Unique Gift Ideas For Loved Ones Living Out of State

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The holidays are a special time to celebrate those who are near and dear to you. From hosting family game night to decorating Christmas cookies, and, of course, unwrapping the presents left under the Christmas tree. But for those loved ones who live out of state or far from home, the holiday season can be a little less magical when you have to spend it away from those you love the most. That’s why it’s so important to still make an effort to make Christmas special, no matter how many miles separate you!

Since you’ll likely have to ship the presents you buy for your loved ones that are out of state, you may need to get a little creative. Luckily, we’ve created a list of unique gift ideas especially for your family and friends who are far away.

Bring Christmas to them with holiday decor

One of the most special parts about the holiday season is the lighting, festive colors, and overall decor. If you want to make the holidays extra meaningful for your family and friends across state lines, you can bring Christmas to them by sending them some holiday decor! Here are a few ideas to get you inspired.

* Many popular flower delivery companies sell miniature Christmas trees that you can send to help your long-distance loved ones deck the halls.

* Send a set of ornaments and a stocking to remind them of home during the holidays.

* Here’s a fun DIY project: curate a holiday hot chocolate set for them complete with a holiday mug and hot chocolate accessories.

Turn one gift into many with subscription boxes

Subscription boxes are a great way to go if you want to up the ante with your gifts this season. The best part is that there’s a subscription box for just about every interest, passion, want, or need. Whether the recipient is into cooking, self care, or sports, chances are there’s a gift box for that. Here are a few of our favorites to add to your list:

* For the busy bee who has it all, except the time to cook: A meal subscription box would make dinners easier and more delicious than ever. Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Home Chef are a few great options.

* For the gal who deserves a little self care: Order a self care subscription box to deliver cozy essentials (candles, face masks, tea) right to their doorstep.

* For the guy or gal that loves their craft beer: Sign them up for a monthly beer subscription box to encourage them to imbibe in their favorite beverage this holiday season.

* For the creative kids on your shopping list: Green Kids sends monthly boxes filled with crafts and lessons about fascinating environmental topics.

A gift card to their favorite restaurant

If you want to make sure your loved ones have a stress-free and enjoyable holiday season wherever they are, why not encourage them to enjoy a night off from holiday cooking by taking them out to their favorite restaurant? Simply send a restaurant gift card along with your personalized holiday wishes and they’re sure to have a happy holiday season.

Flight miles or accommodations

If it’s money that’s keeping your loved ones from traveling this holiday season, why not ease the financial burden by buying them some flight miles or offering to cover their accommodations? After all, spending time with those you love is the best Christmas gift you can give.

Something to remind them of home

Perhaps your loved ones can’t make it home for the holidays due to time constraints or some other obstacle. That doesn’t mean you can’t find them a gift that makes them feel right at home! Send them a Christmas care package filled with all of the things they love about being home for the holidays. Here are some ideas to help you fill your care package:
* Mom’s baked goodies
* A homestate candle
* Photos of their favorite holiday memories

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Final thoughts

If you weren’t sure where to start with your Christmas gifts this year, hopefully these tips helped! No matter where your loved ones are celebrating from, it’s important to make everyone feel loved during the holiday season.

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6 Skincare Tips to Give you a Timeless Look

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Just because you’re a busy mom doesn’t mean you can’t keep your skin youthful and healthy. And, it doesn’t have to require a 20-step skincare routine either. Because let’s be honest, none of us have the time for that. While you might feel like you don’t have time to step up your daily skin regimen, I can assure you that it’s worth the time and effort. To help you make sure your skin looks and feels it’s best, without it being a burden, I’ve put together these 6 easy skincare tips.

Keep it natural

Natural skincare routine is easy and you can feel good about the products you’re using. To get started, it can be as easy as introducing one or two natural ingredients to your skincare regimen. For example, you can use witch hazel for oily skin, aloe vera for dry skin, and natural oils for combination skin. Fortunately, there are also many brands dedicated to using natural ingredients in their skincare lines so you can feel good about the products you’re using.

