Holiday Gifts and Ideas

Can you believe there's about 2 weeks left till the Christmas holidays? These last few weeks have just gotten away from me. Tomorrow I leave for Florida early in the morning where I will be working at a conference til the end of the week. I've been overwhelmingly busy at work the last month, so I'm looking forward to working away from a desk and computer in a different environment. The change of scenery will be nice.

I wanted to share a Christmas gift I got myself that I'm so excited about! I ordered these Prismacolor art markers on Black Friday through Groupon. I've been wanting art markers for years but haven't got around to buying them til I saw them on sale. (I paid about $20 with tax and shipping. I've seen them online and at stores for up to $50 for the 12 pack!)

Prismacolor Premier art markers 12 pack, double ended chisel and fine tip
Colors in the set: Canary yellow, yellow orange, crimson red, dark umber, carmine red, pink, mulberry, violet, ultramarine,  dark green, parrot green, and black
The main reason I got them is to use as an under base for my color pencil drawings. I've seen other artists online use them to help speed up their drawings by blocking in large areas with colors. I finally had the chance to play around with them and test them with my color pencils. I like what I see so far.

Markers by themselves

Markers with color pencil over them. Looking forward to lots of vibrant colors!

Budget Friendly Gift Ideas

Although I already finished my Christmas shopping for this year I want to share some ideas for anyone looking for budget friendly gifts. Last year I was on a small budget so I decided to make some food gifts. I made some brownie mix and hot cocoa mason jar gifts for friends and family. 
Hot cocoa in a mason jar. I bought a few mason jars at the dollar store. Smart & Final (my favorite grocery store!) sells them by the case for a decent price as well. I added cocoa powder, sugar, chocolate chips and marshmallows. The recipe and instructions were also included.
I bought most of the ribbons at Big Lots and made the bows myself.
For the chocolate covered almonds I bought some little food bags and bought the almonds from the bulk section at Smart and Final by the pound.
Since I have some relatives with diabetes I decided to get nuts and trail mix as another option.
I had so much fun last year when I put these together. This year I wasn't able to put gifts like these together since I've been so busy with work and honestly I just didn't have the mental energy to do this. But its definitely something I would like to do again sometime. I don't know when I will post again but I hope you have a good holiday season!


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