Tag Archive | gifts

Mini-Monday: Chocolate Explosion

A few years ago a Ghiradelli outlet store opened about 20 minutes from my parent’s house. Now going to the real Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco and having an ice cream soda is a lovely experience, but I’ll take fabulous chocolate where I can get it. Ever since the store closer to us opened its doors, Santa Claus has been kind enough to give my hubby and I copious amounts of single serving squares in our stockings.

During the weekend I went with Santa Claus (aka my mumbo) to the store and six pounds of chocolate later, this is what we headed home with (don’t worry, it isn’t all for me). Santa still needs to divide it up, so I will anxiously await finding out which flavors I will get come Christmas Eve. Thankfully I know that Santa will give all the funky fruity ones to my dad, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed for dark chocolate mint and dark chocolate carmel and dark chocolate truffle! (Are you sensing a theme here?)

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Sweet Dreams with Snoopy

This past December my Aunt Vicki handed me a Hannukah gift for us with the cryptic caveat, “This is a joke. Well, it’s kind of a joke.”

It was a pretty big bag and fairly heavy, so I was intrigued. I tore into the bag and unearthed possibly the greatest gift I’ve ever gotten: FLANNEL SNOOPY SHEETS.

Joke?!? What ever did she mean this was joke?

[Note: Per an earlier blog about “our children” it’s pretty clear I am a huge fan of Snoopy and the Peanuts.]

Although we couldn’t fit them in our luggage, my dad was kind enough to ship them to us. I waited with bated breath for the package to arrive on the east coast. When they did, I quickly ran them through the wash and got them on the bed. This is normally a task I assign to my husband, who can put the fitted sheets on much easier than I can, but I didn’t want to delay creating my Snoopy dream bed. He also had made some comments about not needing flannel sheets in during the warmest January on record… I was not going to let him get in the way! (Besides he’d wait until my teeth were chattering to switch to flannel sheets.)

Of course I had to share their adorableness, even if it is a bit delayed. As you can see they’ve not only got Snoopy, but the whole gang: Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Pig Pen, Lucy, Linus and Woodstock. Plus — and clearly most importantly — Snoopy really loves them!

Guest Blog: Manliest of Mugs

In an attempt to keep the creative juices flowing, be thoughtful AND keep costs down around the holidays (I’m tired out just typing all that) I try to make gifts for my friends. This year, along with the usual homemade libations, I attempted a Mod Podge (hereafter known as MP) project. MP is this crazy stuff you can use to paint just about anything flat onto anything else relatively flat. I am pretty sure that is their slogan.

Luckily the ‘what to make’ with the MP issue solved itself early this year. I’ve been a bit obsessed over fake mustaches. Why? I have no clue. Perhaps it is a desire to transform a symbol of machismo or down-right creepiness into silliness and whimsy or perhaps a knock on the head as a child, who knows, it will likely remain a mystery of the universe. What is important is for me to share my mustache obsession with friends and family during the holidays.

After a rather difficult task of incorporating fake mustaches into this year’s holiday photo (imagine trying to keep an 11–month–old from ripping off their fake mustache and stop fidgeting while waiting for the timer on the camera to just finish already and take the picture!), I thought I was up for the holiday gift challenge of incorporating fake mustaches into fun and/or usable gifts. Utility is a nice feature in gifts. It turned out to be far easier than the holiday photo. Far faaaar easier.

What was this fabulously macho yet gender-neutral gift? Why, a mustached mug of course! Who couldn’t use a bit of humor with their mug of coffee or tea in the morning?

If you are interested in making your own mustached mug – here are the directions:

You will need:
• Mustache stickers or clings (try Etsy.com and help out crafters selling their wares)
• A light-colored mug
• A sponge-y paintbrush Mod Podge

Wash and dry the mug. Decide where to place your mustache. (I had my husband hold up the mug in front of his face with the rim of the mug just under his nose and then placed the mustache where his upper lip would be.) Follow the directions on the package to apply the mustache. Paint a thin coat of Mod Podge over the mustache area – it will dry clear. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes and put on a second coat. After the second coat is dry – wash the mug again and voila a manly mug for girls and boys!

– The Reluctant Housewife