Practice proper washing technique

You might think rubbing some cleanser on your face and cool water is a sufficient skincare routine, but it won’t quite cut it if you want a clear complexion. But don’t fear, practicing proper face-washing technique isn’t hard. Once you apply your cleanser in circular motions and rinse your face with lukewarm water, pat your skin dry with a soft towel. Keep in mind that washing your face when you wake up and go to bed. You should wash your face before and after the gym, or any other time you’ll be working up a sweat. This is especially true if you tend to wear makeup.

Exfoliate

Exfoliating might seem like an unnecessary extra step but it’s important to do it several times a week. By exfoliating, you’ll be removing dead skin cells which are often responsible for breakouts because they clog pores, causing bacteria and dirt to get stuck under the skin. To make exfoliation part of your skincare routine, you can use a special scrub, face washing pads, or using face mask with exfoliating beads in it.

Always moisturize

Moisturizing is essential to maintaining a youthful glow. Not only does it help maintain balance by preventing your skin from becoming too dry or oily but it helps your skin repair so you’re less likely to develop wrinkles. Just make sure you use a non-comedogenic moisturizer so that you don’t contribute further to your skin problems.
Wear sunblock every day. The skin on your face is one of the most sensitive areas of your body. Neglecting to wear sunblock, even when you’re driving around town running errands, is one of the easiest ways to harm your skin. Choose a sunblock with SPF 30 or higher to ensure your skin is adequately protected and make sure to reapply several times per day, especially when you’re going to be outside or around water for extended periods of time.

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You’ll be thankful you did when your complexion still looks youthful years down the road. And more importantly, wearing sunblock regularly helps protect you from skin cancer, so you can spend your days at the beach worry-free.

Use a skin roller

You may be curious about skin rollers if you’ve seen them online recently. These skincare tools are designed to activate the lymph nodes to rid your skin of toxins and stimulate collagen production, both of which can help keep your skin healthy and prevent wrinkles. Using a jade roller is an easy step in your skincare routine. All you need to do is rub it across a few key areas like your forehead, cheeks, and jawline several times a week to reap the benefits. Plus, it feels pretty good!

If you want to brighten and rejuvenate your skin, practicing a good skincare routine is the first step. Taking care of your skin is an important part of self-care so make you fit it into your schedule, I promise you won’t regret it when you see an improvement next time you look in the mirror. Start with one or all of these tips today to do your skin some good.

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Freezer Meals to make with leftover Ham #FreezerMeals #HamMeals #HamRecipes #Easter

ham

There are a lot of great recipes that you can make and freeze with leftover Ham from Easter. So I wanted to share some of my favorites with you.

Ham & Cheese Homemade Hot Pockets

Pizza Dough
1-2 cups chopped ham
slices of American Cheese
bag of Frozen Broccoli

Take the dough roll it out to a small circle, add some ham pieces, slice of cheese and a couple pieces of Broccoli. Then fold in half and take a fork and close the edges on both sides. Be sure not to over stuff or they will leak. Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes on a greased cookie sheet. Let them cool and put them in Sandwich bags to freeze individually. Then just take one out and heat them in the Microwave till hot and serve.

Here are some more recipes that you can use as well:

Ham & Scalloped Potatoes

6 potatoes
1 can of Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 cup of Ham
1/2 cup of Milk

Clean and slice the Potatoes, You can leave the skin on or remove it, Then in a freezer bag, just throw the potatoes in and Ham, then mix in the Cream of Mushroom Soup. (Do not add the Milk to it till you cook the dinner.

Ham and Macaroni and Cheese (from the oamc digest)

8 oz. elbow macaroni
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 cups shredded cheese
2 cups cubed ham
2 cups thin white suace (recipe follows)

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Cook macaroni and drain. Place half of the macaroni in and 2 qt casserole dish. Sprinkle with half the cheese. Add all of ham. Top with remaining macaroni and cheese. Pour white sauce over casserole. Cover and bake for 30 minutes.

