Barbecue Season is Here!

BBQ Boards

Nothing says barbecue than a great piece of barbecue meat and a cutting board to slice it on.  Yup!  I said cutting board.  After all, when you barbecue, you’re not just barbecuing for yourself, it’s for the whole gang!  So you’re going to need a very big cutting board or a barbecue cutting board.  One that has juice grooves to capture all the meat juices.  YUM!  Turn it into au jus or super yummy gravy.  Either way, nothing goes to waste.

Now finding the right barbecue cutting board may be a challenge.  Not too many plastic ones out there to choose from especially one that has juice grooves.  But you can narrow the choices down by shopping online doing your research in checking out what’s out there.  Here’s a great article on the essential tools you’ll need as a barbecue master.  My vote?  Consider a wood cutting board.  It’s sturdy, it’s gorgeous and it look like it belongs there right next to your barbecue grill.  Plus, you can keep your meats right on the board for serving.  Juices will continue to flow out as your guests help themselves to the slices of wonderment you are serving.  Oh my goodness!  Mmmmmm Mmmmmm good!

Handmade Products Makes Great Father’s Day Gifts

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Yes!  I am in total agreement.  Handmade products makes the absolute perfect gift for any occasion and especially for the one right around the corner, Father’s Day.  I know you are in a rut.  Trying to think of that perfect gift, right?  Know this, a gift that comes from the heart comes from it being handmade.  Whether it is a handmade card, wallet, picture frame, book cover, wall decor and so on.  Handmade is awesome!  It’s even better if you created it yourself.  Not particularly artistic or don’t have the time?  Check it out.

My Personal Memories found in Etsy (where else right?).  Just found them online, clicking around.  I love the personalized whiskey barrel for $48.99.  They offer FREE engraving and ships from 1-3 days.  Now that’s great customer service!

Personalized BBQ boards.  Better yet, make it an American Flag BBQ board (make it a 4th of July gift too).  All dads love to barbecue!  And they always need a great chopping block to use whenever they do bbq.  A place to hold the meat or veggies before placing it on the grill and a place for when they take the items off the grill.  Personalized so that NO ONE touches it.  Your special “dad” in your life will absolutely love it!

 

Great Ideas for Father’s Day Gifts

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Father’s day is just around the corner.  I don’t know about you, but I am still in the “what do I get for my hubby” mode.  There are lots of great ideas out there.  Some are expensive, massive, creative and unusual.  Here are a few ideas I’ve gathered based on my special dad … my husband.

  1. Sports … that’s a big DUH!  Really anything related to sports that he could use.  For example, a jacket, a jersey, a tshirt, a hat, wall mounted bottle opener all from his favorite team.  My guy loves baseball.  I can’t go wrong with the San Francisco Giants.
  2. A handmade card from his wife and kids with a gift card from Home Depot.  That’s another DUH, right?  I’m sure the handmade card will be much memorable than the gift card … NOT!
  3. A staycation in our own backyard … San Francisco.  I think it’s perfect!  A getaway not to far from home (in case of any emergencies) and the ability to be alone with my man.  Hopefully, he feels the same way HA!  Dinner at our favorite restaurant, wine tasting at different wine bars throughout the city and UBER rides the whole way.  NICE!

No matter what you decide to get, just remember that it all comes from the heart …  hidden agenda and all!  Happy Father’s Day!

Holiday Shopping for Handmade Gifts

IMG_9964The best gifts (in my opinion) are handmade gifts either made by yourself (do it yourself DIY or bought locally).  To take it a step further, a gift that had been repurpose or upcycle into something unique, clever and useful.  That would be the ULTIMATE gift.  It is personal and different!

There are many ideas for a handmade gift.  What you have to ask yourself:

  1. succulents_1_resize_bWho is the gift for?
  2. What is purpose of the gift?  Holiday gifting? Birthday? Wedding? Graduation? Housewarming?
  3. How special is the person to you?

These answers will help you narrow down something personal, something unique, something one-of-a-kind gift. Here are some ideas of handmade gifts that you can make yourself or buy from a local artisan.

  1. Alibi InteriorsPicture frame made from repurposing pallet woods or old fence wood
  2. Succulents placed in a old sewing machine drawer (love this idea!)
  3. Custom engraved cutting board
  4. Handmade print poster that is framed
  5. Custom poster that you DIY (do it yourself).

