6 More Thoughtful Ways to Gift Money to Grads



My siblings are graduating this year! That's got me thinking a lot about graduation gifts. Money is a great and popular gift because frankly, most people could use more of it, and that's especially true when you're just starting out. Giving a cash gift for graduation is pretty common, and it's not seen as impersonal (like it might for a birthday). That said, there are a lot of thoughtful ways to gift someone money with a little more intention. Some things are just easier to spend money on than others, and those things aren't necessarily the most important things-- see: me ordering delivery food and then complaining about the cost of flatware. Sometimes it's a good idea to designate a purpose for funds!

Savings Bonds. If you're in the US, you can buy a savings bond for someone that will mature in a year and can earn interest the longer they sit. You can even buy them directly with your tax refund! Definitely do your research to see if this is a good option for you, but they especially make sense if you want to help your new grad think about the nebulous but important idea of investments and long-term money.

Gift cards for entertainment. Whether or not your recent grad has a job lined up post-grad, it might be hard for them to pay for some fun when they're just starting out. Handle it for them by gifting them a gift card for streaming services or movie theaters.
✨✨✨ Try gift cards for Netflix, Spotify Premium, Apple/iTunes, AMC, fandango, and Regal Theaters.

Gift cards for essentials. There are some places you just gotta shop when you are living your life. Gift cards to these places are always welcome and can make a hefty "starting the apartment" shopping trip a little less cardiac arrest inducing when they hit the register.
✨✨✨ Try gift cards for Amazon Prime, Target, Lowes, and IKEA.

Gift cards for dining out. Sometimes you just gotta treat yourself to a fancy latte or a dinner you didn't have to cook after a long day at work. And some gift givers like to give gifts that aren't 100% practical and necessary and are more fun and special-- an excuse to break from normal restrictions and live a little!
✨✨✨ Try gift cards for Starbucks, Chipotle, Darden Restaurants, Panera, IHOP, Coldstone Creamery, Dominos, etc. You can also get gift certificates for favorite local businesses if you know the grad is going to be living in a certain spot for a while. 

Gift cards for adult/professional clothes. Let's be real, the kids probably need new clothes for interviews and maybe even for their jobs if they're living the corporate lifestyle. But the other thing is that you probably should be picking them for them. So give them a gift card instead!
✨✨✨ Try gift cards for Nordstrom, Banana Republic, Gap, Torrid, JCPenney, Lord & Taylor, DSW, and Express.

Gift cards for travel. What better way to subtly hint that this bud better visit you than by giving them no excuse not to, am I right? But seriously, traveling is a ton of fun and often a key part of how we escape from the pressure of our regular lives whether for a summer getaway or just getting home for the holidays! Make it a little less burdensome for your recent grad with a gift card or two.  
✨✨✨ Try gift cards for Hotels.com and Southwest Airlines

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Say Goodbye to Complacency with Rain!


Hi all, sorry I haven't posted much lately-- been dealing with some crazy life stuff but I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things soon! In the mean time, my friend Rain from RainLeeFrancisco.com has got my back! She's a really kick-ass friend from LA and she blogs about all the good stuff from pop culture to her personal philosophies and today she's talking about kicking complacency's butt!


The biggest danger is complacency. Can we be continually great?

I do not believe in settling. Whether it’s settling for a job, love or even your next pair of shoes. Never settle. Because settling will leave you feeling empty inside, even if it’s slight. Or worse… REGRET. Now, I don’t believe in regrets either, but that’s a post for another day.

Life is too short to be complacent.

People who are successful and at the top of their game did not settle. The New England Patriots are the best NFL team ever, playing the most conference championships and now, with the most Super Bowl wins of any team in history. But that doesn’t come from settling. Tom Brady didn’t throw in the towel after winning his first Super Bowl (which is the most any player can be happy with), or his second, third or fourth.

Instead he went back to the field and trained harder and came back stronger. Same with Kobe Bryant. No matter what you keep fighting back strong against ALL odds. If you accept the fact that you’re #1, then there’s nothing that can stop you from being #1.

Seek new mountains.
Once you reach the mountain top, seek new mountains. There’s always a bigger and more challenging mountain waiting to be climbed. This will only make you stronger, more powerful and even better than you expected. But of course, with new mountains comes new challenges.

Do it again, but differently.
You’ve reached the highest point of success you dreamt of for a long time and may now be boasting to yourself about how you got there. Great. Now, if you’d like to do it again, make those tweaks and changes. Everything in life is constantly changing and evolving and we must do the same. To reach success, be #1 and reach a new height, we must be willing to do things differently and change. For a potentially better outcome awaits.

