Category: Gifts

October 28th, 2015 by Jessica

My husband isn’t a huge fan of chutneys and relishes, but this tomato chutney has become my secret ingredient in various dishes. And when I say secret, I mean I literally have to sneak it into his food, and when I don’t put it in, he complains that I’ve changed something. Men. My mom made a large batch to be bottled, so whenever we visit them I slip one off the shelf. She has yet to notice! Use this tangy, homemade tomato chutney to spice up bolognese, salsas, dips, curries or even roasted chicken and pork.
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July 29th, 2015 by Jessica

One of my favorite parts of Christmas is ripping open my gifts after weeks of anticipation and I still hear the older folks telling me to be careful not to tear the paper and save it. Now I’m all for frugal living, but where’s the fun in that? And then came the gift bags to spoil all the fun just to get recycled time after time. Don’t get me wrong, I love presents, any presents in any form, but hand-wrapped gifts are special because it’s old-fashioned and personal. If you want your gift to stand out, try some of these unique gift wrapping ideas or come up with your own cool way of wrapping.

Brown paper bags come in handy and are easy to prettify. I used regular brown wrapping paper, added a paper doily, some twine and fresh lavender for a rustic looking gift that my recipient took extra care opening.

Here are some of my favorite DIY gift wrapping ideas.

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July 16th, 2015 by Jessica

Have you ever been into a LUSH store? I stumbled upon one at the Cape Town Waterfront and I found myself in heaven. The first thing that hits you is the smell and you’ll start getting excited like a little kid at Christmas. It’s the ultimate bath and body shop overflowing with amazing handmade soaps, salts, scrubs and soaks. They have an entire range of bath melts that look edible – YES, I know! Imagine bath bombs that look and smell like cupcakes and chocolate brownies! Needless to say, by the time I finally exited the store, I was bankrupt.
Here’s a whiff of what you’ll find in a LUSH store.

Continue reading “DIY Luxury Bath Bombs” »

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June 26th, 2015 by Jessica

Pinterest is overflowing with DIY Sharpie mugs with cool designs, quotes and doodles, and the idea is here to stay. The great thing about giving a mug as a gift is that it’s something that people might actually use, and a personalized mug is even better. You can fill it with small bonus gifts, or use it as a planter for herbs or succulent plants.

I personalized these mugs with a black Sharpie marker (imagine my surprise finding them in South Africa!) by drawing a monogram of each friend’s name and a picture I thought suits her personality best. Now, I’m not the best doodler, but it was much easier than I thought. I Googled a clip-art version of the picture I wanted to draw, practised a couple of times on paper, and then went for it! This is my tried and tested version of how to make Sharpie mugs, and since Christmas, the ink has stayed put!

Continue reading “Sharpie Design Gift Mugs” »

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May 18th, 2015 by Jessica

This is a tried and tested guide to making your own folded CD covers with scrapbook paper. A “mix tape” makes for an affordable and very cool DIY wedding favour – one that people will actually use. Continue reading “DIY Folded CD Cover” »

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December 4th, 2014 by Jessica

What a simple way to add some jazz to wooden spoons. It looks like the handles were dipped in paint. I made them as part of a gift for a friend’s kitchen tea, along with a great cook book and a bottle of wine. As soon as I saw how they had turned out, I had to paint all my wooden spoons. You can choose any colour, maybe to suit her kitchen or her favourite colour. This gift will please all your foodie friends.

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October 10th, 2014 by Jessica

Just look at these tiny toy key chains! I especially love the army men (see below). I can’t even remember when last I saw one, so imagine my excitement when I went shopping for little green plastic army men! They bring back memories of my brother and I playing with his toys – I didn’t like dolls until much later. These make very unique friendship gifts and the colour options are endless! Half the fun is shopping around the kids’ aisles for small toys.

Continue reading “Toy Key Chain DIY” »

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October 6th, 2014 by Jessica

Silhouette pictures are lovely. They just add some mystery because of the lack of detail. You can be creative when it comes to making silhouettes, but this is an easy project that will get you started. I made a silhouette of a cat because, well, I like cats. Hang ’em up, give ’em away or even use ’em as regular serving plates! Guests will be so intrigued! You don’t have to be an artist – nursery school tracing skills are all that’s required! Have fun!

Continue reading “Silhouette Plates” »

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May 8th, 2014 by Jessica

Moms are the best. The wonderful thing about a mother is that you can give her any gift, big or small, bought or handmade and she’ll make a fuss to let you feel like it’s the best gift ever! So treat her this Mother’s Day or on her birthday by making something especially for her that she will cherish and remember forever. Here are 7 of the best DIY gifts for moms that I’ve come across which I can’t wait to try!

Continue reading “7 Creative DIY Gifts for Mom” »

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Chili and garlic oil gift
January 12th, 2014 by Jessica

Flavored oils are a must in the kitchen. Not only do they look really pretty standing next to the stove, but they add some extra zest to any dish when you feel like your palette just isn’t feelin’ it. Great as a salad dressing or drizzling over pizza and pasta. Decide which herbs and flavours you want to use and go from there. You can make a collection of three different flavors and give it as  housewarming gifts to your foodie friends and family. Suggestions include thyme, rosemary, sage, basil and oregano.

Continue reading “How to make Chili and Garlic Infused Oil” »

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January 10th, 2014 by Jessica

I simply refuse to buy Valentine’s day merchandise. I don’t like giving nor receiving red teddy bears, chocolates, cards, roses and “I love you” good-for-nothings for Valentine’s day. I think they’re a complete waste of money and take up space in my already “cozy” home until I eventually decide to throw the stuff away. The day of romance and love should be a reason to give your significant other something thoughtful yet simple. Here are a couple of different ideas that are un-valentine’s-like yet still romantic.

Continue reading “10 Not-your-everyday-valentine’s-day-gift Ideas” »

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December 29th, 2013 by Jessica

Download and print these free labels to decorate your homemade sugar scrubs.

Find Sticker Printing Paper here. Continue reading “Sugar Scrub Labels” »

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December 29th, 2013 by Jessica

The best way to show love and appreciation is by spoiling someone with something that’s homemade. I made these flavoured sugar body scrubs to give away as holiday favours to friends and aunts. They’re ideal as budget-friendly Christmas gifts, party favours or bridesmaid gifts. Give them a try – you’ll feel so proud – and remember to keep one for yourself!

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December 18th, 2013 by Jessica

This is the ultimate gift for any university student! I made up a “university survival kit” for a friend who’s just finished school and going off to varsity. I tried remembering all the little things that I needed at some stage in my broke but very happy days of being a student. Basically I just bought a bunch of random stuff, threw it in a big mason jar and squeezed in some things I already had around the house. She absolutely loved it!

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