Pinterest and Etsy are great websites to start when looking for ideas on either DIY gifts or handmade gifts that you want to purchase.  Remember, ask the questions and you can get a picture idea of the kind of gift you want to give.  Happy shopping and remember shop locally!

Gifts for Groomsmen

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Picking out groomsmen gifts isn’t easy.  Our advice is very simple.  Customized, personalized and unique.  You really can’t go wrong.  Make each groomsmen gift different from the other, however, it can fall under any general category.  Be creative, be conscience, be honest.  Keep in mind, what you like … more than likely, your groomsmen will also like.  Just as a rule a thumb.

For example:

  1.  Bottle openers
  2.  Pens
  3.  Coffee mugs, shot glasses, beer glasses

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Pretty general but these categories can hit home with each individual.  For example, getting a wall mounted bottle opener with they favorite beer or soda or perhaps if they were in the armed forces such as Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force as the bottle opener logo’d then engraving the backing with their initials.  Perhaps, engraving their time in service.  Original and brilliant!

cropped-IMG_88821.jpgFor the chef that is your buddy or best man, perhaps a custom cutting board completely engraved with their nickname you’ve always had for him or fraternity symbol remembering your youth in college.  Adding a saying like “kiss the cook” or something that you often say engraved and immortalized in a cutting board.  HA!  Not only will he enjoy the gag, but he will forever remember the moment you so rekindled for him.

Selecting a groomsmen gift doesn’t have to be difficult.  It just has to resonate with you.

Get a Cutting Board as a Closing Gift

Custom engraved cutting boards

Closing Gift IdeasLet’s face it, a kitchen is not a kitchen without a cutting board, right?  The one essential tool (along side a knife and a pot) that you need in order to function properly in that space inside your client’s new home.  A cutting board shouldn’t just be dull or boring.  Bring it to life by engraving it!  Yes!  A custom engraved cutting board not only says “thank you” for your business, but it creates a lasting relationship for years to to come!  Plastic couldn’t do that.

A custom engraved cutting board can function is a variety of ways.  Check it out.

Custom engraved cutting board1. Retirement gift – great way to say “thank you” for all the years of service they gave.  What an heirloom it would be for that employee.  Guarantee, they will display it and not use it.

2. Birthday gift or graduation gift – need I say more?  For the cooks that love to cook.  Perfect!  For those BBQers out there, the larger the cutting board the better!

3. Anniversary or wedding gift – best handmade gift you can get!  Who else is going to think outside the wedding registry?

So the next time you’re looking at options for closing gifts, think of the “WOW FACTOR” and consider a custom engraved cutting board.  It will look fabulous!

What is the Right Cutting Board for You?

Mac Cutting BoardsStuck on what cutting board to buy?  How to pick from the variety of options that are out there?  Check out my top 5 guidelines to consider when selecting the right cutting board for you.

1.  Choose plastic or wood.  That’s it.  Narrow the choices.  Make your life way easier.

2.  If your choice is plastic, ask yourself why do you want to buy a plastic cutting board.  Lightweight, easy maintenance and functional are all what you should consider.  Not style.  Generally, plastic comes in different colors, maybe some design but in the end, it is still a plastic cutting board.

3.   If your choice is wood, YAY!  First, make sure you select a HARDWOOD cutting board.  Soft woods can be too soft and will not be able to withstand long term usage.  There are varieties of hardwoods out there for you to select – maple, cherry, walnut and mahogany hardwoods are just a few common hardwoods available.  More exotics woods are purple heart, brazilian cherry, padauk, yellow heart and koa hardwoods.  Also, wood is a natural fighter of bacteria.  Check out this article from the University of Wisconsin.  It is a study about how wood cutting boards are safer than plastic cutting boards.

4.   Consider weight and size.  What will you be using it for?  Serving cheese at your next wine and cheese party?  Perhaps, carving a roasted turkey or prime rib at a family function?  Or maybe you are an avid BBQer and just need a hearty chopping board next to you to slice, dice and cut your meats the way you want it.  Either way, it can make the difference from selecting a my guide or an extra large cutting board.

5.  Why are you buying a new cutting board?  A gift?  To replace your old one?  Think about the style and colors you like or the person/family you are buying for.  Kitchen decor and taste is also a consideration.  Do you want it to match or simply stand out?  My advice is pick the cutting board that you find aesthetically pleasing to you and go with it.  More than likely, everyone else will feel the same when they see the new cutting board in your kitchen.