THIN WHITE SAUCE (for macaroni and cheese)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 cup milk

Melt butter. Blend in flour, salt and pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is smooth and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Use as directed in recipe for macaroni and cheese.

Notes from a tired oamc cook (don’t know who this was!): I was tired and worn out at this point. I decided that the Ham and Macaroni and cheese would have to be a SAR (Some Assembly Required) meal. I placed three cups of cheese in a qt. size freezer — then I placed 2 cup bag another qt size freezer bag. I placed a rubber band around these and froze them. At meal time – I will use this recipe. I will stir in the ham before baking.

The following recipes are from “Dinner’s Ready” by Andrew Schloss and Ken Bookman, a “chain cooking” cookbook, where you make completely different meals out of leftovers from previous meals. These look good. Where there is a leftover used, I posted that recipe too, in case you wanted to do it their way or adapt these recipes.

Here are some more great recipes:

* Delicious Ham & Potato Soup

* Ham & Cheese Ziti

* Cheez Ham & Potato Bake

* Ham & Bean Soup

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Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Baby Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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If your looking for greener products for your little bundle of joy. Then look no further then Gunamuna, they have created beautiful and comfortable Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet For Babies. These Gunapod® Premium Luxury Duvet are unquestionably the most luscious wearable blanket yet invented. Part of the secret? It’s superbly soft-fibered viscose fabric made from eco-friendly bamboo — a self-replenishing plant that is both plentiful and naturally harvested. Add to that it’s said to be breathable, moisture wicking + antibacterial.

When I touched the Gunapod Luxury Duvet, it was amazingly soft, I just loved the feeling of the material. I at first thought that the material was a fleece but was surprised to learn that it was actually made from bamboo. I would have thought it was made from fleece though the way it was so soft and felt against my skin. I had a feeling that my grandson was going to love the feeling of it as much as I did. That night I put it on my grandson and he started to rub it on his face. He liked the softness as much as I did.

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I then put it on him and he started to cuddle up to me. I loved that if he gets warm or needs a diaper change it unzips so that you can let air in or change the diaper without any problems. It really comes in some beautiful colors as well for you to choose from. There are neutral, girls and boys colors to choose from. The colors available are really precious, and perfect for a little prince or princess. My grandson looked so adorable in the Blue and white stars Duvet, he was so comfortable and ready for relaxing. He just loved the feel of it and I loved it, he kept running his hands over it till he fell asleep.

He needed to be changed so I laid him down unzipped the bottom and changed him easily. He actually stayed asleep while I changed him. He started to wake up a little bit but rubbed his hands on the Duvet again and he was back out again. I zipped him back up and laid him back down and he was just so comfortable that he didn’t wake up. He was sleeping like a little angel, it was so sweet and so precious. He has slept so good every time we put him in the Duvet it’s his favorite cover up so far! When he out grows it I’m going to have to get him more because there are so many adorable colors and styles and he is going to need a lot more of them.

If your looking for the perfect holiday gift for a little prince or princess, I can say that Gunamuna has a great selection of Duvet’s and they are a great greener product as well. Which is important to our world and your babies skin!

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Word Winder Game Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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Word Winder Game is a great educational game but a lot of fun as well. I saw it at the Toy and Game Fair in Chicago and the kids were having so much fun playing it. They were all standing in line to learn to play the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game it was so much fun to watch them playing the game. There were always new children wanting to learn how to play and they were standing before the giant game board just having so much fun.

I brought home the Word Winder Game and played with my son’s. The object of the game is to make different words on the board with your chips. The winner will have their words going all the way across the board. The object of the game is to block the person your playing with and get your words going straight across the board. It’s a fun game that any one can play and they will have a great time playing. My son’s and I played several games and they were playing new words every game. It’s a great way to expand their word selections and practice their spelling words as well. It has also helped to increase my son’s spelling of words as well. They both love to play it to see who can get their words across the board first.

