Homemade Gift Ideas

There’s absolutely no reason to go broke buying gifts throughout the year for friends, family and co-workers. Nothing means quite as much as a gift that is made with love and care. Planning ahead and making all your gifts will save you a ton of money and a lot of headaches. Here are some terrific homemade gift ideas that are easy and fun to make:

Dollar Store Gift Baskets: Your everyday dollar store is a gift giving haven. You can make really inexpensive gift baskets using dollar store items. For instance, you can divide sets of fingernail polishes, candles, soaps, etc. or separate multi-pack food items like hot cocoa or crackers to make multiple baskets. Most dollar stores also have a great selection of plastic totes and storage containers that can be used in place of the traditional basket holder.

Bath Salts in a Bottle: Nothing is easier to make than scented bath salts. Just use equal parts of Epsom salt, baking soda and sea salt. Add some scents and pour into craft bottles that have been decorated with ribbons or other embellishments. Make sure to include instructions on how to use. No one should soak in bath salts for more than 20 minutes! It can be very drying otherwise.

Body Mists: Body mists are cooling, refreshing and very popular among the ladies. To make your own, pick up some spray bottles at your local pharmacy, beauty supply or craft store. Sterilize and fill each of them with distilled water. Add your choice of essential oils and you’re ready to give a lavish gift!

Hand Painted Golf Tees: Sometimes coming up with homemade gifts to give the guys can be a challenge. Here’s an easy and great gift to make them. Buy some ordinary golf tees and give them all a custom paint job. Choose neutral or wild colors. Or monogram them with the recipient’s initials.

Decorated Bird Feeders & Houses: You can usually find unpainted and inexpensive bird feeders or bird houses at your local craft store, and in various shops online. Hand paint and decorate any way you choose for a thoughtful gift. You can even package them up with bags of bird seed.

Pen Holders: Ordinary cans make the best pen holders in the world! To make, simply wash and dry empty vegetable or soup cans. Drill small holes on either side near the tops of cans (to tie on handles on later!). Paint them any way you want. When dry, use heavy gauge floral wire to make handles. Decorate with glitter, fabrics, ribbons, craft jewels etc. Tie a raffia bow to the handles and you’re done… practical pen holders, awesome gifts.

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The Perfect Christmas Gift Ideas For Men

Are you looking to purchase the perfect gift for the special gentleman in your life? There are plenty of wonderful gadgets, tools, trinkets, and other types of gifts that will surely have him shouting for joy this holiday season. Here are some of the more popular Christmas gift ideas for men:

Sporting Goods

It’s probably a pretty safe bet that the man in your life is into some type of sporting activity whether it be basketball, baseball, golf, hockey, tennis, fishing, or any other type of activity that would normally be considered a sport. Chances are pretty good that he’ll be totally satisfied with a new golf club, or a new fishing rod, or any other type of gift related to a sport that he thoroughly enjoys.

Sports Memorabilia

If he’s a big time sports fanatic, then you will certainly make his day by presenting him with an autographed football, baseball bat, golf towel, or any other autographed item form his favorite sports icon. This is perhaps one of the more difficult gifts to acquire, and it may not even be possible at times, so perhaps you might consider settling for sports memorabilia items such as pictures, plaques, bar furniture, clothing, and more.

Electronic Gadgets

The possibilities are endless when it comes to the different types of electronic gadgets that can given out during the Christmas season. Hand held poker games, portable DVD players, cell phones, and camcorders are all wonderful gifts that men thoroughly enjoy and can never get enough of.

Tools

Who ever heard of a guy that has too many tools? The truth is that a man can never have enough tools in his toolbox, workbench, or wherever it is that he keeps his equipment for performing every day maintenance tasks around the house or apartment. New socket wrenches, drill bits, hammers, all-in-one tool sets, power drills, or any type of power tool will make the perfect addition to that special someone’s collection.

Music

If the guy you’re shopping for is big into music, then you might consider purchasing him a new mp3 player if he hasn’t already got one. Does he have an iPod? Perhaps you might want to buy him a new pair of high quality earphones or an iPod docking station that can double as an alarm clock.

