Tag Archives: christmas gifts

Blogmas Bonus- Cranberry Scones

25 Dec

Blogmas Bonus – Cranberry Scones

Hello and Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it and Happy Holidays to everyone.

Back in November when I was meticulously planning each and every Blogmas post, I asked my sister to do a guest post on something sweet and easy to make. I told her what daybI was thinking of putting it up and told her to get back to me.

Well she did. Yesterday. But I digress. Better late than never.

This recipe is taken from our favourite online baker Stephanie fron Joy of Baking (I have referenced her more than a few times)

Since this is Kristine’s post I will present it the way she did.

Ingredients

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2 cups of flour
1/3 cup of white sugar
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup of unsalted butter
2/3 cup of fresh cranberries
2/3 cup of milk

She left out the candied fruit and the almonds listed in the original recipe.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400F (200C) and butter or line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Whisk dry ingredients then cut butter in. Use a pastey blender of you have one if not use forks or knives creating course crumbs.

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Add the cranberries and gently mix

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Add milk and stir careful not to overmix

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On a floured surface knead dough four times then form a circle about 7 inches (18 cm) in diameter.

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Cut it into 8 triangles and brush top with milk.

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Bake for 20 minutes or until crust is brown.

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My sister gave these to some of her cowokers for Christmas. They make great gifts or a light dessert to have with coffee after all the heavy Christmas dinner.

Enjoy and have an awesome day!

Gift Guide for Pets

7 Dec

BLOG-Mas Day 7

On the 7th day of Blogmas we talk about gift ideas for pets, whether you are looking for something for the furriest member of your family or you want to give something to the friend who loves  animals more than people.

This gift guide is general, suggesting types of items not any specific brands or prices. It is also aimed at including something for most common household pets.

This is Cali, our naughtiest kitty.

CATS AND DOGS



FEEDING

Fancy Feeding Bowls

Feeding bowls

Anyone who has ever had a pet knows you can never have enough clean feeding bowls. Gift your pet some new ones for milk drinking and kibble munching.

Treats

Kitty treats

Just like humans, animals love treats. This is a very affordable pet gift and one that will be fully appreciated.



SLEEP



Pet Bed

Bed

Cat and dogs love a warm soft place to recline. A nice plush bed is great for this and gives him or her their own space.

PLAY

Scratching posts and trees

Multi coloured posts 




This is strictly a cat gift. Anyone with cats knows how important it is for them to get their claws in something that isn’t your ratan furniture . These are available in many shapes and sizes for maximum exercise and fun.

SMALL ANIMALS



FEEDING

Water Bottle

Cute small animal feeder



This is a useful gift for your gerbil or rabbit.  It’s suitable for someone who works fairly long hours as the animals can remain watered while he/she is out. There are also animal feed bottles.

SLEEP AND PLAY

Hideout

Pineapple hideout

Little alcoves like this are great for your guineas and hamsters and Spongebob 😉 for both sleep and play. 

BIRDS



FEEDING

Treats

Birdie sticks

Get your feathered friends some treat sticks for them to peck away at and enjoy. Remember there are usually different recipes for different species so be sure to pick out the one for your bird.

PLAY

Perches

Multicoloured bird perches 

Perching is a big part of being a bird. They tend to enjoy having something to hop from one spot to another and having something for them to push  around and play with like these wooden beads pictured here adds to the fun.

REPTILES



FEEDING

Feeding Bowls

Rock shaped bowl

Is my family the only one who feeds their tortoises out of container lids ? #ratchet #reducereuseandrecycle.  How about upgrading your reptilian friends with a legitimate feeding bowl. This too is reuseable.



SLEEP AND PLAY

Habitats

Woodland habitat 

Reptiles love to bask in heat and then hide under things, it’s what they do. Now you could use an old shoebox like my mother does for the tories #still ratchet or you can get them a slightly more exciting one like this woodland inspired habitat pictured here.

FISH



FEEDING 

Vacation Fish Feeder

Fish shaped feeding block

This is for when you have to travel and can’t trust your neighbours to feed your finned friends. It is essentially a block of fish food that the fish picks at while you’re gone. They come with different period of time they last for such as 7 day or 14 days.

Automatic Fish Feeder

Feeder

This is like a hardcore scaled up version of a vacation feeder. This is also useful for persons who keep odd hours and may not get home in time to feed their fish. The food is preloaded and set to deliver specific amounts of food at a particular time. They exist both battery and electrically operated.

Aquarium Habitats 

Coral aquarium habitat 

I’m pretty sure your fish don’t care if you put a mini treasure chest or a pile of rocks in their aquarium. But they do seem to enjoy having  something to swim into and out of so get them a nice interesting habitat like this imitation coral one.