I also love that they offer the Giant Word Winder Game and Giant Math Winder Game that is perfect for schools, Church functions, Boys and Girls Scouts, Boys and Girls clubs and other facilities as well. The large boards make it possible for a classroom to play the game together and learn more new words and math problems. It was so amazing to watch the children playing and figuring out addition, subtraction as well as multiplying while playing the large math games. I was so highly impressed with the game boards and how when the children play and change the boards around that no two games were ever the same. They were always different because of how the board was set up. But I noticed that no matter how the board was set up that the children were always having a great time!

I also have to say that I am completely impressed with the way that you can do a fundraiser with Word Winder for your school to purchase the giant word or math winder. They wanted to make sure that any school, club or other facilities that would like to have their game for educational and fun purposes would be able to earn it for their facility. Which I think is just wonderful and will help them have it for their students or children that are apart of their facility. You can contact them to discuss their fundraiser options that are available. I would love to see this at my son’s school and will be discussing it with out PTO at our next meeting. All of their games would make a great gift to a child or to a school or facility that could use more educational products.

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Make Candy Bouquets Like a Pro – Free How-to Instructions #DIY #CandyBouquet #Valentine’s Day #Gift

You can make a great Valentine’s Day Candy Bouquet. I have found this cute Candy Bouquet that you can easily make for Valentine’s Day. If you can’t find the perfect gift or you like to make your own gifts to give this Candy Bouquet will be the perfect gift idea. I also love that you can choose their favorite candy to use to make it. When you have them made they use the candy that they have chosen and they may not all be ones that they will like. You can also use the colors to decorate it the way you would like to. If your on a limited budget you can use Candy and decorations for it from Dollar Tree as well to cut the cost of making it. It’s sure to please your Valentine!

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Deadpool 3D Deco Light Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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Calling all Super Hero fans! If you have a super hero fan then they are going to just love this Deadpool 3D Deco Light it will be the perfect addition to any super hero room. My son’s are huge into super hero’s and their room is done in Super Hero everything. They just love it. So of course why not add a Deadpool 3D Deco Light for a night light to add some more light for at night.

My son’s like to have a light in the room but I don’t like to leave their room light on so I thought this would be a great compromise as they do not like the normal night lights. They get up a lot in the middle of the night so the light comes in handy for them. So why not have it help decorate their room and fit right in with the rest of their décor. They were so excited when I showed them the Deadpool 3D Deco Light and they couldn’t wait to put it on the wall. So I helped them put it on the wall with the wall decal where they wanted the light to go. I then put the light up after putting in the batteries for it. I really like that it doesn’t plug in so that I don’t have to worry about the cord or having it near an outlet for it to work.

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When I got it up on the wall it was during the day. So the boys couldn’t wait for the night to come so that they could see the light in the dark. They could see by the light but it wouldn’t keep them up at night being to bright. They could get up at night see around the room, go to the bathroom, or get something that they needed and then go back to sleep. They just loved the light, and that it was perfect for their room. I told the boys that they were not to play with the Deadpool 3D Deco Light. That they could use it for their light but it’s not a toy. So they were happy with that.

When they go to bed their light goes on and in the morning the light goes off again. It is really perfect for them and their room décor needs. The lights do come in many different characters like Deadpool, Star Wars Characters, Iron Man, Guardians of the galaxy, Disney, Paw Patrol, Cars, Minions and so many other different character lights. You can purchase them from Think Geek, Target stores, and several other stores.

The Deadpool 3D Deco light has made getting the boys to go into their room and stay there so much easier. They look forward to bedtime and having their Deadpool light in their room and keeping the room bright for them in case they wake up. It really has been the ideal night light as I don’t have to worry about my grandchildren getting ahold of it and breaking it. I also don’t have to worry about them following the cord to the outlet and getting hurt since there is no cord. It really does make their room look great. We are going to be adding a few more of the 3D deco lights that are super hero’s to their room. They really love them. They would make a great gift for any super hero fan, but they do come in a wide selection of other characters for both boys and girls so your sure to find something that will fit perfectly into their room.

