The “Gifts that Give Back” Guide 2016

gifts-thatDid everyone survive the Black Friday chaos?  If you didn’t check off everyone on your list yet, or you avoided the chaos like I do, maybe you are at a loss for some gifts.
How about putting your funds toward a gift that gives back?  Not only will you feel great about the gift you give, you will get extra good vibes by knowing you helped an additional purpose.
Sometimes we mindlessly get into the gift giving loop of getting something just for the sake of it.  Here are some ideas for gifts that pack a one two punch in the giving department.
Pura Vida Bracelets  You can select a favorite charity, or shop by color or style.  They have so many to choose from, and they start at only $5 plus free shipping in the US on orders $25.  These bracelets would make a great little token for some of those folks you don’t want to go overboard with, but need to give them a little something to show you care.
WWF Symbolic Adoptions  A few years back, I got so fed up with buying stuff and instead did one of these symbolic adoptions for every member on my list.  I selected animals that reminded me of the person’s spirit, and it was nice for them to know how I saw them.  Whether peaceful and free like a dolphin, or fierce like a leopard, it allowed me to comment on the characteristics I saw in them.  With a $55 donation, you also receive a plush.
Greater Good  I’ve mentioned this site before because you can visit everyday to click for free and advertisers give a donation each time you do.  For even greater good, you can purchase gifts and items that give back to your selected charity or group.  You can support; Ending Hunger, Fight for Breast Cancer, Saving Animals, Veterans, Autism, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Literacy, and the Rainforest.
Bidding For Good I know you’re thinking, “ok but what about actual goods.”  This site is kind of like ebay and an elementary school auction, that benefits non profits and schools by an online charity auction.  There are everyday items here and unique and off the wall, like a visit from Henry David Thoreau!
Amazon Smile  Looking for something specific?  Amazon’s got it all…. and all you have to do is head to Amazon Smile first, and complete your purchases as usual.  You select a charity and a portion goes to that.  Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
Doll Kind    A place to buy dolls, but with so much more.  You see, The Doll Kind dolls come with 10 kindness coins for children to pass out to those that may need a little love, while teaching kids to pass on goodness.  Not only that, but for every doll purchased, one is donated to a child in need.  The dolls are super sweet looking, approachable, cuddly, and kid friendly.  Head over to their site to check out their selection.
There’s so many ways to give a gift, and have that gift run the extra mile.  Remember these sites all year long, and for every gift giving need.  Let the Holidays begin!
Also stop in to last year’s gift guide post on everything Dollar Tree, plus some more ideas.  Lots of folks are shocked at what you can find at the tree!
If you’re not signed up for the email list.. do it now!  I have some ideas up my sleeve, and if you are new here, you might have already missed out on some good freebies.  Don’t keep missing out, sign up here:

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Vintage Thanksgiving Decor

Thanksgiving gets overlooked so right after Halloween, I got out my Fall decor to enjoy it as long as possible before Christmas takes over.
Here’s a quick post about my vintage Thanksgiving.  I feel like it’s hard to find these items out in the wild.
Most items in this vignette were my gram’s.  The pumpkin is the same from the Halloween post, but I moved it over here to give it new life in this scene.
Those pilgrims were always right next to this pumpkin growing up, and so it was only fitting that they are back where they belong.
The only found items from this pile here are the vintage corn on the cob s/p shakers.  I found those at an estate sale in PA.  Behind that is this squirrel canister.
I found this at an estate sale in FL last year, and you can read about that adventure here
This little squirrel nut dish was a gift from me to my gramma.  It was very precious to her, and so now it’s equally as precious to me.
I threw some orange Halloween candies in there to give it some color.
And last, this proud turkey was made by my gramma.
I guess I can thank gram for all her vintage Thanksgiving decor.  I hope she’s smiling down seeing all of it on display, still all these years later!


