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Gifts

In Lifestyle, Parenting, Random Thoughts on
November 14, 2018

5 Reasons Why We LOVE Experience Gifts!

With Christmas just around the corner it is time to start thinking about gifts for our children and others. The grandparents, aunts and uncles and friends have started asking us for gift ideas for the kids and one of the things we always tell them is that we would appreciate experience type gifts. Yes, toys, books, games and art supplies are exciting- but the experience gift is something that really goes the distance with holiday gift giving- in our homes at least.

5 Reasons Why We LOVE Experience Gifts!

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In Christmas, Lifestyle on
December 17, 2017

Last minute teacher gifts for Christmas

We love teachers for all they do. Like, REALLY love them. Without teachers, you’d be teaching your kids quadratic equations. I do not possess enough patience to wait for them to get their shoes on in the morning, never mind teaching them math. Which is why at Christmas, I make sure I put some effort into choosing a good teacher gift.

We asked a bunch of teachers (my sister included) on what they’d appreciate this yule-tide season and they’ve given us the goods on what they want, what they really really want.

Need a gift that reflects your adoration for teaching your kid day in and day out? We’ve got that for you in the form of wine and gift cards.

Booze

Let’s face it. It’s Christmas and children are out of their MINDS right now. Imagine having 25-30 8 years old kids in one room every day a week before Christmas? No. me neither. Get that teacher some booze. Gift cards are a more “classy” way to bring some bubbly into the classroom, this way your kid isn’t walking around the playground with a bottle of pinot grigio, plus the teacher gets to pick the booze of their fancy.

Your teacher may not actually drink alcohol, so this might not be the best gift if you’ve never actually met the teacher.

 

Gift Cards

Sometimes you straight up don’t know your kid’s teacher, especially as your kids get older and you’re no longer needed (ie: wanted) in the classroom.

Gift cards are easy for a couple of reasons.

  1.  The recipient gets to choose their own present and what they need.
  2. You can buy gift cards online! 👌🏼

Sometimes the obvious places are the best, Chapters, Starbucks, and Timmies are really great options. If you know the teacher try shopping locally, or there’s always  Etsy gift cards

Teachers are often spending their own money on supplies needed for the classroom, so a gift card to Education Station might come in handy if you know that this is something they’d appreciate.

 

The Christmas Card

No matter what you get for your teacher this holiday season whether buying a gift or creating one (check here for DIY Christmas projects), a nice handwritten note or card from your child is the icing on the cake. As much as we love teachers it’s always nice to get a note or a drawing from a child, especially when they’re really little and their writing is the cutest.

 

Did you get your teacher a gift? Do you get them for karate and piano teachers too? How do you decide what to get them? Let us know in the comments.

 

Happy Shopping!

In Explore, Lifestyle, Northern Alberta, Style on
December 4, 2017

Shopping Locally in Grande Prairie

We all love the idea of shopping locally, but often we forget how important it is to actually go out there and spend locally! There are so many local businesses in Grande Prairie, but we thought we’d make a list of all the places you can shop locally in Grande Prairie this holiday season.

Spending money in a local business isn’t just about supporting a local family, but it’s good for the economy! It’s known as the Multiplier Effect and Wikipedia can go through the details for you here, but essentially it means that when you spend your money in your community with a locally owned and operated business it circulates the wealth back into your community. It’s a win-win. Really, who doesn’t love their locally owned coffee-shops and boutiques!

In no particular order, here are some places we’ll be shopping this holiday season.

Kids

Cute as a Bugs Ear
Web: https://cute-as-a-bugs-ear.myshopify.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Cute-As-A-Bugs-Ear-Childrens-Clothing-Inc-
Address: #104 – 10605 West Side Dr.

What to shop for: Anything kids!

Mini and Kind
Web: https://www.miniandkind.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/miniandkind/
Address: Online only

What to shop for: Organic and ethically made baby clothing and toys. We LOVE this little fawn.

What to shop for: ALL the headbands. Every. Single. One.

With Love

Address: 11500 100 St
What to shop for: All you need for the sporty kid (or grownup on your list)

Women’s Clothing

Sole Addiction
Address: 9907 100 Ave
What to shop for: SHOES!!!
Forbes & Friends
Address: 9918a 100 Avenue
What to shop for:  Lots to shop for in this local boutique. Women’s clothes, jewelry, and accessories (unique scarves, bags and even fun rubber boots) as well as lots of gifts for those in your life that love local art.
House of Spades
Address: 9908 100ave
What to shop for: House of Spades carries a more modern line of clothes with brands like Scotch and Soda, Matt and Nat and Wooden Ship Knits.

