Archive for January, 2015

How to Save Money on Wedding Flowers

January 30th, 2015

Weddings can burn a big hole in your pocket. Planning a wedding can be a tiring and expensive affair. One can save money on items like wedding flowers using a bit of creativity.

Here are some tips to find cheap flowers for your wedding day:

  • Faux flowers: One can use ether plastic or silk flowers in place of real, costly ones. Not only do they save money but also can endure wear and tear and last for a long time. Silk flowers are available in a variety of colours and types to match your requirements. In addition, silk flowers last a life time. One can keep them as mementos for special days and allow guests to take them home. One can also donate faux flower arrangements to charitable institutions such as to decorate hospital room or an old age home. If you desire a realistic look, include a few faux flowers along with real flowers and enjoy saving a bit of cash.

  • Make flower arrangements yourself: Save cash by making centre pieces and wedding bouquets all by yourself. Either pick flowers from your garden or pick flowers from the gardens of your friends or family. You can also buy flowers from online retailers or local grocery stores rather than expensive florists. You can arrange the flowers on your own and also by taking help from bride’s maids. By making your own arrangements, you can get exactly what you want, save money and match the theme of your wedding.

  • Go Natural: Stage your wedding against the backdrop of natural settings. You can cut considerably on costs of decoration including flowers as the natural backdrop makes do for the flowers. Choose from country clubs, outdoor reserves, area parks and resorts. Some venues may incorporate cost of flowers in the venue rental, and thus you can save some cash.

  • Go seasonal: To save a packet, no matter when your wedding date is set, go for seasonal flowers. One crucial question you must first ask your florist is what flowers are in season at the time of your nuptials. You can save a lot on shipping costs by going in for in-season flowers. You can send flowers for cheap when they are in season. Flowers during spring season include daffodils, hydrangeas and tulips. Also, avoid using roses during seasons like Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day when they will be in great demand and so will be expensive. If you still want out of season flowers, use a few of them in every bouquet.

  • Making bouquets: Make hand tied bouquets for bridesmaids and bride. Excess foliage must be removed from the stems’ bottom halves. Next, trim stems to around 6-8 inches long and wrap them tidily with tape that is water proof. Wrap the tape with decorative lace or ribbon. Attach a bow to the ribbon. The bouquet is ready.

  • Floating arrangements: For table centre pieces, use large heads of flower blooms, floating in a glass bowl. For instance, trim out a large head of a sunflower, leaving about 3 inches of stem. For a gorgeous look, place the flower head floating in a glass bowl of water.

These are some tips to save money on wedding flowers.

How to Assemble a Cheap Gift Basket

January 30th, 2015

Making a gift hamper or gift basket enables you to use your creative abilities and save a lot of money. It takes some effort and time, and you can fill the basket with unique gifts suited to the nature and liking of the recipient.

You can buy gift hampers from stores or assemble them at home. Stores offer pre-arranged gift hampers or you can pick the items to be included in the hamper. However, the best gift hampers are ones made at home. They not only inexpensive but have special value because of effort and time you put into them.

Here are some ideas for a cheap gift hamper:

Do some research:  Try to select a few items for your hamper and make a list of items which you want to put into your hamper. Find out where you can find cheap supplies to include in your hamper. If you are going to put in handmade items like baking cookies and cakes, do research on recipes and secret tips, which you can easily do online.

Pick a theme: Themes can be based on:


Food products: Cheap ingredients for the hamper can be food items made at home. Specialty breads, cakes and cookies make for tasty treats. Collect canisters and cookie tins to hold homemade gifts. For a festive feel, decorate the basket with bows and ribbons.

Needle crafts: If you are talented at handcrafts like embroidery, knitting or crochet, you can gift many items like scarves, wall hangings, mittens, booties, hand embroidered handkerchiefs etc in your gift hamper.

Accessories: You can include accessories for the recipient to pursue a much loved hobby. For e.g., for a golfing enthusiast, include items like towels, tees and golf balls. For this, you must find out what hobbies the recipient enjoys and what items you can put into to make the hobby more enjoyable.

Luxury: You can include items of luxury at cheap rates if you buy items individually. Bath products such as bath oils and loofah sponges can be had at reasonable prices. Pre-made luxury hampers are much more expensive than home assembled ones.

Estimate a budget: What to include in the basket depends on your budget. This includes cost of basket (container), fillers, decorations, and the cost of each gift item. For best results, one can mix and match items. For containers, one can use something practical like terracotta planters and pots, crockery, metal buckets, wooden crates, bags, serving trays, pie dish, etc. For fillers, use a shredder to shred cloth or paper. Newspaper that is scrunched up also works well. One can also re-use filler got from gifts you received.


Arranging: While arranging items, place long and big items first and the small and delicate items on top. Keep items in position by using sticky tape. One can also tape items to the handle of the basket.

Wrapping: Cellophane wrapping is most popular. Complete the gift hamper with a bow made of ribbon.


These are some ideas to make the cheapest hampers in UK. You can use your ingenuity and creativity to make them look great and wonderful.

Your Thoughtful Presents Will be Appreciated

January 29th, 2015

People get tired of receiving the same kinds of gifts repeatedly. You can ensure that your thoughtfulness is cherished forever via unique gift hamper delivery in UK. They may be sent by courier or hand delivered. They are suitable for all occasions, albeit with variations in contents.

  • Housewarming Present: Imagine the delightful surprise on your friend’s face, when he/she receives a basket crammed with a bottle of wine, all kinds of scrumptious sweets and confectionaries, and other foodstuffs. The contents may be consumed at leisure. After all, the family has just gone through several days of hectic unpacking. Otherwise, you may offer decorative items and handicrafts that will complement their new home beautifully.
  •  Corporate Gifting: Oh, yes, gift hampers are the perfect way of saying “thank you.” You have to deal with all kinds of clients, customers and employees; they may belong to different cultures, be of varying ages, and differ in gender. An elegantly decorated basket filled with boxes of delicious chocolate treats, different flavors of tea or coffee emitting marvelous aromas, sets of embroidered towels and handkerchiefs, a bottle or two of wine, small handcrafted items, desk accessories, useful gift vouchers and festival coupons and so on, will find favor with everybody. There is something for self and for the family.
  • Food Hampers: Food addicts will love to gorge on fresh fruit, fruit muffins and preserved foodstuffs at breakfast time. The meal may be rounded off with a hot cup of tea or coffee prepared from the boxes of tea/coffee that you have sent. Do not forget to include some beautiful mugs, one for each member of the family. If possible, have their individual photographs embossed on the mugs. As far as food baskets are concerned, there are no limitations. Things like crusty bread, cheese, dried pasta, pasta sauce, chocolates, bottles of wine, fruits, and so on, are loved by all. Just ensure that nothing requires refrigeration.
  • Hobby Hampers: Some people love to be out of the house most of the time. An avid gardener would love to receive a variety of seed packets, digger, trowel, gardening gloves, weeding fork, rake, kneeling pad, and a water sprayer. Of course, you may make further additions if you wish. A passionate fisherman will thank you for sending him a hat, sunscreen lotion, a fishing hook and pole, sinkers, lures and a guide to the best local  fishing spots. If your friend loves to travel, send across a good compass, passport holder, maps, a diary, gift vouchers, and a few energy bars.
  • Baby Hampers: Create a sensible new mum and newborn combination, which will show them how much you care about their wellbeing. Arrange a few rubber toys, baby body wash, adult body wash, chocolates, baby body wash, baby towels and nappies in the hamper. If within your budget, offer a nappy laundry service voucher.

Do ensure that whatever you purchase is of good quality and durable. These gift hampers are meant to represent the quality of ‘gratitude.’

Delightful chocolates for your needs

January 23rd, 2015

Chocolate is a product made from cocoa mixed butter and sugar. The products made from the cocoa beans are called by different names in various parts of the world. The type of chocolates made usually depends on the amount of cocoa used in the process. The chocolate industry uses chocolate liquor containing equal proportions of cocoa butter and milk solids. Cocoa butter is the fatty part of the cocoa bean extracted through segregation methods. On the other hand, cocoa solids are the non-fat parts of the cocoa bean. Different flavours of chocolates are produced by varying the quantity of the ingredients used in the process of making chocolate.

Types of Chocolates

Unsweetened chocolate

The taste of this chocolate is bitter and used for baking. The flavour is far from good and it is not eatable. This type is best used for making recipes that absolutely require adding of unsweetened chocolate. The chocolate is bitter as it contains 100% cocoa solids and half of it might be the cocoa butter.

