Tag Archives: gifts

Valentine’s Round Up

13 Feb

Here I am writing from a little riad in Marrakech, Morocco.  We arrived here today after spending the last few days in a tiny village in the Atlas mountains.  It was an amazing time which included lots of walks in the mountains, a camel trek and some of the best food we’ve ever eaten.  And to top it all off we’ve had amazing weather since we arrived.  Yes, we are all ecstatically happy at the moment.

Even if the Moroccans don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day it’s been on my mind the last few days.  I have secretly stashed some home-baked heart-shaped chocolate-dipped cookies in our suitcase so that I’ll have something special for the family on the 14th.  I’m pretty sure Valentine’s Day this year will be one we’ll remember forever.

Here’s a little round-up of some of my favourite Valentine’s Day treats and surprises that you can make your loved ones.


These little puffy sewn heart necklaces are the sweetest way to show your favourite little girl that she’s loved.  It’s an easy project that your kids can help you with.  Check out post and tutorial here.


I love these Valentine’s Day cards over on Classic Play.  And you can download them for free!  Check out post here.

1-IMG_5438These Brown Sugar Shortbreads are the most delicious rich cookies and are perfect for Valentine’s Day due to the little jam heart centres.  Your house will smell divine while these are baking!  Get recipe here.

DIY Edible Confetti by The Proper Pinwheel

Edible confetti!  This is one of my favorite Valentine’s Day finds this year.  Easy to make and such a fun idea for a gift for classmates (or co-workers!).  Get full details and how-to on The Proper Pinwheel.

We made these little candy bags for the twin’s classmates last year and they were a hit.  All you need are some clear plastic bags, pink and red construction paper, some colourful candy and a stapler.  Check out what we made my son’s class and the teachers here.


I absolutely adore this cupid’s arrow diy that is over on La Tete Dans Les Idees.

Enjoy your Valentine’s Day and make sure to tell the ones you love how much they mean to you!


Japanese Purchases

18 Jun

As some of you may know, we went on a two week trip to Japan a few months back with our three kids.  It was an absolutely amazing trip.  We saw and did so many wonderful things and met so many wonderful people.  It was really a trip of a lifetime.

While there we had a few occasions to pop into various shops to browse around.  Obviously with three kids these occasions were few and far between but I did manage to pick up some really neat little gifts and souvenirs.  The Japanese are famous for their beautiful packaging and I’m a huge fan of everything they do.   I love the care and time they put into making everything from cookies to presents to even toilet paper look pretty.

I’ve noticed that people who pop by our house are so intrigued to see our little Japanese purchases so I thought I’d show you a  few here.    Of course many of them have something to do with packaging (either the way it was packaged or something to help me package nicely).

These little mini packages of rice crackers with a face and clothing printed on the plastic wrapping.  The kids bought them to take into their classmates as a souvenir from Japan.Same idea as the rice crackers but these are two chocolate balls and instead of kimono wearing geishas and warriors it’s Russian Babushka dolls.I tried one out today and although they’re cute they taste pretty crappy.

I couldn’t go to Japan and not buy the famous and over-used Washi tape.   Even if it did cost more than it does in Italy.  Striped and polka dotted twist ties.  I regret not buying tons more of these.  So great for all those bags of cookies and brownies that I leave in people’s mailboxes.

My daughters were given Japanese yen for their birthday from their grandmother and could buy anything they wanted.  In the end they both decided to buy these  Wabisuke purses Made in Japan.They are so well made with a thick canves in the most adorable fabrics.

Look at this elephant material!  I wish I could have bought this by the metre.

And of course one of the all time favourite purchases was this Lego Candy we found at a stall in the Nishiki market in Kyoto.  You can actually build stuff with it!  I’m already planning my son’s birthday cake with these arranged on top.

I can’t forget that I also bought these Echino materials as well while in Japan and received these amazing Japanese Temari Balls as a gift.

Wrap it up

20 Nov

Yes.  I’m one of those people who prepares for things way in advance.  I start thinking of Christmas gifts when it’s warm enough to wear flip flops.  So even though it’s only mid November I have actually already wrapped several Christmas gifts for friends and family.  This year I’ve decided to use this great Japanese masking tape that a good friend of mine sent me from Germany.  My mother-in-law also bought me some so I have a pretty good collection of it building.  I also bought some cheap electrical tape at the local Fai Da Te (DIY shop) and I mix that with the Japanese tape.

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