House of Spades

What to shop for:  Blanket scarves, ponchos and Eliasz and Ella jewelry

Experience Gift Ideas

Art Gallery of Grande Prairie
Web: http://aggp.ca/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/ArtGalleryofGP/
Address: 9839 103 Avenue #103

What to shop for: Memberships to the art gallery are an inexpensive gift for an art lover or for a unique gift for those that love experiences over things.

 Local Handmade

Fox and Chaos Naturals
Web: http://foxandchaos.ca/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FoxandChaos/

What to shop for: Handmade organic bath and beauty products such as bubble bath, lotions and lip balms, perfect for our Northern Albertan climate.

Rustic Little Lamb
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Rustic-little-lamb-120637391932907/

What to shop for: Custom homemade signs for your home.

Timber + Gray Design Co.
Web: https://timberandgray.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/timberandgray/

What to shop for: Fun tees, wooden signs furniture.

Timber and Gray

 

Chickweed and Clover
Web: http://www.chickweedclover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Chickweedandclover/
Address: RR1 Site 6 Box 19 , Sexsmith Alberta

What to shop for:  Their new product, Wild Rose and Magnesium body butter and spray which may help for a restful sleep.

In Business, Explore, From the Editors on
December 3, 2017

What We Really Want for Xmas

Yes, of course, we want quality time spent with family, to see the excitement in our kid’s eyes, cozying up near a fireplace with some hot chocolate but we’re just going to be honest here.

In the words of Julie Andrews, “These are a few of our favourite things”

Chris

  1. If we are spending money: a Ninja Coffee Bar – I have the blender and I LOVE it. I don’t drink coffee but I could use decaf to make fancy coffee right in my own home!
  2. The Google Home mini & Chromecast. Play Google Play Playlists & Netflix with just my voice. Find out the temperature or prove my husband wrong about something by using a search engine with just my voice – yes please! Of course, watching Northern Style Exposure use hers on Instastories helped sway me as well!
  3. Anything David’s Tea. Since quitting caffeine 3 years ago, I’m big on making myself yummy tea lattes. One of my favourite birthday presents last year was their advent calendar but with all the caffeinated teas in there, this year, I’d just love the Caffeine Free Teas Gift Box.

Jen

  1. Diamond earrings. There I said it. This year honestly I don’t want to be all like “don’t worry about getting me something” or “just get me something practical. I’ve wanted small stud diamond earrings for a while, but could never justify buying them for myself. So I want some small simple stud diamonds, like THESE Spence ones.
  2. A Poppy Barley backpack. Okay, I noticed I may have a tad more expensive taste, but it’s about quality lasting a long time! Again, it’s another thing I just haven’t bought for myself.
  3. And now to go cheap and simple….. a bathrobe. Seriously, why have I found it so hard to find a good bathrobe? A longer, not crazy thick, but not sooooo thin bathrobe. Like THIS one from Amazon. See not ALL my wants are pricey! (I want grey if you’re reading this Brad….) Ha ha.

Deanne

  1. Custom lipstick from Creme De La Creme. We got to go a couple of weeks ago to create a lipstick and I came home with the perfect plum for my skin tone. Now I need a perfect red too!
  2. Cheese from Italian Centre Shop. Preferably the truffle cheese because I am too cheap to buy it the rest of the year.
  3. And finally a bottle of Cherry Rye from Hansen Distillery to create cocktails with my husband for cocktail Monday.

Kimberly

  1. Something reliable to make popcorn with. Seriously, the cheap air popper we have spews burning hot seeds all over the kitchen! Don’t even get me started on how much wasted popcorn that is… It’s not over the top at all, but it’s just something that I keep forgetting to buy. I have heard good things about the PowerLix Microwave Popcorn Popper on Amazon.
  2. An Apple Watch. I am a lover of all things Apple and I really like having something that can sync easily with my phone and help me track my fitness, to do list, weather and so on. I love that you can customize the colour and type of strap with most models too!
  3. Something pretty from Eliasz and Ella. Everything this local Edmonton Jewelry company designs I love! I can never have too many Bangin’ Bracelets or sparkly studs. Never. Ever.

Nicola

  1. Anything from Rocky Mountain Soap Company! Actually, to be more specific I use their day cream and I swear by it and thus go through a lot. I’d like a bucket of that please.
  2. Oak and Fort has become my new go-to for clothes. I love the clean lines and simple designs that are easy to throw on.
  3.  A phone charger… again… because whoever is eating socks in my house (we only have socks that don’t match) is also eating phone chargers! They’re always missing. Actually is there such a thing as a phone charger that can never be moved from my bedside table. I want that.

Christine 

  1. Something like a course weekend course to improve my photography skills as well as a Lowel Ego Light.
  2. A portable induction cooktop like this Salton one to step up my YouTube video game!
  3. Renovations – we need new lights in our bathroom because only half turn on, our kitchen needs to be a different colour than red, and we also need a fresh coat of paint in both of our living rooms.

What’s on YOUR list?

