Many Dollar Stores or craft stores have inexpensive baskets in a wide variety of sizes, over the years I have collected several.
For a young girl: small purse or change purse, a make-up bag could be used as well. A bottle of nail polish, perfume, glitter, makeup, nail file, mirror, earrings, stickers, notepaper, fancy pens or pencils, etc.
A cute basket lined with a new dish towel; inside I placed some very cute shapes for cooking eggs and pancakes in (I found these at a specialty kitchen store for under $5); a bottle or two of flavored pancake syrups, a boxed or bagged pancake mix.
Wine drinkers: small bottle of wine, two wine glasses, box of crackers, small paper plate with cubed cheese and maybe pepperoni or a cheese ball, candles for atmosphere. One can add a wine bottle opener or stopper to this if so desired.
For a couple: two mugs, hot cocoa mix, two spoons, and a light blanket or throw, nice note to cuddle up together on those chilly winter nights.
For your best girl friend a basket full of all kinds of things she would enjoy. I call this one the Pamper your BFF gift basket: A candle or candles, bubble bath, bath soaps, body spray, small box of chocolates, some chamomile or green tea bags or flavoured coffee, some organic body lotion. a loofah or pretty bath sponge, and a little note that says to pamper yourself because you deserve it.
For the serious coffee drinker: 2- 3 small bags of finely ground coffee you can buy from your local grocery store, 2 coffee mugs, & chocolate covered coffee beans.
For the baker: A rolling pin, measuring cups and spoons, a loaf pan, cookie sheet, some cookie cutters and an apron.
For the Writer:
A dictionary, word of the day calendar, pens, and a colourful mug
For the Tea Drinker: A small teapot, 2 mugs, 4-5 different teas, flavoured honey sticks, & a cream and sugar set.
For the Gardener: Mini indoor herb kits are a great idea for the gardener in your life.
When time is running out and you need to get creative:
A few ideas came to mind utilizing some household items that already exist in our homes.
Now a really good idea came to mind using pipe cleaners. Make a tree out of them and then use tea bags as ornaments and give to the tea lover.
Cake in a mug: This is one of my favourites, place a large mug and the directions in the mug and wrap with coloured cellophane plastic wrap with a bow to secure the top.
Cake in a Mug
4 tablespoons flour (cake flour)
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder, any kind
1/8 teaspoon baking powder (a pinch!)
1/8 teaspoon salt (a pinch!!)
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
2 -3 drops vanilla (optional)
In a small bowl, mix the flour, sugar, cocoa, tiny pinch baking powder and tiny pinch salt. (This can also be mixed directly into the large mug).
Add egg and mix into dry mixture.
Add oil and milk and mix well.
Grease a tall, large mug, and pour in this mixture, scraping out with a spatula.
Place in microwave on High for 2 1/2 – 3 minutes. Time will vary for this recipe – best to keep an eye on it
in the microwave as mine usually is done in 2 minutes.
(Best slightly undercooked, so be careful).
** For those that prefer a white cake or perhaps a gluten free cake there are many variations to this recipe via the internet.