12 Gifts for 12 Personality-types for $10… or Less!!

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Still scratching your head for gift ideas?  Well, since we have finally reached the 12 days of Christmas, here’s some budget-friendly suggestions that I hope will help.  Each one is $10 or less and some of them even make terrific stocking stuffers!

mags

For the Reader, Crafter or Hobbyist – a magazine on their favorite topic (there are TONS of new ones out there!)  Simply wrap it around their favorite sipping beverage and tie it closed with a length of ribbon, tied in a bow!

tire gauge

For those who have to spend a lot of time in their car

a Digital Tire Gauge is not only easier to use, but a great reminder to keep their tires inflated, for safety and better gas mileage,

-OR-

a Personalized Car (removable) Decal for their car window.

Consider their Monogram:

initial decal

Tons of these on ETSY

Family Members:

Click on photo for website

Click on photo for website

Or Fill in the Blank to create a Customized Decal:

Click on photo for site

Click on photo for website

For the Gardener – a basket of herbs.  Recycle one of your own baskets & tuck in 3 easy-to-grow, popular herbs.  My favs are Rosemary (Roasting small potatoes in fresh garlic, rosemary and olive oil is SOOO DELISH!), Cilantro & Parsley

Photo courtesy of www.Givingplants.com

Photo courtesy of http://www.Givingplants.com

For the Cosmetic-aholic – I know the store of “choice” these days is ULTA, however… I have found a new, inexpensive brand of make-up in Target, called “ELF” (LOL- this brand sounds as if it might have been made just for me, but actually, it stands for “Eyes, Lips, Face”).  It’s incredibly inexpensive and everything I’ve purchased works just as well, if not better, than the expensive brands!  Some facts I learned about them… they are: eyeliner

  • High quality
  • Hypoallergenic and non-comodogenic and their ingredients are listed, for each product
  • NOT tested on animals nor do they endorse such practices
  • NOT derived nor do they contain animal ingredients
  • Supportive of HSUS and are partners with PETA in the Caring Consumer Project

My favorite is the creme eyeliner and it comes in 11 colors, glides on like butter and stays in place without cracking or smudging.  Best of all… it’s only $3!  Here’s their website for more product review: http://www.eyeslipsface.com.

soap barAnd if you’d like to introduce someone to more natural products, consider a bar of natural soap, or make it yourself.  Once you’ve tried natural soaps, you’ll never go back!

For the Snacker, 2 suggestions (and P.S. – making several of these, at once, is a great gift idea for co-workers, neighbors, teachers, salon employees, etc.) –

Mini trays of either veggies & dip OR fruit & dip OR both!  Who wouldn’t enjoy receiving a healthy snack they didn’t have to make themselves?  And if you choose to give the fruit, don’t forget to try my family’s heirloom Fruit Cream Dip (the “How To” is located under the RECIPE tab on my website).  Party stores have small (condiment-size), lidded plastic containers or ask your local restaurant if you can have or purchase some of these to use with the dip so it won’t spill on the way.

a_veggie tray

If you would prefer to satisfy their sweet tooth, try your hand at making these easy cocoa dippers.  Purchase mugs (Dollar Tree), small box of regular-size candy canes

candy canes semi sweet morsels   marshmallows

peppermint chips

regular-size marshmallows, a bag of semi-sweet chocolate morsels and a bag of Andes Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips.mug and cane

Break off a section of the tail-end of a candy cane (so the remainder can hang freely from the  lip of the mugs, with apx. 1-1/2″ to spare, to allow room for the marshmallow). see photo on right for approximate length

Push the broken end end of the candy cane into a marshmallow.  Melt the  mini chocolate morsels and roll one end of the marshmallow in it.

a_cane in marshmallow    a_coating marshmallow

Crush some of the Peppermint Crunch Baking Chips (with the back of a spoon).  After dipping the marshmallow in the chocolate, immediately roll the chocolate end of the marshmallow in the semi-crushed chips.

a_crushing peppermints     a_completed

Allow to dry/harden and you will now have the most wonderful treat, when used as a hot cocoa dipper!  Place 1 or 2 in a plastic baggie, use ribbon to tie it closed and tuck it into a mug with a packet of hot cocoa mix.  Wrap it up or give it just like that!

cocoa dipper

For the CookCL mag

the 25th Anniversary issue of COOKING LIGHT just came out, with all of their best recipes, in magazine form so that really keeps the cost down!

