Archive for Giving

Valentines Day is Almost Here Already!

I love any holiday that gives us ladies an excuse to get a gift. This year is actually our first Valentines day as a married couple, so I am excited to spend it together. I love flowers, chocolates, teddy bears, jewellery, and all of the other Valentines day gifts. It really is the thought that counts for me, so whatever gift I get, whether it’s small or big is okay with me.

Is it me, or does Valentines seem like it’s a day only for the ladies. I mean I can’t really picture myself buying flowers and a teddy bear for hubby, but it doesn’t mean I would never do it. It would just feel weird because I have never purchased a Valentines gift for a guy before. If I bought something for hubby, he would probably say thanks and think to himself, why would she buy me this. How about you, have you ever bought your boyfriend or husband a gift on Valentines day? Let me know in the comments.

Everything is overpriced leading up to Valentines Day, so how can our boyfriends and husband’s save a little this Valentines Day? I’ve come up with a few ways for them to save. 

1. Buy gifts in advance

The same gifts can be purchased well in advance for a much cheaper price than if it’s purchased days before Valentines Day or on the day.

2. Buy a gift online

Buying a gift online can save you some money. But please don’t send your special someone a picture of online flowers. I once heard of someone who did that. So tacky!

3. Use a coupon

I am all for coupons, I almost used one to buy hubby’s wedding band. Sites like Groupon will likely have Valentines Day deals, so check them out.

4. Make something

Gifts don’t always have to be purchased. Get creative and make something for your lovey dovey. Making a gift can go a far way, because it takes so much more time than going to a store and purchasing a gift.

5. Don’t buy gifts a drugstores

Shoppers Drug Mart always sells Valentine’s Day gifts, but you can get those same gifts at Walmart.

6. Buy flowers at grocery stores

Flowers are cheaper at grocery stores than they are at a flower shops, and you can actually get some nice flowers at higher end grocery stores.

Do you have any other ideas? Please share!

Photo by Shaun Sheep

75% Of People Lie About Liking Their Gift!

Check out this infographic I recently found. I am quite shocked that 75% of Americans have actually lied about liking a gift. I will admit that I have done this myself, but I didn’t think that many people did the same thing. I just don’t have the heart to tell someone that their gift sucked, especially since they didn’t have to get me anything in the first place.

I can’t believe 1 in 6 couples have gotten into a fight over a bad gift. Really! When did we get to a point in society where we expect people to buy us things? I thought a gift was something that is given out of the goodness of someone’s heart. I never thought it was a must!

46 Billion dollars of merchandise was returned in 2011. Wow! I have never returned a gift, but I will admit that I have re-gifted, especially when I get alcohol. One year I got 4 bottles of wine, and I re-gifted all of them.

It’s quite interesting that most of the gifts that were returned were clothes. I have bought clothes for many people, and I wonder if anyone ever returned any of my gifts. Imagine, buying someone a gift and seeing them at the store returning the gift you bought them. That would be an awkward moment.

Have you ever re-gifted, or returned a gift?

I know men love tools, including my hubby, but honestly I never even thought of buying him a tool for Christmas. This will be our first Christmas together as a married couple and although a tool would be a fabulous idea, I already bought his gift, so maybe next year.

Gift cards seem to be extremely popular every year, especially when you don’t know what to buy for someone. You can never go wrong with a gift card, especially if it’s for a mall. I don’t usually give gift cards. I normally buy a gift, or just give cash.

How about you, do you prefer giving gift cards, cash, or presents?


How To Make Your Own Car Air Freshener

Today’s guest post is from Isabelle who blogs overs at She has perfected the art of making her own air freshners, and wants to share her tips. She says it’s cheap and they make great gifts. Check out her post.

Many of us treat our cars like our second homes. We eat in them, leave garbage in them and throw stuff in the trunk when we’re not sure what else to do with it. If this sounds like you, why not treat your car to a bit of TLC? With this quick, simple guide you can make your car smell less like a takeaway joint and more like a bunch of roses. (or anything else you want it to smell like)

Choose your shape

Firstly, you’ll need to choose what shape, image or word you want your air freshener to be. Although the classic shape is a tree, you can have anything you want. Even your name or a friend’s name would work, as long as it’s not too long!

Cutting & sticking

Draw a template of your design, and cut it out on a piece of cardboard before doing the same with a piece of fabric of your choice. To save on buying fabric, you could use an old tablecloth, item of clothing or even curtains. You’ll need to cut out two pieces of fabric, to stick with superglue on both sides of the cardboard.

Make sure you create a little rectangle at the top, in the middle of your word or image because you’ll need to be able to punch a hole in this part.

Pick your scent

Once you’ve stuck the fabric down, take some of your favorite oil and carefully drip about 10 drops over each side of the air freshener. Don’t go too crazy with the essential oil  though, as it’s usually pretty strong stuff! The best part about this bit is that you get to choose any oil you like. If you’re making a gift for a friend you can use a scent which you know they’ll love to add a personal touch.

Now wait for the air freshener to dry.

Nearly ready…

Use a hole punch to create a hole in the top of your air freshener. Make sure you do this bit carefully, as you don’t want to punch the hole in the wrong place as it won’t hang right.

Take a piece of ribbon, string or twine and thread it through the hole before attaching it to your wing mirror – making sure it’s not obscuring your view – and you’re done!

