Inspiration: Gift Giving

It was about date number six. Dan had picked me up and we were going to dinner with some of Dan’s friends. While we were on the hour long drive to Leesburg, I was striking up conversation with him, asking questions about this and that. (yes, at that point, I was still working hard to keep a conversation going…haha)

I asked this question, “Have you ever heard of the five love languages?”

Now pause right there. The Five Love Languages is a book written that helps dissect love into five categories: Acts of Service, Words of Affirmation, Gift Giving, Quality Time, and Physical Touch. According to this book, you typically have one or two love languages that rise to the top as the primary way you receive love. I was just trying to figure out how he gave or received love.

“Like the French language or Italian?” was Dan’s response.

…I probably inappropriately laughed out loud and kind of mocked him, reminding him that those were the romance languages, and not the love languages. Romance and Love are wayyyyy different! Obvi.

Poor guy, he should’ve known then what he was getting when he married me. Lots of laughter… on my end… at him… True love indeed!

I have since discovered Dan’s, and I know mine. We are not the same. But that’s okay.

I love giving gifts, and I receive love in the same way.

And these last two months I have been overwhelmed in love shown to me, which is a testament to the really cool people I get to be associated with. Seriously, I am the luckiest girl around.

In this move from Washington, DC to Durham, as hard as it was, there were some incredibly thoughtful friends that poured out love to me in such tangible ways.

And those tangible ways were REALLY creative and thoughtful. And now I know I have a new set of gift ideas, but I thought I would share them with you so you can be inspired as well!

Happy Friday to YOU!
xoxo, Jenilee Joy


1.) Mason jar filled with little cards written with favorite memories. This was from Summer, and I might have cried reading them. Writing favorite memories is a great gift to give. So thoughtful!


2.) DIY Coasters. My friend Reagan sent the best “new home” package, and these were in there. With some tile, felt and fun paper you can modge podge some adorable coasters.


3.) Mugs. Seriously, I love a good coffee mug, and I love the ones that are fun and cute. I got this one from Bethany for being in her wedding. Love it! The other fun thing to do is to give a mug from where you are at, it gives a fun memory or story to share when you use that mug. My friend Steffanie sent that one with a packet of oatmeal in it. Because the first time I met her, I was eating oatmeal out of a mug, apparently that’s not normal? haha!


4.) Journals. Whether you write a lot or not very much, a journal is a glorious gift! This one was given to me by Summer – because the first time we met, we bonded over Paris and our love for that city!


5.) Candles. I typically am not crazy about candles, but I know that there are a lot of people out there who love a good candle, and I would say I am becoming one of those people. (Who am I?!)


6.) Letters & Notes. These aren’t necessarily gifts, but I am putting them in here anyways. Letters and notes are under-utilized these days. A simple hand-written card in the mail is seriously the best! And then when your nieces draw pictures, its even better!


7.) Bracelets! My mother-in-law gave me the oh-so-popular Alex and Ani bracelets which I love because bangles don’t fit around my hands. Trust me, I’ve tried. Ouch! The other bracelet was one of the most thoughtful gifts I received. Maegan is probably the most thoughtful person I know. The way she loves people individually is such a gift. She had a bracelet made with the coordinates (Latitude and Longitude) of where we lived together. We went to college in Kirkland and were roommates in DC until we both got married. She wrote a really sweet card, but I loved that idea! Such a unique and fun way to have a bracelet engraved! Seriously. Its my favorite piece of jewelry right now (beside the jewelry from my husband of course! haha).