OTHER



Pet Subscription boxes 

Petbox

Like I said in my Gift Guide for her there are subscription boxes for EVERYTHING ! That includes pets. You receive a spread of treats and toys every month to spoil your fuzzy companion with. Some popular brands are Barkbox, Pet box and Cratejoy (for pets)

FOR PET PEOPLE

Animal Lovers Parphinalia 

Cat Lady Mug #catladypride



These are great gifts for pet people ( we aren’t their  owners or parents). Whether its a cute T-shirt professing their love of hamsters or this cat lady mug, a real pet person will receive this gift with glee.

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you’ve found some inspiration for gifting your pets or your pet loving friends. Have an awesome day!

Thanks for reading and have an awesome day!

This post is dedicated to our beloved cat Blonde Rose Pepper who we lost last year just before Christmas . 

Christmas Gift Guide for her (mostly) 2016

2 Dec

BLOG-Mas DAY 1
Hello and welcome to the first Blogmas post. This is a guide aimed mostly at a female recipiant. Gift giving is very personal so I chose things I would pick out for persons I know or want to receive mysef. I have tried to offer up selections at varying pricepoints from budget to high end.I know persons reading this could be from any corner of the globe so I have selected things that can be purchased online and shipped world wide and given the prices in US dollars.

CANDLES
 

For the candle connisseur in your life (my sister) a gift of burning, scented wax is a dream come to life.Candles are a cute gift that most people will appreciate and is usually easy to find. But all candles aren’t equal and they certainly aren’t equally priced. Here are some brands that are great quality and can suit each budget.

GLADE

I know what you’re thinking…those are candles you get from a supermarket! Yes they are, BUT this brand has been making scented candles for years and they’ve gotten quite good at it. Glade candles are sold on sleek glass jars, they have long burning time and the scent throws well. Glade candles are also easy to find at most supermarkets, hardware stores and online typically costing between $3-6 US each.



YANKEE CANDLE 

This is another company that has been doing candles for years and has managed to maintain a reasonable price point. Yankee candles have a very specific look, being housed in large bell jars that make you think of a Southern home. They also tend to do very cute scents like pecan pie and cotton candy. Yankee candles vary in price according to size but the traditional 22oz (623g) goes for $28 US.
BATH AND BODY WORKS (BBW)

#basic right? Lol. Everyone and their mother (well my mother at least) is in love with BBW candles particularly the now iconic 3 wick candles they sell in an array of scents. BBW candles have good scents that throw well and there is literally a fragrance for everyone . These candles go for $22.50-26.50 each at full price but they go on sale  regularly slashing the price to $12.50 each.

JO MALONE

We’ve really made a jump in price here, but also a jump in quality. Jo Malone knows how to make scents and fragrances period. From the understated elegant packaging to the very strong yet not overpowering classy scents, a Jo Malone candle is a great gift. The 7oz (200g) candles go for $65US.
DIPTIQUE

This brand is becoming increasingly popular  (to me at least). It is like Jo Malone but with a bit of whimsy. And more expensive ,  lol. This brand boasts sophisticated scents such as mimosa and fig tree and the are presented in simple glass jars with jumbled letters.
Below is a breakdown of these brands in cost per oz to give a better idea of pricing.
Glade                                $3-5 ( 3.4 oz)                                                       $1.17/oz           

Yankee                           $28 (22oz)                                                             $1.29/oz

BBW                              $22.50-$26.50 (13.5-14.5 oz)                            $1.75/oz

Jo Malone                     $65 (7oz)                                                                $9.28/oz

Diptique                      $62 (6.5 oz)                                                            $9.50/oz

FRAGRANCES 

This can be tricky. I cannot tell you how many times I have smelt a fragrance thinking someone I know we’ll would absolutely adore it only to find they can’t stand it. If you are brave enough to still get a fragrance as a gift I have 3 tips.

1) Ask- Casually ask your friend “Hey what perfume is that?” Or maybe question her/his significant other as to what kind of fragrance they like.

2) Research – Go online and search for the perfume finding out the notes etc then search for similar perfumes. I personally recommend  the website fragrantia.com which is a veritable database of literally any perfume you can imagine.

3) Return – Be sure to get your gift from a store with a decent return policy in case no. 1 and 2 fail you.

Now to the recommendations

DEMETER FRAGRANCES 

Have you ever smelt something (like chicken cooking or freshly cut grass ) and thought…I’d love that in a perfume. Well, thus company has made it I promise you. They make very pure, singular scents such as orange blossom or lavender but they also make every other scent you could imagine such as Baby Powder, Pistachio Ice Cream, Sushi and  Dirt!

DESIGNER FRAGRANCES 

These are your run of the mill perfumes sold at department stores and duty free shops in airports. They also continue to make great gifts. These fragrances vary in price points depending on the brand but typically run in excess of $20US per oz. The following are 3 personal recommendations. 