Top up you scent

You don’t have to make a new one when the scent starts to wear off. Simply detach the air freshener and top it up with more oil.

If you’re feeling extra creative, you could make a few in different shapes and scents to mix and match depending on your mood.

Get festive

It’s that time of year when we’re all trying to find unique presents for our loved ones without having to spend a fortune. You can make your air freshener gifts extra festive by choosing some Christmassy scents. Try cinnamon, ginger or fir needle essential oils, or play with combinations of oil until you find one they’ll love.

Make them into festive shapes like Christmas trees, holly berries or even Santa Claus. They’re cheap to make and are really thoughtful stocking fillers.

You don’t need to have a car to make your own air freshener. Make them for the house, and hang them over the door handles!

My comment: I never thought of making my own air freshner. This sounds super easy to do and would probably be fun to do with kids. I also like the idea of topping up the scent yourself. Some air freshners don’t last long at all, so I am constantly buying new ones.

Have you ever tried to make your own air freshner?

What’s Your Take On Giving To The Homeless?

Do you give money to homeless people? Would you change your mind if you knew what they were doing with the money, or if you knew how much money they made in a day?

There was a lady who appeared to be homeless a few years ago who use to sit outside of a subway station that I use to pass by to go to work everyday. She would sit there day in and day out, from morning until night. I don’t ever remember not seeing her at the station. She wasn’t a regular homeless lady. She would lay on the ground shaking as if she was having convulsions. It was obvious that she wanted money and wasn’t completely sick, because she would look up at you and hold out a basket indicating she wants money.

I never really thought much of it. If I had money on me I would just give it to her without thinking twice about it. In fact many people use to give her money. I mean who wouldn’t feel sorry for someone who looked like they didn’t have much longer to live, plus she was quite old.

A few years later that same homeless lady was on the local news. Reporters said she was a fraud and there was nothing wrong with her. Apparently she owned several condo’s and was doing quite fine. I had to laugh when I heard this because if she was willing to go through all that, especially in the winter to get money, then I have no regrets in giving her money. She probably made more money in a day than most of the people that were giving her money.

I often hear people say they wouldn’t give money to a homeless person because they don’t know what they’ll do with the money. I think that’s just an excuse not to give. I know some homeless people will go and buy drugs or alcohol, which is why some people will buy them a meal instead of giving them money. But I have also heard of situations where homeless people have sold their food for money and then use that money to buy  drugs and the alcohol. If a homeless person really wants drugs or alcohol, they’ll find a way.

Do you give money to the homeless? Would you still give if you new how much they made?

Do You Tip Your Mechanic?

I’ve been driving since I was 18 and have had to bring my car to a mechanic more times than I care to remember. Over the years I have had good mechanics and bad mechanics. Mostly good though!

Over the past couple of years I started thinking about tipping my mechanic. Up to that point I had never tipped my mechanic and often wondered if others tip theirs. My mechanic at the time always went above and beyond for me, and most importantly he would explain everything he was doing to my car in layman’s terms. I decided to start tipping him because it was weighing on my heart and plus the service was excellent.

About 6 months after I started tipping, I needed a tune up which consisted of changing my spark plugs. He told me he would purchase the original spark plugs that were in my car which was fine with me. We discussed the price of the plugs and his labour costs and he started putting them in.

While I as waiting for my car, I don’t know what came over me, but I had this gut wrenching feeling(which I call God’s whisper) that I should call the dealer and ask them how much spark plugs cost for my car. I’ve learned over the years that anytime I get that feeling I should listen. I called the dealer and asked them to price spark plugs for my car. I also asked them if there are any other type of plugs that are recommended for my car, just in case the mechanic decided to buy different plugs than we discussed. The dealer said no and gave me the price. The dealer price was $80 less than what my mechanic quoted me. At this point all kinds of things were going through my head, like do I have “please rip me off” stamped on my forehead. I knew it couldn’t be an error because he installs spark plugs all the time.

The mechanic’s assistant came in the waiting room as soon as I got off the phone with the dealer, and I asked him where they ordered my spark plugs from. He told me they ordered it from the dealer. I then asked how much they paid for the plugs. He said he didn’t know and went and got the mechanic. The assistants face was priceless! He knew they were caught. The mechanic came in the waiting room and told me the price he paid for it, which was $80 more than the dealer told me. I told him that I contacted the dealer and they priced the same spark plugs at $80 less. He then contacted the dealer, or so he said. For all I know it could have been some guy in India on the other line. He didn’t put the phone on speaker until the person said the price of the spark plugs, so I had no proof that the guy on the other end was from the dealer. Of course the so called guy from the dealer said the same price the mechanic quoted me.

I told him I didn’t believe him that the price was more, but because we agreed upon the original price I just paid it, knowing full well that I just got ripped off. I drove off and about 5 minutes later I guess his conscious started bothering him, because he called me and said it was a mistake on the dealers part and I was over charged $80. I went back and picked up my money and never went back to him again.

I wonder if he got comfortable after I started tipping and decided to rip me off. Nah, he was probably a crook long before that.

Now I have a new mechanic that I haven’t started tipping yet and don’t know if I’ll start tipping him or not. I am undecided. My new mechanic did some work on my car recently and cut his finger and made a joke by saying, “you could always tip me for my cut”. Huh! I didn’t tip him, but it got me thinking about tipping mechanics again.

What are your thoughts on tipping a mechanic. Do you tip yours?

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