Finding the perfect gift for the athlete in your life can be easier than you’d think. Which of these great ideas will you choose?
Today’s fitness and sports enthusiasts are equipped with myriad electronic devices, athletic clothing fashions and other accessories that can often seem impractical or off-the-wall to those who take a more moderate approach to working out. Fortunately, there’s a great range of possibilities when it comes to finding a sport- or exercise-specific gift that your athlete will enjoy.
From fantastic to farcical, you can find just about anything on the Internet to offer as a present for the athlete in your life. Here are some practical gift ideas including gear, garb and gizmos.
1. Activity monitors
The market is filled with wrist bands and clip-ons that measure your steps, heart rate, sleep, workout intensity – you name it.
2. Yoga mats
Sure, your athlete might already have one, but they do get dirty and worn out. You can even get them personalized as an extra added touch.
3. Wall frames
Help your athlete proudly show off their achievements and accomplishments with frames for their race
Toys don’t just keep the kids busy. There’s an important connection between toys and child development; how they play counts for a lot.
A time for each toy
It isn’t always easy to choose from all the child-development toys on the market. However, one thing is certain: it’s much nicer to give a child a toy that matches his or her skills and interests.
From zero to six months, babies are discovering their environment. A hanging mobile above the bed is the first toy that can help stimulate them.
From one to two years old, babies enjoy games involving actions such as pulling, pushing, rolling and stacking. They especially enjoy large blocks that they can stack.
From three years of age, their learning ability is ripe for social encounters. This is the time for small, simple board games.
At age six, children can solve certain problems by reasoning and are able to play games with more complex rules.
Quality over quantity
Toys and child development are inseparable. It’s better to favour the quality of the toy rather than the quantity. A well-chosen toy gives pleasure and contributes to
Entertaining guests coming to your home will always be somewhat of an art form. To make it easier to impress your guests, here are some tips to keep in mind the next time you’re hosting a function at your house.
When the guests arrive
Greet the first guests with a pre-dinner drink and a few hors d’oeuvres. Then, take the time to chat until everyone has arrived. This should break the ice for guests who may not know one another. If you have enough time, introduce guests to each other. This will help them start their own conversations and give you the opportunity to prepare more hors d’oeuvres, as well as the much-needed time to put the finishing touches on meal preparation.
Before serving dinner, warm your plates in the oven for five minutes to keep the food from cooling off too quickly during the meal. Be careful that the plates are not too hot when serving.
Cover warmed-up bread with a clean dish towel to keep the heat in.
Leave the glass on the table and hold the bottle above the rim of
Diwali is perhaps the most important festival of our country. It is related to the great Ramayana and stresses on the homecoming of Lord Rama along with his brother Laxmana and wife Sita from a 14 year long exile. So, for most of the people, this festival is also a homecoming thing and thus for people residing away from India, returning to India becomes very important. After a long time meeting and greeting the old friends and relatives with gorgeous Diwali gifts is a sense of victory.
Here are some of the unknown facts about this great day called Diwali.
- The Jains celebrate this day of Diwali but not on the same context as Hindus do. It is said that their religious guru Mahavira attained Nirvana, Moksha, or Salvation on this day. And therefore, the Jains celebrate this day to pay a homage to their religious leader.
- Do you know that on the Diwali day the foundation stone of the Golden Temple, Amritsar was laid?
- There was a demon named Narakasura who was an obstacle for Lord Rama
It’s great to give gifts, but if you’re sending one abroad, be sure to familiarize yourself with these tips and tricks to ensure it arrives safely.
Whether your gift seems fragile or not, an overseas journey can be fraught with peril for any package. You spent the time and money to pick out the perfect gift – now make sure it gets there safely. Read on for seven smart tips on how to send a gift abroad safely.
1. Consider how long it will take to arrive
When you send a gift overseas, it may take a significant amount of time to get there. Before you buy a gift, make sure it isn’t perishable. While items like chocolate are popular around the holidays, you may want to think twice if you’re considering sending them on a long journey abroad.
2. Carefully mark your package as a gift in the shipping documentation
Many countries reserve a special entry status for gift shipments. It’s well worth your time to carefully mark your package as a gift, along with a description of the contents. By doing so you can help ensure that your package is treated more carefully.
3. Pack with plenty of padding
Though most shipping
Finding the perfect gift for an employee can be tough, especially with strict gift tax policies. However, there are plenty of clever ideas for any occasion. Here are five simple steps sure to help you.
At some point in their career almost everyone has received a cliché gift from their boss, whether it was a pen, coffee mug or magnet.
Today, you have the opportunity to break the cycle. Instead of the mundane and unoriginal, here are some fun and personal award and gift ideas that don’t feel like an attempt just to get rid of branded knick-knacks that have been piling up on your shelves.