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Holiday Gifts: 15 Best Gifts for Runners

The holiday season is approaching and finding the perfect gift for a runner can be a struggle, especially if you are not a runner yourself. It is easy to assume that the only things they're going to want are running shoes. Fortunately, there are many other good gift ideas that provide comfort or help runners recover more quickly from long runs or races.

Compression Garments

Compression shorts, socks, sleeves, and pants are all the rage in the running community because of their comfortable materials, styles, and colors that coordinate with their running attire. Compression gear squeezes ever so gently to enhance circulation, help reduce swelling, and aid in optimal recovery while wicking sweat from your body. While compression gear can get a little pricy, they're a highly recommended gift because they provide a layer of protection from the winter weather. Prices range from $ 7 to $ 258.

Running Watch

A running watch is at the top of every runner's gift list for a very good reason: it provides information on time, distance, heart rate, and more. The watch help runners set goals and measure their progress without using pen and paper. They can simply download the data onto a computer and view whatever information they want. So if you want to splurge a little, a sports watch is probably the most exciting gift that any beginning or experienced runner would want. Prices range from $ 150 to $ 400.

Music Player

If your runner likes to listen to music or audio books during their workouts, a music player may be the ideal running gift. While many runners opt to listen to music from their smart phone, the concern is that the sweat and moisture may cause unintended damage. MP3 music players are inexpensive and a durable alternative, which allows runners to still play their favorite music to stay motivated. There are a lot of great choices with some of the best MP3 players being reasonably priced and most offering quality sound. Prices range from $ 30 to $ 490.

Hydration Belt / Pack

Proper hydration is one of the key elements to any runner performing at their peak whether training for a 10k or 26.2 marathon. Depending on your runner, a handheld 12-ounce water bottle with a pouch is a useful gift for runners of all levels. They come with an adjustable strap that tightens to your hand so you can run without actually having to grip the bottle. However, a handheld water bottle simply does not carry enough water for a long distance runner. It would require too many pit stops to refill. Long distance runners tend to use hydrations packs / belts, which will allow them to run greater distances and still remain hydrated. Generally, hydration systems hold between 18 and 100 ounces of fluid and include pockets to carry food, cash, a phone, and other essentials. A hydration pack is an excellent marathon gift choice for a distance runner. Prices range from $ 10 to $ …

Men’s Underwear As Gifts

Underwear can be a great gift to give to a man. If you are close to that man, underwear can be a very good gift to get a little bit more personal to him. However, you should remember that such a gift is a very personal gift and you should only give them to people that you are close with. Don’t think about giving such a gift to your boss unless you are that personal with him. Also such a gift is easy to get for a man. There are many varieties to choose from. These have started to come in various styles and keep in touch with the trend. If you are close enough to get him underwear as a gift, you can also get him some experimental types of underwear just to have some change in your relationship. This change will keep your relationship spontaneous and more interesting.

You should know what your man seeks before you buy him underwear that he would like to wear. You should have an idea of what he likes. If he is a man that likes comfort more than anything else, then he would prefer to wear cotton weave briefs and micro briefs that are really comfortable. You can buy him these so that he feels as comfortable as possible. Being comfortable would also mean that he can have confidence and be himself. If your man is worried about support, there are various types of underwear that will help to provide support where it is required. These can be of boxer length or regular brief length. The specialty fabric of such underwear is what sets them apart from the rest.

There are many men who are worried about underwear lines through their dress. For such men, there are the underwear thongs that help to keep low profile. There are many other such types of low profile underwear that do not show up as dress lines. This is true even if the man is wearing a tight fitting pair of pants. Also if your man is really very concerned about lines showing up then he can also try wearing G strings. This many men might reject at the very idea, but others who have tried such an underwear find it absolutely liberating. Once you get your man started on wearing g strings and thongs, he might even get addicted to it. Therefore you should encourage him by buying him a pair.

If you want to gift him sexy underwear, you should try your hand at the designer collection of men’s underwear that has hit the market. Such underwear has become very popular today. There are a lot if designs to choose from. Also because of the number of the brands in the market, most of the designer underwear is also available for competitive prices. Therefore even for a reasonable rate, you can get designer underwear for your man. There are many too chose from. You should get him some that will make him …

Review of the ‘Gift Basket Connectory’ by Rita Wilhelm

Rita Wilhelm runs one of the top gift basket businesses in the US. In the Gift Basket Connectory she has compiled a large variety of resources to assist newcomers in starting their own successful businesses.

