Memorable Gifts Grandparents Will Love

At the heart of every family are grandparents. Without them, you wouldn’t be here and so appreciating them is an essential part of life. When it comes to special occasions, it can be difficult to stay original with gift ideas, especially when there are a lot of grandchildren also giving gifts! There are some fantastic gift ideas on the market but not all will be suitable for grandparents, so finding the right ones isn’t easy.

 

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The bit that matters most about gift giving is the person you are giving the gift to and understanding what they like is key. You’re not going to give your grandmother who has to use a wheelchair a pair of roller skates, so think carefully about what you buy. Staying original and creative is hard, but with our gift ideas, you can find it a lot easier!

Personal Gifts: The best gifts you could give grandparents are personalised ones. If there are a lot of grandchildren in the family, a family tree like this one to be hung on the wall is an excellent gift. For the glamourous grandmother, a personalised locket or bracelet always goes down a treat and it has precious, sentimental value. Engraved pocket watches are a stunning gift for the time-conscious grandfather and are a beautiful heirloom as it can be passed down the years. Just be careful with the engraving so that it can be passed down!

Photo Gifts: There’s one common gift idea among relatives, especially the older generation, and that’s photographs. They hold memories from years gone by and they are something that are simply timeless. Photos that are framed and canvases made are always a popular idea but you can go a little bit outside the box and get photos printed to hoodies and tops. You can also do photo printed gifts on cushions or collage blankets for the sofa so that the photos they cherish are in full view always. It also means they can literally wrap themselves in memories, and who would turn that down?

 

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Journal Gifts: Stationery is a gift that always goes down well, especially if it’s a beautiful pen and notebook set. Grandparent journals like this one are a wonderful idea for memories to be written down, life experiences to be recorded and they can be a diary of their life to tell the children of the future what the world was like.

Keepsake Gifts: Maps and posters are unusual gifts for grandparents, but if you live a fair distance away, are ones that are treasured. Check out personalised keepsake maps like these and see whether they would be the suitable keepsake gift for your grandparents. You can have the same effect with matching towels and clothing gifts as they can be kept for years.

Gift-giving is not easy in general, especially when you try to keep up with being original and different. Don’t worry though, there’s so much out there that you can choose from that giving your grandparents the perfect gift is getting easier!

 

No Filter Required


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If you love taking selfies and posting snaps of you and your friends on Instagram, you’re probably used to using filters to show yourself in the best possible light, but what if that wasn’t necessary? Want to look your best all day every day, check out these tips to ensure there’s no filter required:

 

Prep

 

If you want to go filter-free, smooth skin is a must, which is why you should invest in a good facial scrub and take the time to cleanse, tone and moisturise twice daily, and before applying foundation, you should always apply a primer.

 

If you want your skin to have a natural glow about it, you might want to up your intake of fruit, vegetables and water, all of which will help to plump out and keep your skin fresh.

 

Blot It

 

If your face is prone to getting oily, after you’ve completed your facial regime, be sure to blot your T-zone with tissues or blotting papers. Do this throughout the day as and when needed, to ensure you’ll never be caught off-guard.

 

Foundation


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To look your best in any selfie, you will want to use a medium coverage foundation, which is as close a match to your natural skin colour as possible, and you will want to blend it expertly into the face and neck area.

 

Contouring

 

Contouring takes time, so it’s not for everyone, but if you don’t mind putting in the work, it can be a game- changer. You can find out more about how to get started with contouring at http://www.instructables.com/id/Highlighting-and-Contouring-for-beginners/. It might take a while for you to learn all of the techniques, but if you want cut-glass cheekbone, a defined jaw line and a thinner face, it is worth the effort.

 

Don’t Forget to Set

 

Once you’ve applied your makeup, be sure to set it with any product that ‘optically diffuses’. This means that it blends and lines and pores, leaving your face looking as smooth of that as a newborn baby.