In Lifestyle, Style on
November 29, 2017

Local Designer Spotlight: Twig and Velvet + ANNAEL

Annas Velvet

When I buy Christmas gifts for the women in my life I really like to purchase something unique and local. Little treasures that were lovingly created or designed by other women in Alberta who have far more creative vision then myself. Enter the perfect collab: Twig and Velvet + ANNAËL!

Twig and Velvet ANNAEL

The owners of these two local companies, Monika & Leanne, have actually been working together for quite some time, but have finally made it official with their new online shop, twigandvelvet.com!

Twig and Velvet offers stunning silver, metal & semi precious stone jewellery designed and handcrafted right in Beaumont Alberta. ANNAËL is a creation of wearable art (handwoven silk scarves and cotton shirts), and is the brain child of the owner who is also a professional photographer from Beaumont. Both of their unique designs are sold on their new online platform as well as their newest collaboration and “love child”: Anna’s Velvet. This collection includes wares like modern pearl items, leather wrap bracelets and a to die for 3 way poncho scarf.

Anna's Velvet

Last year, I purchased gifts from both of these companies: sparkly bracelets with gold clasps and a silk infinity scarf with the most beautiful photograph of a flower on it. All were very well received by their happy recipients! What I like most, besides the constantly evolving designs (they really never stop creating, ever), is that these local ladies have a “Chosen Acts of Kindness” program. With this program, they will give back in some way with a random act of kindness that they will be sharing via social media and on their blog. I can not wait to see what creative ways they come up with to give back!

Anna's Velvet

My TOP Gift Picks from www.twigandvelvet.com

Twig and Velvet Earrings

ANNAEL Scarf

  • 3 Way Poncho/Scarf in Olive: The pleather trim and wooden stamped buttons on this beauty make it so special and perfect for everyday.

Anna's Velvet Poncho

 

You can shop all 3 collections (Twig & Velvet, ANNAEL and Anna’s Velvet) here! Don’t forget if you are in Beaumont there is free pickup as well. Happy Holiday Shopping!

Every Day Girl

*This post was brought to you by Twig and Velvet. As always, all opinions stated are my own.

In Lifestyle, Random Thoughts on
June 4, 2017

Top Gifts for Teachers

How do you thank the person who taught your child to read? The person who somehow managed to put up with not just your child’s “quirks” but also, 24 other students. The teacher who, at the end of the school year,  still looks relatively normal? With gifts. Really good gifts.

Here are some of our favourites:

Useful Gifts

Teachers don’t need another mug. Seriously. Put down the mug. Styling water bottles from Swell are good for the environment and are way better looking.

Swell Water Bottle from Chapters

 

Gift Cards! 

Starbucks, Chapters and teacher supply stores are great. Nothing like a little cold hard cash (on a gift card) to help a teacher out.

Gift Cards are ALWAYS welcome

Wine

“This year we have been giving a bottle of wine and something for the classroom/program.. since lots of teachers had to throw lots out after returning from wildfire evacuation.” – Joanne, Fort McMurray

If you know your teacher likes to indulge in a glass of the good stuff, a nice bottle of wine with a little note, or a small token with it is a great touch.

We found a printable for a bottle of wine found from a really cool Albertan business  HERE

Click through for FREE printable.

Customizable Gifts

Sometimes these gifts need a little more time to prep, but your teacher is worth it, right?

Storage for ALL the things teachers bring to class. As an added benefit, personalize the items so everyone knows not to swipe teacher’s amazing swag.

 

Pamper, Please

If the year was particularly challenging, perhaps pampering your teacher would be the way to go. Chocolate from your favourite local chocolatier along with a nice bottle of wine would be lovely. Perhaps chocolate and bath bombs?  Check out Albertan chocolatiers, Jacek Violet Chocolate Company. or Chokolat. Actually, while you’re there, get yourself that gift too for making through another school year.

Locally made bath bombs are the bomb! We love Rocky Mountain Soap Company‘s bath bombs as well as Wild Prairie Soap which is made here in Wild Rose Country.

 

Group Gifts

These are the a) easiest on the parents b) the best gifts! Ask the parents in the class to donate some cashola (we recommend $20 per person if it’s feasible) for a combined gift. One (organized) parent collects the money and picks up a gift card for the teacher. In the past, I’ve been a part of gifts that included hotel stays for a teacher that goes to Seattle every year (it covered the cost of one-night stay), or a spa day!  Easy for the parents and the best gifts ever for the teacher.

Homemade gifts. 

It’s important that your child is involved (even slightly) during this process, it was their teacher after all.  Handmade cards reflect all the child has learnt throughout the year as well as put a personal touch for the gift.

If you’re feeling crafty,  The DIY Mommy has a great craft for you to do with your child and… free printables too!

 

Inspired? Got a better idea? What are you getting your teacher this year?