Repeat success.Success can be repeated and that can come in many forms. So you’ve got the highest grade on your Communication Law final. Repeat. Obviously not in that class, but in others. Or, perhaps you lost those last 5 pounds that seemed impossible to come off… Repeat success by keeping it off. Repeating success does not mean going out and doing the exact same thing, the same way and being successful, again! Ha, that does not happen. Why? Because you already did it.

Repeating success can come in many shapes, sizes and forms.

Recognize opportunities and seize them.
First and foremost, the most successful people are able to recognize opportunities, take them and run with them. The opportunity can be an innovating product or service, an investment, pursuing a dream career, whether it may be… it’s important to be open to the possibilities.

There are so many more opportunities! Don’t settle for anything less than what you know you deserve. Once you are given those seeds, continue to plant them even during a drought and hope they’ll blossom long term.

We can all bring out our inner Tom Brady or Beyoncé and let nothing stand in our way of being #1. Always strive for the best, nothing less than that is acceptable. Complacency is the enemy of success.

Later babes, xx Rain

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april small goals


I'm so excited because I'm turning 24 this month and that feels pretty awesome! I'm participating in Nicole at Writes Like A Girl's link up of small goals. Be sure to check that out and consider participating and linking up.

Before we get into this month's goals, let's check in on last month's goals:

Get on To-Doist. 
I immediately got on this and even sprung for premium. It's definitely helped me with the smaller and recurring tasks in my life. It's great for things like chores or incidental things that are important but not urgent. 

Finish a book-- maybe even two! I finished The Wangs vs. The World which I had on my plate forever. You can read my review here and follow me on Goodreads. I have not gotten onto a second book, but I'm glad I met my goal of wrapping one up!

Start Meal Planning again. Did not get to this... I have succeeded in trying out more recipes, but things have been a little too hectic to make time to fully meal plan. I'll try to do better this month!

Go to the gym twice a week. So, I had high hopes, but we were hit with a blizzard and the fact that it didn't warm up like I HOPED it would really put a damper on this. I think I need to generally get out more though. Last month had me so cooped up that I definitely need more sun and I don't think my gym (in a basement) is going to help with that so I'll definitely need to get some walks in the mix.

Blog more, get more videos up. I got a couple videos up and did some more blogging! I stopped putting pressure on myself to put videos up after Youtube's Restricted Mode started being really crappy to so many creators like LGBTQ vloggers and activists. I don't really feel great about the idea of putting up more videos while this is happening. As a bi person I don't know if it's a good decision to continue to create content for a platform that is screwing up so royally-- but on the other hand is it better to not let them stop me from creating? I don't know, but right now I'm leaning toward not putting stuff on Youtube until they fix it. I also got a couple more blog posts up. I feel good about it even though it doesn't feel like I'm fully in the swing of it. I think it will improve as the weather improves. 

Three out of five isn't so bad. That's kind of average for me so at least I'm not doing badly. Onto April's goals!

Raise money for services for domestic violence and human trafficking victims. I mentioned my birthday is coming up, but what I haven't mentioned is that I am using the occasion to raise money for Sanctuary for Families, my favorite non-profit organization in New York. Their mission is to end gender based violence, and work to address the complex problem in a thorough way, providing services ranging from shelter and child care to counseling (individual, group, family, and crisis), legal aid, economic empowerment, and educational advocacy. They work in over 30 languages with thousands of clients each year. This is incredibly dear to me as a child of immigrants and woman of color as immigrants and women of color and those living in poverty are especially at risk for gender-related violence. It's incredibly important with the current administration looking to cut federal funding for programs that fight domestic violence. If you've enjoyed my content over the years, please consider sending a donation their way

Take a walk at least once a week. Here's to hoping the weather makes this something I can actually enjoy. Granted it is also catcalling season but if I worried about that all the time, I'd literally never get anything done. 

Learn some new recipes. I think this will make meal planning more fun! Meal planning is kind of boring and I think learning new recipes will help make it easier to do. I'm frankly not the most disciplined person but my enthusiasm is so strong it usually compensates. I need to build my enthusiasm since trying to make this a chore is not helping me. 

Do wrist and arm exercises more. I am experiencing a lot more issues with my carpal tunnal and I think it's largely because I am mostly using them for repetitive tasks that strain them without actually strengthening or stretching them. I'm hoping to do a few more stretches for them every day and do more arm strength exercises. And maybe start practicing sword again since I am very interested and haven't done it in years. (Before you ask, I have always been a beginner.)

Bring weekly link posts back. I feel like I come across a lot of great content and I miss spotlighting stuff every week. I just want to recommend y'all stuff, and despite my original plan to share it all on Facebook, since making that decision, Facebook has changed a lot-- as both a platform and a culture.

That's it for me! Please consider donating to my fundraiser, and check out Sanctuary for Families-- their array of services is really amazing!

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