Christmas shopping isn’t easy

I always have these great ideas for Christmas gifts, but I don’t necessarily always know any one who I could give them to. So I thought I would put together a little guide in the hopes that these ‘ideas’ can benefit someone else:

  1. Personalised Calendars
    I already got this for my parents’ anniversary, but I am still considering making one for a few other people. There are many websites that allow you to create them online but you have to pay the company to print it and wait for them to ship it so I set out to find websites that allow you to print your own calendars from the comfort of your own home:

    • HP has an online tool that allows you customise your calendar online. The down side is that they have a limited number of designs to choose from. But if you’re strapped for time and/or don’t have MS Publisher or even MS Word – it would be your best bet as I didn’t find any other online photo calendar editor. To see a sample of what you can create click here1.
    • Of course if you have MS word or publisher you can always download calendar templates from the Microsoft Office Online website. But this is only available to you if you have a valid Microsoft Office Suite key, which I apparently do not2.
    • Also, since I ended up not using any of the above mentioned options however, and created my own template. Final Calendar size is 5″ x 7″ (wxh) – if you’d like a copy of this template ((its in MS Word format)) , please email me at reggysy at yahoo dot ca. I didn’t want to leave it as a link in case a lot of people downloaded it and my (blog) world as I knew it came crashing down on me.
  2. Baked goods
    I like to give everyone presents, and when I can’t buy them something nice I like to make them something tasty. Here are some great baked ideas for gifts:

    • Cupcakes: This is probably my favourite baked good to give for Christmas as you can decorate them with lots of tasty treats3.
    • Macaroons: Quick, easy, and super tasty. Just place in a basket and wrap with cellophane and tie with some decorative ribbon and you’re golden4
    • Cookies: Cookies are also quick and easy and really who doesn’t like cookies? If you want to try something different, instead of making round cookies – making shaping them so they’re like cookie sticks and place them in a jar5 that you can decorate with some ribbon and a simple gift tag.
  3. Speciality kits
    I wouldn’t suggest giving this kind of a gift to just anybody, and while this doesn’t necessarily fall under a gift that you make; it is a gift that you put together for someone so I’m putting it under these category:

    • Sewing craft kit: needles, thread, buttons, zippers, fancy zip pulls, pin cushions, chalk (for marking material, and so on.
    • Painting kit: You don’t have to go all out; you can start a person off with three tubes of paint6, one paint brush and one canvas. If you can find a cheap easel7, it would make this gift all that much more special.
    • A Bartender kit: Grab a wine opener, a mini bottle of vodka or gin8, and a mini drink recipe book that you put together yourself9 and stick it in a cocktail shaker. If you like, you can add some ice cube trays and an ice bucket and put the stuffed cocktail shaker inside.

And I think that’s all I have for you today. I’m sorry there are no demonstrations but if you’d like more information feel free to ask me questions in the comments!

Do you have any Christmas gift ideas you can pass on?

Footnotes:
  1. will open a pdf file in a new window[]
  2. shhhh don’t tell anyone[]
  3. I realise you can do it with cookies too but I prefer cupcakes[]
  4. brown, just like the macaroons hehe[]
  5. that you can get from the dollar store[]
  6. think primary colours[]
  7. a tabletop easel tends to be cheaper[]
  8. depending on the person’s preference[]
  9. just look up recipes on the internet![]

Flickr Friday: Not pink today

Balcony boys and the stage

A few months ago a good friend of mine asked me if I wanted to go see the Jason Mraz concert in October; I agreed even though I wasn’t a fan of his music1. Despite being on a school night2, I had a great time. Jason Mraz is quirky, charming, expressive and extremely talented. My favourite will always be John Mayer but I am glad I didn’t miss out on Wednesday night’s concert.

I like this photo because it shows you the quirky kind of stuff that Jason Mraz does at his concerts3. The three brass players would wander around the entire stage for most of the night, but for this particular song they came up to the balcony and played facing the stage. It was awesome!

I also like the entire set of pictures from the evening because it’ll forever be a positive reminder that trying new things is the only way to live life!

Do you try new things or do you let the fear take control?

Footnotes:
  1. actually, I’m not a nonfan… I just didn’t listen to him per se[]
  2. work night[]
  3. not that I would be an expert since this was my first one[]

Flickr Friday: Chicago Airport

Chicago AirportWow, what a boring title. A lot of my older photos will have boring titles because I simply didn’t care – and I’ve been too lazy to change them. So you’re stuck with this one. This photo was taken when I had a 6+ hour layover in Chicago Airport on one of my many trips to Dublin, Ireland. I chose it for today’s Flickr Friday in celebration of the fact that I will be booking my trip to Dublin for New Year’s!

It’s not a long standing tradition, but it’s been a tradition since I met him in 2004 that our group of friends celebrates New Year’s by driving to another part of Ireland, rentind holiday homes and partying for 3-4 days. Since I had already gone over for a holiday in May, I didn’t think I was going to be going this New Year’s but his recent visit over made me realise that it was insane of me not to do so. We1 don’t have many more years before doing this sort of thing is out of the question. Once marriage and families come into the picture it’s harder to gather a group of our size and go away and party for 3 days straight.

Already this year, one couple from the group will not be able to make it since they’ll be in the U.S., and they’ll be sorely missed – but the show must go on. I only hope its worth it; I was originally planning on only going for 7 days but as it turns out the flights are cheaper if I stay for 10 days. Of course that means I’ll end up spending more money because I’ll be there longer – but hopefully it won’t be too bad.

Oops, I guess I should talk about the photo a little bit: I felt quite lucky getting this photo, and if you read the comment that afewscoops left on the photo page you’ll know why. It was taken in 2005 so security should have been strict, but I was still able to snap this beauty. Its not as clear as I would like it but I still like it. I hope you do too!

Footnotes:
  1. the group[]

Flickr Friday: Paws up

Paws up

Yes, its time for another cat post. For those who are new to my blog, Flickr Friday is my chosen method of showcasing my favourite photos from my flickr photostream on my blog. Today’s Flickr Friday is dedicated to my beautiful little girl, Serine. We’ve had some problems with her using the entire house as a litter box, but I think we’ve finally solved the problem.

I’m ashamed to say that the problem was me. You see, my Mum ended up cleaning her litter more often than I did because I was just plain lazy1. And I think she didn’t like that, she wanted me to go be the one in there cleaning her litter. The change was almost instantaneous, and after 3 days of consecutively using her litter tray properly we let her out of her little room2. So now, she’s roaming the house free and has been my good little girl.

I was really worried for a while there because if she didn’t learn how to use her tray, I would have lost the battle against my parents to keep her. You see, we’ve all developed allergies3: My Mum was the first to get it, then me and now my Dad has developed a whooping cough that just won’t go away4. And I think we can deal with just the allergies alone, but using the entire house as a litter box is just not going to cut it anymore. Now I may be speaking too soon because it’s only been a few days since she’s been out of her room but I’m hopeful.

She’s quite a bit younger in this photo, but it’s one of my favourites; it reminds me of the days when I was able to let her sleep with me in my room. How I long for those days, but my allergies would keep me up if I were to let her sleep with me now. *sigh* What’s a girl to do?

Have you ever had this problem with a pet? How did you solve it?

Footnotes:
  1. it started out as me being too busy with school, but then it turned into laziness[]
  2. oh, did I forget to mentioned my parents locked her up in a room while I was staying at the apt with the bf? My bad[]
  3. all except my brother anyway[]
  4. the dr is telling him it’s allergies, we’re assuming it’s to the cat[]