 

Pearly Whites


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If you don’t want to filter your photos, a great smile is a must, which means you should be brushing your teeth thoroughly and flossing at least twice a day. It might also be a good idea to use teeth whitening strips to get rid of any staining. You can find them at Teethwhiteningathometips.com/best-teeth-whitening-strips/ and they will really help to improve the look of your teeth, especially if you avoid sugar, soda and other foods that will weaken and stain teeth at the same time.

 

Pluck Your Brows

 

It’s surprising how much a well-plucked brow can change your appearance. That doesn’t mean that you should go crazy with the tweezers though! In most cases, a thicker brow, which has been well-defined will give you a younger, more natural look. If you need help taming your brows, it might be worth investing in some eyebrow gel, and if your brows are very light, having them professionally tinted could help you take your selfie game to the next level.

 

All that remains now is to smile for the camera – say cheese!

 

Create What Your Camera Can’t Capture


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When you undertake your photography journey, editing may be far from your mind. When we start, a lot of us don’t think we’ll even use editing software. Until we get our camera. Then, we learn that the perfect photograph isn’t so easy as pressing the button. Of course, we all find the odd gem that doesn’t need work. For the most part, though, editing is the best way to make your photographs stand out. That’s not to say that you need to edit them beyond recognition. But, highlighting the already strong features is sure to bring it to life. So, how do you start on your editing journey?

LEARN FROM THE BEST

Professional photographers are often happy to teach about their editing techniques. So, who better to turn to than those who are top of the field? Do a little research into your favorite photographers, and see if they have any advice. Turning to people who’s work you admire is a sure way to learn techniques you’re going to use. After all, you already know it’s a technique you like the look of!

JOIN A CLASS

As with any new skill, there’s no better way to learn than joining a class. Look into courses like those at Training Connection and see if any suit your needs. You may think that everything you need to know is online, and you’re right. But, flying solo in your editing journey will make things more complicated than they need to be. Having the support of a teacher will ensure you learn a lot quicker. Plus, you can only find what you search for online. A teacher can show you techniques you hadn’t even heard of. And, you’ll also have the benefit of meeting other budding photographers. Who doesn’t want photography friends to go out and about with? You’ll be able to compare knowledge with your classmates, too. It’ll be a worthwhile experience.

 

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KNOW YOUR SOFTWARE

Knowing the software you’re using is essential. The more you know, the better able you’ll be to create fantastic new effects. You’ll learn a little about this in your course, but you’ll soon see that the basics are just the tip of the iceberg. The more research you do, the better position you’ll be in. Have a look around. If you spot anything you’re unsure of, research what purpose it serves. It’ll take a while before you know everything you need. Researching in small chunks like this will ensure you get a good grasp eventually.

 

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PLAY AROUND

All the serious learning aside, playing around with your editing techniques is invaluable. You can only learn by doing, after all . Learn the best techniques for telling a visual story. Learn how to manipulate color. Play with contrast to enhance your images as much as possible. Don’t show anyone your initial attempts. That will only increase the pressure and stop you having fun. Edit for no one but yourself. That way, there’s no pressure on you to do a good job.

Telling A Visual Story In Your Home


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If you have a natural talent for photography then you are very lucky.  The ability to capture emotion on film (although it’s pretty much all digital nowadays) is a skill that many are envious of.

 

Ok, so these days it is much easier to take a good photo.  With new technology at our fingertips we can shoot, edit and send all within a matter of seconds.  Companies such as Instagram have enabled us to add more drama to an ordinary photo by giving us a set of pre designed filters.  We can crop and highlight, add fade and warm the edges.  It is even possible through apps such as Facetune to touch up our faces, smooth out the skin and slim down our waists.  However, none of this beats what a creative eye can see.

 

If you talk to professional photographers, the old school ones who shot on film, had a dark room and spent hours perfecting their art, they will tell you that a great photo doesn’t need any editing at all.  The skill back then was to capture the emotion in one second.  From animals to humans, war or celebration.  Some of the most famous photos the world shares are completely untouched by human edits.  They were simple.  Honest.  Bold.

