Happy Friday, friends, and cheers to the weekend! We’ve got thunderstorms in the forecast, so my plan is to tackle a few more spaces that need organizing around here. You’d think after being home for two months there wouldn’t be any spots left, but somehow that’s not the case.
Do you feel ‘quarantine pressure’ to get tons of stuff done?! Take advantage of the ‘extra time’ by cleaning out every nook and cranny of your house, reading a stack of books, masking your hair until it shines… the list goes on. I worry we’ll come out of this (we’ll come out of it, right?!) and I’ll look back and wish I’d savored it more. Done more.
But the truth is, being home isn’t necessarily a relaxing escape. We had some really hard days in those early weeks, and I felt more like I was surviving rather than thriving. And the discord was completely justified… especially for the kids. They were so disappointed and angry to have their freedom, independence and all the joys of the spring semester taken away.
But they persevered and I was so proud (and surprised) by their resilience. Little Miss is wrapping up her final days as a Middle Schooler before graduating on to High School, and our son completed his first year of college. Learning on their own from home was no easy task, and definitely something worth celebrating!
In fact this is something I’m hearing from lots of you, and I’ve had tons of requests for graduation gifts! So I sat down with my two graduates, and we brainstormed the best gift ideas for both guys and girls. They both agreed they’d love to have any of these arrive at their doorstep. Most of them are geared towards Seniors, but others work for a range of ages.
one // 2020 Bracelet // My uber-popular Color Tile Bracelets now come in this adorable ‘2020’ style, perfect for commemorating this unforgettable year! It also comes in a customizable option, so monograms, nicknames, or a special word can be layered in as well! Use code ‘SUGARPLUM30’ to save 30%!
two // Inspirational Cuff Bracelet // I love the sweet message hidden inside this cuff bracelet… Kind Heart, Fierce Mind, Brave Spirit. Something we all need remembering about ourselves sometimes. It would look great stacked with the Color Tile Bracelets!
three // Heart Necklace // So simple, yet so sweet… Little Miss and I both love this delicate necklace. Plus, who couldn’t use a little love around their neck?
four // Photo Clip Lights // This cute and inexpensive set of string lights is such an easy way to jazz up a bare dorm wall, while keeping photos of friends and family close! You can hang up to 50 photos on the clips, which is great when adhering to the strict decor rules at most universities.
five // Makeup Caddy // This cosmetics case has adjustable slots to fit all of your makeup and toiletries, plus slots for brushes and a large palette. The price is right, and the patterns are so pretty!
six // Yeti Tumbler // I don’t know what it is with teens and water bottles, but they always have one with them… and they’re very particular about it! Yetis are one of the coolest, plus they keep beverages cold for days! They also love customizing them with stickers, so you could throw in a set of these.
seven // Friends T-Shirt // Love a little “Friends” humor thrown into a funny graphic tee! 2020 grads will definitely have a shared bond, that’s for sure!
eight // Monogrammed Towel // Girls in the south will monogram anything not moving! This monogrammed towel wrap is perfect for any girl moving to a dorm and sharing a bathroom!
nine // Laptop Case // Keep her laptop protected, while adding a little style to her tech set-up! This laptop case is super customizable with tons of patterns, colors and monogram styles. Plus, use code TOGETHER to save 20%!
ten // Lap Desk // Dorm room might have a desk, but you’ll usually find students laid out on their beds when it comes to study time! This lap desk is great for sitting propped up in bed, with a slot to hold a phone and three different sizes to accommodate all laptops.
eleven // White Noise Machine // It’s crazy how much noise is created in the dorms! Sharing a sleeping space with another person is definitely a learning curve, so this white noise machine will come in handy when they just need to drown out the distractions. Plus, it’s super compact.
twelve // Digital Photo Frame // She can have all her favorite photos on display, but in one space-saving frame! Load it up with favorites of friends and family to bring a little bit of home to school
one // Ikea Packing Bags // Okay, so this one might get you a raised eyebrow, but these bags are incredible!! They hold a ton and are perfect for hauling stuff back and forth to the dorm. A single bag can hold a mattress pad, comforter, sheet set and pillow! We used another for all his clothes, and the third for all the loose stuff. Don’t underestimate the ease of moving in or out of the dorm in a single trip! These are weightless, but super sturdy, and fold flat when not in use.
