Monday, April 26, 2010

The Art of Giving - And Another Giveaway

I want to be one of those people that has thoughtful, appropriate gifts on hand  at any moment, so that if on a whim I am invited over to a friend's last minute birthday celebration, I show up with a sweet little something that's unique and interesting.

Instead, I always seem to be scrambling at the last minute, making a run into Target en route to said last minute celebration, and tormenting myself on whether to get a candle (boring), or a scarf.  I get all sweaty and panicky, imagining the look of horror and/or disappoint on my friend's face when she opens up another candle, and thinks, "Gee, couldn't you have given it more thought?"
Yes, I know, it's the thought that counts, and I do love my candles, especially if they are really different and special, but let's face it, anybody at anytime can run into Target and buy a candle.  You're not really getting them something they've always wanted, but never thought to get themselves.
Friends, be honest, I know I am not the only one that's in this boat.

So imagine my excitement when I came across these thoughtful, sweet little mini journals from Marta Writes the other day.
They are nice and petite so they fit perfectly in that big ol' mom bag we all seem to carry around.
And inside, there's pages and pages of fill-in-the-blank little questions where you can write in some random favorite thoughts for the day.  An exercise in focusing on the positive.  You know I love that!
  And she makes them in all these great covers.  During checkout you can tell her if you have a preference.

The thing I love most about these journals is that it's an easy exercise in reflection that takes little time commitment.  You can perform the exercise on a park bench while you're watching the kids play nice, or right before you go to bed at night.  There's just a few questions that help prompt a tired brain into remembering just how blessed our lives really are.  For me it's a perfect foray into journal writing, a task I always think about doing, but never really find the time or energy to do. 

And if I'm being honest here, how much would you standout in the gift-giving department if you gave one of these to a friend, or even your sister, cousin or mother?

And today my friends, I am giving 1 of these little journals away.  I'll pick a winner on Friday April 30th.  Just leave a comment below saying what your favorite sound is.  Oh, and if you do those little extras like tweet about it or facebook it or become a "follower" by subscribing to my posts, you will get an extra entry...just leave it in the comments section!

Happy Day My Friends!

64 comments:

  1. Allow me to be the first....
    I love these and LOVE the umbrella fabric! I want it!! :)

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  2. My favorite sound has always been the waves, but now that I am a Mom the simple giggle of one of my girls would tie for that number 1 spot. Not the devious laugh or wild raucous sounds of them romping, just the sweet little giggle when they discover something new or find a simple joy.
    This is a fun giveaway Andrea and way to get it going on a Monday morning!

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  3. Wow these are adorable!!
    Besides the sounds of my three little girls giggles(and hubby's too of course!) I love to listen to the birds and the sound my quaking Aspen tree makes in the wind!
    Create a wonderful day!

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  4. LOVE them--and her blog too. Thanks for the introduction.
    Favorite sounds: birds singing, ocean waves, my 3 kids laughing together (like right now!)
    I'd journal about all those things.
    Love from Greta

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  5. Those are the CUTEST!
    And I am quite positive there is no greater sound than deep, heartfelt, uncontrollable laughter, whether it be from kids or adults!

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  6. What cute journals! It is also a very creative and thoughtful idea. I would say my favorite sound is the sound of a quite rain mixed in with some wind. It reminds me of fall, which is one of my favorite seasons. I would also like to add that one of my other favorite sounds is hearing the word, "Mom," but not when it is to diffuse a potential problem. I enjoy it most in the early morning or during bedtime.

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  8. My favorite sound is my children's laughter. Not the laughter when I do something silly to SEE them laugh. The sound that comes from a separate part of the house that shows me that their friendship is blossoming without my encouragement. That sound makes my heart sing. I hope to never forget it for the next 100 years.

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  9. I tweeted about it. You follow me, so I'm hoping you see it. If not, let me know & I'll post the link! :)

    Cutest.Notebooks.Ever.