 

The ability to do this should never be underestimated and if you have it, you need to share it.  One of the best places to do that is through your own home.

 

Our homes should tell the story of who we are.  From the first steps into our hallway, right down to the bathroom.  The wall should be a visual display of you.  What is in your heart and how you see the world.  

 

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You will probably shoot on a digital camera, just about everyone does now, so you can easily have your best images made into large artworks.  Using companies online you can get some pretty good deals, especially using a snapfish coupon code.  Then you just need to work out how to present your images.  You could go with a timeless black frame and a deep white border, or consider a large canvas print.  Whatever you do, think of your home as an exhibition.  What order will you share your journey.  Where should you add really thought provoking pieces.  Perhaps the hallway is better for lighthearted work then the living room becomes an area for people to really engage with your images.

 

If you don’t think you are quite ready to fill your home with your photography then you could consider a workshop or course to help improve your technique.  There are so many things to learn and it could be a fun social event too.  You may learn that you are using a camera that is too complicated for you, or learn how to make the most of natural light to help you create even better black and white images.  Take your hobby to the next level and really educate yourself on all the finer details of the professional photographers.

 

Then show off a little.  You never know, someone might even commission you to shoot something for their home!

Put The Toaster Down, Choose These Newlywed Gifts Instead


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There’s nothing quite like seeing two people tie the knot. That beautiful unity of two hearts is undoubtedly one of the most incredible moments in anybody’s life, and being a part of the big day is something you’ll treasure. But whether it’s a friend or relative making that commitment, there’s one thing that will almost certainly stress you out as the big day arrives. The gift.

 

Finding a gift for your loved one is relatively easy. However, finding one to celebrate a love when you aren’t directly involved can be more than a little challenging. Most guests will go down the traditional route of toasters, coffee makers, and other appliances. The truth is, though, that the loving couple probably has those items already.

 

Why not try something different? Here are some ideas to get your gift-giving creativity going.

 

  • Find a gift to brighten up their home with added character and personality. Canvas art can be a great option, although the happy couple might prefer to wait and use a photo from their big day. A personalized bobblehead commemorating the wedding day can achieve the same vibe, though. Moreover, it’s a unique gift that you know will be remembered and cherished for years to come.
  • If you know where the happy couple is going for their honeymoon, you can embrace this during your present purchasing process. This idea could manifest itself in multiple ways. From giving the couple money in the right currency to booking a scuba diving lesson or helicopter tour, the options are endless. If it helps enhance one of the happiest moments in their lives, it has to be considered a great gift.
  • As they embark on their new lives together, you could treat them to something that they can love and care for as a couple. Buying a puppy might not be advised, but something simple like a bonsai tree or houseplant provides a symbol of their growing love. Of course, there are various home and garden items that could boast a similar sentimental value. Find a solution that suits the happy couple, and it will be one of the best presents they receive.
  • Times have changed, and having children out of wedlock is very common in this modern world. Nonetheless, if the happy couple’s marriage is a step towards settling down with kids, buying baby gifts is another option to consider. It’s not for everyone, and you’ll probably want a small gift just for them too. Still, under the right circumstances, this can be the ideal present.
  • Love is the word of the day, but that romance should last forever. Candlestick holders, wine glasses, and other items aimed for the perfect home date night are a great gift. It can help the newlyweds keep the spark alive without the need for spending huge sums of money. Given the expenses that they’ve encountered during the planning of the big day, those rewards will be highly appreciated.

 

So there you go. Five simple and unique ideas to provide the newlyweds with a memorable and lovable gift. Job done.

 

Lettuce Turnip The Beet In Your Kitchen

 

Image thanks to Congerdesign/pixabay

Ok, maybe we have gone one pun too far here, but stick with it.

Getting creative in the kitchen is definitely in fashion.  Whether you cook from the heart or get all scientific with your style, the world is enjoying more and more time in their kitchens and less time in restaurants.

