Valentine’s Day Gifts on a Budget

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The 21st-century culture has turned almost every holiday into a materialistic phenomenon. Christmas has completely lost its family spirit, and Valentine’s day has lost its focus on love and turned to the day of getting expensive gifts. To love and to be loved are two most important and most beautiful things, and love is supposed to be shown every single day, not just on holidays, and giving gifts should be about showing affection and adding that special touch of yours. It’s about showing your individuality and your emotions – not the size of your wallet.

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Here’s the list of super cool personalized gifts which will definitely put a smile on the face of your loved one.

Make a cute montage

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If you are creative and in the same time good with computers, here’s the idea: Take all pictures of you two, every cute message screenshot you have, all the memories you can find and sort them in the order. Find your songs and make one adorable long slideshow/presentation which will symbolize your story that is still developing. Put it on a disc or a USB and watch it together with your partner. Just a small warning: there will definitely be tears. Trust me.

Romantic scrapbook

Basically, this is similar to montage, except that this one is on paper, and it will cost you a little bit because you will have to print out a lot of photos. After you’ve printed them out, glue them in the album and write a bunch of personal messages or memories under. A perfect gift which will last a lifetime.

Write a poem

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Wake your inner Jacques Prevert and put all your feelings on a paper. All that is left is to somehow make it all rhyme and fit and you are good to go.

Something quirky

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Getting something unusual but attractive is a surefire way to make someone smile. So, if your partner doesn’t like to follow patterns, fun and unusual quirky gifts are your best friends. You know, something like a silver elephant ring holder, pet tent, weirdly shaped jewelry box etc. If your partner’s not into material things, the best way to their heart is through their stomach. Send them a Valentine’s gift basket filled with treats like heart shaped cookies or pink cupcakes.

A dinner under the stars

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If you live in a building, there’s nothing more romantic than setting a dinner table on the roof. You know, like they do in movies and TV shows. Of course, if you live in a country where is super cold during this holiday, then you should probably set it inside. Consider hiring a butler, which will make everything easier for you and much more romantic.

Local tourists

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It may seem crazy, but believe it or not, there are many New Yorkers who haven’t seen the Statue of Liberty, and many Sydneysiders who haven’t seen the Opera House. Now, if you really think about it, you will realize that you probably never visited tourist sites in your town. This could be a fun adventure for you two.

Of course, there is a catch, though – you have to stay in a hotel, hostel or a guest house, after all, you are a pair of tourists today. Make sure that you visit your local tourism office where you will get city tourism passes. With them, you will see a lot of attractions for smaller prices, or even free. The city is waiting, honey!

Get them a dog or a cat

If your partner is an animal lover, the best gift you can give is an animal. That is an excellent way to show your humanity since you can visit a local animal shelter and get a dog or a cat from there.

Spa day

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Are you two love birds a little bit on a hedonistic side? If you are, the best thing you can give to your partner is a spa day for you two. Many spas are offering special couple deals where the two of you can practically have an entire spa (with champagne, food, and massage included) all for yourselves. Take your bathing suits, your good mood and you’re good to go.

That would be it. I hope I helped you with my ideas. Do you have some more? Let me know in the comments.

P.S. Have a beautiful Valentine’s day.

Last Minute Christmas Gifts on a Budget

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Between wrapping up finals and the usual scramble to pack and get home for the holidays, it can be tough to make Christmas shopping a priority. And now that you’re home (if you’re like most college students around this time of year), you’ve probably discovered a bit of a bank account shortage as well.

Now you’re stuck trying to find the perfect gifts — on time and on budget. But no worries, because I’m here to help! Take a look at these cheap, quick, yet thoughtful gift ideas below:

1.) Baked Treats

via Pinterest

via Pinterest

Some homemade Christmas cookies wrapped up in a cute bag or jar make a great last minute Christmas gift. You’ll only spend a couple of hours in the kitchen for little to no cost, and homemade is always impressive and well-received!

2.) Cookie/Cake Mixes

Add the dry ingredients for your favorite Christmas cookie or cake to a jar and attach a card listing wet ingredients to add and other instructions for an even quicker version of the aforementioned idea!