two // Leather Journal // This handsome journal can work as a loose agenda or planner, a way to take long-hand notes during class, or yes even as a diary of sorts! It looks great, and you may be surprised at how often your dude will use it!
three // Apple AirPods // AirPods are always going to make their way onto my gift guides… they are just such a no brainer! The kids listen to music constantly, and these provide great sound, with no wires. My son actually slept in his to tune out the dorm noises.
four // Dopp Kit // This sleek and waterproof toiletry bag holds all of Mr. College Guy’s bath and shower necessities, it’s perfect for shared bathrooms.
five // Backpack // Talk about bells and whistles… this backpack has it all! There is a pocket for your laptop, keys, pens and other small items, plus a space to charge devices via USB and a TSA-approved lock on the larger zipper pocket. I’m not sure how the price can be this good?!
six // Corksicle // Again with the water bottle! Mr. College received this as a gift when he graduated, and I remember thinking, ‘That’s different.’ But he literally always carries it with him, so clearly that mom knew her stuff! (He also loves this one for just water, and clips it to his backpack.)
seven // Friends T-Shirt // Same as the cute graphic tee above, but in a more masculine cut!
eight // Wireless Charging Pad // This handy little device cuts down on all the cords with a single spot for all devices. You don’t even have the remove the iPhone case, which is a big plus!
nine // Bluetooth Speaker // Not only is this speaker waterproof and portable, the charge lasts for up to 20 hours and you can also take phone calls on it! It’s compact, but packs a powerful sound. This will be a dorm hall pleaser for sure.
ten // Snack Subscription // Guys are always hungry… and we found out just how much the first month of school with Mr. College Guy’s meal plan! He was blowing through his points on overpriced snacks, leaving him depleted for actual meals! So I started sending him regular snack packs… not only did it keep him supplied with handy snacks in his room, but the care package was a welcome treat.
eleven // Dorm Doc First Aid Kit // Your 18-year-old may think this kit is too much, but they will be thanking you as soon as they need a bandaid and a dose of ibuprofen! It packs up nicely to fit under the bed or in a drawer, plus it has instructions that are user-friendly and color coded to ensure safe administering.
twelve // LED Lights // Dorm rooms are a bland blank space, and it’s tricky to make them feel warm and homey… especially with guys who won’t let mom really decorate, ha! These lights add an instant ‘mood’ (his words) and were a huge hit. Both my kids have a set in their rooms at home, too. It’s a no-fail gift!
Okay, so these are all fun gifts, but when I asked Mr. College what three things he really liked receiving for graduation… ‘Money, gift cards, and money.’ They have so many expenses and learning to manage their finances is a huge part of being away at school.
So obviously money and gift cards are a welcome gift, but I love to include a little gift to make it more fun. Here’s a few fun small gifts ideas that are fun paired with cash and gift cards (Amazon is their top choice!).
one // Candy // No matter how old they get, your kids will always love some candy as a gift! This bento box is packaged really nicely and includes a trio of tasty treats!
two // Shower Cap // I’ve sung the praises of this terry-cloth lined shower cap for years… I fully maintain that every girl needs one!
three // Luggage Tags // Luggage tags make great labels, too! This set is stylish, and there are tons of colors to choose from!
four // Inspirational Book // This encouraging little book is based on a US Navy Seal’s graduation speech, and the messages are such powerful life lessons!
five // Keychain Bracelet // College kids need their keys and IDs on them at all times, so this handy keychain wallet is the perfect gift! The wallet and ring are detachable, plus it comes in several colors
six // Agenda // I don’t know how else to do it… keeping a planner with all assignments, tests, and events seems like the best and only way to stay organized! My son was never an agenda guy, but ordered one by the second week of class!
seven // Keychain // I love this little reminder of mom’s advice and love! I said these exact things to him when he left…with the addition of ‘go to class.’ Ha!
eight // Quirky Notepad // This notepad is a fun daily tracker for to-do’s, assignments, even your water intake! This doesn’t need to be reserved for just grads!
nine // Gift Card // I can’t think of one person who wouldn’t want an Amazon gift card, right?!
I hope this has been helpful in finding the perfect gift for all the grads in your life. Because more than ever, this class of 2020 needs to be celebrated!! Do you have other ideas to add to the list? What things do you love to give, or did your graduates appreciate most? Happy weekend, lovebugs!
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