A lot of holiday seasons go by where I am totally and utterly irresponsible with my spending habits. I think, "It's Christmas! I can spend as much money as I need to on presents. It's called the Season of Giving for a reason!" This mindset always comes back to bite me in January, because while it is fun to go shopping for gifts, it's not fiscally smart to blow your whole bank account. This year, I've decided to be more thoughtful in my gifting, while also trying to save money. Homemade gifts, if done well, are the best to receive. And what's more homey than a canned recipe? While I'm trying to decide what to can and give, I've found a lot of great recipes along the way, and I'm sharing them with you today! Keep reading for my favorite canned gifts to make and give in bulk.
If you're like me, you probably have a few artists, DIYers or crafters on your Christmas list this year. You might also be running out of ideas for gifts to give these creative individuals, especially if they've been on your nice list for awhile. In an effort to make your gift shopping a little easier this holiday season, here are some ideas of gifts for artists.
Themed gift baskets make amazing, affordable, and memorable gifts. The key is to pick the items carefully and to pay attention to the presentation. Here is a complete list of our very favorite gift basket ideas for everyone on your list, plus money-saving tips and tricks on assembling DIY gift baskets!
Are you in the mood to make some DIY gifts this holiday season? Then you'll want to peruse and pin our DIY gift guide. In it, we highlight 75 tutorials that cover just about everyone on your gift-giving list; mom, dad, girls, guys, tweens, kids, babies, fur-babies (that's cats and dogs to the uninitiated), hostess gifts and even teacher gifts. We've got it all covered. Take a look!
Believe it or not, the holidays are sneaking up on us rather quickly. So today we're going to help you get a leg up on gift giving, by sharing one of our first gift guides of the season. Looking for a present for the home cook, amateur chef or grill master in your life? Perfect. Read on!
Though the holidays are supposed to be a relaxing, fun time, for many of us they end up being stress-fests. Between shopping for gifts, preparing holiday meals and treats, and managing family interactions, it can be too easy to end the year feeling worn-out and frazzled. But that's where self-care comes in. Taking the time to give yourself a break can make a huge difference, and if that break takes the form of a hot bath for you, you can incorporate the rejuvenating scent of evergreens via these Christmas tree bath salts. Or package these bath salts up with some other bath luxuries, and give them as a gift!
A lot of us (myself included) are dealing with extra emotions during the holidays. Whether it's stress, anxiety, or sheer panic, the gift-giving deadlines that creep up at Christmastime can bring up all sorts of feelings. Maybe it's your nieces and nephews that are stressing you out because you have no idea what kids are even into anymore! Or maybe it's your mother-in-law who who already has everything she could ever want. Or maybe your husband, when asked what he'd like for Christmas, only answers with the not-so-helpful phrase, "Whatever you'd like to get me."
Fortunately, you're not alone. We're all in this together, and we're going to make it through another Christmas season. So let's take deep dive into Christmas gifts: what people like, where to find it, and how to stay calm until the 25th gets here.
From seasoned DIYers, Martha wannabes, lovable geeks, young ones or the young at heart, there's something for everyone on this gift guide no matter what the budget. What's better is that these gifts are unique, so they're perfect for those that have everything, which is just about everybody on my Christmas
If I'm being honest, I have to admit I spent altogether waaaay too long putting together this gift guide. I just couldn't help getting completely caught up in the myriad of amazing toys and gifts available for kids these days. And best of all, many of them are handmade! Click through for my favorite finds.
Having trouble coming up with ideas for the friends, family, neighbors, etc on your holiday list this year? Check out this list of gifts for anyone on your list (guy or gal), all under $40. There's a little something for everyone, from sake cups and calendars to woodcut note cards and
As we wrap up the year, it's always fun to look back at some of our favorite DIY projects from the last twelve months. This year we worked with The Home Depot to come up with a whole series of projects and tool reviews, called Tool School. Here's a look at some of the DIYs I liked best, along with the tools that made them possible, plus, a selection of new gift ideas just in time for your holiday shopping.
It's the holidays and, SURPRISE! Everyone is stressed.
Be it the in-laws, end of year deadlines, travel, or all the shopping, this is a time of year that just makes us crazy. And as hard as it is suffering from burnout ourselves, it's even harder watching it in someone you care about.
There are two little words that can help: self-care! (The Oxford Dictionaries just declared "toxic" the word of the year, but they must not spend much time on Pinterest. The word of the year is clearly self-care).