4 Thanksgiving Ideas for the Family Gathering


Today I’m bringing you some (hopefully) fresh ideas to entertain your family on the big turkey day.
Everyone knows that when everyone gets together, they gorge on turkey and all the sides, plus dessert…. and usually all settle in to watch football, or traditionally chit chat and gab away.  Kids tend to entertain themselves (either good or bad).
Instead of everyone doing the thing they do every year, why not add a little extra into the mix?
Here are 4 ideas to shake everything up, (just a little bit)
Recipes:  Having a potluck?  Want to try something new for next year?  Have the people that bring a dish, also bring copies of the recipe.  They can also send you or give you the recipe before hand so you can make copies and provide them for guests to take if they want to introduce the dish into other events.  One of the greatest things about recipes is that the dish is continually always known by the person you got the recipe from.  It can be a widely known recipe, but if someone you know introduced you to it, it’s THEIR recipe!  Let your recipe live on this year.  For the more tech savvy crew, you could even create a newsletter with everyone’s recipes, but make sure you have a paper friendly version for the non techie folks.
Time Capsule Craft:  This next idea comes from my love of crafting.  I know not everyone loves glitter and glue, but this simple craft is fun for the whole family.  Create a Christmas Tree ornament that will seal the moment in time.  Provide clear plastic fillable ornaments, and have guests fill them with craft supplies that you or they provide.  (Craft table potluck anyone?)  Personalize ornaments by having guests write simple memories on small sheets of paper.  Ideas to get you started are; major life events such as marriages and births, major life accomplishments like graduating, or landing a good job, and simple life events like favorite holiday movie, food, or song.  A link to directions and craft supplies can be found HERE but don’t limit yourself to just these craft supplies.  They have such cute things in craft stores these days, so take a trip to just meander.
Silly Talent Show:  Everyone has a silly talent or trick.  Can you recite the alphabet backwards, or do some magic tricks?  Have guests showcase their talents after dinner.  Let guests know ahead of time so they can prepare and aren’t put on the spot.  Kids particularly might love this activity, so let them steal the show if they want.  You might get an entire magic show, or dance recital!
The Most Important of All:  Give back.  Vow to do an act of kindness.  No act is too small.  Share your ideas and proclaim your act to everyone.  Maybe you can get together and volunteer your time.  Feed off of one another, steal each others ideas, and most importantly… follow through.  Acts of kindness are only great if they play out.
Want more ideas?  
I’ll be emailing additional ideas including a free printable PDF activity placement for all ages to my Nicolyndime Club email list subscribers only!  Want to subscribe now?
Here ya go:

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Plus check out last year’s free printable to keep you sane!

Soul Sisters Feature| Female Entrepreneurs who Empower: Miriam Popp


My second strong female entrepreneur in the series is Miriam Popp.  Miriam contacted me, and once I read a little about her on her website, I knew she would be my next feature.  The first thing that drew me to her was her clever use of her name in her tagline.  Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching, Let’s add some Popp to your life.  I love it when businesses do this, so much so that I named my blog/ business Nicolyndime.  (I’m Nicolyn, nice to meet you by the way.)
Miriam is a Serenity Coach who encourages women to “throw glitter all over their life.”  Glitter makes everything better.  She owns Vibrant Lifestyle Coaching.  We all feel a little lost sometimes, and it’s great that there are passionate people like Miriam who have paved the way for themselves, and walk their talk, to make it easier for those of us that need a little guidance to make something happen in our own lives.  Miriam holds one on one coaching, as well as group coaching sessions around LA called Soul Workouts that empower women to glow and grow through exercise and deep real talk for self discovery and connection.
In her late 20’s she began to discover that she needn’t be a victim to her negative thoughts, and found new coping skills for her life.  She spent a time doing fitness competitions and was completely involved in dieting and exercising, but felt completely disconnected from herself.  Her life wasn’t at all what she wanted, so she did something about it.  Miriam pursued an education in holistic wellness, which led her to her current work in helping other women.
She loves watching women come into the realization that they had the power all along.  Sounds a little like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz, but Miriam’s favorite character is the Little Mermaid because she went after what she wanted full force, and did not stop until she had it.
Miriam’s greatest joy is seeing women flourish as limitless and boundless beings who go out into the world and find their own answers.
When asked what she would tell her 10 year old self she said, “You are likeable, it’ll be so easy to make new friends.  Just be YOU.  Don’t worry you are safe.  Get all the Lisa Frank school supplies you can and save them forever.”
Ah yes, I’d tell myself to save a lot of those kinds of things too, Miriam.
Her final thoughts:  “You’ll find what you are looking for in life, good or bad.  Go after your happy ending.  What you seek you will always find.”
You can just feel her inspirational, can do attitude exude from her interview.  Miriam’s journey is a lot like mine, and many others, which is why it’s important to find a coach that you feel a soul connection with.    Either way, her words are true and hopeful, and we can all find a little hope in ourselves.  If you need a little help, try contacting Miriam through her website above.  I’m sure you’ll feel better just by visiting her website, but also be sure to stop by her Special Gifts page!