I’ve always been a shopper, even as a kid I remember shopping for that special “gift” for a friend or family member and the excitement of being able to find something that I knew was perfect for whomever I had in mind for it. Sometimes, looking was just as good as buying but it was those gifts that made me recall a special memory that really got me going! As time went on, it got harder and harder for me to find unique items, something I could connect with…everything looked the same, and nothing had that special~ness to it. The retail market had stagnated, every shop had the same items, or variations of the same items, and it started becoming less and less “fun” to shop for those close to me and more of a “chore”. I began to dread Birthdays and the Holidays because I hated buying things just to be buying things, I like giving people experiences, not just material things! If there is no connection to the gift, it has less meaning, in my opinion. Of course, it’s the thought that counts…right? Well, where is the thought in a t-shirt, or a stuffed animal? They are cute…but they are just, idk…meh!? Then, I found the mail~able photo boxes by Hawaiian Up.  OMG…hoorah! Now, this is something I could work with! I began “building my own beaches”!

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The one pictured above is the “Hawaii Beach~Front Property version of the box, which is pretty cute in itself (send someone 23.5 sq.in. of Hawaiian Beach~Front Property for their birthday…or anniversary, or college grad gift) …too cute! But I personally like the blank photo mailers, where I can stick in a picture of the kids, a family photo Christmas card, or just a cool pic I took myself on one of my fav beaches..fill the box with sand, shells, even a starfish or beach glass, and then mail it…as is! No packaging needed – WT? Awesome! I mailed one to all my friends for Christmas a few years ago, and they LOVED it!! They ALL still have them, and some have said it was the most unique gift they ever got! I made sure each got a unique picture, something special to “us”…or even just to them if called for, so that they would emotionally connect…and I must say, it was the best “shopping” I had done in years! I so enjoyed putting them all together and finding the right pictures for each recipient…and I even got the kids involved…they enjoyed it even more than I did. My son even wants to use them as his Birthday party invite this year…but he wants to fill them with little sports stuff and confetti instead…a cool craft project for us! The possibilities are endless…

So, I recommend checking them out http://www.hawaiianup.com/index.html if you want something unique…but if nothing else, let it serve as a little nudge to let your inner artist out…and connect with your “gifts” again! Enjoy! Below are just a few I made this year for different occasions…just to get ya thinkin’!

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