Where to start?
Step 1: Know your employees’ interests
This is key to picking a meaningful gift. What does each employee like to do when they’re not at work? Do they like reading? Going to the movies? Eating out with friends? Everyday interactions can often clue you in on their likes and dislikes, so strike up a conversation and take mental notes.
Step 2: Pick a gift that’s right for the occasion
Will you be giving gifts to all of your employees? If this is the case, you may want to stick to giving them
Connoisseurs and foodies alike love to eat out. Here’s how they do it without starving themselves.
1. Find your meal ticket
Entertainment books filled with coupons, such as those sold by youth groups and schools, can offer great value if you like to eat out. They often feature two-for-one specials on entrees, free appetizers, or a percentage off the bill.
Silent auctions held by schools or theatre and music groups can offer bargains as well, allowing you to bid on restaurant gift certificates and other entertainment options.
2. Get the tourist deal
Pop into the visitor’s bureau for a book of coupons designed to lure tourists. It offers special prices on local attractions and restaurants.
3. Put students to work
Chef or hospitality schools often operate their own hotels and restaurants, staffed by the students and open to the public. You’ll get great food — after all, the students are being marked on their performance.
Call ahead for reservations, many students invite their friends and spaces fill up fast.
4. A pre-theatre treat
Some theatres arrange special deals on dining with nearby restaurants for subscribers or ticket holders. Take advantage of the deal.
5. On-the-road alternatives
Before you head out on the highway, pack a lunch and
Shopping for a smart TV can be exciting, but with so many choices on the market, it can also be overwhelming. Consider these four key features to help narrow your decision when picking a model.
1. Wired vs. wireless connectivity
With a smart TV, you can bring the wonders of the Internet to your television screen. Whether you want to view your favourite TV programs, download movies on demand or surf the Internet on a bigger screen, these televisions let you make the most of your Internet connection and enjoy content online.
If you have a wireless router, choose a TV with built-in wireless so you can connect to the Internet without using a cable.
If you don’t have a wireless router, opt for a wired TV. You will still be able to access the Internet, but you’ll need to locate your TV by your router and use an Ethernet cable to connect the two together.
Some smart TVs offer both wired and wireless connectivity, so if you’re unsure, opt for a TV that allows you to switch between the two.
2. Smart TV apps
Smart TVs come with apps you can use to access content and broaden your entertainment options beyond that of your
Whether you’re looking for speakers for your television, stereo or computer, consider these questions before you buy to help find home speakers that work best for you.
1. What types of home speakers are available?
Sound bar: If you want to boost the audio on your television but don’t want to spend a ton of money on a surround sound system, consider a sound bar or sound bar subwoofer. These thin speaker strips are designed to integrate seamlessly into your TV’s audio system.
Floor speakers: These freestanding speakers are placed at ear level to deliver great sound. They take up more room than bookshelf speakers (and are more expensive) but offer better quality sound.
Bookshelf speakers: Bookshelf speakers are smaller than floor speakers and can sit on tables and shelves. You’ll sacrifice a bit on sound quality (particularly bass), but they’re a great choice when space is at a minimum.
Subwoofers: These speakers provide heart-pounding bass, making them great for gamers and action movie fanatics alike. A subwoofer is usually placed in front of TVs or stereos.
Portable speakers: Lightweight and usually battery operated, portable speakers can go from room to room or with you when you’re on the go. Look for wireless speakers to easily
A home theatre audio system can bring the cinema experience into your living room. Navigate the tricky waters of finding the right system for you using this guide.
Soundbar or surround sound system?
If you don’t have a lot of space in your living room, then a sound bar could be a suitable option for your home theatre audio system. You can mount it on the wall or place it on a stand.
Although it won’t offer the full surround-sound experience, a soundbar can replace the front speakers and subwoofer in a multi-speaker surround sound system.
For a truly immersive experience, you’ll need a minimum of five separate speakers to deliver sound from all angles.
Ideally, you could place two front speakers, two rear speakers and a centre speaker around the room, in addition to a subwoofer to deliver the deepest bass tones. The subwoofer can be located anywhere in the room.
Larger rooms can benefit from a 7.1 or even a 9.1 system, which features seven or nine speakers in addition to the subwoofer.
If you want a true home cinema experience, then this extensive set-up is something to consider.
Complete system or customized set-up?
Many pre-packaged home theatre audio systems are available
A soundbar is a speaker enclosure designed to give you the kind of high-quality sound most televisions can’t supply on their own. Here are three essential tips to help you choose a soundbar sure to deliver theatre-quality sound in the comfort of your living room.