 

Soul food is a real passionate and loving cuisine which comes from Africa.  Although the western world has now adopted the phrase and created their own versions. For us it evokes a feeling of warmth and love.  Regardless of what country you are from, it is almost certain your culture will have it’s own version of food made from the heart, for the heart.  Neo soul food is the latest to the party.  With diabetics, the health-conscious and traditional all being catered for.  

 

You don’t need a kitchen full of technology and gadgets to produce a meal to warm the soul.  Simplistic cooking is the order of the day and as a result the utensils required are fairly basic in nature.  A good quality set of knives are every budding chef’s best friend.  Weight and size will depend on you and everyone’s idea of the best tool for the job is different.  Check out this fantastic read for advice on purchasing the most important object in your kitchen.  Then grab yourself a chopping board and you are already on the way to becoming a culinary king.  Check out our earlier post on how to eat amazing food too.

 

Image from Pixabay

 

Deep, rich flavours are key.  Imagine the cooking of your grandparents or your mum.  It should be as much about smell as it is about taste.  It is the kind of meal that you eat propped up in the kitchen whilst talking to friends, or that you make yourself on a cold winter’s night as you sit watching an old film under a blanket.  For the original soul don’t think health kick here.  Starch, fat, cholesterol and calories are the unfortunate additions to most of these dishes but don’t let that put you off.  A little bit of bad can be good, right?  If you don’t agree then the Neo soul food recipes see coconut oil and turkey used over the more traditional butter, steak and pork.  Also you can tweak the cooking methods of most recipes.  Trying to cut portion size will also help but sometimes you just have to let yourself have a blow out and when food is this delicious? It’s hard not to keep going.

 

For some exciting recipes check out this link then get cooking.  Most importantly remember that this is a textual experience too.  Soul food isn’t for plates.  It needs to sit in a bowl which you can cup in your hands and treasure the warmth.

 

Soul is something with a beat, with a passion and with a purpose.  So turn up the beat in your kitchen and serve a little love in up to the people you treasure.

 

Celebrate Your Partner With These Ultra Stylish Gifts


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I’m sure your partner does a lot for you and the kids. Our husbands and boyfriends are some of the most important people in our lives. Not only are they kind and loving, but they are also extremely supportive. Plus they are fab with the kids! So you’ll probably agree that our partners could do with spoiling sometimes, right? But what do you get that special man in your life? Here are some ultra stylish gifts I think any bloke will enjoy!

 Globes And Atlases

Do you and your partner love to travel? If you have travelled to various destinations around the world, then they will love a travel-themed present. And what better than a stylish globe or atlas! You can find some really smart atlases in bookshops these days. They make great coffee table books. If you want something a bit more sophisticated, think about splashing out on a globe. They are slightly more expensive, but certainly look the part! You could even get a globe with a small bar inside!

 Classic Cocktail Kit

Talking about bars… What about getting your beloved a classic cocktail set? This is just like a regular cocktail making kit. It’s just this one has everything you need to make classic cocktails! If you know that your man is partial to an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, this gift will go down really well. And so will the drinks he makes! Not too sure of any classic cocktail recipes? No worries; you can find a load here http://www.liquor.com/mosaic/classic-cocktail-recipes/

Record Player

Is your guy a bit of a music nut? Then why not fuel his addiction by buying him a record player! Records are really in fashion these days. All music stores sell them, as well as the players. But try and find him something special. How about one that folds into a suitcase?! It’ll be very portable. Perfect to take to any parties! You can find these and more record accessories on sites like http://www.cuckooland.com/dnc/cuckooland/category/3446/gifts-for-him.

Professional Knife Set 

Got a foodie husband? I’m sure he will love something he can use in the kitchen. And what better for preparing food than a professional knife set? You can get different types of sets. Some are comprehensive and come with a complete range of knives. However, these can be expensive. But don’t fear! You will be able to find smaller sets that just include the most frequently used knives in kitchens.

Football Shirt And Season Ticket 

And what about all the football fanatics out there? I’ve got them sorted as well! If your hubby loves football, spoil him with his club’s latest football shirt. That way, he will always look the part when he goes to watch them. If your partner loves cheering on his favourite team, you could also get him a season ticket for the year!
That should give you enough gift ideas for Christmas, birthdays, and special times in between!

