Thursday, November 29, 2012


InStyle Magazine conducted a survey asking its readers about their secret-Santa confessions. I thought I would share a bit of their findings to get you into the holiday season….

When it comes to shopping, you like to...
76% Hit the stores
24% Surf the web
source: instyle mag dec 2012
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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

HoneeBee Gifts buzzes around SouthPark Magazine (blvd. section & more!)


For the December issue of SouthPark Magazine, I was able to go beyond my normal contributor duties of working on the blvd. section. I also wrote the "Lost Art of Dinner" article on the roaming dinner and activity club, Relish Carolina and my do's and don'ts of gift giving was featured by Olivia Fortson in the Swirl section. In addition, the blvd. section was expanded due to the holiday season and I was able to get even more creative with the section by interviewing a local mixologist  Nicholas Glass with Delta's Restaurant, bakery (Polka Dot Bake Shop) and stationary shop (Paper Twist). In addition I worked directly with the photographer setting the holiday scene for blvd. section of the publication.  It felt great to have an expanded role with one of my all-time favorite lucky am I?!
Anyhoo, be sure to pick up the December issue of SouthPark Magazine and shameless sure to check out--
blvd. section beginning on page 17
Do's and Don'ts for gifting on page 22
The Lost Art of Dinner article highlighting Relish Carolina on page 42
Some of the articles can be found online throughout the month. For example The Lost Art of Dinner is up now but you can also pick up copies of the magazine  here.
SouthPark Magazine is a speciality publication under the Charlotte Observer family. It is Charlotte's premier luxury lifestyle magazine and highlights various topics including fashion, travel, philanthropy and more.
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Say Thanks with Sweet Stationary

I wrote a short article on fun & beautiful stationary centered around giving thanks for friends and family around the Thanksgiving holiday for Shecky's. While Thanksgiving has passed, just about all the cards can be used throughout the year. You can also give the box set as a present to a lucky giftee...and to make the gift extra special...why not scribe a note to the giftee on why you are thankful for them in your life? It will skyrocket the gift to the next level. Below is an excerpt to the post written for Shecky's.
Thanksgiving is a time when most give thanks to the people and moments that have enriched their lives throughout the year. Many family and friends gather over a delicious spread of food, fun and laughter, but while there are many highly regarded traditions that take place during this time of the year, there is one tradition that I look forward during this time—going around the room, right before dinner and sharing what I am most thankful for! This year, I thought it’d be nice to take this tradition a step further and thank my loved ones with a handwritten note. Here are six sweet stationary gift sets to say “thanks” to someone who has made an impact (small or large) on your life at some point this year! See my stationary picks here.

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Sunday, November 25, 2012


InStyle Magazine conducted a survey asking its readers about their secret-Santa confessions. I thought I would share a bit of their findings to get you into the holiday season….

Do you set a budget before buying for friends and family?

74% Yep, and I try to stick to it
source:, instyle mag dec 2012
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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Experience: Small Business Saturday

Today is Small Business Saturday and there's no time like the present to get out and support small business owners. Whether it's having a cup of joe at your local coffee shop or snagging the dress you've been eyeing at your favorite boutique, today's the day to swipe that card to help small businesses not only survive but thrive!
See the video below that shares additional reasons on why you should support.

What is Small Business Saturday?
From the horse's mouth (from the Small Business Saturday website):
Small Business Saturday is a day for everyone — from the business owners who create jobs to the customers who buy locally — to support small businesses that invigorate the economy and keep communities thriving.

It began in 2010 when American Express founded Small Business Saturday to help small businesses get more exposure during one of the biggest shopping weekends of the year. Last year, over 100 million people came out to shop at independently-owned small businesses on the day. Now, in its third year, Small Business Saturday will be even bigger. American Express is offering free and easy-to-use tools to help small businesses get the most out of the day and tools for consumers to show their support.

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Friday, November 23, 2012

Out the Box: Laura James

Out the Box is a series on HoneeBee Gifts that focuses on local community notables who share a bit about their gifting life...and a little more. I am excited to share this feature with you and I hope you enjoy this up and personal look at gifting. It's kind of like peeking into someone's closet...but much more fun!

The Gift: Laura James

Today we are featuring Laura James, Owner and Designer of  Laura James Jewelry. She is a talented jewelry maker whose work has been featured locally and nationally including the Today Show, Lucky Magazine, Charlotte Magazine and more. I spotlighted her company last year and the goods are still there...beautiful jewels continue to come from her studio boutique! She is a sweet person and brilliant artisan. I also just found out she is pregnant so congratulations are in order!