3.) Holiday Movie Night Kit

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Make a quick trip to the store for some microwave popcorn, Christmas candies and a favorite holiday classic on DVD! Your lucky gift recipient will have all the components for a perfect holiday movie night on hand.

 

Happy gifting to all, and to all a very merry Christmas!

 

 

5 Times Every Student Could Really Use a Care Package

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Whether you’re a right down the block or a thousand miles away from your college student, it can be hard to come up with the perfect way to say that you are here and that you care. One of the easiest ways to send that message is to do it with a special delivery. Care packages come in all shapes and sizes with different purposes and meanings. If you’re looking for an excuse to send one, we’ve come up with the five times every college student can really use a care package.

 

1. The College Cold

There is nothing worse than being sick in college. Not only is your mom not around to make our favorite soup or bring us that extra blanket, we have to spend our recovery stuck in a drafty, sometimes boring dorm room with just our Netflix account to keep us company.

The Perfect Package: Any care package with soup, tea, or comfort foods will do our sick bodies some good and warm our hearts.

 

2. The Rejection Depression

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It happens to every college kid. It may be not landing a part in the theater performance, being turned away from a club, or just not getting the accolades from a professor we thought we deserved. Either way, we could use some extra support.

The Perfect Package: A care package that motivates us with a happy card about how proud you are of us for trying and maybe some extra sugar for a little pep in our step.

 

3. The Holiday Build-Up

You think you’re excited for us to be home? No way! We’re PUMPED! We packed our bags a month ago and have been crossing the days off our wall calendar. We just need the focus to get through the last few weeks….

The Perfect Package: Dorm room and apartment life doesn’t make it easy for us to stay in the spirit. Get festive with holiday themed packages. Even Valentine’s day could use a special shoutout.

 

4. The Exam Week Chaos

We don’t want to fail! We need this test to pass! We’re going to go mad if we spend any more time in the library! SEND HELP!

The Perfect Package: We need a little help chilling out and focusing (can you tell?). Gift us a package that is full of healthy, nutritious brain food and take-along snacks for study sessions.

 

5. The ‘We Miss You Too’

It’s hard to be so far away, even if we don’t say it (or tell you it isn’t true when you ask). Even seniors get homesick from time to time, and all that will make us feel better is to hear you say that you miss us as much as we miss you too.

The Perfect Package: Send it out of the blue on a random day. Add a note from the dog or pick a favorite food we enjoyed together. It’s the little things that show us that you care as much as we do.

 

Check out OCM’s wide selection of Care Packages, to cover every occasion from Halloween and Finals Week to Valentines Day!

Our Favorite Care Packages for Students Going Off to College

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Care packages

Saying goodbye, whether for a week or an entire semester, can be hard on any parent or loved one of a college student. There just aren’t enough ways to say that you care or to wish them luck. One idea is to send them off with a care package perfect for their new dorm room and fast paced, independent lifestyle. These four are our favorite “Off to College” packages made with any college student in mind.

1.   Homesick Helper

Sure, you may be empty nesting, but your college student may be having an equally hard time adjusting to being away from home. Homesickness is particularly powerful for new college students and dorm-dwellers. Freshman, in particular, can feel very lonely or isolated during the first semester.

That’s why the Homesick Helper is one of our favorite packages out there. Made with love and your college student in mind, the package is loaded with their favorite snacks. From childhood favorites like Bazooka Gum to essentials like Kellogg’s granola bars, they’ll be covered with any comfort food and snack craving they may have.

2.   Welcome Package and Move In Mug

Moving in can be a difficult and emotional process. It takes a ton out of you, and in the end, you’re left with a space to fill with new memories. Care packages like the Welcome Package and Move In Mug is a great way to make the move in process a little easier and the space a bit more homier.

In the care package, you’ll get a mini package full of not only favorite treats (popcorn, Oreos, Pop-Tarts), but also drink mixes, all in a cute “move-in” bag. The mug crosses off one of their ‘must-have’ items off of their packing list, and they come to associate it this special day where they’re surrounded and supported by the ones they love the most.

3.   Grooming Personal Care Collection

Care packages don’t have to be all about food and drinks or cute toys and cards. Sometimes, your college student needs and wants the practical, essential supplies to round out their new home. The two Grooming Personal Care Collections are about as much “care” as you can get when it comes to move in packages.

