Personalize Your Gift Wrapping + Gifts that Give Back

Gift giving is something that I take very seriously. I hate to give gifts just for the sake of giving a gift, and always try to put thought and love into the items I purchase. Along with finding the perfect gifts, I like to put the same thought and love into making the wrapping extra special. After working in retail for many years, our gift recipients always commented on the wrapping; people seem to genuinely enjoy receiving a beautifully wrapped package.

This year I wanted to incorporate some memories into my wrapping, and photos always make for a memorable gift. Artifact Uprising has been a favorite of mine since my wedding planning days, and I often turn to them for photo gifts and prints. I’m drawn to their minimalistic style and high quality paper. I purchased this square print set, which comes with 25 prints for $22, to use as part of my gift wrapping.

Because I wanted the photos to catch your eye, I opted for this beautiful matte silver wrapping paper and thin gold ribbon. To add a special touch, I tied a sprig of dried lavender into the bow for color and fragrance.

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Giving back for the holidays

As you’re shopping for your holiday gifts, consider gifting an item that gives back to the community or a particular organization. There are so many ways to donate this season, and a gift of donation never goes unwanted or unappreciated. For the friends and family in your life who have strong ties to a certain organization, or who “don’t need anything at all,” consider making a donation in their name, packaging it beautifully and gifting to them in place of a traditional gift.

Each year, I participate in Treasures for Children, sponsored by the Salvation Army to help deliver gifts to children in need. Many businesses and local churches offer toy drives to collect gifts for Treasures for Children, but if you don’t know of one, you can always contact or donate directly through their website. If purchasing a gift is hard this time of year, which it certainly can be, consider volunteering your time to help organize and prepare the gifts for families.

For animal lovers, there’s also a really great opportunity to donate towards the animal rescue organization, Animal Friends, by stopping at Ross Park Mall on Christmas Eve for your last-minute gift wrapping needs. In exchange for wrapping services, you simply offer a donation to the Animal Friends organization, here in Pittsburgh. And, in case you’re planning to adopt a pet this holiday season, two very generous donors have gifted all adoptions at Animal Friends through the month of December.

See how others are giving back this holiday season:

Some of the lovely women and bloggers in the Pittsburgh area are joining together to share ways in which they’ve given back to the community this Christmas, in hopes that these efforts may inspire others to join along with us and give back. Click below to read their stories!

Tracy at A Trace of Cool

Sarah and Nick at The Surznick Common Room 

Meg Zotis at Blue Bells and Lipstick

Kim at Yes! Wear That

Morgan at Mint+Mo

Tori at Wear, Wag, Repeat

Aire at Sparkle Every Day

Have you done any random acts of kindness or given back this season?

We’d love to hear about it! Use the hashtag #pghgives back on social media to share your own story!


I'm Lauren, a wife, mom, and corporate manager turned entrepreneur. I'm obsessed with organization, love a great vintage mid-century find, and only cook no-fuss meals that take under 30 minutes. In a world of excess, I'm doing what I can to have less and enjoy the simple parts of life. If you're a modern woman who wants a simplified, yet beautiful, life, you have come to the right place. This blog is meant to inspire you, the modern woman, to have a "fewer, better" mentality, and to live with style in all areas of your life.

full disclosure

Wellesley & King works with several affiliate programs. By clicking through and purchasing items on sites I link to, I may receive a commission. Wellesley & King also occasionally partners with brands on sponsored posts or gifted items.  Sponsored posts are indicated by language similar to “thank you to ‘brand name’ for sponsoring this post.” Gifted items are indicated by “c/o” meaning “courtesy of.”


did you know?

I also work with other small businesses to make an unforgettable first impression. My business, Wellesley & King Creative, is dedicated to helping small businesses and entrepreneurs take their brand to the next level with standout photographs, simple web designs, and compelling online marketing. Learn more about W&KC!

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  1. 12.21.16
    Sarah said:

    This is such a sweet idea, Lauren!

    xo, Sarah

    • 12.21.16
      Lauren said:

      Oh, thank you, Sarah! I love capturing the everyday moments so much; I’m hoping that the recipients love them as much as I do!

  2. 12.21.16
    Tracy said:

    Lauren! Those gifts are beautiful! What an awesome way to make every gift extra special. And I love the extra ways to give back. I need to get more involved in some type of animal shelter volunteering, and these posts are so inspiring 🙂 I think that’ll be a New Year’s resolution!

    • 12.22.16
      Lauren said:

      Thank you so much, Tracy. I totally agree; this link up was my favorite of the year. It’s so heartwarming to read of the good that people are doing for their communities! Let’s do more!

  3. 12.22.16
    Anonymous said:

    Favorite post of the year 🙂

  4. 12.22.16
    Kim said:

    favorite post of the year 🙂

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