The Office Gift Guide – For your boss

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This person might be the trickiest one on your holiday gifting list. You can’t buy a gift card, jewelry is too personal, and something generic is worse than nothing at all. Pro tip, avoid buy anything that involves choosing a size, or something that would be difficult to hide if they don’t like it. The idea here is to show appreciation and thought. Your gift should be personal or not at all. So here’s a list ways to be thoughtful and affordable (because honestly… they know how much you make).

1. A kind and sincere holiday card is the most meaningful thing on this list. Adding a message of your support, gratitude, or a fun memory will go a long way for holiday cheer. Simple.

2. Another affordable but heart-warming gesture is baking up some homemade treats. You and your boss spend long meetings together, order take-out some days, and snack on the same things — so you know the kind of treats that they run to during that 4 o-clock wall (and you probably know if their allergies). Classic chocolate chip cookies or some really good banana bread are safe bets. If they aren’t fond of sweets, try a bag of fancy coffee beans instead.

3. If we learned anything from Master of None, it’s that a fancy candle can go a long way in a small space like an office. Plus it’s fun to smell all the candles while you’re shopping.

4. Most people, no matter the pay-grade, appreciate indulging in fancy versions of everyday items. Switch up their kitchen routine with a small splurge on a shelf stable item like seasonal jam or olive oil. For bonus points attach a simple recipe that showcases the ingredient.

5. Use some of that personal knowledge you have from years of working together and get them a classic record for their underused record player, or pull from an inside joke and get them something weird to make them smile.

If none of these ideas fit the bill, look for something local and support a small business in your neighborhood. If you’re in Toronto, check out some of my favourites; Lost & Found, Easy Tiger, and Good Egg.

See all Gift Guides here.

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Macaron

This is a video for the beautiful Nadège Patisserie. It’s dangerously close to where I live. Another shop that sells macarons in downtown Toronto is Petit Thuet, dangerously close to my work, with an amazing espresso macaron.

My friend Lisa home-made me a giant box of lemon and mint chocolate macarons for my birthday last week. They only lasted 2 days. It was amazing and just what I wanted.

When I was little I remember hearing people talk about these french pastries, these ‘macarons’… I thought, who cares, they aren’t that good. My grandma makes them at least eight times a year! Of course, I was thinking of ‘macaroons‘, those chocolate and coconut mounds that have been brought to every family gathering since before I can remember.

Cheers to foods.

It’s a Monday

Hello Monday. You are not so bad. I wish you gave me tomato soup and a grilled cheese but I forgive you. By the way, I don’t think I’ll ever dye my hair again no matter how gorgeous it sometimes seems.

Via Dirty Pretty Things and La Douleur Exquise I think.

Good eats

Happy Family Day fellow Canadians (Happy Presidents Day you Americans). I was super excited to eat this. And then I did and it was great.

Baby red potatoes roasted with onion and garlic and then re-fried with buttery mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, spices, chives and topped with an egg. Perfection your name is lunch.

Listening to The Zombies – You Make Me Feel Good

Fill in the blank Friday

Happy Friday people. Ummm, I’m pretty excited for this long (Canadian) weekend. I’m trying to subdue my excitement so I don’t wear myself out before lunch. Maybe a nap later…

1. I am: an optimist, an old softie, excitable, and usually hungry.

2. The bravest thing I’ve ever done was: Yell at someone for something bad they did? I’d like to have a good answer for this… but instead here’s a quote: “Courage is knowing danger and taking it on; audacity is ignoring the situation and jumping in.”

3. I feel prettiest when: it’s really sunny. Also, hand holding times don’t hurt either.

4. Something that keeps me awake at night is: nightmares about snakes.

5. My favorite meal in the entire world is: impossible to choose. But, if I was being executed and given a last meal I would want: nachos with guacamole and sour cream, rare steak, mashed potatoes, fried chicken, broccoli, cheese sauce and rolo ice cream. I’m lactose intolerant but I’m going to die soon anyway… (And sour cream and onion chips, and a pink Popsicle and fruit punch)

6. The way to my heart is: easy if you’re honest (Also easy if you are a kitten).

7. I would like to: sky dive, work at a design agency, draw more portraits, and go for a walk to the dog park. Crazy, scary, fun, and easy. I like to have practical dreams mixed in with ‘one day’ dreams.

Photos via Oracle Fox. Fill in the blank Friday run by The Little Things We Do.

Eatin’ & Drinkin’

Happy Friday everyone. It’s a good day… and thankfully, most days are good days.

Photo from this nostaligc filmic food-filled Flickr stream (no, seriously, I just got trapped in that flickr stream for half an hour, expect another post dedicated to it) via Happenstance.