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  10. sooo cute! these would for sure make perfect gifts!

    my favourite sound has to be sitting at the beach with no one else around and hearing the waves crash onto the shoreline....it is so peaceful! i also love the sound of loons in the summer time while out camping :)

    kshuttle@uoguelph.ca

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  11. my favorite sound is when all three of my kids are laughing together! :)

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  12. Adorable. :)

    I love when my sweetheart says "I love you" - it's a great sound. *sigh*

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  13. Cute! But ONE sound...there are so many! Love the sound of the water hitting the bottom of my surfboard when I'm actually STANDING on a wave. Also, the little one saying "I love you very much Momma". And finally the sound of a cork coming out of a bottle...because you know a good time is soon after!

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  14. Love the butterfly one, but they're all adorable! Favorite sounds...hmm, birds in the morning, when my kids laugh those uncontrolled no holds barred belly laughs, and my husbands voice when he leave me a sweet voice message (rare since we are texters - making the voice messages all the more special)

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  15. Cute! I love the sound of my husband and kids playing. I also enjoy the sound of all of the asleep.

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  16. the blue and red rose one is beautiful!

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  18. oooh, these are fabuous! love her blog,too. thanks for introducing it to me :)

    my favorite sound on the planet is the belly laughs my girl makes when her brother is being silly for her. it's dreamy i tell ya!

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  19. Favorite sound...the sound of M's pitter patter in the morning as he runs down the hallway to our room to snuggle before we get up for the day.

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  20. I love the sound of Kiran's belly-laughs. Also, I put it on FB too!

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  21. I love the sound of my husband's key in the front door lock as he come's home from another hard night of work, and the sound of 8 little feet running to greet him.

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  22. What a great gift idea for my girls weekend getaway! And my favorite sound lately is the delightful shreek of my 1 year old when I come home from work followed by a harmonious mamamamama! Melts the bad day away!

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  23. My current favorite sound is the smooching that my 18-month old makes when he kisses anyone and anything. Can ya tell he just learned to 'kiss'?

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  24. I love to hear my 4 year old scream "ya-hoo" when he goes down a hill on his bike. He is so proud and happy, I can't help but smile even if I'm scared that he'll fall and hurt himself!

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  25. Oh my... how absolutely adorable. Red and white polka dots just rock my world any time. Just writing down the things those little girls say to me would be good. My brain isn't getting any younger. :) So glad you are coming to the Prayer Day. Can't wait...

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  26. My favorite sound, second only to my children's laughter, is the wind blowing through the trees.

    And maybe Iron and Wine "Fever Dream" too :)

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  27. My favorite sound is sneakers on a hardwood basketball court. I love it!

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  28. The mini diary is darling. I can imagine these being a good writing exercise for children as well. It is always neat to capture their thoughts.

    My favorite sound has always been the ocean waves, but the kiddos laughter always tops that.

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  29. i wake up each morning at 5am to jog at the park down my apartment. i love the serenity and peace and in the midst i hear the small noise/sound made by frogs and tiny little insects....yes, i believe these are the sounds that only in such hour, truly we can hear and enjoy one of God's many creation. ~smile

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  30. Love Marta's blog. These are adorable...and just my size.

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  31. i adore the sound of my sons. when merrick growls and roars. when orion belts out in laughter and snickers when you tickes his neck. when conner talks like a kermit the frog.

    have loved these diaries for a long time.

    hope i win!

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  32. The umbrella fabric reminds me that my favorite sound is falling asleep to the rain dropping:)

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  33. One of my favorite sounds right is a tie between my boys' laughter and an old grandfather clock ticking and chiming on the quarter hour, the half hour and the hour.

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  34. My favorite sound is when my children laugh that deep belly laugh and can't stop. :)

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  35. My favorite sound is my baby laughing, but I also love the sounds of birds early in the morning.

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  36. my favorite sound is moving water. rivers, waves, rain, you name it, i love it.

