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: