Be the perfect gift-giver this holiday season with these fabulous Secret Santa gift ideas!
Christmas is just around the corner, and with it comes the inevitable Secret Santa gift exchanges. But what exactly is a Secret Santa gift exchange? Well, just in case you’ve been living on Mars, a Secret Santa gift exchange is generally used when a large group of people, such as coworkers, large families or a group of friends, wish to exchange gifts. Everyone’s name is written down and thrown into a hat, and then each person draws a name. The name you draw is the person you will anonymously give a gift to. There is also usually a price cap attached to the gift exchange.
There are lots of great ideas for Secret Santa gifts. It’s more helpful if you know something about the person you’re gifting, but even if you don’t there are still lots of things you can give. And unless you really know the person well, it’s best to stay away from gag gifts. Just because you have a phenomenal sense of humor doesn’t mean everyone does!
A universally appreciated gift, chocolate works equally well as a gift for someone with a sweet tooth or someone you don’t know very well. Choose a nice box from Godiva, Ghirardelli, Lindt or any other quality chocolatier.
Repeat after me: everyone loves a gift card. Walmart. Target. iTunes. Starbucks. Barnes & Noble. You get the idea.
Know the recipient’s favorite musical group? Purchase their newest CD and your gift will be a hit.
What better choice than something for the holiday itself! Tree ornaments, table decorations, plates, snow globes – they all make great Secret Santa gifts.
From stationery and nice pens to mouse pads and drink warmers, there’s an abundance of desk items you can give that will be appreciated every day – well, at least Monday thru Friday!
A desk plant or house plant is a gift that will always remind the recipient of you, and let’s face it, they’re just nice to have around. Make sure you give it so someone who will actually take the time to take care of it, though!
You can create theme baskets based on a variety of different interests. For instance, if the recipient is a movie buff, you can create a ‘Movie Basket’ with popcorn, candy, soda and a gift card to a movie rental store. If the recipient is a woman who likes to be pampered, create a ‘Spa Basket’ using body lotion, bath salts and manicure/pedicure tools.
Inspirational plaques, photo frames and such make delightful gifts, especially for coworkers. If this is the route you’d like to take, be sure to pay attention to their personal style before you go shopping.
Will you be playing Santa for an avid golfer? Give them some golf tees, balls or a golf towel. Or maybe they like to garden. Check out garden centers for the latest in garden gadgetry.
Who among us doesn’t appreciate a good game! Classic board games or hand-held electronic versions of favorite games such as Yahtzee make fun surprises and lead to hours of fun.
Be the best Secret Santa ever by using the gift guide above to help you choose the perfect gift for this year’s exchange.
Generally while talking about jewelry, majority of the times we refer to women jewelry. However these days, men’s jewelry is also gaining a lot of popularity. Men have started realizing that they should wear more jewelry and not only the wedding rings.
There is a difference between men’s and women’s jewelry. Women’s jewelry is somewhat flashier and trendier whereas men’s jewelry is more on the sober side. You cannot exaggerate men’s jewelry. Silver and gold remains the most popular. However, there is a rapid change since industrial metals like stainless steel, tungsten and titanium have debuted. Watches are no doubt among the most attractive male jewelry.
Following it are the rings, necklaces and bracelets etc.
Men’s ring speaks about the personality of a man and its growing success. Those of you who are tight on budget they may go for a cubic zirconium silver or gold ring. You can either opt for traditional or something modern. The modern or industrial methods are gaining popularity because of their durability, as they have become symbols of energy and strength.
Men necklaces are often referred to as neck chains. These usually vary from 18-25 inches. This is large enough to prevent snoring necks, however not as much as string extends below the serum. There are some things that hang from the chain; these are called medallions and hanging. In general, pendants are sold along with chains. Even the dog tags appear to be very popular these days.
If you want to be flashier then opt for cuff links. They come with professional team logos, symbols, classic and abstract art grounds etc.
You will even find them in crystal and glass. These provide an opportunity to reflect a man about his ethnicity, employment, hobbies or himself. It allows you to display your fine jewelry that simply no one can overlook.
Until recently, men bracelets were usually unheard for. However, times have changed now. The gold bracelets, be it white gold, yellow, gold etc are among the most common with sterling silver and silver particularly chosen. ID bracelets are among the hottest men accessory sold these days. It is a waist chain that contains an engraved plate. You can get your name engraved, or of your spouse or kids. Also, you can go for a personal motto or something.
Earlier earrings were not at all preferred for men. However, they now are being accepted as a legitimate form of jewelry. Men obviously have got the advantage of wearing this jewelry as they require it to wear only in one ear.
