Month: April 2017

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Great Gift Ideas for Loved Ones, That Leave a Lasting Impression

With so many choices available these days, it might be difficult to choose the perfect gift for that special loved one.  I hope this article helps give you some ideas.

If you are a crafty, creative person, you might choose to make something endearing and wonderful for that special person.  Here are my favorites for the crafty folks out there:

A Memory Quilt:

For a memory quilt, all you need is favorite articles of clothing that can no longer be worn, a cheap blanket (for the lining), and the fabric of your choice for the backing, joining pieces, and binding.  Make your quilt top from the old clothing and assemble the rest of the quilt as you would any other.

The “Mini-Me” Stuffed Animal:

This project works really well for baby clothes that your child has outgrown – footy pajamas or baby snow suits are really good choices because you can just stuff the outfit and attach a head and paws.  You can even add a personal touch by embroidering a name or initials on the clothes first or even by adding an inexpensive locket with a baby picture in it.

The Time-Honored Photo Album:

Always a good choice for a lasting, special gift!  My grandmother made a photo album for me when I was about 11 years old.  It was covered in a pretty orchid colored fabric and trimmed with eyelet lace.  She even filled it with pictures in chronological order so that I had a nice personal history to look through.

The Personal Newspaper:

Most word processing programs have a newsletter template that you can use to make a personal newspaper for that special someone.  For my mother’s 50th birthday, that’s just what I did.  I wrote a “newspaper” for her that highlighted the exciting events and accomplishments.  She loved it and still cherishes it to this day.

A Photographic Family Tree:

I think this is a wonderful gift idea for any age!  Find photos of your family that go back as far as possible and arrange them in a frame or set of frames in family groupings just like you would on a written family tree.

A Week of Wishes:

For that special day, assemble a ticket book for that special someone.  For a mom, the tickets could be for free dish-washing for the day or sock sorting.  For that special birthday person, the tickets could be for a free movie or a trip to the local mall.  You get the idea.

If you’re not so crafty or you really don’t have the time to make anything, there are many gifts to buy that are just as wonderful.  Here are my favorites:

A Mother’s Ring:

You can have a ring designed that has the birthstones in it of all the important people in your loved one’s life.  My aunts and uncles pitched in to buy my grandmother one of these wonderful rings many years ago.  My grandmother cherished it and wore to the very end of her days.

If a ring isn’t your loved one’s style, you can have a pendant for a necklace designed the same way.  And, with a pendant, there is more freedom in the design you choose.

A Personalized T-Shirt or Coffee Mug:

Most print shops will take custom orders for mugs or t-shirts.  Have them printed with a favorite picture or special date.  Have a set made for your next family reunion or holiday get together.  Everyone is sure to love them!

A Personalized Jigsaw Puzzle:

Have a favorite picture converted into a jigsaw puzzle that your loved one can put together over and over again.  Or, they could put it together once and attach to a backing for a super special picture to hang on their wall!.

All-Expenses Paid Vacation:

While this option might be too expensive for some people, you can’t deny how memorable a gift such as this would be!  For a whole family, maybe a trip to Disneyland.  For that special couple, a romantic weekend get-away.  If a whole vacation is not in your budget, you might consider an extra special meal – send that special couple to the restaurant he proposed in.  For that family full of excited children, maybe a big pizza party at an arcade.

Best Tips on Shopping for Generic Brands

There is no doubt that advertisement is a very powerful tool when it comes to influencing our choice of brands. TV commercials are capable of shaping even toddlers’ desires for certain commodities. Most of us, consciously or inadvertently, base our decisions about what to buy on advertisements. However, it is never a good idea to have blind brand loyalty since most of the time, the only big difference between a popular national brand product and its generic version might just be in the pricing only.

How Do I Know When To Buy Generics And When Not to?

At times the brand-name products might offer you something unique, but in most of the times, they never. The best way to easily make accurate conclusions is through the following tips:

Do your own independent comparison.

The easiest way to find out the difference is by buying a brand-name product and its generic version, then going ahead to use them both concurrently. For instance you can try this on paper towels or diapers. Apply this experimentation on various commodities and make your own conclusions on what commodities are fit as generics and when it is worth spending an extra coin on a brand-name product.

Check out labels.

