Saturday, November 29, 2008

1+1=3: Try a new style this holiday season

After spending 6 weeks working in the 'Elf Factory' on the Festival of Trees, I have had my quota of inspiration for holiday decorating. One of the best designer tips I heard over and over again was a very simple one...use what you already have in a new way this year.

Sounds easy enough but I needed some visual aids to get my creativity in gear. Late Thanksgiving afternoon, I had some quality time with my mother's extensive magazine collection....after an hour or so with Veranda, Southern Accents and Architectural Digest, I was ready to roll. I hit my mother's silver closet and then took my treasures home for experimenting.

Recently, I've been hooked on the concept of the no.3 which appears repeatedly in Christmas traditions...the wise men, for example. This obsession came from a conversation with the Captain (the professional groomsman) about the philosophy of 1+1=3, otherwise known as 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.' This idea is one that can be applied to many areas of life, but it seems particularly appropriate to holiday decorating...after all, tinsel without a tree is just shredded up foil....but add it to lights & ornaments and you've got something.

So back to the project...embracing the advice of using things in a new way and having the no. 3 as a guiding force, I took ornaments, silver containers and a mirror to create a very cool, anthropologie-like centerpiece. My mom declared it 'avant-garde' when she came by to see it the next day. My 3 elements (ornaments, silver pieces & mirror) came together as a stylish holiday decoration. Oddly enough (pardon the pun), I used 3 types of ornaments (balls, birds & pinecones) and 3 types of silver containers (compotes, egg cups & a vase).

The Captain's point of 1+1=3 was fully supported by my new centerpiece. None of those items would have been out this holiday on their own. Together, however, they compose something very interesting and perhaps a bit beautiful. This project is a great example of a thought we can all take with us throughout the Christmas can we become a part of something bigger or better than ourselves? What can we use that we already have to create something beautiful, meaningful or helpful?

A Must See: Four Christmases

If your family puts the 'fun' in dysfunctional, then you need to run not walk to the movie theater to see Four Christmases. Vince Vaughn & Reese Witherspoon are absolutely hilarious. The movie is only about an hour and a half so you can squeeze it in between all the holiday madness. Trust me when I tell you, its worth so much MORE than the $10 you will pay to see it. You will laugh until you cry over and over again!

Great Holiday Gift Ideas

With December 1st looming over us like the original Manic Monday, it is a good idea to get your holiday shopping lists together if you haven't already.

So far, we have had lots of shoppers return to the classic favorites....monogrammed stationery, sterling silver gifts, and monogrammed plates and glasses. These gifts make a statement but are always appropriate.

Lets start with acrylic serving pieces...a guaranteed hit and a great price! Our customer favorties are:
12" square acrylic tray $33 & Set 4 Wine Glasses $45

Shown here with Interlocking Script 3 letter Monogram, other styles available

For stylish personalized stationery, you can't beat Sweet Pea Designs. You can get a box of folded notes for less than $25 for almost everyone on your list! We love this new design of the aqua and brown trellis with script monogram. You can design your own on our Sweet Pea Store site...
We will continue to share holiday gift giving ideas through out the next few weeks! Happy Shopping! Visit and have a look around.

Holiday Spirit

We realize its been awhile since you've heard from us...the MM girls have been preoccupied with big events...the 2008 Festival of Trees and a Thanksgiving weekend move to Chicago.

Festival of Trees was a huge hit this year with incredible attendance and big sales in the holiday boutique. 100% of the event profits go to the Orlando Museum of Art so its important in these lean economic times to do our best to support cultural, community and social services organizations. If you want to learn more about the event, you can visit the OMA's website

The Monogram created a table display called 'Cocktails on the Rocks' with our friends Gay Harrison Couture Jewelry and designer Sam June. It was a big departure from our normal pink & green preppy holiday traditional style but every now and then its good to color outside the lines. We used zebra striped chairs, a travertine coffee table, a mirrored console with jewel-filled hurricanes, a vintage Hermes tray and a Swarovski crystal monogrammed evening bag. Monogrammed china by Pickard and etched martini, champagne and high-ball glasses put the personal touch on the setting. We selected a piece from the OMA vault to hang over the table...a Mark Bennett blue print of Jeannie's bottle for a special Florida touch. We think Sam was channeling his inner 'Major Nelson' in creating this unique scene.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Great Groomsmen Gifts

Planning a wedding? Gifts for groomsmen are never an easy task, however, on our site you will find fantastic ideas for gifts, courtesy of an 18-time groomsman who generously serves as our consultant....that's right, he has been in 18 weddings as an usher, best man or groomsman...not sure if there was any ring-bearer duty in that total but oh well.