Nothing beats anything better than money clips when it comes to men’s jewelry. These are basically designed to carry cash as well as cards in a secured and compact format. They are really very stylish and elegant.
The ones that are made up of tungsten or titanium are preferred. Before you make a major purchase, it is recommended that you opt for an independent valuation. Also, do enquire about the credentials of the store from which you are buying the jewelry.
All humans have a basic need to express themselves, to show others who we are, what we believe in, and how we are different. This is what make us individual, special and unique. We choose to express ourselves differently based on our personality. Some people express their creativity and personality through creating art or music, others have special hobbies that show off their skills and abilities. Choosing not to make bold statements is also a way of expressing your personality.
Most common perhaps, is the way we present ourselves to the world through clothing and appearance. This is why almost all subcultures can be identified and recognised by their chosen way of dressing or why teenagers seem to change fashion ideals all the time in a period of their lives when personality is being formed.
Individuality is what makes life and people interesting and exiting!
It is also what makes people trust you. When we express our individuality, we show people that we have nothing to hide and that what you see is what you get.
Most people though, do not have the opportunity to express themselves as freely as they may like to because they have certain obligations. Generally this means work responsibilities. After all some jobs do not lend themselves to outrageous dressing or bold statements of individuality. Customers would be somewhat concerned if their accountant or bank representative decided to show up for work in flip flops and shorts even if they were passionate surfers in their free time. In many ways society ‘pigeon holes‘, or attempts to, in order to enable us to not only conform but be instantly recognisable to others.
But conforming to certain ideals and stereotypes in order to be taken seriously doesn’t have to imply curbing all expressing of individuality. In businesses there are many leaders whose personalities often play a big part in the publics perception of a company such as Donald Trump or Richard Branson.
Small things such as your businesses card can say a lot about you. What font is your name written in? What colour paper have you chosen? How big are the letters and where are they placed on the card?
Classy, hand written fonts show style and sophistication. Big, bold letters show a healthy ego and drive. Rounded and soft letters show creativity and an easy going personality. Font is important!
Colours are important. Simple white paper with black letters, shows unpretentiousness and seriousness. Bright colours and coloured text shows something else entirely. Is the letters written in all capitals? Is the company logo big and dominant or subtle?
There are many ways of expressing you own or your companies individuality on your businesses card. As such, it is a good idea to think about what you are trying to communicate to your target audience. After all, when your clients or people you meet look at your business card they are going to associate that with you and your company. Therefore you need to ensure that it makes a good impression and portrays the correct façade.
Custom businesses card printing is available many places online. Many online business printing services offer customised solutions that you can choose from or work from your own design. The quality of is usually high, delivery times fast and prices very competitive.
No matter how deeply we are immersed in the age of high technology electronic reading gizmos and on-line articles, there are times when nothing is better than the old fashioned feeling of leafing through the pages of a real, tangible magazine. It is still the epitome of true relaxation to kick back, leisurely flip a page and settle in to the daydreams evoked by the articles, photographs and advertisements. The selection of publications available today is astounding, with a magazine for women from every walk of life, and covering every imaginable interest. From health and fitness to decorating or parenting, regardless of what topics suit your fancy, a plethora of subject matter is readily available within the covers of Canadian magazines and popular publications from the United States and elsewhere.
According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, the top ten Canadian magazines are representative of the variety available. The majority of these are strongly targeting a market base of women. From first to last, the highest circulation rates during the last half of 2011 were What’s Cooking (a publication from Kraft Foods), Reader’s Digest, Chatelaine, Canadian Living, Maclean’s, Canadian House & Home, Style at Home, Clean Eating, Coup de Pouce, and Oxygen Women’s Fitness.
The top ten are just the tip of the proverbial iceberg, though, when it comes to what is available. You can indulge your interest in almost any subject with magazines chock-full of informative and entertaining articles. A large variety of categories exist, covering any number of personal interests, compilations of general interest content and unique niche topics. While most publications available to the Canadian market are in English, there are many offered in French as well, such as Loulou, Châtelaine and Chez-Soi.
One hugely popular category of magazines for women deals with hearth and home. Lifestyle issues, parenting, home decoration, recipes and a host of other general interest subjects are featured in the pages of top-selling publications such as Redbook, More, The Ladies’ Home Journal, Good Housekeeping, Family Circle, Better Homes & Gardens and Parents Magazine. Personal improvement and health issues are other hot topics, and there is a lot of valuable information available in such titles as Self, Fitness, Women’s Health and Prevention.