Today's gift idea is for that special someone, your S.O.S., Stressed-Out Spouse (or Partner, or Bestie, or Sibling, or Other Significant Person who needs help). This self-care gift basket will help remind them to slow down and be good to themselves.
I've broken this gift basket concept down into four different elements that are important for centering: sleep, stress reduction, mindfulness, and me-time. The best thing about putting together your own gift basket is that you can scout your local shops for unique, handmade items and support those small businesses.
Boston locals, I purchased everything for this self-care gift basket at Cambridge Naturals in Porter Square, my favorite source for organic and natural products. And of course, I'm including online sources for the rest of you!
Ready to see how you can put together your own epic self-care gift basket for the holidays? Don't worry, I won't judge if you end up wanting to keep it all to yourself!
Keep reading for our tips to make the most relaxing gift ever!
How to Make an Epic Self-Care Gift Basket
DIY Bergamot Pillow Spray
This is my own recipe for a super soothing pillow spray that helped me survive a long bout of insomnia. I've used it every day since and it never fails to mellow me out. Have your loved one spritz it on their pillow and sheets before getting in bed (if it's also your bed, be uber romantic and do it for them!), and they will be drifting off to sleep with a smile.
- glass spray bottle
- bergamot essential oil - reduces nervous tension, promotes calm
- vetiver essential oil - grounds emotions, induces restful sleep
- vanilla extract (yes, the kind you bake with, it's MUCH cheaper than vanilla essential oil)
To make your own bergamot pillow spray:
1. Fill your spray bottle nearly to the top with water. (Distilled water will make the spray last longer, but if it's used in under six months, filtered tap water is fine).
2. Add 40 drops bergamot essential oil, 15 drops vetiver essential oil, and a small splash of vanilla extract. Close the bottle, shake well, and give it a spritz to test. Adjust essential oil amounts as desired.
3. You can label the bottle with an old-fashioned label maker, washi tape, or a simple gift tag.
Our bodies need darkness to sleep. Help that S.O.S. block out all the little electronic lights, street lamps, and other sleep-inhibitors with a comfortable eye mask.
1. Gray cotton sleep mask
Reducing stress is an essential aspect of good self-care. You can help by taking over some chores or errands so your S.O.S. can carve out some time to detox (even friends can benefit from an extra set of hands). And, these gift basket items will add a little chill to their lives.
1. Little Moon Essentials Tired Old-Ass Aromatherapeutic Mineral Bath Salt Soak
It smells delicious AND it's got a great tongue-in-cheek name, what could be better? A relaxing soak is perfect to help ease stress and tension. This particular soak from Little Moon has a very "gender-neutral" scent (i.e., it doesn't smell like flowers). If your S.O.S. doesn't have a bathtub, it would make a great foot soak as well.
Want to make your own bath salt? Try The Merrythought's recipe:
2. Badger Stress Soother Aromatherapy Balm
This balm is so relaxing when rubbed onto the temples and insides of the wrists. I love applying it when I know my day is going to be particularly hectic.
3. The Friendly Swede Stress Relief Therapy Squishy Ball
Yes, a stress ball! Having a physical object to focus on is extremely helpful for calming nerves. Plus, your S.O.S. will have the strongest grip ever. A stone to keep in their pocket is another great alternative. You can even paint it with a mindful message.
3. Be Mindful
Speaking of being mindful, we all know that studies have proven that mindfulness is beneficial to our emotional and psychological health. Mindfulness effects our bodies too, by lowering blood pressure, relieving chronic pain, improving sleep, and more. I can't think of a better gift than that! Try some of these items to help your S.O.S. start a mindfulness practice.
Sitting down with an aromatherapy candle--with a wooden wick, please--is a great way to start being mindful. The scents engage your senses, and the wooden wick crackles, just like a campfire. Have you ever seen anyone not in the moment when there's a campfire around? Yeah, same effect.
2. Made Out of Stars: A Journal for Self-Realization, by Meera Lee Patel
A guided journal encourages mindfulness by asking you to reflect. I've been following Meera Lee Patel on Instagram, and just love her gentle messages of kindness towards oneself.
For a more minimal journaling approach, try The Five Minute Journal: A Happier You in 5 Minutes a Day, or a simple Moleskine Notebook, for the S.O.S. who already likes to journal.
