Tag Archives: party

How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

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How To Throw The Ultimate Wedding For Your Guests

Weddings are a two-way street, and not just between the bride and groom. They are a balance of your own personal enjoyment and that of your guests. For that reason, many couples aim to make their special day one of the largest parties possible.

Ensuring that everyone has a good time is easier said than done, though, especially with the number of guests in attendance. What your best friend since college and your parents find entertaining are vastly different, right? So, how can you keep your roughly 50 to 250 guests happy over the course of several hours?

Believe it or not, there are a few simple ways to make your big day an event to remember in the minds of your guests. Check out these top wedding and reception tips that are sure to make your event a smash hit:

Comfort Is Key:

Nothing ruins a fun time like being uncomfortable. Summer weddings are notorious for sweat inducing heat and annoying bugs, while winter celebrations are often more about fighting off the cold. It’s impossible to enjoy a cocktail or dessert bar in either situation, let alone trying to deal with those uncomfortable conditions for hours on end.

Consider the conditions your guests will be subject to, then plan accordingly. If heat is the issue, you might want to serve ice cold glasses of lemonade. If the cold will be a concern, then hot chocolate might be in order. Picking the right bridesmaids dresses for either occasion is another essential factor. You can check here for summer and winter designs.

Other considerations could be a basket of flip flops near the dance floor for tired feet, mints in the restrooms, or a sewing kit handy for emergencies. Anything to make their time more comfortable goes a long way for your guests.

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Avoid Stagnation:

Sitting around waiting for the next part of the main event can quickly kill the mood, not to mention highlight those uncomfortable factors mentioned above. Work with your planner to make sure that things happen in a timely fashion, to keep the day moving along. That includes the ceremony, meals, dancing, and when the bar opens.

The Dance Floor:

Speaking of dancing, the idea is to get everyone on the dance floor ASAP. Take your time during your ceremony, but move things along quickly from there. Make sure everyone is fed and has a few drinks in them, then have your first dance and open up the floor.

The Food:

Quality food is great, but the key to happy guests outside of alcohol is having enough food for everyone. Outside of the main courses, you’ll want to have some sort of catering that allows guests to grab something to eat as they’re walking around.

Since neither food nor alcohol are cheap, many couples have turned to crowdfunding to help foot the bill. While most sites market themselves with a slogan like, “We will help your ideal honeymoon happen,” they’re also a great place to help pay for some of your wedding expenses.

Having guests chip in on the costs of both weddings and honeymoons in lieu of a gift is an excellent way to make them events to remember. While the idea might sound strange from a traditional standpoint, it happens to be trending in the wedding world.

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Everyone wants their big day to be something guests will remember for years to come. By following the advice above, you can do just that. These few key factors are all it takes to wow your guests and throw the wedding of your dreams.

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Londontown Pampering Party

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Londontown Pampering Party

Hello everyone and happy weekend to all of you! As we all know by now, Lil Red is a nail girl and I would be nothing without my beloved talon acrylics. I think this deep love for being pampered in terms of my nails comes from my beautiful grandma, because I can always remember how much she enjoyed having her nails painted with lovely shades of seashell pinks.

I am lucky enough to be pampered every four to five weeks or so when I get my nails filled. My mom, on the other hand, doesn’t get to enjoy the luxury of a manicure, because with the intense medical treatment that she’s under, she wants to avoid any more chemicals on her body than need be. This is perfectly understandable, of course!

But, this doesn’t mean that sweet JANE doesn’t want her nails looking as nice as possible, so I decided to treat her to a fabulous cuticle treatment by Londontown. Londontown is an amazing nail and hand care brand that is dedicated to strengthening nails and nourishing hands in the most natural way possible. Their products use a variety of different oils and essential vitamins to show your phalanges some love, and I knew that it would be the perfect surprise to give to my mom. Take a look:

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^^^ In order, you can see my mom’s nails without treatment, with the treatment on, and after the treatment was finished.

