Christmas will be here before we know it. I have been browsing the stores online since October to see what’s worth buying this year. And if you are still looking for that perfect gift for favorite host/hostess on your list, here are some options for you.
- Around the World Stacking Mugs: You can purchase this mug set at World Market. I recently purchased a set for $14.99 to gift this Christmas. I might purchase this set again now since it’s currently on sale for $11.24. This set includes 6 mugs that are 10 oz each. I love this set because the mugs can be stacked so it saves you space in the cabinet.
- Rice Cube: I found this one on the Uncommon Goods website. The concept of this rice cube is very interesting. I am tempted to buy one just for fun. You know someone who likes sushi; this will be great for them because they can use this cube to get all of the ingredients together without the mess of rolling it in. The set costs $19.99.
- Personalized Wood Recipe Box: You can find this item on the Personal Creation Websites. You can personalize it with the recipient’s name and you have the choice of colors for the ribbon that goes around the box. For $19.99, this gift is a steal for you being able to make it more personal. I ordered from them before and the shipping time is actually quite fast.
- Holiday Wishes Appetizer Plate Set: This set looks even more stunning in person. I love the design of this set because it’s so elegant. It’s very fitting for Christmas. The only downside is they might not be appropriate to use during the rest of the year. The set costs $19.95 at Pier 1 Imports.
- Make a gift basket for $20. You get to express your creativity here while staying in control of your budget. You can find a basket at craft store then stock it up with all of your host’s favorite items. From candy, coffee, to a cute set of measuring spoon and cups. The options are endless here.
Here are the gifts I mentioned above. They all look good, don’t they?
You can see that all of the gift options above are $20.00 or less. I just want to show you that you can still give a fabulous gift on a budget. I don’t know about you but my budget for Christmas presents have been shrunk substantially. It’s easy to find expensive gifts these days but if you know where to look, you can still be a fabulous gift giver without drilling a hole in your wallet.
If you have been following me on my blog, then you probably already knew about my love for kitchen shopping. Like everyone else, I have a certain budget when I decide to buy things so there are only certain places I would go to see my options. Here are the places and the reason why I like it.
1. T.J.Maxx and Marshall: These two places served my impulsive buying (sometimes). I like these places for the affordability of it. Most of the time, I can find awesome stuffs for less than 10 dollars. Almost all of my kitchen appliances and dinnerware are from here. Clearance section is an excellent place to hit when you’re on budget. I once found this set of 4 bowls for $5.00. I also like that I can buy bowls and plates in single instead of a set. T.J.Maxx and Marshall are very convenient when you have a specific need for an item.
I got a set of four of these bowl at Marshall for $5.00. They are pretty and perfect for spaghetti for stir-fry noodle.
2. Overstock.com: I use this for window shopping a lot. I have found quite a few items I like one here. Plus, their shipping is excellent. The price for items on Overstock.com is quite reasonable. It really depends on what you are looking for. Most merchandise is in the mid-range to expensive pricing. It will take a while to really find what you need for a reasonable price. I normally search on the site with the keyword for the item I want. When I find something I like, I click on it to learn more and then broaden my options with what they suggested. I have always ended up buying the item from “you might also like this” section. Check out my favorite wok and cutting board I got from Overstock.
3. Beyond the Rack.com: This is a discounted website where they have items up to 70% off. This website is good when you are just looking around for ideas or get a good small appliance at a very good price. You have to be a member to see all the events – there is no membership fee or anything. I check out the website at least once a day to see what they have. I found many gift ideas from here. They have many interesting items for decor and kitchen along with apparels and more. The website is amazing for the amount of merchandise it offers. However, the shipping takes a while so if you see something you like, you might have to plan to get it well in advance.
I got these Coasters from Beyond the Rack a while back. I love the non-perfect look they have around edges. Also, the design is too pretty to pass by.
So that’s my list of my favorite places to shop. Each one of these places serves a different function in my shopping routine. What’s your favorite to shop?
Cleaning after dinner is my least favorite part in the whole cooking process. Every time I am done cooking dinner, my kitchen looks like a war zone. Today, I want to share with you some tips and tricks that I use time after time to keep my kitchen as clean as possible.
#1: Use foil to line the baking sheet when use for anything other than baking like roasting vegetables, or making baked chicken. If you’re worried about food stick to the foil, just spray it with Pam before putting the food on. This will help all the mess not touch the baking sheet. You can reuse it right after you done to make something else, no washing needed, just change out the foil.
#2: Clean as you go. This is kind of tedious but it will help save you time later, I promise. Wash all the items after you are done using them while you are preparing your meal. Since you’re multitasking, you probably don’t even notice that you’re cleaning. When your dinner is ready, your kitchen will still look clean.
#3: Soak everything in hot soapy water when you can’t get to them immediately. This might sound silly to hear however many people don’t do it. If you’re not doing this, make it into a habit. This makes the process of loading up the dishwasher so much faster. You won’t be so frustrated trying to get leftovers out of your bowls or plate (especially spaghetti sauce).
#4: Lastly, make paper towel your best friend. It’s quick to use for spot cleaning. Just a spray of 409 or Windex surface cleaner and a piece of paper towel, your mess will be gone. It’s sanitized too since you only use the paper towel once. No need to wash tons of smelly washcloths.
I hope you find these tips useful to you. What are your tips and trick to keep your kitchen clean?
P/s: If none of these work for you, just do what I do and ask someone else very nicely to do it for you.