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9 Heartfelt Homemade Gifts to Impress Your Friends

9 Heartfelt Homemade Gifts to Impress Your Friends

Some people have difficulty coming up with a gift idea for their friends, especially if you’ve been friends with someone for years now, and you already exchanged all the big and meaningful gifts you planned. The budget is also a factor here – the winter holiday season is coming and we all need to be cautious about the way we spend money.

There’s a nice and useful method of surprising your friends and not paying a fortune for a gift – homemade crafts. It’s really not necessary for you to be particularly handy or resourceful for what I have in mind. A sprinkle of will, a pinch of creativity and a fair amount of patience is all you need.

1. Homemade Sweets

sweets

    Cooking actually might be a pretty great idea for that special someone you’d like to surprise. If they have a sweet tooth and can’t resist a fresh batch of cookies, that’s exactly what you should make!

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    Your best choice here is muffins – they are simple to make, so you can’t really mess them up; and I don’t know a person in this world who doesn’t like them or who can even stay indifferent to their smell. The ones with chocolate chips are a classic, but you can always spice them up with some kind of berries or – even more chocolate.

    2. Scrapbook

    Having a meaningful friendship with someone implies that you have a lot of memories and that you two have gone through a lot of different things, both good and bad. Well, you can take a walk through your past memories and remember all those things that helped you build this bond of yours.

    The most meaningful gift I ever gave to my best friend is a scrapbook that contained our first photos and the most recent ones, and all the pages were filled with jokes, funny sketches, and drawings. Aesthetics shouldn’t really matter here – find the most meaningful photos and items, draw and write from your heart, and I’m absolutely sure that your friend will be the happiest person in the world once they receive it.

    3. Gift Basket

    No, I don’t mean the ones you can just buy – you are to make it from scratch. That way, it’s a budget-friendly gift in which you invested time, skill, and effort.

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    A gift basket is a simple DIY project – all you need is a hamper of sorts and a theme. If you can’t decide on only one thing your friend likes, you can simply fill the basket up with everything your special person enjoys and make it even more personal.

    4. Framed Flowers

    flowers

      This idea requires some planning, so you should have that in mind. But, it’s worth all the trouble because it looks gorgeous. If your friend is known to be an aesthete, I believe that dried flowers pressed with glass on both sides and simply framed is a present that they will definitely appreciate. All you need to do is to find a beautiful flower, several of them, or a leaf perhaps – the composition is completely up to you – press them very carefully and have your piece of art framed.

      5. Knitted Blanket

      This is a huge trend all over the internet right now, and it’s no wonder – blankets made out of really thick wool are both very cozy, so you’ll never want to leave yours, and very stylish, so they fit with any inner décor and any room in a home, as a matter of fact.

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      I know this seems like a lot of work and it does seem to require a lot of skill, but that’s really not true – you just need to be patient, follow a detailed guide and you’ll have a really nice gift in no time. Of course – unless you decide to keep it for yourself.

      6. Canvas Print

      Canvas significantly contributes to the level of stylishness when it comes to wall art and you should have that in mind if you’d like to share a particular memory. My suggestion is to have some photo editing done on that photo, so that it doesn’t look like it was just glued onto the canvas.

      7. Custom Coasters

      This is a nice little present that everyone needs. The thing is that coasters don’t have to be ordinary. You can have a set specially made according to your friend’s personality – the bands they listen to, favorite characters from movies, or perhaps some symbols they find meaningful. A gift that is useful and pretty is always appreciated.

      8. Artsy Pillows

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      pillows

        We all have that one friend who loves to sleep and who appreciates being comfy above all else – a person like this can never have too many pillows. Considering that Christmas is coming soon, you can have some fun with those motives if that particular friend is into that. If you’d like to do some brainstorming, you should browse through different ideas online and find the most appropriate design.

        9. Handmade Bottle Stoppers

        Another easy to make DIY project any friend who enjoys a quality drink (or two) will appreciate. Handmade bottle stoppers have a decorative purpose, but they are also quite handy – no one likes it when their drink goes stale. So, depending on your friend’s affinities, decide on which theme to go with for this DIY and create a set of bottle stoppers; I’m sure that you can find the right person for this gift and that they will have a lot of appreciation for your efforts.

        Once I started creating homemade gifts for my friends, I felt amazing. Now, I rarely actually purchase them. Spending money on a gift isn’t the point of making someone happy – thinking about an idea for starters and realizing it later is something that will make your friends happy, and the surprise itself is just the second wave of joy.

        More by this author

        Tanvir Zafar

        The founder of ISU Technologies, passionate in writing about entrepreneurship, work and technology.

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        Last Updated on May 22, 2019

        10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

        10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

        There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

        One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

        In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

        Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

        1. Cat Camel Stretch

        Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

        Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

        Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

        Here’s a video to guide you through:

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        2. Go for a Walk or a Run

        This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

        Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

        The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

        Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

        Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

        3. Jumping Jacks

        Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

        Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

        4. Abductor Side Lifts

        Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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        Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

        5. Balancing Table Pose

        This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

        Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

        ablab

          6. Leg Squats

          Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

          Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

          The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

          7. Push Ups

          You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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          An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

          Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

          This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

          8. Bicycle Crunches

          There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

          Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

          9. Lunges

          Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

          Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

          This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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          10. Bicep Curls

          You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

          Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

          Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

          Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

          Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

          These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

          You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

          Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

          More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

          Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

          Reference

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