Hold the brand-name product and its generic version side by side and check out their labels with a view of making a comparison of their ingredients. In case you are buying over-the-counter medicines, check out the components making up the medicine (Active ingredients)

Some of the Brand-Name Commodities with Great Generic Brands

1 – Over-the-counter medications

 According to the requirements of the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brand-name and generic medications must always meet the same safety standards and contain similar ingredients. It is very easy for people to think that if a commodity costs more, then it is automatically of better quality. But this is never the case for generic drugs since their quality standards are always similar.

2 – Water

To save some money, store brands are always the best, whenever you need bottled water. But you can always forget about bottled water and go for tap water – the typical water generic. All you need is a good filter to run your tap water through. Compared to tap water, even generic bottled water is unnecessarily expensive and not any safer since research has shown that a quarter of all bottled water stocked in stores originates directly from taps. As a matter of fact, the government has no requirement of bottled water to be any safer than tap water; instead, the reverse is true. Considering all these the facts, buying generic water brands is always advisable instead of brand-name water.

3 – Milk

Your milk is likely to be fresher if your dairy is more local. Always check out the bottle and carton labels to see the origin of the milk. You might just discover that the more expensive brand-name product actually originates from the same dairy as the cheaper store-brand product. The same applies to groceries. It is no wonder then that store-brand milk and groceries are normally more popular among consumers. However, it is important to note that not all generics of dairy products might be the best. For instance, you might need to avoid generic yogurt since it is likely to contain excess sugar and additives.

4 – Prescription drugs

Just like it is the case with over-the-counter medications all the generic prescription drugs have to meet very stringent government guidelines. According to FDA, the generic brands of prescription drugs are just replicas of the brand-name medicines and they both come with the same dosage, strength, safety, quality, performance characteristics, route of administration, as well as the intended use. The best thing about generics is that, they can save you up to 95% of the total cost of your medicine.

5 – Baby Formula

Just like most foodstuffs and drugs, baby formula is also regulated by the FDA which sees to it that generics retain the same quality standards as those of the brand-name products. This is one product that is taken very seriously by the FDA since any deficiency of essential ingredients in the baby formula might cause serious health and growth defects on young children. Therefore, as much as your baby might be choosy and prefers some brands of baby formula to others, all the baby formulas in the US, whether brand –name or generic, have to meet the same strict FDA standards of safety and quality.

Generic Shopping for Unique but Cheap Gifts – Best Christmas Gift Ideas

In today’s fast paced world, people are ever busy and always trying to catch up with deadlines and hitting targets at work, as well as carrying out personal chores at home. This means that sometimes, we can get overwhelmed by mundane things such as making a shopping list and finding the holiday gifts that you need to buy for your loved ones.

However, the hardest part of buying gifts for loved ones is not even the time needed to do it or their cost; it is the thoughtfulness that one needs to put into it in order to buy really apt gifts for each member of the family and friends in your gift list. This needs thorough planning and a lot of thinking. Many people are used to the last minute rush whereby they end up buying gifts that look so awkward and disappointing when opened by a loved one. Such people always have a cliché excuse that “It is the thought that counts.” This is normally a lame excuse for inconsiderate gift-giving habits!

As you will realize, it is not the cost of the gift but the thoughtfulness which goes into it that counts when buying a loved one a special gift. To avoid embarrassment by buying awkward gifts in your next generic Christmas gift shopping, here are a few suggestions of affordable but unique gifts that you can always buy for someone special and leave a lasting impression. These are gifts that can afford you more for less.

Nice decorative recipe cards plus a pretty little box ( Preferably containing some of your best recipes)

The recipes that you get from the internet or a book can be quite something. However, there is something quite special about recipes that you receive from people who matter to you; quite sentimental.

A unique poster or print encased in a nice frame

If you are buying gifts for people in their 20s, probably their walls need some nice decor. However, this is one of the trickiest gifts that you can pick for a person. But, thanks to the internet, you can now access really good stuff made by highly talented artists. If they are into music, a unique poster of their favourite musician or band can come in handy. You can also check out Etsy or Tumblr for fan art prints.  This might need quite some searching over the internet and some scratching of your head to remember each individual’s passions for you to get the right print, but it will definitely be worth it.

Scented Candles

A few days to Christmas, it is normal for almost each house to be filled with the sweet aroma of pine.  However, in the days after Christmas, once the pine tree has dried and has been disposed off, it is time for the nice aroma of a scented candle to fill the house. However, you must be mindful that some people are actually very allergic to strong smells, hence might find strongly scented candles more irritating than soothing.