The Wrapping: Laura shares just a bit of her gifting life...

Best gift received: It's a tie--my engagement/wedding rings from my husband and a drawing from my 8 year old niece titled "My Favorite Relative"
Best gift given: A jewelry fundraiser to help my brother and his wife reach their adoption goal to bring home a baby girl, Caroline Faith from Ethiopia. They are currently #10 on the waiting list!
My "go-to" gift (to give): More than anything I love to customize a piece of Laura James jewelry specifically for the person.
What's on your gift wish list: Earrings by jeweler Anthony Nak
Your most recent shopping splurge: A pair of handcrafted diamond pave stud earrings from one of the jewelry artisans I carry at Laura James Jewelry.
Fill in the blank: I love shopping on Slate Interiors for inspiration. Not to mention their vintage and contemporary home decor....anything tagged one of a kind has my name on it.

The Bow: Let's peek into the life of Laura...

On a Saturday afternoon you'd most likely find me...if I'm not at the studio creating new baubles, you'll find me perusing Charlotte's locally owned home decor boutiques for vintage treasures and inspiration. Laura also took up paddleboarding this summer with her husband.
Favorite quote...In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different--Coco Chanel
I am most inspired by...nature, architecture, home decor, Diane von Furstenburg and anything vintage from the 1920's-70's.
I'd love to meet...CFDA nominee jeweler Anthony Nak. The architectural influence in his latest jewelry designs which are influenced by mosaics and antique stained glass has blown me away.

Bzzz...Laura James Jewelry now carries diamonds and 14K gold jewelry, crafted by hand by artisans handpicked by James herself. No one else in NC carries these items. Be sure to check out their Facebook page and website for jewelry auctions, where the public can acquire jewels at a steep discount.

photo source:

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012


InStyle Magazine conducted a survey asking its readers about their secret-Santa confessions. I thought I would share a bit of their findings to get you into the holiday season….

Gift Wrap Rules!
or Does it?

76% I adore getting something nicely presented
24% I can take it or leave it. It's what's inside that counts!

So glad that the consensus is that gift wrap matters. This is actually one of my top five gift tips--don't stop with the gift. You must pay attention to the gift wrap, boxes and bags too. The packaging should accentuate the gift and be "on theme."

So when it's time to wrap your gifts this season don't forget wrapping paper is your opportunity to make a first impression to your giftee.

source:, instyle mag dec 2012
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The Charlotte Observer interviews HoneeBee Gifts

Just when I thought things couldn't get any better (after my Charlotte Post interview and positive HoneeBee Gifts meetings) I picked up a copy of The Charlotte Observer this past Sunday and was greeted with an article about me, my blog and my gifting services. It was the cherry on top of my Sunday:) 
It was just a few weeks earlier that I had the pleasure of talking with reporter Hope Yancey about HoneeBee Gifts. We had a great chat over tea and I am so excited to share the article with you.
Please see an excerpt below and click the link at the end to see the full article on The Charlotte Observer website.

Her focus is gifts, etiquette

Simone McDowell, a freelance marketing and public relations professional who lives in uptown Charlotte, writes a gift-giving and etiquette blog, HoneeBee Gifts, which is creating a buzz.
“It really is kind of a passion project,” said McDowell, 33. The Baltimore native attended college and graduate school in Maryland, and moved to Charlotte five years ago for a job. She started the gift website in 2008 for fun and because she likes to shop.
 Now she hopes it will lead to something more. To read more (including the importance of a gift closets and biggest gift blunders) go here.  source:

Read more here:

Read more here:
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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The Spotlight: Clearwater Hampers (sponsored post)

For Americans, when you think of hampers the next thing that comes to mind is laundry and folding clothes, well I am here to introduce you to the United Kingdom version of hampers--and believe me it's soooo much better than the US version.
Hampers in the UK consist of food and wine baskets and Clearwater Hampers is the largest privately owned company of it's kind in the area. Clearwater's customers are corporations, promotional goods agencies, department stores and the consummate consumer (you!) looking to give a perfect gift.
The company ships internationally and recently debuted their Christmas hampers. Some of the goodies you will find in these packages include assorted chocolates, champagne, smoked duck and of course, tea.
The themed baskets also cater to kids and vegetarians and they also have a non-alcoholic baskets and much more. All baskets range from 30-200+ euros which is about 38-256+ dollars. Here are a couple hampers that will be available this holiday season:
Tinsel Time Christmas Hamper

Tis the Season Christmas Hamper

Christmas Cheer Christmas Hamper
To check out the other Christmas hampers (and other themed baskets), please check out Clearwater Hampers here.

picture source:
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Out the Box: Shama Patel

Out the Box is a series on HoneeBee Gifts that focuses on local community notables who share a bit about their gifting life...and a little more. I am excited to share this feature with you and I hope you enjoy this up and personal look at gifting. It's kind of like peeking into someone's closet...but much more fun!