Fashion and style have long been favorite subjects for a magazine for women, and the pages of Elle, Glamour, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Cosmopolitan and Loulou are teeming with fodder for the female fantasy. From the latest fashion spreads to fun questionnaires, their content is among the most enticing, including the high-end advertisements. Fans of arts and culture can find informative articles and current events from the likes of Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly and People. Cooking aficionados can get their fill of culinary goodness from Bon Appétit and Food & Wine, and bridal magazines such as Bride’s contain ideas and information for those with weddings on the horizon.
If you’re destined for a beach wedding, you may be interested in beach wedding cakes.
Beach weddings are often destination weddings, a popular choice by many couples who are looking to wrap their honeymoon and wedding into one, or to have a smaller, intimate and inexpensive event. To boot, getting married near the shore is extraordinarily romantic, and can make your wedding experience and memories, that much more special.
If you’re a bride-to-be, looking for a beach wedding cakes, what design should you be looking for? What design makes a cake so “by the shore”? Well, that depends on a lot of things. It depends on the couples’ style, interests and hobbies. It depends on theme of the event, the time of year, the characteristics and layout of the location…just to name a few. To get ideas on which cake may be right for your beach wedding, we’ve rounded up lots of ideas that we’ve included below:
Sea Shell Cakes – You just can’t go wrong with sea shells on a beach wedding cake. So what shells? Beaded periwinkle, Florida cone, and maculated ear moon, are some of the most beautiful sea shells for decoration. Small pieces of coral, is also another great choice. The sea shells can be real (wash them well!), or can be made from a variety of icing, molding paste or chocolate. Sea shells can be used subtly or as the main design of the cake. A cluster of shells, as the seashell cake topper is a must for this cake design.
Marine Wild Life Cakes – Incorporate enchanting sea creatures, such as anemones, turtles, tropical fish, sea lions, jellyfish, sea stars, dolphins, whales, or sea horses. We did a wedding in Monterey a few years ago, and the reception was at the Monterey Plaza Hotel – which is right next door to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The entire wedding party visited the aquarium the day before the wedding, experienced a private tour and had a wonderful time. The aquarium was the perfect inspiration for the theme of the cake. The cake designer subtly incorporated some of the sea creatures from the aquarium into the dessert. The topper was a large pearly clam with jewels and pearls pouring out of it, cascading down the side of the cake. (not real pearls, but fondant balls covered with pearl dust!)
Surf Cakes – Crashing waves encircling the cake is the perfect trim for a cake with a surf theme. This style cake is most appropriate for couples who surf, or just love the waves. The surf can be puffy foaming waves, or just subtle hints of wave shaped frosting. Incorporating some blue into the cake can help it look more like the ocean. Airbrushing blue onto cake’s frosting, gives a real nice blended, and realistic effect. Add in a surf boards or figurines surfing as your cake topper, and you’re set.
Tropical Flower Cakes – Hibiscus, cymbidiums, tuberose, or any of your tropical favorites. They can be used as a flower cake topper, they can cascade down the side of the cake or tiers, or used sparingly throughout. Tropical flowers can also completely cover the cake, or be used just on the base. Wherever placed, they will dress up the most plain and dull cake – and make it instantly gorgeous looking, and smelling.
Sandcastle Cakes – Sandcastles on wedding cakes, are usually used as a toppers. But, we have seen entire cakes shaped like castles, or at least the top half of the cake shaped like a castle, with a few traditional wedding cake tiers below it. To get the sandy effect, the cake can be sprinkled with fine graham cracker crumbs or brown sugar.
Palms and Coconut Cakes – To remind you of your beautiful location, how about a subtle design of palm leaves circling the outside cake? A few coconuts as garnish? A cake topper oasis? How about a cracked open half of a coconut as a cake topper, with bride and groom figurines lounging in it, as if it were a hammock?
Buried Treasure Cake – You don’t have to be in the Caribbean to pull this off. The topper could be a treasure chest with gold coins and jewels pouring out of it, cascading down the side of the cake. If you’re in love with Pirates, make have figurine cake toppers of a bride and groom…one as Captain Jack Sparrow, and a fair maiden in her wedding dress, of course.
Bamboo and Tiki Cake – Coat the outside layers of the cake with confections made to look like bamboo. You can also incorporate Tiki masks. We once attended a luau wedding and the cake had miniature tiki torches sticking out of the top, and around the cake on the table. When the bride and groom cut the cake, tribal drums were playing in the background.
