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Last Minute Gifts – Lest Panic Set in – Day 11

Has it happened to you? You forgot about the hostess gift and it is T minus 30 minutes (or whatever countdown/military thing goes here – you know what I mean). Anyway, you are late and frazzled and uninspired and have only time to go to the nearest supermarket. Not to worry!

Almost any supermarket will do – I went to Whole Foods (super score), Roche Brothers and Trader Joe’s – They have gift things year round anyway but even more now. Flowers, plants, greenery, a given. How about a cinnamon broom? The one pictured is from Trader Joe’s but Whole Foods has them, too. You can decorate it on the fly if you have ribbon and an ornament in your car (don’t laugh, sometimes I do).

There were packages of candy (chocolate covered graham crackers, nonpareils – on sale) in Whole Foods that would be great poured into a mug from the kitchen section (you can do this while you are running down the aisle to the checkout, I tried). Add to it package of drinkable chocolate and marshmallows or some divine coffee or tea. Great housewares in Whole Foods in general and also at Roche Brothers which has a nice Stonewall Kitchen section (I almost bought myself a brightly colored bowl, some sweet wooden spoons and pretty dishcloths but then I calmed down and didn’t. Sometimes, I do buy myself gifts like my new Smartwool socks. Sometimes I use my secret cache of gifts for last minute gifts…shhh).

Anyway, it’s also pretty easy to put together a gift basket at any of these markets – they even have baskets. Something edible is always a welcome gift. What to choose? A case of clementines, some pomegranates, some nice cheese and bread, a jug of cider (or wine if your store carries it) and some mulling spices (either sold pre-packaged or head over to the bulk section and mix your own). Don’t forget the health and beauty aisle and my local store even has toys (my standby gift for kids is Melissa and Doug’s triangle crayons and a notepad) and they have CDs and plants (great rosemary trees)

Here are some tips from the Whole Foods blog on greening your holidays.

  • 6 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 small whole nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup whole allspice
  • Grated peel of one whole orange

Chip the cinnamon, nutmeg, and all spice with a hammer. Place with other ingredients in a storage container. To use, place two tablespoons of mixture in a small muslin bag and add to four cups of beverage. Simmer. This recipe makes one and one half cups of mulling spice.

Variations

Mulling Spice with Cardamom

This is a slightly different mulling spices recipe, with the addition of cardamom seeds. The cardamom adds a warm, faintly citrus taste to the mulled beverage.capability mom finds mulling spices on lovetoknow

  • 1 tablespoon cardamom pods, slightly crushed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1 tablespoon whole allspice
  • 1 teaspoon orange rind
  • 12 whole cinnamon sticks

Combine first four ingredients. Put two teaspoons of the mixture into a small muslin bag and tie two or three cinnamon sticks to the top. Simmer in four cups of beverage. This makes a beautiful gift. Go to Pragmatic Mom’s site to see what great gifts she found at the gourmet market. She has exceptional taste and I am so looking forward to seeing what goodies she comes up with.

The 12 Days of Shopping

Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

Dec 3: Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers Giveaway)

Dec 4: Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

Dec 5: Tutors/Teachers

Dec 6: High Tech/Low Tech

Dec 7: Hostess/Gifts That Give Back

Dec 8: Sanitation Engineers, Mail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?)

Dec 9: Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List); Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

Dec 10: Dog/Cat

Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

Dec 12: ’Cause I Am So Together, Last Minute Home Made Gifts: Cookies & Personalized Holiday Tags


Husband and Wife – The Good Gifts – Day 9

It is true that I nagged wildly hinted flat out asked for an iPad and I did get one for my birthday. Then I had the rare treat of outfitting my new toy in a cool case – but this was just when the iPad 2 came out and cases were either ugly or overpriced. I stumbled on one in Urban Outfitters that I loved and the price was right – $30.So I snapped one up in orange.  http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/search/search.jsp?searchPhrase=ipad+case&listViewSize=&indexStart=0&sortBy=&sortOrder=&categories=&categories2=&categories3=&categories4=&skucolor=&priceLow=&priceHigh=&skusize=&brand=&maxPrice=&minPrice=Now it is only $14.99 – you win! I like the other cases here as well, especially the tromp l’oeil one here. If you are into Vera Bradley there are some great cases for iPads and laptops – I found a great selection at Just Next Door in Newton.

How about some new SmartWool socks and a great pair of waterproof mittens and some winter walking shoes (we can get matching ones at REI) capability mom is going to copy her friend and get the same shoes from solomoncapability mom might buys these at REI for spouse– because I am fancy like that.

What else? I always like books, real ones or ebooks for my e-reader or iPad.

Wish List? I loved State of Wonder, by Ann Patchett and want to read

The Sense of An Ending, by Julian Barnes and Caleb’s Crossing by Geraldine Brooks

I could really use and iPhone 4S because I need someone to organize my life and I think Siri might be my new BFFL (Best Friend For Life).

While I will never say no to anything from Tiffany’s (let’s be reasonable) or Folklorica, my real new anything jewelry is from Kiki D. Design which was recently featured in the new Newton Living Magazine. Designer Beth Kurson takes beautiful vintage findings and makes them modern and lovely. Check out her store for more great pieces.Kiki D. Design Bracelet

 

But enough about me!

Husband Gift Ideas:


Running stuff from UnderArmour – of course, not in red, in black. Some more cold weather gear from REI – and they are having a great 30% off sale – plus check the outlet for last season’s gear. Great prices on basics. NY Giants gear for mine is always a hit. Techie? Apple or PC? New camera? Pragmatic Mom found a cool one –  The Sony Cyber-shot. Pretty basic but go ahead, load his iPod with some tunes. How about J. Crew shirts or stuff from Brooks Brothers (shhh…they have a kickin’ sale right after Christmas if you can wait).

Give him his favorite childhood game like Rock’em Sock’em Robots or a baseball or football to toss around with the kids. Winter sports abound here – not into one? It’s never too late to start – grab some skates, snowshoes or cross-country skis – make it a family present and you have a new family activity.

Hope this helps!

I will be posting The 12 Days of Shopping jointly with Pragmatic Mom so hop on over to her blog for some more great ideas!

The 12 Days of Shopping

 Dec 1: Make Your Own Gifts GRANOLA, Amazing Granola from Nigella Lawson versus Amazing Granola Bars from The Barefoot Contessa

 Dec 2: Kids Make Gifts CRAFT (ModPodge versus Clove Fruit)

 Dec 3Personalized Gifts (Fancy Address Stampers versus Pretty Papers Giveaway)

 Dec 4:  Father-in-Law/Dad and Mother-in-Law/Mom

 Dec 5Tutors/Teachers

 Dec 6High Tech/Low Tech

 Dec 7Hostess/Gifts That Give Back

 Dec 8: Sanitation EngineersMail Carriers, Hairdresser, Delivery People, Babysitter, Cleaning People, Dog Walker/Dog Trainer, etc. (a.k.a. who else did I forget?)

 Dec 9Husband, Me (Our Own Wacko List)Capability:Mom Husband/Wife

 Dec 10:  Dog/Cat

 Dec 11: Quick Gifts from Whole Foods versus Gourmet Food Store

 Dec 12: ’Cause I Am So Together,  Last Minute Home Made Gifts:  Cookies Personalized Holiday Tags


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