Less Pressure, More Small Pleasures

About three weeks ago, Christmas music started playing all day on the radio stations.  That’s  usually about the time when I start realizing how little I’ve gotten done in the way of Christmas presents.  Usually a frenzy of crafting and sewing ensues but this year I opted for some easier options.  Yup, I’m releasing myself from my self-imposed sew/knit/craft pressure and have happily purchased gifts from (mostly) local sources and artisans.

Here are a few favourites of mine for pleasing gifts with a range of price points.

The next 6 pictures are all from the artists/vendor sites as listed – they are not mine.

It’s a Wild Thing Herbalista & Foragers

Gourmet salts with foraged herbs and seasonings from It’s a Wild Thing from Burlington. My favorite is mushroom and nettle.


Jewellery from MoonRox, Toronto

I’ve been buying Moonrox a long time – my first wire and stone ring came from their booth at the One of a Kind Show years ago. I still have it, in addition to several other pieces. Earrings I’ve gifted from here have always been a hit, there’s something for everyone’s style.


Bags and planters from Crown Flora, Toronto

These are just some examples – but my favorite are geometric or simple mason jar style terrariums.


Fitzy Leather, Toronto

These  $12 cord keepers really do help keep the tangles at bay. They also do workshops – I learned a lot about hand stitching leather and have projects of my own planned out.


A big pot of warmth made easy with soup kits from Soup Girl, Toronto.

Curried Cashew Soup is my favourite. At $8 a jar and options like smoky lentil; detox soup italian rice and lentil; spicy coconut lentil…yum!


Mustard Seed Holiday Bags – solid burlap bags filled with local Halton and Caledon yumminess.

My favourite item in these $50 bags might be the maple syrup from Deerfield Farms, Burlington – a horse farm!A few people will be getting these bags this year 🙂


This is also the one time each year where I think about baking.  And once again it’s Smitten Kitchen to the rescue with the Browniest Cookies. If you’re still looking for things to bake, make these.

This is my picture... and this is my cookie... back off!
This is my picture… and this is my cookie, all mine!  Seriously – they are so quick to make – 3 types of chocolate and 1 hour from mixing bowl to in-your-mouth goodness, there’s no reason not to make them.

We also had some messy fun in the kitchen with Alton Brown’s marshmallow recipe.  Homemade marshmallows are easy to make and paired with little jars of hot chocolate mix from Serious Eats homemade hot chocolate recipe, they make great gifts. If you’re in a hurry – just make the mix and skip the marshmallows  as they need to sit over night before finishing.

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Cocoa kits

Left to do on my list are some stilton and pecan shortbread, two more work days, and then a lot more of this…


What’s left to do on your holiday list?

| Filed under local

4 thoughts on “Less Pressure, More Small Pleasures

  1. Great ideas Tasha! I have only just encountered “homemade” marshmallows in Vancouver at the “Butter” bakery. I see they are now selling them at Chapters 🙂 Definitely giving this a try as the “chiclets” are into hot chocolate with marshmallows! Thanks…..great post and wonderful ideas.

  2. Those are such great gift ideas! I decided to make nothing handmade this year (other than cookies but we are mostly stuffing our own faces with those!) I have to check out the recipe for Stilton and pecan shortbread– that sounds amazing.

    1. Teri, Following your blog now! It’s the first year I haven’t made anything and it feels strange. Good, but strange. Next year I hope to make a gift a month. Let’s see how that goes.

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