A Delightful Gift Idea

What do you buy someone who has “everything”?

What could you take as a host/hostess gift that will inspire people to chat about things they enjoy?

Think outside the box and give a book that will make them smile and reflect on what makes them happy.  One of my favourite little books is “14,000 Things to Be Happy About” by Barbara Ann Kipfer.  It’s about $10 and was revised and updated in 2007. You can buy it online or in most bookstores.

my well-read 1990's copy

Here is a website that you may have fun clicking through and trying the various links http://www.thingstobehappyabout.com/ Don’t forget to include the url with the book.

It’s always nice to take time to think about what we enjoy…things that make us smile or feel happy inside.  Use your five senses to conjure up your own personal list.

What do you love to smell, taste, see, hear, or touch?

I love notebooks with leather covers and smooth pages and a fountain pen where the inky black liquid flows with a certainty that says…”just write and I will take you where you want to go.”

I always enjoy going to the beach and can’t resist picking up a few seashells to bring home to add to my collection.  They simply catch my eye…I rinse off the sand and pop them in a pocket.  I keep a basket of them in my guest bathroom…memories of lazy days in Nantucket, the beach at Koh Samet in Thailand, Isla Mujeres, Hornby Island, and other places where I’ve been lucky enough to put my toes in the sand.

Paint brushes and art supplies make me smile as I like to think of images that I want to paint when I have time.  Having them around inspires me and I love how they feel in my hand as I apply paint to canvas.

art supplies make me happy

Have you ever had the pleasure of listening to a Tibetan singing bowl?  The vibrating sounds resonate through your whole body and can leave you feeling peaceful and calm.  I keep a small one on a shelf in my living room and pick it up from time to time just so that I can enjoy the delight of the ringing and humming as I close my eyes and circle the bowl with the mallet.

Tibetan singing bowl

Bamboo is a favorite of mine.  I love to walk through bamboo forests and hear the cicadas chirping on hot summer days.  There is a beautiful park, Van Dusen Botanical Gardens, not far from me.  I go there several times a year and particularly enjoy strolling through the bamboo grove.

Here is a wordle I made of some of my favourites.  You can make a wordle of things that you or someone you love enjoys…transfer it to a greeting card, calendar, t-shirt, mug, email, or poster and give it to a friend. Check it out at http://www.wordle.net

"The way to enjoy life is to love many things" ~ Van Gogh

Crunchy Peanut Brittle

Looking for a quick gift idea that you can make in your own kitchen?

crunchy, yummy, peanut brittle ~ a great little gift for someone special

a little gift made with love

Every Christmas I make a batch of peanut brittle to take as a host/hostess gift, tuck in a stocking, or add to gift baskets.  This recipe is really easy to make…only 4 ingredients…and once it’s cool you can just pop it into clear cellophane bags or airtight tins and tie with a ribbon.

Marion’s Peanut Brittle

Prepare a cookie sheet lined with foil and lightly buttered or sprayed with a little Pam

Assemble 2 c. sugar, 1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tbsp. butter, and 1 1/4 c. salted peanuts.

Stirring constantly, (I prefer a wooden spoon,) melt the sugar, 1/2 c. at a time in a large heavy frying pan over medium high heat.  When all the the sugar is melted and golden in colour, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice and butter…it will foam a little.  Place back on the heat and stir in the peanuts until coated.  Pour carefully and quickly on to the cookie sheet and spread with the back of the spoon. Break into pieces when it is completely cool and store in an airtight container.

pieces just right for snacking

this little tin looks pretty lined with cellophane

attach a little decoration just for funadd a small decoration just for fun

It’s nice to attach the recipe.  I made this one to print on 4×6 glossy photo paper.