Black Opium by YSL (now Saint Laurent)

This fragrance has become super popular over the past two years and with good reason. It has a warm and deep with vanilla and coffee notes but not too sweet. It goes for $90 for 1.6 oz

Flower bomb by Viktor and Rolf

This perfume couldn’t have been better named. This is what it literally smells like. As if someone dropped a bagful of fresh fragrant garden flowers and it exploded. This goes for $115 for 1.7 oz.

Elizabeth and James Nirvana 

There is a Nirvana White, Nirvana Black, Nirvana Bourbon and Nirvana Rose which is pictured here. They all smell great but my personal favorite is Nirvana Black which is woodsy and spicy and dark. This goes for $85 for 1oz.

Jo Malone

Here is that name again ,  good ole Jo. This company not only makes top notch candles, they make top notch fragrances . Many of the sent found in candles can be found in the perfume range. The sent are clean, powerful and comfortable .  They go for $130-$180 for 3.4 oz.

Here is a breakdown of cost per oz

Demeter                 $16 (1oz), $31 (4 oz)                                        $7.75-16/oz

Black Opium         $90 (1.6oz/50mL),$115 (3oz/90mL)           $38-56/oz

Flower bomb         $115 (1.7oz/50mL),$165 (3.4oz/100mL)    $48-67/oz

Nirvana                  $85 (1oz)                                                             $85/oz

Jo Malone              $130-180(3.4oz/100mL)                                 $38-52/oz

MAKEUP

If you’re looking for a gift for a makeup enthusiast, you have A LOT to chose from. Makeup holiday kits are all the rage to the point where it can get overwhelming. But they make a great gift. Here are a few recommendations 

EYES

BH Cosmetics Gold Rush

This company has become a budget friendly favourite for many. They churn out decent quality shadows and blushes for unbeatable prices. This palette contains twelve shadows in festive golds and bronzes as well as a blush, bronzer and highlighter. It goes for $7 Just to notell BH Cosmetics also has a “Silver Strike” holiday palatte with cooler tones. Available on BH Cosmetics 

Lorac pro Mega 3

Every holiday season, Lorac drops a Maga pro palatte. This one contains 32 shades with some very warm and coppery colours and dome light peachy nudes. This palette goes for $59 exclusively at Ulta.

A few other higher priced holiday palettes include Tartiest pro palette -$59, Hourglass Ambient Lighting blush, bronzer and strobe palette- $80 and YSL Sparkle palette $95.  All available at sephora.com and amazon.com.


LIPS

NYX Liquid Suede Vault

24 mini versions of the insanely popular NYX liquid lip colours. This is a great way to sample a wide range of colours but it can also be broken up to give as stocking stuffers.This is going at $50 for 24 colours, 0.05floz each compare to the full sized.There is also a set of 36 mini (0.168floz) soft matte lip creams available for $65.Available on NYX and Ulta

Kat von d

Every makeup lover knows that Kat von D knows what she is doing especially with her beautiful highly pigmented liquid lip colours . This set comes with eight shades ranging from brown to pink to purple and is great for someone as obsessed with Kat von D as I am or good for breaking up and giving as multiple gifts. This is $49 for 0.8floz compared with $20 for full sized 0.22floz . Available at Sephora, Kat von D and Amazon
ELECTRONICS

We live in the age of gadgets. There are dozens to chose from: phones, tablets, go pros and so on. However, the gadget receiving a bit of buzz right now (at least for me) is the Amazon Echo.
Amazon dot(2nd Generation )

The Dot is a mini version of the Echo. It is a small speaker which is Alexa enabled so it has most features of an Echo but the sound won’t travel.This goes for $49.99
Amazon Echo

This is the future. I remember being very young and watching a British TV show set in the future, where the boy had a personal robot in his room. It was a massive screen but it spoke to him, giving him information about people and places. Well guys, this is it. In a compact cylinder. Alexa can tell you the weather, read audio books and play your playlist all at your vocal command. The Echo apparently works best in the US and UK (presently) but can work worldwide. It goes for $179 on amazon.com 
GIFT CARDS AND SUBSCRIPTION BOXES

I call these lazy gifts, which isn’t completely fair. Sometimes the person you are gifting is miles away and this kind of gift is the best option.

Online gift cards are great because you can select whatever monitory value you wish from $5-$500 if you so desire and many of them have no expiration date. Some popular gift cards include amazon and itunes.

Subscription boxes are getting more and more popular and more and more of them are becoming available worldwide. They are also becoming way more diverse. You can select a book lovers subscription such as owlcrate or for a makeup lover ipsy.Many of these subscriptions go for between  $10-35 per month.
So that’s my 2016 Holoday gift guide. Hopefully you found some inspiration for gift giving. Have an awesome day!

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