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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!

The very original Gift idea you never thought about… A gift card for plumbing services!

Why stick to the most classic gift ideas you can find on boring magazines and blogs, when you can buy something extremely useful and convenient for your friends?

You know you can’t take your plumbing events lightly at home; here’s your guide to choose the best plumbers in Canberra, Australia to help you deal with a permanent fix for sanitation. If you are choosing a random plumber and wanting to get the issue fixed without any guarantees; we are sure to tell you that you are at mistake.

plumbing

Here are available options for you to choose from the best services and compatible price available at your doorstep without much hassle. The only recommendations we can provide is to not look for a random plumber, companies have much expertise; let us look at what experts have on offer for you, and trust me, most of them offer an incredible range of gift card for you to chose from. Whatever the need is when booking them, you can then deduct the from the cost the value of the Gift card, we all know how expensive they might be.

Best leakage fix

Trained plumbers in town from dedicated companies offer services to fix leaking taps, blocked drains hot water repairs. They are available 24×7 for their customers and offer services at home readily in case of emergency. Their services vary from housing to industrial fixes and have offers for new corporate or residential setup with a highly affordable price. If you have a low budget and need a permanent plumbing solution; we highly recommend you to utilize their services instead of looking around for a random part time plumber.

Call your favorite company and get quotes online

Unlike other plumbers in Canberra, there are few plumbing options that have an exceptional thing on offer; you won’t have to pay for even a call to them. On their toll, free numbers, call their plumbers and find a speedy solution to your problems with quality services in affordable price. The services offer leakage fixings and is widely known for bathroom renovation and extensions.

Services as per ACT standards

A random part-time plumber won’t offer your warrantees. If you have plumbing, drainage or gas fitting issues, call an expert plumbing company. These companies offer best plumbers in Canberra for your corporate environment with affordable prices.

Their services have standards and ensure compliance with licensing, OH&S, and best fit with industry requirements, however, they have not limited themselves to corporate sector but of course same standards at home might sound costly for many.

There claims of fame are blocked channels and hot water frameworks. They also have expertise in fixing spilling and running toilets, and also tap ware reconditioning. You can call these people anytime of the day to get a fix for a wide range of local and business administrations.

All of what expert plumbers do is accompanied with 12-months guarantee. They genuinely appreciate giving answers for their customer’s, then work for them in an auspicious and cost productive way.

We highly recommend you to look for efficient plumbing services instead of looking out for any part time plumber to get rid of your plumbing issues permanently. Not only are the services mentioned above available, you can find a list on ACT websites and compare prices for the kind of work you want. Random plumbers are means to make the problem worst; we highly recommend you not to settle for anything less. Compare prices, look for options and then decide.

Cheap ‘Thank You’ Gift Ideas…

Thank you gift ideas

The world is full of goodness. That co-worker who covered your shift, that classmate who passed you a pen when you lost yours, that friend who walked behind you when you split your trousers…..they are all valuable people, and they were able to help you. So, you should show appreciation for it. Nobody’s going to strike you dead if you don’t, but it’s good to show appreciation. Never miss a chance to say thanks, I always say, because you never know whether you’ll get another one. Besides, why miss an opportunity to make someone happy?

And is there a better way of thanking someone, than with a little gift? I believe there isn’t. However, a gift doesn’t always have to be expensive. If you bought an expensive gift every time someone did you a good turn, you’d be out of money really fast! So, here are some cheap ‘thank you’ gift ideas, which will help you the next time you want to thank someone without spending too much (or any) money.

  1. Get them some food

Everybody loves food. Everybody appreciates food. So, why not get that helpful friend a juicy McDonald’s burger, or a nice Starbucks latte? Food from famous food chains can be expensive, depending on your budget, but cheaper alternatives are always available. Take them to that tiny eatery which makes delicious pizzas. Or bring them some tacos from a street food van. Trust me, they’ll thank you!

  1. Make something with your own hands

This might take time and effort depending on what you make, but it won’t be expensive. If you’re into painting, paint something for their bedroom wall. If you’re a woodwork pro, make them a little jewellery box, or a cigarette holder. If you’re into cooking, make them some mouth-watering food. Poetically-inclined folk can write a poem – flattery works wonders! Make something which’ll make them laugh. Laughter is usually a good sign. For those of you who can’t do any of these, the next point is a life-saver.

  1. Offer your services for free

Are you good at something? Cooking, massaging, cleaning, writing, teaching…you must have some talent. So, as a little gift, offer your services for free. However, to make it a little more gift-like and cute, make coupons for your services. Say, you’re offering a free meal. Design and draw a coupon which entitles the holder, Mr/Ms. X, to receive a free meal cooked by Mr/Ms. Y, that is you. This will make the entire deal amusing, and somewhat special.