GWW, also known as Captain, has received a wide variety of gifts and boiled down his favorites to three areas of involving golf, drinking and traveling. We have taken his recommendations to heart and you can see the selection here . Here's a quick look at some of our favorites!

Gifts for golfing... For your athletically inclined groomsmen, gifts involving golf are sure to be a hole in one (please excuse the pun). One gift the Captain has received, which we think is genius, is a round of golf. It's such a useful gift, and for any golf enthusiast, much appreciated. If you feel like you need to give your groomsmen something tangible along with a round of golf, how about a bottle of his favorite liquor? I don't know a soul on earth who's golf game doesn't improve with a little Jack Daniels in their system. This key chain on the left is also a great addition to a round of golf, it's not only a handy divot tool, but also has a monogrammed ball marker on the opposite side.

Gifts for drinking... We love the idea of giving the boys something personalized (since I mean, like they'll ever buy it for themselves.) This monogrammed decanter on the right is such a practical and handsome gift. At $72 it's also completely reasonable for a personalized gift. You can check out this decanter and some others here. We also highly recommend a monogrammed flask or a fabulous personalized martini shaker. You can check out all of our drinking accessories, more affectionately called barware, here.

Gifts for traveling... For the globe trotting fellows in your wedding party, the options are pretty much endless. Most of our personal favorites are items from Jon Hart Design, passport covers, leather dop kits, and leather luggage tags. The shaving kit on the left is one item that is a huge hit with the gentleman we know. It's a great size for someone who is constantly on short trips for business, big enough for all the essentials, but won't take up too much space in his carry-on.

If you're still having trouble figuring out what to get the boys, the Captain himself also recommends a personalized gift bag. Gift bags can include a couple of smaller items; a money clip, cuff links, booze (naturally), or snacks... think hospitality bag but nicer. Throw it all in a monogrammed tote, and you're good to go!

Things We Love...

... Week of October 7, 2008...

PUSHING DAISIES... in a random act of Netflixing (yes I just turned netflix into a verb), I came across this little gem of a television show. In a sea of television shows full of melodramatic love affairs (yea I'm talkin' to you Meredith Grey), general smut (has anyone seen the new 90210, it almost makes you miss Brenda Walsh...), and over acting (anything on FOX), Pushing Daisies is charming, light hearted, and honestly funny. The second season just started, and due to that lovely writer's strike of 2008, the first season is only 9 epsiodes so you can netflix and catch up in a snap. I mean if nothing else, that Lee Pace is kinda hot.

COSMETIC BAGS... These amazing silk cosmetic bags by Jan Sevadjian are not only a steal at $32.95, they are really attractive too. If you are older than 14 it's time to trade in your "gift with purchase" Clinque makeup bag and treat yourself to a big girl cosmetic bag. I use mine in my gigantic purse (see previous Things We Love posts about that), to keep all the essentials: advil, pens, hair accessories, random jewelry, lipgloss, etc. ... pretty much all the things that generally find their way to the bottom of my purse. They come in a variety of different plaids, check them out at The Monogram Merchant!

TAILGATING... This may sound like a no brainer, I mean who doesn't love a legitimate excuse to drink during daylight hours, but as someone who graduated from school a year or so ago, it's one of those things you don't realize you love till you aren't doing it EVERY Saturday. There is something to be said for getting up at 8 am and spending the day drinking and hanging out with 100,000 other people, who are all there for the same reason you are. And as someone who went to a school whose football team disappointed us on more than one occasion (how about them Clemson Tigers huh?)... who even cares if you make it to the game, tailgating is way more than half the battle anyway.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Things We Love...

...Week of October 1st Edition...

BIG KEY FOBS These key chains are the BEST for someone who either A) loses their keys all the time B) seems to always carry a big bag or C) both of the above (like me). For some reason I always feel the need to carry a huge purse, you know just in case the world collapses, I'll have everything I need. However, on a day to day basis my huge purse tends to just swallow my keys rather than save the world. These key fobs make it SO easy to find your keys, plus they are tres adorable. I love these navy and pink elephants but they come in all sorts of cute animals and motifs here.