The Gift: Shama Patel

Today we are featuring Shama Patel, Owner of Flex + Fit. She is a woman of many talents: lawyer, artist, world's fastest texter and business owner.  I was so excited about the opening of Flex + Fit that I wrote about it a month or so before it opened in Center City. I was one of the first people to share the news of this great place and have kept in touch with Shama since the opening. Her next big venture is to grow Flex + Fit and its sister studio AIR. AIR is a fitness and culinary studio offering AIR, Hot and Barre classes. She is such an inspiration--gotta love a girl that follows her dream!

The Wrapping: Shama shares just a bit of her gifting life...

Best gift received: A care package that my friend Kaajal sent to me during my first month of law school. The package was filled with "artsy" items including hand-painted cappuccino cups, charcoal pencils, artist notecards, and lots of candy. The gift was her reminder for me not to get so caught up studying that I forget to make time for the things that I love.
Best gift given: A acrylic and oil painting that I painted. My friend loves my artwork so for her 30th birthday, I gifted a painting that I created just for her.
My "go-to" gift (to give): A healthy/fun cookbook
What's on your gift wish list:  I appreciate gifts that reflect my relationship with the gift giver...something thoughtful...not necessarily an expensive, material item.
Your most recent shopping splurge: A Macbook AIR!
Fill in the blank: I love shopping on etsy for one-of-a-kind, handmade products.

The Bow: Let's peek into the life of Shama...

On a Saturday afternoon you'd most likely find me...working on graphic design work for Flex + Fit. Graphic design work is my new creative outlet since I don't have the space to paint large canvases these days.
Favorite quote...Earn the right to be vain, choose to be humble.
I am most inspired by...people. Take the time to get to know people and learn their stories--they are who inspire me in business and my personal life.
I'd love to meet...Bethenny Frankel. She came from nothing and built a global empire and brand that is an inspiration to me. She's a strong, witty woman with a sharp tongue...I find her very easy to relate with!

Bzzz...If you want to learn more about Shama and her business, visit or Also, if you are interested in becoming a franchise owner with Flex + Fit please email to obtain a franchise application.

photo source: bizjournals/

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Experience: SouthPark Tree Lighting

If you haven't noticed it's beginning to look alot like Christmas--from the decor in stores to the holiday commercials on television. These activities may get you in the holiday spirit but what gets me going are two signature holiday events...the Fourth Ward Holiday Home Tour (future post?) and the SouthPark Tree Lighting! The tree lighting marks the season and the bright lights usher us into making Christmas lists and pondering who was naughty or nice. The lighting will take place this Friday at Symphony Park in South Park (corner of Barclay Downs Rd. and Morrison Blvd.) from 5-9pm.

In addition to the main event--the tree lighting (which Santa will be making a special appearance to help out with) there will be festivities for the entire family. Some activities include a trackless train, special musical guests, carriage rides and holiday carolers. The event will also feature Arthur Christmas, a family friendly movie.

The event is free and you are encouraged to bring blankets and well as head to the mall and begin (or continue) your holiday shopping!

picture source:
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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Katy Perry gifts Russell Brand a trip to space

Unfortunately the love of Katy Perry and Russel Brand did not last but I would like to acknowledge an out of this world present that Katy gifted Russell while they were still together...a $200,000 trip to space!

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

HoneeBee Gifts featured in The Charlotte Post


Hey there! On Thursday I was featured in The Charlotte Post. Writer Michaela Duckett conducted a fab interview...she was great to talk to and really excited to learn more about HoneeBee Gifts. I think this was reflected in the interview. Please see an excerpt below and click the link at the end to see the full article on The Charlotte Post website.

Gift-giving is not just for holiday season
Consultant's advice: The time's always right
The holiday shopping season will be in full swing in a couple of weeks as shoppers flood the malls in search of the perfect gifts for the special people in their lives. One local entrepreneur believes that gift giving should not be relegated to one time of year, but should occur all year long.

