My thoughts on Gift Giving

What did you give your loved ones this Valentine’s Day? Whenever I buy presents for family and friends, no matter the holiday, I like to invest in experiences rather than material gifts. I’m not sure I’ve ever bought my boyfriend an item of clothing. (Except for a t-shirt with a Middle Earth subway map…I mean c’mon, how do you not buy that?) We like to buy each other tickets for concerts, comedy shows, vacations, Broadway shows, you get the idea. I take pride in my gift giving abilities, and I get so nervous watching someone open my present. Their reaction is my favorite part! I can confidently say I’ve never given a present that has been a dud. The one exception to that was the time I bought him tickets to Six Flags for his birthday just because I really wanted to go. He was a bit confused when he first opened his present, but once we got to the park it was clear I made a good call.

SIX FLAGS was ours to conquer

Exhibit: A

Anyway, for Christmas, I decided I wanted to do something similar for my Mom, so I bought a “Painting with a Twist” class. (The BYOB painting classes that are really on trend right now. ) I made sure to extend the invite to Grandma and Aunt Mia too. I needed some normal human beings-no offense guys- to make me feel better about painting with Mom, the artist of the family. They weren’t too thrilled at the idea of a painting class, but once I mentioned the wine they seemed to be easily convinced. I made sure to schedule the class on a day that I was in town, so I too could enjoy the wine painting class with all my best gal pals. 😉


Brie is always a good idea

painting 2

The artist at work

painting 3

Final products


Since I took care of the wine and paint, I had had my brother take care of my Mom’s other love, cake! We purchased a two part Butter-Cream Cake Decorating course for my mom. I conveniently could not find a set of dates that corresponded with the weekends I would be in town for this set of lessons. The only thing to do was to call upon Mom’s faithful sidekicks: Grandma and Aunt Mia, to join her for the fun.  Aunt Mia was the most thrilled I think. And by thrilled, I mean less than thrilled. There was a lot more prep that went into this course than I anticipated. Participants had to provide their own cakes, icing, and cake decorating kits. Which makes sense, being that these are integral tools to decorating a cake, but doesn’t make sense if you are trying to give people gifts that don’t require work on their part. Oh well, lessons were already purchased, so I just hoped my family would figure out a way to make it work. They didn’t let me down.


Grandma’s butterfly creation


Ant Mia’s Doggone Good Cake




In my opinion, no matter how much wine consumed, curse words uttered, or eyes rolled, an experience is sure to provide more laughter, love , and memories than any gift card, article of clothing, or piece of jewelry.* I encourage everyone to give it a try.

*Exceptions include diamonds (a girl’s best friend) or Harry Potter related memorabilia.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this post! I have another fun story featuring a birthday trip gift to Texas and a special guest appearance cake from my cousin. #cakesmycousinmakes