PLASTIC AVIATOR SUNGLASSES I love that aviators are back in style, but to me, the metal rimmed aviators just scream summer. Everyone updates their wardrobe for the change in seasons, but sometimes accessories never make the transition. I have the Kate Spade pair on the right in navy blue and adore them. I think plastic aviator sunglasses are the perfect way to keep wearing the aviator trend through the fall without looking like you're under the impression it's still beach season.

OCTOBER It's only the 2nd of October and the weather is already changing here in Orlando. October pretty much has it all; it's the height of tailgating season, Major League Baseball postseason, time to pull out sweaters and jackets (well maybe not here in Orlando just yet), humidity takes a vacation, and of course Halloween (who doesn't love a good costume party and an unbeatable excuse to eat candy?!) While we could still pretend it was summer in September, October is undoubtedly the fall, and I for one, am happy it's here!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Gifts to Make Your Flower Girl's Heart Skip

What on earth are you going to get the star of your wedding? (and no I don't mean you). From my experience, the flower girl is usually under the impression that all these wedding shenanigans are for her. And while clearly it's your day, honestly, besides maybe your mom, the flower girl probably grasps the importance of the day more than anyone. She is so excited to be there, she can barely stand it. She deserves a gift that shows your appreciation for her being there, I mean she did make it down the aisle without crying and only stole the spotlight for 5 minutes tops... she deserves a little somethin'. Here are some ideas for your little flower girl, incase you've been a grown up to long to remember what little girls like.

Unless your flower girl has truly unfortunate short hair like I did as a child, a monogrammed hair accessory can be a great and cherished gift. She can wear it on the big day and then keep it as a useful new addition to her wardrobe. The personalized barrette to the left is only $45, and will definitely make your girl feel special. You can look at this barrette at The Monogram Merchant, and check out some other options as well.

A precious picture frame for your precious flower girl is also a great option. What a better way to make her feel like a part of your group of bridesmaids and friends than with this "The Girls" pictures frame for $49.75? Add a picture of her with the bridesmaids and yourself and it's a homerun of a gift. Speaking of photos, a photo album can also be a great way for your flower girl to keep her memories of your wedding day (or is it her day? I forget). Anyway, this photo album will keep all her photos safe, not to mention is seriously adorable.

If you have a budding fashionista on your hands, this small Queen Bee Bag is a must. Not only will she feel like one of the "big girls", but she'll be styling when she uses it after the wedding at the neighborhood block party. This bag runs for $98, a little pricier than the other options, but there is no question she will LOVE it. Check it out here.

The most important part of giving a gift at your own wedding is showing your appreciation for those who have gone out of their way to be part of your day. Make sure the gift is something she will LIKE and actually use, we at The Monogram Merchant think all these gift ideas will be a sure thing with your little flower girl.

Things We Love...

...Week of September 17th edition...

JON McLAUGHLIN We here at the merch do not get any work done without a little background music. I'm half surprised the ipod speakers haven't started smoking from overuse. Anyhoodle, one gentleman we have yet to get tired of is Jon McLaughlin. I have yet to meet a single soul who doesn't like his music, and if you don't know who he is, head over to your itunes and start downloading. Personal favorites of the Merch are: Blue Skies, Throwing a Line, and Until You've Got Love. If this is your first Jon Mclaughlin experience, then all I have to say is; you're welcome in advance.

TERVIS TUMBLERS This may seem like a no brainer, but I am sorry, there is seriously nothing better than Tervis Tumblers. I am personally a big fan of the Big T because it can actually hold an entire diet coke AND ice, which I have yet to see the average cup accomplish. Plus the best part of the Tervis is they don't ever sweat, so you're not leaving rings of water everywhere. They keep your drinks colder, longer, not to mention you can have them monogrammed or personalized with your favorite school. I realize they aren't exactly fine china or anything, but as everyday wear, you can't beat them. You can pick some out at The Merch.

TELEVISION WITHOUT PITY I love my TV shows. I'm not all about watching aimless television, but the shows I follow, I follow RELIGIOUSLY. My friends know not to call me during LOST, I am obsessed with Project Runway, I'll probably cry if Friday Night Lights gets cancelled, and don't even get me started on Prison Break. However, I've found a website that completely feeds into my addiction,, is any television junkie's dream. Personally, I mostly just read the show recaps, which even if you've seen the episode are downright hilarious. The people who write recaps for TWoP add their own snarky comments, definitely worth hours of entertainment.