Membership at Wilhelm’s Gift Basket Connectory gives those interested in learning about the business access to the most comprehensive range of relevant resources and information available online. In the resources that she has put together she shares her secrets and has compiled her years of experience and knowledge so that you can get started right without making the mistakes that so many newcomers to the industry have made.

The knowledge base that she has created is both strong on the practical side of product creation as well as the business side resulting in well rounded information that can fast-track any amateur or hobbyist straight to the mindset of a gift basket professional.

The kit includes videos that teach you how to make professional gift baskets right from scratch and offers insights into which baskets sell better than others and how you should go about pricing and advertising your creations. She outlines some of the start-up considerations that new players should be aware of and sets out an action plan to guide beginners through everything step by step.

Wilhelm is an expert at winning corporate clients and she outlines a complete approach about how to go about establishing and maintaining these lucrative relationships. She also includes detailed information about how to market your gift baskets on the Internet.

The Gift Basket Connectory includes brochure templates, website templates, business forms and a list of wholesale suppliers.

The package also includes access to an industry marketplace as well as one of the largest gift basket business forums on the Internet with over 58,000 posts.

Currently priced at $129 as an annual membership fee, it comes with a 60 day money-back guarantee.

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Rock Climbing – Christmas Gift Ideas

We all know someone who’s idea of a good time is hanging off cliffs. If you’re looking for Christmas gift ideas for a rock climbing enthusiast, here’s some unique rock climbing gift ideas.

Rock Climbing Gift Ideas

You can always tell a rock climber by their appearance. White chalk fingers, bleeding knuckles, bent fingers and…a grin a mile wide. Whether they are climbing in indoor climbing gyms or hanging off Half Dome in Yosemite, rock climbers are very receptive to rock climbing gifts. Here are a few gift ideas that will make you a favorite with them.

1. Rock Climbing Gym – Most metropolitan areas now have rock climbing gyms. These gyms are typically indoor areas where rock climbers can work on their techniques. Walls come in a variety of terrains and with differing holds. Membership costs range all over the place, but climbers will love the gift. This is a particular good rock climbing gift idea for people living in big cities and who can’t head off for an afternoon of knuckle crunching.

2. Climb International DVD – The Climb International DVD is a highly recommended financial planning tool for rock climbers. Why? Well, the DVD contains climbs from exotic locations such as Thailand and China. After watching the DVD, the average rock climber will suddenly start saving every penny from their paycheck, rolling nickels and generally being as cheap as possible. The goal? To save enough money to travel to these locations for a personal rock climbing adventure. The DVD can be a bit hard to find. Search for it by name on any search engine and you should be able to find it. Expect to pay roughly $20 for this mouth watering movie.

3. Build Your Own Indoor Climbing Wall – You have to be very careful when giving this gift. This book gives step by step instructions on how to build an indoor climbing wall. This, of course, requires one to have a space in which to build said climbing wall. Basements and garages are typical locations, much to the chagrin of spouses. Personally, I wouldn’t put my name on the “from” section of the gift card. You can expect to pay $10 or so for this evil little book.

4. Climbing Holds – Climbing holds are plaster molds that are put on a climbing wall. They come in all kinds of vicious shapes, which are perfect for bending fingers in truly unnatural positions. If you know someone who has built a climbing wall in their garage or house, this is a perfect gift. Since each climbing hold is more or less unique, just pick the ones that grab your fancy. They come in a wide range of prices, so it is often best to shop by what you can afford. Helpful Tip: Look closely at the holds. If you can’t imagine how a hand would possible hold onto a particular hold, that is the one to buy!

5. Nomad Rock Climbing Journals – A little …

How to Survive in the Gift Basket Industry During Trying Economic Times

With 15 years in the gift basket industry, I have seen companies come and go, but in the past several months, during these difficult economic times, I have seen an undeniable increase in companies which are either for sale, or closing. Consumers still require baskets for a variety of reasons. How do you continue to survive and get consumers to spend their much coveted dollars with you during this downturn?