Londontown’s Nourishing Cuticle Oil treatment worked wonders on my mom, and she has now deemed herself “obsessed” with it. We had a blast playing beauty shop together as I applied the product and we watched as it worked its magic. Our first impression of the treatment was its scent. It smelled herbal and sweet without being overly pungent or perfumey. This was so nice, because that’s actually one of my mom’s favorite scent styles and it made us eager to apply it and see if it works as good as it smells!

Before using Londontown’s Nourishing Cuticle Oil treatment, my mom’s cuticles were really dry and brittle. They looked so ready to be removed, and I was really hoping that this product would be as good as anticipated, because if anyone deserves to be pampered – it’s my mother. Lucky for us, we didn’t have to wait long to see if this treatment was the one for her, because almost instantly upon application, she could feel it moisturizing the problem areas on her nails.

Not only was the treatment so nourishing, but its consistency did so in a non-greasy manner, which is so important to both of us when it comes to our beauty products. Its texture was not thick but, rather, quite thin and it stayed on the nail well without running onto the towel under my mom’s hands. #wastenotwantnot

After the Nourishing Cuticle oil was on my mom’s nails for a few minutes, she pushed her cuticles back, removed them as best as she could, and then I applied some more treatment. Neither of us are nail experts, by and means, but in just one use her nails looked so much better. My mom said that she felt so spoiled to be using the treatment and it made her nails look pretty without polish, which was the goal all along. ❤

Be sure to tune in next week to see my new acrylics featuring some gorgeous nail polish shades by Londontown!

How do you pamper your hands and nails? How do you create a spa night in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

PS: I can’t make this up. As I write this, my mom literally walked down the stairs while rubbing in the cuticle treatment and goes “Sarah, I’m addicted to this. I just feel like my nails look better”. So it definitely has the Sarah & Jane Seal Of Approval! Thanks, Londontown!

Party Inspo For The Best Birthday Bash!

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Party Inspo For The Best Birthday Bash!

One of the best things that you can do in any year is to plan a party. Let’s face it, it may be a stressful time during the organization process, but the actual party always comes off beautifully, and your kids end up so happy, so the stressful bit is worth it! If you’re a standard Pinterest parent, then you’ll already have the app downloaded with several boards full of ideas for your next event.

Planning a party has a lot of different components, but the main thing to start with is the theme. You can’t hope to build the right party if you don’t have the right theme. Discuss with the birthday child what they would like, but if you have been told to surprise them, then you’ll need a little help. Check out our amazing party inspo below, then click on over to Pinterest to start building the right board. Don’t worry, all of these options work for both a birthday boy and a birthday girl!

Magic:

Who doesn’t love a magic party?! Think about it, you could hire in a magician to entertain the children, offer fancy dress options for magical beings, and you could even serve a cake like this, where a bunny is popping out of a top hat. Make sure that you include glitter pots in the party bags, along with fuzzy bunny ears, and a wand of their very own.

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I want him at my next party!

Art:

An artsy party is a craft lovers dream. It can be a messy theme, but it’s one that is going to entertain kids for ages and they won’t forget it. Make this one a summer party, and you could pin large pieces of cardboard to the washing line and get the kids to flick paint on them in neon colors. Make biscuit palettes with icing paint to finish the look.

Sports:

Having a sports mad child makes for a very easy party theme. You can get USA baseball bats here as a birthday gift, and when it comes to the party treats, why not specify a baseball theme with baseball cake pops? Gift bags will also be easy peasy, as you can make them personalized to the sport of choice.

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Yum!

Circus:

You can go as big as you like with a circus theme; so if you’ve got the cash, you can definitely pull out all of the fun fair stops. You could go a little more moderate by hiring a clown or balloon animal maker and you could serve up hot dogs, popcorn, and cotton candy during the party, with an amazing circus tent cake to blow everyone away.

