Saturday, November 26, 2011

From Assembly Line to One Of A Kind

Your personal touch can make anything a one of a kind.  

My homemade flower arrangement

A short Story:
My mom was in the hospital recently (if you're wondering where I've been lately).  She had emergency surgery after a sudden onset of symptoms.  I'm happy to report all is well.  The point I'm getting at is that my dad wanted to send her some flowers.  But instead of spending big bucks, I purchased a bundle of flowers wrapped in plastic ($10-15) and arranged them myself in a spare vase.

For an eye popping kick, I added delicate wood limbs from a spindly little tree hiding in the corner of my parent's yard.

Yep, this is the pitiful it almost blends into the fence.  But what a difference when added to a flower arrangement don't ya think?

I also purchased some of those Christmas scented pine cones and hid several in the arrangement.  Let's just say my mom's hospital room smelled quite delicious:)

One of a Kind Gift Idea:

With the Christmas season upon us, most stores carry an array of gift baskets ranging from candy & beverages to bath soaps & lotions. 

It is super easy make them beautiful and unique.  Simply add extra items (homemade, home cooked or store bought) and then re-wrap in cellophane with a beautiful ribbon, flowers, greenery, etc.  Your imagination is your only limit. 

photo source
Some Ideas: using gifts boxes available at the local retailer. 
  • Take them out of those hideous boxes.  People toss  beautiful baskets all the time (tag sale/garage sale). 
  • Hot Sauce: arrange in a Condiment Caddy or basket; provide a roast recipe, or beter yet, bake the roast!
  • Hot Chocolate: add personalized photo mugs (look for free online offers); replace cocoa with your own gourmet blend.
  • Smores: add more chocolate, include smore party invitation, swap out mugs from hot chocolate box.
  • Snowman/Penguin: attach winter gloves or woolly hat 
Useful Tips:
  • you don't have to use everything in a store-bought gift basket.  Add and take away until you get a perfect combination and a one of a kind piece.
  • If you have a small item that needs to be spruced up, add it to a gift basket. Instead of giving makeup in a plain box, I bought a gift basket that looked like a Christmas sleigh, filled it with makeup and candy and wrapped it in cellophane with a cute bow.
  • take advantage of black friday & after Christmas sales to stock up on clearance items to re-package for birthday, hostess, or housewarming gifts.
Be on the lookout for a future post where I will use this same strategy to offer easy ideas on how to transform a pre-packaged dinner into a "practically homemade" meal that is sure to please.

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