Upgrade or replace one of their older cooking utensils, i.e. an ergonomic potato peeler or a sturdy, bamboo wooden spoon or spatula, etc.  Or, introduce them to a new kitchen tool on the market, ldishwasher 1ike a funnier dishwasher alert magnet or unique drink “ice mold”Eek!  Shark Fins! like the shark fin one pictured here. LOL

wine stopper

Target

For the wine connoisseur – Bottle Notes!  This new tool doubles as a bottle stopper and note board (write dates or how the wine tasted to you on this mini dry erase board)

For the Entertainer

Handmade set of Coasters (I love this idea I found on a website called Crafting Green World.com) and I included the link for details & directions:

scrabblecoaster

Click on photo to visit site

For the Organizer – dec hooks

Who couldn’t use a little extra hanging space, but not all of us are handy.  Solution:  look at how beautifully dressy “over-the-door” hangers have become!

baster duoFor the Grill Master –

2-Pack of Basters with reservoirs

grill light

Click on photo for link

Magnetic, battery-operated, LED Grill Light (found this one at Bed,Bath & Beyond for $8.99).

Or, an Apron with pockets for tools AND slots for drinks! (disclaimer: okay, I found this on the internet for $13.90 so it’s a little pricier, but provided they don’t fall over -with the weight- what a funny gift!)

grill apron

For the Designer – a decorative tile featuring their home to display on a stand…. turning it into a design feature!  This is totally do-able if you are artistic.  If not, you can always take a photo of their house and transfer it to the tile (here’s a link for directions I found on whatIlivefor.com: http://www.whatilivefor.net/2010/06/mod-podge-photo-transfers.html).

house tile_a

HELPFUL HINTS:  1)If you don’t have a laser printer, most copy shops do, and 2) be sure to find out the “Year” they moved in so you can hand paint “Established _____” somewhere on the tile also.

batonFor (my favorite) the Sentimentalist –

This requires a little detective work, accomplished by having some 1-on-1 time with the gift recipient so you can (covertly) ask questions & garner “CLUES”about their youth, i.e. favorite hobby, toy, an old skill they have that you didn’t know anything about, etc.  Doing this will give you an idea about something sentimental that you can help them revisit, via a gift.  For example, I just found out (during one of those 1-on-1 times) that a BFF used to be a majorette.  So, I headed to the toy store and brought a $7.99 hot pink baton, which I plan to wrap & give to her as a sentimental LOL.  She’s going to LOVE it!!  And you better believe that I plan to ask for a demonstration of her whirling & twirling skills of old… I can’t wait! 🙂

MERRY CHRISTMAS and…

Enjoy the Creativity!

EILEEN

P.S.  Next week’s blog post... a Yummy SNOWFLAKE BREAKFAST!

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Back-to-School “Teacher Gift”

Want to start the year off right with a new teacher?  Then, don’t wait until the END of the year to give them a little gift… do it now, at the beginning!

I know – giving a “year-end” gift is the usual tradition most people practice and it’s certainly well-deserved, especially by that point, because of the countless hours they’ve spent nurturing students all year-long.  But, if you also consider a reasonably priced and useful gift on “Day 1”, your thoughtfulness will surprise them and show your eagerness to establish a good relationship (right away), thereby setting a positive tone for the entire school year. 😉

And here’s my (useful) gift suggestion…. a lunch kit!  This kit idea came to me when I had to come up with a “thank you” gift for 2 VIPs I recently helped host at a charity event.  Both of these ladies are hard working career women and I know a lot of people are watching their diets today by making & taking their lunch to work.  So, I thought a gift of lunch necessities and recipe ideas would be something they would appreciate and actually use!  The kit consisted of: an insulated, re-closeable lunch bag with their name attached (I used a Vera Bradley luggage tag for this  *found on clearance!*, which created a dual purpose BONUS GIFT!), creative lunch ideas cook book, package of napkins, 2 unique & reusable food containers and for those stressful days… some snacks & gum.  Cost: less than $20.  Value:  Priceless!