Whales, Snails, and Alligator Tails

Sophomore year of college, my roommate literally looked at me and said, "do you really need another skirt with whales on it?", well I was in college in the deep south, the skirt was on sale, and I practically came out of the womb in head to toe J.Crew, so the answer is "yea I do". And while I've moved on from the J.Crew embroidered Critter skirt, I still can't help but fall in love with anything whale related. It may seem childish, but I think you'd be surprised to find that most adults, probably yourself included, have a favorite animal. Whether you collect chickens for your kitchen, embroider bunnies on everything for your daughter, or wear whales on your skirt, there are tons of grown up ways to have a favorite animal.

Animal motifs can show up your sense of style, for instance, whales and alligators give off a preppy vibe, fish have an outdoorsy, southern feel, and bumble bees tend to look classic. These return address stamps are a perfect way to show off your animal of choice. They don't look at all childish, but have way more personality than a plain return address label. Paired with some personalized stationery, these make a great statement, you'll probably be adding these stamps to everything. You can get yourself one here.

Stamps aren't the only subtle way to bring back your favorite animal. Stationery you would use for personal notes, (like the whale fold-over card up top) are far more whimsical and fun than the notes you use for business. Having a second set of stationery for personal use gives you the opportunity to put some personality into it, and frankly paper like that makes me think of excuses to write a note. You can pick up your own animal stationery at The Monogram Merchant.

Whether it's stationery, stamps, stickers, or calling cards, animal motifs aren't just for kids anymore.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Things We Love...

We here at The Monogram Merchant like to think we have pretty good taste and we're certainly not short on any opinions. Here are 3 things we love right now.. you know.. in case you were wondering...

30 ROCK hands down the funniest show on television. Half my friends will disown me on the spot for saying it but... I think it's funnier than The Office. Yea, I said it. If you haven't seen it before, I suggest you immediately netflix (which by the way is another thing I love) seasons 1 and 2 before season 3 starts on October 30th. Tina Fey and Tracy Morgan are great, but seriously, Alec Baldwin is hilarious (even though, let's face it, he's a little crazy). with lines like :"Tracy Jordan: I'm gonna make you a mix tape. You like Phil Collins? Jack: I've got two ears and a heart, don't I?" what's not to love? Definitely check it out.

DESIGN HER GALS We LOVE this website. It is so much fun to play on and all their products to buy are super cute. It's like having a virtual Barbie to dress up. There are hundreds of clothes, hair colors, and accessories to dress up girls to look like you, your friends, anyone you want! You can put your personalized girl on stationery, notepads, aprons, mugs, pretty much whatever you'd like! Hours and hours of fun, definitely worth the trip when you're in need of a mental break. Check it out at

MONOGRAMMED WALL ART I mean how cute is that I ask you? I LOVE this monogrammed wall art. I'm still not sure what room I think these would look fabulous in, but I'm leaning towards a bedroom. They come in all kinds of cute background designs, I'm really into green and navy right now, but I think the light pink striped one would be j'adore-able in a little girl or babies room. They each come in a crisp white matted frame, ready for immediate display anywhere you choose! Look them up on our website, you'll definitely want one (don't you think they'd really spruce up a dorm room?)

Initial Etiquette

It seems like there is always an event to be buying a gift for, whether it's a wedding, birthday, christening, Christmas, Valentine's Day, Flag Day, Boxing Day, whatever it may be, the list goes on and on. A personalized gift is always appropriate and ALWAYS appreciated, it shows you put thought into the gift AND planned ahead, which is the ultimate double whammy of good gift giving. Personalizing can seem daunting if you don't know the rules. Here is a simple guide to proper monogramming that should get you through even the most obscure gift giving etiquette.

For a Married Couple (or soon to be):
The monogram will contain the bride's first initial, the surname of the couple, and the groom's first initial, in that order. For instance Rachel and Anthony White would be:
The monogram style should be chosen to complement the taste of the couple and the item you are monogramming....traditional, modern, ecclectic, whimsical and so on.