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Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle Review #ChristmasGiftGuide

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I received the Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle to review. Which I have to say couldn’t have arrived at a better time. My son had come down with an end of summer cold/flu. When he is sick he loves to have Green tea with Starmint candy and honey in it to help clear his sinuses. So I usually have to microwave 3 mugs of water at a time for him so that he can have plenty on hand and I won’t have to make it every 5 minutes for him.

Well, the first day of his cold/flu the Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle arrived. I put the water in and it was just perfect. I didn’t have to keep making his tea, he was able to sit in his chair and make it himself. Which he loved doing even though he wasn’t feeling well. He could make it when ever he wanted and it was ready in minutes. He was so thrilled that he could make his tea on his own and he started to feel better as well. He used it for the couple of days he was sick and felt so much better. It was so easy to use that he was able to fill it with the water and then bring it right by him so it was available when he wanted it.

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Two days later he was feeling better, but of course I came down with it so our Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle has really been getting a workout between all of us taking turns being sick. I have to say it works so well, I just love the auto shut off as well in case you have med head and forget to turn it off. I’m looking forward to this winter as well. When we can make hot chocolate and other goodies to keep us warm this season. My son’s are so excited to be able to make their own hot drinks to stay warm when they want them.

It’s been wonderful for the family to make their own drinks and make my son’s more independent when they would like something to drink. The kettle is just perfect for the family, it holds 6 cups of water so that your ready for when your favorite drinks you can have them. I also love that my son’s can make their instant oatmeal all by themselves with it as well. It is really able to help make so many delicious drinks and foods for your family. Your children can be more independent and you will just love it as well. The family can have game night and make all their favorite drinks while they stay at their place at the game. Make life easier for yourself as well as your family with the Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle. It would make the perfect gift for anyone on your list.

Trust me, as I’m writing this review I am enjoying a nice cup of green tea and working on getting over my cold. The kettle has made my life so much easier while being sick. Let the Capresso Glass Rapid Boil Water Kettle make your life easier as well.

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DIY Family Photos And Saying Canvas #DIY #FathersDay #Christmas #HandmadeGift #Canvas #Photos #Gift

I wanted to share this easy to make Family Photos and saying canvas that looks great on your wall or makes a great gift! They are easy to put together and you will just love them when they are done. I chose to make a completely black and white canvas for this project. However, you can print out colored pictures and use any color to paint the canvas. All of the project needs can be found at your local Walmart. You can use regular photos as well if you would like the pictures to have color in them and Walmart’s photo department can print pictures for you as well.

Materials needed:
11 X 14 Canvas or any size you want (
Acrylic paint
Printed photos either Black and white or color from regular or inkjet printer
Modge Podge
Foam brushes (They have a brush handle with foam on the end)
Letter stickers or vinyl cut saying that you want on your canvas

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You will start with your blank canvas and then paint it the color of your choice. Now, if your doing the black and white photos, the black painted canvas comes out very pretty, of course the choice in colors is yours.

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Once you have painted your canvas, you will let it completely dry and touch up any spots that need it.

You will now add any saying that you would like on your canvas, I made this one for my father so the saying is perfect for him. You can use a ruler to make sure your words are lined up and you can place them correctly. You will also want to make sure that their is enough room on the sides of the saying to add your photos as well.

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You will line up the photos where you would like them to go on your canvas. Make sure you check to see that all photos are lined up with the edge of the canvas so you get the correct view and that the sizes of the photos are the way you want them. Once you have them all lined up the way you would like them then you can move onto your next step. You will want then put a thin coat of Modge Podge and then place your photo on the modge podge photo side up.

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Now that you have all of your photos modge podged down on your canvas and let them dry for at least an hour. You will now put a thin layer of Modge Podge over the top of the photos. Then let it dry completely. Your photos are now perfect and your DIY canvas is complete.

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