“I’ve always loved giving and receiving gifts,” says Simone McDowell, who launched the blog HoneeBee Gifts in 2008. “I just like seeing someone’s face when they get a good gift. I like the excitement when they are unwrapping it.”

McDowell, a public relations and marketing professional, says her passion for gifting began when she was a child.

“I always had such a fun holiday season with my family,” she says. ‘I feel like you should have that feeling all year round. It shouldn’t just be during the holidays.”

To read more (including the secret of the perfect gift) go here.


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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Winner Announcement....Pins Up, Pins Down Fashion Show

The lucky winner is...drumroll please....ERIN PHIPPS!!! Erin and up to six of her friends will enjoy a fab fashion show while sitting in VIP with a glass of bubbly! How fun!

Thanks to everyone who participated! Be sure to stay in touch with HoneeBee Gifts for all your gifting needs...and more giveaways:)
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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Experience: Pin up, Pin Down Fashion Event + WIN VIP TICKETS

Fashion rolls into 10 Park Lanes to create a one of a kind fashion show.The event brings fashion beyond Uptown, to Montford Drive and will showcase local boutiques including Blush, Summerbird, Sloan and many more.
The Pin Up, Pin Down event will take place on Sunday, November 11th at 6pm, with the fashion show beginning at 8:15 pm. The evening will include a mix of fashion and bowling, with models walking a new runway, the bowling lanes, while showcasing pieces reminiscent of the 1940’s and 50’s with a modern twist. There will also be a silent auction with items from Tiffany & Co., The Palm, 10 Park Lanes and others.

General tickets are available for $10 and VIP tables are $200 (which seats 4-6 people)and includes a bottle of Moet rose, luxury gift bag and appetizers. Following the event, guests will receive a discounted rate of $14 for all you can bowl. Tickets can be purchased here or you can win them from yours truly!!! Here's how...


One HoneeBee Gifts reader will win a VIP table to the Pin Up, Pin Down Fashion Show event. The VIP table will be for up to 6 people and include a round of champagne! 

To enter the contest:
1. Be an email subscriber of HoneeBe Gifts. Addresses are never spammed, shared or sold. If you’re not a subscriber yet, you can sign up now. You can also go to HoneeBee Gifts and click the "Subscribe" button in the toolbar. Make sure to check your inbox and spam folder after you sign up because you’ll have to confirm your registration.
2. Leave a comment to this post. Tell me your best bowling score. No worries, if it's "0", we've all been there! If it's a perfect 300, you are a bowling rockstar! The contest will be over on Wednesday, November 7th, 11:59pm.
3. One winner will be randomly selected on Thursday, November 8th, 2012. I will announce the winner and send you an email, so make sure you’re checking your inbox and spam folder. You’ll need to reply to me by Friday, NOON to confirm your attendance.
Bzzzz....for extra chances to win be sure to "LIKE" HoneeBee Gifts at and follow HoneeBee Gifts on Twitter at @honeebeegifts.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

HoneeBee Gifts buzzes around SouthPark Magazine (blvd. section)

Be sure to pick up the November issue of SouthPark Magazine (blvd. section) where I highlight the people, places and things in and around Charlotte. This month I interviewed an inspiring entrepreneur, L.T. Niosi and shared items that range from Himalayan salt shot glasses to clipboard picture frames. It all begins on page 15 and copies can be picked up here. Many of these items featured would make great gifts!
SouthPark Magazine is a speciality publication under the Charlotte Observer family. It is Charlotte's premier luxury lifestyle magazine and highlights various topics including fashion, travel, philanthropy and more.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Gift Tip #113: Party Confidential: new etiquette for fabulous entertaining

This small pink book shares the "new etiquette for fabulous entertaining" from great sources Lara Shriftman and Elizabeth Harrison who also own their namesake PR firm since 1995. Shriftman and Harrison, party planners to the stars share their tips gathered through first hand experiences.  Some of the topics highlighted in the book include how to throw a great bash, how to handle tipping at restaurants, guest code of conduct and giving the perfect toast. This handy party guide would be a welcome addition to an entertainer's bookshelf and your bestie who loves to have you over for impromptu hors d'oeuvres and cocktails.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

HoneeBee Quote

I tend to buy birthday presents on I'll get my girlfriends a great clutch or pair of shoes--something whimsical you wouldn't buy yourself.
Cat Deeley


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