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What We're Reading

The books and articles currently on our screens and our bedside tables, as well as our go-to gifting references.


  • "House Gifts, Welcome and Unwelcome" by Ron Alexander. The New York Times. July 31, 1988.


    What we liked: We got a good chuckle reading this article from the 1980s, touching on host(ess) gifts - both wanted and unwanted. Let's just say croquet sets and peanut-butter-making machines are on the out!



    Date added: May 10, 2018

  • "25 DIY Wrapping Paper Ideas for Gifts Too Beautiful to Tear Open" by Andrea Romano. Mashable. November 28, 2014. Last accessed February 16, 2018.


    What we liked: The slideshow gallery accompanying this short article offers a boatload of inspiration, rounding up, as it does, a lot of the great DIY gift wrapping projects that folks have shared on Instagram, blogs and/or Pinterest.



    Date added: February 16, 2018

  • "The Business of Reselling Returned Shop Items". The Economist. November 24, 2016.


    What we liked: As online sales increase, so too do returns - but, what happens to all those returned items? This article was an interesting read, touching on the increased focus on "reverse logistics," and the various paths that returned goods might take - be it to third party markets, or the incinerator.



    Date added: December 29, 2017

  • "5 Things To Do With Unwanted Gifts" by Andrew M. Odom. Tiny House Blog. December 24, 2014. Last accessed December 27, 2017.


    What we liked: Were you given snow boots for Christmas even though you live in Miami? Don't have pierced ears, but gifted a pair of stud earrings? If one or more of your loved ones did not consult your Little Birdie Me gift profile, perhaps you've ended up with several gifts you just won't use. Andrew Odom over at the Tiny House Blog outlines 5 possible solutions.



    Date added: December 27, 2017

  • "Thanks, Boss. Next Time, Make It a Lump of Coal." by Lawrence Van Gelder. The New York Times. December 28, 2003.


    What we liked: Think you've given or received a bad gift? It would be pretty hard to beat some of these doozies - gift failures by any measure!



    Date added: December 21, 2017

  • "Eye for Art and Artistry Amid Jigsaw’s Jumble" by Jennifer A. Kingson. The New York Times. December 6, 2010.


    What we liked: When a family member brought out an old-fashioned wooden jigsaw puzzle, we were delighted with its intricacy, including some pretty fantastic novelty pieces. Then, we came across this article which gives a bit of the history and craftsmanship that goes into making wooden puzzles - as well as introducing us to some of the modern day collectors and businesses that keep the tradition alive!



    Date added: December 1, 2017

  • "Cutting a Round Cake on Scientific Principles" by Anupum Pant. AweSci.com. June 19, 2014. Last accessed October 19, 2017.


    What we liked: We've been cutting our cake wrong all these years! Maybe you have too? Seriously though, we're likely not going to be changing our wedge-shaped approach to cutting cakes, but we got a chuckle out of learning that there is in fact a scientifically better way to go about the delicious business of portioning.


    Tags: birthdays, cake


    Date added: October 19, 2017

  • "Wrappers' Delight: A Brief History of Wrapping Paper" by Megan Garber. The Atlantic. October 11, 2017.


    What we liked: Trivia lovers that we are, we really enjoyed this mini-history lesson on wrapping paper - and, having visited Kansas City, MO for the first time this year, had to chuckle when we discovered it's where wrapping paper (as we know it today) originated... But, we don't want to spoil a good story, so we won't say any more, except to encourage you to click on through!



    Date added: October 11, 2017

  • "11 Amazing Thank You Notes From Famous People" by Adrienne Crezo. Mental Floss. February 10, 2012. Last accessed August 10, 2017.


    What we liked: We alternately got a chuckle, were bemused and touched by the letters shared in this article. If you're looking for some thank you note inspiration, this is not a bad place to start!



    Date added: August 10, 2017

  • "How to Give the Best Gifts, According to Science" by Brian Handwerk. Smithsonian. December 19, 2014.


    What we liked: We don't agree with all the conclusions in this article, but we're intrigued by the notion that sometimes trying too hard can actually result in unsuccessful gifting. The takeaway for us? To always check ourselves and ask if we're making things too complicated!



    Date added: August 7, 2017

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Reference Materials

We find ourselves regularly returning to these books for inspiration, advice and/or knowledge!

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Coding Corner

Pop, fizzle, whiz! That's the sound we imagine our brains made when we read these books.

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