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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.

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        Tanvir Zafar

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

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        Last Updated on January 17, 2019

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        8 Simple Mindfulness Exercises to Bring Peace and Happiness to Your Life

        In life, we all need to be conscientious of what we are doing. You don’t need to live a life of stress if you don’t want to. You can achieve peace and happiness in life by carefully building mindfulness exercises into your life’s routine.

        Exercising mindfulness isn’t rocket science and as importantly, you can do it. It will, however, take a few tries to get into the groove of things but once you get it, it is like riding a bike, you will never lose it.

        Trust me. It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. In this article, I will share with you 8 mindfulness exercises that will help you to boost your energy, vitality and live a more peaceful and happier life.

        Why Is It Hard to Live A Peaceful And Happy Life?

        Our Habitat Has Become Too Technological

        The world has accepted the idea that technology is often the cure for all evil. We have accepted, as a society, that everything technological will make us live a better life without fully investigating the many side effects that modernity brings.

        There are a number of technological side effects that have a tremendous impact on your life that the media rarely tells you about.[1] Some of them include self-harm, economic inequality, having less sex, and even suicide. The global community is becoming less happy because of technology.

        How can anybody live a peaceful and happy life when they are depressed? Technology advancements, ladies and gents, is a major reason for why we are living a poor life because it has infiltrated our lives too much.

        According to my research, Americans spend an average of 8 hours a day looking at the computer screen — The average screen time spent on smartphones alone is about 20 hours per week. That’s a lot! No wonder why living a happy and peaceful life is so difficult these days.

        Too Many People Don’t Want to Unplug

        Americans check their phones an average of 80 times during vacation.[2] Some admit to checking their smartphones 300 times every single day. In countries like Brazil, India and China, the situation is no different.

        The reality is that people are constantly plugged into technological devices and this behavior is literally making people all over the globe fight an inner war with themselves, which consequently makes them very sad. As we know, war is the enemy of peace which won’t make anybody happy.

        Listen carefully:

        We have a global anxiety epidemic because people don’t want to unplug from their smartphones and most people aren’t doing anything to fix it. It is a sad state of affairs but very real. This obsession with technology is turning us into perishable robots who live terrible lives.

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        The era of anxiety is here to stay. There is little doubt about it. We can, however, fight back with the best remedy of all — We call it mindfulness!

        Thank God there is an antidote to this whole technological madness. Without further ado, let’s go straight to the mindful exercises.

        8 Mindfulness Exercises to Start Practicing

        There are tons of mindfulness exercises available for you to engage with out there.[3] In the paragraphs below, I will include the best ones I’ve personally tried or have seen my close friends and family members try.

        Are you ready for it? Let’s go!

        1. Pray Daily

        You should pray on a daily basis. Why is that you may ask — Well, because science has told us to do so.

        When people pray, they feel peaceful, almost eliminating anxiety. Worries become secondary, and often gives people energy and hope to cope with the difficulties of life.

        Prayer can make you more confident and focused. Prayer also helps you with self-control, helps to control pain, and can protect you against illnesses and disorders like cancer and high blood pressure. At least, this is what researchers from Harvard Medical School have said.[4]

        Pray. You won’t regret it.[5]

        2. Pay Attention to Your Inner Thoughts

        A lot of people allow themselves to be influenced by their negative thoughts. Be different and resist believing in them. It is a bad habit that can lead to unhappiness.

        By the way, if you do feel this way, chances are high that somebody other than you put these thoughts into your head.

        Here is my secret to combat this cancer — look at things objectively. I bet that if you look at things as they are, you will realize that most if not all of your negative thoughts are only inside of your head.

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        If you pay close attention, you will quickly realize that these voices aren’t worth your time. Believe me — Ignoring them and looking at things with objectivity is often the best course of action.

        This article can guide you to beat negative thoughts:

        How to Stop Automatic Negative Thoughts When You’re Overwhelmed

        3. Smile Often

        Smiling will slow down your heart. It will also relax your body because when you smile, your body releases endorphins which in itself has a number of positive benefits for you as a person.