Monogramming a Gift for a Woman:

A monogrammed gift for a woman should include her first, middle and last initial or if she is married, her first, maiden name, and married name initials. Traditionally, a woman's monogram is presented in first, last, middle initial order. So for Jessica Catherine Parker her monogram could be as follows:Tradition dicates that a woman's maiden initials are always appropriate to use, even after she is married. However, it is more common to use a woman's first, maiden, and married surname initials once she is wed. For instance, if Jessica married Anthony Dalton, her new monogram would be:

Monogramming a Gift for a Man:

For men's gifts, it is very important to consider the shape of the item to be monogrammed when choosing the order of the initials. When monogramming something for a man, many people prefer to use the initials in the first, middle and last order. This letter format is often found on personal items such as briefcases, luggage, shirt pockets and cuffs. For these kind of items, Benjamin William Rogers would be:
It is also correct to put a gentleman's surname initial in the middle. You might use that style on items such as cufflinks, keyrings, and glassware. for Benjamin that would be:

Monogramming Gifts for Children:

Children often receive monogrammed or personalized gifts when they are born and to commemorate special occasions such as birthdays and christenings. The same monogramming rules apply for children as for adults. Gifts for small children, both boys and girls traditionally follow the first, last, and middle initial order. For example, both Sarah Amelie Whitlow and Stephen Andrew Whitlow's monogram would be as follows: As Stephen Andrew Whitlow grows older, it will become more appropriate to move to the first, middle, last initial order for his monogram.

When giving a child a personalized item, it is important to consider where and how they will be using it. You may not want to put too much information on something a child will have in public when they are not in the company of a parent or another adult. For example, customers will often choose to use a monogram versus a name on something like a backpack.

When ordering a gift for a child, it is important to remember their age and their use for the item when choosing a monogram style and font. A curvy script may look great on a christening gown, but a simpler type font may be best for items used day to day like bibs and onesies.

Check out for more monogramming tips and great gift ideas to put all your new found monogramming knowledge to use!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Not to be Left out...

In my haste to introduce you all to my yearbooked friends, I left out Ally, who appears to be channelling every 80's television mother there ever was. Creating the perfect storm of 80's and early 90's mothers, a delightful combination of 90210's Mrs. Walsh, Mrs. Cosby, and Family Ties' Mrs. Keaton, Ally's a true 1980's gem.

Uncle Jesse called, he was wondering if you were free for dinner and dancing at the Smashbox on Friday... you're lookin' good my friend.

Always wanted Kelly Kapowski's Bangs? How about a Farrah Flip??

Is that you Jessie Spano?

Yesterday here at the Merch was a rough day. We're pretty sure something was amiss in the moon and stars. No seriously, I even tried looking it up yesterday. Well today has already gotten off to a MUCH better start thanks to an email from one of my dear college friends who has way too much time on her hands (which appears to be a pattern for those of us with entry level jobs right out of college). Jenn must have spent HOURS yearbooking all of us at and I suggest you stop whatever you are doing and devote at least the next hour to yearbooking yourself and your loved ones (it's good for a serious laugh).

Doesn't Jess look lovely up at the top? Clearly she was meant for the 80's, unfortunately we were only 2 years old when mall rat bangs were in style, but I'm thinking Jess is going to start backcombing her hair and buying Aqua Net in bulk any day now. Speaking of hairspray, is that Tracy Turnblad on the right? Oh wait that's just Courtney being her stylish self. I mean, Good Morning Baltimore! that is one fine looking hairdo.
The best thing about is that there is a hairdo from every year for the past 40 years or so, which gives you tons of options to embarrass your friends. For instance Jenn over here on the left, holy hairdo on that one. I'm still not sure if that's Jenn or Tootie from The Facts of Life. Jury is still out on that one, but I think those bangs would be, to throw out a pun, bangin' when it comes time for our group to make it back for a Clemson football game. Just a thought Jenn, you could start a hair revolution.

I'm sure both Kate and Jessie think they've dodged a bullet by not making it on the blog yet. Au contraire my dear friends, your turn is a comin'. Both Kate and Jessie have amazing 90's hairdos that are not to be missed.

You may be thinking, "Hold the phone, how did you get a picture of my 1st grade gym teacher?!" While she does hold a striking resemblance to many a 1990's jungle gym maven, no worries, it's just Kate really working an early 90's feathered number. I mean really, I don't think Kate has ever looked better.
Remember your best friend's older sister you were always super jealous of, you know the girl in the late 90's who you thought was so fashionable and cool? Yup, there she is on the left, worried about your judgment yet? It's ok, I promise Jessie is very fashionable and cool these days, although I doubt even she would have the patience and talent to recreate those bangs. I'm 99% sure those took at least 3 heat styling tools and 4 hair products.