1. Consider which type suits your needs
Before heading out to the store, think about what you want from your soundbar. Why? Because different ones are better suited for certain spaces and entertainment. What’s more, the wrong soundbar can make the best equipment sound terrible. Here are the most popular types available:
Stereo speakers focus on providing high-quality sound that comes directly from the soundbar.
These soundbars use special time-delay speakers that bounce off your walls to simulate a multi-speaker surround sound experience without all the wires.
Think of it as a wireless speaker that uses your room’s shape for sound rather than extra speakers.
Multimedia soundbars do more than enhance your TV speakers; they turn your home theatre into a central entertainment hub.
These soundbars usually work with Blu-ray or CD/DVD players so you can watch movies or listen to music on the soundbar’s superior speakers.
2. Think about features you want
Once you’ve settled on a type
There’s no shortage of infant development toys on the market, but are they really necessary? Discover whether it’s worth going beyond the classics.
Don’t underestimate the classics
There’s no need for costly gadgets with screens, sounds and buttons. Awakening your infant to the world around him or her has long been the job of parents who happily play patty-cake and look straight into baby’s eyes while they sing together.
For older babies and young toddlers, some of the best toys are the ones that have existed for a long, long time.
Studies suggest that preschool children who regularly play with blocks have better grades in math later on.
In addition to developing fine motor skills, blocks help children understand balance, symmetry and basic logistics.
Blocks also familiarize young children with math skills, including counting, shapes and even fractions.
Playing with a ball is an important developmental exercise for a child. When the ball rolls, a child follows it with their eyes and anticipates its destination.
This boosts eye coordination and movement. When a child is able to crawl and can go and catch the ball, they become aware of the space they occupy and uses logical thinking to catch it at the right place.
It may surprise you to learn that even today, plain old construction toys still appeal to kids. However, they do need to match a child’s age and development.
Who are they for?
Boys and girls—young and old—and even parents enjoy playing with construction toys. The different toys provide specific benefits according to the child’s age group and their stage of development.
Until they’re two or three years of age, toddlers enjoy stacking blocks and other building components, all for the sheer pleasure of knocking them down again.
Before the age of three, they’re simply testing balance while learning about shapes and colours, without following a model.
The pieces must be easy to handle without any risk of injury (they should be large enough not to fit in your child’s mouth).
Foam games or magnetic construction toys are ideal.
Three to five years
From the age of three, creations become less abstract and children begin to reproduce shapes. Their creations look like towers, houses and animals.
The older they get, the more room there is for the imagination and they begin to recreate complex shapes influenced by their surroundings.
Construction toys for children of this age group are increasingly varied, ranging from wooden-block marble runs to plastic
It’s not that you’re frugal, it’s just that most kids judge toys on how much fun they deliver, not the price. Here’s how to be a hero at minimal expense.
1. Timing is everything
All toy sales are not alike. For one thing, shopping in the months of November and December—prime Christmas gifting season—guarantees that you’ll pay at least twice what the same item will cost in January.
Many toy stores offer deep discounts in early summer to make way for the coming year’s inventory.
Just make sure you consider what your child’s tastes are likely to be six months in the future.
2. Old is new again
Don’t rule out second-hand toys. Most homes, and likely the family home in which you grew up, are filled with treasures waiting to be discovered. That trove eventually finds its way into garage sales, thrift shops, estate sales and even the toy section in used sporting goods stores.
Little has changed for board games from the past, while tabletop pastimes like hockey, foosball, crokinole and mini-pool are as reliable on a rainy day as they ever were.
3. Visit specialty retailers
In many cities you can find stores devoted to either antique or hand-built toys. They tend to be simple,
A short look around your house will reveal a host of different materials you can wrap your presents with, all of which will look great while saving you money.
The next time you have a gift -wrapping project, skip the traditional wrapping paper. Show off your creativity with these four unique ideas for gift wrapping.
1. Attach a bonus gift
This works especially well with gifts for small children. Rather than spend more money on a bow that’s just going to get thrown away, give a bonus gift. Buy a smaller novelty gift and attach it, unwrapped, to the top of the larger gift using ribbon. They’ll get a bonus gift that doubles as decoration. Depending on the recipient, good ideas include:
A bar of chocolate;
A novelty necklace;
A miniature stuffed animal.
2. Use newspaper comics
For a child’s gift, wrapping it in the funnies from the newspaper adds a bit more fun to the gift itself. Be sure to use the Sunday comics, if they’re available, as they are usually printed in full colour. For an extra special touch, cut out magazine images of the child’s favourite cartoon characters and tape them in a few places on top of the
How to make creative gift wrapping with potato chip bags
Here are some ideas for turning potato chip bags into elegant gift wrapping, as well as suggestions for turning wrapped gifts into stunning holiday packages.
