Minted, brings a whole new meaning to Treasure Map!

I am always on the lookout for cool, unique, and possibly customizable gifts. Gifts for graduations, weddings, birthdays, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, you name it! I have always kind of prided myself in my gift giving (Ms. Modest, over here, ha-ha!)  I try my best to channel the individual’s likes, dislikes, sense of humor, etc. And for the most part I have been spot on with my gift selections.

Here are some of the questions that I ask myself when seeking THE perfect GIFT:

  1. Where are they financially? What do they NEED? (I have friends that would much rather prefer a gift card to help with gas, a movie night, etc.)
  2. What do they NEED but don’t know it? (Like a mom who NEVER gets out, she needs a night out…make an appointment for her to get her nails done or a massage… & you watch her kiddos, perfect gift!!)
  3. How do they enjoy their free time/possible hobby they have? (I have some friends who enjoy trivia a lot! Others are mad about books, art, video games, etc. Hobbies are the perfect gift themes!)
  4. What types of movies/shows do they like, comedies, action, and/or adventure?
  5. Are they sentimental? (Now this is where my father & I fall…we will be thankful & appreciative of anything and everything we receive, however where our hearts & treasure truly lye are in the memories, the DVDs, VHS, photobooks, calendars, the people and amazing experiences we were so blessed to enjoy together on this planet…that is where the real treasures lye!)

Some past gifts that have totally rocked include, customized love monopoly for the hubby, calendars of the kiddos for the grandparents (we do this every Christmas), photobooks of family vacations for the grandparents are another huge hit, pottery painted by yours truly and/or kiddos depending on the occasion, jewelry from the Toledo Museum of Art’s store, etc. So when I came across Minted I nearly lost my mind!! I do believe I might have found a one stop, shop, & customized sweet items location! Minted offers the top 3 things I look for when seeking a sweet gift!

  1. Unique- whenever possible it is really awesome if you can gift an item that isn’t mass produced & support Independent Designers/Artists (even some from Ohio and one from Toledo!)
  2. Customizable
  3. Variety! And what is really cool is that Minted has “families” of products-so if I purchase something for Christmas I could get the matching home décor for Mother’s Day, score!!!

Okay, so this is what really got me excited!! Check this out….MAP GIFTS!!! Created by independent artist and customized by YOU!!!

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SWEET! Right!? So, this is my plan (Dad, if per chance you are reading this stop, look away, LOOK AWAY!!), growing up we visited so many states, New England States (toured Ben & Jerry’s, Ocean Spray, the Von Trapp family lodge, etc.), Mount Rushmore (Corn Palace, Wall Drug, etc.), Grand Canyon, Vegas (baby!), California (World’s largest thermometer and more!), he was the original Clark Griswold (the Christian version) etc. So, my goal, with a little help from my siblings is to locate all those photos and place them in the corresponding state. The hardest part might be limiting the selection down to 4 or 5 photographs and deciding on the frame….I am torn between the reclaimed barn wood and distressed charcoal stain. Tough decisions ahead!



The state map photos would also make awesome gift for friends who move out of state, what better way to commemorate your time together?

I also like this one, for my home…I might put this in our bathroom stating, you are peeing here and place it right above our toilet, lol!


Too much!?!  Clearly, if you are shopping for me I have a great sense of humor and am very sentimental so, good luck. Haha! Seriously though, whenever possible I do try to spend my money and time on experiences and what better way to commemorate those magnificent treasures than with a map to be treasured through a lifetime?

So, how cool are these maps? Where have you been? What maps are you getting?


Kat’s Words of Wisdom

This past weekend I celebrated my birthday!

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I am officially another year older and wiser.  So, what have I learned in my past 30 something years on this planet? (these are in no particular order, except the first one, that’s a solid #1)

1. Pray often. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

2. It is the PEOPLE that matter most!

And thankfully I got to spend my b-day with all my people. There wasn’t one moment that I was alone. It was beautiful. It started with donut breakfast with my kiddos. Then my dear friend Mary drove over in the snow with her baby in tow and surprised me with a cake that she had baked. I was awestruck! The company and the cake were amazing! Shortly after she left I had another friend stop by with her daughters and the girls all played while we moms finally had the opportunity to chat which was a gift in itself. She has 4 kiddos and I have 3 and between the 7 kiddos we hardly ever get a word in edgewise (this is when texting comes in handy). Then in the evening my in-laws came over to watch the kiddos so my true love (just to clarify I am talking about my husband, not coffee) and I could go out to dinner. Throughout the day I received birthday wishes from many friends via texts and Facebook (thank you everyone, you each mean so much to me and I great appreciate you taking the time to remember my b-day).