In the end, you want to select a cutting board that you feel good about.  Get bragging rights to a fabulous cutting board that everyone will wonder where you got it.  Now that’s worth your time finding the right cutting board for you.

 

3 Awesome Closing Gift Ideas

Custom Address StampIt is a fact that closing a house deal is not an easy feat.  Realtors everywhere spends a lot of their time, energy and money finding the right home for their clients, getting know their needs and wants … essentially building a relationship that is more than just a business relationship, but a personal one.  A long term relationship with your customer can potentially bring you endless referrals for the future.  After all, that’s where realtors make their money … through referrals.

If you are going to invest for the future, don’t just give the usual gift cards, fruit baskets or a bottle of wine.  Give them a closing gift they will remember and treasure.

Here are 3 fabulous closing gifts that I found.  My criteria?  These are gifts I would want to receive if I closed escrow with a realtor.

  1. For Noushin's HomeCustom Address Plaque – I love it!  I’ll always remember my agent each time I come home.
  2. Custom Engraved Cutting Board – engraved with the family name.  Big and bold.  Match it up with other kitchenware.  It goes a long way!
  3. Custom Address Stamp – with their address!

Keep in mind, you should think about your closing gift when you first meet your customers.  The more time you spend thinking the gift, the fabulous it will be when they receive it!  Happy Gifting!

Why Closing Gifts?

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Start thinking of your closing gift the moment you’ve met your clients.  When you are in the market for the best closing gifts, you often ask yourself “what should I give my clients?”.  Let me give you 5 reasons why you should give a closing gift.

  1. Your client will remember you after close of escrow.
  2. Great way to obtain future referrals from a client you already have.
  3. Potential increase on your business with your referrals you will obtain.
  4. Your client will NEVER forget you, your name or the company you represent.
  5. A tax deduction especially if you put your company logo on it.  I’m not a tax expert so consult your CPA on this.

Keep in mind that you should give the gift that is memorable in itself.  Personalizing and customizing any gift will do the trick!  Here are some ideas on what to personalize on your closing gift.

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  1. The family name of your client.
  2. The closing date of escrow – the official date they own the home.  This is especially fabulous when is it the client’s first home.
  3. The street address (not the city or state).  For example, 123 Walnut Way
  4. “Welcome to your new home”
  5. Congratulations from “your name”
  6. “Welcome Home!”
  7. “Thank you from “your name””
  8. “Home is Where the Heart is”
  9. “No Place Like Home”
  10. Monogram of the letter of the client’s last name

Personalize the gift with at least 2 lines.  What you don’t want is a closing gift that is short-lived.  A closing gift should not take away from the tradition of keeping in touch with your clients throughout the years such as sending a note or a birthday card.  But your first impression of “thank you” (in my opinion) should be a lasting one.  Check out a few links below on some of the closing gifts I would like to receive from my realtor.

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Pinterest gives you plenty of ideas for anything handmade either by you or by someone else.  The idea is go out and get one!  You can never go wrong when give a gift.  Because a gift always provides the recipient the message of that you thought of them more than just a client.  Now are there “cons” to provide a closing gift?  Well, again in my opinion” … yes.  It is one more additional step to do when closing the deal.  But when you want to stay connected, doing that extra step can mean the difference between a “top sales realtor” to just a “realtor”.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recycling and Upcycling Fabulous Ideas

I am always blown away by the craftiness that so many people have.  The talent, the creativity, the sheer imagination that just comes to life!  Love it!  Just searching the web, I found recycling and upcycling awesome ideas that I just want to share to you.  Easy enough to do if you just put some elbow grease and maybe some sheer motivation on just doing.  LOL.  You will amaze yourself on what you can do.

Table Top with Reclaimed Leather Belts

Table Top with Reclaimed Leather Belts

Luggage Cabinet

Luggage Cabinet

1.  Reclaim leather belts – yup!  You got that right!  Old belts recycled to home decor ideas.

2. Old luggages – make them in a medicine cabinet, storage unit at the foot of your bed, drawers, end table and much more.  Check out The Soho for clever ideas!

 

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

Wall Mounted Bottle Openers

3. Vintage bottle openers – wall mounted bottle openers placed on scrap hardwoods found from furniture making, cabinet making, home building really anyone who uses wood to build you can find scrap hardwoods.

4. Old liquor bottles like Jack Daniels, Stoli, Grey Goose or Crown Royale.  Make them into soap dispensers.  This is easy!  Check out Remove and Replace.  Great ideas with just what you see around your home.  Seriously clever!

 

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