It wouldn't be fair to subject all my friends to the blog without putting up my own picture as well. I've always said I was meant to be in high school in the late 80's or early 90's, I mean I have the natural curl and frizz any smart girl at Bayside High School would be jealous of. However, yearbook yourself, has proven me wrong, as clearly the 70's were more my speed. Anyhoodle, while has nothing to do with monogramming (although I guess you could call this yearbook personalization if you want to get all technical), it's certainly worth the break from work or school for a solid hour of entertainment.
Here's hoping I still have friends after this is posted.

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Crittendens Make a Splash in the Swamp!

Tailgating, sporting your team colors, cheering on your school... nothing says Fall like a good college football game! Now some of us are fans and others of us are FANS. Personally, when bad weather hits, I'm out of the stadium in a flash and watching the game from a dry corner of a sports bar. I clearly fall into the lowercase fan category. However, the Crittendens have proven to be the ultimate in uppercase FANS during a recent trip to a Gator game. The opening game of the season in Gainesville was against Hawaii, and honestly, Hawaii didn't bring along the best weather they had to offer.

Before the start of the game the Crittendens were recognized on the field and were such troopers for standing there in the driving rain! They were literally swamped in the Swamp! The only thing that could have made the perfectly Gator color coordinated Crittendens cuter (and much more comfortable) would be a monogrammed umbrella of course!! This umbrella is the perfect accessory for game day, it'll slip over your wrist leaving you two free hands for tailgating or cheering and personalized with your monogram, it'll never get lost! Every well prepared and dedicated fan needs one.

The football season is just beginning, and unfortunately, so is hurricane season; so don't get caught out in the rain without one! You can get one in a variety of colors (although the Leopard is my personal favorite) here:

If you want to see the Crittenden's heroic fanship in it's entirety, check out this youtube video taken from a much drier location:

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Mommy Cards

Need a great gift for a new mother? Order her some Mommy Cards....calling cards she can use when she meets other parents in the park, on play dates, Starbucks, at church or wherever people with young children meet and mingle.

Usually Mommy Cards have the usual contact information for the, cell phone, home phone and email address in addition to having the child or children's information. So a card might read

'Amy McChain'
407-555-1232 (Home)
407-555-1212 (Mobile)

Mother of Annabelle

You can use any calling or flat enclosure card for this purpose. As long as there is room for at least 4 lines of text, you are in business! To see our options,

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Black Tie Home Run!

Carrying this monogram Swavorski crystal evening bag will make you feel fabulous everywhere you go!

If you have some special events coming up this fall and holiday season, you need to treat yourself to this very special accessory. From Palm Beach to Manhattan, our customers have been thrilled with their evening bags.

  • Both styles come with a chain to carry the bag over the shoulder. As you can see, there are two monogram styles to choose from and believe it or not, over 30 colors.

  • Shown at the top, the CBF is the block style monogram, clear crystals with a jet monogram. We like this combination because it looks great with everything and can be carried all year round.

  • The GHL is a script style monogram in black jet crystals with aurora borealis crystal monogram. This beauty has a stunning sparkle.

  • Don't forget...the initial impression lasts forever!

These bags are created just for you. Please allow approximately 6 weeks for production. Wouldn't this make a great wedding gift for a bride from her bridal party? She would never forget it! $725. Learn more here.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Gifts for Summer Travels

Do your summer plans call for visiting family and friends? If so, you are in need of a gift for your hosts! We all know its customary to show up with something special for our gracious beach or mountain house owning loved ones, yet finding the right gift can prove to be a challenge. Here are a few ideas intended to inspire:

Hand-painted and personalized key fobs $21.95. These adorable wood ball key fobs come in a wide variety of styles for the beach, the mountains and everywhere in between. An especially great choice for the preppy-at-heart, these key rings make it almost impossible to lose your keys. Find one for everyone on your list here

Personalized pottery with a family name and their favorite destination makes a wonderful gift. These pieces are available in beach, lake and mountain house themes in a variety of sizes. The oval platter shown here is $120. You can order this one or find other styles here

Last but certainly not least! For your more traditional hostess, a guest book would be unique yet practical. These lovely artisan quality books are made in Dallas. This particular style comes in a lake house or beach house version, but you can personalize it to your hearts desire. Find out more here.