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  37. I love the sounds of: coffee percolating in the morning, the scratch of pencil/crayon/marker of my kiddo drawing (she's a prolific artist these days), summer wind in the trees, the bellow of church bells, the crunch of snow underfoot.

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  38. Hmm, this is harder than I thought to pick a favorite sound! After thinking about it for awhile, I've decided my favorite sound(s) are the summer evening sounds - a little bit of wind in the trees, bugs and birds and froggies singing their songs, little critters rustling in the forest leaves. All the sounds I hear as I'm falling asleep outside when I'm camping.

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  39. a baby babbling...not talking...just the babbling..love it. So precious.
    schultz.pam@sbcglobal.net

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  40. I aboslutely love these! hope that I WIN!

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  41. So many ... the sound of the ocean, running water like in a fountain or waterfall, birds, the rain and sometimes simply silence.

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  42. So many ... the sound of the ocean, running water like in a fountain or waterfall, birds, the rain and sometimes simply silence.

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  43. So cute! I love the sound of my kids laughing...and the end of the day dismissal bell (can you tell this teacher is ready for summer break!?) Amy in CA

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  44. These days my favourite sound is my boyfriend breathing. Sounds mundane, but when he's here I sleep better, I think his breathing drowns out the little sounds that usually keep me awake, and because we are long distance, sometimes sitting in skype reading our respective websites and just listening to each other breath is comforting.

    sugareaterATgmailDOTcom

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  45. Cute journals! My favorite sound is music.

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  46. tweet. :)

    http://twitter.com/charmedlifeblog/status/12976620023

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  47. sounds of nature and sounds of the voices of my family are my favorites...and of course the garage door opening when my teenagers are arriving home safely:) Love those journals too...so pretty and love that they are easy to fill int he blanks...

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  48. I love the sound of a newborn crying. (That sounds horrible, but, heartbreaking as it is, it really is darling and precious in small doses.)

    I love the sound of my kids laughing together. My son is the best at getting his little sister to crack up. I can't help but laugh along with them. The sound tickles me.

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  49. I would LOVE to have one of Marta's journals. The sound I love most right now is breeze in the leaves. You kind of forget that in the winter, you know?
    Katie

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  50. What a great gift idea and great question. I have a very specific bird call that I absolutely love, but, of course I can't think of what kind of bird it is right now. It reminds me of the early mornings, spent out at the lake, when I was much younger. Nothing else is awake, the fresh smell and dew is in the air. Ahhhh. Peace.

    I also love the unprompted laughing of my kids. Especially Jackson. He is always so serious. It is a rare treat to hear him full-on belly laugh.

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  51. My favorite sound is the laughter of my girl. Oh...and that might just be tied with the sound of quiet!! :0)

    I love those journals!!

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  52. Great journal. My favorite sound is the sound of my kids snuggled in bed together as they breath as one!

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  53. Super cute books. Of course I love the sound of my boys giggling together when I am in the other room or the sound of Annabelle laughing at them. I also love the sounds of waves at the beach, especially at night time.

    Nicole

    Oh, and mental note to self never buy Andrea a candle :-)

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  54. My favorite sound is my 2 year old's laugh that only her big sister can make her do.

    See you tomorrow!!

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  55. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! I love the sound of laughter… but since so many people have chosen that as their favorite sound, I’m going to change my answer to MUSIC. I recently read a quote that said “Music is what feelings sound like.” I know it sounds cheesy, but the more I thought about it, I felt in a weird way it’s true.

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  56. I love the sound of my daughter's voice on the phone. She sounds so sweet and innocent. Not at all like the little sass she is to me in person. :)

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  57. My favorite sound in the world is my children's first cries as the enter the world!...and I am Blessed again to become their mommy... my second favorite is their giggles! just melts my heart everytime!!
    Many Blessings!
    Jill

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  58. i am a voluntary designer, is there a chance you like to show some of my photographs? i think it would be neat for your articles :-)
    absolutely enjoy your blog! send me a e-mail please in case you want to colaborate

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