The gift industry is in a category all by itself. Many do not realize the amount of inventory necessary to offer the variety of gift baskets desired by consumers, as well as the many extra items like wrap, ribbon, packaging, boxes, etc. that all go into the design and shipping of a gift basket. It is easy to go overboard on purchasing these items. We must resist purchasing too much in order to keep our expenses in check. Things to keep in mind when purchasing inventory:

-Remember, when purchasing food product you will want to monitor your inventory carefully. Do not carry more than you can realistically sell over a short period of time. You want to be able to offer the freshest product possible to your customer. Old and out dated stock can be the end of your business, and having to discard over buys on a regular basis can put you in the red very quickly.

-Keep track of where your suppliers are. Are they located within a one day ship time? If so, you do not need to stockpile these items. If you know that you are able to re-supply low inventory within a day, there is no need to carry a large overhead. Although, it might seem responsible to order in larger quantities to save on shipping, it is more important to have a sustainable level of inventory, than save a few dollars on shipping costs.

-Are the items you stock available from several suppliers? Ask them to price match.

-Keep a detailed and categorized inventory list so that when it is time to re-order, you can order all the necessary stock from a specific supplier without forgetting anything, thus avoiding additional unnecessary shipping fees.

As responsible gift basket professionals, it is important that we watch our bottom line so that we are able to provide beautiful gift baskets at a fair price. If a customer knows that they can depend on us to provide fresh gift baskets on a consistent basis, you will be able to retain these customers regardless of the economic conditions. They will come to trust our dependability and be happy to pass the responsibility of getting an eye catching gift basket delivered to their family, friends and associates in a timely and affordable manner.

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What Giving Fountain Pens As a Gift Really Means

If you are looking to make an impression through a gift, there is no shortage of options in the shops and department stores that litter every town and city. However, no gift makes an impression more so than one of style, sophistication and reminiscent of the cultured society of the past. While there is a vast variety of unusual gifts for men and women, amongst the most commonly appreciated are writing artifacts, not just because of their design and worth, but because of what they communicate.

The fact is that such items reflect well on both the giver of the gift and the recipient. While modern, ball-point pens are impressive in their own right, with silver, gold and stainless steel finishes, and with some even wrapped in skins as exotic as snake, the pens of yesteryear suggest the kind of polished civility that is missing from the world of today.

Fountain pens, in particular, represent the worldly and the learned. They require a technique in their use that is both skillful and masterly, and are themselves designed to smoothly run across the page. Such a gift suggests that the giver’s impression of the recipient is that of a person of maturity, a learned and solid being of the world. And as far as the recipient is concerned, the person from whom he received such a striking gift has shown care and consideration in their choice, something only those with true taste can display.

Add to that the accessories that can complete a writing set, and the image grows. Such items are ink blotters, writing desks, ink wells and ink sets, quills for the antique effect and portable writing boxes. The list of writing artifacts that can be added to the pen is long, each one with a specific worth beyond the figure written on its tag.

In both cases, there is an array of options that any buyer can peruse before actually making a purchase. Any stationary store will have a wealth of pens for sale at a variety of prices, and while this may be sufficient for most people, a more discerning purchaser will seek out something extra special.

Often, it comes right down to the nib – literally – as pens can come in either ball-point, rollerball and fountain nib designs. Preferences are also decided on the barrel of the pen, which can vary in thickness and shape, or the pen’s weight in the hand, with some of the heavier models preferred for their seamless movement.

When it comes to fountain pens prices can run into thousands of pounds, with caps made of solid sterling silver and nibs that are as intricately engraved as they are engineered. Nibs can be made of 14k sold gold, steel or plated in chrome, and can be broad or fine in width. Barrels come in a variety of metals, carbon fibre and even wood.

Of course, writing boxes add a truly authentic feeling of old-world and the timeless sophistication that it imbues. …

10 Unique and Affordable Wedding Favor Ideas

1. Tote Bags

Perfect for any season and oh-so useful, personalized tote bags make excellent wedding favors. Plain tote bags are inexpensive, and they are easy to customize yourself, should you wish to make your own wedding favors. Short on time? Some wedding shops offer personalized totes, but they will cost you more than if you design them yourself.