The next day (did I mention when your b-day is on a Thursday or Friday you can celebrate it all weekend…I am pretty sure it states that somewhere in the Bill of Rights. Lol!) I attended my BFF’s Bridal shower. Seeing your best friend absolutely glow with pure joy over finding the love of her life is such a magnificent gift…second only to life itself. After the Bridal Shower I hit the road and headed to Maumee Bay State Park for a fun filled family weekend!

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3. Love unconditionally.

4. Forgive unconditionally.

5. Joy often follows those who humble themselves.

Truth be told,I did tell my husband, on my birthday weekend that I was wrong, he was right, and I was sorry. Sometimes we need to simply admit our faults, own up to our mistakes, ask forgiveness, and move on. Do not dwell.

6. Focus your attention on the things that matter in life…there will always be laundry and dishes but we never know when someone’s lifetime is up.

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Here is a picture that expresses this sentiment. I had much more important things to do then to clean the room, like going sledding, going on a nature hike, and swimming!!!

7. Wisdom is a gift and you’d be a fool to trade it for youth.

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I went to Merle Norman on my birthday and I was told I could receive a gift package at a special rate. Guess what the gift package entailed? Wrinkle care! As if! I will wear my wrinkles proudly thank you very much!

8. Lower your expectations. Better yet, eliminate all expectations. That way you are never disappointed.


9. Turn off your phone! And enjoy the beautiful gifts around you, like nature and a sunset.

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10. Focus your attention on the right numbers. Not the numbers on the scale but rather your years of wisdom….it is also wise to know your cholesterol, triglyceride level, and blood pressure so that you can continue to grow in your wisdom.

11. Don’t sit on the sidelines  of life, or the chaise lounge at the pool watching everyone else have fun. Put on your bathingsuit and go swimming with your kiddos…make memories.

Moms, put on your bathing suits, no matter what size you are and enjoy making memories with your kids! Stop waiting to live your life until you are the perfect size. You are beautiful and perfect as you are and those who truly matter will know this about you…forget about the rest of them.

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12. Never be afraid to ask for help. When you do so not only do you get assistance but you allow someone else to feel needed. And who knows, maybe you asking for help from that person ends up dramatically changing their outlook on life.

I have to be honest; this getting older thing is pretty awesome! Each year I grow more comfortable in my own skin and my soul grows closer to God.

Have you found yourself growing older and wiser? What is the most significant thing you have learned at your age right now?

It’s a Girl!

“It’s a Girl!”…was what the doctor said 3 years ago today and I do not think anyone was more surprised than me. My hubby and I wanted to be surprised so we opted not to find out the sex of our 3rd baby. I personally could have sworn it was a boy. After having one of each I felt the 3rd pregnancy was similar to my 2nd with our son. Boy was I wrong!

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At week 41 I had to be induced. There was a fear of meconium, which ended up being present in the amniotic fluid (talk about disgusting and worrisome). So I went in at 7:30am and Pitocin was started at 8am. I started my HypnoBirthing (which is amazing and I highly recommend this method) and by 12:15pm we had a baby, a baby girl and we could not have been more excited!!!

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We had ourselves a little Maddy (Mommy + Daddy= Maddy). Actually daddy named our little Maddy, his inspiration being a character from Tombstone, his favorite movie of all time.

I have been experiencing little heartaches throughout the day…just thinking back on the day she was born and how beautiful it was, how quickly the time has flown by, and how quickly it will continue to fly by, why!? Why must they grow so fast?

I adore the fact that there are still words that her little mouth doesn’t know how to enunciate fully, like school. She calls it shhh…cool, priceless! This is the outfit she wants to wear on her first day of shhh…cool.

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I am going to miss 2, I love that age. But I will gladly embrace and welcome 3!

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For her birthday she received some gorgeous princess bling (fake of course), Minnie Mouse tea set, Beauty and the Beast, and so much more. She is one blessed little girl to have so many family members who love her so much.

bday 011How do you handle those heartaches at the realization that your baby/babies are growing up? Do you ever experience mommy “tears of joy”? Do you find they strike on birthdays, first day of school, or are they random moments?  Why must our little treasures grow so quickly?