• Wonderful handmade gift ideas for Christmas

    It’s a week before Christmas arrives, and you still haven’t found the perfect gift for your loved ones. Because everything you’re looking for is out of stock, or hard on your wallet. If you find yourself with zero ideas and a tight budget, here are some last-minute homemade gifting ideas that will save you!

    Handmade soaps

    Making soaps can be messy but fun. You can gift this to your mother, grandma or your best friend. All you need is some lye (be super careful with this), herbs, some essential oils, colors, water and additives. Don’t forget to have your safety equipment and goggles on! You could use lavender, aloevera, shea butter and even coffee as the key flavor! If you want to experiment more, there are innumerable videos and blogs online that can inspire you.

    Embroidered handkerchiefs

    As easy as embroidered handkerchiefs sound, they can be tricky little buggers which take time to master. This can be an amazing gift for your grandma or your mother, but it doesn’t have to necessarily be just for them. If you know anyone who enjoys knitting or collecting small souvenirs, this could prove to be a meaningful gift.

    Memory journal

    The best part about making a memory journal for a beloved one, is that you can personalize it in the best possible way. Right from the recyclable paper, to the use of fabric as cover, to the tiny notes, everything can be well thought out and original. You can use colors, photographs, cutouts of their favorite magazines, souvenirs, old movie tickets, etc. The possibilities are infinite! It truly is a great Christmas gift, and an unforgettable memento.

    Tote bag made from a T-Shirt

    Making a tote bag takes less than an hour. You can choose a new or an old (make sure it’s still in a good condition) T Shirt. Cut the sleeves if it has any. Make the neckline wider by cutting away its edges and stitch the bottom. An absolute cake walk, isn’t it! You can further add a zipper or buttons to it, to give it the perfect finishing touch.

    Hammered flower impressions

    You always gift flowers, isn’t it? But how about immortalizing your loved one’s favorite flowers on canvas. All you have to do is pick the perfect flower, place it on the canvas carefully, cover it with paper towels and pound it with a hammer. Once you pull it away, it leaves you with an amazing impression, you can embellish it with other colorful leaves and flowers. Use a UV resistant clear coating on the canvas to avoid darkening of the colors.

  • Tips to safely use outdoor Christmas lights during this holiday season

    The holiday season not only brings happiness with Christmas but also brings lights and the festive fervor. It is a time for celebration and utmost happiness with friends and family. Christmas preparations include decorations and beautiful outdoor Christmas lights.

    These outdoor Christmas lights can be acquired at the nearby local store at the Christmas lighting sale or the Black Friday lighting sale at great prices.

    How to safely use outdoor Christmas lights during this holiday season
    Although outdoor Christmas lights are beautiful, they come with many safety issues. Here are some tips to handle these lights for a safe Christmas.
    Use specific purposed lights: All kinds of festive outdoor lights aren’t the same. It may seem that you can use these lights for any purpose, but always remember to use the lights for outdoor lighting purposes for outside Christmas lights and the lights for indoor purposes inside the house. This will prevent unnecessary safety hazards.

    Hang lights: Never use a nail or staples to secure your Christmas lights. Lights such as the lighted garland for Christmas and similar kinds should be used with care and hung carefully. Stapling it or nailing over them might cause a short-circuit and may cause a fire.

    Read reviews: Remember to purchase only those lights which are rated by users. Read as many Christmas lights reviews as you can to find the best Christmas lights for your house and decorations.

    Inspect before you use: Inspect your lights before hanging them up for some damage or shortcomings. Also, inspect the bulb fixings before you use them. You should do this for old and new out-of-the-box lights.

    Unplug when you change: Whenever you need to make a repair or change a bulb or do something to the lights, make sure you unplug the entire string for safety purposes.

    Same wattage bulbs: Whenever you replace a bulb, remember to get a bulb of the same wattage. Using a higher wattage bulb will make your light string overheat and may cause a fire.

    Careful with extensions: It is obvious that you will be using extension cords for your Christmas lights. But before you start plugging your Christmas lights, check the wattage of the extension cord. Overloading the extension cord will only create unnecessary damage.