  1. Buy them some common necessities

Let’s get down to practicalities. We all need some stuff, right? And we have to pay with it using our hard-earned money. It’d be pretty cool if someone was thoughtful enough to buy us some necessities. Although it isn’t a conventional gift by any means, it would still feel nice. So, the next time you want to thank a friend, grab a bottle of their favourite shampoo from the supermarket or from very well assorted chains like Priceline. I wouldn’t recommend trying this with a random co-worker or classmate, though. That might seem a little weird. However, with a friend, it’ll be appreciated. Friends are a whole another deal, huh?

  1. Take them out for a meal

If your budget’s a little higher, you can take them out for a meal at their favourite restaurant or food chain. This one doesn’t need any more explanation!

meal gift

Next up on our list of ‘thank you’ gift ideas, is something that feeds, but doesn’t have a mouth. It breathes, but doesn’t have lungs. Any ideas so far? Here’s the last hint – it’s green!

  1. Get them a plant for their home

A feel relaxed just writing this. So far, I’ve never come across anyone who doesn’t like some greenery. Unless the greenery in question is poison ivy or moss, people love it. And why wouldn’t they? There is no downside to having a plant at home. It’s a living being which doesn’t require much maintenance and doesn’t wake you up at night or scratch you up, but in fact, it gives you oxygen. Sometimes, even food. So, gift your friend a plant. Even if they aren’t plant enthusiasts, they’ll definitely never have any complaints with it. If they’re too busy and can’t take care of the plant, a slew of devices are available on the internet, which make plant maintenance a breeze.

 

We hope these cheap ‘thank you’ gift ideas will help you! Appreciate others, to get appreciated in turn. And, as I said before, never miss a chance to say thanks. That, and ‘I love you’. You can never say those two phrases enough.

 

How to choose the perfect gift for someone

Choosing a gift for someone can be a fairly daunting task. You don’t want to give them a boring, cliché gift like a picture frame. I think that picture frame-givers are entitled to a special spot in hell. Not that it’s criminal or even that bad as gift – I mean, if you like decorating your house with pictures, it’s a pretty useful gift. However, it’s the unwillingness to put effort, that bugs me. Picture frames, chocolates, flowers….they all belong to the same breed.

surprise gift

While choosing a gift, you need to keep the receiver’s interests, and your budget in mind. You want to gift them something which they will actually like, while also being mindful of how much it’s costing you.

Some people really do like picture frames, flowers and chocolates, but in this article, we will discuss the lot who don’t. And trust me, most people fall into this category. So, here are the things which you should keep in mind, when selecting a gift.

  1. What they like

Sounds fairly obvious, doesn’t it? If your friend is a voracious reader, find out their favourite writers or genres, and get a book accordingly. If they really, really love Coldplay, get an autographed poster by them (those are available online). If they like gardening, you could opt for something like Garden Time [hyperlink]. If they’re into cooking, get them some amazing, hard-to-find herbs or seasoning ingredients. Mmmm, the very thought is making me drool.

  1. Don’t give them something they already have

If they already have two autographed posters of Coldplay and a ton of herbs, then skip that idea. For this one, you’ll have to think out of the box. One good trick for deciding something is using the process of elimination. So, once you’ve come up with a list of things which they won’t like, simply head to a local gift store, or even online, and buy the first thing that makes sense. Except flowers. Do not buy flowers, dear reader.

  1. Try to prise it out of them

No, I don’t mean get a set of pliers and crowbar and pull out a tooth. What you’re prising out here is some simple information, not national secrets or teeth. Anyway, getting back to business – it’s the good old trick that’s tried in movies and shows, and which rarely ever works. But your life isn’t a movie. So, talk to them. Drop subtle hints, and see if they tell you anything which you can use. This is best done a long while before the occasion in question. Try broaching the subject of gifts in general, and complaining about generic gifts. Hopefully, they’ll tell you what would be a good gift idea!

  1. Make something with your own hands – be creative!

As they often say, it’s the gesture that counts, not the goods. So, put in some work, and make something with your own hands. If you’re into woodcraft, you could make a container or a customized show-piece. If you can paint, make a portrait of them (or just draw something funny, like the back side of a camel). However, if you’re not artistically inclined, don’t worry! There’s always something you can make – you only have to be creative. How about food coupons for McDonalds? Or work coupons, massages, a house-painting job, three free gourmet meals cooked by you…anything which they might like. It’ll be creative, and genuinely useful.

  1. Ask them (not recommended if you want to surprise them)

Last but not the least, if you can think of absolutely nothing, yet don’t want to disappoint them with something boring, you can always ask them what they want. Tell them your dilemma and your budget, and let them decide what they want. It’ll not be a surprise, but at least it won’t be a picture-frame. Oh lord, I hate picture-frames. To still have a slight element of surprise, you can ask them to provide 3 (or 5) options, from which you’ll choose any one item, to gift them.

 

We hope these ideas were helpful! Brainstorm a little, and you’re certain to find something that’s just right for that person. The key here is thinking out of the box. But not too out of the box, I guess. I mean, don’t gift a marine-life lover a dead jellyfish picked up from the beach. Live animals are a little conventional, but sometimes, conventional is good.