Your birthday party theme is going to be individual for your child, but you can really go all out with the effort that you put into it. Make sure that you give plenty of notice to your guests so that they can be there to enjoy the day. Party planning is so much fun, and it’s time to begin!

Featured Image By: Flickr

Valentine’s Day Gifts For You

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Valentine’s Day Gifts For You

Hi! The last two posts on lifewithlilred were special for the couples celebrating Valentine’s Day. But what happens if you’re riding solo this year on V-Day? Of course, moping in bed with chocolate and chick flicks is always a viable option, but if you want something more out of Valentine’s Day even though you’re single as a Pringle, then this post is for you!

Treat Yoself:

If you envy the guys and gals that are being spoiled on V-Day, then spoil yourself, instead. Take a trip to the mall or scroll through your favorite online store with a glass of wine in hand and get yourself a special V-Day treat. Nothing perks the mood up like a new pair of shoes, a Pandora bracelet, or some bath and body care goodies. Be good to yourself on Valentine’s Day and get spoiled rotten by the most important person on the planet… you!

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Galentine’s Day:

Misery loves company, so grab all of the single ladies in your life and have a day together. Watch some rom-coms, drink some wine, and eat all of the chocolate – because that literally sounds like a perfect day! And if you’re feeling frisky, you can get yourselves dolled up during the evening and go out for a night on the town. Members of the opposite sex, who?

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Single’s Party:

If you’re looking to celebrate singleness on a larger scale, then give hosting a Single’s Party a go. Round up your infamously single friends, and give them a place to celebrate among like minded people for the night. Do be sure to play “Love Hurts” on repeat the entire time! You can even plan the evening in a potluck style manner and have your guests bring their favorite break up vices to share, so you should have plenty of booze, pizza, and candy for all.

(And, as always, I have no rights to this song or video!)

Focus On Other Things:

If you would feel better about Valentine’s Day by just pretending that it doesn’t exist, then that’s fine too! Go about your day as normal, but maybe do something a little special for yourself to not make V-Day a total bust. Order your favorite takeout, grab a new nail polish color from the store and give yourself a manicure, or just tuck in early with the book that you’ve been meaning to read for months. Valentine’s Day is only a big deal to the people who make it out to be, so if it’s not your thing, then don’t let it get in the way of going about your day.

Whether you’re treating yourself to a shopping spree or if the real Valentine’s Day gift for you is spending it with your friends, just try and enjoy your day as best as you can. No matter how you spend it, V-Day isn’t an excuse for the day to be an instant throw away. And, who knows, you could end up having a lot of fun by starting new traditions with friends or by riding solo and vegging out to your must watch or read list!

How do you treat your sassy, single self on Valentine’s Day? Do you have any V-Day traditions with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Mr Tumblr

Feet Treat

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Feet Treat

Hey everyone and happy Tuesday! Last year for Christmas, my BFF treated me to some fun products to pamper my feetsies with. It’s sad but true that I’m just getting around to using it, but that doesn’t mean that I like it any less! These footsie fabulous goodies from Perfectly Posh are SO delightful to use, and my DOGS (AKA feet!) have never been the same. Let’s discuss:

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The appropriately named Warm Your Sole and Schwanky & Soft products by Perfectly Posh are amazing. I like to put a dollop of both on my hands and mix it up to get the best of both worlds on my feet. And, of course, covering them with socks afterwards is a must for the best hydrating effects.

The Warm Your Sole balm is SO nice! It’s basically like The Body Shop’s clay warming mask but for your feet, because it literally gets warm. Having freshly heated tootsies in my freezing home is a blessing in disguise, but when my feet get smooth and soft in the process – it’s a downright miracle.

Meanwhile, the Schwanky & Soft product is more like a scrub. It has the texture of a lotion but with some extra grit thrown in to help remove dry and dead skin. This is great for me, because my heels get unbearably dry during the winter. And no one, especially me, likes cracked feet!