Ocean Activity Cake – Love to go snorkeling, fishing, diving, boogie boarding, or kayaking? How about bride and groom figurines fishing for wedding rings off of a pier? This would be easiest to incorporate into a cake topper, but don’t forget figurines can be anywhere on the cake! Get creative! Any of your favorite ocean activities can be incorporated into your cake.
Sea Bird Cake – Sea birds in flight, in love, with their long necks forming a heart. Best as a cake topper, but can be incorporated throughout the cake tastefully if sea birds are your thing.
Lighthouse Cakes – Is your wedding near a really cool lighthouse? We’ve seen a lot of lighthouse cake toppers, but we also had a client who had her baker create an entire cake as a lighthouse. Another client had the two bottom layers of the cake as tiered rounds, and the top half of the cake was a lighthouse and its surrounding area, right down to the boating docks below it.
Sand Cakes – Not real sand! Many bakers use crushed crumbs, like graham crackers, or brown sugar. The base of the cake can be covered with “sand”, or the top of each exposed layer…or the entire cake! Our favorite, is when a pile of “sand” is formed at the base of the cake and spread out on the table a couple inches around it. Something can then be written in the sand, i.e. “Charlie and Beth Forever”, or “CV + BE, 9/12/08”. You get the picture.
Nautical Cakes – Go Nautical! Anchors, ropes, buoys, wooden docks, life preserver rings, etc. These can be made from marzipan, subtly sprinkled around the cake, placed as the base, or used as a cake topper.
Beach Relaxation Cakes – Our absolute favorite beach wedding cake is 2 Adirondack chairs as the cake topper, with 2 pairs of flip flops beneath them. Figurines of the bride and groom sitting in the chairs is optional. A regular beach or lounge chair can also be used instead of the Adirondacks. One of our other favorites was a figurine bride and groom snoozing in a large hammock as the cake topper, with sand and miniature beer bottles beneath them.
Swimming Pool Cakes – Not with real water, we promise! Picture this: the top cake layer made to look like an endless swimming pool. This can be done by cutting the top square edge off of the cake (like a router would carve out the edge of a wooden table), to simulate an endless pool. Figurines of the bride and groom’s heads could be sticking out of the top of the pool, with shades and sunhats on, holding cocktails of course!
Hawaiian Cakes – How about leis as a cake topper? Or a hula bride figurine enticing the groom on the top of the cake? The cake could be wrapped with a sarong, or beach umbrella, Hawaiian cocktails, pineapples, or anything else Hawaiian could be incorporated.
Beach Colored Cakes – Just want to use beach themed colors? Stick with white, tan, off-white, teal, and of course, blue. The use of blue can be subtle as the color of the frosting, or air brushed onto the outside of the cake for a blended or accented look.
Collecting is a fun hobby, and one of the most interesting things to collect are art collectibles. Many different items can be painted with artwork and become an art collectible. Hobby enthusiasts collect such things as saw blades, and wooden eggs which have had artwork painted on. People even collect designer rugs as art. Another art collectible hobby is collecting limited edition plates, thimbles, Christmas ornaments, and figurines produced by such companies as Bradford Exchange. And of course, many people collect fine art paintings.
The person with an art collectible hobby will probably find his or her own favorite artists whose works they appreciate. They can choose to focus on one particular artist, either past or present, or they can choose from the works of many artists. On the other hand, they may collect art and art objects around a theme they enjoy, such as cigars, wild animals, or piano music.
One may think of an art collector as a rich person who has the money to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on an original Van Gogh. A person of more modest means can collect art too, however. Post cards are a good place to start. Most art museum gift shops offer high quality, glossy postcards printed with some of their more notable acquisitions. By buying those cards one really appreciates, anyone can have an art collection.
Ebay is a good source of art collectibles whatever type of art or collectible you fancy. In fact, if you are just starting out, the choices and options can be overwhelming! Just remember that you can sell your own belongings as well as buying those of others. This should make the impact on the budget a little less powerful. Other ideas for inexpensively collecting art collectibles are scouring flea markets, thrift shops, and garage sales. You never know what treasure someone else may be getting rid of.
One nice thing about art collectibles is that artists can be found in every part of the world. The art collector should scout the local art shows, museums, and artist’s hangouts to find out just what sort of talent can be had less expensively and close to home. Because of the local flavor of some artwork, art collectibles make good travel souvenirs. For instance, the artist Linda Barnicott specializes in paintings of scenes, buildings, and landmarks found around Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Similarly, collectors can find local artist almost everywhere.
An art collectible hobby will keep you interested in life and give you a home filled with art masterpieces as well. If you enjoy pretty and interesting things around you, consider starting an art collectible hobby today.
