A Lot of Love in a Little Box: Operation Christmas Child

Operation Christmas Child ~ How to Pack a Shoe Box ~ By Bubblegum Sass

Each year we pack up several shoe boxes to donate to Operation Christmas Child. We started this tradition well before Sammy was born, knowing how much these gifts would be appreciated by a child in a developing country. Now as a mother, these shoe boxes have come to mean a whole lot more. They are HOPE. Hope for a child, for his siblings, for his friends, and community. One shoe box isn’t just Christmas gifts for a single child, for a single year. It is LOVE in box that has the potential to spread from one child, to a whole community.


Holiday Gift Guide: For Home & Hostess

Holiday Gift Guide: For Home & Hostess ~ By Bubblegum Sass ~ Shop Handmade Canada

I’m diving in good & early with my holiday gift guides this year. I’ve already started quite a bit of my Christmas shopping online from local and Canadian shops, so that I don’t have to worry about things getting delivered in time for gift giving. I also wanted to share some of my ideas with you now, so that you have a chance to work in a few local, handmade goodies into your Christmas shopping list {or even your personal wish list}.


Holiday Gift Guide: Rugged Gentlemen

Holiday Gift Guide: Rugged Gentlemen ~ Bubblegum Sass

For the third installment of my Holiday Gift Guide series, we turn to treats for all the wonderful gentlemen in our lives. The only thing is, most of the gents in my life are rough-around-the-edges, cabin-bound or farm-bound men, so my gift guide is inspired by them. Cheers to all the rugged gentlemen out there! (And don’t forget to check out the other posts in this gift guide series.)

Medicin River Soap Gift Set
NGNG (No Guts, No Glory) Gift Soap Set from Medicine River Soap Co. (Red Deer, AB)


Ole Originals Alberta T-Shirt

Alberta T-Shirt 2nd Edition by Ole Originals (Vancouver, BC)
*The BEST tees around. Hubby & I each own a few of Chandler’s designs.*

Wood Journal by Forest Nine
Wood Covered Journal from Forest Nine (Calgary)

Mammoth Beard Co.
Hazelnut & Hemp Beard Oil Sample from Mammoth Beard Co. (Calgary)

Don’t forget to check out ideas from more great local shops on my Etsy Holiday Gift Guides page. Hope you’re starting to feel like you’ve got a number of things checked off your gift list. Would love to hear your own gift ideas for the gentlemen in your lives! I always find shopping for the gents the most challenging. So let’s hear it! What are you getting the menfolk for Christmas this year? {post in the comments}

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty For Her

Holiday Gift Guide: Beauty For Her ~ Bubblegum Sass

Next up on my Holiday Gift Guide series is beauty products for all those lovely ladies in our lives, be it moms, friends, girlfriends or wives. Don’t forget to check out my previous posts in the series. Once again, these products are made by fairly local or very local folks in the Calgary area. I’ve included a few of my personal faves this time around too.

Lip Balms by Handmade Therapy
All Natural Lip Balms Set of Eight from Handmade Therapy (Calgary) *my fave lip balm*

Bubble Gum Bar Soap From Eliza Jane Soap Co

Bubble Gum Bar Soap from Eliza Jane Soap Company (Delburne, AB)

Cherry Blossom Glitter Polish
Cherry Blossom Glitter Polish from Seven Sins Polish (Calgary)

*Who knew there were folks in town making custom nail polish?! Need to try this out for sure*

Cheeky from Cedar and Sparrow
Cheeky Cosmetics (Okanagan Valley) from Cedar & Sparrow (Calgary)

*really enjoying the lip gloss & eye shadow these days*

You can check out more great ideas from all my Holiday Gift Guides over on Etsy too. Just remember that shipping deadlines for ordering outside of Calgary will be fast approaching!

Holiday Gift Guide: Dino Lovers

Holiday Gift Guide: Dino Lovers ~ Bubblegum Sass

Now, I’m always up for making Christmas gifts and trying to avoid the malls. We do a lot of handmade holidays around our house, but there are purchased gifts too. As we try more & more to support local businesses (because that’s just a win-win for everyone) I thought I would share some gift ideas that can be purchased online from makers fairly close to home or really close to home (aka in person in Calgary proper).

Today I present my gift guide for all those little dino lovers in your life (because we have the world’s biggest dino lover right under our own roof):

Typographic Dinosaurs From Far Sky Kids
Typographic Dinosaurs from Far Sky Map Works (Edmonton)

Dino Shadow Puppets
Wooden Dinosaur Shadow Puppets from J.D.B. Mercantile (Calgary)

Dino magnet set

Dinosaur Magnet 8 Piece Set from The Original Animal Magnet (Vancouver)

T-Rex King Print
T-Rex Print from Ellie Greets by Elisa (Calgary)

Sammy and I picked up some cards from Ellie Greets at one of the crafts shows and that T-Rex print will probably find it’s way into our home also. DO poke around to find out when and where the Calgary artists will be this season. Still plenty of craft shows coming up to catch them at. DON’T hesitate to contact them about doing local pick-up or drop-offs either. That’s the beauty of local makers… you don’t necessarily have to worry about shipping deadlines. Merry Christmas to all the little dinosaurs out there! Rrrrrroar!

DIY Christmas Coupon Book

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass

One of the little DIY Christmas gifts that I made this year was a simple coupon book for hubby, with gifts of time redeemable throughout the year. It was a perfect stocking stuffer! And once I got a template figured out, it was pretty easy to make. I started just by searching online for some various gifts of time ideas. It was a little tricky to find suitable ideas for hubby, which is why I picked a few general “gifts”, like bathroom cleaning & mowing the lawn. From there I came up with a few more personal “gifts”, like daddy free-time & reasons I love him.

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass, Clean Bathroom Page

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass, Lawn Mowed Page

Once I had a list of coupon ideas, I visited my fave stock photo site, Veer (my previous place of employment) and picked out a couple of stock illustrations to use in the design. It’s really easy to search their site, and make purchases. I think my total bill was just over $4. Not an expensive gift to put together, and the professional illustrations make it so much more classy.

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass, Reasons I Love You Page

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass, Daddy Free Time Page

The coupon book was printed on card stock and then stapled together. I used some pretty washi tape to cover up the staples & finish up the binding. Voila! A nice little gift ready to pop into a Christmas stocking. Or seeing as it is now January, you might want to consider this as a Valentine’s or Father’s or Mother’s Day gift (you’ve got several months to get this project done in time).

DIY Christmas Coupon by Bubblegum Sass, Washi Tape Binding

If you’re not up for making one of these coupon books from scratch, there are plenty of free printable versions available. Here’s some that might interest you:

  • Printable Gift Coupons from Life As Mom (both a colour and black & white version)
  • Printable Love Coupon Book from I Heart Nap Time (a good Valentine’s version)
  • Photo Gift Coupons from Bubby & Bean (this one uses your own photos for the design and she includes great instructions on using Photoshop Elements)