Bittersweet chocolate

This bittersweet chocolate contains at least 35% of cocoa solids. The best quality of bittersweet chocolate contains 60-80% of cocoa solids according to the brand. If the chocolate is bitter, the content of sugar is usually less giving it a rich chocolate flavour. Bittersweet chocolate is usually used for baking and cooking. European style of bittersweet chocolate may contain a larger amount of cocoa solids making it bitter taste.

Semi-sweet chocolate

This is known as a classic baking chocolate that is available in the most grocery stores. Semi-sweet chocolate is often used in baking to make cakes, brownies, and cookies. As this chocolate has a good sweet flavour with 40% cocoa solids, it is well suited for baking.

Sweet dark chocolate

Sweet dark chocolate is very similar to the semi-sweet chocolate. It is very difficult to distinguish them. If sweet dark chocolate needs to be added to a recipe, the semi-sweet chocolate can also be added instead.

Dark chocolate

Dark chocolate contains a high amount of cocoa solids and a small amount of milk. Dark chocolate can be any one of sweet, semi-sweet or bitter, bittersweet. If you need to use dark chocolate for a recipe, you need to use semi sweet dark chocolate first.

Milk chocolate

The milk chocolate is made with 10-20% of cocoa solids and more than 12% of milk solids. Milk chocolates are never used in baking. In some cases, milk chocolate is used for baking cookie.

White chocolate

The white chocolate is made from cocoa butter, emulsifier, milk, vanilla, and other flavourings. There are non-fat ingredients from the cocoa beans used in making white chocolates. White chocolate cannot be called as white chocolates in some countries as it contains very little amount of cocoa solids. The white chocolates are used to make desserts because of its mild chocolate flavour.

Hope this information helps you to find the right type of chocolate for gifting or simply to eat delights, and with the internet at your disposal, one can get their favourite chocolates delivered next day without any hassles.

Spread your happiness and love by presenting gift hampers

January 23rd, 2015

Gift hampers are usually wicker baskets made for camping trips. These are usually used for storing and transporting food items. For Christmas and New Year celebrations, hampers with food and drinks are the popular gifts given to people. However, there are hampers for almost all occasions of celebration like Easter, Mother’s day, Hug Day and others.

The luxury hamper kept near the Christmas tree gives an amazing feeling during the celebration. When the hampers are homemade, they can be crafted in different varieties. These can be made out of simple coloured cellophane material. But many find it easy to buy wicker baskets from the market for making hampers. Moreover, by using a pretty plate in the hamper, you can present your gifts in a very nice way. For creating a lining on the bottom of the hamper, one can use crepe paper and shredded paper. You can find these papers in the common art shops or online gift stores. But again, it is possible to make your own shredded papers using a shredder. Adding some glitter to the hamper can give the celebration the look necessary.

Some of the most favoured hampers are –

Chocolate Hampers

Fill the hamper with chocolate and sweets, and this can be the best gift for Valentine’s Day or Chocolate day. After all, nobody can say no to chocolate hampers with full of delicious chocolates. If you can make them by yourself, it will add plenty of festivity to your occasion.

Cheese Hampers

Cheese lovers can enjoy your gift hampers when you fill them with delicious cheese bakery items. Add some wine to the cheese items, which can give the gift hamper a very good look and content.

Christmas Wine Hampers

A bottle of wine is a must for Christmas hampers, but you don’t have to follow every rule. You can choose to put in Turkish delight vodka that will definitely impress. Giving limoncello will make it have a Christmassy touch.

Bath spa hamper

The bath spa hamper contains gifts such as soaps and gels, which are used in the spa. The hamper includes scented items like lotion, soaps and also eye mask and foot rub.

New baby hamper

These baskets contain small items for the baby like baby clothes, washcloths and blankets. This hamper is made to contain all the items for the baby.

College student hamper

This hamper is meant for the college student, which may contain books and pens along with snacks. The hamper may also contain things for the dorm room if the student stays in the dorm room.

Even though, there are many gift hampers readily available or standardized, there is no need to follow all the standards. One can make one’s own gift hamper by keeping the requirements and interests of the recipients in mind. Or one can opt to buy from a wide variety of the cheap gift hamper in UK available in the markets or online stores.