    Instructions: Always make it a point to read the instructions on the label or the box. Some lights come with certain specific instructions. Therefore, it is important to read them before installing the lights.

    Unplugging: For safety purposes, it is advised to unplug or switch off all your holiday lights when you leave your house or when you go to sleep.

    Be it outdoor Christmas lights or indoor Christmas lights, safety always comes first.

  • How to choose the right sized Christmas tree for your home

    With Halloween gone, the holiday season is almost upon us, and everywhere everyone is making their own preparation for the upcoming festivities. Shopping is a big part of it and perhaps the most difficult thing to buy is the Christmas tree because you have to make sure you buy it perfectly and also take care of its maintenance. Here are some tips for you to choose the right sized Christmas tree for your home.

    Measure the place with utmost accuracy
    Before buying or ordering a Christmas tree, you need to take measurements of the place where the tree will be kept. You do not want to get your tree home only to realize it will not fit where you want it to. Consider the size of the tree base and tree topper when you measure the height. They come in different girth and heightfrom 4 foot to 12 foot Christmas trees; so measure the diameter available for the tree too, so that it can stand right and not crowd the furniture.

    10-foot high ceiling
    It is safe to keep one or one and a half inch gap between the ceiling and the tip of the tree over and above the tree topper. So in case, your ceiling is 10 feet high, you can easily opt for a 9 foot Christmas tree for the occasion.

    89 feet high ceiling
    If your ceiling is around 8 to 9 feet in height and you are looking for the right size of the Christmas tree, go for a 7 foot Christmas tree of pine or fir. That way your tree top will be far from touching the ceiling, and you can top it with a Santa cap or tinsel star. Keep in mind the girth to not overcrowd your place.

    Trees that would fit anywhere in the house
    A 4 foot Christmas tree or a 5 foot Christmas tree will fit anywhere in your room more or less. It is short and cute and very easy to carry and also to maintain and decorate. A 5 or 4 foot lighted Christmas tree is ideal if you want a separate tree for your kid’s room.

    For outdoors
    If you want a Christmas tree for the lawn or terrace or simply to keep outside of your door, you can easily choose a tall 12 foot Christmas tree. It will look looming and majestic in front of your house and along with Christmas lights roped around, it will set the right mood for the occasion.

    Before bringing it home or right after, cut off one inch from the bottom to give it a clean and new shape so that it stands right on the base and can also absorb water better. Arrange for ample water supply, but don’t overdo it or else it will drown.

  • Things to consider before buying icicle Christmas lights for your home

    What are icicle Christmas lights?
    Icicle lights are nothing but decorative lights that are used to decorate roof awnings, windows, and peaks during the festive season. They are hanged from the top and create a beautiful aura around it.

    • Icicle is one of the most popular Christmas lights and is used by almost every household during Christmas.
    • These can be used as both indoor Xmas lights and outdoor.
    • From Xmas string lights to LED-based lights, a range of these icicles Christmas lights is available.
    • One can purchase these icicle Christmas lights at LED Christmas lights sale, where one can avail great discounts and deals.

    To purchase the best icicle Christmas lights for your home, consider the following things which will help you purchase the ideal one.

    • Know where you want to hang the lights: The location where you want to hang the icicle lights determines what kind of icicle lights you might need. For outdoor lighting, i.e., from your rooftop, you can choose colors complementing your house color. For indoor lighting, choose icicle lights in colors that suit and complement your room’s dcor and setting. If you are planning to hang icicle lights on your Christmas tree, then purchase lights according to the height of your Christmas tree.
    • Measure your space well before purchasing icicle lights: Your icicle light needs to be in the right proportion with your space and make sure you measure the space well. It can be lengthier than your space but never shorter than it.
    • Decide on what kind of light you need: There are several types of icicle lights such as incandescent, clear, and LED ones from which one can choose their desired one. Light emitting diodes (LED) is known for utilizing less energy and power than incandescent bulbs. It burns at a relatively low temperature than incandescent bulbs and is way cooler than them. It lasts long thus making it an ideal choice of bulbs.
    • Decide on the budget: Your budget is indeed key and make sure you plan it well in advance. Consider various shop options both online and offline and compare their products both on price and quality.
    • Check for customer reviews: Customer reviews are vast in number, and one can spot them easily on shopping websites and other e-commerce portals. These reviews will give you an idea about the product, and you can decide on whether to purchase them or not.
    • Blog articles by professionals: A number of blog articles by professionals are available online, and you can spot them quite easily.

