I don’t know about you dear reader but I’m more time rich than cash rich at the moment.
Finding different ideas for gifts can be fun and I’ve been trolling the web for a few suggestions:-
- Give a voucher of your time … to babysit or spend time with someone
- Give a voucher of your skills … offer to … take photos; make a meal; build something; design a blog; write a resume; show someone how to do woodwork …
- Get some clay plant pots and put in bulbs or some other indoor plants that will provide scent and colour when it’s a bit winter grey. Get the ribbon and frou frous from Dee’s if you live in Ballinamore
- Knit scarves … I’m making a few as presents and all I do is the knit stitch for about 40 rows … too lazy to do pearl! Dee has wool in her shop
I made up these pots over the weekend – ribbon & butterflies from Dee’s.
I went to the opening of a lovely beauty + hair+wellbeing shop in Ballinamore a few Sundays ago.
It’s called Enhance. Just click the link and you can get all the details of treatments (I clicked on it and it’s being upgraded … pop into the Ballinamore salon for a brochure of treatments).
The place looks and feels very welcoming and has a total experience of services. It is owned by Grainne Caldbeck (who I hear has given treatments to Posh and Becks).
Decleor and Dermalogica are the skincare ranges that are used and when I had a free hand massage at the opening (thanks Helen) the Decleor oil smelled divine … and made my hands feel great.
Enhance provides a range of services – a kind of one stop beauty and relaxation centre.
Manicures & Pedicures
Massage & Facials
As soon as I can I’m in there for a massage. The room is really relaxing and warm.
Suntanning in a booth that looks like a modern tardys
Enhance also do – waxing, tinting, face mapping, body wraps, sinus relief treatment, laser technology, gel nails, spray on tans & the list is endless.
I was shown around by a lovely woman called Helen and all the staff were really friendly.
Enhance own 2 other salons in Carrick and Boyle.
They also can cater for groups of women who want to have a pampering session – a great pre or post Xmas relaxer.
Gift ideas for the men – get a voucher for your wife/sister/mum/gran/friend – and see how many smiles you get.
Men – DO NOT – under any circumstances – get your female loved ones – flowers, chocolates or kitchen/cleaning gadgets – use your imagination.
More make your own Xmas ideas
- I’m going to be making Cookies in a Jar as presents. You put together the ingredients … write the recipe on a label … stick it on a jar… wrap a lovely ribbon around it … easy peasy
2 cups sugar
1 cup cocoa
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup chocolate chips
Mix all the ingredients together and store in an airtight container.
Attach this to the Jar on a label
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
1 package Double-Fudge Brownie Mix
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (180C). Grease a 12 by 9 inch pan. In the large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition (you can do all this by hand as well). Add the Double-Fudge Brownie Mix & continue to beat the mixture until it is smooth. Spread the mixture into the greased pan, & bake for 40 to 50 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly and then cut into squares.
Chocolate Cranberry Cookies Mix in a Jar
Layer the following ingredients in order in a jar:
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder (clean inside of jar with tissue after this layer)
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed firmly
1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
1 cup chocolate chips
1 3/4 cups flour plus 1 teaspoon baking powder plus
1/2 teaspoon baking soda (mixed)
Remember to press firmly between each layer. Place lid and ring onto jar.
Attach the following recipe on a gift tag:
Chocolate Cranberry Cookies:
Empty jar of cookie mix into large mixing bowl. Add 1 1/2 sticks butter or margarine, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mix until completely blended. Shape into balls and place 2 inches apart on sprayed baking sheets. Bake at 375 degrees F (180C) for 13-15 minutes.
Makes 2 1/2 dozen cookies.
- Make chocolate truffles
- One year I got some really cheap blank page books and filled them with hand written recipes (you can type and print them), quotes, a special letter to the friend, funny cartoons … anything really … it was a fun scrapbook with tasty and easy recipes they could try through the year.
- There are places online (and most computers have the software) where you can make a customized calendar. I did that a few years ago and put together family photos as well as photos from my Oz visits.
- Make up a basket that has stuff in it your friend would like … gardening? Put in some seeds, a voucher from the local garden shop, & a hat … movies? Some sweets, a DVD, popcorn … lolling? Bath oil, candle & a mini bottle of sparkling wine with a glass …
- Put together CD’s of your loved ones favourite music. My brother Marc made me some great cassettes (it was 15 years ago!) when I moved from Oz to Ireland and he made me some CD’s of great music when I visited him in 2008.
None of these take heaps of time … and they don’t cost very much money.
And … the person receiving the gift will appreciate the time and effort you have taken to make something unique.
What would I like from Santa this year?
- Bags of coal – my fire is eating coal at a rate that scares me
- Lancome moisturizer as mine is nearly gone
- A Citroen 2CV – I love love love them and if anyone knows of one for sale or barter near Leitrim … let me know. I have a recurring vision of me and Coco puppy driving in one to Garadice Lake … with her head sticking through the roof
- Some walking boots/shoes that are waterproof & comfortable
- A few bottles of sparkling drink to sip by the fire