DIY Floating Witch Hats

I love a good Halloween craft, and this one is really easy. It is also a simple way to add some flair to any home!

   
 
Items needed:

Witch Hats – Target (I got three.)

2-3ft of Ribbon (1 1/2 inch width, colored. I used green.)

Tulle – Michaels Crafts (I used Sparkly Orange.)

Black Glitter Roses – Michaels Crafts (I used purple.)

Hot Glue Gun (with glue sticks)

Crystal Thread

Sewing Needle

Pony Beads (2 per hat)

Push Pins (One per hat)

Something to prop the hat up on while decorating. I used a plastic “megaphone” on a roll of paper towels. This helped to fill in the tall part of the hat, and made it easier to create on.

 
Ribbon Hat:

Place hat on your prop.
Take your ribbon and gently wrap it around the mid-point of the hat, crossing it in the back, edges should hang off the brim. The ribbon should be angled, see picture below.

Using your hot glue gun, glue top portion to the hat first, then glue the cross over in the back. 

  

Rose Hat:

Prop hat up.

Remove two rose heads from the stems. 

Using hot glue gone, glue the roses on the side of the hat where the “cone” part meets the start of the flat brim, be sure the bottoms of the roses are facing each other. 

  

Tulle Hat:

Prop up your last hat.

Using 5 feet of your tulle (be warned, if you’re using one with glitter, it is about to get everywhere). Wrap the tulle around the bottom part of the “cone” of the hat, and form/tie a bow. 

Fluff out the loops of the bow, and the part around the hat. 

  

Preparing to hang your hats:

(These are the steps you’ll take for each hat.)

Cut about 5 feet of the crystal thread, then slide two pony beads onto thread. 

Hold both ends of thread together, so the beads fall to the middle.

  
Gently invert the hat so it is inside out.

Put both ends of the thread through the needle, and push through the top point of the hat. 

  
Very carefully reach through the other side and of the hat, and pull the needle through. You will flip the hat back the correct way, and pull until the beads are in the tip of the hat.

  
I tied a couple of knots to keep the thread from getting too crazy.

Hanging your hats:

Decide how low you want to hang your hats, and tie the thread at that length around the push pin. 

I tied mine multiple times, to be sure it wouldn’t come undone and fall down.

  

Decide where you want them to hang, be careful if you need to use a ladder, then simply push the pin into the ceiling!

  

I hung all of mine in our entry way, and they had such a fun element to this season’s decor! 

   
Green Ribbon Hat


Purple Glitter Rose Hat

    
Orange Tulle Hat

 
If you have any questions, comment and I’ll answer them!

Happy Crafting!

Back to…work?

It was “back to school time” recently in Oregon, and my friend’s took it to the next level.

While everyone was posting those cute pictures of their kids all dressed up heading back to to first day of a new school year, Kami and Ben decided to take the side of humor. 

Kami posted this to her Facebook page:

  
This is the real side of life, my friends, and I can’t stop laughing. 

Yes, that says “Day 4,343 and 7,690 of work.” Even better, yes, that is an R2D2 lunch box…that makes noises! 

These are good people, and I am thankful for the friendship and laughs they bring into my life.

Share Monsters

  
Today I take a piece from Gary Vaynerchuk. 

I love when he brings up being a Share Monster during some of the #AskGaryVee Shoooows. 

He brings up such a great point, stop being lurkers! If you follow a brand/business page and see something you enjoy, or someone else might enjoy: Share, like, comment! 

People on Facebook are so quick to share the “share this if” posts, that are basically the spam of Facebook. (And it’s annoying, stop it.)

Yet, when a new business or brand is trying to grow and gain more followers, they skim past it and don’t think twice about sharing their post. I have noticed that they do this, even if they know the person!

It’s time to change it around. Stop spamming the rest of us, and try to help someone. 

Don’t be a lurker, be a Share Monster!!!!