    Be clear about what you want to purchase, measure the space well, and you are all set to purchase the best icicle Christmas lights for your home.

  • Advantages of using an inflatable snowman this holiday season

    Christmas decorations are not only one of the most fun parts of the festive season but also one of the most hectic and taxing tasks. To put up a great show all over the house from the front lawns to the backyard is a very difficult thing to accomplish. But with the Christmas inflatables, your job gets a tiny bit easier. So this Christmas, give your snowman a more permanent and convenient structure by using an inflatable one. They come in all sizes, from 4 ft inflatable snowman or 12 foot inflatable snowman for inside up to a 20 ft inflatable snowman for outdoor decorations. Here are some of the obvious advantages of using an inflatable snowman.

    Easy to use
    Needless to say, it is easy to put up an inflatable snowman than a real one. Now with all the Global Warming, the snowfall is all erratic, and even if you make one, it might just melt even before the night rolls in. There is no such fear in case of an inflatable snowman. You plug it in, inflate it, and make it stand and not worry about it for the rest of the evening. It is also super-light to carry from one place to another and set it up in the right place.

    Economic
    You can use a snowman, be it an 8 ft inflatable snowman or a 12 foot inflatable snowman as long as it does not tear or looks old and grubby. No need to buy one every year and thus one less thing on your Christmas must-have list to worry about.

    Convenient to store
    With easy deflation, your snowman can be folded and stashed away inside a cupboard or in the attic, and it will wait quietly for the next Christmas to come when again it will be called upon for duty. Until then, no worries!

    Different sizes available
    With an inflatable snowman, you can easily choose between different sizes which are not possible with the real ones for obvious reasons. You can buy as big as a 20 ft inflatable snowman to keep it looming over your lawn. For the interiors, a 6 ft inflatable snowman or 8 foot inflatable snowman sounds perfect. For the terrace or backyard, you can go for a 12 foot inflatable snowman.

    More varieties
    While buying an inflatable snowman, you have many varieties and options to choose from, so that on the eve of Christmas, you don’t have to bother with what to use for the eyes or nose or arms or what else to decorate it with. The inflatable snowman comes ready with every body part it will need and saves you a whole lot of time and trouble.

    With all the other things you have to keep in mind during ChristmasChristmas tree and its decoration, dinner menu, gifting ideaskeep one off the list by buying an inflatable snowman and just inflate it up before the party begins.

  • 5 winter flowers for fabulous Christmas flower arrangements

    The Christmas season is almost upon us, and the air is getting crispier and more festive every day. People are waiting in sheer anticipation of the big celebration and everything cheerful it brings along; and nothing speaks cheerfulness more than bright, beautiful flowers.

    If you are thinking of throwing a small house party or sending a token gift for the occasion to a friend or relative, a charming decoration of popular Christmas flowers will be the perfect option. Here are five winter flowers for charming up Christmas flower arrangements.

    Poinsettia
    Indigenous to Mexico, Poinsettia is one of the most popular Christmas decoration plants of all time. The blooms, which are differently colored leaves of the plant itself, come in natural shades of green, red, yellow, pink, orange and so on. If you buy them from a commercial florist, they might sparkle up the foliage or decorate them with bells and tiny balls as per your wish.

    Amaryllis
    Amaryllis in Greek means ‘to sparkle.’ With its white and red shade which resembles the traditional Christmas colors, they make the best decorations for Christmas flower arrangements on your tabletop in a bowl or the corner stand in a vase with their long stems and trumpet-like blossom peeking out. The petals come in solid, striped or freckled varieties.