Having the combination of the warming balm and scrub working their wonders on my feetsies feels so lush, because I rarely pay attention to them. I don’t get pedicures and, until now, I’ve never really used lotion on my feet before. After using these products for a few days, I find that downright shocking – especially considering that I’m constantly shoving my feet into heels every day! Even after I finish these products, I want to continue caring for my feet more as an extra addition to my pampering parties. How can I not?!

Although it’s taken me close to a year to start using these Perfectly Posh products, I am so enjoying it and it’s definitely a Feet Treat! How do you treat your tootsies? Do you prefer manicures or pedicures? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

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Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

Hi everyone and welcome to the final post in my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series by the amazing Melissa of Season & Serve. You might remember this lovely lady from a previous guest post on my blog that showed you all of the fixings for a perfect fall themed dinner party. This time around, Melissa is here to wrap up my series with a how to guide to creating a spooky chic Halloween bash – costume ideas not included! Check it out and enjoy:

Tricks & Treats! Season & Serve Style Halloween Bash

Ghosts, ghouls, and goblins galore! Halloween is just around the corner and I cannot wait to celebrate! This year, I am hosting a spooky soirée at our apartment and I am bringing a few elegant touches and a fabulously retro menu to my Halloween party to set the perfect mood. Read on to see how you can throw a classy yet spooky Halloween party of your own… if you dare! Mwahaha!

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This year, I decided to aim for a more elegant vibe for my Halloween party in terms of decor. If you remember back to when you were a kid, Halloween was all about the blood, guts, and gore. While I can definitely appreciate gory decorations on Halloween, it is a bit more fitting to do this outside of your home since it can be complicated and messy (I mean fake blood is cool and all, but I don’t want to be scrubbing it off of my walls and mirrors the next day!). But what we are lacking in blood and guts, we are making up with some classy, yet scary Halloween decor. I used a combination of every day decor pieces that I had around my home, and tied them together with some cheap (But reusable!) dollar store items that I found. I then did a wonderfully simple DIY that you can keep in storage for next year’s bash. So, without further adieu, here is what I did:

For my table, I decided to decorate with mainly black pieces (Because obviously black is the color for Halloween and is timelessly elegant.) along with some gold and silver accents for a bit of shine. I used my everyday black dinner table as the base (You can always throw a black tablecloth over your table if it is not black.) and added a few tasteful pieces for decoration. I anchored the left corner of my table with my thrifted gold candlestick holders in which I placed some tall black candles… because obviously we need some spooky candlelight for Halloween!

On the opposite side, I wanted another tall piece to balance the table out, so I went for a nice, tall vase of sunflowers. These sunflowers had a dark orange color on the flowers and leaves that were almost purple – something that is not typical of this cheery flower. I found out that the florist that I went to actually made the sunflowers this darker orange color by keeping them in a tub of water mixed with red dye. If you have red food coloring, you can simply add it to your vase of regular yellow sunflowers and in two days, you will have these delightfully dark sunflowers for your table. I loved the deep moody vibe that it brought to the table scape! I also went ahead and placed my white “Casper” pumpkin next to my candles along with my dark green Kabocha squash for a bit of color.

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Next, I added my serving-ware. I placed my wooden cake pedestal to the center/back of the table to give my food some height (I’m all about varying heights on buffet-style tables.) and then placed a round, brushed gold tray and silver place mat in front of the pedestal. I loved the silver place mat for Halloween – it totally reminded me of a spider web! And, of course, where there is a spider web, there are spiders! So I picked up some sparkly plastic black spiders from the Dollar Store and placed them all over my table. I also added a few sparkly black pumpkins to the table, as well (Another great reuseable Dollar Store find!), to fill in the empty spaces.

