GiftYou: An Easy Way to Say “Here’s What You Can Get For Me”

giftYou is an easy new way to share wish lists and gift ideas – complete with sizes, color preferences, and more – with your friends and family.

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These socks are on my giftYou list

Now that we’re in holiday season, family and friends keep asking me for gift ideas for my kids. What sizes are they now, including shoes? What clothes do they especially need? I have the same questions about my sister’s kids and she is terrible at getting back to me. (I am also terrible at getting back to people, but it’s more fun to throw her under the bus.)

But what if there was a central place you could keep all this information? Not just for you and your own kids, but for all the people you love to shower with gifts throughout the year? This is one of those things I didn’t know I needed until it popped up in my life: giftYou!

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giftYou is an online tool that makes it easy to create and share gift wish lists with friends and family. Creator Richard Fields says he and his techie partners “wanted to make the gift giving process easier on ourselves (and in turn, easier for everyone else, too)!  Most of us love giving and receiving gifts… but, quite frankly, it can sometimes be a bit stressful.”

Wish Lists For Everyone!

giftYou goes beyond Amazon’s wish lists (although it uses Amazon links to populate your list easily) by allowing you to easily share wish lists among groups of family and friends. “At giftYou, you simply create a group, invite everyone you want to join, and that’s it,” says Fields.  “Everyone in the group will have their wish lists shared with each other automatically, instead of each person having to manually share each separate wish list with one another.”

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Plus, giftYou can add links to any online retailer, AND indicate your general preferences and the kinds of things you like, so that people can choose their own gifts for you instead of picking something directly off your wish list. You can use it for this season’s gifting holidays and keep it around for birthdays and other occasions.

When you log in (for free!) and create you own account, you are prompted to start a wish list for yourself. You can also create a wish list and preferences for a dependent or someone else in your family. giftYou is easy to use on your mobile phone too – it’s optimized for that format so you don’t have to download a separate app to use it.

Other cool functions: when someone wants to buy something for you from the wish list, they can “claim” it, but you won’t see who it is! And, the site makes sure gifts aren’t claimed more than once. It’s kind of like an awesome group gift registry.

There’s Still Time

So if you’ve been meaning to gather some ideas for your family to send presents for the kids that you know they would love, instead of blindly ordering the latest hot toy from the internet, try out giftYou.com. And make a wish list for yourself while you’re at it!

I promise you this post is not just a giant hint for you to click through and send me presents. The wish list I posted above is just for an example. (I already asked Santa for these things, so since I’ve been a good girl this year, I think I’m all set.) What I really want is a shiny new car. I wonder if that can go on a wish list? Hmm…

Many thanks to giftYou.com for partnering with me on this post. Shout out to Fairy Season for the photo and the existence of the awesome socks. Happy holidays!

Custom Cupcakes by Sarah Are the Only Cupcakes You Need

Custom Cupcakes by Sarah is a local business that makes your cupcakes to order and personalizes them to suit your event or occasion. Also, they are delicious!

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I usually make a homemade birthday cake for my kids on their birthdays, but this year I decided to try something different. There is a local business that I started following on Instagram a while ago, Custom Cupcakes by Sarah, and they post the most amazing photos of cupcakes, so one day before the first birthday rolled around, I contacted the owner and found out she will make the cupcakes and decorate them to suit the occasion, be it a baby shower, a birthday, even a themed party.

We worked together on this. My kids’ birthdays are 8 days apart, and we were not planning a big party, so even a dozen cupcakes (the minimum order) would be too many for just one celebration for this family of four. So we decided to do half for one and half for the other. I consulted my kids and asked them what their favorite things were, and presented this information to Sarah. “They like video games and cats,” I said. “Hmm,” she said. “I will figure something out.”

And behold, these adorable, hand-crafted, high-end cupcakes:

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They are amazing, right? Before I tell you about the bells and whistles, know that these delights begin with the basic – a delicious cupcake. Sarah Buxbaum spent years perfecting her recipe for the cake itself and the buttercream frosting. She also makes a very tasty gluten free cupcake, and can make allergy-free cupcakes too, and she’s working on perfecting the vegan cupcake.

Okay so then, Sarah creates a custom design to decorate them, cutting out each little piece of this paper creation by hand. Herself. Even the little paper cups they come in! She wants the decor to be durable, something you can save and put in a scrapbook (or in my gamer’s case, pasted to a poster board for show and tell at school). For the cat lover she made this cute little cats, and for the video game lover these are little X-box controllers.

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cupcakes cats

Sarah opened her business within the last year, after spending several years working in the hospitality industry and learning entrepreneurship working in the trenches of a startup business that took off. She got her Thousand Oaks kitchen certified, chose her business name, and does most of her marketing by Facebook and Instagram and in person at events. She will make your cupcakes and deliver them to you (included in the order price!) within 25 miles.

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A dozen cupcakes starts at $36 with only $4 extra for the custom decorations. She makes several different flavors including allergen- and gluten-free options. Decorations are not limited to paper on sticks, though – Sarah does edible flowers, creative use of icing, marshmallows, popcorn, anything you want! Delivery is included in the order price – Sarah delivers them herself. She boxes the cupcakes in a handy cardboard tray inside a box that opens from the front for easy display and removal, and she advises you store them at room temperature in this box (putting them in the fridge causes them to dry out).

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I can tell you from experience that the leftovers from the first birthday dinner stayed fresh for 3 days in the box, and we saved one in the freezer for a week and it was moist and delicious once it defrosted.

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The true test was taste: these cupcakes got unanimous approval and the 11-year-olds each ate two! Our entire family highly recommends this new local business!

Custom Cupcakes by Sarah
CustomCupcakeOrder@gmail.com
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Even the kitty was interested

Photos with white background courtesy of Custom Cupcakes by Sarah. Our family received a complimentary custom cupcake order. All opinions are our own (plus an 11-year-old guest who ate 2 cupcakes so I’m guessing he liked them.)

Cheap Ice Cream Cones at Baskin Robbins, Monday August 31

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Great news, sweaty Conejo Valley folks. On August 31, Baskin Robbins is celebrating its 70th birthday by selling ice cream scoops for $1.31 each! As long as it’s in a cup, sugar, or wafer cone, a scoop of the delicious treat is only $1.31 (waffle cones, as pictured below, are extra). I confirmed that our local Agoura Hills location at Kanan and Thousand Oaks is participating in this promotion. It’s one of our go-to local businesses for a little tasty pick-me-up or celebration.

boy with ice cream coneThis boy loves technicolor sherbet.