Preparing the bag
Find a potato chip bag with a metallic inside and cut it open at the seams to make one large flat piece. Gently wash the bag with dish soap to remove all the left over crumbs and grease. Then lay it flat to dry. Once it’s dry, you have a beautiful piece of silver paper that’s just as nice as purchased silver craft paper. Now the only thing you have to do is wrap the gift and embellish the package. You’re only limited by your imagination here, because just about anything looks beautiful with silver.
Traditional red and green
Nothing says the holidays like the traditional colours of red and green. Accent your silver wrapping with red and green ribbons and bows. Spruce up your package by attaching bells, tinsel, ornaments or pom-poms; or make it really special with a poinsettia blossom.
Rustic and natural
Create beautiful rustic packages with pine cones and sprigs of pine or spruce. The natural elements complement and tone down the
Wine is an appreciated gift for almost any occasion. Knowing how to properly gift wrap a bottle of wine can turn an easy gift into something much more personal and meaningful.
1. Use a large bow
Sometimes a festive bow is all you need to make a bottle of wine ready for giving. For best results, pick velvet or wire-edged ribbon that will hold its shape. Then tie an elaborate rosette bow and affix it to the neck of the bottle of wine.
2. Buy a furoshiki
Furoshiki is a type of cloth used in Japan to wrap and carry presents. A beautiful silk furoshiki is a gift within itself, but all furoshikis can be tied around a bottle of wine. Most furoshiki come with instructions to help you wrap basic shapes and you can use rubber bands to make the process easier.
3. Keep it simple with tissue paper
Set a bottle of wine onto several squares of contrasting tissue paper. Draw the points of the tissue paper together until they cover the wine bottle. Tie a ribbon around the neck of the bottle and fluff the edges of the tissue paper.
4. Try a tea towel
Use a unique tea towel and
Giving gifts isn’t just about how much money you’ve spent, it’s also about how much thought you’ve put into it. One smart way to wrap is to use ribbons, so here are five ways to use them to wrap gifts in a way that demonstrates your care and effort.
1. Layered bows
Instead of just tying a regular bow, use three or four pieces of ribbon, each one an inch longer than the last, to make a stylish layered bow.
Form each ribbon into a loop, sticking the centre down with double-sided tape to make a bow shape, and then stick the bows on top of each other, layering them largest to smallest.
Wrap a longer piece of ribbon around the layered bow, going through the centre of the ribbons, and you have a bow that looks amazing.
2. Give something extra
You can make a regular bow look extra special by tying a treat into it.
Think candy canes, liquorice sticks and lollipops for an edible treat, or for added decoration try a sprig of mistletoe, tiny glittery baubles or miniature bells.
3. Ribbon roses
Top your gift with a ribbon rose for an elegant look.
You can make a piece of ribbon into
A last-minute dinner party doesn’t have to be as stressful as it sounds. Play the perfect host with these food, drink and decor ideas.
We’ve all been there: the Saturday morning “What should we do tonight?” texts start floating around, and all of a sudden, you’re having a crew over.
Although choosing and preparing a menu is usually the part that causes the most anxiety, a little planning can save lots of time in the long run.
If you choose a meal that can be baked in the oven or made in a slow cooker, you’ll have plenty of time to get your house in order and spend time with friends.
Although slow cooker meals generally take a little longer, you can find plenty of recipes that will get the job done in three to four hours.
The all-important ingredient for a great dinner party, drinks lighten the mood and set the tone for the evening.
Invite everyone to bring their favourite bottle of wine or beer for meal time.
Give your guests an easy make-ahead cocktail to encourage mingling.
You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to make a great centrepiece, and your guests will be very impressed that you
Stressing out about your next get-together? Don’t be intimidated; whether you’re planning a cocktail party, a formal dinner, or a cozy reunion with old friends, the better prepared you are, the greater your party will be.
Preparations should begin long before the day of the party. How will you invite people? What will you need?
Before the party
For a small circle of friends, an invitation by phone is fine. For larger or more formal events, a written invitation makes the occasion a little more special.
Think about your needs well before the occasion: for a fairly large guest list, will you need bistro tables where people can stand, plus additional glasses or silverware? Also, you can rent or buy folding chairs and tables at a reasonable price and enhance them with tablecloths and chair coverings.
Once you have your shopping list ready, pick up your drinks and non-perishable foods a week or two before the party to reduce last-minute stress. Buy perishables two to three days before the party and store them in the refrigerator.
You can make place cards and table decorations before the party, as long as you’re not using fresh flowers.
Take into account the season and the