On gift-giving: something you need (part 3 of 4)

Thoughtful gift ideas: something you need (part 3 of 4).  Lovely Matters Blog by Heather Walker

If you haven't read our "4 thoughtful gifts", you may want to read this blog post first. 

The "something you need" category is of course, the most practical.  Every year we take a different spin on the word "need".  My "rule follower" child commented that everyone should get a wrapped water bottle.  And my out of the box thinker tries to convince me that this is the category for a rocket launcher.  Here are my ideas:

4 year old 

I truly think my 4 year old would appreciate a special set of flannel sheets for his bed this winter.  We are short a backup set so this becomes his "need".  Love all the target options of flannel I'm seeing this season. *click images to link*

6 year old

A few extra pairs of underwear are in need right now.  So to keep the practicality in gift giving he'll get his favorite package of undies.  All my boys say the Calvin Klein Briefs from Costco are the most comfortable. They aren't online for me to link, but you Costco shoppers know where to find them.

Here's a "needed" solution for getting out the door quick.  We don't wear shoes in our home so this makes the constant on and off very helpful.  

8 year old

This hair gel for my long haired boy keeps his hair under control with the "I'm not trying too hard because I'm a free spirt wild child" feel.  It's a very safe brand (it's made with quinoa and smells like orange peel for goodness sake) and leaves no flaking or crunchy hair.  I originally found this at whole foods and never thought to see if Amazon had in stock until now.  Win!

11 year old

The advantage of my oldest having a phone is that I can contact her when I need to, but only if she has her phone with her.  I think this would be the easiest way for her to take her phone when she goes for a run or a bike ride.

My daughter is at the age where I'm sharing lots of self-care tips and she mentioned her interest in this when she saw at a friends house.  Caring for skin is something that needs to become a habit at a young age.  I was only familiar with the Clarisonic brands but they are over $100!  This one has amazing reviews and is only $22.  


Most men really don't take the time to shop for themselves (especially Dads).  Shopping for my husband's clothing is simple but when it comes to beauty products and self-care it's trickier to know what he might like and actually use.  I found Birch Box, a beauty box subscription for men!  This is a better idea of a gift than my normal toothpaste or wrapped up toilet paper as his "something you need".  Isn't this what a gift should be, something unique that you wouldn't normally purchase for yourself.  Undecided on starting a subscription for him (only $10 a month!) or choosing one of these two gift sets (one-time purchase).

Me (aka: Mama):

My favorite bowls keep getting dropped by my little kitchen helpers.  Bowls definitely fall under the "need" category.  They are only $6, the perfect size, and more durable than most, so I keep replacing them.  

Okay, saving the BEST for last again!  I know you all rushed off to Anthropology after my post yesterday, but this one you just need to click a link!  At the TOP of my wish list is a subscription box to FabFitFun!  I recently saw a friend's box and my mouth was dropped open at all the fun and unique goodies that I'd never seek out for myself.  The box is filled with fabulous finds in beauty, wellness, fashion, and fitness, hand-picked by the FabFitFun team, delivered once per season.  Each box is limited edition and contains $200+ in retail value. The starter box is only 19 dollars!  What??!! Seriously!  Sweetie, if you are reading... hint hint hint FabFitFun has lots of my "needs" inside.  

This post contains affiliate links.  The opinions are completely my own based on my experience.  Learn more here.  


Thankful chalkboard

Every November I clear our chalkboard to make room for all we are thankful for.  Each child writes the first thing that comes to their mind every day in November.  I have a photo of what this looks like at the end of the month from all the years past.  I love our kids having these daily reminders on how blessed they are.  Here's our Chalkboard on Nov 1st and I'll share what it looks like on November 30th.  

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less effort and more love in party planning

simple and thoughtful party decor. lovely matters by Heather Walker

My daughter had a very belated birthday celebration because she wanted to wait for our backyard renovations to be done.  I know it's so hard to keep a guest list short, but with parties, less is more.  In most situations.  I also love a big bash with lots of mingling but, in my experience, the host tends to not enjoy themselves as much.  The benefit of an intimate party is you have room to add special touches and sit around the same table sharing the same conversation.  I adore this special touch my daughter added to the table decor.  She wrote each of her friends a personal note telling them what she loved about them and how blessed she was to have them in her life.  I took pictures of each note and sent to her guests.  I watched as each sweet friend found their seat and gushed over the words Addi Mae left them.  My husband and I made them a homemade meal and we served them as they simply chatted about their lives.

Intentionally blurred table for my daughter to keep her personal notes to her friends personal.  But you get the idea.

Intentionally blurred table for my daughter to keep her personal notes to her friends personal.  But you get the idea.

This party was planned with one trip to target and a quick amazon order. 

Party animal napkins are from dollar section at target.

This paper table runner is something I always have on hand for multiple purposes.  

The cake pops are from Mon Aimee Cake Pops  and the best I've ever had.

These sharpies take writing to a whole new level.  And who doesn't want gold cutlery every once in a while.

The only other decor item I purchased were these that gave the pool house just enough of a party vibe.

Have you seen the saran wrap game played at parties?  It was a hit!  Target dollar section for the win again.  

pool house.  Lovely Matters by Heather Walker

I've had a lot of questions about these chaise lounge chairs!  Love them.  Highly recommend!  And yes, I plan to do a full backyard tour soon to share how we renovated and decorated the space!

Finding balance when decorating for Halloween

Halloween/Thanksgiving/fall might be the easiest time of year to decorate.  It can be as simple as purchasing pumpkins at the grocery store and swapping out some throw pillows.  I can justify purchasing a lot of pumpkins for decor because these will be on display until I put out Christmas. A whole two months away!  A white mum would probably look better than this fern, but keep in mind this is Texas Y'all.


Let me just say that when it comes to Halloween, I don't do scary!  Darth Vader is about as scary as I'd prefer.  Especially inside the home.  I think I was pulled through too many haunted houses by my older siblings when little.  Last year my kids asked for more decorations as a nice way of saying "we don't look festive enough".  So I tried to step up my "simple decorating" since this was something they got excited about.  These paper silhouettes bats and mice are my favorite because they make a big statement without the clutter.  My kids were seriously impressed when they came home from school to find these and asked if I cut them out.  Ha!  Not for this price I didn't.  I also have some hanging bats and giant spiders I'll put on the front porch as we get closer to Halloween but you won't find anything much scarier than that.     

simple decorating for halloween
simple and easy halloween decor bats

Keeping my home neutral in color helps me change my color decor to go with the season.  I swapped out my pink accessories for orange and now my pink won't come back until Valentines day. Decorating tip: Navy or most darker blues go great with any season/holiday. 

simple and elegant decorating for Halloween

Added bonus when decorating becomes practical and pretty.  This is our dinning room table below.  I always keep cloth napkins here with something pretty beside them.  And the paper napkins go under the cloth ;).

practical and pretty decorating
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