I also discovered these fabulously cool, yet elegant black glass skull cups from Homesense (A home goods store in Canada.) that I knew needed to be a part of my Halloween table scape. I added these to the table and made sure to back-light them with some tea lights to make them look extra creepy for when my guests arrived. I originally placed the tea lights in short glass jars (For safety reasons.), but I found these plain jars to be fairly boring, so I did a quick and easy DIY! I simply wrapped each glass jar with black lacey ribbon and used a hot glue gun to secure the lace around the jar. I love the sexy, sultry look that it brought to the table – perfectly elegant and spooky, if you ask me!

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Now for the good stuff… THE FOOD! When I was planning this Halloween party, I was thinking of a combination of elegant, retro, and (Of course!) spooky. Kind of like something from around the 1920’s to the 1950’s – so I decided to borrow some throw back food ideas from those eras to fit this theme and give it a Halloween twist. I chose to stick to appetizers and small snacks that people can nibble on throughout the party while they mingle. I also opted to make the majority of the recipes myself, but also improvised with some store-bought foods just to make things a bit easier for the host (Because hey, you gotta get your Halloween costume on too!). And, of course, as every good host knows, one of the key tricks to entertaining is to not make everything yourself!

So those are the tricks… here are the treats! First up on the menu is Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Cockroaches… I mean dates. The look of dates always freaked me out as a kid because I thought that they looked like cockroaches. But once you get past their questionable appearance and take a bite, you will fall in love with their sweet and soft taste. It’s almost like eating candy! The recipe for Blue Cheese and Walnut Stuffed Dates is a play on the retro recipe, Devils On Horseback, which is traditionally made with prunes stuffed with blue cheese and wrapped in bacon. I wanted to go for a healthier, vegetarian recipe so I swapped out the prunes for the dates and the bacon for a toasted walnut. And do they ever look spooky! Oh, and if the thought of blue cheese in this recipe is enough to scare you alone, simply change it out for a smoked cheddar or Gouda. These cheeses also taste delicious with dates and walnuts!

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Now, with it being Halloween, there are going to be many vampires around, so we are going to keep them at bay with my homemade French Onion Dip. This recipe is inspired by the old school French Onion dip made from those French Onion soup packets and sour cream. Super retro, right!? Rather than using a soup packet, you can make this dip yourself, and it won’t have any nasty preservatives or additives in it! You simply have to fry onions and garlic until they are nice and caramelized, then toss them with sour cream and Greek yogurt as well as a few other secret ingredients to lighten it up. Serve with classic ruffled potato chips or fancy vegetable chips and you have got yourself a great party dip!

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My next recipe is a play on the classic tea sandwich: Mrs. Frankenstein’s Tea Sandwiches. In other words, Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches. This is definitely an old school dish, because it has been served at many fancy tea parties over the past century or so. You simply layer butter, an elevated homemade cream cheese spread, and slices of cucumber on top of pumpernickel bread and slice it into wedges. I really like the fresh, cool cucumber and dill in this recipe as many appetizers can be heavy, but this one is light and refreshing (And it will freshen up your breath from the French Onion Dip!). If you can make a sandwich, you can easily make these Cucumber-Dill Tea Sandwiches for your party!

My final savory appetizer that I made for this party was inspired by the retro pinwheel sandwiches made with tortilla wraps and deli meat/cheese. I never really liked these as a kid (I found them to get super soggy and gross). But I took this idea and made it much better with my recipe for Roasted Red Pepper and Cheddar Pinwheels. Rather than using tortilla wraps to hold everything in, I used a sheet of store-bought puff pastry. All you need to do is sprinkle it with the roasted red peppers and cheese, roll it up, slice it up, and bake! It’s so simple and easy – and it looks impressive, too! Your guests will think that you spent hours making these!

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Now, onto my favorite course: dessert. As we all know, with Halloween comes tons of sugary candy and chocolates, which is a great treat in small doses. But rather than making an overly sugary dessert or placing a bunch of candy on the table, I decided to keep things more on the healthier side with a Healthy Dessert Board. On this dessert board, I mixed store-bought and homemade treats. From the store, I picked up some maple flavored mixed nuts, coconut macaroons (I thought they looked like little ghosts.), and some crazy spooky Moon Drop grapes. I loved the deep purple color of the grapes and the elongated shape (Almost like fingers!).