    Christmas Cactus
    This holiday plant gets its name from the idea that it blooms during the time of winter, but actually, it starts to spring close to Thanksgiving. By the time December arrives, the plants are covered with pink, red or purplish blooms, and they bend over and hang down from the pot like beautiful trinkets. Suspend the pot in hanging positions, and you will not even need to do anything more for decorations.

    Carnations
    A popular choice for bouquets, the ruffled assortment of red and white flowers is a perfect option for sending Christmas greetings to your loved ones. Also very much ideal for decking up your window grills, staircase railings or center table for the party, Carnations make beautiful traditional Christmas flower arrangements.

    White Chrysanthemums
    The significance of White Chrysanthemums as a popular Christmas flower has its roots in German folklore. According to the story, the Christ Child once visited a peasant family as a beggar, and after they gave him food and shelter, he revealed himself and left. The next day they found two white Chrysanthemums outside their door where he stood. Even today, many people keep the flower in their home or send to each other in remembrance of this story.

    Flowers bring out the best in your home and also speak the loudest while sending greetings of the season is concerned. Choose one in your favorite shade and let the blossoms do the rest for you.

  • How to choose the right Christmas tree skirt

    Christmas may be the celebration of joy which brings people together to share the joy and love, but it also comes with its share of tasks to be completed. There are many preparations to be made before Christmas arrives. Procuring the right kind of tree for the season, getting the decorations in line, picking out presents and other things take up most of our time. People almost tend to forget that a Christmas tree skirt is needed for the Christmas tree! The most popular of all sizes is an 18 inch Christmas tree skirt.

    Why are Christmas tree skirts used?
    The use of Christmas tree skirts is simple. These skirts are used to hide the unsightly sights of stands, roots, and the watering area for the Christmas tree. The Christmas tree skirt also adds some beauty to the Christmas tree altogether. These skirts can be used for massive trees as well as the smaller tree. The various sizes for Christmas tree skirts are 24 inch Christmas tree skirt, 30 inch Christmas tree skirt, 36 inch Christmas tree skirt, 48 inch Christmas tree skirt, 56 inch Christmas tree skirt, 70 inch Christmas tree skirt, 72 inch Christmas tree skirt, 84 inch Christmas tree skirt, along with the 18 inch Christmas tree skirt.

    How to choose the right sized Christmas tree skirt
    Choosing a design for your Christmas tree skirt is far easier than choosing and understanding the size of the Christmas tree skirt. Here is how you know what size to choose for your Christmas tree:

    • Get your hands on a measuring tape and measure the widest part of the tree. The widest part of your tree is the bottom part of the tree, right above the tree trunk begins to show.
    • Next, consider the size of the Christmas skirt you need. If you need only for concealing purposes choose a skirt accordingly.
    • However, if you need a skirt which also serves as part of Christmas decoration underneath your tree, then choose a Christmas skirt which is a little wider than your tree’s actual diameter.
    • Remember that if you need a simple tree skirt which does not serve as a decoration, always go for smaller tree skirts.
    • The bigger trees use about a 30 inch Christmas tree skirt.
    • The main purpose of a Christmas tree skirt is to hide the area under the tree’s base. This base gives a weird feel to the entire decorated Christmas tree.

    You can use a skirt of any size for your tree. There is no absolute right or absolute wrong size for these skirts. However, remember to choose the ones which do not cause any hazards. Most of the Christmas trees work fine an 18 inch Christmas tree skirt, but you can choose a bigger one if you like.

  • Why handmade Christmas gifts are a better option

    Christmas gift ideas are always hard to come by. There are so many things that your beloved fancies, but there are only a few options you can choose from. And you always want to standout, give them something unforgettable or rather give them something that becomes a Christmas story to tell.

    Handmade gifts are the best way to make Christmas more special. Here is why you should give your loved ones a handmade Christmas gift!