        Smile often! You may want to smile early in the morning, during the day, and late in the evening. It is amazing what happens to you when you decide to smile instead of being grumpy.

        Surrender your problems to a nice smile. You will notice two things. First, most people just don’t which makes them live a miserable life. Second, if you decide to smile often, you will eventually smile unconsciously which is the ideal.

        The moment that you smile unconsciously, you then know that you are truly happy.

        4. Organize Your Working Desk

        A messy desk will make you less productive and can agitate and overstimulate you. You don’t want that.

        When you clear your desk, you engage in deep inner-thinking and your systematic decision making ends up becoming therapeutic.

        Most people realize that they are most creative when their creative space is clean and organized. The former often makes people more aware of what they are doing which lends to less stress and more productivity.

        Organizing your desk will also make you more energetic and focused because order often decreases chaos which is a condition that often slows down daily progress.

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        5. Celebrate Your Friend’s Victories

        I love this mindful exercise. One of the best ways to live a happy and peaceful life is to celebrate the victories of others. When you do that, you automatically make your friends in a better mood which makes you in a better mood, as well.

        Happiness is contagious! We might as well celebrate others as much as we can. If you find out that your peer has won an award, celebrate with him! If your friend is the recipient of a local charity award, celebrate with her!

        What is also awesome is that when you celebrate with others, they often celebrate with you in return. This, ladies and gentleman, will make you feel fantastic. You can’t go wrong with this one, period.

        6. Listen to Your Spouse/Partner

        God put someone in your life for a reason. You might as well listen to him or her.

        I listen to my wife everyday. In fact, I often ask the following question to her, “Amanda, what are your thoughts about…” or “What am I missing about…” It is shocking what I hear back from her. Without her having much context and perspective, by the art of observation in my own nonverbal behavior and the behavior of others, she accurately gives me incredible insights which helps me out with living my life to the fullest.

        I’m a firm believer that spouses are supposed to engage in interpersonal communication every day. I most definitely do and will continue doing it. You should do the same.

        7. Give Yourself a Break from Technology

        You can’t be in total equilibrium if your computerized devices control your life. You must get away from technology on a daily basis.[6]

        How do you do that? This is my formula:

        First, take this smartphone control test. It is only ten questions but this test will place you somewhere in the human robot cycle continuum.

        If your score is between 25-30, take a break from the computer (or smartphone, pad, laptop/desktop) every twenty minutes and stop being on a computerized device after 8:00pm.

        If you score between 30-35, still take a break every 20 minutes but stop being on these devices at 5:00pm.

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        If you score more than 35, you need to take action immediately.

        Limit computer use as much as possible throughout the day. Give yourself as many breaks from the computer as possible. Are you ready for the challenge?

        8. Go Exercise

        Go exercise at least three times a week. I don’t care if you need to workout early in the morning, late in the evening, on the weekends or during work days. Working out is absolutely imperative for you to live happy and peaceful life.

        The stresses of the modern world are too much for you to neglect this important mindfulness exercise. When you go to the gym, you burn calories, focus on activities one step at a time, your mind relaxes, anxiety decreases, you sweat and often think about topics unrelated to your work place among many other benefits.

        You must exercise at least three hours each week for optimum results. Why? Just take a look at all the benefits of regular exercising:

        12 Benefits of Regular Exercise You Should Know

        The Bottom Line

        It’s in your best interest to learn and put these mindfulness exercises into practice. Now that our habitat has become too technological and many people just don’t want to unplug, engaging in daily prayer, celebrate your friends’ victories, and listening to your spouse are among the best ways to be mindful about what you are doing and how you are living.

        It is possible to live a happy and peaceful life. It only depends on you.

        Go exercise! Take a break from technology and invest in you! Life is too short for distractions.

        More Resources About Mindfulness

        Featured photo credit: Lesly Juarez via unsplash.com

        Reference

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