MORE IDEAS!  You could also add S & P shakers (I found a bright, polka-dotted pair at Walgreens for $1.49!), yogurt bars, instant drink mixes (like Starbucks VIA and Nestea Blueberry Pomegranate & Honey), recycled & reusable bamboo utensils, etc.  And if you find out they are on a restrictive diet (Gluten free, etc.), you can probably locate a cook book with those recipes.  Whatever you choose, keep in mind that a co-worker, relative, friend or sibling would also love to receive a gift like this!

P.S.  Click HERE to check out my Back-to-School Wreath too!

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Unique Easter Baskets!

Receiving an Easter Basket is so much fun for young children and I know some parents stop this gift-giving tradition once children reach their teens.  My children are grown, but I still love to give them a few goodies (mostly things they need) at Easter, like new toothbrushes, modest gifts cards (to help out with lunch on their tight budgets), etc.  And now that some of them have S.O.s (significant others – lol), I’m including them too!

Once kids reach their teenage years, it doesn’t make sense to hand them woven baskets, so I prefer putting their gifts into a container that is also useful, which then… becomes part of their gift.  In case this gifting idea works for your family as well, below are a few container suggestions that I’ve utilized in the past – as well as this years.  And here’s a helpful hint – if you choose a LARGE gift-container, simply use boxes, plastic bags, tissue paper, etc. to fill up the bottom,  so your gifts can rest near the top, on a bed of Easter grass.

Always keeping my budget in mind,  I never pay more than $5.00 for a container, so I keep an eye out for inexpensive or clearanced items, all year long.  Today, I walked into Walmart and they had just marked down their large, canvas totes (office supply dept.) to $3.50…. SOLD! 😉 [see it in use below].

Enjoy the Creativity!

Eileen

Click on any photo for a larger view

Over-the-shoulder Cooler

Lidded Storage Containers

Collapsible Canvas Storage & Insulated, Personalized Lunch Bag

Baby’s First Gift

If you know someone who is about to or has just had a baby, I have a wonderful gift suggestion…

Most people purchase outfits, toys, necessities… you know, the “usual” new baby gifts.  My suggestion to you is to give the “unusual”!  Because my book is full of SO MANY wonderful ideas for making memories, it makes an excellent Beginner Manual of Ideas for New Parents.  Especially around the holidays, new parents are so excited to begin making memories with their child and YOU can provide them with the perfect head start.

In this gift basket, I placed:

  • My Book (Creative Family Traditions and Ideas)
  • Baby’s 1st Teddy Bear
  • Baby’s Memory Book (for recording all the “Firsts” in Baby’s life)
  • Parent Journal (my personal favorite tradition in my book)
  • Photo Frame to display “Baby’s 1st Birthday” picture
  • Hallmark “Baby’s 1st Christmas” Keepsake Ornament

I tucked all of these adorable, color-coordinated, Memory-making goodies inside a very usable basket.  For under $50, this gift contains everything a parent needs to celebrate and record their child’s life and memories.  What a SPECIAL gift to bring to a Baby Shower or on your first visit with the New Arrival… they’ll never forget your “unique” gift!


More HALLOWEEN FUN! Nothing could be finer than dinner in a SPOOOOKY Diner…

Through the years, I have thoroughly enjoyed using  my creativity and experience as a holiday designer to make SEASONAL MAGIC for my children.  This is one of theirs (and my reader’s) absolute favorites.   And I was proud that I created such a special memory for under $20!!!  The spooky photos and details of this awesome tradition are in my (also) reasonably priced book (click on book icon on the right side of this page to learn more).  So, turn up your speakers and enjoy this short video (below) that brings the end result of those details to life:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1zOVz8S-nog

Do you  need a Fall housewarming, birthday or teacher gift?  Simply turn my SPOOKY DINNER tradition into a gift basket.  And don’t forget to run off a copy of the original “SPOOKY DINNER” poem (from the book) so you can attach it as the perfect gift tag!

We ship to the destination of your choice and if needed, gift wrap is FREE! 😀

CLICK on PHOTO to view closeup of book