    It has a personal meaning
    A handmade Christmas gift accounts for something, it could relate to an intimate moment you have shared or a funny experience you’ve had. A handmade gift stands for an authentic connection between two people, and that’s what makes it special.

    It is uncommon
    How many times have you encountered a few more people buying the same thing you are buying! Objectively speaking it could be an incredible gift, but the purpose of a present is elevated when it’s one of a kind. And a handmade gift provides you with that element of rarity.

    Offers you a creative liberty
    A store-bought gift may have some limitations, it could fill in some criteria and in some areas, it might just lack the essential sentiment. Making a gift will allow you to incorporate everything that you desire.

    It could be inexpensive but tasteful
    Now making a gift might help you control the budget but that doesn’t mean that it is any less refined. When you craft a gift, you make sure that everything is flawless and of great quality, and that is what matters.

    It symbolizes love
    Taking out time, finding what the person loves, and then trying to craft something for them, is a greatest possible way to express your affection for them. The receiver will be ecstatic to recognize that you have not just used your money as a resource but also your time and thought for it.

    Saves shopping time
    Rather than hunting the entire city for something perfect, you can just plan and shop for the materials you require and make something exceptional out of it. Remember the standardized may not amount to enough standards, but the considerate always will.

    The season of Christmas can be daunting when it comes to shopping, but that’s the task, to kick the monotony and to bring back in an amalgamation of creativity and love. So pay attention, and make sure that this Christmas you surprise them with your thoughtfulness.

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  • How does economic activity affect the mortgage rates

    You might wonder what goes behind the forever’ fluctuating mortgage rates. The answer would be inflation rates of the country and the financial policies set by the treasuries and the Federal Reserve. How? These factors along with few other fiscal factors, directly decide how much investors are willing to pay in order to invest in the mortgage backed securities, popularly known as MBS.

    Here are a few crucial factors that come into play while determining the mortgage rates.

    Inflation
    The most easiest way to explain inflation would be increase in prices over time that significantly diminishes the purchasing power at the macro level of the economy. Literally inflation erodes the profit, which in turn makes the mortgage lenders to react by increasing mortgage lending rates. Why would they do it? To preserve the purchasing power of their returns.

    Growth in the economy
    When there is a growth in the consumer’s income, his/her purchasing power increases. Naturally this means that the consumer will incorporate his/her financial reserves in profitable investments. It is quite evident that when the money available at one’s disposal goes up, the economic stability gets strengthened. When the economy is stabilized, it drives consumers to become homeowners, thereby scouting for best mortgage lenders. This increased demand for mortgages generates upward scale on rates in reaction to the limited supply of loanable funds.

    Fiscal policies
    The nation’s central banking authority is one of the key influencers of the economy. Although, the Federal Reserve does not directly decide the rate of interest in the open market, it does influence the rates indirectly. They achieve this by adjusting the supply of money in the economy. For instance, by increasing the money supply, interest rate decreases and when the money supply in the economy is brought down, the interest rate increases. Hence, it is apparent that a home buyer should time their purchase.

    Don’t miss the trends
    Yet another great way to anticipate which way mortgage rates are headed is to look at the 10-year bond yield. Such information is readily available on financal websites or even in daily newspapers. Stock tickers also aid in understanding the trend. If the yield is going higher, mortgage rates increases and if it goes down, so will the mortgage rates.

    To summarize, mortgage rates are also determined by several other economical, fiscal and governmental factors. Therefore, one should be vigilant enough to ace the research, so that they could make the right choices.

  • 6 Popular Thomas Engine Toys from Fisher-Price

    Fisher-Price is one of the leading brands that make age-specific educational toys for kids. One of the most popular toys has been the Fisher-Price Thomas engine toy. Thomas is a tank engine, and there are multiple characters and toys in the collection known as Thomas and Friends. These toys help kids to improve motor skills, coordination, problem-solving and many other skills. There are different Thomas and Friends toys and playsets based on age. For example, My First Thomas and Friends toys are for kids from 1 year to 3 years, Thomas and Friends Real Wood toys for ages 2 years and 7 years, Thomas and Friends Adventures for ages 3 years to 7 years, Trackmaster and mega blocks for ages 3 years and up. Read on to know more about some of the most-selling Fisher-Price Thomas Engine toys for kids of all age groups.

