with a date),
Skate pendant from here,
Skate booties from here, they also come in hockey skates (!)


-7 things7I love that kids are always so impressed with themselves for how fast they grow. My kids like to show me how far their toes reach in bed or how close they are to filling up the bathtub.

Which is why growth charts are one of the coolest things ever, which leads me to my confession. My kids don’t actually have a growth chart. It’s terrible, I know. I realized my mistake recently and am repenting and taking action. In fact, I’m using this post as my shopping list. But how to choose between such beautiful things?

wooden growth chart2available here

beautiful growth chartavailable here, found via here

burlap growth chartavailable here, originally seen here

growthchartwebavailable here in custom colors
photo growth chartavailable here

51jw1sSFiQL._SS400_available here

51Y9x+IY66L._SS400_available here

il_430xN.100313394available here

fabric growth chartavailable here

simple growth chartlove how simple this one is, spotted here
red growth chartavailable here
measure me stick growth chartavailable here, found via here