It’s that time of year when I hand my bank card over to a cashier I do so with a guilty look on my face. You know the one where you look like you are contemplating stealing something – although you would never dream of actually doing such a thing!! You just stand there sweating and silently praying that it won’t be rejected in front of a crowd. You stand rooted to the ground playing out the ensuing scene about how you really do have money…..somewhere….but you must just have forgotten to transfer it across. Could they hold the items until tomorrow and you’ll be back?
I’m teaming with up with Otterbox this Christmas to bring you some stocking filler ideas that will not only bring joy on opening but also serve a purpose…..enhance your loved ones life in some way. S
Things can get fairly hairy at Christmas time on every level. Your hard-earned money is being haemorrhaged …..which is fine to a point….once you are happy that what it is being spent on will enhance their lives in some way or another. The gift that keeps on giving long after the wrapper is safely tucked away at the local Reepak plant.
Hence why this is the perfect partnership with Otterbox – their aim is to enhance your technology and help it survive your life. My aim is to enhance your ability to feel smug over gifting these small delights and help you survive your Christmas a little less stressed.
Slightly Healthier Salted Caramel Sauce
This sauce, by my own admission, is the business!! It is so handy to have in the cupboard as an emergency fancy dessert addition. Just add ice cream….or eat straight from the pot. You may go a little crazy after it but it just could be worth the risk.
What you need:
1 can full-fat coconut milk
1/2 cup coconut sugar (or alternatively I’ve made with 1/2 maple syrup also)*
1/2 tsp sea salt
1tbsp butter or coconut oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
Sterilise your jars – you can see how to do this here. Alternatively you can use a clean jar but store sauce in fridge with lid on for up to one week.
Pop the coconut milk, maple syrup, butter & salt in a saucepan over medium-high heat.
Bring to a boil (keep and eye on it – it can boil really quickly).
Lower the temperature & leave to simmer for about 25 minutes. Stir occasionally but more so for the last 10 minutes, ensuring you mix in all the dark gooey bits sticking to the side and bottom of the pan (technical term here…..ahem).
Remove from the heat once dark in colour and thick enough to coat the back of the spoon.
Serve warm on Vanilla Ice-cream with sliced banana or simply dip sliced apples straight into the pot. It’s also great over fried bananas.
*The maple syrup version must be re-heated as on going cold it turned slightly jelly-ish in consistency. It returns to gooey caramel mess on heating but just to be aware!!
Hot Chocolate Stirrers
I have about 10 different recipes for making these little delights – however in lieu of the many occasions that I have stuffed broken left over chocolate bunnies and the like into flasks of hot milk en route to family picnics I have opted for my tried and trust and most importantly SIMPLEST method.
What you need:
500g Good Quality Dark Chocolate ( you can use milk or white chocolate here too)
Mini Muffin cases or ice-cube trays (silicon ones are great) or moulds of choice.
Disposable spoons or Lollipop sticks
Heat your chocolate in a bowl over a pan of water on a medium heat. Try not to let the water touch the bottle of the bowl.
Pour you chocolate into moulds and place a few marshmallows on top. Ideas for moulds are used, washed petit filous pots.
Leave sit for 15-20 minutes.
Pop your spoon/stick into the chocolate mixture and leave to set completely in the fridge.
Wrap in cellophane bags with a ribbon. Attach a tag with some instructions and love.
Home made Detox Bath Salts
This gift is not just the physical jar of salts that you gifting but rather idea that the recipient deserves the down time that will come with using your gift to them. The soothing baking soda, the detoxifying salts (said to aid stress and sleep!) and the benefits of the essential oils you choose make this the perfect homemade luxury for a friend. We could all do with a bit of relaxation and detoxing during the party season.
1 cup Epsom salts
1 cup Sea Salts
1/3 cup baking soda
10 drops of your favourite essential oils ( I use Peppermint and Lavender but other suggestions are citrus, sandalwood, rose, Frankincense)
Simply add your salts and baking soda to a large bowl. Add your essential oil drops and mix.
Add to fancy jar with lid.
Decorate with ribbon and label with ingredients and instructions to relax in it for 30 minutes!!
A little bit of love and care invested into these gifts will go along way this Christmas season. Hopefully this little bit of seasonal inspiration will help you survive Christmas. You can shop all the pictured Otterbox covers here. They are the perfect stocking filler to help protect your phones, tablets and sanity. Eliminate the need to worry or stress about a cracked screen – that’s one thing ticked off my list for sure!!
Now where is the cellotape? I need to get wrapping. There’s an Otterbox “for everyone in the audience” in this household this Christmas. They’ll thank me later.
Yours, gone slightly insane from wrapping,