    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends Take-N-Play Talking Belle: This is a durable die-cast engine that can be connected to other engines and vehicles easily with the help of a magnet. It is a foldable set and recommended for kids from 36 months to 6 years.
    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends Bath Squirters: This is a set of three Thomas engines. Kids can enjoy this toy while bathing. They just need to squeeze the engine into the water to fill it up, and again squeeze it to squirt out the water. This toy comes in various colors and characters. Kids aged between 18 months and 5 years can enjoy this toy.
    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends Trackmaster Maron Station Starter Set: This set includes motorized engine, train station, and a complete track layout. This toy requires batteries to operate, and it is best for kids aged between 36 months and 6 years. It is compatible with all Trackmaster sets.
    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends DC Ferdinand: Ferdinand is a new character from new Thomas and Friends DVD. This engine can connect to other engine and cars with the help of a magnet. It can be a perfect addition to Thomas and Friends collection, and it is best for kids of ages 36 months to 8 years.
    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends Take-N-Play Douglas: This is a medium-sized engine with a signature tender. It can connect with other vehicles and engines by using a magnet. It is a portable foldout playset, which is best for kids aged between 36 months and 7 years.
    • Fisher-Price Thomas and Friends Trackmaster: This preschool talking Toby toy is perfect for little hands. It comes with various signature phrases and sounds; kids can play these sounds by pressing a button. This is recommended for kids aged from 18 months to 3 years.

    Pick the one which is most appropriate for your kid. Look at all the components and features before you buy it.

  • Why Moissanite rings are becoming the popular choice

    Every girl loves diamond rings but Moissanite rings are being considered a popular choice these days. The stone is chosen for its luster and brilliance and yet the Moissanite is far more beautiful than you would have ever known. It came to Earth by a meteor and possesses a sparkle and brightness not seen in a diamond. It was in 1893 that the Noble Prize-winning scientist Dr. Henri Moissan discovered the Moissanite while doing research in Diablo Canyon, Arizona. He discovered that the new mineral had a brilliance and fire that was not seen on Earth. The mineral he concluded was made of silicon carbide.

    It is beautiful and durable and affordable. This makes it a perfect stone for every occasion, especially for Moissanite rings. There is no stone that compares to the Moissanite. The Moissanite stone possesses a fire, brilliance, and luster which makes it a popular and affordable choice in place of diamond rings. It sparkles unlike any other stone found on earth. It comprises carbon and silicon and is one of the hardest and toughest known elements on earth. This makes it extremely resistant to scratching, chipping, and even breaking.

    This is now becoming a popular center stone for an engagement/wedding ring. It comes in many shapes and sizes and is used to create a unique ring called Moissanite diamond rings or the Moissanite ring. While shopping for Moissanite rings/jewelry, its sparkle makes it stand out. This sparkle is not just on the surface, as there is science behind it. The beauty and the sparkle of the material lie deeper within the stone.

    Brilliance is the flash of white light that exits at the top and sides of a gemstone. The higher the refraction, the more brilliant the jewel/diamond looks. The Moissanite’s superior refractive index makes it one of the most brilliant gemstone on earth. Its fire, flashes of color light, is impressive. The luster is the amount of light that reflects back to the observer. The Moissanite has 18% more luster than a diamond and 50% greater luster than a CZ.

    When giving Moissanite ring as a gift or proposing with a Moissanite diamond ring, you can be confident that your gift will endure a lifetime. Moissanite is made of the material that is tougher than diamonds. The atomic structure of Moissanite diamond differs from that of a diamond. It is durable and the Moissanite can be exposed to heat and chemicals during manufacturing or jewelry repair which often damage other gemstones.

    It is one of the hardest gemstones on earth. It is harder than popular diamond stimulants. The beauty and the value of the Moissanite diamond makes it a clear choice for the best sparkle and great value.