You just can't have self-care without a little indulgence! To me, relaxing during the holidays (or anytime, let's be honest) is all about little luxuries. This whole self-care gift basket is already pretty luxurious, but I included a few special products to really up the "spa day" feeling.
1. Heart Grown Wild Truth Facial Steam
FACIAL. STEAM. Just those words feel luxurious. Tell your S.O.S. to add this blend of herbs to a bowl of boiling water, and lean over it with a towel over their head. Instant extravagance. If your local natural foods store has a good bulk section, you can even create your own blend.
A totally scientific survey of my circle of friends has taught me that a good sugar scrub is universally delightful. Give one to your S.O.S. to help them scrub away toxins both physical and emotional.
Don't forget a soft, gentle cloth, like a Turkish towel, to make your S.O.S. really feel like they are in a fine spa. Plus, you can nestle all the gift items in the towel for presentation!
So what do you think of this DIY self-care gift basket idea? Do you have someone in your life who could use some extra "them" time? (Better question is probably, do you know anyone who doesn't?)
What else would you include to help make a meaningful self-care basket? Let us know in the comments!
It's that time of year where you scour shops for the perfect gift for the guy in your life. You want something that will make him "ooh" and "ahh," or smile and chuckle. We know coming up with gift ideas for men can be tough. Lots of guys aren't willing (or able) to tell you what they really want. And thinking of holiday or birthday gifts for men that are really unique can feel overwhelming.
We've taken out a lot of the work and rounded up the coolest gifts for men from around the web! From tools to gourmet food kits to wooden cuff links, there's something for every man on your list. Here are our favorite gifts for men, in varying price points (and from a variety of shops). We've also included a bunch of DIY gifts - cool ideas you can make yourself!
If you scroll down this page, you'll find we've done hours of research looking for the best holiday gifts, birthday gifts, and DIY ideas.
It's hard to believe that it's that time of year again, isn't it? Time to scour the stores and internet for the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. Well if you need a present for a lover of tech gadgets, we've got you covered. Click through to check out our picks ranging in price from $20 to $200.
1. Belkin Wireless Charging Station - Charge your devices with this handy wireless charger - it's great for the guest room! $40
2. Tile Key Finder / Phone Finder - Find your keys, phone, or anything else you often lose with these helpful little gadgets. $70
3. WeMo Mini Smart Plug - Control lights and appliances right from your phone. $35
4. Roku Streaming Stick - A more cost effective way to stream TV. $50
5. Portable Ultra Compact Portable Charger - Charge your phone up twice... and super quickly with this tiny portable charger. $26
6. Prynt Pocket Instant Photo Printer - Print out all those images you have on your phone with the touch of a button. $150
7. Bose Soundlink Micro Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker - Bring your tunes anywhere with this handy waterproof speaker from Bose. $100
8. Instant Pot Slow Cooker - Take "set it and forget it" to a whole new level with everyone's favorite digital slow cooker. $100
9. Chamberlain My-Q Garage - Monitor and control your garage door opener from your phone with this clever device. $70
10. Nest Smoke Detector - Get emergency updates from your phone when you install a Nest Smoke Detector in your home. $118
11. Force1 Foldable Drone - Have a little fun with this foldable drone that takes live video. $100
12. Sense Smart Water Sensor - Make sure your basement isn't flooding with this clever water sensor which you can connect to your phone. $74
13. Google Home - Control all of your smart devices, check your Google calendar, find out the weather and more using this tech powerhouse. $99
14. Symphonized Wraith Bluetooth Wireless Headphones - These stylish headphones have real wooden accents and get great reviews on Amazon. $75
15. Sonos Play:1 Speaker - Sonos speakers connect to each other as a system, and this compact one has surprisingly rich sound for its size. $149
16. Ezmino Wi-Fi Indoor Camera - Keep track of your home while you're away right from your phone with this handy little camera. $72
17. Philips Hue Light Bulb Starter Kit - Control your lights from your phone with these amazing bulbs from Philips. $100
18.Ecobee Smart Wi-Fi Thermostat - This thermostat is similar to the Nest, but it has a sensor that you can place elsewhere which is handy if the thermostat you're replacing is located in a different room than you're heating. $250
19. iGrill Mini Grill Thermometer - Control the temperature of the food you're grilling right from your phone with this handy gadget. $40
20. Amazon Echo - Connect all of your smart devices, then just ask Alexa to control them... what will they think of next?! $70