Monday, May 26, 2008

Gift Wrapping Tips and Ideas

Gift giving is immensely gratifying to both the giver and the receiver. The statement 'there is more happiness in giving than there is in receiving' is never more true than when a gift giver watches the delight and growing anticipation of a receiver who is so impressed with the wrappings that the opening becomes an event in itself.

Have you ever had the pleasure of opening a present that is beautifully wrapped? Untying the glorious ribbons, breaking the seal of a carefully folded paper and the enticing rustle of tissue that encases the final reward brings as much pleasure as the gift itself! It is not surprising that the gift wrapping industry has boomed in recent years - the desire to give a stylish and admirable package is nearly as important as choosing the gift.

So what guidelines should you use to present a memorable present and show your recipient how much you love or respect them with a beautifully wrapped gift?


Your first consideration when planning your gift wrapping style is to know what kind of gift you are giving.

Boxed items are easily wrapped in gift wrapping paper. With the vast assortment of quality papers you will have plenty of materials to choose from.

Is your item unstructured or odd in shape or size? If you cannot find a gift box to enclose your gift before wrapping you still have many creative alternatives.

Small items can be attractively assembled into a gift basket by filling the basket with crumpled paper or other filler and a layer of colored straw or tinsel to act as a bed for your assortment. If you wish to add more pizzazz to your gift, simply find a decorative cellophane paper that is at least twice as wide as the basket diameter, place the basket in the middle of a length of that can be gathered at the top of the handle with several inches of cellophane above and tie with ribbon or twine. If it is difficult to keep the cellophane tight, tape the gathered area and tie a bow around to cover the tape.

Be creative - wrap a gift in paper or cellophane and tie the ends to resemble a wrapped hard candy; use a flower pot instead of a basket or use an unusual material such as a baby blanket instead of wrapping paper.

If you are short on time there is no reason you can't give an equally stylish or even elegant gift in a lovely, quality gift bag with coordinating tissue paper carefully tucked inside.

No matter what method of wrapping you choose it is easy to increase the pleasure of your gift by adding a symbolic accessory that compliments the gift and the style of wrapping. A bow on a gift bag is an additional detail that adds visual pleasure; a rattle or pacifier on a baby gift is both charming and practical; a real or artificial flower on a wedding gift adds glamour and appeal that will make your gift stand out.


Have you taken care to choose a gift that reflects the tastes and interest of the receiver? Then show double consideration by choosing a style of wrapping that compliments the gift or the receiver.

Themed papers and gift bags are an easy way to coordinate the style of gift with the occasion. Baby showers, weddings and other celebrations are often featured in gift wrapping materials. However, you can also use your receiver as a guide - are they trendy? Fun loving? Masculine? What about their personal style - do they love bold colors? Rustic decor or classic tailored clothes? Take a cue from their home or fashion and choose materials that compliment them. Your receiver is sure to notice the attention to detail and treasure your gift even more.

Dan's Chocolates

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hooray for Chocolate!

There is great news for chocolate lovers...Chocolate is good for your health! Now, we are not talking here about a candy bar but about real chocolate, the kind that contains at least 71% of real cocoa. Something to remember when selecting chocolate is that the darker it is, the less sugar it contains and the better it is for you.

We are all aware of the emotional benefits of chocolate. By liberating endorphins in the body, chocolate provides us with feelings of comfort and wellbeing, energy and pleasure. Some surveyed women go as far a saying that they would prefer chocolate to sex! No wonder with such a texture, rich color and taste, chocolate is not only an aphrodisiac but also a pleasure for the senses. In addition, chocolate also contains serotonin and caffeine which both provide energy and promote good humor.

Pleasure aside, chocolate also holds beneficial health properties. Chocolate's complex chemical composition offers a variety of substances that the body needs to function properly and to prevent disease.

Chocolate enhances cardiovascular health. Like red wine, the phenols contained in dark chocolate help prevent coronary diseases. The British Medical Journal reports that a daily portion of 100 grams of dark chocolate reduces blood pressure and the occurrence of cardiovascular incidents by 21%. These phenols are also rich in antioxidants and they help neutralize free radicals produced by the body or absorbed thought cigarette smoke and other sources of pollution. Cocoa butter is already used in creams to heal scars and burns. No wonder pharmaceutical companies are now exploring the possibility of researching with chocolate to develop new medication to counter cancers and osteoporosis.

Chocolate does contain fats but these are unsaturated and contribute to reducing bad cholesterol and to increasing good cholesterol. Chocolate is also an excellent source of magnesium. Should it contain nuts, chocolate can become a great source phosphor and vegetable iron.

One of the many benefits of living in our time is that there is a plethora of organic and fair trade chocolates that are readily available to us in natural health food and grocery stores. The benefits of purchasing these types of chocolates abound but the most obvious are that they do not contain organochlorine pesticides that are usually used to treat traditional cocoa crops and that are harmful not only to the consumer but also to the field worker. Furthermore, purchasing fair trade chocolate ensures that the (healthier) worker can benefit from improved working and living conditions by receiving a fair salary for their work.

Like with everything however, chocolate must be consumed in good measure. Chocolate increases caloric intake and energy level. This can be good, provided these calories are burned. We might even change the saying to "Some chocolate everyday keeps the doctor away!"