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Christmas Gifts And What I Look For

I love Christmas! I may be one of the few but it is a time of the year that I can show the friends that I like to surround myself with, that I care and appreciate who they are to me. I do it with love and fun.

I don’t go overboard and buy things that are expensive because that can be embarrassing to them, especially if they did not get you a gift. The fact is I don’t want or expect anything in return it is truly in the choosing and the giving that gives me pleasure.

Of course I always buy for the immediate family. It’s a time of the year I can really spoil my Grandkids, as for my sons, and daughter in law, they usually get something functional.

I think the secret to buying Christmas Gifts is to buy something you would like yourself, that usually works.

Here are the things that I usually choose to buy.

One year magazine subscription: (Men or Women’s Health, National Geographic, readers digest)

Candles: (Whole food have some great candles that have a natural, pleasant smelling odor) One year I bought candles made from Honey wax. They were a ‘classy’ looking design and smelt fabulous in fact I notice that Whole foods have them again this year.

Chocolates: I find Costco or Sam’s have beautifully packaged chocolates for very reasonable prices. I usually buy them there for all my chocolate lover friends. Chocolate is often a treat for some because, like me we do not indulge all year, well most of the year, the reason being we are always trying to keep that spare tyre around our middle deflated as much as possible.

Gift basket: Now this is what I get for my Mum. I do it online with a reputable company every year because I send it to NZ.(The same thing can be sent anywhere in USA). It is great value and includes a bottle of wine or port, nibbles like nuts, crackers, Pate, small christmas cake in a beautifully decorated package that is delivered to her door the day before Christmas.

Body Oil: One year I bought some nice looking little bottles from the dollar store. I bought some glass paint and made a design on the bottles. I then made a batch of body oil made from various natural oils including Olive oil, Vit E oil, almond oil and an essential oil (I think it was patchouli and lavender and lemon grass, if I remember correctly) Put a bow on it and ‘Walla’. They loved it. Well they said they did.

Bracelets: This year I think I may make some bracelets. Never done it before but I am thinking that would be something I would like and because of the personal touch, my friends may like that too.

So there are some ideas you may like to think about for your Christmas gifts. I am not one for fighting the crowds in the mall and this is a quick, easy and enjoyable way to overcome your Christmas shopping hassles without spending too much money.

Doesn’t have to be fancy or expensive. Just sayin’

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How To Make Scented Salted Dough Balls

I love walking into a room that has that beautiful Aroma. Studies have shown that certain smells can affect your moods, energy, evoke vivid memories and powerful emotions. I personally love the smell of Lemon Grass, to me, it makes the room feel clean and bright. I find that lemon grass also appeals to men, they seem to recognize the fragrance and comment on how much they like it. I often use lemon scented Eucalyptus, it is sort of antiseptic smell and one that is great if you are feeling a ‘bit under the weather’, maybe the beginnings of the flue. Also reminds me of the bush in Australia.
It is has been suggested that certain odors can create a healthier home and work environment.
An example, and I am sure we have all done this, when you enter a room with a “oh that smells beautiful” makes you feel good, or when someone forgot to empty the garbage bag with last nights prawn shells in it. The reaction to the garbage smell is, your face immediately becomes screwed up, mood changes to accusingly, “Who didn’t take out the garbage last night” and you become that unpleasant person.
I think everyone has their preference to an Aroma. The smell that you enjoy may not be the same for your partner or spouse so it is a good thing to find an aroma that suits you both. I know my husband is not very keen on the odour of Ylang Ylang, me, I love it.
You have hundreds of different essential aromatherapy oils.  My suggestion is not to use fragrant oils. They are usually made from artificial scents and to me are very overpowering, stay with the pure oils. Men usually don’t like those strong scented sort of smells but will handle the subtle smell of pure essential oils.

Some of the oils can be rather expensive, although lemon grass and lavender are normally reasonably priced. Only a drop or two is needed and a small bottle will last a long time.

Rather than use candles and an aroma burner, I found this recipe for Scented salt dough balls. The scented dough balls can last for a very long time and only take a drop or two of oil on them every now and then to keep that nice fragrance in you room. These can also make nice gifts.

You Need

2 cups plain flour
1 cup table salt
1 cup of water
1/4 tsp essential oil

Method

Mix the water into the flour and salt to make a modelling-type dough. Add a few drops of food colouring for your desired coloring before adding the oil.

Knead well until smooth, roll into small balls and leave to dry.

Dry the balls in a warm place over several days, or speed up the process by placing them in an oven at a very low temperature for a few hours

Tip: Adding 1 tbsp of lemon juice helps the dough to harden.

You are able to perfume a room with these balls and look nice, placed in an attractive ceramic bowl. They harden after a period but remain absorbent and can be regularly refreshed with a few drops of oil.
Unlike potpourri dough balls do not get dusty and dry over time. As the balls get impregnated with the oil, they develop a glossy appearance. Instead of balls you can also try other shapes such as shell shapes or fruit shapes. What ever takes your fancy

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