Holiday gifts for gardeners

For those of you who scoff at the idea of gardening, you seriously do not know what you’re missing out on. It’s a healthy activity. Not just that—it’s also a great stress buster! I love gardening, and this holiday season, I would love nothing more than a couple of gifts from my loved ones to help me do the job better. I’m sure there are people out there who echo my thoughts. If you have a friend who loves gardening as much as I do and you have no idea what to gift them, here’s a little help. These are my picks for the four best holiday gifts for gardeners:

1.These boots aren’t meant for walking

High Boots

High Boots

I have two words for you—gardening boots. An avid gardener like me could not do without a good pair of gardening boots to rough it out in the mud. You’ve got your high boots and you’ve got your clogs. Personally, I prefer the former. They’re much sassier!

2.Bird feeders

Bird Feeder

Bird Feeder

If you’re a gardener, you’re bound to be a nature lover. Bird feeders are an essential accessory in your garden. You’ll connect with the local environment and get to know the kind of birds that call your neighbourhood their home.

3.Journal it

An avid gardener always keeps his or her gardening journal handy. It’s important to keep track of planting dates, seed types and the supplies that you may need.

4.Keeping tools handy

A field bag

A field bag

For those of you who are not familiar with the art of gardening, it requires a set of tools. These many tools. A tool belt, a field bag or a garden vest—you can choose your poison to help you keep your tools handy.

If any of my friends are reading this, you know what I want for Christmas, guys! I hope this list will help you make a good choice. Or better yet, buy one for yourself and see how you’re drawn into the beautiful world of gardening!

Fun ways your kids could earn their allowance

 

My nephew. Phew! He’s a wild one. He’s like a little Tasmanian devil, running around wrecking the place, the incoherent noises included! The only way to keep him in check is to keep him occupied. To make sure that he doesn’t spend all day in front of the computer, my sister hatched an evil plan. She started encouraging him to do chores, and when that plan was foiled, she started bribing him to do them. Kids always want the latest little trinket up for sale in the toy store. Why not give them the opportunity to earn it? You could also give this a shot. But with an attention span of a little kitten, the biggest challenge you’d face is to keep them interested in doing the chore. Well, here’s how you do it:

For ages 3-5:

1.     Napkin origami

Butterfly Napkin

Butterfly Napkin

Teach your kids to make simple designs like boats and butterflies with the table napkin before dinner.

2.     Match socks

Somehow one sock out of the pair always seems to vanish. Get your child to match socks out of the laundry and reward them when all pairs are in place.

For ages 6-8:

1.     Recycling scavenger hunt

Give your child a list of recyclable items to find in the neighborhood and reward them based on how rare the items are. A newspaper or can would get a low reward but a large stack of magazines gets the bumper prize!

2.     Race to the finish

Boring household chores? Not anymore. Give your child an element of fun by timing each task they complete. The faster they do it, the more they earn.

Once your kids are older, I’m sure the money will be motivation enough to do the chores. But till then, you could use these ideas and instill the value of hard work in your little one.

Have a Merry green Christmas!

I’m a die-hard nature lover. No, seriously. I love to just curl up in my favorite blanket and watch nothing but the Discovery channel. Nature is so beautiful and enchanting, don’t you think?And I really think it looks the most gorgeous during the winters. Like most people, I do believe that Christmas time is the jolliest of seasons!

But ho ho ho-ld your horses! When Santa Claus comes to town riding on a sleigh, we often forget about our environment. Of course we have so much on our minds: vacationing, decorating and buying presents. But there are some easy ways you can celebrate a jolly, eco-friendly Christmas and I’m here to show you the ropes. Here are some tips:

  1. Buy sturdy decorations – Christmas decorations are common in every household. But we often buy cheaper decorations that break easily. Instead, you should buy decorations that will last you for years. You could also use LED lights.

    blue-led-christmas-lights-led-christmas-lights

    LED Lights

  2. Avoid baggage – So much shopping and so little time! Instead of buying plastic bags from stores, carry your own eco-friendly cloth tote.

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    Cloth Tote

  3. A different kind of present – Gift-giving has become way too clichéd. Instead of your usual store-bought toys and trinkets that will most likely end up in the trash can, go for green DIY presents or better yet! Why not gift an experience? Cook dinner or perform a dance for your loved ones. Also, avoid battery-operated toys because batteries are toxic.
  4. Wrap it up – Gifts are wrapped in pretty-looking wrapping paper. But where does it end up? That’s right. But we can easily avoid the wastage. Wrap your presents in newspaper or use recycled paper.
  5. E-cards are the way to go – We’ve all become so tech-savvy in this day and age. So why not during Christmas? Instead of sending paper cards, why not send an animated e-card to your loved ones? They’re prompt, creative and great for our environment!

This year, let’s not forget our environment while we celebrate the wonderful season. Use these handy tips and make a difference! Because change starts with you.

My top 5 favorite organic recipes for the holidays

I don’t think there is anything else that makes me happier than food. I love to spoil myself with delicious recipes now and then. But as a rule, I only cook with organic ingredients. They might be a little more expensive but they are so much healthier. If you think that choosing an organic lifestyle will restrict your menu, I’m here to prove you wrong. I have found some wonderful organic holiday recipes that will make you drool! Here are my top five:

organic-turkeyTurkey is synonymous with the holidays, whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas. And really, it’s not that hard to make either. Wow your guests with your great culinary skills. It’s important that you use a heritage turkey because they are not only healthier but also richer in flavor.

This one is a meat lover’s favorite. It’s your best bet for a fantastic main course during your Christmas dinner. It’s also pretty easy to prepare even for a newbie (10 minutes preparation time, baby!) and is just absolutely mouthwatering.

IMG_5164What makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside during the chilly winters? No, not love. Eggnog! Which is incredibly easy to make too, with or without the alcohol! Be careful though. Use only pasteurized eggs because raw eggs may contain Salmonella.

Christmas puddingTopped with hard sauce, this candied fruit-filled pudding is something you wouldn’t want to miss out on during this festive season. I mean, it says ‘Christmas’ in the name and nothing gets more Christmas-y than that! The mix of sweet and spice make it a warm and delectable treat.

Nothing says Christmas like leaving some freshly baked cookies out for Santa. With a preparation time of only thirty minutes, this one is a must to have on your dinner table on Christmas. Because who doesn’t like cookies!

These recipes will most definitely make you the star chef at your Christmas dinner party and your guests will keep coming back for more! You’re welcome.