Some Kitchen tools

Stocking one’s first kitchen with stuff that might last for a while is never an easy thing. If you have a friend or a loved one who is starting to live on their own, think of basic kitchen stuff like a nice potato peeler, can opener, or corkscrew. For fancier stuff, go for a pastry cutter, potato masher or a garlic press. You can also add some colour by throwing in a nice tea towel.

Christmas Tree Ornament

You can easily recall your favourite Christmas tree ornaments as a kid. As much as you did not understand their origin, you always fought with your siblings about who was to put them on tree! You completely cherished the presence of those little things, as a child. You can still start amassing a Christmas tree ornament collection. Giving your friends such ornaments as gifts might help them to avoid those gold balls that always keep on falling off their Christmas tree.

A unique memento

One of the most thoughtful gifts that you can give to a loved one is a nice memento. For instance, if you have a mother, she most definitely loves you so-so. Getting her a nice picture of you enclosed in a nice frame, that she can put on her desk at work or easily hang up somewhere in her living room, can be quite thoughtful. If you have children, their framed photos can also be a terrific gift. She would really love to stare at the little pretty faces hanging from her living room wall and think how blessed she is.

Ten Personal Gifts, Your Boss will Appreciate

It can be tough to decide what kind of gift is appropriate for your boss!  You want it to be special but not inappropriate.  You want to do something nice without looking like your kissing up.  We’ve all been there.  Hopefully, this guide will help you find the perfect gift for your boss!

Your Boss’s Favorite Restaurant:

Take your boss to his favorite restaurant and treat him to lunch.  Better yet, volunteer to cover things so that your boss can enjoy an extended lunch break at your expense!  Or buy a gift certificate for your boss and a special guest at her favorite restaurant.

Appreciation Book:

Make a little book that shows how much you appreciate everything your boss does.  Maybe a thank you page for that time she covered your shift so you could care for a sick child or that time he pulled strings so you could get the perfect dates for your vacation.  Maybe add a page that includes your favorite picture from the office Christmas party that your boss put together.  Get creative.  Use your imagination!

Coupon Book:

Make a little booklet full of coupons that your boss can redeem for extra help at work and other little favors.  For example, include a coupon for a free night of babysitting so your boss and their spouse can enjoy a nice evening.  Maybe you could offer free coffee for a week.  Your boss will appreciate little helps like these.

Personalized Coffee Mug:

Have a mug designed with an appreciation saying on it or your boss’s name.  You could even have a favorite photograph printed on it for them – their awesome car or their adorable children.  “World’s Greatest Boss” and the like are common and not very personal  – use your knowledge of your boss to give him something really personal and special!

Sometimes, Relaxation is the Best Gift:

Buy a gift certificate for the full treatment at a spa – massage, hot tub,manicure, pedicure, the works – and put it in a nice, personal card for your boss’s birthday or other special occasion.  If a spa trip doesn’t appeal to your boss, maybe a gift certificate for a good salon will do the trick.

An Extra Day Off:

If possible, you might get together with your co-workers and see if you can swing an extra day off for that special boss that works so hard.  Give them a chance to spend some extra time in the garden or working on that big project they keep having to put off.  Volunteer to catch up paperwork or handle other tasks so your boss can relax a little bit.

A Night on the Town:

If a boring meal isn’t your style, consider giving your boss a pair of tickets to a movie they really want to see.  You could look into concert tickets or theater tickets as well.  If your boss is a sports fan, why not tickets to a game?

A Book is Worth a Thousand Words:

If your boss is a bookworm, maybe buy them a book they really want to read or better yet, get them a gift certificate for their favorite bookstore.  You could even set them up with a gift card for e-books.  How about arranging an extended lunch so they can go to the library?  If your boss likes to read, anything having to do with books is likely to thrill them!

A Gift Basket:

Find out what your boss’s favorite hobby is and put together a small collection of things they can use in that hobby.  Or, possibly, a do-it-yourself book on their hobby.  You could also include memorabilia about it.  If there is a museum or store in your area that specializes in your boss’s hobby, maybe include admission tickets or gift cards for those places.

Laughter!

If all else fails, tell a good joke at the perfect time or purchase a professional humor book for your boss to enjoy when they’re stressing.  Take them to a comedy movie or play.  Sometimes, laughter really is the only medicine!