If you feel like you’ve been under a lot of stress lately, it’s probably true: there’s always tedious work that needs to be done ASAP, things that bring you down or drain your energy and people who don’t understand or appreciate you or seem to be constantly picking fights with you. Still, that’s no excuse to let stress get the better of you – if you’re not careful, you risk losing much more than your peace of mind and level-headed attitude. It’s been proven that extended periods of intense stress can lead to gradual deterioration of both brain function and structure.
The medical bit: Stress-induced hormones impacting the brain
Cortisol and other hormones released in reaction to increase stress can considerably hinder or prevent development and production of new neurons in hippocampus, a part of the brain responsible for learning, emotional balance, memory and response to stressful situations. In case of prolonged periods of tension and pressure, excess production of stress-related hormones can impact the media prefrontal cortex, amygdala and stem cells, contributing to frequent bouts of impulsive behaviour, anxiety, fear, aggression and depression, inadequate decision-making processes, social interactions and hampered working and learning memory.
Pause to reflect: Identify and eliminate external stressors
One of the best ways to prevent damage to your brain and mental condition in case of increased stress levels is to monitor your emotional and psychological state. Try to identify common stressors and eliminate them from your everyday environment, and find activities and hobbies that promote stress relief. In case of repetitive bouts of anxiety, mood swings, depressive episodes or increased frequency of conflicts with other people, it may be wise to consult a professional psychologist or psychotherapist for adequate treatment and medical remedies to counteract the negative impact of stress on your mind, emotions, health and overall well-being.
Time to take action: DIY stress relief mechanisms
If you decide to counter stress on your own, you should set aside some time to reflect on the activities you consider rewarding, beneficial and relaxing. Here are some practical tips which you can use to keep stress at bay and promote your emotional and mental balance, development and overall health for both the body and the mind:
exercise regularly: comprehensive medical research has shown that regular gym, sports or aerobics sessions can help relieve and channel stress, anxiety, tension and negative energy and keep depression, aggression and serious psychological conditions at bay. To combat stress, make sure you get some regular workout – it will strengthen both your body and mind;
take up a hobby: hobbies and leisure activities like knitting, reading, writing, photography and gardening help bring out your creativity and personal expression, which can contribute to longevity, healthier lifestyle, increased levels of serotonin, endorphins and dopamine and better response to everyday stress;
meditation and yoga: ancient Eastern techniques for achieving emotional and psychological balance, meditation and yoga are a highly effective stress deterrent and remedy, so if you feel like you’re falling apart with pressure and tension, set aside some time for concentration and moderate physical activity to encourage inner balance and peace of mind;
take time off: if you can afford it, take time off work or house-bound chores and disengage yourself from the environment you find stressful. Take a holiday, travel, book a spa session or spend several days in one of the special health resorts to replenish your energy, recover peace of mind and give your overworked brain some decent rest.
Countering stress is not easy, but it is essential for preserving a healthy lifestyle, emotional balance, peace and overall well-being.
In reflection of their personality and personal tastes, all individuals have hobbies and interests which they enjoy embracing on a regular basis. Whether it is a general past time such as reading, or a more practical-based exercise, hobbies allow individuals to express themselves and be creative.
Although the overall definition is blurred by different aesthetical conceptions and opinions, art is a perform avenue for individuals to unleash their creative senses. Any piece of conceptual art or painting conveyed upon paper or a canvas is the result of eternal freedom to portray a message using a particular genre or style. Although art is considered an important part of educational curriculum within secondary schools, with the additional option of further education in college and university, it can also be taken up as a past time.
Purchasing the required art materials, in order to draw or paint in the comfort of a residential property or in the great outdoors, provides art novices and enthusiasts with the perfect platform to express themselves. Choosing to take up drawing or painting as a hobby can not only be beneficial in terms of engrossing in an enjoyable hobby, but also produce personally created artwork which can be portrayed within a household.
While sketchbooks and waterproof painting pads allow individuals to create a portfolio of work in which to be proud of collaborating and sharing, paper-based artwork can be placed within picture framing London and displayed within any household room. This can not only reduce expenditure based on the personal desire for significant quantities of framed artwork, but also allows homeowners to inject their own creative qualities within interior design features.
Using the best quality art materials can enable individuals to produce high quality portraits of themselves or other family members. This can help increase the special relationship shared between families as they enjoy the aesthetical qualities of themselves in the form of art. Such artwork deserves the best quality picture framing London in order to stand out as a main attraction within any household room.