Tag Archives: gifts

holiday wrap up

28 Dec

Oy.

I’m feeling the post-holiday impact. True, we still have New Year’s to ring in, but the giant feasts, present wrapping and family wrangling are behind us. It always leaves me feeling simultaneously wistful and grateful.

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season. I got completely spoiled in the kitchen by the wonderful Jim. I received a set of pots and pans that I’ve been wanting for some time now, but couldn’t really justify splurging on. I had very specific things I wanted in a set (stainless, tri-ply, no non-stick, glass lids) so when I came across a set that met my desires, it seemed too good to be true… but I didn’t really need them. They are a great deal though, very high quality but not too expensive. Not wanting to play with fate and have them go out of production, Jim got them for me, along with a stocking full of fun kitchen gadgets I can’t wait to play with.

Did you do any fun holiday baking?

Like these delicious Cranberry Almond Squares from Baking Bites… (veganized with applesauce for the eggs). I also added a little almond extract to make them very almond flavored.

Some Lemon Drop Cookies…

The often imitated but never rivaled Chocolate Peanut Butter Shells (my favorite!)

Some Spice Spiked Chocolate Chunk Cookies.

Some Chewy Chocolate Peppermint Cookies topped with some Chocolate UFOs from Trader Joe’s.

All were safely stowed away into festive tins for our co-workers to enjoy!

What treats did you indulge in?

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holiday gift ideas

29 Oct

If you’ve been a long time reader of this blog or my previous one, you know how crazy excited I get about the holidays. I LOVE everything about the holiday season, from Thanksgiving stuffing to New Year’s black eyed peas. I like to plan ahead for holiday gift giving as well. The cusp of November isn’t really planning that far ahead, but I wanted to share some unique ideas with you as that time of year is approaching. You could always can something yummy for your loved ones, make a fun cooking zine or bring tins of holiday cookies to share, of course, but in the spirit of consumerism, here are some very thoughtful gift ideas I’ve discovered recently that you might like, too.

My lovely co-worker, Molly, does more than rock the Marketing Department. She is also an awesome green craftster who crochets functional and stylish items from plastic bags. The majority of her products are bag-related (shopping bag, market bag, purse, messenger bag) but she also makes rugs, bowls, coasters and a variety of other neat items that are not only cool, but kind to the Earth. All of her items are made from 100% recycled content, with her supplies coming from plastic shopping bags that would otherwise be thrown out.

molly

Red Spec and Striped Tote

molly1

Tan Striped Market Bag

molly2

Spec and Stripe Plastic Rug

I’m buying some of her market bags to put jars of jam in for the holidays- a fun, functional gift that is sure to be used and remembered. Because her items are handmade, planning ahead for the holidays is important! You can check out her etsy store here.

I have another gift idea that might be a bit emotional, but is truly beautiful. The company Memory Pendants hand makes beautiful, personalized pendants to remember your loved ones by. 2 1/2 years ago my father passed away and this summer I decided I wanted to get some sort of memory pendant to put some of his ashes in. I looked at just about every store online I could find, but nothing really seemed to fit both my taste and my dad’s memory. Then I came across the Huffman’s site.

pendant

They have a variety of pendant options, but the gist of it is that you send a very tiny amount of cremation remains and they hand build a pendant of your choosing around the remains. You can choose the colors, shape, etc, whether you want the remains visible or not and they made it a very sweet and caring process. I chose to have the remains visible in the very center and I selected blues (for my dad) and greens (for me). I absolutely love the pendant and wear it almost daily. The smooth glass front of it acts as a worry stone of sorts, as I find myself constantly rubbing my thumb across it.

If you or someone close to you has lost someone dear, this is a really nice way to keep them close to you. Memory Pendants can include the remains of more than one person and also do pet remains, locks of hair and create several other products as well. Because they are hand made, this is definitely something to order ahead as well, as it’s a little bit of a process (mailing things back and forth), but well worth it.