Friday, August 24, 2012

I Get By With a Little Help from My Friends

Today, I need to ask you, dear readers, for some advice.  Unfortunately, this is not for my husband's eyes, so if you are married to me, do not read any further.  Thanks!

So, our first anniversary is just over two weeks away, and, as usual, I have procrastinated on my gift giving responsibilities.  We are going on a rather large and expensive trip in just a few weeks, so we actually agreed not to exchange gifts (which means I will expect a gift and not get one, but that is besides the point).

Traditionally, the anniversary gift for the one year is paper.  There are a lot of great ideas one can do for a paper anniversary, but my research has been focussed on things that can be handmade (and therefore cheap since I don't have a job and all).  I found a few cute ideas out there, but my favorite was this map collage of places special to the couple:

Via Etsy seller Bombus

At $520 (without the frame) there's no chance I'm buying this thing from the seller.  I mean, it's cute, but it is also just sixteen little hearts cut out from maps and glued onto a piece of paper.  In no universe could I justify that cost for something I'm fairly confident I can do myself.

So, I hit up a couple of Goodwill shops in my area and came back with three world atlases for this project.  Between the three, I have more than enough options for the special places I want to highlight with this gift.  But, I can't decide on a few things and hopefully you will be so kind to give me your opinions.  

First, I don't know if I love the heart shapes.  This is a gift for my husband (in theory, in all honesty, it's probably more for me), and he just isn't much of a 'hearts' guy.  I have no illusions that he will want to hang this in his office or anything, but I want him to like it in the very least.  My other shape options are oval or round, but they seem almost too boring.  Yes, I know I am over thinking this.

Second, I can't decide on the locations.  I know I want to include:
  1. Where we met/got married (they're so close on the map that they will be one cut out)
  2. Where we got engaged
  3. Special trips we've been on (Puerto Rico, Forks, and possibly our honeymoon in Orlando)
  4. Our first home here in DC
Other places I am considering including where Brian grew up (and we've visited his family multiple times), our anniversary trip coming up, and another place we are visiting this fall.  I didn't know whether the places we have yet to visit should really make the cut though, since we have yet to be there.

I just keep going in circles, so I need your help!

So, (1) What shape (2) Which locations?

Thanks in advance and happy weekend :)


So, I took your suggestions on round and/or square shapes instead of the ubiquitous heart, and I have a winner--round!  I don't have a square shape and I know for a fact that I cannot cut straight lines to save my life, so I am going to stick with the tool I have that cuts perfect circles for me.

But now, I need to ask you what size and arrangement you think looks best.

Option 1: 12 Larger circles-everything is nice and cozy

Option 2:  9 Larger circles-more focus on select places

Option 3: 12 Smaller Circles--less map, more places

DC has apparently turned me into the most indecisive person ever.  Your help is much appreciated!


  1. Not to throw a wrench into the shape debate, but what about squares and/or rectangles (maybe even done in collage fashion with different sizes and shapes)?

    I like the idea of including future trips. It can be like one of those past/present/future three stone diamond rings, only way less expensive. Plus if it's on your wall it's more likely that you will actually go to the future trip locations.

    Where are you guys going for your anniversary?

    1. I'm not exactly sure which Elizabeth this is, since I know a few, but I think I have an idea :)
      I like the idea of squares! I'm using a particular tool to cut them out though, so I'll have to see if I have a square first (when Brian is not sitting next to me, of course)
      And, the future trips are legit, since we have the plane tickets purchased, I just wondered if it was a bad omen or something. I'm superstitious like that.
      And, you'll have to wait and see where our trip is! Or, text me.

  2. 1. I like the idea of squares :)
    2. The place you met and the place you got married should be two...if only slightly different maps...can you do that?
    3. Hometowns for both of you? I mean, you both spent a long time in your hometown prior to the wedding.
    4. I would definitely put your honeymoon trip. Maybe THAT shape should be a mickey head ;)

    1. 1. I like you. And squares.
      2. I wanted them to be two, but they are so close! There are a few maps without my hometown on them (cause it's so small), so maybe I could use one of those for the place where we met. What do you think of that?
      3. That is true. I just think that hometowns are special to us both individually (obviously) and as a couple since without them (and the upbringings in those places) we would not have been who we are and met and all that jazz. Can you follow that crazy reasoning?
      4. LOVE this! I probably won't, cause I'll screw it up trying to cut it out, but I do love it so! My only issue is that a proper atlas does not recognize Disney World as a city, wtf?! So it will just be Orlando/Kissimmee/whatever else is around there.
      Thanks for your input!! I appreciate it so much!

  3. I'm a new follower over from Weddingbee. I really like this idea for a 1st anniversary gifts- and the circles look great. I would go for the 9 larger circles- the 12 look too sqeezed together.


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