The Nitty Gritty is made for the guys with a mixture of Axe and Dove men products. As an added bonus, you’ll get a shower tool with detailer, deep clean facial scrub, and Schick Hydro 5 razors for a clean shave when they need to impress. Ladies have their own version called the Primp it Pretty with Dove, St. Ives, Schick, and Simple products. Girls will love facial wipes for makeup, oatmeal scrub face masks, and Colgate Optic White products for a memorable smile.

4.   Year Full of Love Care Package Plan

Maybe you can’t decide what package to get. Maybe you think one package is just not enough. Maybe you feel like your student will need encouragement all year round. There’s a package that will wow and surprise them well past move in day — the Year Full of Love Care Package Plan.

Not just one, two, or three, this plan has our top rated, most popular packages for almost every occasion throughout the year. For the Fall semester alone, you’ll be sending a package for move in day, Halloween, finals, and a “just because” version. For the spring semester, your plan includes a package for Valentine’s Day and spring finals. Each comes with a personalized card where you can leave a message tailored to the student and the occasion.

Last Minute Mother’s Day Gift Ideas

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If you haven’t checked your calendar lately, here’s your last warning: Mother’s Day is THIS SUNDAY! There are only a few days left before the big day, so getting the perfect gift for your mom is going to be a bit tricky. Luckily, we’ve done the hard part for you. Here are the best gifts for Mother’s Day you can get last-minute while still wowing even the pickiest of moms!

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  1. The Updated Family Photo

Moms with adult or teenage children know the pain of no longer getting that awesome family portrait done every year. But you can make your mom’s wall a happier place by getting your brothers and sisters together for one updated family snap. Hire a photographer (or a great photography major) and spend the day recreating your favorite poses.

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  1. Concert Tickets

Moms like to party and dance just as much as you do! Check to see if her favorite band or musician is coming to town and buy her the best seats you can find. The best part is that with e-tickets, you don’t have to wait for delivery to surprise her.

  1. A Girl’s Night of Gift Cards

We all love pampering, especially when with friends. But a day at the spa with mom is one memory you’ll never want to forget. Purchase a pair of slippers and stick in a gift card for a manicure for two at your favorite nail salon or a mother-daughter massage from your go-to masseuse. She’ll love that you want to spend that special day with her.

  1. Handmade Jewelry

When you were a kid, you may have made your mom a necklace out of macaroni noodles and string. That’s so not what we mean. Instead, you can go to custom jewelry shops like bead stores that offer hundreds of choices for customizing your items without breaking the bank. Best of all, you’ll walk away with something that’s both professional-looking and made only with your mom in mind.

  1. The Latest Best Seller

If your mom loves to read, load up her e-reader with your favorite books or the latest outing from her favorite writer. Stores like Amazon allow you to send a book without even having to be there to see her surprised face.

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  1. A DIY Flower Vase

Flowers are just a natural part of Mother’s Day, but what about where to put them? Before you pick up your blooms, stop by a thrift store and pick up an old glass vase. Tape up a design using painters tape and then spray paint several coats. When dry, you have the perfect gift for a Pinterest-loving, modern decor fan of a mom!

  1. Monthly Box Subscription

One gift? How about 12? Monthly subscription boxes are perfect for a woman who loves to try new things or explore what’s out there. You can get boxes full of makeup, books, travel items, flowers, tea or coffee, and even food! She’ll love the surprise of not knowing what’s coming next.

  1. Homemade Bath and Body Items

Homemade soaps, lotions, and creams are all the rage, and you can make them easily in your own dorm room. For soap, for example, all you need is her favorite scents in oils, lye (or sodium hydroxide), and an old pan. The process takes a few hours, but it’s a personalized item she’ll cherish.

  1. Your College’s Swag

Moms love to show their pride just as much as you do! And while it may not be their alma mater, surprise her with a shirt that boosts where her son or daughter is attending. Many colleges even have parent shirts that designate her as a “XX University Mom.”

  1. You!

There’s nothing more special than having your child home for a holiday like Mother’s Day. And while it may be tempting to skip out, make her day that much more special by giving her gift (or just your presence) in person.

