Friday, May 9, 2014

Mother's Day local gift guide

The Gift of Giving

I bet we all have had a time in our lives where we stop and consider what type of gift giver we think we really are to others. Are you someone that shudders at the thought of trying to decide on a gift, knowing you will spend hours or days not coming up with one single idea and coming to the conclusion that no gift is better than a bad gift. Are you someone that has christmas gifts ready for 2015 because it gives you peace of mind to know you don’t have to think about gifts anymore? Or are you someone that is out shopping for a pair of shoes for a wedding and ends up putting together a compilation of a ‘congratulations on a new home’ gift including champagne glasses, dish towels, a french press, and ten candles? I think I may be all of these people at different times depending on the gift giving situation. However, I know I am someone who has an internal struggle on always wanting to be generous regardless of what someone will give me in return, but secretly thinking I hope that person does exactly the same as I did knowing it’s quite impossible to always be equal in the gift exchange department. 

And then after I calm down from all these thoughts and emotions swirling in gift wrap, I get drawn into the deeper meaning of giving a gift and why I am choosing to give that specific gift. Sometimes I know I want to treat a friend to something special just because they are on my mind. Sometimes I find great joy in taking an excruciating amount of time to find the perfect gift. Sometimes I know I have to get a gift because it’s the right thing to do. No matter which situation I am in, I always try (try is the key word here) to keep the receiver in mind at all time and not just my own intentions. I know I have my moments where I get wrapped up (no pun intended) in how the gift I am choosing makes me feel and assume that if I feel the gift is perfect, the person that I am giving it to will feel the same. But what I really want is the receiver to feel I thought of them when choosing the gift. As all of us have heard before, but what I truly believe, is giving a gift is definitely better than receiving a gift (unless it’s a box of chocolates next to a litter of kittens just for me). Knowing that you took the time to think thoughtlessly and focus your attention on someone else can only make someone feel more grounded and balanced. 

We spend so much time during the day often focusing all on ourselves first, then others. Even for myself who works most days having to care for the health of other individuals, I know I still make a lot of my day about myself. But at some point in my day, I am finding it is necessary to give more to others. And giving more may only be giving the gift of time, a home cooked meal, a freshly made bed, or a clean pair of socks. But these efforts are still gifts and allow us to realize a gift can be given every day. I am slowly learning how gifts come in many different forms and to take a moment to appreciate all the multiple ways a gift may be disguised. Being able to unwrap this revelation and attempt to make it an almost daily practice will continue to be another life lesson I am still in the process of learning.

So to transition to the reason why this topic was on my mind, mothers day is coming up this Sunday and I have been making a list of gift options. For those of you who live in Northeastern Pennsylvania, I think this gift guide will at least, if anything,  make it convenient for you to purchase something sweet and local for your mom. For those of you who may not be so close, these ideas are still possible anywhere that spas, boutiques, yoga studios and animal rescues exist. I wanted to highlight some of the great options of services and items we have available to use here in this town that so many of us take for granted and may not always appreciate (myself included). But with a positive outlook and a little extra searching you may find we have a lot more great things happening here than you realize! 

1. Lafco Candles come in many fragrances and smell amazing-sold at Alexanders Day Spa
2. Monarch luxury robe and other great products sold at Woodhouse Day Spa
3. Shop AG jeans and other great brands at Buka
4. Rachel Zoe slip on shoes and many other styles sold at Shooze in Kingston
5. Jade Yoga mats help keep you grounded and prevent moisture build up-sold at Balance Yoga Studio
6. Paw prints can always be found out at Blue Chip Farms Animal Rescue


I know most people, myself included, would be excited to share a massage or a spa day with her mom. Giving your mom the time to relax and unwind is a necessity in life and if you can share that day or night with her as well, then it's even better! Woodhouse Day Spa in Kingston and Alexander's Day Spa in Scranton are both great options for just a spa day and offer gift cards as well. The Lodge at Woodloch does offer day packages, but once you get there, you will NOT want to leave. This will be an extra special treat, but totally worth spending the extra for an unbelievable spa experience. The best packages include two nights and it is only an hour and 15 minutes from Wilkes-Barre, but feels like you are anywhere, but here.

Shopping Day

We have a lot of great boutiques in the area, but because of my location I tend to love to check out the new merchandise at the cute, cozy, but very stylish boutique of Buka in Shavertown. This store is owned by an awesome local woman who makes you want to stay in her store all day trying on clothes and chatting about life. You can find top brands and also unique designers all in one space to create the perfect new summer wardrobe. Another shop is Shooze in Kingston that features the latest trends and plenty of options for a fancier night out with shoes to match! The service is always great and they can always help you put together just the right gift. Both stores offer gift certificates as well. 


We are all always looking for new ways to feel fit and energized and going to a yoga class at Balance Yoga Studio will allow you to feel both. Every time I take a class here (which should be more often) I leave feeling relaxed yet energized at the same time. I think most woman want this feeling at least some point in their day or week and brining your mom to a yoga class is a unique way to bond. Balance offers many options for different levels of yoga students and always makes you feel welcome. This is a gift for an experience you can share with your mom to refresh your body and your soul. 


And if a material item just doesn't seem right to you or you feel like you want to do something more, there is no better gift than giving back. You will quickly learn that one of my biggest passions in life is animals and that I will pretty much do anything to help them. Find a local shelter and volunteer. Whether it's walking a dog, petting the cats for an hour or helping clean, every volunteer matters. Some may find it hard to go to the shelter out of the sadness or fear of wanting to take home every animal (which has happened to me twice), but I can tell you from experience you may still have feelings of sadness when you leave, but you will also have feelings of what it feels like to make a difference and that truly is a priceless gift. If you are local, check out Bluechip Farms Animal Rescue in Dallas, PA. They are always welcoming to new volunteers and can always use your help!


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