The homemade treats that I made are simple and can likely be made with ingredients that you have in your pantry right now! Bonus! First up, I made my Autumn-Inspired White Chocolate Bark. What’s a dessert board without some chocolate? I made it a bit healthier by adding vitamin rich cranberries and apricots and oil-rich walnuts and pumpkin seeds. Just the colors alone look gorgeous. It’s truly perfect for fall/Halloween!

Last but not least, I had to made something with Pumpkin Spice. And what’s a better treat than Pumpkin Spice Energy Balls?!? The basic white girl inside of me literally can’t even right now. You have all of the delicious warm flavors of pumpkin spice combined with healthy dates, almonds, and oats – such a great and healthy treat!

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And there you have it ghosts and ghouls! A fully planned and designed Halloween party. All you need is some spooky music and a great costume and you will be ready to have an amazing time! For all of the recipes featured in this post, simply click on the links or head over to my blog!

Happy Halloween, everyone!

^^^ Yum, yum, freaking YUM! Many thanks to Melissa for concluding my Halloween Heaven guest bloggers series by sharing such amazing party recipes, tricks, and treats with my readers! Which recipes from this post are you going to try out? Where do you go for the best seasonal decor? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Know Someone Who Is Retiring? These Gifts Are The Perfect Send Off

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Know Someone Who Is Retiring? These Gifts Are The Perfect Send Off

Retirement is something that many of us look forward to as we get older. The chance to throw in the towel when it comes to getting up early every day, doing the long commute, or simply just not doing a job that you weren’t passionate about. For others, retirement is a new chapter in their lives. But, sometimes, it can be a difficult change to go through. Leaving a workplace, especially if you have been there for a long time, can be quite a hard phase of your life to experience. So, if you find yourself saying goodbye to a work colleague of yours due to retirement, you and your coworkers might be considering a gift. To get you started during your brainstorming session, here are some ideas that could be the perfect way to say good bye:

A “This Was Your Working Life” style scrapbook:

If you are quite the crafty sort, then something like scrapbook could be right up your alley. You and the retiree’s colleagues could each take a page to share your thoughts and well wishes for the next chapter in their lives. You could also include mementos like business cards, letter headed paper, logos, and even pictures from over the years of working there. The beauty of this sort of gift is that it is very personal and sentimental, and will be lovely for your coworker to look back on in the years to come.

Something personalized and fun:

Maybe the person retiring had a great sense of humor or loved novelty style gifts. This is when you can get to researching online to find more unique gifts like retirement koozies or personalized pint pots or glasses. A personalized gift shows great thought and consideration to the person and will be the perfect keepsake.

The classic flowers or a bottle of something they love:

Sometimes sticking with the classic gifts will suit your work colleague better, which is why the big bunch of flowers and/or a bottle of their favorite drink could be the best sort of gift to buy them. Accompany this gift with a card that all of you have taken the time to write in. The understated gifts can often times work the best.

Make up a retirement survival kit:

Whether you want to create something yourself or seek out a company that will provide it for you, a retirement survival kit can be quite a funny as well as a thoughtful gift for your colleague. Things included can be a balloon so that you start off retirement with a bang, a toothpick to pick out the very best of their day, and money towards the retirement fund. The options are endless, and websites like Pinterest are full of anecdotes that you can include.

A digital gift or a framed photograph:

Finally, you could make up a video send off where everyone records a message or have a picture printed and framed for your coworker. Digital gifts are great because they are always just a click away on the computer, and the time taken to get the picture or create the video won’t go unnoticed.

Although it will be sad to have a favorite coworker retiring, it is certainly something to be celebrated. Make happy memories to send him or her off with and use the ideas above to create the perfect gift!

Featured Image By: Flickr