 

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Parent’s Corner: Gift Ideas for the Beginning of the Semester

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Dropping off a child at their new college for the first time can leave you with a bunch of mixed emotions. They are on their own with a whole new world full of challenges and excitement ahead of them–it can be a bit daunting for both of you. When a few words of advice and good luck won’t do, here are a few gift ideas that will have them set for the beginning of the new semester and ultimately, their new life.

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1.   A Good Luck Charm Jewelry or Accessory

A longstanding tradition for many families is to gift a meaningful piece of jewelry or accessory. This may include a pearl necklace, a watch, or a tie clip. Try to incorporate today’s trends by choosing a casual look with accessories. Look for something fun, like a necklace with a four-leaf clover, a bracelet with a fortune cookie charm, or even cuff links with their favorite symbol.

2.   New Backpack

Parents that are more practical can give their student the gift that keeps on giving: a new backpack. Book bags can look fashionable, while serving as a functional piece for the semester. Pick one that is more mature than their high school version and be sure it comes with compartments for their laptop and large textbooks.

3.   Portfolio and Pen

If your student is ready to take on interviews for internships or is enrolling in professional courses this semester, a monogramed portfolio and pen are classic choices. It’s giving them the next step up from a notebook and click pens. Enhance their collection to a luxurious leather bound portfolio and heavy weighted pen.

4.   School Spirit Gear

All students, no matter their grade, love to get new school spirit gear to proudly display. Outfit them with their new lucky jersey or a pre-test cup of coffee in a school color mug. If they enjoy vintage goods, hit the thrift shops for old pendants or class rings for them to display.

5.   Care Package

A great item to pack away without them knowing is a small care package for the first few days of school. Most likely, they will feel overwhelmed by the new classes or stress of meeting new friends. Ease them into the transition with gift cards to new restaurants, letters from family members, and some favorite treats from home.

6.   Empty Photo Album + Camera

An empty photo album may seem sad, but in reality, it’s a great way to encourage them to fill it with their new memories. Make it a tradition by giving them a new one each year or semester to document their adventures and accomplishments.

7.   Plane Ticket Home

For those traveling longer distance, the idea of not seeing home for a long period can be especially intimidating. Surprise them by having a plane ticket ready for a holiday break! It will give your student and yourself something to look forward to.

Gifting a college student a good luck charm or token can be a fun way to start the semester. For those going off to college for the first time or those leaving home, add extra meaning with a gift that not only says “good luck,” but also “we believe in you.”

Will you be sending a gift off to your student for their new semester? How do you plan on staying in contact and showing your love? Let us know!

5 Great Gifts for the High School Grad

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At age 17 all I wanted for graduation was money, but let’s face it, I probably would have blown it five minutes later. So, if you’re looking for a more practical (and lasting) gift for the college-bound high school grad, here are a few great ideas.

1) A Professional Outfit (or two)

It won’t be long until your college student is interviewing for internships and attending events that require professional clothing. So take them shopping for their very first suit this summer. Share with them all the knowledge you have on dressing appropriately for work, and help them pick out the perfect outfit. That’s a gift that will definitely be useful in the future.

2) Dorm Supplies

Enjoy the time you have before your grad heads off to college, by shopping together for her dorm supplies. Buy her a fun bedding set, including extra-long sheets, or a few odds and ends that will brighten up her dorm room. Help turn her residence hall into a home away from home that she will look back on fondly for years.

3) Photo Album

Get creative with a photo album documenting your grad’s life, from birth to high school graduation. Get her friends and other family members to contribute by creating their own page in the photo album or choose a unique theme that she’ll love. This is one gift that your grad will keep forever.

4) Resume Writing Guide

Nothing is more valuable than the gift of knowledge. So give your grad the info they need to succeed in the future through a resume writing guide. Yes, a lot of the information might be easily available on the web, but putting the info at your grad’s fingertips will encourage her to get started now.

5) A Gift of Laundry

If you’ve both got a great sense of humor this might be the perfect gift. Purchase a new laundry hamper for your grad’s dorm and fill it with all the laundry essentials: detergent, fabric softener, a mesh bag for delicates, stain remover, a few roles of quarters, and your very own handwritten laundry instructions and tips.