2. Sunglasses

Having the ideal summer wedding? Candies and chocolates might not be the best wedding favor to leave for guests in the hot summer sun. Sunglasses are a great way to keep your guests comfortable and to remind them of your special day for years to come. A plus? Frames come in a variety of styles and can be personalized in so many ways. You are limited only by your imagination! Like tote bags, sunglasses can also be personalized professionally by many wedding and party vendors.

3. S'mores Kits

Perfect for weddings in late summer or early fall, individual s'mores kits are another creative alternative to more conventional wedding favors. These can be as basic or as decadent as you prefer, and thus they can work for any budget. All you need are some graham crackers, marshmallows, chocolate bars and cute craft supplies to make these adorable and unforgettable gifts for your guests.

4. Candy in Personalized Wrappers

A bit more on the traditional side, personalized candy wrappers and candy seem to be mainstays when it comes to wedding favors. From those oft-present Jordan almonds to the more modern chocolate bars, this is another easy and inexpensive way to add a personal touch to your wedding. Why mess with a classic? Choose your candy and pick out those personalized candy wrappers . It's a great way to make an impression on wedding guests with a sweet-tooth, and it also makes for a well-appreciated shower or bachelorette party gift.

5. Individual Bath Salts

Do-it-yourself bath salts are all the rage these days. Whether they are for personal use, a Christmas gift for a relative or birthday gift for a relative, chances are you've already got a recipe or two on one of your Pinterest boards. Individual bath salts are a unique and affordable way to pamper your wedding guests. Luxurious, little jars of bath salt also make wonderful bridal shower favors.

6. Hangover Rescue Kits

Hangover rescue kits or "cures" are a must-have if your guests will be drinking. From a personalized bottle of water, to a hangover remedy-packed kit, you can make this wedding favor as simple or as complex as you like. As with the other do-it-yourself ideas, this concept is flexible and budget friendly. Hangover rescue kits also make great bachelor and bachelorette party favors!

7. Individual Hot Cocoa Mix

Planning a winter wedding? Get your guests in the comfy, cozy mood with these individual hot cocoa favors. With some jars, craft supplies and some ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, you can create some of the most memorable wedding favors possible! You can customize the …

Rejuvenate The Anniversary Couple With An Anniversary Gift

Wedding anniversaries signify milestones passed in a couple's life; and you can enjoy their happiness at crossing these milestones by gifting them wonderful gifts on their wedding anniversaries. You can very much help the couple feel that they have accomplished something special in their lives with an anniversary gift. In fact, special anniversary gifts are known to rekindle whatever dying romance there may be in couple's life.

There are traditional ideas for wedding gifts, which you could choose from to make a presentation. Each passing wedding anniversary signifies a different theme for presentation. The first year calls for something made of paper like a book, movie tickets or perhaps wrapping a gift with paper. Similarly, the second year calls for cotton, the third leather and so forth. The twenty-fifth wedding anniversary calls for a silver gift and the fiftieth wedding anniversary, a gift made of gold. Reaching the seventy-fifth wedding anniversary is indeed a great achievement, and calls for a gift made from diamonds!

If you are not content with presenting gifts based on these themes, you can always look out for gift articles to be presented to the couple. There are many gift stores and online stores you can visit to get an idea of ​​the perfect gift to gift the couple. Gifts like chocolates, jewelry, clothes and decorative items are the most preferred gifts. However, you can become ingenious, and using your creativity, create some changes to the gift to make it stand out.

You could perhaps gift a beautiful night out for the couple with Broadway tickets and a romantic dinner for two. Or perhaps a gift basket in a decorative basket, with products that you pick according to the likes of the couple. This adds a personal touch to the gift. If you are not that sure on what to buy for the couple you could always gift gift certificates. There are different gift certificates to choose from; some gift certificates permit the recipient to buy goods in their establishment worth the amount on the certificate. Then there are gift certificates where you can send the couple to enjoy the Florida sun, take an adventure trip, go on a diving trip or perhaps have a refreshing spa experience.

Couples who love parties and partying can be gifted theme parties. You could call all their near and dear ones, order food they like and spring a surprise party for them! As you can see, there are many choices to choose the best anniversary gift from. However, whatever gift you do choose, it should be remembered that it is the encoded message of how much you actually love the couple that is displayed through the gift that you choose for them.

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